Again Kharavela moved to the
north to continue and complete the unfinished task. He marched on Uttarapatha, the capital
of Takshashila and annexed it. His army then marched towards Magadha.
This news reached Brihaspathimitra, the king of Magadha. He knew Kharavelas valor
and rage, and began to tremble with fear. The news spread among the people of Magadha,
too. They knew Kharavela well as a man of extraordinary prowess; a warrior who had not
been frightened by the fame of Shathakarni and had, in fact, humbled him; they knew
Kharavela as the great hero who had driven backDemetrius, the Greek King who had dreamt of
conquering the world and who had entered India and looted several parts of this country as
he pleased. Moreover, they had heard not only of his prowess but also of his terrible
rage. They trembled as they remembered the fate of Pithunda, which had been razed to the
So the news of his invasion created panic among the people of Magadha. They realized
that they had no choice and had to surrender. The king and his subjects unanimously
decided this was the right course. There could be now two opinions at all on this
They knew full well why Kharavela was so angry with Magadha. Their ancestors had
brought the idol of Sheethalanatha Jina from Kalinga. Kharavela and his people considered
this as a great humiliation. It was evident to the people of Magadha that unless this
humiliation was wiped out, Kharavelas anger would not subside. Therefore it was
decided to hand over the idol to the king, Kharavela, with all honor. They rightly thought
that such a course of action would satisfy him and besides, earn his friendship.
Brihaspathimitra sent word to Kharavela that he wished to meet him. Kharavela agreed to
this. Brihaspathimitra went to Kharavela with all his ministers and generals. He said to
Kharavela, "Kalinga and Magadha have been opposed to each other for quite a long
time. As a result, the people of both the states have suffered seriously. Soldiers have
died in large numbers. Let us stop this human sacrifice and the destruction of crops and
cattle. We, of Magadha, know the fault of ours. Our forefathers brought the holy idol from
Kalinga. What we did is wrong. You and your subjects have naturally been displeased and
unhappy. Please be magnanimous and forgive us. Forget the past errors. Let us live in
friendship and peace."
Kharavela was a terror to his enemies on the battlefield. But he was also generous. It
was not his desire to wage war unnecessarily. He did not love to make war. So he was happy
at the suggestion of Brihaspathimitra, and accepted the holy idol.
The fire that had been burning in the hearts of the Kalingas, ever since the Nandas
carried their idol away was now put out.
At the same time, the King of Anga, situated to the east of Magadha, also wished to
avoid war with Kalinga. He, too, surrendered to Kharavela and offered him tributes and
Kharavela returned to his country with the idol of Sheethalanatha. Hundreds of
sculptors started building a splendid temple for their deity. The deity was duly
installed. All over the land there was great rejoicing. Kharavela's praise was on
everyone's lips. He had wiped out the disgrace that had for long stuck to them. The banner
of his fame flew high. His ancestors had not been able to achieve all this. He had not
used his power only to extend his kingdom or to extract huge subsidies from the defeated.
He had dedicated all his might to the welfare and happiness of his people. He had used it
to uphold the honour of Kalinga and to end the disgrace inflicted on his people. The
people, who had the good fortune of having Kharavela as their king, were in every way
Again Kharavela turned his attention to the South. Unless the King of Pandya, a state
situated at the southernmost part of India, was defeated, the power of the Kings of
Dravida would not diminish. Kharavela defeated the Pandya King in a battle. The defeated
king offered the victor countless gems and ornaments as tributes. Kharavela now became an
The Kalingas, who had Kharavela for their rulers were indeed blessed. What was once a-
small, humble, poor and disgraced state had now become a strong, powerful and vast empire.
It now extended from Takshashila and Nepal in the North to Kanyakumari in the South.
Kharavela's fame spread across the length and breadth of India. This was indeed a golden
age in the history of Kalinga.
Kharavela's mighty conquests spread his fame far and wide. What the astrologers had
foretold when he was but a tender baby had literally come true.
The name his parents had chosen for him was fully justified. 'Kharavela' means' the
swift moving wind', 'the storm incarnate'. Soon after coming to the throne, he moved with
his mighty army with astonishing swiftness. And his enemies who had witnessed this must
have felt that he was the God of Wind himself.
Kharavela who had now earned the status of an emperor thought of strengthening Jainism.
It was about to disappear. From the time Emperor Ashoka had embraced Buddhism, the power
and influence of Buddhism rose everywhere in India.
Kharavela convned a great conference of all Jain Sanyasis (hermits) of Kumariparvatha;
this place had been made sacred by the touch of the hole feet of Mahavira Jina. Over three
thousand and five hundred Jain Sanyasis attended the conference. They were all treated
with great hospitality befitting the king. Huts (Ashramas) were put up on the hills for
them. The Agamas were sacred to the Jains; but these holy books had been lost. These
learned sanyasis were requested to reconstruct those volumes, and they were given all the
facilities they needed. Once again bright days dawned for Jainism. But Kharavela respected
the other religions. He did not trouble the followers of other religions in any way.
Such was Kharavela! A great hero, one who looked upon all religions alike, one who kept
his subject perfectly happy, one who lifted his kingdom from the depths of hellish misery
to the heights of sublime glory and happiness; one who had the wisdom to distinguish
between his own countryman and a foreigner; a great conqueror, an emperor and champion of