NCERT Textbook - New Empires and Kingdoms Class 6 Notes | EduRev

History(Prelims) by UPSC Toppers

Class 6 : NCERT Textbook - New Empires and Kingdoms Class 6 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


103 n
Ar Ar Ar Ar Arvind pla vind pla vind pla vind pla vind play y y y ys a king s a king s a king s a king s a king
Arvind had been chosen to act as a king in the school
play. He had expected to march solemnly in splendid
robes, to twirl his moustaches and wield the silver-paper
wrapped sword with gusto. Imagine his surprise when
he was told he would also have to sit and play a veena,
and recite poetry! A musician-king? Who was that? he
wondered.
Pr Pr Pr Pr Prashastis and what the ashastis and what the ashastis and what the ashastis and what the ashastis and what they tell us y tell us y tell us y tell us y tell us
Arvind was supposed to be acting as
Samudragupta, a famous ruler of a dynasty
known as the Guptas. We know about
Samudragupta from a long inscription, inscribed
on the Ashokan pillar at Allahabad. It was
composed as a Kavya by Harishena, who was a
poet and a minister at the court of Samudragupta.
This inscription is of a special kind known as
a prashasti, a Sanskrit word, meaning ‘in praise
of’. While prashastis were composed for some of
the rulers you read about in Chapter 9, such as
Gautamiputra Shri Satakarni, they became far
more important from the time of the Guptas.
Samudr Samudr Samudr Samudr Samudragupta’s pr agupta’s pr agupta’s pr agupta’s pr agupta’s prashasti ashasti ashasti ashasti ashasti
Let us see what Samudragupta’s prashasti tells
us. The poet praised the king in glowing terms —
as a warrior, as a king who won victories in battle,
who was learned and the best of poets. He is also
described as equal to the gods. The prashasti was
composed in very long sentences. Here is part of
one such sentence:
CHAPTER 10
NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS
NEW EMPIRES AND
KINGDOMS
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
Page 2


103 n
Ar Ar Ar Ar Arvind pla vind pla vind pla vind pla vind play y y y ys a king s a king s a king s a king s a king
Arvind had been chosen to act as a king in the school
play. He had expected to march solemnly in splendid
robes, to twirl his moustaches and wield the silver-paper
wrapped sword with gusto. Imagine his surprise when
he was told he would also have to sit and play a veena,
and recite poetry! A musician-king? Who was that? he
wondered.
Pr Pr Pr Pr Prashastis and what the ashastis and what the ashastis and what the ashastis and what the ashastis and what they tell us y tell us y tell us y tell us y tell us
Arvind was supposed to be acting as
Samudragupta, a famous ruler of a dynasty
known as the Guptas. We know about
Samudragupta from a long inscription, inscribed
on the Ashokan pillar at Allahabad. It was
composed as a Kavya by Harishena, who was a
poet and a minister at the court of Samudragupta.
This inscription is of a special kind known as
a prashasti, a Sanskrit word, meaning ‘in praise
of’. While prashastis were composed for some of
the rulers you read about in Chapter 9, such as
Gautamiputra Shri Satakarni, they became far
more important from the time of the Guptas.
Samudr Samudr Samudr Samudr Samudragupta’s pr agupta’s pr agupta’s pr agupta’s pr agupta’s prashasti ashasti ashasti ashasti ashasti
Let us see what Samudragupta’s prashasti tells
us. The poet praised the king in glowing terms —
as a warrior, as a king who won victories in battle,
who was learned and the best of poets. He is also
described as equal to the gods. The prashasti was
composed in very long sentences. Here is part of
one such sentence:
CHAPTER 10
NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS
NEW EMPIRES AND
KINGDOMS
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
n 104
OUR PASTS–I
Samudr Samudr Samudr Samudr Samudragupta the w agupta the w agupta the w agupta the w agupta the warrior arrior arrior arrior arrior
Whose body was most charming, being covered with
the plenteous beauty of the marks of hundreds of
scars caused by battle-axes, arrows, spikes, spears,
barbed darts, swords, iron clubs, javelins, barbed
arrows, long arrows and many other weapons.
What does this description tell you about the
king? And also about how kings fought wars?
If you look at Map 7 (page105), you will notice
an area shaded in green. You will also find a series
of red dots along the east coast. And you will find
areas marked in purple and blue as well.
This map is based on the information provided
in the prashasti. Harishena describes four
different kinds of rulers, and tells us about
Samudragupta’s policies towards them.
1. The rulers of Aryavarta, the area shaded in green on
the map. Here there were nine rulers who were
uprooted, and their kingdoms were made a part of
Samudragupta’s empire.
