RBSE Class 10 Social Science Notes Chapter 1 Golden India – Beginning to 1206 A.D are part of RBSE Solutions for Class 10 Social Science. Here we have given Rajasthan Board RBSE Class 10 Social Science Notes Chapter 1 Golden India – Beginning to 1206 A.D.
Rajasthan Board RBSE Class 10 Social Science Notes Chapter 1 Golden India – Beginning to 1206 A.D
History and culture of India has being glorious right from its initial period. India was known as ‘Vishwa Guru’ and ‘golden bird’ considering whole world as family (Vashudhev Kutumbkam) and wishing welfare and health of all (Sarve Bhavntu Shukhinah Sarve Santu Niramya) is our ideal.
On the basis of excavation and archaeological remains, the world wide form of India’s Culture is clearly seen. Across the oceans Indian regions were called of Deepantar. Indian explorers reached to Braham-desh (Myanmar), Siam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, Borneo, Philippines, Japan and Korea by travelling in powerful ships and established their political and cultural empire. In ancient India the naval power and seaports were very developed. Scholars have illustrated about ships which sailed in Indus river 6000 years ago.
Indian explorers reached in different parts of the world by land and waterways both and introduced their religion and culture to the inhabitants of those places. These courageous, heroes and brave people preached and spread Indian philosophy, Astrology, Architecture, warcraft, moral science, music and vedic scriptures in the world. The developed form of Indian civilization is being seen to us right from the beginning.
Ancient Civilizations of India
Sindhu Saraswati civilization and vedic civilization, also period of Mahabharat civilization and culture is called the golden period of India. Vedas are known as the form of world’s knowledge treasure. In the view of Architecture, Indus Saraswati civilization is the best of all civilization.
The Ramayana, the Mahabharata are being famous as the ideals and moral scriptures of India. Our period of Mahajan padas is being an ideal of Republican and constitutional system. Existence of different Janapadas is seen by us in later Vedic period.
Later Vedic Period
By this period iron was extensively used in eastern UttarPradesh and western Bihar. Iron technique brought a great change in the physical life of people and it gave strength to the trend of stable livelihood in the society, of agriculture, industries, trade, commerce etc. weakened the ancient tribal system and large Janapadas took the place of small Janapadas. By 6th century B.C small Janapadas were replaced by the MahaJanapadas.
There was complete lacking of universal power in North India in the beginning of 6 century B.C. The whole India was divided into many independent states. These states were more powerful and vast rather than later vedic period states.
1. Period of MahaJanapadas (600 – 325 B.C.)
Many powerful and vast states were independently established in North India in 6 century B.C. which were named as MahaJanapadas. According to Buddha scriptures and ‘Agguttarnikaya’, there were 16 MahaJanapadas existing in that period.
|4.||Magadh||Rajgriha or Giribraj|
|5.||Vajji||Vidheh and Mithila|
|9.||Kaushal||Ayodhya (Two parts in war period, capital of Northern part – Saket, capital of southern part Shravasti)|
|10.||Panchal||Capital of Northern Panchal – Ahichatra, capital of Southern Panchal – Kapilya|
|13.||Ashsak||Potan or Pateli|
|14.||Avanti||Capital of Northern Avanti – Ujjayani, capital of southern Avanti – Mahishmate|
|16||Kamboj||Rajpur – Hatak|
There were two types of states in above mentioned 16 MahaJanapadas – Monarchism and Republic. In the 6 century B.C. many republics also prevailed. Among them main were – Shakyas of Kapilavastu, parts of Sunsumargiri, Buly of Allakappa, Kalam of Kesputta, Koliya of Ramgram, Malla of Kushinara, Malla of Pava, Mauriya of Pippalivan, Lichavi of Vaishali and Videh of Mithila.
Main Janapadas of Rajasthan
In the chain of the development of vedic civilization origin of Janapadas is seen in Rajasthan also. Due to invasion of Greeks, tribes like Malav, Shivi, Arjunayan etc. of Punjab which were famous for their courage and bravery migrated to Rajasthan and settled here. In this way Janapada system originated in Eastern part of Rajasthan.
The main Janapadas were as follows:
Present district of Bikaner and Jodhpur were called Jangadesh in the Mahabharat period. Somewhere its name is found as Kuru – Jangala and Madey – Jangala. The capital of this Janapada was Ahichatrapur which is present day as Nagpur. The king of Bikaner called himself Badshah of Jangaddhar being the owner of this Jangaldesh. In the state symbol (Emblem) of Bikaner, Jangal- desh has been found.
The region near – around present day Jaipur was known as Matsya Mahajanapada. Its extension was from the hills of Chambal up to Jangal region of the river Saraswati. Some land masses of present day Alwar and Bharatpur were under this region. Its capital was Viratnagar which is known as Bairath in present time.
There is lack of clear knowledge about Matsya Janapada before Mauryan ruler – King Bindusara. It is mentioned in Mahabharata that a king named Shahaz ruled over both Chedi and Matsya states. In the beginning Matsya was the part of Chedi which later become the part of great Magadha empire.
This Mahajanapada was located in modern Braj region. Its capital was Mathura. The ancient Greek writers called this state as ‘Shursenoi’ and its capital as ‘Methora’. According to the Mahabharata, Yadu (Yadav) dynasty had rule here. Most of the parts of Bharatpur, Dholpur and Karauli were under Shursen Janapada the eastern part of the Alwar district also come under Shursen. Lord Krishna son of Vasudeva had relation with this Janapada.
