History yrs Animation, Video 2 The downfall of the Gupta Empire in the middle of the sixth century brought about the breakup of the northern Indian kingdom into many small republics and monarchy states. Punjab and parts of central India had been taken over by the Huns regime, however over time, their power weakened as they assimilated with the native population. He had two sons. The elder son Rajya Vardhana ascended the throne after his father. His younger son was Harshavardhana. Rajya Vardhana was deceived and murdered by King Gauda, at which point a young sixteen year old Harsha swore to take revenge.
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He was the second son of king of Sthanvishvara modern day Thaneswar — Prabhakaravardhana. The capital city of Maukhari was Kannauj. The ruler of Malava Kingdom however murdered Grahavarmana and captured Rajyashri. To avenge the death of Grahavarmana and rescue his sister Rajyashri, Rajyavardhana marched on Malava with his army, defeated the ruler of Malava and rescued Rajyashri. During this meeting, Shashanka murdered Rajyavardhana. The death of Rajyavardhana placed Harshavardhana on the throne.
At that time, Harsha was only 16 years old. He however failed to defeat Shashanka. Defeat at the hands of Shashanka did not deter Harsha from his ambitions. He declared himself the sovereign ruler of Kannauj because the death of Grahavarmana left the Maukhari Kingdom with no rulers.
Once Harsha declared himself the sovereign ruler of Kannauj, he transferred his capital to Kannauj and then started a number of military campaigns. He used his large army of 5, war elephants, 50, infantry and 20, cavalry to take over the nearby kingdoms. He continued his military conquests for 6 years straight and fought numerous battles.
By the end of 6 years, he conquered most of the kingdoms in Northern India and his military might increased so much that at any given point, he was able to field an army of 60, war elephants and , cavalry. Interesting King Harshavardhana Facts: His military success took him to the south of the Indian subcontinent where his army met with the army of Emperor Pulakesi II.
He was the emperor of South India and the ruler of Chalukya Dynasty. This was one decisive war or possibly a series of battles in which Harsha lost to Pulakesi II while attempting to conquer the Deccan in around CE. Following the defeat, Harsha and Pulakesi II agreed that Harsha will not attempt to extend his kingdom to the south of Narmada River and Pulakesi will not attempt to extend his empire to the north of Narmada River.
Though Harsha controlled a massive empire, he did not implement a centralized administrative system. All the conquered kingdoms were still ruled by their respective kings. All these kings paid tribute to Harsha and offered military support whenever needed. Harshavardhana got rid of forced labor in his kingdom. Everyone was free to carry out his or her own affair. He became a just ruler and travelled across his kingdom to know the plight of his people.
He ordered the building of Rest-Houses both in rural and town areas. These rest houses were all stocked with medicines, food and drinks so that anyone in need and easily access them. The economy of his kingdom gradually moved towards self-sufficiency.
Agricultural dependency increased. Village economies became self-sufficient and handicrafts and other industries gradually vanished. Harsha was a tolerant ruler when it came to religion. Jainism, Vedism and Buddhism — all thrived under his rule. He himself was a follower of Sun Worship. During his rule, Harshavardhana also maintained diplomatic relations with the Chinese.
China was then under the rule of Tang Dynasty ruled by Emperor Taizong. Envoys from both countries visited each nation. Harsha went on building numerous Stupas for Buddha. Harsha gradually became a patron of literature and art. He made huge contributions to Nalanda University. Great literary personalities like Mayura and Banabhatta adored his court.
Harshavardhana was himself into writing plays. He wrote at least three plays — Nagananda, Ratnavali and Priyadarsika. Nagananda specifically is popular because in this drama, he elegantly combined Hindu and Buddhist religions.
Harsha lived till CE. His 41 years of rule was very peaceful with the exception of the first 6 years. One of the legacies of Harsha is the famous Kumbh Mela. He started the famous religious festival at Prayaga at the confluence of rivers Ganga , Yamuna and Saraswati. Harsha was actually married to Durgavati with whom he had two sons — Vagyavardhana and Kalyanvardhana. After the death of Harsha in , his empire disintegrated because of no heir. The whole empire fell into a period of anarchy.
He is a dreamer and loves reading, writing, traveling and above all, sleeping.
Harshavardhana Biography Harshavardhana Biography Harshavardhana was an Indian emperor who belonged to Pushibhukti family. At the height of his glory his kingdom spanned the Punjab, West Bengal, Orissa and the entire Indo-Gangetic plain north of the Narmada river. He ascended the throne after his elder brother Rajya Vardhana got murdered by Sasanka, King of Gauda. At this time he was just 16 years of age.
Conquests[ edit ] Wars in the South[ edit ] Vishnuvardhana was the governor over parts of Gangavadi during the rule of his elder brother Veera Ballala I. After ascending the Hoysala throne, his first major conquest was that of the occupied Chola territories of Gangavadi in c. According to the historian Kamath, the disgruntled Chola governor Adigaiman may have helped Vishnuvardhana in his conquest. The Chamarajanagara inscription gives details that his armies crossed the Nila mountains and proclaims him the "master of Kerala". According to the historians Chopra, Ravindran and Subhramanian, other records mention his temporary stay in Kanchi after his victories over the Cholas.
Harshavardhana [NCERT Notes on Ancient Indian History For UPSC]
Origins[ edit ] Palace ruins at "Harsh ka tila" mound area spread over 1 km After the downfall of the Gupta Empire in the middle of the 6th century, North India was split into several independent kingdoms. The northern and western regions of India passed into the hands of a dozen or more feudatory states. Prabhakara Vardhana, the ruler of Sthanvisvara, who belonged to the Vardhana family, extended his control over neighbouring states. Prabhakar Vardhana was the first king of the Vardhana dynasty with his capital at Thaneswar. This period of kings from the same line has been referred to as the Vardhana dynasty in many publications.