2. The rulers of Dakshinapatha. Here there were twelve
rulers, some of whose capitals are marked with red
dots on the map. They surrendered to
Samudragupta after being defeated and he then
allowed them to rule again.
3. The inner circle of neighbouring states, including
Assam, coastal Bengal, Nepal, and a number of
gana sanghas (remember Chapter 5) in the north-
west, marked in purple on the map. They brought
tribute, followed his orders, and attended his court.
4. The rulers of the outlying areas, marked in blue on
the map, perhaps the descendants of the Kushanas
and Shakas, and the ruler of Sri Lanka, who
submitted to him and offered daughters in
marriage.
The king who played the
veena.
Some other qualities of
Samudragupta are
shown on coins such as
this one, where he is
shown playing the veena.
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
Page 3


103 n
Ar Ar Ar Ar Arvind pla vind pla vind pla vind pla vind play y y y ys a king s a king s a king s a king s a king
Arvind had been chosen to act as a king in the school
play. He had expected to march solemnly in splendid
robes, to twirl his moustaches and wield the silver-paper
wrapped sword with gusto. Imagine his surprise when
he was told he would also have to sit and play a veena,
and recite poetry! A musician-king? Who was that? he
wondered.
Pr Pr Pr Pr Prashastis and what the ashastis and what the ashastis and what the ashastis and what the ashastis and what they tell us y tell us y tell us y tell us y tell us
Arvind was supposed to be acting as
Samudragupta, a famous ruler of a dynasty
known as the Guptas. We know about
Samudragupta from a long inscription, inscribed
on the Ashokan pillar at Allahabad. It was
composed as a Kavya by Harishena, who was a
poet and a minister at the court of Samudragupta.
This inscription is of a special kind known as
a prashasti, a Sanskrit word, meaning ‘in praise
of’. While prashastis were composed for some of
the rulers you read about in Chapter 9, such as
Gautamiputra Shri Satakarni, they became far
more important from the time of the Guptas.
Samudr Samudr Samudr Samudr Samudragupta’s pr agupta’s pr agupta’s pr agupta’s pr agupta’s prashasti ashasti ashasti ashasti ashasti
Let us see what Samudragupta’s prashasti tells
us. The poet praised the king in glowing terms —
as a warrior, as a king who won victories in battle,
who was learned and the best of poets. He is also
described as equal to the gods. The prashasti was
composed in very long sentences. Here is part of
one such sentence:
CHAPTER 10
NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS
NEW EMPIRES AND
KINGDOMS
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
n 104
OUR PASTS–I
Samudr Samudr Samudr Samudr Samudragupta the w agupta the w agupta the w agupta the w agupta the warrior arrior arrior arrior arrior
Whose body was most charming, being covered with
the plenteous beauty of the marks of hundreds of
scars caused by battle-axes, arrows, spikes, spears,
barbed darts, swords, iron clubs, javelins, barbed
arrows, long arrows and many other weapons.
What does this description tell you about the
king? And also about how kings fought wars?
If you look at Map 7 (page105), you will notice
an area shaded in green. You will also find a series
of red dots along the east coast. And you will find
areas marked in purple and blue as well.
This map is based on the information provided
in the prashasti. Harishena describes four
different kinds of rulers, and tells us about
Samudragupta’s policies towards them.
1. The rulers of Aryavarta, the area shaded in green on
the map. Here there were nine rulers who were
uprooted, and their kingdoms were made a part of
Samudragupta’s empire.
2. The rulers of Dakshinapatha. Here there were twelve
rulers, some of whose capitals are marked with red
dots on the map. They surrendered to
Samudragupta after being defeated and he then
allowed them to rule again.
3. The inner circle of neighbouring states, including
Assam, coastal Bengal, Nepal, and a number of
gana sanghas (remember Chapter 5) in the north-
west, marked in purple on the map. They brought
tribute, followed his orders, and attended his court.
4. The rulers of the outlying areas, marked in blue on
the map, perhaps the descendants of the Kushanas
and Shakas, and the ruler of Sri Lanka, who
submitted to him and offered daughters in
marriage.
The king who played the
veena.
Some other qualities of
Samudragupta are
shown on coins such as
this one, where he is
shown playing the veena.
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
105 n
Find Prayaga (the old name for Allahabad),
Ujjain and Pataliputra (Patna) on the map. These
were important centres of the Gupta rulers.
What was the difference between the way in
which Samudragupta treated the rulers of
Aryavarta and Dakshinapatha?
Can you suggest any reasons for this difference?
