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Ancient Orissa: Rule of Kings

Introduction

Also known as the kingdom of Kalinga in the ancient times, Orissa was a major seafaring nation which controlled and traded with most of the sea routes in Bay of Bengal. Consequently many parts of Southern and South Eastern Asia such as Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Java, Sumatra, Bali, Vietnam and Thailand were colonized by people from Orissa who were instrumental in directly influencing the culture and tradition of the natives there. It is thus hardly surprising that in some parts of Malaysia Indians to this date are referred as Kalings. Many illustrious Sri Lankan kings such as Nisanka Malla and Parakarama Bahu claim Kalinga origin. The king who destroyed the Sinhalese Buddhist control of Northern Sri Lanka and established a Hindu Kingdom in Jaffna was known as Kalinga Magha. One theory holds that the name of the country "Siam" for Thailand is derived from Oriya/Sanskrit Shyamadesha. Bali in Indonesia still retains its Oriya influenced Hindu heritage with many Oriya festivals like Raja and Nua Khai still celebrated albeit with the native’s personal touch. Traces of Oriya influence can also be found in architectural structures like that at the temple of Angkor Wat.

 The most notable thing with respect to the ancient Orissa was its own social system which was completely independent of the Vedic Brahmanical society that was existent in other parts of the country. The social system that prevailed here was devoid of any hereditary significance. The main occupation of the people being trading, they can be categorized into the Vaishyas. But again unlike the prevailing caste systems elsewhere, anybody without any consideration of genealogy was free to join in as trader. Similarly the hereditary warrior caste like Kshatriyas did not take any hold in the region. Soldiers were drawn from the peasantry as needed and rank in the military depended as much on fighting skills and bravery as on hereditary factors. This mix of variance and quality may have been one of the features of ancient Oriya society that allowed it to successfully fend numerous raids since time immemorable.

Ancient Orissa

The ancient Orissa was a region that was inhabited variously by different tribal castes like the Savaras, the Nagas and the Odras. Historical data in the form of references in the Mahabharat suggest that it was one of the most powerful kingdoms of the time. The king of Kalinga Srutayudha had joined the camps of Kouravas in the battle of Kurukshetra along with his two sons – Bhanumana and Ketumana and the entire dynasty was wiped out in the war. The Buddhist treatise ‘Mahagovinda Suttanta’ accentuates that a new Kshatriya dynasty took possession of the kingdom after the war and helped restore its lost pride.

The Period of Nanda rule

The great Nanda King Mahapadma Nanda who is often referred as the first Shudra King of India was instrumental in founding the Nanda rule in the country with its capital in Magadh. He consequently defeated the ruling Kalinga Monarch to add it as a part of the Nanda Kingdom.

Although Kalinga lost her independence, she became economically prosperous under the Nanda rule. Mahapadmananda took great pains in developing extensive irrigation projects to eradicate famine condition in Kalinga. He encouraged trading with other countries and had used the Kalinga Coastlines for this purpose. Many pre-Mauryan black polished potteries and punch-marked coins having four symbols found Asurgarh in Kalahandi district and Sonepur in Bolangir district indicate the flourishing economic condition during the time of the Nanda rule. The invasion of Alexander, the great turned to be a turning point in the history of Nandas as Chandragupta Maurya took the opportunity in usurping the throne by overthrowing the last of the reining Nanda Kings. Taking advantage of the chaos that prevailed; Kalinga declared herself independent and tried to build her strength as an overseas power.

Kalinga under the Mauryan Rule

Ashoka,The Great Annexes Orissa

Ashoka,the Great was responsible for uniting the ancient Orissa

Chandragupta Maurya tried to annex the independent nation to his empire later but was repelled. Kalinga remained safe and flourishing during the rule of Bindusara who did not bother to disturb the neighbor. It was however in the year 261B.C. that Ashoka the great undertook one of the bloodiest wars in the history of mankind to annex Kalinga by defeating the reining king Raja Ananta Padmanabha. The war of Kalinga had over had 1, 00,000 men slain in the either side and led to the Daya river turn red with the blood of dead warriors.

The battle was described by Asoka himself in his thirteenth Rock Edict which records

  • One hundred and fifty thousand men were carried away captive from that country
  • As many as one hundred thousand were killed there in action and many times that number perished.

Asoka annexed the coastal region of Kalinga to his empire and gave up the idea of further conquest. He tried to conciliate the unconquered Atavika , the hilly up land lying to the west of Kalinga and desired to conquer their heart by love.

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.

Nothing in definite is known about Orissa after this time as her history was lost in obscurity for some time. There is however consensus among historians about a foreign power called Murundas who were able to bring her into their dominance at this period of time. Mahrarja Rajadhiraja Dharmadamadhara whose gold coin was found from Sisupalgarh excavation is considered as a Jaina king from Murunda family that ruled over parts of Bihar and Orissa. The Bhadrak stone inscription of Maharaja Ganabhadra datable to the third century A.D. also indicates the rule of the Murundas in Orissa.

The Murundas of Kalinga and Kushanas of northern India were ousted from power by the Naga dynasties. Consequently Samudragupta crushed the Naga power in Aryavarta wars and was able to acquire suzerainty over northern India in place of the Nagas.

The Guptas

Samudra Gupta

Samudragupta

Around 350 A.D., Samudragupta led his South India campaigns. Kalinga was then divided into four principalities viz. Kottura, Erandapalla, Devarastra and Pistapura. Kottura has been identified with modern Kathoor, about 12 kms to the south of Mahendra hill. Erandapalla has been identified with modern Erandapalli of Srikakulam district, Devarashtra with Yellamachili of Visakhapatna district and Pistapura has been identified with Pithapuram of Godavari district. Samudragupta annexed all these into his kingdom. He is also known to have defeated king Mahendra of South Kosala and following the course of the Mahanadi, the king of Kosala Mantaraja and Vyagharaja of Kantara. Further down south he is known to have defeated king Swamidutta of Kuttura, king Kuvera of Devarastra. Soon after the military campaign of Samudragupt, the Matharas rose to power in the coastal belt of Orissa with their epicenter in and around Mahendragiri, and the Nalas rose to power in Bastar-Koraput and Kalahandi region.

The Matharas

The earliest known Mathara king was Vishakavarman who started his politial career as a humble ruler of a small territory round Parlakhemundi. He was succeeded by Umavarman. A powerful king with great abilities, Umavarman was able to establish his supremacy over the region by his 30th year in power by declaring himself as the Lord of Kalinga and shifting the capital to Singhapura. He ruled for about 35 years and was succeeded by Sankaravarman in about 395 A.D. After his death Maharaja Shaktivarman took over the reins in about 400 A.D. He was instrumental in extending the kingdoms frontier from Mahanadi in the north to the river Krishna in the south. He transferred his capital from Singhapura to Pishtapura in South Kalinga. After his death in 420A.D, he was succeeded by his son Anantasaktivarman who ruled up to 450 A.D.

