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Eastern Ganga dynasty

Eastern Ganga Empire

• 980–1015
Vajrahasta Aniyankhabhima
• 1038–1070
Vajrahasta Anantavarman
• 1070-1078
Rajaraja Devendravarman
• 1078–1147
Anantavarman Chodagangadeva
• 1178–1198
Ananga Bhima Deva II
• 1238–1264
Narasingha Deva I
• 1414–1434
Bhanu Deva IV
Historical eraClassical India
• Established
• Disestablished
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Somavamshi dynasty
Gajapati Kingdom
Main Temple Structure, Konark Sun Temple

The Eastern Ganga dynasty was a medieval Indian dynasty that reigned from Kalinga from the 11th century to the early 15th century. The territory ruled by the dynasty consisted of the whole of the modern-day Indian state of Odisha as well as parts of West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.[1] The early rulers of the dynasty ruled from Dantapura; the capital was later moved to Kalinganagara (modern Mukhalingam), and ultimately to Kataka (modern Cuttack).[2] Today, they are most remembered as the builders of the Konark Sun Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site at Konark, Odisha.

The rulers of Eastern Ganga dynasty defended their kingdom from the constant attacks of the Muslim rulers. This kingdom prospered through trade and commerce and the wealth was mostly used in the construction of temples. The rule of the dynasty came to an end under the reign of King Bhanudeva IV (1414–34), in the early 15th century.[3] Their currency was called Ganga fanams and was greatly influenced by the Cholas and Eastern Chalukyas of southern India.[4]


The origin of the Later Eastern Gangas is not clearly established.[5] They evidence strong south Indian influences in architecture and even the rules of marriage and kinship. It is surmised that they were an offshoot of the Western Ganga dynasty who were a south Indian dynasty. However, while the bardic traditions of the Western Ganga dynasty claim descent from the Sun through the Ikshavaku dynasty, the Eastern Ganga genealogies ascribe descent from the Moon; the Chandravamsa lineage. Unlike the Western Ganga Dynasty who traced their lineage to the Solar Dynasty,[6] the Later Eastern Gangas claimed a lunar descent from Vishnu through Brahma, Atri and Chandra(moon).[7]

The first monarch of the Eastern Ganga dynasty was Vajrahasta-Aniyakbhima who ruled from 980 to 1015 AD. He was the grandfather of Vajrahasta-Anantavarman who was crowned in 1038 AD. The relationship of Vajrahasta Aniyakbhima with the Early Gangas, if any, is not clear and cannot be determined. However Indra Bhattaraka Varma (528–555 CE) of Vishnukudina empire of possibly lost his Kalinga holdings to one Adiraja Indra, who possibly was Indravarma I of East Ganga Dynasty. Indravarma I is known from the Jirjingi copper plate grant (Vasudev Vishnu Mirashi’s ). King Indravarman (498–535 CE) of this dynasty was the direct relative of Western Ganga dynasty of Karnataka who was contemporary to it and ruled at a very early phase starting from 5th century and was continued to the later 11th century branch made famous from Anantavarma Chodagangadeva. This 2nd line of E. Gangas was started by Kamarnava I of Kolar Ganga branch who defeated Sabara chief in Mahendragiri and other kingdoms in Kalinga in 720 CE and strengthened the Ganga power there. Devendravarman IV ruled from 893 CE. The later branch of this dynasty was founded/continued by King Anantavarma Choda ganga(1078–1150 CE), descendants of the Western Ganga Dynasty that ruled the southern parts of modern Karnataka. Probably by this time, the Eastern Ganga Kannada kings had assimilated into Odisha culture as Odiya kings.

Towards the end of the eleventh century the Eastern Ganga rulers became matrimonially related to the Cholas of south India and the dynasty came to be known as the Chodaganga dynasty from the time of King Anantavarman Chodaganga. The latter was the son of Rajaraja Devendravarman and grandson of Vajrahasta Anantavarman of the Imperial Gangas of Kalinganagara.[8][9][10] His mother was princess Rajasundari of the Chola dynasty.[11]


After the fall of Mahameghavahana dynasty, Kalinga was divided into different kingdoms under feudatory chiefs. Each of these chiefs bore the title Kalingadhipathi (Lord of Kalinga). The beginnings of what became the Eastern Ganga dynasty came about when Indravarma I defeated the Vishnukundin king, Indrabhattaraka and established his rule over the region with Kalinganagara (or Mukhalingam) as his capital, and Dantapura as a secondary capital. The Ganga kings assumed various titles viz. Trikalingadhipathi or Sakala Kalingadhipathi (Lord of three Kalinga or all three Kalingas namely Kalinga proper (South), Utkala (North), and Kosala (West)).

Mukhalingam near Srikakulam of Andhra Pradesh bordering Odisha has been identified as Kalinganagara, the capital of the early Eastern Gangas.[12]

After the decline of the early Eastern Gangas reign, the Chalukyas of Vengi took control of the region. The first monarch of the dynasty Vajrahastha Aniyakabhima I (980-1015 A.D), took advantage of the internal strife and revived the power of the Ganga dynasty. It was during their rule that Shaivism took precedence over Buddhism and Jainism. The magnificent Srimukhalingam Temple at Mukhalingam was built during this period.

