The Eastern Ganga Dynasty, also known as Rudhi Gangas or Prachya Gangas were a medieval Indian dynasty. They reigned from Kalinga as early as the 5th century to the early 15th century.
The early rulers of the dynasty ruled from Dantapura. The capital was later shifted to Kalinganagara (modern Mukhalingam) and finally to Kataka (modern Cuttack).
Now, they are most recognized as the builders of the world renounced Puri Jagannath Temple and Konark Sun Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site at Konark, Odisha.
The Eastern Ganga dynasty rulers defended their kingdom from the constant attacks of the Muslim rulers. The wealth they earned from trade and commerce was used in the construction of temples.
The origin of the later Eastern Ganges is not established. It is incorrectly summarized that they were descendants of the Western Ganga Dynasty, which were South Indian dynasties, but there is no evidence of architectural, linguistic, and pattern of kings having similarities between the Ganga kings of Karnataka and the kings of Odisha.
Moreover, while the Bardic traditions of the Western Ganga dynasty claim origin from the Sun through the Ikshvaku dynasty, the Eastern Ganges family describes descent from the Moon – Chandravansh Dynasty.
Unlike the Western Ganga Dynasty who traced their dynasty to the Solar Dynasty, the later Eastern Ganga claimed a lunar dynasty from Vishnu through Brahma, Atri, and Chandra (Moon).
The Eastern Ganga king Indravarman III mentions in his Andhavaram Tamrapatra inscription that Ganga is described as a descendant of the Tumbura dynasty. It is mentioned in the Vayu Purana that there was a district in the foothills of Vindhya named Tumura, Tumbura.
The Odia historian Jagabandhu Singh, citing references to the Padma Purana and the Brahmavaivarta Purana, stated that Tumbura is being represented by the Mahishi caste of Khetriraj, who either belonged to the Kivdat community or were born out of wedlock between Khetriya and Vaishya women.
Five major dominions of the Kalingan Pragya Ganga family were identified from five different administrative centers –
- Kalinganagar (Srikakulam)
- Svetaka Mandla (Ganjam)
- Giri Kalinga (Simhapur)
- Ambabadi Mandla (Gunupur, Rayagada)
- Vartanni Mandala (Hinjilikatu, Ganjam)
Kalinga had three parts in the heartland of the Pragya Ganga:
- Daksina Kalinga (Pithapura)
- Madhya Kalinga (Yellamanchili Kalinga or Visakhapatnam)
- Uttara Kalinga (districts of Srikakulam, Ganjam, Gajapati, and Rayagada)
Founder Of Eastern Ganga Dynasty
The dynasty was founded by King Anantavarman Chodaganga, descendants of the Western Anant Dynasty, who lived in the southern parts of modern Karnataka state from the 4th century to the end of the 10th century and under the reign of the Chola dynasty.
Anantavarman was a religious figure as well as a supporter of arts and literature. He is credited with building the famous Jagannath temple of Puri in Odisha. King Anantavarman Chodagangadeva was succeeded by a long line of great rulers like Narasimha Dev I (1238–1264).
A branch of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty ran as the kings of the Paralakhemundi estate, which is currently part of the Gajapati district, Odisha. The descendants of this line include,
Jagannatha Gajapati Narayana Deo II – (reign – 1751 AD to 1771 AD) who ascended to the throne at a time when Odisha has split apart due to conflicts between external powers like the Mughals, Marathas, French and British for control of the territory in the 18th century.
Krushna Chandra Gajapati – (ruled as Maharaja of Parakalakhemudi – 26 April 1913 to 25 May 1974), who was a prominent figure and regarded as the architect of an independent united Odisha state and became the first Prime Minister of the Orissa province in 1936. Prime Minister from 1 April 1937 to 19 July 1937 and for the second time from 29 November 1941 to 29 June 1944. The present Gajapati district of Odisha, formerly a part of the historic Ganjam district, was named after him.
- Mittavarman, a vassal Eastern Ganga king under Vakataka rule (Unknown Duration)
- Indravarman I (496–535)
- Samantavarman (537-562)
- Hastivarman (562-578)
- Indravarman II (578-589)
- Danarnava (589-652)
- Indravarman III (589-652)
- Gunarnava (652-682)
- Devendravarman I (652-682?)
- Anantavarman III (808-812?)
- Rajendravarman II (812-840?)
- Devendravarman IV (893-?)
- Devendravarman V (885-895?)
- Gunamaharnava I (895-939?)
- Vajrahasta II (or Anangabhimadeva I) (895-939?)
- Gundama – (939-942)
- Kamarnava I (942-977)
- Vinayaditya (977-980)
- Vajrahasta Aniyakabhima (980-1015 AD)
- Vajrahasta Anantavarman or Vajrahasta V (1038-?)
- Rajaraja Devendravarman or Rajaraja Deva I(?-1078)
- Anantavarman Chodaganga (1078–1150)
- Jateswara Deva or Ekajata Deva (1147-1156)
- Raghava Deva (1156-1170)
- Rajaraja Deva II (1170-1178)
- Ananga Bhima Deva II (1178–1198)
- Rajaraja Deva III (1198–1211)
- Ananga Bhima Deva III (1211–1238)
- Narasimha Deva I (1238–1264)
- Bhanu Deva I (1264–1279)
- Narasimha Deva II (1279–1306)
- Bhanu Deva II (1306–1328)
- Narasimha Deva III (1328–1352)
- Bhanu Deva III (1352–1378)
- Narasimha Deva IV (1379–1424)
- Bhanu Deva IV (1424–1434)
End Of Eastern Ganga Dynasty
In the early 15th century, the rule of the dynasty came to an end under the reign of King Bhanudev IV (1414-34).
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