His rule is set with troublesome period as he could not provide the same degree of efficiency as inherited from his father. Further the king of Vishnukundin Madhavavarman, occupied South Kalinga which forced him to shift his capital from Pishtapura to Singhapura.

Anantasaktivarman was succeeded by his son Chandravarman However a premature death had Anantasaktivarman’s brother Prabhanjanavarman, establish as the King. Prabhanjanavarman attempted to recover South Kalinga without success. Consequent to his rule, the Maththra power started declining and by the year 498 A.D they were completely wiped out.

Rule of The East Gangas

Indravarman I established the Ganga dynasty in Orissa by defeating King Indrabhattaaka of Vishnukandin. He made Dantapura his capital city. His period of rule between 498 A.D. to 562 A.D, is said to have been one of the most prosperous periods in the history of Orissa. Samantavarman succeeded him in the year 562 A.D. Next to follow him was Hastivarman who assumed the title of “Lord of all Kalingas” (sakala Kalinga) and transferred his capital from Dantapura to Kalinganagar.

The following is a list of all kings of the East Ganga’s

  • Indravarman I
  • Samantavarman
  • Hastivarman
  • Indravarman II
  • Indravarmanan III
  • Devendravarman
  • Hemantavarman I
  • Nandavarman
  • Devendravarman II
  • Anantavarman
  • Devendravarman III
  • Anantavarman III
  • Rajendravarman II
  • Devendravarman IV
  • Satyavarman
  • Anantavarman IV
  • Maharaja Bhupendravarman
  • Anantavarman V
  • Devendravarman V

The rule of the first group of Ganga kings ended with Devendravarman V in the year 895 A.D. The account of the second group is known from the copper plate grants of Vajrahasta V. The rule of the second group of the Ganga dynasty ended in the year 1038 A.D after Vajrahasta V.

The genealogy of the second group is mentioned below:

  • Gunamaharnava
  • Vajrahasta III ruled for 44 years
  • Gundama I 3 years
  • Kamarnava I 35 years
  • Vinayaditya (30 years)
  • Vajrahasta IV also called Aniankabhima (Anangabhima I) – 35 years
  • Kamarnava half a year
  • Gundama II (3 years)
  • Madhukamarnava 19 years
  • Vajrahasta V came to the throne in Saka year 960 (1038 A.D.)

 

The Nalas

Before the rise of the Eastern Gangs the Nala dynasty had established a kingdom in Trikalinga region comprising parts of the modern districts of Bastar, Koraput and Kalahandi. The capital of the kingdom of the Nalas was at Pushkarit, close to the site of Podagarh in Koraput district.

The earliest known ruler of the Nala dynasty was Vrishadhvaja who is known to rule between 400 A.D. to 420 A.D. Next to ascend the throne was king Varaharaja who ruled from 420to 440 A.D. He was a powerful and independent ruler and had a prosperous reign.

Bhavadattavarman also called Bhavadattaraja was probably the son and successor of Varaharaja. During his rule there was conflict between the Nalas and the Bhakatakas and Bhavadattavarman defeated the Bhakataka king Narendrasena. The Bhakatakas capital Nandivardhana was occupied by the Nalas. He was a powerful and a generous king. He was succeeded by his son Arthapatiraja.

The Bhakataka king Prithvisena II, son of Narendrasena, defeated Arthapatiraja and ousted the Nalas from the capital Nandivardhana. He invaded Pushkari, the Nala capital, and destroyed it to a great extent. King Arthapati was probably killed in the battle. About 480 A.D. Skandavarman, the brother of Arthapatiraja, succeeded to the throne and restored the lost glory and prosperity of the Nala kingdom. However soon after this, King Harisen of Bhakataka inflicted a crushing blow to the Nalas. The Nalas could never recover from this defeat and their kingdom started declining.

There was a great resurgence of Vaishnivism under the patronage of the Nalas. Skandavarman who is known to be a devout Vaishnavite, had established a Vishu Vihar near Podagoda to promote the worship of Lord Vishnu.

The Parvatadvarakas

Parvatadvaraka rule was established in the modern Balangir and parts of Kalahandi during the rule of the Nalas by King Sobhanaraja .The next ruler were Maharaja Tustikara who was a devoted worshipper of Goddess Stambhesvari. The capital Parvatadvaraka has been identified with Asurgarh in Kalahandi Not much, however, is known about this dynasty.

The Vigrahas and the Mudgalas

In the later half of the sixth century A.D. the South Kosala region came under the rule of the Sarabhapuriyas. By that time the Kalinga territory was divided into three parts. The South Kalinga with its capital Pishtapura was under the rule of the Durjayas, the middle Kalinga was under the Eastern Gangas, while the northern Kalinga known as Kalinga Rastra was being ruled by the Vigrahas.

To the north of Kalinga Rastra, extended the kingdom of Tosali which comprised of the districts of Baleshwar, Cuttack and Puri. It was divided into two units Uttara Tosali and Dakshina Tosali, the river Mahanadi being the dividing line. This kingdom was under the rule of the Mudgalas.

During the later half of the sixth century A.D. there was fight between the Mudgala King Sambhuyasa of Tosali and the Vigraha king Prithvi Vigraha of Kalinga Rastra. Prithvi Vigraha was succeeded by King Lok Vigraha as the Lord of Tosali at around 600A.D. He defeated the Mudgala King Sambhuyasa and annexed South Tosali. The victory was short-lived as Sambhuyasa was able to reorganize his army and defeat the Vigrahas in 603 A.D, thus reoccupying the lost kingdom.

The Durjayas

During the mid 6th Century A.D., a chief named Ranadurjaya established his rule in South Kalinga with Pishtapura as his capital. The kingdom reached great heights under the rule of his grandson Prithvi Maharaja. He was able to establish supremacy over the Mudgals by annexing Tosali. He was subsequently defeated and driven out of his province by Sasanka who was able to retain parts of Kalinga to his kingdom.

The Sailodbhavas

During the later parts of 6th century A.D.Sailodbhava established a dynasty in the coastal regions of Orissa extending from Mahanadi in the north to Mahendragiri in the South. The territory was known as Kangoda mandala. After him Ranabhita also known as Dharmaraja I became the ruler. During later part of his rule, he was forced to act as a feudatory chief under the Vigraha king, Prithvivigraha.

He was succeeded by his son Madhavaraja who was a feudatory of the Vigraha king Lokavigraha. He was succeeded by Ayasobhita I alias Chharamparaja at a time when the political situation in the region was fluid with war going on the Vigrahas and the Mudgalas and Durjayas Taking advantage of the political situation Chharamparaja assumed independence.

However following the defeat at the hands of Sasanka in the year 615 A.D., his son and successor Madhavaraja II was forced to become a feudatory chief under Sasanka. Consequent to the death of Sasanka, Madhavaraja declared himself an independent monarch and in a charter to the public, called himself the Lord of entire Kalinga assuming the title of Madhavvarman.

