Ancient India(2500 BC to 7th AD)

Kanishka (78-101 AD):-

  • Kanishka succeeded Kadphises-2. He was the greatest king among all the Kushana kings.
  • His capital was Purushpur (Peshawar) in Pakistan.
  • The fourth (4th) Buddhist council was held during his time.
  • His court was adorned by the presence of some eminent scholars like Parsva, Nagarjuna, Ashvaghosh, Vasumitra, Charaka etc.
  • Sushruta Samhita, a book on surgery was written by Shushruta during his time.

 

The Gupta Empire:-

The Guptas (2nd-550 AD):-

  • Srigupta was the founder of the Gupta Empire.
  • Srigupta’s son Ghatotkacha succeeded him.

 

Chandragupta-l (320-335AD):-

  • Chandragupta-l succeeded his father Ghatotkacha in 320 AD. He is regarded as a true founder of Gupta Empire.
  • He introduced the Gupta Era beginning with 320 AD.
  • He was the first Gupta king who adopts the title of Maharajadhiraja.
  • He issued gold coins.

Samudragupta (335-380 AD):-

  • Samudragupta succeeded his father Chandragupta-1. He has been called as “Indian Nepolian”.
  • He was the 1st all India ruled of ancient India.
  • His poet court Harisen written about him on Allahabad inscription.
  • He issued archer type, tiger type and battle type coins. On some of his gold coins he is represented playing Veena.
  • He also called as Kaviraje. king of poets.
  • He died in 380 AD and succeeded by his son Chandragupta-2.

 

Chandragupta-2 (380-415 AD):-

  • The reign of Chandragupta is known as Golden Period of ancient India.
  • He extended the limits of the Empire by matrimonial alliances and conquests. He married Kubernaga, the princes of Naga dynasty and married his daughter Prabhavati with the Vakataka prince Rudrasena-2.
  • After the victory over Sakas, he adopted the title of Vikramaditya.
  • Mehrauli Iron Pillar inscription says that he defeated the confederacy of Vangas and Vahilkas.
  • During his reign, Fa-Hien visited India (between405-411 AD).
  • In his court Navaratna was presented. Kalidas, Varahmira, Dhanvantri and Amarasimha etc were resided in his court.

 

Kumargupta-1 (415-455 AD):-

  • He succeeded his father Chandragupta-2.
  • He adopted the title of Mahendraditya.
  • He founded the Monastry of Nalanda.

 

Sakandgupta (455-467 AD):-

  • He succeeded his father Kumargupta-1.
  • He assumed the titles Vikrmaditya, Devraj and Sakapan.
  • He was succeeded by his brother Purugupta after his death in 467 AD.

 

Although the Gupta dynasty continued to be in existence for more than 100 years after the death of Skandgupta, but the glory of the Gupta Empire faded with a rapid pace. Vishnugupta was the last king.

 

Gupta Literature:-

  • The Gupta period is remarkable gor for the development of Sanskrit literature.
  • Kalidasa, who is known as Shakespeare of India, wrote Abhigyanshakuntalm, Malavikagnimitram, Kumarsambhava, Raghuvansam, Meghadutam, Ritusamharam and
  • Visakhadatta wrote Mudrarakshasa and Devichandraguptam.
  • The Mrichchakatika or a little clay cart was written by Shudraka.
  • Vishnusharma wrote Panchtantra and Amarasimha wrote Amarkosha.
  • The two great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata were almost completed in the time of Guptas.

Science and Technology:-

  • Aryabhatta was a mathematician and an astronomer. He wrote Suryasiddhanta and Aryabhatiyam. He discovered Zero and value of Pi (π) and basic of Trigonometry.
  • Varahamihira was an astrologer and astronomer. He wrote Pansiddhanta and Briadjataka.
  • Brahmagupta wrote a book called Brahmasiddhanta, in which he talked about gravity.
  • A book called Hastyayurveda was written by Palkapya. It was first book ever written on veterinary science. Another book called Ashvashastra was written by Salihotra.

 

 

The post Gupta period:-

From the decline of Gupta dynasty to rose of Harsh, four major kingdoms flourished in north India viz.

  1. The present Guptas (not confused with the main imperial Gupta dynasty).
  2. The Mukharis, who held the region of western Uttar Pradesh around kannauj.
  • The Maitraka clan under the leadership of Bhatarka in Saurastra.
  1. Pushyabhutis of Thaneshwar.

 

Pushyabhutis of Thaneshwar:-

  • Prabhakar Vardhana assumed the title of paramabhattaraka maharajadhiraja.
  • He had two sons Rajyavardhana and Harshvardhana and daughter Rajyasri.