MAP : 7
Showing Important Cities and Kingdoms
NEW EMPIRES AND
KINGDOMS
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
Page 4


103 n
Ar Ar Ar Ar Arvind pla vind pla vind pla vind pla vind play y y y ys a king s a king s a king s a king s a king
Arvind had been chosen to act as a king in the school
play. He had expected to march solemnly in splendid
robes, to twirl his moustaches and wield the silver-paper
wrapped sword with gusto. Imagine his surprise when
he was told he would also have to sit and play a veena,
and recite poetry! A musician-king? Who was that? he
wondered.
Pr Pr Pr Pr Prashastis and what the ashastis and what the ashastis and what the ashastis and what the ashastis and what they tell us y tell us y tell us y tell us y tell us
Arvind was supposed to be acting as
Samudragupta, a famous ruler of a dynasty
known as the Guptas. We know about
Samudragupta from a long inscription, inscribed
on the Ashokan pillar at Allahabad. It was
composed as a Kavya by Harishena, who was a
poet and a minister at the court of Samudragupta.
This inscription is of a special kind known as
a prashasti, a Sanskrit word, meaning ‘in praise
of’. While prashastis were composed for some of
the rulers you read about in Chapter 9, such as
Gautamiputra Shri Satakarni, they became far
more important from the time of the Guptas.
Samudr Samudr Samudr Samudr Samudragupta’s pr agupta’s pr agupta’s pr agupta’s pr agupta’s prashasti ashasti ashasti ashasti ashasti
Let us see what Samudragupta’s prashasti tells
us. The poet praised the king in glowing terms —
as a warrior, as a king who won victories in battle,
who was learned and the best of poets. He is also
described as equal to the gods. The prashasti was
composed in very long sentences. Here is part of
one such sentence:
CHAPTER 10
NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS
NEW EMPIRES AND
KINGDOMS
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
n 104
OUR PASTS–I
Samudr Samudr Samudr Samudr Samudragupta the w agupta the w agupta the w agupta the w agupta the warrior arrior arrior arrior arrior
Whose body was most charming, being covered with
the plenteous beauty of the marks of hundreds of
scars caused by battle-axes, arrows, spikes, spears,
barbed darts, swords, iron clubs, javelins, barbed
arrows, long arrows and many other weapons.
What does this description tell you about the
king? And also about how kings fought wars?
If you look at Map 7 (page105), you will notice
an area shaded in green. You will also find a series
of red dots along the east coast. And you will find
areas marked in purple and blue as well.
This map is based on the information provided
in the prashasti. Harishena describes four
different kinds of rulers, and tells us about
Samudragupta’s policies towards them.
1. The rulers of Aryavarta, the area shaded in green on
the map. Here there were nine rulers who were
uprooted, and their kingdoms were made a part of
Samudragupta’s empire.
2. The rulers of Dakshinapatha. Here there were twelve
rulers, some of whose capitals are marked with red
dots on the map. They surrendered to
Samudragupta after being defeated and he then
allowed them to rule again.
3. The inner circle of neighbouring states, including
Assam, coastal Bengal, Nepal, and a number of
gana sanghas (remember Chapter 5) in the north-
west, marked in purple on the map. They brought
tribute, followed his orders, and attended his court.
4. The rulers of the outlying areas, marked in blue on
the map, perhaps the descendants of the Kushanas
and Shakas, and the ruler of Sri Lanka, who
submitted to him and offered daughters in
marriage.
The king who played the
veena.
Some other qualities of
Samudragupta are
shown on coins such as
this one, where he is
shown playing the veena.
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
105 n
Find Prayaga (the old name for Allahabad),
Ujjain and Pataliputra (Patna) on the map. These
were important centres of the Gupta rulers.
What was the difference between the way in
which Samudragupta treated the rulers of
Aryavarta and Dakshinapatha?
Can you suggest any reasons for this difference?
MAP : 7
Showing Important Cities and Kingdoms
NEW EMPIRES AND
KINGDOMS
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
n 106
OUR PASTS–I
Genealogies Genealogies Genealogies Genealogies Genealogies
Most prashastis also mention the
ancestors of the ruler. This one
mentions Samudragupta’s great
grandfather, grandfather, father and
mother. His mother, Kumara devi,
belonged to the Lichchhavi gana, while
his father, Chandragupta, was the first
ruler of the Gupta dynasty to adopt the
grand title of maharaj-adhiraja, a title
that Samudragupta also used. His great
grandfather and grandfather are
mentioned simply as maha-rajas. It seems as if
the family gradually rose to importance.