At that time a great rivalry was ensuing between the Chalukya King Pulaksen II and Harshavardhan which helped Madhavavarman to maintain his independence. The situation did not change even after the defeat of Harsha by Pulakesin sometime before 634 A.D. But after the death of Pulakisin II in 642 A.D., the Chalukya power declined and Kangoda was occupied by Harshavardhana. Madhavavarman was once again forced to became the feudatory of Harshavardhana .However he declared himself free once Harsha died in the year 647 A.D., continuing to rule Kangoda till his death in 665 A.D.

He was succeeded by Madhyamaraja I who was somehow able to rule the region in perfect harmony .A religious person, he is known to have performed the Vajapeya and Asvamedha Yajna respectively. A war of succession between his sons Madhavaraja and Dharmaraja followed after his death. Madhavaraja was defeated in the battle of Phasika and Dharmaraja obtained the throne and performed his coronation. Meanwhile the defeated Madhava was able to garner the support of Tivaradeva, the powerful ruler of the South Kosala to invade Kangoda but the combined army of Madhava and Tivaradeva was defeated by Dharmaraja.

After Dharmaraja II the power of the Sailodbhavas declined. Dharamaraja was succeeded by his son Madhyamaraja II. It was probably during his rule that the Sailodbhavas were driven out of Kangoda by the Bhaumakaras thus, marking an end to their rule.

The Bhaumakaras

The Sailodbhava Kingdom was osccupied by the Bhauma king Unmattasimha alias Sivakaradeva I in 736 A.D. thus marking the beginning of the Bhaumkara dynasty. He had also occupied Kangoda and Svetaka territories. He was a devout Buddhist and is known to have acted towards the promotion of the religion.

He was succeeded by his son Subhakaradeva I who was instrumental in defeating the Gangas of Kalinga .However he suffered a serious setback in the hands of the Rastrakuta king Govinda III.He is known to have actively promoted Buddhism. Records suggest that in the year 795 A.D, he had sent a copy of “Avatansaka” to the Chinese emperor Te-Tsang along with his autographed letter.

Subhakara I was succeeded by his son Sivakaradeva II who was also a Buddhist ruler. His queen Mohini Devi probably built the Mohini temple at Bhubaneswar.

After Sivakara II his brother Santikara I also known as Gayada I came to the throne. During his time the Ganesh Gumpha of Udayagiri in Khandagiri-Udayagiri hill complex was remodeled by a physician named Bhimata, son of Nannata who also built a monastery called Arghyakavarati at Dhauli hill.

Santikara I was succeeded by Subhakaradeva II who was the son of Sivakaradeva II. He ruled for a very short time and was succeeded by his cousin, Subhakara III who proved to be a powerful ruler consolidating his rule over both northern and southern Tosali. He died without any issue at about 845 A.D.

The burden of administration then fell upon the widow queen of Santikara I., Gosvamini Tribhuvana Mahadevi I. She was the first woman ruler of the Bhauma family and had a successful and prosperous rule. After her, Santikara II, her grandson succeeded to the throne.

64 Yogini temples were built by Queen Hira Devi

His queen Hira Mahadevi built the temple of Sixty-four Yoginis at Hirapur on the bank of the Bhargavi. Santikara II was succeeded by his eldest son Subhakaradeva IV also called Kusumahara II. He married Prithvi Mahadevi, the daughter of king Janamejaya of South Kosala. Subhakaradeva IV died childless and was succeeded by his brother Sivakaradeva III alias Lalitahara. Although a follower of Saivism, he patronized Buddhism. He died after a brief rule probably as the victim of court intrigue.

Prithvi Mahadevi who was the widow of Subhakara IV became the ruler thereafter assuming the title of Tribhuvana Mahadevi II. Her brother Jajati I was then the ruler of Kosala and both brother and sister attempted to extend the rule of the Somavamsis of Kosala at the expense of the Bhaumas of Tosali. As the interest of the Bhaumas was threatened by Prithvi Mahadevi she was ousted from power by a coup organized by the ministers and officers of Tosali and the Bhauma throne was occupied by the widow of Sivakara III who declared herself Tribhuvana Mahadevi III. She was a modest and magnanimous lady and was a devout Vaishnava like Prithvi Mahadevi.

After Tribhuvana Mahadevi III her two sons Santikara III and Subhakara V ruled one after the other. The Bhauma rulers after Subhakara V were all women. His wife Gouri Mahadevi succeeded him and ruled for a brief period. She built the Gouri temple at Bhubaneswar. After a brief rule she was succeeded by her daughter Dandi Mahadevi who was a powerful ruler and a good administrator as well. She remained a virgin throughout her life probably due to political reason and died a premature death. She was succeeded by her stepmother Vakula Mahadevi who was a Bhanja princess. After her the Bhauma throne passed to Dharma Mahadevi who was the widow of Santikara III. She was also a Bhanja princess. She was the last Bhauma ruler and after her death the Bhauma territory was occupied by the Somavamsi King Dharmaratha (960 A.D. to 995 A.D.) the grandson of Jajati I.

The Mandala States

Some semi-independent principalities known as the Mandalas developed in between the kingdom of Bhaumas and the Somavamsis owing allegiance to the Bhauma rulers. The ruling dynasties of those Mandalas were

  • The Bhanjas of Khinjali Mandala
  • The Bhanjas of Khijjinga Mandala
  • The Sulkis of Kodalaka Mandala
  • The Tungas of Yamagartta Mandala
  • The Nandodbhavas of Airavatta Mandala
  • The Mayuras of Banei Mandala
  • The Gangas of Svetaka Mandala

The Bhanjas of Khinjali Mandala

The Khinjali Mandala comprised roughly the modern Sonepur subdivision. Its being Dhitipura,the modern Boudh town. The dynasty was founded by s Silabhanja Deva also called Angadi. He was succeeded by his son Satrubhanja who is also known as Gandhata and Nettabhanja. Satrubhanja founded the town of Gandhatapati identified with modern Gandharadi near Boudh After him his son Ranabhanja became the ruler of Khinjali. During his early career he was a devout Vaishnava and later on was inclined to Saivism probably under the influence of his queen Vijaya Mahadevi who was a Kadamva princess. Vijaya Mahadevi built the temple of Vijayasvara Siva in the village Vahirvada on the bank of the Mahanadi. King Rangabhanja built the twin temples of Sidheswara Siva and Nilamadhava Vishnu at Gandhtapati (Gandharadi).

Rangabhanja tried to become independent challenging the authority of the Bhaumas. During his time Janamejya, the Somavamsi king of South Kosala, invaded Khinjali Mandal. Ranabhanja was defeated and killed in the battle and the Sonapur and Boudh-Phulbani regions were occupied by the Somavamsis. Thereafter the Bhanjas shifted their rule to Ganjam region where they organized the new Khinjali Mandala with Vanjulvaka as capital.

