New Empires and Kingdoms

Literary sources are works of the past which give information about the social, cultural and political life. Vedas, Upanishads, Arthashastra, Dharmashastras, Harshacharita, Prithviraja Raso are a some of the literary sources. Inscriptions or Prashastis are engravings on stones and metals. Some major Prashastis are Allahabad Prashasti of Harishena describing Samudragupta and Aihole Prashasti of Pulakeshin II of Chalukya dynasty. Kumara Devi was a Lichchhavi princess, mother of Samudragupta. Coins and inscriptions give information about Harshavardhana’s rule.

Harshvardhan was the son of Prabhakar Vardhan, founder of the Vardhan dynasty. He united the kingdoms of Thanesar and Kanauj. Harshcharita was written by Banabhatt in Sanskrit. After Harsha’s death, the kingdoms of Deccan and South became powerful. Xuan Zang visited India to collect Buddhist literature. Abhijnana Shakuntalam is a Sanskrit play by Kalidasa. It is a love story of King Dushyanta and an ordinary girl, Shakuntala. Pulakesin ll followed Jainism and waged a war against Pallava king, Mahendravarman. There is an outstanding piece of poetry by Ravikirti in Sanskrit language and Kannada script Pulakeshin II is referred to as Satyashraya.

Pallavas and Chalukyas fought for 300 years. Pulakeshin II defeated Pallava ruler, Mahendravarman but Pallava King Narsimhavarman attacked Pulakeshin II and captured Vatapi, Chalukyan capital. Some important administrative posts were: Mahashvapati Mahabaladhikarita, Mahapradhana, Maha-danda-nayaka, Sandhi-vigrahika. Chalukyas used titles such as Parambhattarka, Parameshwar and Maharaj-adhiraja. The Aihole Prashasti mentions the asvasena. There were three types of assemblies namely Sabha, Ur and Nagaram. Nagarattar was a member of Nagaram.

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