Eastern Ganga dynasty

Eastern Ganga Empire
Capital Mukhalingam/Kalinganagar
Languages Odia
Religion Hinduism
Government Monarchy
   1078–1147 Anantavarman Chodagangadeva
  1178–1198 Ananga Bhima Deva II
  1238–1264 Narasimha Deva I
  1414–1434 Bhanu Deva IV
Historical era Classical India
   Established 1078
   Disestablished 1434
Succeeded by
Gajapati Kingdom

The Eastern Ganga dynasty (Odia : ଗଙ୍ଗ ବଂଶ ଶାସନ) was a Hindu power on the Indian Subcontinent. The Eastern Gangas reigned from Kalinga and their rule consisted of the whole of the modern-day Indian state of Odisha as well as parts of West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh from the 11th century to the early 15th century.[1] Their capital was known by the name Kalinganagara, which is the modern Srimukhalingam in Srikakulam District of Andhra Pradesh bordering Odisha which was earlier part of Ganjam District of Odisha. Today, they are most remembered as the builders of the Konark Sun Temple an UNESCO World Heritage site at Konark, Odisha.

The dynasty was founded by King Anantavarman Chodaganga, descendents of the Western Ganga Dynasty[2] that rule southern parts of modern Karnataka and the Chola dynasty. The Eastern Ganga rulers, who have hailed from southern India and who are matrimonially related to the Chola empire and Eastern Chalukyas, naturally carried south Indian culture to Odisha which is very well reflected in their currency.[3] The currency was called Ganga fanams and was greatly influenced by the Chola empire and Eastern Chalukyas of southern India.[3] 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.[4][5] King Anantavarman Chodagangadeva was succeeded by a long line of illustrious rulers such as Narasimha Deva I (1238–1264).

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 end under the reign of King Bhanudeva IV (1414–34), in the early 15th century.[6]


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), Utkal (North), and Kosal (West)).

Mukhalingam near Srikakulam of Andhra Pradesh bordering Orissa has been identified as Kalinganagara, the capital of the early Eastern Gangas.[7]

Puri Jagannath Temple built by Anantavarman Chodaganga

After the decline of the early Eastern Gangas reign, the Chalukyas of Vengi took control of the region. Vajrahastha I, a descendant of the early Eastern Ganga dynasty 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 Madhukeshwara temple at Mukhalingam was built during this period.

In the 11th century, the Cholas brought the Ganga Kingdom under their rule.[7]

Konark Sun Temple at Konark, Orissa, built by King Narasimhadeva I (AD 1238–1264),[7] it is now a World Heritage Site.
A Stone carved throne at Simhachalam temple


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 dynastic founding started with Anantavarman Chodaganga. He is believed to have ruled from the Ganges River in the north to the Godavari River in the south. This laying the foundation of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. Also during his rule, the great Jagannath Temple at Puri was being built.[7] He assumed the title of Trikalingadhipathi (ruler of the three Kalingas which comprise Kalinga proper, Utkal north and Koshal west) in 1076. Resulting in him being the first to rule all three divisions of Kalinga.[4]


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 Orissa in 1324, and Vijayanagar defeated the Orissan 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.[8]


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

See also


  1. Ganga Dynasty www.britannica.com. Archived November 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. Satya Prakash; Rajendra Singh (1986). Coinage in Ancient India: a numismatic, archaeochemical and metallurgical study of ancient Indian coins. Govindram Hasanand. p. 348. ISBN 978-81-7077-010-7.
  3. 1 2 Patnaik, Nihar Ranjan (1 January 1997). Economic History of Orissa. Indus Publishing. p. 93. ISBN 978-81-7387-075-0. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  4. 1 2 Eastern Ganga Dynasty in India. India9.com (2005-06-07). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  5. Controversies in History: Origin of Gangas. Controversialhistory.blogspot.com (2007-10-09). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  6. Archived April 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. pp. 36–37. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4.
  8. Ganga dynasty (Indian dynasties) - Encyclopedia Britannica. Britannica.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  9. Michael Mitchiner (1979). Oriental Coins & Their Values : Non-Islamic States and Western Colonies A.D. 600-1979. Hawkins Publications. ISBN 978-0-9041731-8-5.

External links

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