The first king of the house of Vanjulvaka was Nettabhanja II alias Kalyankalasa who was a son of Ranabhanja. He was succeeded by the nephew Silabhanja II alias Tribhuvana Kalasa. After him his son Vidhyadharabhanja became the ruler of Vanjulvaka. He was also known as Amogha Kalasa and sometimes as Dharma Kalasa. His queen was Trikalinga Mahadevi who was probably a Somavamsi princess. He was succeeded by his son Nettabhanja III also known as Kalyan Kalasa and Prithvi Kalasa. He was succeeded by his nephew Satrubhanja II alias Tribhubana Kalasa in 934 A.D. The last known Bhanja ruler of Vanjulvaka was Bettabhanja IV alias Tribhuvana Kalasa whose charter is dated to 949 A.D. The Bhanja rulers of Vanjulvaka had no significant role and very little is known about the history of this branch.

Bhanjas of Khijjinga Mandala

This Mandala comprised roughly the modern Mayurbhanj and part of Keonjhar districts. The capital was at Khijjinga Kotta ,today’s Khiching in Mayurbhanj. The earliest known ruler of this Mandala was Kottabhanja who probably established Kijjinga Kotta. He was succeeded by his son Digbhanja also known as Durjayabhanja and Ranabhanja who succeeded him one after the other. He was a devout worshipper of Siva and donated grants to Brahmins for propagation of Saivism. He was succeeded by his son Prithvibhanja alias Satrubhanja who established himself as a powerful ruler and was inclined to Sakti worship. He was succeeded by his younger brother Rajabhanja who is known to have patronized Buddhism. It was during his time that Khijjinga Kotta was occupied by the Somavamsis of South Kosala.

The Sulkis of Kodala Mandala

Kodalaka Mandal roughly comprised the modern district of Dhenkanal. The capital town was Kodalaka identified with the modern village Kualo. The earliest known Sulki ruler was Kanchanastambha who was succeeded by his son Kalahastambha. This king defeated a chief named Dhenkata and assumed the title Vikramaditya. His son and successor was Ranastambha ,a feudatory chief of the Bhauma King Subhakaradeva III. He was succeeded by his son Jayasthambha who was an ambitious ruler. He assumed the title Maharajadhiraja and probably challenged the authority of the Bhaumas. His son and successor Kulastambha II was the last known ruler of this dynasty. It was during his rule that the Bhaumas occupied Kodalaka Mandala and drove away the Sulkis and Kodalaka Mandala was divided into two political units, namely, Yamagartta Mandala and Airavatta Mandala.allowing the Tunga and the Nandodbhava families to rule over Yamagartta Mandala and Airavatta Mandala respectively.

Tungas of Yamagartta Mandala

The Mandala comprised the northern part of modern Dhenkanal district. The capital was Yamagartta identified with the modern village Jamda. The earliest known ruler of Yamagartta Mandala was Jayasimha who assumed the administration of this Mandala before the rule of the Tunga family. The earliest known Tunga ruler was Khadaga Tunga who came from Rohitagiri identified with Rotasgarh in Bihar. He was succeeded by his son Vinita Tunga who was a feudatory of the Bhauma King Sivakaradeva III. He was a devotee of Siva but extended his patronage to both Buddhism and Vaishnavism.

The next Tunga ruler was Solana Tunga and after him his son Gayada Tunga became the ruler of Yamagartta Mandala. He appears to be a powerful ruler and patronized Bhrahminical culture.

The Nandodbhavas of Airavatta Mandala

The Nandodbhava family ruled over Airavatta Mandala at the time the Tungas were ruling in Yamagartta Mandala. The capital of Airavatta Mandala was at Jayapura identified with the village of the same name in the south of Dhenkanal district. Airavatta Mandala expanded to a territory comprising parts of southern Dhenkanal, portions of western cuttack and the entire Nayagarh region.

Jayananda the first known ruler of this family founded Jayapura Jayananda was succeeded by his son Paramananda. After him his son Sivananda and then the latter’s son Devananda I became the ruler of Airavatta Mandala. There is not much historical data available on these four kings except their name.

Devananda I was succeeded by his son Devananda II also known as Vilasa Tunga. He was a powerful king and owed nominal allegiance to the Bhaumas. He was a feudatory ruler under the Bhauma monarch Dandi Mahadevi. He was succeeded by his brother who is known to be a devout Buddhist and was known as Paramasougata. The Somavamsis occupied Airavatta Mandala in about 968 A.D. after which this Mandala formed a part of Odradesa under the Somavamsis.

The Mayuras of Banei Mandala

The Mandal roughly comprised the modern Banei sub-division and parts of Panposh subdivision of Sundergarh district. The Mayuras were a branch of the Maurya family. They are known to have emigrated from Chitrakota identified with Chitor in Rajasthan.

The first Mayura king was Udita Varsha who coming from Chitrakuta established the rule of his dynasty in Banei region. His descendent was Teja Varsha who was succeeded by his son Udaya Varsha. This king was a Paramasougata meaning devout Buddhist.

The Mayuras of Banei Mandala had close relation with the Bhanjas of Kalinga Mandala. The Bhanja rulers in subsequent periods accepted the peacock emblem of the Mayuras as their royal insignia. The name Mayurbhanj has been derived from the close relation between these two families – the Mayuras and the Bhanjas. Sometimes after Udaya Varsha the Banei Mandala was occupied by the Somavamsis of South Kosala.

The Gangas of Svetaka Mandala

Svetaka Mandala comprised the ex-zamindaris of Sana Khemundi., Bada Khemundi and Chikiti. The capital was Svetaka or Svetakapura identified with modern Chikiti.

The earliest known king of Svetaka Mandala was Jayavarma Deva who was a feudatory of the Bhauma king Sivakaradeva alias Unmattasimha. He was succeeded by Anantavarman who appears to have challenged the authority of the Bhaumas. Anantavarman was succeeded by Gangaka Vilasa. The next ruler of Svetaka was Bhupendra Varman and after him his son Mahendravarman became the ruler. He was succeeded by his son Prithivarman. He had three sons of whom the second son Indravarman I succeeded him. When he died childless his nephew Indravarman II became the king Svetaka. The last ruler of this Mandala was Samantavarman who was a feudatory of the Bhauma queen Dandi Mahadevi. After Samantavarman the Svetaka Mandala was occupied by the Somavamsi king Dharmaratha sometime in the third quarter of the 10th century A.D.

The Sarabhapuriyas

The actual name of this dynasty is Amararyakula, but it is is generally referred to as the Sarabhapuriya. The capital was known as Sarabhapura which was established by Sarabha, the founder ruler of this dynasty towards the close of the 5th century A.D. He was succeeded by his son Maharaja Narendra about 525 A.D. The next king known Prasannamatra, was a well known administrator who circulated gold coins inscribing his name on the obverse and with the figure of Gajalakshmi on the reverse. The city Prasannapura was very likely founded by King Prasannamatra. He was succeeded by his son Manamatra who is also known as Jayaraja or Mahajayaraja.

