Analyse the contribution of pallavas and chalukyas towards art and architecture.

The long period of the Pallava rule represents both rock-cut architecture and early constructed stone temples. The brick, timber, metal and mortar part could hardly survive in the warm and humid climate of the region. But the lasting monolithic temples known as rathas and mandapas provide superb skill of sculptors of Pallava period. Narasimhavarman I, was as great a patron of art and architecture as he was the commander of the army. He called himself “Mamalla” (Kannada mahamalla-great wrestler) and named the town where he built temples as Mamallapuram, now known as Mahabalipuram.

It must have been a big sea port at the mouth of the Palar River, thirty-two miles south of Chennai. The large granite hill 100 ft. high and half a mile in length from north to south and quarter a mile wide, with smaller protrusions provided unique scope for the Pallava sculptors. Prof. K.A. Nilakanta Sastri writes that Mamallapuram was one of the chief entry port of South India and from it streamed forth strong cultural influences which shaped the art of Hindu colonies of Indonesia and Cambodia. Chalukyas in Karnataka had their sway twice.

The Chalukyas of Badami who ruled from 500 CE to 757 CE, had vast area under their control. It extended to Naysari (Gujarat) in north, included Kurnool, Guntur and Nellore districts of Andhra Pradesh in the East, the entire Karnataka and southern Maharashtra of present day, and some more areas in southern coast. Pulikeshi II had made his younger brother Kubja Vishnuvardhana practically an independent ruler of the eastern region. When the Rastrakutas took over by the middle of the eighth century, Chalukyan family had already branched out into smaller kingdoms.

Chief among them were those of Vemulavada and Vengi. They were also great patrons of arts and literature and all religions. Pampa was a friend and protégé of the Chalukya Arikesari of Vemulavada. The main descendants of Badami Chalukyas who were conquered by the Rastrakutas, lay dormant for more than two centuries. In 973 CE when the downfall of Rashtrakutas was complete, their feudatory Tailapa II of Chalukya lineage emerged and competently overthrew the last King Karka.

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