Arrange these titles in order of importance: raja,
maharaj-adhiraja, maha-raja.
Samudragupta in turn figures in the genealogies
(lists of ancestors) of later rulers of the dynasty,
such as his son, Chandragupta II. We know about
him from inscriptions and coins. He led an
expedition to western India, where he overcame
the last of the Shakas. According to later belief,
his court was full of learned people. About some
of them whom you will read in Chapter 11.
Harsha Harsha Harsha Harsha Harshav v v v var ar ar ar ardhana and the Harshacharita dhana and the Harshacharita dhana and the Harshacharita dhana and the Harshacharita dhana and the Harshacharita
While we can learn about the Gupta rulers from
their inscriptions and coins, we can find out about
some kings from biographies. Harshavardhana,
who ruled nearly 1400 years ago, was one such
ruler. His court poet, Banabhatta, wrote his
biography, the Harshacharita, in Sanskrit. This
gives us the genealogy of Harsha, and ends with
his becoming king. Xuan Zang, about whom
you read in Chapter 9, also spent a lot of time
at Harsha’s court and left a detailed account of
what he saw.
Vikr Vikr Vikr Vikr Vikram Sam am Sam am Sam am Sam am Samv v v v vat at at at at
The era beginning in the 58
BCE is traditionally
associated with Gupta king,
Chandragupta II, who had
founded it as a mark of
victory over the Shakas and
assumed the title of
Vikramaditya.
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
Page 5


103 n
Ar Ar Ar Ar Arvind pla vind pla vind pla vind pla vind play y y y ys a king s a king s a king s a king s a king
Arvind had been chosen to act as a king in the school
play. He had expected to march solemnly in splendid
robes, to twirl his moustaches and wield the silver-paper
wrapped sword with gusto. Imagine his surprise when
he was told he would also have to sit and play a veena,
and recite poetry! A musician-king? Who was that? he
wondered.
Pr Pr Pr Pr Prashastis and what the ashastis and what the ashastis and what the ashastis and what the ashastis and what they tell us y tell us y tell us y tell us y tell us
Arvind was supposed to be acting as
Samudragupta, a famous ruler of a dynasty
known as the Guptas. We know about
Samudragupta from a long inscription, inscribed
on the Ashokan pillar at Allahabad. It was
composed as a Kavya by Harishena, who was a
poet and a minister at the court of Samudragupta.
This inscription is of a special kind known as
a prashasti, a Sanskrit word, meaning ‘in praise
of’. While prashastis were composed for some of
the rulers you read about in Chapter 9, such as
Gautamiputra Shri Satakarni, they became far
more important from the time of the Guptas.
Samudr Samudr Samudr Samudr Samudragupta’s pr agupta’s pr agupta’s pr agupta’s pr agupta’s prashasti ashasti ashasti ashasti ashasti
Let us see what Samudragupta’s prashasti tells
us. The poet praised the king in glowing terms —
as a warrior, as a king who won victories in battle,
who was learned and the best of poets. He is also
described as equal to the gods. The prashasti was
composed in very long sentences. Here is part of
one such sentence:
CHAPTER 10
NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS NEW EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS
NEW EMPIRES AND
KINGDOMS
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
n 104
OUR PASTS–I
Samudr Samudr Samudr Samudr Samudragupta the w agupta the w agupta the w agupta the w agupta the warrior arrior arrior arrior arrior
Whose body was most charming, being covered with
the plenteous beauty of the marks of hundreds of
scars caused by battle-axes, arrows, spikes, spears,
barbed darts, swords, iron clubs, javelins, barbed
arrows, long arrows and many other weapons.
What does this description tell you about the
king? And also about how kings fought wars?
If you look at Map 7 (page105), you will notice
an area shaded in green. You will also find a series
of red dots along the east coast. And you will find
areas marked in purple and blue as well.
This map is based on the information provided
in the prashasti. Harishena describes four
different kinds of rulers, and tells us about
Samudragupta’s policies towards them.
1. The rulers of Aryavarta, the area shaded in green on
the map. Here there were nine rulers who were
uprooted, and their kingdoms were made a part of
Samudragupta’s empire.
2. The rulers of Dakshinapatha. Here there were twelve
rulers, some of whose capitals are marked with red
dots on the map. They surrendered to
Samudragupta after being defeated and he then
allowed them to rule again.
3. The inner circle of neighbouring states, including
Assam, coastal Bengal, Nepal, and a number of
gana sanghas (remember Chapter 5) in the north-
west, marked in purple on the map. They brought
tribute, followed his orders, and attended his court.
