Nolamba Dynasty

Nov. 29, 2023

Ancient inscriptions, hero stones, and idols of Shiva Linga and Nandi have been unearthed during recent research about the history of Nolamba Pallavas.

About the Nolamba Dynasty:

  • They were one of the significant political powers in South India.
  • The Nolambas ruled from the 8th to the 12th centuries C.E. over an area traditionally called Nolambavadi, which extended over south-east Karnataka and parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. 
  • They ruled first as feudatories to Pallavas, Chalukyas of Badami, Gangas, and Rashtrakutas, and later to Chalukyas of Kalyani.
  • Nolambas commonly referred to themselves as Nolamba Pallava in several inscriptions.
  • Their earlier capital was Chitradurga, which they later shifted to Hemavati in modern Andhra Pradesh. Hemavathi was the capital between the 8th and 10th centuries AD.
  • Origin:
    • Mangala Nomabathi Raja (735–785 A.D.) was considered the founder of the Nolamba dynasty.
    • Inscriptional evidence suggests that they came into existence as governors when the Pallavas and Chalukyas were supreme powers.
    • With the seizure of Badami by the Pallava ruler Mamalla Narasimhavarman I, the Chalukyas ceded the territories that were ruled by the Banas and Vaidumbas to the Pallavas.
    • The Banas and Vaidumbas thus became feudatories of the Pallavas.
    • The Nolambas, who were perhaps related to the Pallava family, governed the region adjacent to these lands of Pallava feudatories, namely the Banas and Vaidumbas.
    • Sometime later, during the rule of Vikramaditya I, the Chalukyas regained their lost territories. The Banas and Vaidumbas thus had to change their political relationship back to the Chalukyas.
    • The Pallava chiefs, who were adjacent to the Banas and Vaidumbas, were defeated by the Chalukyas, who soon came under their protection. These Pallava chiefs soon came into existence under the name of “Nolambas”.
  • Decline: Nolambas were overrun by the Ganga king Marasimha, who boasts of having destroyed the Nolamba family and had the title Nolambakulantaka.
  • Three grand temple complexes that are attributed to this dynasty's glory are the Kalleshwara Temple in Aralaguppe, the Bhoganandishwara Temple in Nandi, and the Ramalingeshwara Temple in Avani.
  • The Nolambas were Shaivites, and the temples they built were dedicated to Lord Shiva.