After him his eldest son Sudevaraja succeeded to the throne. His queen Rajya Mahadevi is known to be a patron of the Brahminical religion. He is known to have made land grants to many Brahmins. After Jayaraja there ensued a struggle among sons-Sudevaraja and Pravararaja, the latter being supported by the third son Vyaghraraja.

Ultimately Pravararaja established a new territory with a portion of the kingdom and ruled from the headquarters Sripura. Vyaghraraja became the Governor of Purvarastra with his headquaqrters at Prasannapura under his brother Pravararaja who was ruling from Sripura.

The family quarrel of the Sarabhapuriyas was responsible for their ultimate downfall.

The Somavamsis

Tivaradeva who found the rule of this dynasty in South Kosala, was an ambitious ruler. After consolidating his power over Kosala and Mekala he extended his authority over Utkal. His power started waning after he was defeated by Dharmaraja of Kangoda. In the battle for the throne that was ensuing in Kangoda between the two brothers of Dharmaraj and Madhavraj, Tivaradeva had pledged support to Madhav by sending in his army to support his cause. As a result of the defeat, Tivaradeva lost his hold over Utkal.

Tivaradeva was succeeded by his son Nannaraja who ruled for a brief period and was overtherown by his uncle Chandragupta. This king being advanced in age had a short rule and was succeeded by his son Harshagupta. About the middle of the 8 th century A.D., the Rastrakuta king Dantidurga invaded Kosala and defeated and killed the King Harshagupta.

Valarjuna, the son of Harshagupta, being a minor then, the widowed queen Vasata became the ruler of Kosala. She was a devout worshipper of Purushottama Narasinha and built many Vishnu temples in Kosala. Her brother Bhaskaravarman patronized Buddhism in Kosala. Valarjuna after attaining the age of majority became the king of South Kosala and patronized Saivism. He ruled for a long period from 750 A.D. to about 810 A.D and was able to provide a stable administration. The offsprings to the throne although not as competent were able to drag on the dynastic rule.

The ascent of king  Mahabhavagupta Janamejaya I who came to the throne about the middle of the 9th century A.D, marked the resurgence of the Somavamsis. He was an ambitious king and conquered Khinjali Mandala which comprised the Sonapur-Boudh region. Ranabhanja, the king of Khinjali Mandala who has a rule for a period of more than 58 years fought with Janamejaya I and was defeated and killed by him. After this victory Janamejaya avoided the struggle with the Bhaumas who were the overall lord of the Bhanjas of the Kinjali Mandala by concluding a matrimonial treaty with them. Prithvi Mahadevi, the daughter of Janamejaya was given in marriage to Subhakaradeva IV, the Bhauma king of Tosali. Janamejaya had built a new capital at Aramakatak identified with Rampur near Sonepur. Mahabhavagupta Janamejaya was succeeded by his son Mahasivagupta Jajati I about 885 A.D. He shifted his capital to Vinitapura, the modern Binika on the Mahanadi. After sometime he built a new capital at Jajatinagar identified with modern Jagati on the Mahanadi near Boudh. During his rule his sister Prithvi Mahadevi became the ruler of the Bhauma kingdom of Tosali after the death of her husband Subhakaradeva IV. After the death of Jajati I his son Bhimaratha became the king of Jajatinagar. He ruled for a long time and was succeeded by his son Dharmaratha about 960 A.D.

Dharmaratha was a powerful king who was instrumental in bringing the entire Kalinga into a single fold by defeating the Mandals of South Tosali ,Kalinga and Kangoda.His brother Indraratha was appointed the as Governor of those two territories which were jointly renamed as Kalinga.

The death of Dharmaratha set a civil war between his two brothers who were aspiring for the throne.While Naghusa declared himself the king, Indraratha, who was the Governor of Kalinga at the time of Dharmaratha’s rule defied him openly.Consequently, Indraratha was successful in defeating Nagusha and declaring himself as the King in the year 1000A.D.He was an able and ambitious ruler. However a combined attack by the Paramara king Bhoja and Rajendra Chola led to his defeat and death.

There was anarchy and confusion in South Kosala following his death.Subsequently Chandihara Jajati, the son of Abhimanyu was installed as the king.Mahasivagupta Jajati II was an important ruler of this dynasty and his kingdom comprised Kosala, Utkal as well as Kalinga and Kangoda. He constructed the Lingaraja temple and his wife Kolavati is known to have built the temple of Brahmeshwar at Bhubaneswar.

Lingaraj temple was built by Somvamsi king Jajati Keshari

Jajati II was succeeded by his son Udyota Kesari. During his time the Kalachuris of Tummana attempted to invade the western part of his kingdom. So Udyota Kesari created Bamanda Mandala and placed it in charge of a military officer named Sripunja. But Bamanda Mandala was subsequently lost to the Kalachuris.

Udyota kesari was a devout Saiva and at the same time a patron of Jainism. He probably built the Jagamohan of Lingaraja temple. The Navamuni cave at Khandagiri was excavated by the Jain monk Subhachandra, a disciple of Kalachandra, in the 18th regnal year of Udyota Kesari.

After the death of Udyota Kesari his son Janamejaya II succeeded to the throne. He fought against the Naga king

Somesvaradeva. Yasoraja, the General of Somesvaradeva belonging to the Telugu Chola family occupied some parts of Kosala and establishesd there the rule of his family. Janamejaya II was also defeated by Vanapati, the General of the Ganga king Rajraj I. After the death of Janamejaya, his son Puranjaya came to the throne. He ruled for a brief period.

He was succeeded by his brother Kamadeva at about 1090 A.D. He was the last Somavamsi ruler of Utkal. During his time the Ganga king Chodagangadeva of Kalinga invaded Utkal and succeeded in defeating him about 1110 A.D. Kamadeva was, however, allowed to rule over the territory for sometime but subsequently, probably after the death of Kamadeva, Utkal was annexed to Ganga empire sometime before 1118 A.D.

The Imperial Gangas

The power of the Ganga kings that had subsided after Devendravarman V earlier had continued with their rule as a petty power.It was the coronation of Vajrahasta V in 1038 A.D that resuscitated new life into the fledgling kingdom.

Son of King of Kamarnava II,Vajrahasta V,he made Kalinga independent by defeating the Somvasis.Continuing with a policy of matrimonial alliance with powerful Kingdoms,he married the princess of Ceylon and Kalachuri that helped him consolidate the poitical power of his family.

Rajrajdev : He was succeeded in 1070 A.D. by his son Rajrajdev I born of his queen Anangadevi. Rajarajdev was faced with his enemies, the Somavamsis of Utkal in the north and the Chalukya of Vengi in the south. By 1075 A.D., with the aid of his Commander Vanapati of Vengi, he was successful in vanquishing all including kings of Chola, Utkal, Khemundi, Kosala, Gidvisingi Vengi and The Somavamsi king Janamejaya II.

