This article is about Yadava
dynasty of medieval India. For other uses, see Yadav (disambiguation)
, Sevuna or Yadavas of Devagiri (850–1334) was an Indian dynasty, which at its peak ruled a kingdom stretching from the Tungabhadra to the Narmada rivers, including prese
nt-day Maharashtra, north Karnataka and parts of Madhya Pradesh, from its capital at Devagiri (present-day Daulatabad in modern Maharashtra). The Yadavas initially ruled as feudatories of the Western Chalukyas. Around the middle of the 12th century, as the Chalukya power waned, they declared indepen
dence and established rule that reached its peak under Singhana II.
The Seuna dynasty claimed descent from the Yadavas and therefore, its kings are often referred to as the "Yadavas of Devgiri". The correct name of the dynasty, however, is Seuna
or Sevuna. The inscriptions of this dynasty, as well as those of contemporary kingdoms, the Hoysala, Kakatiya dynasty and Western Chalukyas call them Seunas. The name is probably derived from the name of their second ruler, "Seunachandra".
The "Sevuna" (or Seuna) name was brought back into use by John Faithfull Fleet in his book The dynasties of the Kanarese districts of the Bombay Presidency from the earliest historical times to the Musalman conquest of A.D. 1318.
Scholars such as C M Kulkarni, Colin Masica, and Shrinivas Ritti believe that the Seuna rulers were originally Kannada speaking people. Linguist Colin Masica believes that they originally used Kannada (along with Sanskrit) in their inscriptions, but, by the time of the Muslim conquest, they had begun to patronize Marathi, and Marathi phrases or lines began to appear in their inscript
ions. Dr. Shrinivas Ritti specul
ates that the Seunas were originally from a Kannada-speaking region and migrated northwards owing to the political situation in the Deccan.
Many Seuna rulers had Kannada names and titles such as "Dhadiyappa", "Bhillama", "Rajugi", "Vadugi" and "Vasugi", and "Kaliya Ballala". Some kings had names like "Singhana" and "Mallugi", which were also used by the Southern Kalachuris of Kalyani dynasty. Records show that one of the early rulers, Seunachandra II, had a Kannada title, Sellavidega. The Seunas had very close matrimonial relationships with royal Kannada families throughout their rule. Bhillama II was married to Lachchiyavve, who was from a Rashtrakuta descendant family in Karnataka. Vaddiga was married to Vaddiyavve, daughter of Rashtrakuta chieftain Dhorappa. Wives of Vesugi and Bhillama III were Chalukya princese
Over five hundred inscriptions belonging to the Seuna dynasty have been found in Karnataka, the oldest being of the rule of Bhillama II. Most of these are in Kannada language and script. Others are in the Kannada language but use Devanagari script. The Seuna coins from the early part of their rule have Kannada legends. Scholars such as Dr. O. P. Varma believe that Kannada was a court language, used along with Marathi and Sanskrit.
During the rule of the Seunas, ruling chieftains who were related to the Seuna kings were from Kannada-speaking families, like the Seunas of Masavadi in present-day Dharwad. Dr. A. V. Narasimha Murthy opined that during the later part of the Rashtrakuta rule from Manyakheta, Seuna chieftains were despa
tched from the Karnataka region to rule near Nasik