The Great Mighty Chandravanshi Khandayat Emperor Gangeswar Rout Anantaverman Chodagangadeva / Chodagangadeva was born to Ganga King, Rajarajdeva I and Chola Princess Rajasundari. According to Dirghasi inscription, King Rajarajadeva I with the help of his Brahmin general Vanapati, defeated the Mighty Chola, Eastern Chalukya, Mighty Somavanshi and Haiheya Kalachuris. After defeating Chola, he married Chola Princess Rajasundari. Chodgangadeva was a great warrior like his father Rajarajadeva I . He ascended the throne of Kalinga on February 18, 1071 AD at the age of only seven and set a rare example by ruling the empire for more than 70 years. His Father passed away when he was only five years old and his younger brother Paramadrideva Raju was only 2 to 3 years old.

During his childhood, Cholagangadeva faced rebellion from his own family named Devendraverman . Vira Chola the 3rd Son of Kulothunga Chola, the Chola governor of Vengi, greatly assisted him and Vira Chola married off his daughter Choladevi to Chodagangadeva. Kulothunga Chola I , probably indignant with this decision , expelled Vira Chola out of Vengi. Vira Chola took refuge in Kalinga with his officers and generals. According to the Lingaraja and Mukhalinga inscriptions, the two Chola officers were Gurabari and Lenka was appointed. During the rule of Vikrama Chola, the 4th Son of Kulothunga Chola I , The first war against kalinga was started between 1093 -1094 AD but it was not severe. Pallava King /Pallavaraya Karunakar Tondaiman, the commander-in-chief of Kulothungachola I , attacked Kalinga in 1110 AD, destroyed the southern part (Present Coastal Andhra) and annexed as far as Visakhapatnam of Kalinga. The incident is described in the Tamil poetry Kalingattupparani and Drakshrama inscription.  

Conquests of Vengi:-

1. According to the Narayan Swami inscription of Bhimavaram, the Vengi was attacked by the Western Chalukya between 1104 to 1107 AD when Cholagangadeva was absent for his Campaign against small kingdoms of Utkala and Kosala. According to the Mukhalingam copper plate of 1108 AD, Chodagangadeva re-asserted his dominance over Vengi by defeating Western Chalukya .

2. Seeing Cholgangdev’s dominance over the Vengi , the Kulothunga Chola I sent a Commander-in – chief, Jayagondachola , to attack on Kalinga. Chodagangadeva is said to have defeated him on his grant of 55th and 62nd years. According to Tumburu copper grant of 1129 AD, Jayagonda Chola was killed by Chodagangadeva during the the third invasion of Chola Empire against Kalinga during 1111 AD. As a result, he married a princess of Chola. According to the Korni Copper Plate of 1112 AD, he defeated the Cholas and extended his empire from the Ganga to Godavari and at that time Vengi was also under the Chodagangadeva.

3. After the conquest of most of Andhra Pradesh by the Chodgangadeva, he tried to subdue the rebellious vassals of Koshal region but the western Chalukya king Vikramaditya VI took over Vengi. Seeing the capture of Vengi, Cholgangadeva turned his attention to Vengi. Kulothungchola I and Vikramaditya VI were already dead. Vikramaditya VI ‘s son Someshwaradeva III was defeated by Chodaganga before 1128 AD and kept as his as feudatory ruler, which is also described in the Draksharam inscription of 1128 AD.

4. After the death of Kulothunga Chola I , his son Vikrama Chola asserted his dominance over Vengi from 1129 AD onwards in the absence of Chodagangadeva due to his military campaign in North. Vikrama Chola was fully supported by Kongu Chola and Velantini Choda. Telugu records of 1135 AD and the copper Plate of Chodaganga of the year of 1140 AD, Chodagangadeva defeated Vikrama Chola and his allies of the Kongu Chola and the Belantini Chola in between 1129 – 31 AD. According to Srikurmam inscription, he defeated them in a severe manner and washed his bloody sword in the Godavari river. The Kongu was an ancient state of South India.

Conquest of Utkal Region (North Odisha) :-

Chodagangadeva’s Utkal campaign Probably began in 1096 AD and lasted until 1108 AD . According to the Korni Copper Plate Grant of 1112 AD , he restored King Karnakeshari of Utkal before his final annexation of Utkal & defeated Ramapala, who occupied some parts of Utkal. He kept Karnakeshari as his feudatory ruler after the final annexation of Utkal before 1112 AD. According to the Vishakhapatnam inscription of Chodaganga of the year of 1118 AD, he completely took over Utkal and Vengi . He defeated the powerful Somavanshi king Karna Keshari and made him his feudatory ruler . According to Madalapanji, Vasudeva Rath , the commander of the Karnakeshari army had invited Chodgangadeva to attack on Utkal even he assisted him during his invasion. Karna Keshari was unaware about this betrayal. According to folkfore, Chodgangadeva took control of the Somavanshi court with the help of some of his soldiers as dressed up like stage performer.

