Early-Medieval Period (650-1206) Ancient History

I. North India (Raiputa Period)

After Harshavardhana, the Rajputs emerged as a powerful force in Northern India and dominated the Indian political scene for nearly 500 years from the 7th century.

1. 10 Important Rajputa Kingdoms ->    Chauhan/Chahaman of Delhi-Ajmer

2. Period -----> 7th Cen.-1192
3. Capital -----> Delhi
4. Founder-----> Vasudeva

1. 10 Important Rajputa Kingdoms ->    Pratihara/Parihar of Kannauj

2. Period -----> 730-1036
3. Capital -----> Avanti, Kannauj
4. Founder -----> Nagabhatt I

1. 10 Important Rajputa Kingdoms ->    Pawar/Parmar of Malwa

2. Period -----> 790-1150
3. Capital -----> Ujjain, Dhar
4. Founder -----> Seeakll 'Sri Harsha'

1. 10 Important Rajputa Kingdoms ->    Chaulukya/Solanki of Kathiyawar

2. Period -----> 942-1187
3. Capital -----> Anihalvada
4. Founder -----> Mularaja I

1. 10 Important Rajputa Kingdoms ->    Rastrakuta of Malkhand

2. Period -----> 752-973
3. Capital -----> Malkhand / Manyakheta
4. Founder-----> Dantidurg (Danti Varman II)

1. 10 Important Rajputa Kingdoms ->    Chandela of Jejakabhukti.

2. Period -----> 831-1202
3. Capital -----> Khajuraho,Mahoba,Kalinjar
4. Founder -----> Nannuk Chandela

1. 10 Important Rajputa Kingdoms ->    Kalchuri/Haihaya of Chedi.

2. Period -----> 850-1211
3. Capital-----> Tripuri
4. Founder -----> Kokkala I

1. 10 Important Rajputa Kingdoms ->    Gadhawal/Rathor of Kannauj

2. Period-----> 1090-1194     
3. Capital -----> Kannauj
4. Founder -----> Chandradeva

1. 10 Important Rajputa Kingdoms ->    Guhilota/Sisodiya of Mewar

2. Period -----> 8th.Cen.-1930
3. Capital-----> Chittor
4. Founder -----> Bappa Ra wal, Hammir I

Tripartite Struggle

1. Towards the close of the 8th century AD, there were three great power in India-the Palas in the East, the Gurjar-Partihara in the North, and the Rashtrakutas in the Deccan.

2. The tripartite struggle for supremacy among the Palas, Partiharas, and the Rashtrakutas was the important event of these centuries.

3. The main cause for this struggle was the desire to possess the city of Kannauj (Farrukhabad Distt., UP) Which was then a symbol of sovereignty.

The Palas: 750-1150

Capital: Muddagiri/Munger (Bihar)

1. Gopala founded the Pala Empire in 750 AD.

2. His son Dharmapala (770-810) succeeded him. Dharmapala revived Nalanda University.

3. He founded Vikramshila University.

4. The Pala dynasty was succeeded by the Sena dynasty of Bengal. Jayadeva ('Gita Gobinda') was the great court poet of Luxman Sen.

The Pratiharas: 730-1036

1. The Pratiharas are also called Gurjara-Pratiharas probably because they originated from Gujarat or South-West Rajasthan.

2. Bhoja/Mihir Bhoja (836-882) was the greatest ruler of this dynasty.

3. He was a devotee of Vishnu and adopted the title of Adivprah'.

The Rashtrakutas: 752-973

1. Dantidurg (752-756), who fixed his capital at Malkhand/Malkhed (Gulbarga distt., Karnataka), founded the Kingdom.

2. The greatest Rashtrakuta rulers were Govinda III (793-814) and Amoghvarsha (814-878). Amoghvarsha ruled for 64 years but by temperament, he preferred the pursuit of religion and literature to war. He was himself an author and wrote Kavirajamarga, the earliest Kannada book on Poetics.

3. The famous rock-cut temple of Kailash (Shiva) at Ellora was built by one of the Rashtrakuta kings Krishna I.

Other Important Rulers

1. Prithviraj Chauhan (1178-92): He ruled over Delhi and Agra and fought two important battles, viz. First Battle of Tarain was fought in 1191 between the forces of Prithviraj Chauhan and Mohammad Ghori in which the latter was defeated. The Second Battle of Tarain was fought in 1192 when Mohammad Ghori again invaded India in which Prithviraj Chauhan was defeated and captured and later on slain. The Kingdom of Delhi fell to Mohammad Ghori.