Shivpur was the capital of Shivi Janapada and the king Sushin defeated it with other castes in the battle of ten kings. The recognition of ancient Shivpur is done with the Sherkota place in present day Pakistan. In later period this Shivi caste of Southern Punjab inhabited in Mewar Region of Rajasthan city located near of Chittorgarh was the capital of this Janapada. From many places of Mewar coins of Shivis are found, near Mandsaur five cave inscriptions are found, which acknowledge the extension of Shivi Janapada from west to the south east.
Though Republican administration system prevailed but state power was in the hands of Monarchial families. The representatives of these families only made arrangements of the administration in the form of chiefs of Santhagar Sabha, the members of Santhagar can present their views on fixed subjects. It was called ‘Anyuvirodh’. Polling was made on those subjects which had conflicts. In polling multicolour spikes were used.
Santhagar was the biggest institution of the Janapadas. The basic principles of the state policy were formulated in this Sabha only. The big Janapadas beside central Santhagar, regional Santhagar were also exist. Later due to groupism and mutual conflicts these republics declined. The policy of expansion of contemporary states was more or less responsible for the decline of Janapandas.
II. Maurya, Shunga, Satvahans, Gupta, Vardhana Pala, Rashtrakuta, Pratihara, Chola, Pallava and Chalukya empire
Magadha one of among the sixteen Janapadas originated in the form of empire in the period of Haryak Dynasty. In later period Magadha established its control all most over the whole Northern India.
Establishment of Maurya Dynasty – Approx 326 A.D.: On the throne of Magadha one famous king of Nanda Dynasty was ascended. At this time North-western India was assaulted by Alexander. Subject was suffered from the atrocities of the king.
State people were unsatisfied with him due to the cause of the unbearable burden of the tax. In such condition people of Magadha had need of such a person who could eliminate the crises originated due to the foreign attack and should present an ideal of Chakravarti Samrat by binding it in one thread. Soon on the sky of Indian Politics, Chandragupta, disciple of Kautilya, emerged and established a new Maurya dynasty.
Chandragupta Maurya (322 – 298 B.C.)
Chandragupta ascended the throne in the age of 25 years after defeating Dhanananda, the last ruler of the Nanda dynasty with the help of his Guru Chanakya. Chandragupta founded the first great Indian empire by champaigning the wide victory mission. In 305 B.C. he defeated the then Greek ruler Seleucus Nicator. After making a treaty Seleucus gave Chandragupta, east Afghanistan, Baluchistan and western region of the Indus river by taking 500 elephants from him. He also married her daughter with Chandragupta and sent Magasthenese, as his ambassador in his court.
Kabul, Herat, Kandhar, Baluchistan, Punjab, Plains of Ganga-Yamuna, Bihar, Bengal, Gujarat, parts of Vindhya and Kashmir were included in the vast empire of Chandragupta. It is informed from ‘Ahananuru’ and ‘Mumanuru’ Tamil scriptures that Chandragupta also attacked south India. In old stage he took sacred thread of Jain Dharma from Bhadrabahu. He died in 298 B.C. in Shravan Belgola (Mysore) by fasting
Bindusara (298 B.C. – 272 B.C.)
Bindusara was the son of Chandragupta Maurya and his successor, to whom Greek author called Amitrochats. In Vayupurana he was called Bhadrasara and in Jain scriptures was called Singhsen. He conquered the remote South Indian regions and assimilated them in the empire of Magadha. According to Divyadan in his ruling period, two revolts occurred in Taxila to curb them.
Firstly Ashoka and later Susim were sent. In the court of Bindusar, Antiyocas. a Greek ruler appointed a person named Diamecus in the form of Ambassador. According to Plini king of Egypt Philadelphus (Meli second) sent a person named ‘Dianisiyus’ as Greek Ambassador in Bindusara court.
Ashoka (273 – 232 B.C.)
According to Jain Anushruti, Ashoka took control over Magadha empire against the will of Bindusara. Edicts Muski and Giyjara found from South India mentioned his name ‘Ashoka’. In edicts, Ashoka is entitled with the titles ‘Devnapiya’ and Devanapiyadassi. Princess of Vidisha gave birth to daughter Sanghmitra and son Mahendra of Ashoka. In Ashoka’s edicts illustration of her queen Karuvaki is also mentioned.
After the seven years crowning ceremony, Ashoka assimilated many regions of Kashmir and Khetan in his own empire. In his period except Tamil region whole India and a great part of Afghanistan was included in Maurya empire. In the 8th year of crowning ceremony (Coronation) in (261 B.C.) Ashoka attacked Kalinga in which one lakh people were killed. On the basis of Hathigumpha edict (Elephanta caves) it could be imagined that, in that period Nand Raj was ruling over Kalinga.
This great human loss deviated Ashoka hence. He declared of giving up weapons. Under Magadha empire Dholi or Tosali was made capital of Kalinga, under the impression of Shraman Nigrodh and Upagupta Ashoka embraced of Buddhism. In place of Bherighosh, he adopted Dhamaghosh. Before embracing Buddhism according to Rajtarangini of (Kalhan), Ashoka was a devotee of Shiva. Later he came under the impression of Moggaliputratiss. In the nearly hills Ashoka constructed four caves (Chaityas) for the living of Aajivakas. Those were named – Sudama, Chapar, Vishwa Jhopdi and Kama.
He did pilgrimage (Dhamma Yatra) of Bodh Gaya in the 10th year of coronation and Lumbini (Kapilavstu) in the 20th year. It is informed from the edict of Rummandei that he decreased the land revenue from the rate of 1 /6th there. In Ashoka’s rock edicts Chola, Chera, Pandya and border states of Kerala are free states. In small rock edict related to coronation, Ashoka had said to himself Budhshakya.
