The Somavamsi rulers were devoted Saivites. They helped the growth and spread of Saivism by the construction of Siva temples and offer of liberal land grants to the Saiva temples, priests and ascetics.
The king occupied the highest position in the realm of administrative structure. No doubt, kingship was hereditary but some times the ministers had a voice in the selection of a king as happened in the case of Yayati II.
Being driven away from Dakshina Kosala that comprised the undivided Sambalpur and Bolangir districts of western Odisha which he termed as Kosala whose capital was Suvarnapura (modern Sonepur), Janmejaya I, thus, became the first ruler of the Somavamsi dynasty of Kosala.
The Somavamsis, other wise known as Panduvamsis, ruled over Odisha from the middle of the ninth century A.D. to the early part of the twelfth century A.D.