The Medieval Indian History period lies between the 8th and the 18th century A.D. Ancient Indian history came to an end with the rule of Harsha and Pulakesin II. The medieval period can be divided into two stages:
1. TRIPARTITE STRUGGLE FOR KANAUJ
(a) The Tripartite Struggle for Kanauj was between the Pratiharas of Central India, the Palas of Bengal and the Rashtrakutas of Deccan.
(b) As all these three dynasties wanted to establish their supremacy over Kanauj and the fertile Gangetic Valley.
(c) The Tripartite Struggle lasted for 200 years and weakened all of them which enabled the Turks to overthrow them.
(i) Gopala (765-769 A.D.)
(a) Founder of Pala Dynasty and he also restored order, o Ruled over Northern and Eastern India.
(b) He expanded the Pala dynasty and extended his power over Magadha.
(ii) Dharmapala (769-815 A.D.)
(a) He is the son of Gopala and succeeded his father,
(b) He brought Bengal, Bihar, and Kanauj under his control,
(c) He defeated the Pratiharas and became the master of Northern India,
(d) He was a steadfast Buddhist and founded the famous Vikramasila University atop a hill near Ganga in Magadh and several monasteries.
(e) He also restored the Nalanda University and set aside 200 villages for its expenses.
(f) had close cultural relations with Tibet and with the Sailendra dynasty.
(iii) Devapala (815-855 A.D.
(a) Devapala is the son of Dharmapala who succeeded his father.
(b) He kept the Pala territories intact.
(c) He captured Assam
(iv) Mahipala (998-1038 A.D.)
(a) The Palas became powerful during his reign.
(b) The Pala dynasty declined after the death of Mahipala.
(v) Govinda Pala: He is the last Pala King.
The Pratiharas were also called as Gurjara. They ruled between 8th and 11th century A.D. over I northern and western India. Pratiharas: A fortification-The Pratiharas stood as a fortification of India's defence against the hostility of the Muslims from the days of Junaid of Sind (725.A.D.) to Mahmud of Ghazni.
(i) Nagabhatta I (725-740 A.D.)
Founder of the Pratihara dynasty with Kanauj as it's capital.
(ii) Vatsaraja and Nagabhatta II
Played a vital role in merging the empire.
(a) The most powerful Pratihara king.
(b) During his period, the empire expanded from Kashmir to Narmada and from I Kathiawar to Bihar.
(c) Was a devotee of Vishnu and took the title "Adivaraha".
(iv) Mahendrapala (885-908 A.D.)
(a) Son of Mihirabhoja, was also a powerful ruler.
(b) He extended his control over Magadha and North Bengal.
(v) Decline of the Pratiharas
(a) Rajyapala was the last Pratihara king.
(b) Vast empire was reduced to Kanauj.
(c) The Pratihara power began to decline after Mahmud of Ghazni attacked the I kingdom in 1018 A.D.
(d) After the decline of the Prathiharas their feudatories Palas, Tomars, Chauhans, Rathors, Chandellas.
(e) Guhilas and Paramaras became independent rulers.
(f) There was complete anarchism in Bengal between 750-760 A.D.
(vi) Pratiharas were patrons of learning - Great poet Rajashekhar lived at court of Mahipala. Bhoja's grandson. Al-Masudi visited Gujarat from Baghdad in 915 and tells about Pratihara kingdom.
(i) Dantidurga: Founded the kingdom with capital at Malkhed (near Solapur). Dominated northern Maharashtra.
(ii) Govinda III annexed Kanauj, Malwa and turned South and defeated Lankan rulers.
(iii) Amoghvarsha: preferred pursuit of literature and religion than that of war. Wrote first Kannada book on poetics. Faced many rebellions in far-flung areas of empire. Empire weakened hereafter.
(iv) Indra III: amoghvarsha's grandson (915-927) re-established it. Fie was the most powerful ruler after death of Mahipala and sacking of Kanauj.
(v) Balhara or Vallabhraja: Al-Masudi says he was the greatest king of India and most Indian rulers accepted his suzerainty.
(v) Krishna III (934-963) was the last ruler.
(vi) Rashtrakutas patronized Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Jainism. Rock-cut Shiva temple at Ellora = Rashtrakuta king Krishna I. They were great patrons of arts and literature. Great apabhramsha poet Svayambhu resided at Rashtrakuta court.
