Orissa News

Following the brazenness of the war, Ashoka embraced Buddhism and gave up any further military endeavor. He patronized Buddhism and was in instrumental in propagating the religion in the state and was very much successful in creating a strong unifying bond among the different tribes for the first time. Buddhism spread over Kalinga under his patronage and became the State religion while the art of stone masonry developed to a great extent. Edicts were engraved on the Dhauli and Jaugada rocks to inculcate his administration and religious principles to the people.

Kalinga became one of the administrative provisions in the empire of Magadha with headquarters of a Kumara (Viceroy) located at Tosali. The second headquarters was at Samapa where a high executive officer called Rajavachanika was stationed. Tosali was also the headquarters of the highest judiciary authority of the province. After giving an administration that led to the wholesome development of Culture, Asoka died in 232 B.C. The Mauryan dominance in the region however lasted up to 185 B.C.

Mahameghavahana Kharavela

Kharavels,the greatest king of Orissa

In the early part of the 1 st century B.C. Kalinga became independent under the Chedi Chief Mahameghavana. The third ruler of this dynasty was Kahravela who ruled during the second half of the 1st century B.C. It was under his rule that Kalinga achieved unprecedented growth both as a military as well as economic power .Kharavela was responsible in reinstating the military might of the Kalingas.

The kalinga Empire during the rule of Kharavela

Kharavels kingdom covered most parts of India

Kharavela led many successful campaigns against Kingdoms of Magadha,Anga. Satvahanas and the south Indian kingdoms of Pandya. His military campaigns were responsible for expanding Kalinga till the river Ganga in North and river Kaveri in the South. He was also responsible for forcing the Magdha King Brihaspati Mitra to Kalinga dominance and carrying back the image of Kalinga Jina as a trophy of his victory. Considered to be the ruling deity of the state, Kalinga Jina had been taken away from Kalinga by Mahapadmananda three hundred years back and its restoration made him one of the most adorable kings of the Kalinga. Kharavela had also successfully met with the challenge provided by the Indo Greeks and had single handedly flushed them out of Mathura.

The Hatigumpha inscription in Udayagiri near Bhubaneswar furnishes detailed accounts about the life and activities of King Kharavela from his boyhood to his 13th regal year. It is known from this record that Kharavela on the premature death of his father took up the administration first as a Yuvaraja and then on completion of 24 years of age ascended to the throne as Maharaja. Apart from the great military campaigns that he had led, he was instrumental in building canals for promotion of agriculture, excavating a number of cave-dwellings and promoting the maritime trade in Orissa. He was a patron of the Jain religion and seemed to have actively promoted it. However he was also known to be liberal towards other religious communities and earned great reputation as the worshiper of all religious orders and the repairers of all religious shrines.

He was succeeded by his son Kudepasiri. The Mahameghavahana dynasty continued to rule over Kalinga and Mahishaka up to the 1 st century A.D.

The Satvahans and The Murundas

Coin depicting Gautamiputra Satkarni

The Satvahanas who ruled the Sothern Part of India had been a constant threat to the Kalingas. Founded by Simmukha, it had rose to peak of eminence under Satkarni –I. However after his death the kingdom was battered by perennial invasions. Earlier Kharavela had succeeded in defeating them and pushing them further down south.

However after the ascension of Gautamiputra Satkarni, the lost glory of the Satvhanas was restored as his military campaigns led to their kingdom’s expansion from Avanti in the north to Kanchi in the south and Kalinga in the East to Kolhapur in the west.

Kalinga was occupied by Gautmiputra satkarni in the early part of the 2nd century A.D. and thus began the first rule of a Vedic Kshatriya on the state.

Satvahans are often ascribed to fully implement the Varnashrama philosophy of the Vedic society in Orissa. For them Varnashram was the bed rock of social organization. As such they took extreme care in saving it from contamination. Brahmins, the champion the Vaidika-Dharma. achieved considerable ascendancy under the Satavahana rulers Also many sub castes based on occupation were added to the social structure .These included Golakas (Shepherds), Halikas (Ploughmen), Kolikas (Weavers), Swarnakaras (Goldsmiths) and Malakaras (Garland-makers) and others.

Kalinga remained under the fold of Satvahnas till the rule of Yajnasri Satakarni.Following his death in 202 A.D., Kalinga declared itself an independent nation.