Ideals propounded by the Ashoka for the moral development of man are called Dhamma. The definition of Ashoka’s Dhamma is given in the seventh pillar edict. According to it, Salvation from Sin deeds, world welfare, kindness, charity, truth and karmshudhi is only Dhamma. Behaviour of godliness, doing welfare work, sinless, bringing politeness in behaviour, kindness, doing charity, cleanliness, not killng of animals, obeying mother-father and other elders, respect towards guru, charityness towards friends, relatives, Brahamans – Shramans and behaving with them righteously are the essential terms of Dhamma propounded by the Ashoka.
According to third edict – In Dhamma small collection (Aparigriha) and small expenditure was also a principle or law. According to Bhabru rock edict Ashoka apparent his devotion (Astha) towards triratnas of Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha.
In small pillar edict of Sanchi (Raisen, Madhya Pradesh) and Sarnath (Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh), Ashoka ordered to Mahamatras of Kaushambi and Patliputra that those Bhikshus and Bhikshunis who caused discord in Sangha should be boycotted. In first edict this notice was issued that no sacrifice of animals should be made for any Yagya.
Before Ashoka ‘Vihara Yatras’ were done, in which kings hunted the animals. Ashoka provisioned Dhamma Yatras in places of these Vihar Yatras. In which Yatra of Buddha places and gold was gifted to Brahamans, Shramanas and old people in the form of charity.
In Ashoka’s period state staff – Pradesiks, Rajjukas and Yuttakas were sent to Yatras every five year to preach Dharma which are called as Research in edicts.
Ashoka appointed Dhamma Mahamatras in the 14th year of coronation whose main functions were – preaching of Dhamma among masses, to encourage them for doing welfare work and charity, making prisoners free from jail or decreasing their punishment making economic help to their family etc.
Edicts: Ashoka was the first king, who addressed his subject with the medium of edicts. This inspiration he got from Irani king Dara (Darius – I). Most of his edicts received from North-west India (Mansera, Shahbajgarhi) are in Kharoshthi script. One pillar brought from Topra to Delhi has seven edicts engraved together. In second and third edict about Yavan king Antlokus is given. James princep first deciphered the Ashokan rock edicts.
The king Tiss of Tamparni (Sri Lanka) assumed title of Devnapiya by inspiring from Ashoka. On the occasion of second coronation, He invited Ashoka; also Ashoka’s son Mahendra reached there with a part of Bodhivriksha from then the entrance of Buddhism in Sri Lanka is considered.
After ruling for 40 years Ashoka died in 232 B.C.
Successor of Ashoka and Decline of Mauryan Empire After the death of Ashoka his weak successors ruled over 50 years. Kunala ascended the throne after Ashoka who is called Dharmavivardhan in Divyavadan. According to Rajtarangini Jalok was the ruler of Kashmir in that period. According to Taranath Ashoka’s son veersen become the independent ruler of Gandhara.
Due to blindness of Kunal the rule of Magadha came in the control of his son Samprati’s hands. Kunal’s son Dashratha also ruled over Magadha. He gave Nagarjun caves to Ajivikas in charity. Vrihidrath was the last Maurya king. Pushyamitra, Brahmin minister founded the Shunga Dynasty in Magadha by killing him.
First time in the Maurya period central Administration system was established in India. Though all the powers were centralized in King but he was not autocrat. Kautilya has illustrated seven organs of state; King, Amatya, Janapada, Durga, Kosha, Sena and Mitra. King appointed the chief minister and Purohita after thorough checking. This process was known as Updha Parikshan (observation). These were the integral members of the ministry. Beside ministry there was Parisha Mantrinah which was like a council ministers (Mantri Parishad).
In Arthashastra there is illustration of 18 departments which are called ‘Teerth’. The President of the Teerth is said to be Mahamatra. The most important Teerths were Mantri, Purohita, Senapati and Yuvraj. ‘
Samaharla: Its function was to collect revenue, keeping details of income and expenditure, preparing annual budget.
Manufacturing of treasury and grainary in different departments of empire. In Arthashastra 26 head of the departments is mentioned like-Treasurer, Sitadhyaksh (Agriculture), Pannyadhyaksh (Trade), Sutradhyaksha (Knitting and weaving), Lunadhyaksha (Butcherkhana), Vivitadhyaksha (Charagah, Postures).
Lakshnadhyaksha (issuing currency), Mudradhyaksha, Pautvadhyaksha Bandhanagaradhyaksha, Aativik (Head of forest department), etc. ‘Yukta’ and low cader servants were in the control of Upayukta Mahamatya and Presidents (Adhyaksha).
There is illustration of 5 regions in Magadha empire in Ashoka’s period – Uttarpath (Taxila), Avanti Rashtra (Ujjayani), Kalinga (Tosli), Dakshinapath (Suvarngiri), Madhya Pradesh (Patliputra). Administration of regions was looked after by the Aryaputra post holders or princes. Prantas were divided into subjects (Vishyas) which were under the Vishyapaties.
The administrative officer of the district was Sthanik, who was under the Samaharta. The head of the smallest unit of the administration was ‘Gopa’ who looked after the administration of the ten villages. Under Samaharta there was Pradeshtri officer, who checked the work of Sthanik, Gopa and Grama officers.
According to Magasthenese city administration was managed by mandal of 30 members, which was divided into 6 Samitis. First Samiti (observation of Shilpies); second Samiti (looking after of foreigners); third samiti (maintaining record of deaths and births); fourth samiti (looking after trade/ commerce); fifth samiti (Inspection of selling of manufactured goods); and sixth samiti (recovery in the form of sales tax of 1/10th of the sale). Every Samiti had five Members.