 

Harsh Vardhana:-

  • After the death of Rajyavardhana, his younger brother Harshvardhana ascends the throne in 606 AD at the age of 16.
  • He also known as Siladitya.
  • Chinese Pilgrim Hiuen-Tsang visited India during his reign. He mentioned two events of Harsh reign i.e. the assemblies at Kannauj and Prayag.
  • Harsh sent an ambassador in 641 Ad with Hiuen-Tasang to the Chinese Emperor.
  • Harshvardhana defeated by Pulakesin-2, the Chalukya king of Badami.
  • Banabhatta wrote the book Harshchrita (life of Harsh and Kadmbari).
  • Harsh wrote three Sanskrit plays Nagananda, Ratnavali and Priyadarshika.
  • He died in 647 AD.

 

Ancient South India:-

  1. Cholas:-
  • Cholas ruled around the delta of Kaveri River and the adjoining region.
  • Earlier the capital was Uraipur (famous for cotton trade) in Tiruchipalli but later on it was shifted to Puharv (Kaveripattanam).
  • The most distinguished of the early Chola kings was Karikala, who defeated a confederacy of about a dozen of rulers headed by Cheras and Pandya kings in the great battle of Venni, near Tanjauvr. Karikala maintained a powerful navy and conquered Sri Lanka.
  • Ultimately, Cholas defeated by Pallavas.

 

Pandyas:-

  • Pandyas occupied the region of the modern district of Tirunelveli, Ramnad and Madurai in Tamilnadu. Madurai was their capital.
  • Nedunjeliyan was the great Pandya king. He also mentioned in Saliappadiikaram.
  • Pandya kingdom was the first mentioned by Megasthenes who said that their kingdom was famous for pearls.
  • Pandya kings sent emabassies to the Roman Emperor Augusts and Trojan.

 

Cheras:-

  • Cheras were also known as Keralaputras. They were situated to the west and north of the Pandya kingdom.
  • Romans set up two regiments at Muziris in the Chera country to protect their interest. Roman also built a temple of Augusts at Murizis.
  • Senguttuvan was the greatest of the chera Kings. He also known as Red Chera. He defeated the Chola and Pandya kings. He was also the founder of the Pattini cult, related to the worship of Goddess of Charity, Kannagi.

Satavahanas (150BC-230 AD):-

  • In Deccan and central India, covering parts of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh Mauryas were succeeded by Satavahanas. They also known as Andhras in Deccan.
  • Their capital was at Paithan or Pratisthan.
  • Simuka was the founder of this dynasty. He was succeeded by his brother Krishna (Kanha).
  • Satakarni-1 was the most powerful ruler of this dynasty. His achievements are described in Nagaghat Inscription. He also referred as the lord of Dakshinapatha. He performed Ashvamedha Yajnas.
  • Hala was an important Satavahana ruler, who composed Gatha Saptashakti.
  • Gautami putra Satkarni was the next important Satavahana king. He also called He destroyed Sakas, Yavanas and pahlavas.
  • Vashisthiputra Pulumayi set up his capital paithan or Prathisthan on the bank of Godavari River. He started trade with Java and Sumatra.
  • Sri Yajana Satkarni was a lover of navigation and trade. His coin shows ship on them.
  • Satavahana defeated twice by Rudradaman-1, the Saka ruler.
  • The Satavahana Empire collapsed when Abhiras seized Maharashtra and Ikshvaku and Pallavas appropriated the eastern provinces.
  • Satavahana issued lead coins.

 

Chalukyas of Badami (6-9 AD):-

  • First Chalukya king was Pulkeshin-1.
  • The most important king was Pulkeshin-2. He was the contemporary of Harshvardhan.
  • Pulkeshin-2 defeated the Harsh Vardhan.
  • Pulkeshin-2 attacked Pallava king Mahendravarman-1 and annexed northern part of his territory.
  • Pulkeshin-2 also attacked Narsimhavarman-1, son of mahendravaraman-1. Narsimhavarman-1 defeated Pulkeshin-2 in the battle by killing him and assumed the title of Vatapikonda.
  • Kirtivarman-2 was killed by Dantidurga (founder of Rastrakuta dynasty).
  • Aihole was the cultural capital of the Chalukyas.
  • Ladkhan temple, an example of Vesara style (mixture of Naga style and Dravida style) of architecture is located at Aihole.
  • Virupaksha temple is located at Pattadakal, a place near Badami in Bijapur district.

 

Pallavas of Kanchipuram (6-9 AD):-

  • This dynasty was founded by Simhavishnu.
  • The Pallavas were the contemporaries of Chalukyas.
  • Mahendravarman-1 was defeated by Pulkeshin-2.
  • Pallavas patronized Sanskrit; even they were ruled in extreme south.
  • Narsimhavarman-2 was known for temple construction. He assumed the title of Rajsimha.
  • Aparajit was the last Pallava king who was defeated by Aditya Chola.

 

Temples constructed by Pallavas:-

SITempleLocationKing
1.Ratha templeMahabalipuramNarsimhavarma-1
2.Shore templeMahabalipuramNarsimhavarma-2
3.Kailashnatha templeKanchipuramNarsimhavarma-2
4.Vaikuntha Perumal templeKanchipuramNandivarma-2

 

 

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