Kalinga (India)


Kalinga (India)

Kalinga was a kingdom in central-eastern India, which comprised most of the modern state of Orissa, as well as some northern areas of the bordering state of Andhra Pradesh. It was a rich and fertile land that extended from the river Damodar to Godavari and from Bay of Bengal to Amarkantak range in the West.

This region was scene of the bloody Kalinga War fought by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka the Great of Magadha "circa" 265 BCE.

Kharavela (IAST: Khāravela, Devanagari: खारवेल) (?209 - after 170 BCE), was greatest warrior Jain king of Kalinga, in Orissa state of India. He was responsible for the propagation of Jainism in East India but his importance in neglected in many accounts of Indian History. According to the Hathigumpha inscription near Bhubaneswar, Orissa, he attacked Rajagriha in Magadha, thus inducing the Indo-Greek king Demetrius to retreat to Mathura.

The Kharavelan Jain kingdom had a formidable maritime empire with trading routes linking it to Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Borneo, Bali, Sumatra and Java. Colonists from Kalinga settled in Sri Lanka, Burma, and the Indonesia archipelago. Even today Indians are referred to as Keling in Malaysia because of this. Many Sri Lankan kings, both Sinhalese and Tamil, claimed decent from Kalinga dynasties.

Kalinga is mentioned in the Adiparva, Bhismaparva, Sabhaparva, Banaprava of Mahabharata so also is the conquest of Karna. Kalinga King Srutayu stated to have fought the Mahabharat war for the Kauravas. Kalinga is also mentioned as Calingae in Megasthenes' book on India - "Indica" & Megasthenes states that Magadha & Kalinga were Jain Dominant Kingdoms:

:"The Prinas and the Cainas (a tributary of the Ganges) are both navigable rivers. The tribes which dwell by the Ganges are the Calingae, nearest the sea, and higher up the Mandei, also the Malli, among whom is Mount Mallus, the boundary of all that region being the Ganges." (Megasthenes fragm. XX.B. in Pliny. Hist. Nat. V1. 21.9-22. 1. [ [http://www.mssu.edu/projectsouthasia/history/primarydocs/Foreign_Views/GreekRoman/Megasthenes-Indika.htm Megasthenes Indica] ] )

:"The royal city of the Calingae is called Parthalis. Over their king 60,000 foot-soldiers, 1,000 horsemen, 700 elephants keep watch and ward in "procinct of war." (Megasthenes fragm. LVI. in Plin. Hist. Nat. VI. 21. 8-23. 11. [ [http://www.mssu.edu/projectsouthasia/history/primarydocs/Foreign_Views/GreekRoman/Megasthenes-Indika.htm Megasthenes Indica] ] )

The Kalinga script ( [http://www.ontopia.net/omnigator/models/topic_complete.jsp?tm=i18n.ltm&id=kalinga ref] ), derived from Brahmi, was used for writing. Among the offshoots, Kalinga script had the maximum resemblance with the parent script, Brāhmī and later modified to Oriya script in the beginning of the second millennium. This makes the Oriya Script as the most distinctive and least distorted script among the Indic scripts. ( [http://www.ontopia.net/i18n/ftree.jsp?id=1576] )

Notes

ee also

* Kalinga War
* Kalinga Magha
* Jaffna Kingdom


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