There was a separate department for the organization of the army. It was divided into six Samitis. Each Samiti had 5 members. These samities looked after 5 departments of the army. These 5 departments were – Infantry, Cavalry, Elephants, Chariot and navy. The officer who looked after army was called ‘Antpal’. The manager of the boundaries was also ‘Antpal’. According to Indica of Magasthenese, Chandragupta Maurya had 6 lac infantry, fifty thousand horse riders, a huge army equipped with nine thousand elephants and eight hundred chariots.
Samrat (king) was the highest officer of Judicial administration. At lower level were Grama courts, where Gramnl and Gran Vridh (senior citizens) gave their decision. Above them were Sangrahan, Dronmukh local and Janapada courts. At the top most was the central court of Patliputra, except Gram Sangh and king’s court, other all courts were of two types.
- Dharmasthiya: In these courts decisions was done by the three Dharstha or Vyavhariks and Amatyas who were skillful or talented in the Dharmashastra. Dharmasthiya was a type of civil court (Diwani). The matters related to theft, plundering, robbery, which are called ‘Sahas’ were also kept under Dharmasthiya courts, matters of kuvachan (abuse), loss of self respect, hitting were brought to Dharmasthiya courts, which are said ‘Vak Parushya’ or Dand Parushya.
- Kanthak Shodhan: These were criminal courts. Three pradeshtries and three Amatyas unitedly decided the disputes between state and an individual. City magistrate was called ‘Vyavharik Mahamatra and Janapada Magistrate was called ‘Rajjuka’.
According to Chanakya law has four main organs – Dharma, Vyavhar, Charitra and Shasan.
Kautilya’s Arthashastra, Magasthenese’s Indica and Ashoka’s edicts gave information about the social system of Maurya period. Kautilya has considered Varna system as the base of social organization. Kautilya has fixed the occupations of all four Varnas. Beside four Varnas Kautilya has mentioned other castes also like – Nishad, Parshav, Rathkar, Kshata, Vedehak, Suta, Chandala, etc. in Magasthenese’s Indica classification of the Indian society is done into seven castes – Darshnik, Kisan, Pashupalak, Shikari, Artisans or Shilpi, soldier, Inspector, Sabhasad and other administrative class.
Magasthenese has forgotten the differences of caste, varna and trade in his classification. In Maurya period status of women cannot be said advanced, still they were in good position compared to Smriti period and they were allowed to remarry and look for employment.
It was established by Pushyamitra in 185 B.C. Maurya King was the chief senapati of Vrihdrath. He took control over throne by killing him. He ruled over upto 151 B.C. He conquered many battles and did Ashwamegha Yagya during his rule two times (twice). The famous scholar Sanskrit grammar Patanjali, was his Purohita in Ashwamegha Yagya.
The great kings after Pushyamitra in Shunga dynasty were – Agnimitra, Jyoshimitra, Bhadrak, Bhagwat and Devbhuti. Amatya of Devbhuti removed him from throne in 73 B.C (approx).
A person named Simuk founded the Satvahana dynasty in Andhra (In the valleys of Krishna and Godavari rivers) about in 60 B.C. This dynasty is famous both as Andhra and Satvahan Dynasty.
Simuk’s tenure is considered upto 37 B.C. After him Shatakarni i extended the power and empire of Satvahana dynasty. Satakarni I did the Ashwamegdha Yagya and established his universal power over whole south India. His capital was Pratishthan Nagari located at the bank of Godavari river (modern Paithan). The power of Satvahans weakened after the death of Shatkarni I and due to attacks of Sakas and Saka Dynasty began in Maharashtra, which is called Western Khshtrap Dynasty.
The 23rd ruler of Satyavahana dynasty Shatakarni’s son Gautami destroyed the power of Western khshtrap and re-established the power, prosperity and rule of his own Dynasty. Pulumavi, son of Vashishthi marry with the daughter of Rudradaman. Rudradaman snatched from him all those parts of land which he conquered by defeating western Khsatraps. Yagyashri the 27th ruler of Satvahana Dynasty again recontrolled some parts of land from Ujjaini’s khsatraps and re-established the fame of his own Dynasty. He introduced many currencies, out of which some were marked with the figures of ships.
By which it is known that his empire was extended upto the sea. All kings of this dynasty were the followers of Hinduism (Hindu Religion). They established Vedic Yajnas and Varna system in the society and struggled continuously with foreign Yavanas and Sakas. They gave grants and Prabhusts to Bodh and Jain Viharas and Upashryas. Commerce and trade, agriculture and other industries got special encouragement during their period and coins of silver, copper, lead and bronze were issued.
They only started giving land in the form of grants (Agrahar) to Brahmins, Satvahana rulers (kings) built many Chaityas and Viharas in western deccan, among them chaitya of Karle is famous, 40 meter long and 15 meter high. This chaitya is the marvellous example of architecture.
Gupta Empire (275 – 550 A.D.)
In North India Kushana Dynasty ended around of 230 A.D. Then a great land part of Central India was came under the ruler of Saka Murandas, who ruled upto the 250 A.D. After it Gupta Dynasty came into the existence. The founder of this dynasty was the Sri Gupta, Samudragupta, has told himself in the Prayag Prashasti ‘the Prapautra (the great grandson) of Sri Gupta. After Sri Gupta, Ghatotkach Gupta became the ruler. He adopted title the Maharaj’.
Chandragupta I (320 – 335 A.D.)
After Ghatotkach his son Chandragupta I became the ruler of Gupta Dynasty. He adopted the title of Maharajadhiraj. He got married to Lichchavi Vanshaja Kumar Devi. Chancha Gupta I introduced a samwat in 319 A.D. which is famous as Gupta Samwat.
