The Rashtrakutas had Kannada origin and their mother tongue was Kannada. The Rashtrakuta dynasty was founded by Dantidurga in 8th Century AD. He was instrumental in establishing Rashtrakutas as a paramount power in the Deccan. He captured Malwas from the Gurjaras after defeating them. He also defeated Kirtivarman II and annexed the Chalukya kingdom.

He was succeeded by Krishna I who was also a great empire builder. Krishna I earned victories against the eastern Chalukyas of Vengi and the Gangas. He is known for building the rock-cut monolithic Kailasa temple at Ellora. He was succeeded by Govinda III.

Govinda III was succeeded by Amoghavarsha I (815-880 AD) whose reign was popular due to cultural development. He followed Jainism. He was also the author of famous work Kavirajamarga written in Kannada language. He was victorious against the Cholas at Takkolam.

He also captured Tanjore as well as Rameswaram. Amoghavarsha also built several temples which includes the Krishneswara temple at Rameswaram.