Monday, 4 May 2015

Paper 2 - History of India, National Movement, Society and Culture

Syllabus - Gupta Dynasty :- Chandragupta I, Samudragupta, Chandragupta II, Skandagupta; Later Gupta rulers and decline of Gupta Dynasty; Political, Social, Economic, Religious and Cultural life during Gupta period, Post-Gupta Period: Harshvardhan and his times; Pal, Pratihara, Rashtrakuta, Chola, Chalukya, Pallava Chandel, Paramar, Gaharwad, Chauhan, Post-Gupta Period: Political, Social, Economic, Religious and Cultural life.

Maurya Empirehttp://selfstudyhistory.com/2015/02/26/maurya-empire/

Guptas - 320A.D. - 550 A.D.

The GUPTAS with their seat of power in Uttar Pradesh an dBihar ruled over north and western India for about 160 years, until the middle of the sixth century A.D. Then North India again split up into several kingdoms. The white Hunas established their supermacy over Kashmir, Punjab and Western India from about A.D. 500 onwards. North and Western India passed under the control of about half a dozen feudatories who parcelled out Gupta empire among themselves. Gradually one of these dynastiesruling at Thanesar in Haryana extended its authority over all the other feudatories. The ruler who brought it about was Harshavardhana(A.D. 606 - 647). Harsha made Kannauj the seat of his power from where he extended his authority in all directions.

Pushyabhuti Dynasty - Harshavardhan(606-647A.D.) - 41 years rule
The Pushyabhuti or Vardhan dynasty was founded at Thaneswar by Pushyabhuti probably towards the beginning of the 6th century. Pushyabhuti were feudatories of the Guptas, but he assumed independence after the Hun invasions.
The first important ruler of the dynasty was Prabhakara Vardhan.
Prabhakara Vardhan was succeeded by his eldest son Rajyavardhan.
Rajyavardhan had to face problems from the day of his succession to the throne.
Grahavarman, the Maukhari ruler of Kannauj and husband of Rajyashri(sister of Rajyavardhan) was murdered by Deva Gupta(the ruler of Malwa) who in alliance with Shashanka(ruler of Gaud or North-Western Bengal) now occupied Kannauj and imprisoned Rajyashri.
Rajyavardhan, therefore, undertook a campaign against Deva Gupta and killed him but he was killed by Shashanka in 606 A.D. In the meanwhile Rajyashri escaped into the forests of Central India.
After ascending the throne Harsha first rescued his widowed sister Rajyashri, from the Vindhyas forest, where she was going to throw herself into the fire.
Harsha drove out Shashanka from Kannauj who had occupied it after the killing of Rajyavardhan. He not only unified Kannauj with Thaneswar but also made it his new capital.
Harsha thereafter, proceed towards the east against Shashanka, he conquered Magadha and Shashank's empire.
Harsha defeated Dhruvasena II, the Maitrika ruler of Vallabhi. However, Harsha, in order to secure thge safety of the western boundary, reinstated him and gave his daughter in marriage to Dhruvasena II. Dhruvasena II accepted the position of a feudatory vassal. It was an important diplomatic achievement of Harsha. 

The detail accounts of the Chinese pilgrim Hieun Tsang throw a good deal of light on the political, social and religious conditions of the time. The narratives open a store house of reliable information. The Harshacharita written by Bana who lived at the court of Harsha is generally recognized as a historical document to throw a flood of light on the political, social and religious condition of India during his time. Harsha himself was a writer of high standard.
His three valuable works named ‘Ratnavali’, ‘Priyadarsika’ and ‘Nagananda’ written in Sanskrit reveal his literary flare. All the three were romantic comedies. Harsha was so famous in the literary world that Jayadeva, the celebrated author of Gita Govinda compared him with Kalidas and Bhasa.

Earlier Capital - Thaneswar (Haryana) and then Capital - Kannauj(in U.P)

After consolidating his position in the north Harsha had an expedition to the south in 620 AD. He was checked by king Pulakesin II of Chalukya dynasty. In the battle on the bank of Narmada Harsha was defeated with a heavy loss. This single defeat checked Harsha to extend his empire beyond Narmada. The failure to conquer Deccan is also described in the Aihole inscription of the poet Ravikirti(court poet of Pulakeshin II) of 643 AD. Harsha’s ambition to bring the south under his northern empire ended without success.

Harsha himself was a strong believer of Mahayana Buddhism.
Harsha used to summon a religious assembly at Prayag near Allahabad. The ceremonials lasted for seventy five days during which the Buddha, the Siva and the sun were worshipped in different dates.
In the year 643 A.D., Harsha held a great religious assembly in his capital at Kanauj(Kannauj Assembly) on the bank of the river Ganges. The purpose of the assembly was to highlight the teachings of Buddha. On that occasion, Harsha also wanted to honour the Chinese Master of the Law, Hiuen Tsang
Harsha was the chief patron of the University of Nalanda where about 10,000 students from all parts of India and abroad studied.

Insight into Harsha's state is given by the discovery of a set of plates of copper(Copper plate inscription), dating back to 632 CE, recording the gift of land by a military officer under Harsha's service to two Brahmins. Donations before Harsha's reign had come from either a royal prince or one of the provincial governors.

History of Harsha Vardhana

Harshavardhan’s Empire: Sources, Accession and Other Details

The Empire of Harsha Vardhana
http://www.historydiscussion.net/history-of-india/the-empire-of-harsha-vardhana/2513 (Map of Harsha empire)

Hiuen Tsang and his Importance in Harsha’s Empire

Palas Empire(750 - 1150)

The Palas
http://www.historydiscussion.net/empires/the-history-of-early-medieval-northern-india-indian-history/608 (Pala, Partihara, Rashtrakuta)
http://www.uhemu.com/pala_empire30807.htm (full details of Pala empire)

No comments:

Post a Comment