Samudragupta (355 – 380 A.D.)
Chandragupta I appointed Samudragupta as his successor. His ideal was ‘Digvijay’ and unification. He believed in imperialism. His courtier poet Harishena has given description of his military successes in Allhabad Prashasti Abhilekh. This Abhilekh is engraved on the same pillar, on which Ashoka’s edict is engraved. Region conquered by him can be divided into five groups – states of Ganga – Yamuna Doab, States of eastern Himalayas, Atvik states of East Vindhya region, states of East Deccan and South India and states of Sakas and Kushanas. According to Allahabad Prashasti, he was never defeated in war.
Samudragupta had a powerful navy by which he could strengthen the relations with foreign. Samudragupta did Ashwamegha Yagya also. In his coins Ashwamegha Parakramah is written. He was expert in fine art. He is also called as ‘Kavi Raj’. He was expert in music also. In one coin his Veena playing figure is shown. He was devotee of the Vishnu, but also gave equal respect to other religions.
Chandragupta II (380 – 412 A.D.)
Chandragupta II was the son of Samudragupta. His name is found as Devraj and Dev Gupta also. He expanded his empire by victories and marital relations. He married his daughter Prabhavati to king Vakataka Rudrasena. After his death Prabhavati throned his younger son and became the real ruler of the state.
Chandragupta II also conquered Malwa and Gujarat. He made Ujjain his second Capital. After Saka victory, he retended the title of ‘Vikramaditya’.
Kumargupta Mahendraaditya (414 – 455 A.D.): After Chandragupta II his son Kumargupta became the ruler. Kumargupta is considered as the founder of Nalanda University. His kingdom was spread frm Saurashtra to Bengal. In the end of his rule, he had to face the revolt of Pushyamitra.
Skandagupta (455 – 467 A.D.)
Though the Skandagupta was not the eldest son but he became the successor of the kingdom. It is known from Junagarh Abhilekh that Skandagupta renovated the Sundarshan lake built by Mauryas. It is also illustrated in Junagarh Abhilekh that at the time of ascending the throne, Skandagupta had to fight with defamed Hunas in the form of Mlechs. ultimately Skandagupta defeated Hunas.
Cultural Achievements of Gupta Dynasty
Gupta Dynasty has an important place in the cultural history of India. Gupta samrats were the followers of vedic religion. Samudragupta and Kumargupta I did Ashwamegha Yagya. They give shelter to Bodh and Jain religion also. In the period of Chandragupta II Chinese traveler Fa-hien came to India and from his descriptions it is known that Gupta Empire was well administered, there were less enemies and burden of taxes was also very less.
State’s official language was Sanskrit. The writer of Dramas Raghuvansham and Abhigyan Shakuntlam, Kalidasa, writer of Drama Mrichkatikam, Shudrak writer of the play Mudra Rakshasa, Vishakhadutta and the great famous Koshkar Amar Singh were belonged to Gupta period.
The present form of the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Manusamhita came in the Gupta period. Aryabhatt, Varahmihir and Brahmagupta gave their great contribution in the development of Mathematics and Astrology in Gupta period. Decimal system was discovered in this period, which reached to Europe through Arabs. The evidences of the Architecture of that period are found in proofs of drawing art and metal art in remains of Jhansi and Kanpur, some caves of Ajanta, Iron Pillar located at Delhi, 80 feets high copper Idol of Buddha in Nalanda and TA feet high copper idol of Budha located at Sultanganj.
Society of the Gupta Period
Society of the Gupta period was traditionally divided into four Varnas, Brahmans had the highest place in the society. Their duties were considered study, teaching, yagya and charity. Duty of Khatriya was to protect the nation. Duty of Vaishya was to do trade and commerce. Shudra was service giver. At the matter of caste the bounding of trade was loosening, then though the basis of Varna was not quality and deeds but birth.
Women had important place in the society. In religious ceremonies presence of wife was compulsory with husband. Women education was in trend. Veil system was not prevailed. At that time eight types of marriages were in trend, ‘Swayamwar Pratha’ was also present. In Gupta period mixed races, Murdhavshikta Karan, Ambashth, Parshav etc. were aggressive, kayasth was a class in Gupta period, but later it came into existence as caste women which is picturised as an ideal character in Gupta period’s literature. In the lack of son his wife had the first right on the property of husband.
Vardhana Dynasty (Pushyabhuti Dynasty)
In 6th century A.D. near about Delhi in Thaneshwar Pushyabhuti, who was a devotee of Shiva, founded this dynasty. Three kings belonged to this Dynasty – Prabhakar Vardhan, Rajyavardhan and Harshavardhan. After the death of Prabhakar Vardhna, his eldest son Rajyavardhana ascended the throne, but after the coronation Rajyavardhana had to engage himself in wars and he was murdered by Gaur Ruler of Bengal, Shashank in 606 A.D.
After this his younger brother Harshavardhana became (606 – 47 A.D.) the ruler, who ruled for 40 years and extended his fame. He was childless. Hence with his death the Pushyabhuti Dynasty got ended.
The time when Harshvardhana ascended the throne, the condition of state was very critical Gaur of (Bengal) king Shashank had killed his elder brother Rajyavardhana and his younger sister left to protect her life. Harshvardhana very soon found his sister and sent a great force by doing treaty with king Bhakarverma of kamrupa. Though his army was drove back in south of the Chanakya king Pulikeshan II in approx 620 A.D. from the bank of the Narmada river.
