New Kings and Kingdoms

Harshavardhana, a great ruler of Kanauj, established strong kingdom in 7th century A.D. He institutionalised Samanta system, under which big landlords or military chiefs worked under kings. But the system could not work properly under weak rulers as Samantas assumed power and wealth. Samantas performed rites to claim Kshatriya status. ‘Hiranyagarbha’ sacrifice was performed with help of Brahmans. New kings adopted high-sounding titles such as Maharaj-adhiraj and Tribhuvan-chakravartin.

Rulers obtained resources from producers. Producers had to pay revenue in cash or in kind. System of revenue collection is known through information gathered from manuscripts, inscriptions and Prashasti. There was a Tripartite Struggle between Palas, Rastrakutas and Pratiharas for controlling fertile region of Kanauj. Kings demonstrated power by constructing magnificent temples. Wealth accumulated in temples over time. Invaders like Mahmud Ghazni invaded India to amass wealth primarily. Temples were soft targets. In medieval period, Vijayalaya revived the fate of Cholas. He subordinated Pallava rulers of Kanchipuram. Rajaraja I - successor of Vijayalaya - defeated Chalukyas, Pallavas, Pandyas and Gangas and conquered Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Rajendra (A.D. 1018-1048) expanded and consolidated empire. Cholas had a decentralized administrative system. They constructed artificial canals. Apart from canals, other methods were also developed. In 5th and 6th century A.D, large scale agriculture came into practice. Chola rulers constructed splendid temples.

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