Choda Gangadev : Rajrajdev had a premature death in 1077 A.D. He left two young sons. At an age of two, the elder Choda Gangadeva boy was crowned king at Kalinganagar in February, 1078 A.D.He was well supported by Vira Choda, the viceroy of Vengi.

Chodagangadev built the walls around Lord jagannath templeIn the year 1092,Choda Ganga married the Vengi princess.As a downfall of this, Vira Choda was removed from the throne by his father and a war broke between the Vengis and the Ganga dynasties.. The first war against Vengi was fought in 1093-94 A.D. in which the Gangas were defeated and the southern part of Kalinga was occupied by the Cholas. The second Vengi-Kalinga war took place in 1110 A.D. and this time also Kalinga sustained heavy loss. However Chodaganga succeeded in his war against Utkal. Kamadeva, the Somavamsi King of Utkal was defeated in 1110 A.D Chodagangadeva however, allowed the defeated King Kamadeva to continue his rule as a vassal chief.

Chodagangadeva then marched towards the north and overran Dandabhukti. After that he occupied the Sumha territory where he appointed his nominee Samantasena as ruler. Subsequently Samantasena founded the Sen Dynasty in Bengal.

Following the death of Kulattunga in 1118 A.D., the power of the Chodas began to decline. Subsequently ChodaGanga Dev annexed Vengi and Utkal to his empire. By this time the kingdom extended from Ganga in the north to the Godavari in the south. After the occupation of Utkal, Chodagangadeva went heads on with the powerful Kalachuri king-Jajalladeva whose kingdom extended from Suvarnapura of South Kosala. Chodaganga wanted to occupy the Sonepur region which was once under the rule of the Somavamsis. But he was defeated by the Kalachuri king Ratnadeva II, son and successor of Jajalladeva. In course of the war Purusottama, the General of Ratnadeva II, occupied Kalinga (modern Khiching in Mayurbhanj district). Chodagangadeva recovered Khijjinga later but could not fulfill his dream of occupying Sonapur region.

Chodagangadeva supported the western Chalukyas against the Chola power in the south but Vikrama Choda succeeded in defeating the combined army of the western Chalukya king Somesvara III and Chodagangadeva. As a result of the setback suffererd,the power of Chodaganga declined for sometime. Taking opportunity of this there were rebellions against his authority in different parts of his empire. He, however, succeeded in suppressing the rebellions and in re-establishing his supremacy over the entire territory from the Ganga to the Godavarari by 1135 A.D.

Chodagangadeva, like his ancestors was a great devotee of Siva. He was, however, found inclined towards Vaishnavism at times. Long before the conquest of Utkal by Chodaganga, Puri (Shrikshetra) was a place of worship of Purusottama and Chodaganga constructed the gigantic Puri Jagannath temple for the Lord to respect the religious sentiment of the people of the newly conquered territory .Chodaganga also constructed Vishnu temples at Mukhalingam, Srikakulam and Simhachalam.

Kings after Chodagangadeva: Chodagangadeva died in 1147 A.D. and was succeeded by his eldest son Kamarnavadeva. The Ganga-Kalachuri war was continuing by that time and Kamarnavadeva was defeated by the Kalachuri king Prithideva II, son and successor of Ratnadeva II. After the death of Kamarnavadeva, the second son of Chodaganga named Raghava became the king in 1158 A.D. During his time poet Jayadeva is known to have composed his famous work Gitagovinda. Raghava died in 1170 A.D. and was succeeded by Rajraj II, the third son of Chodagangadeva. Anangnagabhimadeva II, the fourth and youngest son of Chodagangadeva succeded him.

Rajraj III : Rajraj III, succeeded his father AnangabhimdevII after his death in 1198 A.D. It was during his rule that the Muslims made their fist invasion attempt on Orissa.The Muslim power was on ascent during this time. They had already dominated northern India and ruled from the Punjab to Bengal. Bhaktiyar Khalji, the first Muslim ruler of Bengal sent two Khilji Amins named Mahammed-I-Sheran and Ahmed-I-Sheran against Orissa in 1205 A.D. Rajraj III defeated the Sheran brothers and and was successful in defending his territories. Rajraj III died in 1211 A.D.

Anangabhimadeva III: Another period of greatness in the Orissa history began with the ascent of AnangabhimadevaIII. He was set on an onerous task from the first day of rule.Ghiyathu’d-din Iawz, ruler of Bengal, invaded Orissa during this time. Taking advantage of this invasion the Kalachuri king of Tommana also declared war and the age long Ganga-Kalachuri war continued.

However the king with the help of his powerful general, Vishnu not only repulsed the invasion of the Muslim but also decisively defeated the Kalachuris on the bank of the Bhima river near the Vindhya hills. After his victory the Gangas occupied the Sonapur region. Anangabhimadeva III gave his daughter Chandrika in marriage to the Kalachuri prince Paramardideva thereby winning over the powerful neighbour.This friendship proved crucial to him in his war against the Muslims. Anangabhimadeva was also successful in his work in the south and his empire extended up to the mouth of the Krishna River.

Anangabhima was a devout worshipper of Vishnu – Lord Purushottama. At the beginning he was the worshipper of three deities – Purosottama, Rudra and Durga but later on he extensively became a devotee of Purushottama. He dedicated his empire to God Purushottama and declined himself as His deputy.

Anangabhimadev III established a new city at the bifurcation of the Mahanadi and the Kathajodi which was called Abhinava Varanasi Kataka. By 1230 A.D. he transferred the headquarters to this new city where he constructed a big temple of Lord Purushottama.This was the beginning of the great Cuttack City of today. Anangabhimadeva III died in 1238 A.D.

Narasimhadeva I : Anangabhimadeva was succeeded by his son Narasimhadeva I. By that time Izzu’d-din Tughril Tughan Khan was the Governor of Bengal and had semi-independent status. Narasimhadeva, apprehending danger from him, mobilized his forces against his territory. In the war that followed, after initial losses Narasimhadeva was able to completely rout the Muslims. Izzud’d-din himself fled away from the battle to save his life. On his request the Sultan of Delhi sent Qamaru’d-din Tamur Khan, the Governor of Oudh to help the army of Bengal but before the arrival of Oudh army the War at Bengal hnd already ended.

The next year (1244 A.D.) Narasimhadeva invaded Bengal for the second time and the Oriya army attacked Lakhnor, the headquarters of Radha, and killed the Muslim commander and a large number of his troops. Quar’d-din Tamur Khan, who had been sent to help the governor of Bengal couldnot build consensus with him.Taking advantage of the ensuing quarrel between the two governors, the Oriya army plundered the Muslim territory.

The leader of the Oriya army, Paramardideva, who was the son-in-law of Anangabhimadeva III, struck terror among the Muslim forces. The war with Bengal renewed in 1247 A.D. and this time also Paramardideva led the Orissan army and defeated Ikhtiyar Uddin Yuzbak, the newly appointed Governor of Bengal, but after getting assistance from Delhi, Yuzbak made offensive attack and advanced up to Umardan where Paramardideva was killed in the battle in 1255 A.D.