Boundries of Vardhana empire were extended in the north snow covered Himalayas, in the south up to the Bank of Narmada, in the east Ganjam and in the west up to the Vallabhi, Kanauj was the capital of this great empire.
Harsha adopted the title of Maharajadhiraj. He worshipped Shiva and Surya. Later he tilted more towards Mahayana of Boddhism. Every year he did charity at the confluence of Ganga and Yamuna after celebrating a Mahotsva. Chinese traveler Hieun Tsang also joined 6th Mahotsava.
Harshvardhana wrote three Dramas in Sanskrit named – Nagananda, Ratnavali and Priyadar Shika. Harshvardhana gave shelter to Banavhat (author of kadambari and Harshcharita) Mayur, Subandhu, Matang, Divakar, Ishan, etc. intellectuals and Chinese traveler Hieun Tsang.
The founder of this dynasty is considered as Gopal in Bengal in 750 A.D. The second ruler of Pala Dynasty Dharmapala is the most great king of this Dynasty. He extended his empire upto Kanauj and secured his empire in Tripatrite struggle with Rashtrakutas and Pratiharas. His son and successor Devpala also won many wars. He replaced his capital from Patliputra to Bengal. In his sabha ambassador of King Balputradev of Sumatra came.
After Devpala (810 – 850 A.D.) power of Pala dynasty’s rulers weakened due to the weaknesses of kings and attacks of Gurjars and Pratiharas. In the ruling period of the 9th ruler Mahipala I, Chola King Rajendra I in approx 1023 A.D. conquered the regions upto the Ganga. By the middle of 12th century power of Pala dynasty weakened.
Kings of Pala dynasty were Buddhist and during their rule center of Buddha education flourished a lot. The famous Mahaviharas of Nalanda and Vikramshila were under their protection. The famous Buddhist monk, Atisha, in the period of 10th Pala King Nyapala, went there on the invitation of king of Tibet. Pala Kings were great lovers of art and architecture. They have given patronage to great Shilpis like Dheeman and Vitpal. Many ponds are still survive in Deenapur district.
This dynasty was established by Dantidurga in 736 A.D. He made Nasik his capital, 14 kings belonged to this dynasty. Dantidurga was a Samanta under the Chalukyas of Vatapi. He ended the power of Chalukyas in South by defeating the last Chalukyas ruler, Kirtiverma II. Krishna I constructed the world famous Kailasha Natha temple of Ellora. The fourth ruler of the dynasty Dhruva defeated Vatsraja king of Gurjar Pratiharas and fifth ruler defeated the Gurjar Pratihara ruler Nagabhatta II and Pala ruler Dharmapala. He expanded the power of Rashtrakutas from Malva region to Kanchi.
The sixth ruler Amodhvarsha was peace lover who ruled for 64 years. He made Manyakhet (Malakhed) capital of Rashtrakutas. Arab travellor Suleiman considered Amod varsha among the then four great rulers. Krishna II and Indra III defeated Mahipal, the ruler of Kanauj and forced him to flee. In the period of twelveth ruler Krishna III a long struggle was started between Rashtrakutas and Cholas of south.
Rashtrakutas were defeated by the Chalukyas of Kalyani. The Chalukya dynasty took control over Manyakhet by defeating Karka II of Rashtrakuta dynasty in 973 A.D. Rashtrakuta rulers were great supporter of the Vedic religion. They constructed many splendid and huge temples. They were nurturer of Sanskrit and Kannada literature. The rulers of this dynasty were called Balhara (Ballraj) by the Arabs.
Gurjar – Pratihara Dynasty
This state was established by a Samanta named Nagabhatta in 725 A.D. in Gujarat. Hence it was named as Gurjar-Pratihara. Nagabhatta I was very brave. He faced the attacks of Arab from the side of Sindh successful. Vatsaraja was the first ruler of this dynasty who retained the title of Samrat. Nagabhatta II son of Vatsraja attacked on the valley of the Ganga in 816 A.D. and took control over Kanauj. He brought his capital at Kanauj and ruled over nearby areas up to 1018-19 A.D.
The most brave king of this dynasty was Rajabhoj I, who is also known with the name of Mihirbhoj and who was the grandson of Magabhatta II. Arab trader Suleiman came to India during his reign, next Samrat was Mahendrapala who was the disciple and guardian of Mahakavi Raj Shekhar, the creator of the play Karpur Manjari. Mahipal, son of Mahendra was defeated by the Rashtrakuta king Indra III very badly. At the time of Mahipal, state of Gurjar – Pratiharas started declining. After that king Bhoja II, Vijaypala kept their power up to 1013 A.D. At the time of attack of Mehmud Gaznavi, the ruler of Kanauj was Rajyapala. Rajyapala fled away without fighting.
Later he accepted the power of Mehmud. This made the near by kings annoyed Gaznavi. under the leadership of Chandel king Gand of Kalinger. Rajput kings killed him and in his place enthroned Trilochanpaia. On the origin of Gehadwala or Rathora Dynasty in Kanauj. In the second quater of the 11th century the Gurjara Pratiharas were completely rooted out. The kings of Gurjara – Pratihara did not allow Arabs to move ahead.
Chola Dynasty (Northern Chola States)
It was one of the main states of the ancient Dakshinapath, other two were – Pandyas and Chera of Kerala. In Ashoka’s edicts this state is described in the form of an independent state. People of Chola state were Tamil speakers. They encouraged writing of high quality literature in Tamil language ‘Kura!’ written by Tiruvalluver is an excellent example. Karikal (100 B.C.) was a Chola King, who founded the foundation of Puhar or Pugar nagar.
