- The period from 700A.D. to 1 000 A.D. constitutes a brilliant epoch in the political and cultural history of ancient Karpataka. During this period Rashtrakootas dominated the scene and richly contributed to the politi¬cal and cultural history of India. No other empire in India wielded so great an influence on northern India,like that of the Rashtrakootas during these three hun¬dred years.
- The Rashtrakootas began their political career as feudatatires of the Chalukyas of Badami and ultimately they founded their own dynasty in the middle of the seventh century replacing the Chalukyas. The founder of the Rashtrakoota dynasty was Dantidurga, a mon¬arch of remarkable and brilliant abilities. They ruled from Malakhed of Gulbarga District of Kamataka. The last ruler Indra III was ultimately overthrown by the Chalukyas, who once again regained their supremacy over the Deccan.
- The glorious reign of Rashtrakootas saw at once the flOWing of literary activity both in Sanskrit and Kannada. There were a number of noted Sanskrit writers and poets, of them, mention must be made of Trivikrama, the author of ‘Naiachampu” Halayudha, the Jaina Scholars like Veerasena, Jainasena, Gunabhadra and Mathematician Mahaveer were in this age.
- The Rashtrakoota period witnessed the growth of Kannada language and literature. The Kannada works were produced by the Jain Poets. The illustrious King Amoghavarsha Nrupatunga was a great scholar and was the author of Kavirajmarga, the earliest treatise on poetics in Kannada. Kavichakravarthi Ponna was another great poet of this period. Pampa, the greatest among the classical Kannada poets, was patronised by Arikesari, the feudatory of Rashtrakoota. ‘Adipurana and Vikramarjuna Vijaya’ are his two great works. Temples andAgraharas were the centres of learning.
- Rashtrakootas were the followers of Vaishnavism. They had the emblem of ‘Eagle’. Jainism was the religion with royal patronage.
- By their splendid contributions the Rashtrakootas have created a unique position in the field of art, archi¬tecture and sculpture. The famous rock-cut shrines at Ellora and Elephanta belong to this period. The cel¬ebrated temple of Kailasa at Ellora and Elephanta also belong to this period. The celebrated temple of Kailasa at Ellora, built during about 100 feet in height, this not only is the most stupendous single work of art ex¬ecuted in India, but also an example of rock architec-ture.
- The rock cut temples at Elephanta Island, near Mumbai is another outstanding monument of the period. The T rimurthi Sculpture at Elephanta in particular praise¬worthy.
- Through, much of the temple - paintings of this period were lost by us, their fragments are even now seen in porch of the great temple of Kailasa at Ellora and the cuttings of the Mahesamurthi shrine at Elephanta.
- Thus, the Rashtrakootas would justify the state¬ment, • the foremost contribution of the Rashtrakootas to the world of culture lay largely in the field of architecture and sculpture.”