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The developments in south India that took place during this time facilitated the fusion of north Indian and south Indian traditions and paved the way for the evolution of a composite Indian culture.
The popularity of the bhakti cult in various parts of India was inaugurated by the Tamil devotional cult, indicating that ‘maximum of common characteristics was beginning to merge in the various regions of the sub-continent’. Quoting M.G.S. Narayanan and Kesavan Veluthat, we can sum up the significance of bhakti ideology as ‘the cementing force bringing together kings, Brahmin priests and the common people in a harmonious manner to strengthen the rule of the newly established Hindu kingdoms based on the caste system.
Chalukyas of Vatabi, Pulikesin II in particular prevented Harsha in the north and Pallavas in the south from extending their territorial power into their occupied territory of Deccan.
Chalukyas established a comprehensive administrative structure at the provincial, district and village level and supported both Vedic and heterodox religions.
Their contribution to art and architecture are evident from the temples and the monuments at Aihole, Badami and Pattadakkal.
Pallavas established their kingdom in Tondaimandalam with Kanchipuram as their capital.
Efforts of Pallava kings, Mahendravarman I and Narasimhavarman I, to extend their territory further north led to constant wars with Chalukyas.
Pallava period witnessed introduction of Sanskrit and establishment of Brahmadeyas.
Pallava rule is known for its architecture and Mamallapuram is a classic example.
Pallava kings patronized literature and art. Mahendravarman himself authored Mathavilasaprahasanam
Ellora caves are famous for sculptures representing all religious sects: Ajivika, Jainism, Buddhism and Brahmanism.
Panels in Buddhist caves portray scenes from the life of Buddha.
Kailasanatha cave temple features panels with scenes of puranas and legends.
There are thirty caves in Ajanta. In five caves there are mural paintings. Scenes from Jataka stories and select scenes from the life history of Buddha are depicted.
Apart from the statue of Buddha, Bodhisattva is also a striking feature of chaityas and viharas.
Rock-cut temples and structural temples are Pallavas’ contribution
Shore temples at Mamallapuram is a classic example of Pallava architecture
Descent of Ganges, Arjuna’s penance are illustrious examples of the sculptural excellence.
The hymns of Azhwars and Nayanmars inaugurated the bhakti cult in Tamil country.
Pallavas and Pandyas patronized the bhakti movement. Bhakti as ideology helped integrate all sections of society under the banner of religion.
Ramanujar challenged the monistic ideology of Adi Sankara and expounded Visishtatvaita.
Ramanujar attempted to include even outcastes into the devotional movement.
A synthesis of north Indian and south Indian traditions occurred during this period.
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