He fought war with Singhalas and constructed 100 miles long dam at the bank of the river Kawveri by the prisoners. He took capital of Cholas from Uraspur (Uryur) to Kaveripattnam. Aditya, successor and son of Chola king Vijayalaya (880-907 A.D.) defeated Paliava king Aprajita. Parantaka I son of Aditya completely ruined the power of the Pallavas. He also took control over Madurai capital of Pandyas.
Chola RajaRaja I (985 – 1013 A.D.)
Controlling Madras, Mysore, Coorg and Sinhaldweep (Sri Lanka), Rajarajat became the universal Samrat. He built temple of Bhagwan Shiva Rajrajeshwar (Vrihdeshwar) in his capital Tanjore. His son and successor Rajendra I (1016-44 A.D.) had a powerful navy who conquered Regu, Marthan and Andaman Nicobar islands. He fought war with ruler of Bengal and Bihar Mahipala. His army reached upto Ganga after crossing Kalinga and (Odisa), South Kaushal and Bengal.
In the occasion of this victory, he retained the title of Gangakond. His son and successor Rajadhiraj (1044 – 54 A.D.) had Koppam war with Chalukya king Someshwar In which he was killed, but Veer Rajendra (1034 – 69 A.D.) defeated Chalukyas in Kundala – Sangmam war and took revenge of last defeat. Soon a war held among Cholas for the successor, which resulted into ascending the throne to Rajendra Kulotunga I (1070 – 1122 A.D.). Mother of Kulotunga was a Chola princess. In this way Kolatunga established a new dynasty Chalukyas – Cholas, he ruled for 40 years.
Chola’s administration was based on Gram – Panchayat system. In the view of smooth administration whole Chola state was divided into six provinces, which were called Mandlam, the sub-departments of mandalam, were ‘Kottam’, sub-parts of kottam-nadu, kurram and grama. In Abhilekhas S’abhas of Nadu ‘Nattar’ and Nagar Shrenis were called ‘Nagartar’. The representatives of the village were elected every year regularly.
Every mandlam was autonomous but to control or check the king, there was not any central legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha). Approx 1/6th part of the produce was received by the Government in the form of lagan. Lagan can be paid either in the form of grain or in gold currency (Mudra). The gold coin in trend of Chola state was called ‘Kasu’ which was of 16 ounce. Beside a huge infantry Chola king had a powerful navy. Chola kings completed the big plans of irrigations.
Chola took ahead the architecture of Pallavas. The characteristics of Cholas-Dravida style temple art are – Square Viman, Mandapa, Gopuram Varihad Sadan with artistic pillars, for decoration traditional Lion (Chali), Bracket and joint pillars etc. Shiva temple (Rajarajeshwar) of Tanjore of Rajaraja I is a magnificent example of Dravida style.
The canal system in south India is the contribution of Cholas. Among Chola temples, temples of Chidambram and Tanjore are the best of all Shiva’s Broze idols of Natraja are considered the best of all. The development of Gopuram style of temples was held in this era only. Society – Chola kings were devotee of Shiva, in the edicts of Rajadhiraja there is an illustration of Ashwamedha Yagya. Women were the owner of the wealth in the society. Tradition of dasa and devdasi was also in trend.
The rulers of this dynasty ruled over the modern districts of Arcot, Madras, Trichnapalli and Tanjore. In rock edicts the name of the first Pallava king is mentioned, Vishnugopa of Kanchi. In Pallavas Singhvishnu ascended the throne of later half of the 6th century A.D. After that up to the two centuries Pallavas ruled.
The names of the main Pallava kings – Mahendra Verma I (approx 600 – 25 A.D.), Narsingh Verma I, Mahendra Verma II, Parmeshwar Verma, Narsingh Verma II, Parmeshwar Verma II, Nandi Verma, Nandi Verma II and Aparajta. King Mahendra Verma was a great Architect and builder. He built many temples by carving stones. Mahendra Verma I wrote a play named ‘Matta Vilas Prashasan’. He also dug a pond Mahendra.
He was defeated by Chalukya king Pulakeshin II in 610 A.D. The successor and son of Mahendra, Narsingh Verma (Mahamalla) defeated Pulakeshin II in 642 A.D. and took control over his capital Vatapi, but Chalukyas took revenge of this defeat in 655 A.D. Chalukya king Vikramaditya I defeated Parmeshwar Verma Paliava king and took control over his capital Kanchi.
Former Pallava kings established the Mammalpuram or Mahabalipuram Nagar and built five Ratha temple there. Here idols are engraved by carving rocks. Pallava kings also built temples in Kanchi. Among Pallava rulers some were devotees of Vishnu and some of Shiva.
Pulakeshin I, descendant of Chalukya dynasty did Ashwamegha Yagya. The Chalukyas of Vatapi ruled over (550 A.D. – 757 A.D.) except a gap of 13 years of their obstacles (642 – 655 A.D.) Among Chalukya kings Pulakeshin II is the most famous. He became the king rule in 608 A.D. and expansion of his kingdom was in the North from Narmda to Kaveri in the south. He was defeated by Pallava king Narsingh Verma in 642 A.D. Vikramaditya I son of Pulakishin re-established the glory of Chalukya power. In 973 A.D. Chalukya king Vikramaditya II defeated Rashtrakuta king and made Kalyani, his capital and established a new Chalukya power from 973 – 1200 A.D.
This state of Chalukyas had a continue struggle for a long period with Cholas of Tanjore, Chalukya king named Satyashrya was defeated by Chola king Rajaraja. Someshwar I of Chalukya Dynasty not only took revenge of this insult by defeating very badly to King Rajadhiraj in Kappam war but he killed Rajadhiraja in this war. Vikramaditrya Shashtha seventh king, who was with the name Vikramank took control over kanchi and gave protection to famous poet Vilhana. Vilhana wrote a Grantha named Vikramankdev Charitam based on Vikramaditya’s life. Though Chalukya kings of Vatapi and Kalyani were Hindus but gave shelter to Budha and Jain religion.