Conquest of Dandabhukti :-

Dandabhukti was part of the ancient Utkal. Chodagangadeva campaigned for the complete conquest of Utkal. Ramapala’s death made him easy to conquer entire dandabhukti region. Jayasingha of Dandabhukti and Lakshmi Sura of Aramnagar / Aparamandara were feudatory rulers of Ramapala. Chodaganga defeated Jayasingha and he died on the battlefield , which can be seen in many grants.

 After the victory of Dandabhukti , Chodagangadeva marched towards Mandara. The king of Mandara fled from the battlefield. Chodaganga ‘s troops destroyed the fortress and gates of the city of Mandara and installed Vijaya Sena as his feudatory king. According to Chodaganga’s Lingaraja inscription, the victory dates back to 1134 AD. Dagoba Grant, the Nagari Plate of Rout Anangabhimadeva III, Rout Narasimhadeva II ‘s Kendupatna inscription, Punjabi Matha, Sankarananda Matha, Kenduli Copper Plate also refer to the victory. Ramapala’s son Kumarapala’s minister, Vaidyadeva, strongly opposed him, but he fled the scene to quell Timagyadeva’s revolt in Kamarupa , which made it easier for Chodagangadeva to win against Palas. Vijaya Sena , the grandson of Samanta Sena, founded the Sena dynasty. The conflict with Palas of Bengal in the northern territory of Chodagangadeva ‘s empire is fully corroborated by the inscription of srikurmam dated 1135 AD, Which says that Chodagangadeva Surpassed the rebellion appeared in the Western , northern and Eastern quarter of his Kingdom and controlled the line between Ganga and Godavari river. He was collecting taxes from the territory extending upto the Godavari.

Conquest of Mandaradri :-

After the Successful conquests of Aramnagar or Mandaragarh, He started his victorious marched towards Mandaradri. According to the copper plate of 1140 AD, Chodagangadeva defeated the king Narayan of Mandaradri and he fled from the battle field. Then he washed his bloody sword on the banks of Janhavi river. This Copper plate and other epigraphs from 1139 AD to 1143 AD confirm that, he stayed near Biharapataka. M Somasekhar also accepts the statement of Nandalal Dey. Mandaradri is Located at Sultanganj near to Bhagalpur of Bihar . 

Complete annexation of Koshal Region :-

Koshal is an integral part of ancient Odisha. Koshal came under the control of Haihaya Kalchuris of Ratnapura. During the reign of Chodagangadeva, the Kalachuris became very powerful. He first fought with the Kalchuri to get Dandabhukti ( Present day Mayurbhanj, Medinipur and Singhbhum) where he defeated the Kalachuri king Ratnadeva II of Tummana. Cholagangadeva repeatedly invaded the Koshala region to get Sambalpur – Raipur from the Kalachuris, However it was fulfilled during the reign of Rout Anangabhimadeva III .  

Chodgangadeva was not only a great warrior but also a very religious person & very kind hearted to his people. He built many Shiva temples, Vishnu temples and rebuilt the Jagannath temple of Puri Dham. He made the ancient city Jajpur as his capital to prevent Kalachuri’s Eastern campaigns and monitor their Activities. He constructed many forts near Jajpura Kataka (Jajpur ) , Amaravati Kataka (Chhatia ) , Choudwar Kataka and Sarangagarh Kataka (Baranga ) . He laid the foundation of the victorious Eastern Ganga dynasty. He was also a very artistic emperor. His contribution to the development of Odisha’s culture , Odia language and Kalingan Architecture was incredible. In his time, the Khandayats or Khandapatis, known as the Kshatriyas of eastern India, reached the pinnacle of success in martial activity. He declared himself as Rout in the Vijianagaram inscription. Rout is one of the Famous Khandayat Title & it means an Imperialist Ruler, the Rajaputra ( Prince) , and the head of the Cavalry force. He will always be remembered as a great Chakrabarty emperor in the history of Odisha and India.

Reference :
– Journal of Indian History , Volume 65
– The Orissa Historical Research Journal , Volume 31 , Issues 2 – 4
– Kalinga Under the Eastern Gangas ca . 900 A.D. to ca. 1200 A.D. by N. Mukunda Row
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– Enemy Lines : Warfare , Childhood and Play in Batticaloa
– Later Chola Temples : Kulothunga I to Rajendra III (A.D. 1070 – 1280 ) by S.R. Balasubramanyam
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– Inscriptions of Orissa (C.1045 -1190 A.D.) , Volume III , Part – II by S .N. Rajguru