Rāṣṭrakūṭa Dynasty

▪ Indian dynasty
      Hindu dynasty that ruled the Deccan and neighbouring areas of India from c. 755 to 975.

      Probably originally Dravidian farmers, they were the royal family of Lattalur (Lātūr, near Osmānābād). They spoke Kannada but also knew the northern Deccan language. Under Rāṣṭrakūṭa, who defeated a rival dynasty, the Cālukyas (see Cālukya dynasty (Chalukya dynasty)), the Deccan Empire became the second greatest political unit in India, covering the area from Mālwa to Kānchi. The importance of the Rāṣṭrakūṭas during this era is indicated by the fact that a Muslim traveller wrote of the King as being one of the four great rulers of the world (the others being the Caliph and the emperors of Byzantium and China).

      Several Rāṣṭrakūṭa monarchs were devoted to learning and the arts. The second king, Kṛṣṇa I (c. 756–773), built the rock temple of Kailāsa at Ellora; another king, Amoghavarṣa I, who reigned from c. 814 to 878, was the author of part of the Kavirājamārga, the earliest known Kannada poem. Other kings were skilled in the art of war. Dhruva I subdued the Gaṅgas of Gaṅgavāḍi (Mysore), contained the Pallava of Kānchi (Kānchipuram), and defeated the king of Bengal and the Pratihāra king, who were contending for Kannauj. Kṛṣṇa II, who succeeded in 878, reacquired Gujarāt, which Amoghavarsa I had lost, but failed to retake Veṅgi. His grandson, Indra III, who came to the throne in 914, took Kannauj and brought Rāṣṭrakūṭa power to its peak. Kṛṣṇa III outdid him in northern campaigns (c. 940) and in a spectacular occupation of Kānchi and much of the Tamil plains (948–966/67). Khottiga Amoghavarṣa IV (968–972) failed to protect the capital, and its sack destroyed faith in the dynasty. The Emperor fled to the Western Ghāts, where his line lingered ignominiously, supported by brave Gaṅga and Kadamba feudatories, until Taila I Cālukya won the succession c. 975.

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Universalium. 2010.

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