Chalukya kings built many temples. The author of the Vyakhya of Yagyavalakya’s Smiriti ‘ Mitaakshra’ famous Vidhivetta
Vigyanesshwar lived in the capital of Chalukyas, Kalyani. Mitakshra is considered the Adhikarik Grantha of Hindu law.
3. External attacks and Assimilation (Saka, Huna and Kushana)
It was a barbarian tribe of central Asia which took control over the whole region of west Afghanistan and Baluchistan. From here Sakas entered in India in 71 B.C. through Bolan pass. In Ramayana and Mahabharata the settlements of Sakas are kept with Kambojas and Yavanas. In Kalkacharya Kathanak illustration about Sakas attack on Bharata (India) is given.
In which they are called Sagkul (Saka-kul). After conquering Sindhu region (Indus region), they established Saka rule in Saurashtra. It is clear from the edicts of currencies that one branch of them took control over Uttarpath and Mathura and later they spread in Avanti, Saurashtra and Maharashtra.
Among Saka rulers of Taxila Mavez and Azez were popular. One of the power of Sakas in Taxila was destroyed by the Pallavas, Hamamash and Hajan were the former Saka Bishtrap ruler of Mathura. In Singh Shrishak lekha found from Mathura the Kajbul later Saka ruler is called Mahakshatrap, Sakas of Mathura had extended their boundaries up to the east Punjab. In Mathura Saka power was destroyed by the Kushanas.
Bhemak and Nehpan are the two known rulers in Western India of the kshehrat dynasty of Sakas. These Saka rulers conquered Som regions from satvahanas and ruled over Maharashtra, Kathiawara and Gujarat. At the time of Nehpan there were prosper in trade relations between India and western countries. Coins found from a place named Jogalthambi proved that Nehpan was defeated by the son of Gautami Shatakurni. In Leka of Nasik son of Gautami Shatakarni is called the destroyer of the Kshehrat Dynasty. In the Saka rulers of Ujjaiani and Kathiawada the name of Chastan comes who established the rule of Saka dynasty in Ujjaini. The rulers of this dynasty used Saka Samwat on their lekhas and currency.
The grandson of Chastan Rudradaman was an important ruler, knowledge about him is obtained from the Junagarh Lekha. The Empire of Rudradamana was extended upto East – West Malwa, to Dwarka, Junagarh, Sabarmati river, Marwar, Indus valley, North Konkan and Vindhya mountain. It is clear from the currencies that Dynasty of Chastan was ended in 305 A.D.
They were the barbarian tribes of middle Asia, which entered in India like Sakas from the North – Western boundaries. They were also called as Devils (Daityas). First of all in 458 A.D. they attacked during the period of Shandaypta, in which they were defeated. In later period a Sardar named Toramann destroyed the Gupta Empire and retained the title of Maharajadhiraj after taking control over Punjab, Rajputana, Sindh and Malwa.
The son of Toramann was of Mahirakula, whose rule started from 510 A.D. Sialkot was its capital. Mahirkula hated Buddhist monks. He destroyed many Mathas and Stupas, Yashodharma ruler of Malwa defeated him. After defeat he went to Kashmir and established his rule in Kashmir. Due to attacks of Hunas, Gupta Empire was destroyed and India’s political unity ended. Country again divided into small pieces.
Kushana are also called Yutchi orTocheriyan. Yutchi tribe was divided into five parts. Out of these one tribe ruled over few parts of India.
Kuju Kadphisus i (15 A.D. – 65 A.D.)
He was the founder of his dynasty’s glory. He merged south Afghanistan, Kabul, Kandhar and one part of Parthia in his own kingdom. He adopted Vedic religion.
Vim Kadphisus II (65 – 75 A.D.)
He had his rule over a great part of India. He was a devotee of Shiva. In some of his coins Tribhuj, Trishuledhari, Vyghracharmagrahi, Nandi, Abhimukh Bhagwan Shiv’s figure is marked. In India he issued golden coins of his name for first time.
He is considered among main Kushana kings of India. During his period the fourth Buddhist council was held under the presidentship of Acharya Parshwa in Kundalvan of Kashmir. His first capital was Peshwar (Purishpur) and second capital was Mathura. He started a new Samwat in the 78 A.D.
which is known as Saka Samwat. Kanishka established Nagara named Kanishkpur in Kashmir after conquering it. He got victory over Kashgar, Yarkand and Khetan also. On golden coins found in Mahasthan (Bogra) Kanishka’s standing idol is marked. A statue of Kanishka is found in Mathura. In this statue he is wearing a Choga long up to the knees and heavy boots. On one copper coin Kanishka is shown doing sacrifice on a vedi.
In the court of Kanishka intellectuals like Parshwa, Vasumitra, Ashwashosha, famous mathematician like Nagarjuna and doctors like Charka were present. The origin and spread of Mahayana sect of Budhism was held in Kanishka’s period. In North India the power of the Kushana rulers was being held upto 230 A.D. At this time trade of India with Rome was in a quite profitable state which brought economic development in India.
Saka, Huna and Kushana were foreign tribes. They ruled over but gradually these were intermingled with Indian society and culture. These Barbarian tribe castes became an organ of the Indian society. Kushana ruler’s devotion towards vedic Dharma and Shaiva cult was being unanimous. The service done by Kanishka towards Budhism established him among the great kings of India.