Vishnuvardhana was the first king of the dynasty, whose inscriptions are available. The Godavari copper plate grant is definite that Vishnuvardhana succeeded his father which sets at nought the doubts about his place in the Chalukya genealogy. One auther makes him the successor of Vijayaditya II, another says that he was probably the uncle of Vijayaditya III of the Pithapur Chalukyas and the epigraphist says “as his name is not found in the usual lists, be was probably an ancestor of Mallapa in of Pithapur epigraph.” But these doubts disappear as the records of Vishnuvardhana help us to fix the Chronology of the reign.
Vishnuvardhana’s records are dated in his regnal years. The earliest inscription is from Tanuku dated A.D. 1141 and the 15th regnal year of Vishnuvardhana. The second inscription of the reign is also from Tanuku dated A.D. 1142 and the 17th year of the king. The Rajahmundry inscription dated A.D. 1145 and the 21th year of Sarvalokasrava Vishnuvardhana maharaja mentions Pattisapunadu. As none of the records of Vishnuvardhana dated after A.D. 1145 are available, his reign lasting for twenty one years must have begun in A.D. 1124.
His Political Relations
Vishnuvardhana was a strong ruler. He is spoken of as “an ornament of the lunar race (i.e. the Chalukyas family)”. The Eastern Chalukya kingdom ceased to exist by this time, perphaps this encouraged Vishnuvardhana to assume their titles and issue grants dated in his own regnal years. The contemporary Chola emperors were Vikramachola and Kulot-tunga II. It is likely that Vishnuvardhana owed allegiance to the Chalukya cholas and helped them and Gonka II of the Velanandus in terminating the Western Chalukya rule in Vengi between A.D. 1127 and 1139. We have no evidence whether Vishnuvardhana, in the early part of his reign, had to acknowledge the Chalukya yoke under Vikramaditya VI and Somesvara III along with the Konahaihayas, the Kolana rulers and others.