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Kalabhra Uprising

Who were Kalabhras?

  • They were the non-Aryan people lived in the Southern India. They were possibly Jains and Buddhists. They spoke Tamil and Prakrit languages.

Kalabhra Revolt

  • During the Sangam age (from 3rd century BC to 3rd century AD), the South India was being ruled by the Chola, Pandya and Chera Kingdoms. During this period, Brahmins enjoyed a lot of privileges. Kalabhras revolted against this Brahmanic supremacy.

  • The Kalabhra revolt started in 3rd century AD and lasted till 6th century AD. During this period, the Kalabhras came together in large numbers and revolted against the Chola, Pandya, Chera and Pallava kingdoms.

  • When they came into power, they executed Brahmins on large scale, put ban on custom of granting lands to the Brahmins, collection of taxes from villages to run the temple affairs.

  • The Kalabhras were called ‘Evil people’ by the citizens of Chola and Pandya kingdoms because of their barbaric attitude towards Brahmins and nobles of Royal family.

  • Text from Early Cholas mentions king 'Achyutavikranta' of the Kalabhara-dynasty, who ruled the Chola country from Kaveripattinam. He was a Buddhist. He kept princes of Chera ,Chola and Pandya as captive.

Downfall of Kalabhras

  • The Kalabhras kept on invading territories belonging to the Pandyas, Cholas and Pallavas.

  • Fed up of this, the three kingdoms of the Tamil region came together to put an end to the rule of the Kalabhras.

  • King Simhavishnu of the Pallava dynasty defeated the Kalabhras .

  • Similarly Pandyan king Kadungon ended the Kalabhra rule in the southern Tamil region. He is credited for the triumph of Brahmanism over the evil Kalabhras.

  • The Chola ,Pallava and Pandyas gained power in South India after the end of Kalabhra dynasty in the 6th century AD.

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