In the 11th century, the Cholas brought the Ganga Kingdom under their rule.[12]


The Eastern Gangas were known to have intermarried with the Cholas as well as Chalukyas. The early state of the dynasty may have started from the early 8th century.

Anantavarman Chodaganga

The dynasty, towards the end of eleventh century came to be known as Chodaganga dynasty after its founder Anantavarman Chodaganga. He is believed to have ruled from the Ganges River in the north to the Godavari River in the south, thus laying the foundation of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. Also during his rule, the great Jagannath Temple at Puri was built.[12] He assumed the title of Trikalingadhipathi (ruler of the three Kalingas which comprise Kalinga proper, Utkala north and Koshala west) in 1076 CE, resulting in him being the first to rule all three divisions of Kalinga.[13]

Anantavarman was a religious person as well as a patron of art and literature. He is credited for having built the famous Jagannath Temple of Puri in Odisha.[13] King Anantavarman Chodagangadeva was succeeded by a long line of illustrious rulers such as Narasingha Deva I (1238–1264).


Rajaraja III ascended the throne in 1198 and did nothing to resist the Muslims of Bengal, who invaded Orissa in 1206. Rajaraja's son Anangabhima III, however, repulsed the Muslims and built the temple of Megheshvara at Bhuvaneshvara. Narasimhadeva I, the son of Anangabhima, invaded southern Bengal in 1243, defeated its Muslim ruler, captured the capital (Gauda), and built the Sun Temple at Konark to commemorate his victory. With the death of Narasimha in 1264, the Eastern Gangas began to decline; the sultan of Delhi invaded Odisha in 1324, and Musunuri Nayaks[citation needed] defeated the Odishan powers in 1356. Narasimha IV, the last known king of the Eastern Ganga dynasty, ruled until 1425. The "mad king," Bhanudeva IV, who succeeded him, left no inscriptions; his minister Kapilendra usurped the throne and founded the Suryavamsha dynasty in 1434–35.


The Eastern Gangas were great patrons of religion and the arts, and the temples of the Ganga period rank among the masterpieces of Hindu architecture.[14]


  1. Indravarman (496–535)[12]
  2. Devendravarman IV (893-?)
  3. Vajrahasta Aniyabhima (980-1015 AD)[15]
  4. Vajrahasta Anantavarman (1038-?)
  5. Rajaraja Devendravarman(?-1078)
  6. Anantavarman Chodaganga (1078–1150)[12]
  7. Ananga Bhima Deva II (1178–1198)
  8. Rajaraja II (1198–1211)
  9. Ananga Bhima Deva III (1211–1238)
  10. Narasimha Deva I (1238–1264)[12]
  11. Bhanu Deva I (1264–1279)
  12. Narasimha Deva II (1279–1306)[12]
  13. Bhanu Deva II (1306–1328)
  14. Narasimha Deva III (1328–1352)
  15. Bhanu Deva III (1352–1378)
  16. Narasimha Deva IV (1379–1424)[12]
  17. Bhanu Deva IV (1424–1434)


See also


  1. ^ Ganga Dynasty Archived 10 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ B. Hemalatha (1991). Life in medieval northern Andhra. Navrang.
  3. ^ [1] Archived 10 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Patnaik, Nihar Ranjan (1 January 1997). Economic History of Orissa. Indus Publishing. p. 93. ISBN 978-81-7387-075-0. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  5. ^ B. Masthanaiah. The Temples of Mukhalingam: A Study on South Indian Temple Architecture. Cosmo Publications, 1977 - Mukhalingām (India) - 136 pages. p. 5.
  6. ^ N. Venkata Ramanayya. Social and cultural life of the eastern Chalukyas of Vengi. [A.P.] Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Oriental Research Institute - Andhra Pradesh (India) - 96 pages. p. 83.
  7. ^ Jörn Rüsen. Time and History: The Variety of Cultures. Berghahn Books, 01-Jan-2008 - History - 262 pages. p. 72.
  8. ^ Itihas, Volumes 19-22. p. 14.
  9. ^ Andhra Historical Research Society, Rajahmundry, Madras. Journal of the Andhra Historical Society, Volumes 6-7. Andhra Historical Research Society., 1931. p. 200.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ Indian Research Institute. Indian Culture: Journal of the Indian Research Institute, Volume 12. I.B. Corporation, 1984. p. 159.
  11. ^ Indian Research Institute. Indian Culture: Journal of the Indian Research Institute, Volume 12. I.B. Corporation, 1984. p. 160.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. pp. 36–37. ISBN 978-93-80607-34-4.
  13. ^ a b Eastern Ganga Dynasty in India. (2005-06-07). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  14. ^ Ganga dynasty (Indian dynasties) - Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  15. ^ Sailendra Nath Sen. Ancient Indian History and Civilization. New Age International, 1999 - India - 668 pages. p. 437.
  16. ^ Michael Mitchiner (1979). Oriental Coins & Their Values : Non-Islamic States and Western Colonies A.D. 600-1979. Hawkins Publications. ISBN 978-0-904173-18-5.

External links