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Indira Srivatsa
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Ardent followers of Shiavism: Chaulukyas of Anahilpataka Mithun In 10th Century CE a powerful dynasty known as Chaulukya (also called Solanki) rose in the region of present day Gujarat and Rajasthan. It was founded by Mularaja I in 940 CE after overthrowing the erstwhile Chavdas of Gujarat. The capital of this dynasty was at Anahilpataka (present day Patan). The Chaulukyas ruled till 13th Century and played an important role in shaping the early medieval history of India. The successors of Mularaja l undertook extensive military campaigns against the neighbouring rulers and greatly expanded their kingdom. At its peak the Chaulukya Empire extended from Rajasthan to Kathiawad and from western Gujarat to Malwa in Madhya Pradesh. It was during the reign of Bhimdeva l that Mahmud of Ghazni province of Afghanistan invaded the Chaulukya Kingdom and destroyed the temple of Somnath in 1025 CE. Karnadeva founded the city of Karnavati which is now known as Ahmedabad. Chaulukya power reached its zenith during the reign of Jayasimha Siddharaja and his son Kumarapala in 12th Century. Such was the military might that most of the neighbouring dynasties served as Chaulukya vassal during this period. During the reign of Mularaja ll in 1178 CE, Muhammad of Ghor in Afghanistan invaded the Chaulukya Kingdom but was badly defeated and forced to retreat. Chaulukya rulers were great patrons of art, architecture and literature. The first verifiable temple at Somnath was built by Mularaja l. After it was destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1025 CE, it was rebuilt by Bhimdeva l and Parmara ruler Bhoja of Malwa. This temple was probably made of wood which was later replaced by a massive stone temple by Kumarapala. The magnificent Sun Temple at Modhera and the exquisite Vimal Vasahi Temple in pure marble at Mount Abu, was built by Vimal Shah, a minister of Bhimdeva l in 11th Century. Queen Udayamati, wife of Bhimdeva built the marvelous step well called 'Rani ki Vav' at Patan. The Rudra Mahakal Temple at Siddhapura was built during the reign of Jayasimha Siddharaja. Chaulukyas of Gujarat were ardent followers of Shaivism. They also patronised Jainism. The celebrated Jain scholar Hemachandra adorned the court of Jayasimha Siddharaja. Jayasimha's son and successor Kumarapala had embraced Jainism. Jain accounts portray him as last great patron of Jainis A TO Z INDIA AUGUST 2022 PAGE 8

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