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1. Who was Harsha and what were his achievements?
Ans. Harsha was a ruler of the Vardhana dynasty who ruled North India from 606 to 647 CE. He was known for his political and military skills, as well as his patronage of art and literature. Harsha successfully united various kingdoms and expanded his empire. He was also a promoter of Buddhism and held religious assemblies to spread the Buddhist teachings.
2. What were the major economic activities during Harsha's reign?
Ans. During Harsha's reign, agriculture was the primary economic activity. The majority of the population was engaged in farming, and the surplus agricultural produce was used for trade. Trade and commerce also flourished during this period, with the development of trade routes and the establishment of markets. The empire's revenue was generated through taxes on agriculture, trade, and other economic activities.
3. How did Harsha contribute to the field of literature and art?
Ans. Harsha was a great patron of literature and art. He himself was a poet and wrote plays and verses in Sanskrit. Harsha's court was a center of learning and attracted scholars and poets from different parts of India. He established universities and libraries, where scholars could engage in research and study. The famous Chinese traveler, Xuanzang, visited Harsha's court and praised the emperor's support for Buddhism and literature.
4. What were the social and religious aspects of Harsha's reign?
Ans. Harsha's reign was marked by religious tolerance and the promotion of Buddhism. Although Harsha himself was a Buddhist, he respected other religions and supported religious assemblies of different faiths. He even organized the famous Kanauj Assembly, which brought together scholars and monks from different religions to discuss and debate philosophical ideas. Harsha also worked towards the welfare of his people by implementing measures to alleviate poverty and providing aid to the needy.
5. What was the impact of Harsha's death on the empire?
Ans. After Harsha's death, the empire faced a period of decline and instability. The empire was divided into smaller kingdoms, and the unity and central authority that Harsha had established were weakened. The regional kingdoms fought for power, which led to political instability and conflicts. The decline of the Vardhana dynasty eventually paved the way for the rise of the Gurjara-Pratiharas and other regional powers in North India.
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