Narasimhadeva, like his father was a devotee of Lord Purushottama. The world famous Konark temple was built during his rein in the 1264 A.D.

Bhanudev , Narasimhadeva II & Bhanudev II: Narasimhadeva I was succeeded by his son Bhanudeva I born of queen Sitadevi. During his time Narahari Tirtha the disciple of Ananda Tirtha (Madhdavacharya) had great influence in Orissa. He had been appointed as a Governor of Kalinga. During the rule of Bhanudeva, Chandrikadevi, the daughter of Anangabhimadeva I, constructed the Ananta Basudev temple at Bhubaneswar in 1278 A.D It was on the same year 1278A.D. that Bhanudeva died and his son Narasimhadeva II, an infant then was crowned as the prince. Narahari Tirtha worked as regent for long twelve years taking care of the kingdom. Narasimhadeva II is known to have fought against the Muslims of Bengal the results of which were indecisive. He had a peaceful and long rein of 28 years starting from from 1278 to 1306. He was succeeded by his son Bhanudeva II.

Bhanudev II had a short period of rein.The only eventful thing during his period of rule was the successful defense of the Orissa frontier from the attacks of the Muslim General Ulugh Khan and Ghiyathu’d-din Tughluq. In 1321 A.D. Ghiyathu’d-din Tughluq, Sultan of Delhi, sent his son Ulugh Khan against Warangal and Telengana. After defeating these territories Ulugh Khan invaded Orissa. But seeing the organized army under the General of Sri Rama Senapati, Ulugh Khan avoided war. Ghiyathu’d-din Tughluq after reducing Bengal in 1324 marched towards Orissa but was repulsed by Bhanudeva II.

Narsimhadev III,Bhanudev III and Narasimhadeva IV: Narasimhadeva III succeeded Bhanudeva II in 1328 A.D. Very little information is obtained regarding his political activities.

He was succeeded by his son Bhanudeva III in 1352 A.D. In 1353 Shamsud’-din Ilyas Shah invaded Orissa but he retreated after obtaining few elephants. It was by that time that Prince Sangama, the nephew of Bukkaraya I of Vijayanagar, invaded Orissa and defeated Bhanudeva III. As a result of this victory Bukkaraya occupied southern portion of the Ganga kingdom. In 1361 A.D., Sultan Firuz Shah Tughlaq invaded the Ganga kingdom. He defeated the forces of the Gangas and occupied Varanasi Kataka. Bhanudeva III fled away and took shelter with his family and courtiers in an island probably inside Chilika Lake.

Sultan Firuz Shah destroyed the temple of Purushottama built by Anangabhimadeva III and disgraced the idols. Bhanudeva III made a treaty with the Sultan by offering twenty big elephants and agreeing to give annual tribute. This began the declining phase of the Ganga kings. Bhanudeva III died in 1378 A.D. and was succeeded by his son Narasimhadeva IV. During his rule Khwajah-i-Jahan, the Sharqi Sultan of Jaunpur invaded Bengal and Orissa. It was probably a mere raid.

The Reddy dynasty in the south led by Anavema Reddy marched up to Simhachalam. In 1381 Sangama II defeated and killed Anavema Reddy overrunning the Ganga kingdom up to Simhachalam. Narasimhadeva IV was further defeated by Kumaragiri Reddy twice in 1391 and 1398.Despite all these losses, Narasimhadeva continued his hold over South Kalinga. At the beginning of the 15th century A.D., there were civil wars in the Reddy kingdom, taking advantage of which Narasimhadeva organized the southern part of his territory against future danger from the side of the Reddys. Bhanudeva IV and the end of Ganga rule: Narasimhadeva was succeeded by his son Bhanudeva IV in 1414 A.D. Ibrahim Shah, the Sharqi Sultan of Jaunpur invaded Orissa many times to obtain elephants. He was, however, subsequently defeated by Hussang Ghori, the Sultan of Malwa. Bhanudeva IV was a weak and imbecile ruler. In 1435 he went to the South to fight against the Reddy power taking advantage of which Kapileswara Routray, the General, seized the throne and founded the rule of his own dynasty.

The Suryavamsi

Kapilendradeva Routray: Kapilendradeva Routray usurped the throne in 1435 A.D and declared himself the king. Many feudatory Chiefs challenged his authority. Taking advantage of the internal danger Sultan Ahmed Shah of Bengal invaded Orissa. He was engaged and consequently defeated by kapilendradev’s Minister Gopinath Mahapatra while Kapilendradeva himself suppressed the internal rebellion with strong hands.

By 1443 A.D., Kapilendradeva succeeded in consolidating his power over the newly acquired kingdom .However there were fresh invasions in 1444 as he had to fight against the combined army of the Reddy of Rajamundry and king Devaraya II of Vijayanagar who invaded the southern part of his territory. Just at the same time Mahamud shah, the Sharqui Sultan of Jaunpur invaded from the north. Kapilendradeva decided to put his attention to flush the Muslims out from the north neglecting the south. Mahamud Shah was defeated and retreated from northern Orissa. Hamvira, the son of Kapilendra then fought with the Reddy’s of Rajahmundry and scored a victory .He led the victorious campaign to Vijayanagar defeating the forces of Mallikarjuna. By 1454 the whole of Kondavidu territory came under the possession of the army led by Hamvira. Udayagiri and Chandragiri, the two important territories, were occupied in 1460 and 1464 respectively. Thus Kapilendradeva could occupy almost the entire seaboard of Vijayanagar up to the Kaveri. Dakshina Kapilesvara, his grandson, was appointed as the Parichha of the newly conquered territory. In 1448 Hamvira had defeated the Bahmany Sultan Allauddin II.The defeated Sultan had from then on maintained a friendly relation with Orissa even helping them against the invasion of Mahmad Khalji, the Sultan of Malwa. However things changed soon after the death of Allaudin II as his son Humayun Shah invaded Debarkonda. Hamviradeva defeated the Bahmany forces in 1459 as a result of which Telengana was occupied by Kapilendradeva and the Velama Chief of Debarkonda became his subordinate.

In 1461 Humayun Shah was succeeded by his minor son Nizam Shah.Sensing the opportunity, Kapilendradeva invaded the Bahmany kingdom but at the same time the Sharqi Sultan Hussan Shah invaded Orissa from the north and Kapilendradeva had to retreat resulting in defeats for Orissa. However the struggle resumed once Sharqui Sultan was flushed from the north. Kapilendradeva invaded the Bahmany kingdom and this time was successful in conquering Vidar and other important strongholds.

Kapilendra Dev was a warrior to reckon with and his entire career was spent in war. However he was a great devotee of Lord Jagannath and is known to have constructed the outer walls of the Puri Shrine of The Lord.