4. The rulers of the outlying areas, marked in blue on
the map, perhaps the descendants of the Kushanas
and Shakas, and the ruler of Sri Lanka, who
submitted to him and offered daughters in
marriage.
The king who played the
veena.
Some other qualities of
Samudragupta are
shown on coins such as
this one, where he is
shown playing the veena.
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
105 n
Find Prayaga (the old name for Allahabad),
Ujjain and Pataliputra (Patna) on the map. These
were important centres of the Gupta rulers.
What was the difference between the way in
which Samudragupta treated the rulers of
Aryavarta and Dakshinapatha?
Can you suggest any reasons for this difference?
MAP : 7
Showing Important Cities and Kingdoms
NEW EMPIRES AND
KINGDOMS
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
n 106
OUR PASTS–I
Genealogies Genealogies Genealogies Genealogies Genealogies
Most prashastis also mention the
ancestors of the ruler. This one
mentions Samudragupta’s great
grandfather, grandfather, father and
mother. His mother, Kumara devi,
belonged to the Lichchhavi gana, while
his father, Chandragupta, was the first
ruler of the Gupta dynasty to adopt the
grand title of maharaj-adhiraja, a title
that Samudragupta also used. His great
grandfather and grandfather are
mentioned simply as maha-rajas. It seems as if
the family gradually rose to importance.
Arrange these titles in order of importance: raja,
maharaj-adhiraja, maha-raja.
Samudragupta in turn figures in the genealogies
(lists of ancestors) of later rulers of the dynasty,
such as his son, Chandragupta II. We know about
him from inscriptions and coins. He led an
expedition to western India, where he overcame
the last of the Shakas. According to later belief,
his court was full of learned people. About some
of them whom you will read in Chapter 11.
Harsha Harsha Harsha Harsha Harshav v v v var ar ar ar ardhana and the Harshacharita dhana and the Harshacharita dhana and the Harshacharita dhana and the Harshacharita dhana and the Harshacharita
While we can learn about the Gupta rulers from
their inscriptions and coins, we can find out about
some kings from biographies. Harshavardhana,
who ruled nearly 1400 years ago, was one such
ruler. His court poet, Banabhatta, wrote his
biography, the Harshacharita, in Sanskrit. This
gives us the genealogy of Harsha, and ends with
his becoming king. Xuan Zang, about whom
you read in Chapter 9, also spent a lot of time
at Harsha’s court and left a detailed account of
what he saw.
Vikr Vikr Vikr Vikr Vikram Sam am Sam am Sam am Sam am Samv v v v vat at at at at
The era beginning in the 58
BCE is traditionally
associated with Gupta king,
Chandragupta II, who had
founded it as a mark of
victory over the Shakas and
assumed the title of
Vikramaditya.
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
107 n
Harsha was not the eldest son of his father,
but became king of Thanesar after both his father
and elder brother died. His brother-in-law was
the ruler of Kanauj (see Map 7) and he was killed
by the ruler of Bengal. Harsha took over the
kingdom of Kanauj, and then led an army against
the ruler of Bengal.
Although he was successful in the east, and
conquered Magadha and probably Bengal also,
he was not as successful elsewhere. He tried to
cross the Narmada to march into the Deccan, but
was stopped by a ruler belonging to the Chalukya
dynasty, Pulakeshin II.
Look at political map of India and list the
present-day states which Harshavardhana
passed through when he went (a) to Bengal and
(b) up to the Narmada.
The P The P The P The P The Palla alla alla alla allav v v v vas, Chaluky as, Chaluky as, Chaluky as, Chaluky as, Chalukyas and P as and P as and P as and P as and Pulak ulak ulak ulak ulakeshin’s eshin’s eshin’s eshin’s eshin’s pr pr pr pr prashasti ashasti ashasti ashasti ashasti
The Pallavas and Chalukyas were the most
important ruling dynasties in south India during
this period. The kingdom of the Pallavas spread
from the region around their capital, Kanchipuram,
to the Kaveri delta, while that of the Chalukyas
was centred around the Raichur Doab, between
the rivers Krishna and Tungabhadra.
Aihole, the capital of the Chalukyas, was an
important trading centre (see Map 7). It developed
as a religious centre, with a number of temples.
The Pallavas and Chalukyas frequently raided one
another’s lands, especially attacking the capital
cities, which were prosperous towns.
The best-known Chalukya ruler was Pulakeshin
II. We know about him from a prashasti, composed
by his court poet Ravikirti. This tells us about his
ancestors, who are traced back through four
generations from father to son. Pulakeshin
evidently got the kingdom from his uncle. NEW EMPIRES AND
KINGDOMS
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
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