Early History of Orissa – Tha Matharas

Soon after the invasion of Samudragupta a new ruling power named Mathara raised its head in Kalinga. The earliest known Mathara king was Vishakavarman who started his politial career as an humble ruler of a small territory round about modern Parlakhemundi. He was succeeded by Umavarman who declared himself as Lord of Kalinga by his 30 th regnal year and made Singhapura his capital. He ruled for about 35 years and was succeeded by Sankaravarman in about 395 A.D. Maharaja Sankaravarman died after a short rule and was succeeded by his son Maharaja Saktivarman in about 400 A.D. Saktivarman was a powerful ruler who had extended his kingdom from Mahanadi in the north to the river Krishna in the south. He transferred his capital from Singhapura to Pishtapura in South Kalinga. He died in about 420 A.D. and was succeeded by his son Anantasaktivarman who ruled up to 450 A.D. Anantasaktivarman could not maintain the integrity of the empire inherited from his father. The Vishnukundin king Madhavavarman occupied South Kalinga as a result of which Anantasaktivarman shifted his headquarters from Pishtapura to Singhapura.

It appears that after the death of Saktivarman there was internal quarrel between his two sons Anantasaktivarman and Prabhanjanavarman which contributed to the weakness of the Mathara dynasty. Anantasaktivarman was succeeded by Chandravarman who was probably his son. He had a premature death after which Prabhanjanavarman, the brother of Anantasaktivarman came to the throne. He attempted to recover South Kalinga but could not succeed in bringing back the lost territory. He was succeeded by Nandaprabhanjanaverman. During his rule the Mathara power declined steadily. By that time the Eastern Gangas appeared in the Trikalinga territory and extended their power over the Kalinga Regions. The Mathara rule in Kalinga ended in 498 A.D. which was the initial year of the Ganga era.


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