2. The Battle of Tarain had great significance in the political scene as it led to the establishment of Muslim rule over North India and, subsequently, in the South for several centuries.

3. Jai Chand Gadhawal/Rathor (1169-94): He was the last Rajputa King who was also defeated and killed by Mohammad Ghori in the Battle of Chandawar (1194).

4. Rana Kumbha, the Sisodiya ruler of Mewar (1433-68) : Rana Kumbha was the famous ruler of Mewar. He defeated Mohammad Khilji and erected the Tower of Victory (Vijay Stambha) in Chittor. His successors Rana Sangram Singh (Rana Sanga) and Rana Pratap were also great kings of Mewar state.

5. Salient features of the Rajputa Kingdoms: The country remained free of invasions but lost foreign contact. The caste system was rigid. The Rajputs were proud, warrior and people but hospitable. In the field of culture many great fortresses and temples were built by them such as Khajuraho (MP), Lingaraja temple (Bhubaneshwar, Orissa), Sun temple (Konarka,. Orissa), the Jagannath temple (Puri), Dilwara temple (Mount Abu).

6. Causes of the Decline of Rajputs: Lack of unity and foresightedness, caste the system, and defective military organization were some of the causes for the downfall of the Rajputas.

II. South India (Cholas and Others)

The Chola Empire : 850-1279AD

Capital : Tanjore, Gangaikondacholapuram

1. The founder of the Chola dynasty was Vijayalaya, who was at first a feudatory of the Pallavas. He captured Tanjore in 850 AD.

2. The greatest Chola rulers were Rajaraja (985-1014AD) and his son Rajendra I (1014-1044AD).

3. Rajaraja built Vrihadeshwar / Rajarajeshwar temple (attributed to Shiva) at Tanjore.

4. Rajendra  I conquered Orissa, Bengal, Burma, and Andaman and Nicobar islands. The Chola dynasty was at its zenith during his reign.

5. Rajendra I assumed the title of Gangaikondachola and built a city called Gangaikondacholapuram.

6. The last ruler of the Chola dynasty was Rajendra III.

7. The king was the head of central authority helped by a council of ministers, but the administration was democratic.

8. The Chola empire was divided into Mandalas (Province) and these, in turn, were divided into Valanadu (Commissionary), Nadu (District), and Kurram (a group of villages).

9. The arrangement of local self-government is regarded as the basic feature of the administration of Cholas.

10. Land revenue and trade tax were the main sources of income.

11. The style of architecture which came into vogue during this period is called Dravida e.g. Kailashnath temple of Kanchipuram.

12. Another aspect was image-making which reached its climax in dancing figure of Shiva called Nataraja.

13. Kambana who wrote Ramavataram was one of the greatest figures of Tamil poetry. His Ramayana is also known as Kamba Ramayana. Kambana, Kuttana and Pugalendi are considered as ‘three gems of Tamil poetry’.

14. In the temples, the Vimana or the tall pyramidal tower dominates the whole structure of the shrine and imparts an extraordinary dignity to it.

15. Gopuram and Garbhagriha are the other two important structures. The best specimens are the temples of Vijayalaya, Choleshwara, the Nageshwara temple, the Koranganath temple and the Muvarakovitha temple.

Other Kingdoms of South

1. Kingdom -> Western / Later Chalukyas (973-1200)

2. Capital -> Kalyani, Karnataka

3. Real Founder-> Tailap II    

1. Kingdom -> Kakatiyas (1110-1326)

2. Capital -> Warangal, Andhra Pradesh

3. Real Founder-> Prolaraja II

1. Kingdom -> Yadavas (1187-1312)

2. Capital -> Devagiri, Maharashtra

3. Real Founder-> Bhillam V

1. Kingdom -> Hoyasalas (1173-1342)

2. Capital -> Dwarasamudra, Karnataka

3. Real Founder-> Vittigadev ‘Vishnuvardhan’

Note: The temple of Hoyasaleshwara at Dwarasamudra (Modem Halebid) is the greatest achievement of Hoysala art.


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