HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF KALCHURIS
Kalchuris are one of the major communities of Inida, but divided into many clans and sects due to historical and cultural reasons. The Kalachuris, were also known as Haihayas. Kalli means a long moustache and churi a sharp knife, thus the name Kalchuris. They grow moustache and carrying a knife always as part of tradition or job.
The bloody war between Brahmins lead by Parasurama on one side and the Kshatriyas lead by Sahasrarjuna on the other side which divided the people of vedic origin into two eternal rivals. Parasurama launched a series of wars for 21 times to carry out mass killing of Kshatriyas to avenge the death of his father Jamadagni at the hands of Sahsrarjuna’s sons.
The Kshatriyas who suffered a mass annihilation at the hands of Brahmins established a separate religion for themselves based on the principles of Shiva (Jina) worship to unitedly fight Brahmin domination. They have associated with with Dravidian warrior kings.
In 2nd century B.C. the great Kalchuri emperor Kharval
organised a convention of 3000 Jain monks at Kumari Parvat and Jain Agams were compiled there. Kalachuri kings ruled from many places like Tripuri,
, Ratnapur, Rajpur etcand migrated to the south and made Mangalavedhe or Mangalavada their capital. Their emblem was Suvarna Vrishabha or the golden bull. Gorakhpur
Kalchuris ruled over a powerful kingdom comprising Gujarat,
Northern Maharashtra, and some parts of Malwa. Kalachuri Empire of Central India (west Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan) was called Chedi or Haihaya and are supposed to be offshoot of Abhira of Traikutika dynasty. They ruled over northern Maharashtra, Malwa and western Deccan from their capital Mahismati situated in the Narmada river valley.
Another famous Kalchuri king was Bijjal ruled from Annigeri, Karnataka in 12th century. Bijjala established the authority over Karnataka after wresting power from the Chalukyas. Bijjala was succeeded by his sons Someshwara and Sangama. Their rule was a short and turbulent and very important from a the socio-religious movement point of view. A new sect called the Lingayat or Virashaiva sect was founded during these times. It is also believed that there are some sections of Reddies having descendancy from Kalchuris. Kalchuris are worshipers of Shiv and Shakti and Kalchuri Kings have constructed many Shiv temples as well as temples of Shakti.
Majority of Kalchuris call themselves as Kalars which is a name given to the people who are engaged in liquor business. There are similar communities in different parts of
involved in same profession and background. Among them are Ezhavas or Thiyyas of Kerala, Billavas and Thiyya billavas of South Kannada region, Edigas of Karnataka, Bhandari of Maharastra, Nadars of Tamilnadu, Gouds of Andhra, Durave and Nalaver of Srilanka are from the same roots. India
Common Surnames of Kalchuris
These people together number an estimated 100 million worldwide and mostly live in Western and Northern India, South India,
Nepal, Central and Western Pakistan, Eastern Afghanistan, . Germany
Kalchuris made a great contribution in propagating Jainism and creating Jain architectural monuments in
South India. Kalchuris of Tamil Nadu were known as Kalabhras under whom Jainism and Buddhism became popular in their territories.
They became anti-Brahmin crusaders in
South India and snatched away the lands possessed by Brahmins as Brahmadeyas. They ruled over the entire South India for about 300 years and spread Buddhism. They sponsored Buddhist literature of highest moral and ethical values. It is believed that Thirupathi was a great Buddhist Centre during the Kalabhra rule. Other famous and popular pilgrim centres like Sabarimala and Guruvayoor were also Buddhist centres during the Kalabhra rule. .
As followers of Jainism and Buddhism they prohibited animal sacrifices in rituals. The Kalabhra rule in the Tamil country had witnessed the growth of education and literature. The Jain Palli had remained important educational centers during the Kalabhra rule. Kalabhras fought against Brahmin supremacy and were abused by Brahmin epigraphists after their rule ended. The Kalchuris of South India seems to have switched over to Buddhism when Ashoka ruled part of
Due to suppression by the followers of ideology these sect of people were compelled to go with Jainism and Buddhism because of the unjustifiable casteism and untouchability which was enforced by the upper community. It has reached its peak during 19th century and the life of this sect was almost worst than animals.
During this time Sree Narayana Guru took birth . He was born as a divine child and from the age of 6 itself he has been showing many miracles. At the age of 30 he learned all Vedas and Upanishads and also completed his reverence and he has became spiritual guru respected by all people in the southern part of
The Kalchuri sect in Kerala was known as Ezhavas who lined up with Sree Narayana Guru who preached against the existing system of humiliation to this sector of people who were termed as lower caste and brought in revolutionary changes.
He advised our people to ‘get educated and liberated, and get united and be strong’. All of us know Kerala is the only state having 100% literacy and the World Health Organisation recognized Kerala as the model for healthcare and cleanliness. All this is the result of Sree Narayana Guru’s vision and work.
Conclusion: From the above it is evident that under pressure these communities were deprived of power. Their common living rights were denied for generations by the upper communities. The history reveals that this sect of people was physically strong rulers and had a very rich heritage. Even though in every state of
people of this sect is living they are not together. In the present democratic system unless there is unity, one cannot get into the decision making ministry. India
A common platform is the demand of the time to propagate the message of equality and peace among humanity. Hence it is essential to focus at unity. We will also find a large number of poor people among the group. Only way to uplift them is to provide education. Hence our focus should be on unity and education.
Posted by Dr.K.Rajendran