• Several major ruling dynasties emerged in different parts of the subcontinent between the seventh and twelfth centuries.Fig. Kingdoms in India
The Emergence of New Dynasties:
(i) By the 7th century, there were big landlords or warrior chiefs in different regions of the subcontinent.
(ii) Existing kings often acknowledged them as their semantics or subordinates.
(iii) They were expected to bring gifts for their kings or overlords and provide them with military support.
(iv) Some such kingdoms were those of Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas, Gurjaras-Pratiharas, etc.
Administration in the Kingdoms:
(i) The kings at apex adopted big titles like Maharaja-adhiraja.
(ii) The kings shared power with their samantas, and with the association of peasants, traders and Brahmanas.
(iii) Resources were obtained from the producers who were persuaded to surrender part of what they produced.
(iv) These resources were used to finance the king’s establishment and construct temples and forts.
(v) Functionaries for collecting revenue were recruited from influential families.
Prashastis and Land Grants:
Fig: Prashastis(i) Prashashtis tells us how rulers wanted to depict themselves as valiant and victorious warriors.
(ii) The kings often rewarded Brahmanas by grants of land. These were recorded on copper plates, which were given to those who received the land.
Warfare for Wealth:
(i) For centuries Gurjara-Pratihara, Rashtrakuta and Pala's dynasties fought for control over Kannauj.
(ii) The long-drawn conflict is known as tripartite struggle as three parties were involved in it.
(iii) Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni raided the subcontinent almost every year and looted temples like Somnath, Gujarat, Mahmud entrusted a scholar named al-Biruni to write an account of the subcontinent.
(iv) Other kings engaged in warfare were Chauhan, who ruled over the region around Delhi and Ajmer.
(v) Chauhans were engaged in conflict with Chalukyas of Gujarat and the Gahadavalas of western UP.
(vi) Prithviraj III was a popular Chauhan ruler who defeated Afghan ruler Ghori in 1191 but lost to him in 1192.
Fig: Prithviraj IIIThe Cholas:
(i) Cholas were from a small family of Uraiyur. The successors of Vijayalaya conquered neighboring regions and the kingdom grew in size and power.
(ii) Rajaraja I was considered the most powerful Chola ruler and expanded control over most of these areas.
(iii) His son Rajendra I, conquered Sri Lanka and countries of Southeast Asia.
(iv) Cholas were big temple builders. Two famous temples were in Thanjavur and Gangai kondacholapuram.
(v) Agriculture was well developed along with various methods of irrigation.
(vi) Settlements of peasants called ur became prosperous with the spread of irrigation in agriculture. The village council and the Nadu performed several administrative functions.
(vii) Association of traders known as nagarams also performed administrative functions in town.
(viii) Inscriptions also mention about sabha. The Sabha had separate committees to look after irrigation works, gardens, temples, etc.