Purushottamdeva: Before death, Kapilendra Dev chose Purushottam, his youngest son, to be his successor overlooking his heroic son Hamvira. Hamaviradeva, the eldest son, could not accept the rule of Purushottam and revolted against him. The civil war that ensued continued for two years but when Hamvira was unable to defeat Purushottam, he sought the help of Bahmany Sultan who deputed Hussan Bheiry to support Hamvira.

In 1472 Hamvira with the support of Hussan Bheiry defeated Purushottam and occupied the throne. He gave Kondapalli and Rajahmundry to the Bahmany Sultan in return of his help. However Purushottam defeated Hamvira in 1476 and re-occupied the throne. A treaty was concluded between the two brothers as per which Hamvira was given the Khemundi territory to rule as a feudatory.

Purushottam tried to regain the lost Kondapalli and Rajahmundry from the Bahmany Sultan. He also tried to occupy the territory snatched away by Saluva Narasimha during the civil war. Purushottamdeva with a view to restore the lost territory mobilized his army against Sultan Mahmad Shah III Bahmany. His moment came in 1481 after Sultan Mahammad of Bahmany died and was succeeded by his young son Mahmad Shah. Purushottamdev mobilised his forces and occupied Rajahmundry and Kondapalli. He further sent his army to occupy Udayagiri which had been taken away by Saluva Narasimha. Udayagiri was occupied and Saluva Narasimha was taken captive. Thus Purushottam could restore his power and glory during his last days and then devoted his attention for promotion or religion and culture. He died in 1497 A.D. and was succeeded by his son Prataprudradeva.

Prataprudradeva: Prataprudradeva inherited a vast kingdom which was however fast declining. By that time the kingdom of Vijayanagar was rapidly rising as a rival of Orissa. In 1509 when Prataprudra led a campaign against Vijayanagar, Krushnadeva Raya had just succeeded to the throne, but before a decisive battle was fought Sultan Allauddin Hussan Shah of Bengal invaded Orissa and advanced as far as her capital. Prataprudradeva was thus forced to give up war with Vijayanagar and rushed back to his capital. Sultan Hussan Shah was defeated and was driven back beyond the borders of Orissa.

But in the south Krishnadeva Raya had acquired an easy victory over Oriya army. The victory of 1509 encouraged Krishnadeva Raya for making aggressive war with Orissa. He invaded Udayagiri in 1512 and occupied it after a seize of one and a half years. Thereafter he invaded Kondapalli which was occupied in June 1515. The Oriya army retreated to Kondapalli which was also occupied by Krishnadeva Raya after a severe battle. The Vijayanagar forces marched up to Simhachalam where Krishnadeva Raya set up a pillar of victory in 1516. The victorious king returned to Vijayanagar in June 1516. The last war Krishnadeva Raya with the army of Orissa was fought in 1519 and this time also he came out victorious. During this last war he is said to have burnt the city of Cuttack.Subsequently a treaty was concluded between Orissa and Vijayanagar in August 1519. According to the treaty the river Krishna formed the southern boundary of Orissa. Krishnadeva Raya entered into a matrimonial alliance with Prataprudradeva by marrying his daughter Jaganmohini.

Soon after the war of Vijaynagar, the Sultan of Golkonda,Sultan Quli Qutab invaded the southern territory of Orissa and got initial victory, but subsequently he was defeated and driven out by 1525. He invaded Orissa for a second time in 1531 and occupied Kondapalli. The war with Golkonda continued even after the death of Prataprudradeva in 1533 A.D., when Govinda Bidyadhar came to the throne.

Prataprudradeva succeeded in retaining his kingdom from the Ganges to the Krishna inspite of military defeats. During his rule Orissa made great advancement in the sphere of religion and culture. Sri Chaitanya who came to Orissa in 1510 preached the gospel of Vaishnavism and had a great impact on the religion and culture of Orissa.

Bhoi Dynasty

Govinda Bidyadhar: After the death of Prataprudradeva his two sons named Kaluadeva (Ramachandradeva) and Kakharuadeva (Purushottamdeva) succeeded one after the other and ruled for less than two years. Both the brothers fell victim to the conspiracy of the minister Govinda Bidyadhar who occupied the throne in 1534 A.D. and founded the rule of the Bhoi dynasty.

In 1540 A.D. the Sultan of Golkonda occupied Rajmahendri.While Govinda Bidyadhar was busy in fighting with the intruders, his nephew Raghubhanja Chhotray and Valmiki Srichandan revolted against him and occupied Cuttack. He was thus forced to make a treaty with the Sultan that made the river Godavari as the boundary between Golkonda and Orissa. He returned to his capital and defeated his nephew who fled away to Bengal. Govinda Bidyadhar died in 1549 at Dashasvamedha Ghat of the Baitarani river.

He was succeeded by his son Chakrapratap. He was a weak and cruel ruler and was very unpopular among the people. He died in 1557 A.D. He was probably murdered by his son Narasimha Jena who succeeded him and ruled for about a year. He was murdered by Mukunda Harichandan who placed Raghuram Jena, a son of Chakrapratap, on the throne and himself became the virtual ruler. Mukunda Harichandan captured the Minister Janardan Bidyadhar by an intrigue and impriosoned him in the Barabati fort where he died subsequently. Mukunda Harichandan declared himself as the ruler of Orissa in 1559 A.D.

Mukundadeva Harichandan Mukundadeva belonged to the Chalukya family. He came to the throne in 1559 by treachery and blood-shed. In 1560 Sultan Ghiyasuddin Jallal Shah of Bengal invaded Orissa and marched up to Jajpur. Mukundadeva defeated him and drove him out of Orissa.

About that time one Afghan Chief named Suleiman Karrani occupied Bengal and became the Sultan. His rival Ibrahim fled to Orissa and got shelter under the protection of Mukundadeva.Around the same time Akbar who was planning an invasion into Bengal, made an alliance with Mukundadeva. Mukundadeva received the Mughal ambassador and sent his own emissary to the Mughal court.

This made Mukundadeva a dead enemy of Suleiman Karrani, the Sultan of Bengal. In 1567 when Akbar was busy in the invasion of Chitor, Sultan Karrani invaded Orissa. The Mughal Governor of Bihar, Munim Khan became indifferent and Mukundadeva resisted the invasion of Bengal singlehanded. He was defeated by the Sultan and took shelter in the fort of Kotsima, where Sultan Karrani besieged him. In the meantime, Bayazid, the son of the Sultan, led his army to Cuttack. At this point, Ramachandra Bhanja, the feudatory of Sarangagarh, rose in rebellion. Mukundadeva made a treaty with Suleiman Karrani and marched against Ramachandra Bhanja. A battle took place in Gohiri Tikiri near Jajpur where Mukundadeva lost his life at the hands of Ramachandra Bhanja. After that Ramachandra was defeated and killed by Bayazid and Orissa passed to the hands of the Afghans of Bengal in 1568 A.D.