2. STRUGGLE FOR DOMINANCE
(i) Palas warred with Pratiharas for control over Banaras to South Bihar. Dharampal was defeated by Rashtrakuta Dhruva and failed to consolidate power over Kanauj.
(ii) Pratiharas was revived under Nagabhatta II. Dharampal fell back and was killed.
(iii) Devapala diverted energies towards east and conquered parts of Assam, Orissa and Nepal. Palas were restricted to east India more often than not.
(iv) Earlier pratihara rulers failed to control upper ganga valley and Malwa due to Rashtrakutas, who defeated Pratiharas twice and later retreated to Deccan.
(v) Bhoja revived the pratiharas empire, recovered Kanauj in 836 and made it the capital for a century. Went east but stopped by Devapala, went South for Malwa and Gujarat but stopped by Rashtrakutas. Finally turned west and conquered till east bank of Sutlej. Had the best cavalry with horses imported from central asia. Spread empire to east after death of Devapala.
(vi) Rashtrakuta king Indra III attacked Kanauj between 915 and 918 and weakened Pratiharas. Gujarat also passed in Rashtrakuta hands. Loss of coast led to decline in revenues from sea trade and led to dissolution of the pratiharas empire. Later rashtrakutas Fought constantly with eastern Chalukyas of Vengi, Pallavas of Kanchi and Pandyas of Madurai.
(vii) Krishna lll(last rashtrakuta) Fought eastern chalukyas of Vengi and annexed northern part of Chola empire, built a temple at Rameswaram. All opponents united after his death and Malkhed was sacked and burnt in 972.
(viii) RASHTRAKUTA EMPIRE LASTED THE LONGEST. IT WAS NOT ONLY THE MOST POWERFUL EMPIRE BUT ALSO ACTED AS BRIDGEBETWEEN NORTH AND SOUTH.
3. POLITICAL IDEAS & ORGANIZATION
Administrative system was based on Gupta empire, Harsha's kingdom in the north and Chalukyas in the Deccan.
(i) King = head administrator and commander-in-chief of armed forces. Usually the eldest son succeeded, younger sons were made provincial governors, brothers fought to gain throne. Princesses were rarely appointed, but Chandrobalabbe, Amoghvarsha I's daughter, administered Raichur doab for some time.
(ii) Kings were aided by ministers, who were also hereditary. There were ministers for foreign affairs, revenue, treasurer, armed forces chief, chief justice and purohit. More than one post could be combined. There were also officials of the household (antahpur).
(iii) Court was a centre of dispensing justice, policy making and cultural events. King's position was hereditary. Wars were frequent.
(iv) Bearing arms for self-protection was the right of an individual, according to writer Medhatithi.
(v) Territories were:
1. Directly administered and
2. Ruled by vassals.
PALAS & PRATIHARAS
(i) Bhukti (province) under Uparika (governor)
(ii) Mandala / Visaya (district) under Visayapati (head)
(iii) Pattala (unit for realization of land revenue and law and order)
Bhukti > Visaya > Pattala
IN RASHTRAKUTA EMPIRE
(i) Rashtra (province) under Rashtrapati
(ii) Visaya (dist) under Visayapati
(iii) Bhukti (unit for realization of land revenue and law and order)
Rashtra > Visaya > Bhukti
VILLAGE was placed below these administrative units. Its administration was carried out by village headman whose posts were hereditary. They were paid by rent-free land grants.
Headman was helped by village elders = gram-mahajan OR gram-Mahattara.
Law and order responsibility = koshta-pala = kotwal
Hereditary revenue officers in Deccan = nad-gavundas or desa-gramakutas.
State was essentially secular. Kings were worshippers of Shiva, Vishnu, Jainism and Buddhism but they never I persecuted non-followers and patronized all religions equally.
|1. What is the significance of the Old NCERT book by Satish Chandra in understanding the history of Northern India?|
|2. What is the difference between the Old NCERT book by Satish Chandra and the newer versions available in the market?|
|3. How can the Old NCERT book by Satish Chandra be useful for exam preparation?|
|4. Are there any limitations or drawbacks of relying solely on the Old NCERT book by Satish Chandra for studying Northern India's history?|
|5. Can the Old NCERT book by Satish Chandra be helpful for non-academic readers interested in Northern India's history?|