Ganga (dynasty)

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The Ganga Dynasty was an Indian dynasty of legendary origin, which appears in some sections of the history of India. Above all, her name is associated with the government of Orissa in the 12-14 Century linked.

The origins of the dynasty are shrouded in several different legends and theories. A legend speaks z. B. by an ancestor named Gangadatta, who is said to have been born after his mother's bath in the Ganges . Furthermore, according to an inscription by Jaina Guru Simhanandi and other evidence, an origin from the “Gangavamsa” or “Kaivartta” community is possible, which is said to have migrated to southern India via Kalinga at that time.

The Ganga in Talakad

Bahubali / Gomateswara, Jaina statue in Shravanabelagola (10th century)

The first known Ganga was a certain Konganivarma Madhava (approx. 350-370). His dynasty was of secondary importance for a long time, the Pallava king Simhavarman is said to have put Harivarman Ganga on the throne around 450 (?). Usually the Ganga were allies or (in the late 5th century) vassals of the Pallava in the southern mountains of Karnataka .

It experienced its peak of power under King Durvinita (ruled approx. 495-535), who ousted the Kadambas and fell out with the Pallava, because they had supported a brother in the succession of his father Avinita (ruled approx. 466-495). The war dragged on (including victory of Anderi around 500) and Durvinita allied itself in a marriage alliance with the Chalukya . The king was religiously tolerant and promoted literature.

In the 8th century the fortunes of the dynasty waned - King Shivamara II (ruled approx. 788–816) had several difficulties with the Rashtrakuta and was captured by them. His successors were then repeatedly allied with the Rashtrakuta, e.g. B. by marriage alliance. Butuga II. (R. Approx. 935-960) supported z. B. the Rashtrakuta Krishna III. (ruled approx. 939–968) at Takkolan 949 against the Chola . In the early 11th century, King Rakkasa Ganga (ruled 985-1024) became a vassal of the Chola, and that branch of the Ganga disappeared from the stage of history.

The Ganga in Talakad preferred Jainism . Under their rule Mysore was founded around 950 and around 981–984 Rachamalla IV (r. 974–984) also carved the colossal statue of the Jain prophet Bahubali / Gomateshvara in Shravanabelagola from a natural rock.

The Eastern Ganga in Orissa

The first known Ganga king of Kalinga in what is now Andhra Pradesh was Indravarman I (around 537). Indravarman's second successor, Hastivarman, then made Kalinganagar the capital. At the time, the Ganga were only one of several secondary local dynasties along the coast without any serious administration.

In the Middle Ages, local dynasties grew stronger all over India and created their own territorially structured and staggered administrations, their own armies, fortresses and cities. Thus Orissa z. B. ruled by the Somavamshi dynasty, which took place from 10 to 12 Century had united five ancestral lands in Orissa under their administration. Under King Vajrahasta V (r. 1038-1070) the Ganga became independent from the Somavamshi kings and entered into their own alliances with the Kalachuris and Sri Lanka.

The great power of the eastern Ganga dynasty was founded around 1112 by King Anantavarman Codaganga (ruled 1078–1147, came to the throne as a child) from Kalinganagar , who was King Kamadeva (ruled around 1090–1118) of the Somavamshi dynasty in Conquered Orissa and soon annexed its land. Anantavarman's nickname testifies to his kinship with the Chola , with whom he was enemies. The Chola king Kulottunga I (r. 1070–1120) waged two successful wars against him. With the death of the Pala King Ramapala (ruled approx. 1082–1124), Anantavarman Codaganga expanded his sphere of influence further north, so that he finally controlled a coastal empire of 800 km in length.

The title of the Ganga kings of Orissa was "Raja Gajapati", d. H. 'Lord of the Elephants'. The state was God since 1230 Jagannatha , the king Anantavarman Codaganga already - although even Shivait - a temple in Puri had built. Jagannatha worship was likely a relic of early tribal cults and was supported by the Ganga to gain the loyalty of Orissa's people.

Konark Sun Temple (13th century)

At the time of the Islamic invasion (see Delhi Sultans ) Orissa asserted itself under King Anangabhima III. (ruled 1216–1239) and his son Narasimha I (ruled 1238–64). Anangabhima III. It was mainly thanks to his general Vishnu that his state withstood all threats. Finally, he secured himself with a marriage alliance with the Kalachuris . Narasimha I had the sun temple built by Konark and in 1243 even came to Lakhnaur, the capital of the Delhi governor in Bengal. This was made possible because the governor Izzu'd-din Tughril sought independence from Delhi and thus isolated himself.

At that time, in the face of external threats, there was also a militarization of society; around 1230, many local military leaders were also given administrative tasks.

Even in the early 14th century, the Gajapatis were still a power factor that fended off the attacks of the powerful Delhi sultan Muhammed Tughluk (r. 1325-1351) around 1324. Only when the Delhi Sultan Firuz Shah Tughluq (r. 1351-1388) undertook a successful campaign against Orissa in 1361 did their reputation rapidly decline. The King Bhanudeva III. (r. 1352–1378) was surprised by Firuz Shah, fled to an island and had to pay tribute for a while. The Jagannath Temple in Puri is said to have been destroyed at that time.

When the Ganga king Bahnudeva IV (ruled 1414–1435) died childless in 1435, a general named Kapilendra (ruled around 1435–1468 as king) seized the throne and founded the Suryavamshi dynasty.

The structural monuments of the eastern Ganga are the Lingaraja Temple in Bhubaneswar , the Jagannath Temple in Puri and the Sun Temple in Konark .

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