You are on page 1of 24

ANCIENT INDIA

Unity in diversity
-

Vedic and Puranic culture equated with Aryan culture of north. The pre Aryan

equated with Dravidian and Tamil culture of south.


Intermixing of languages: Munda, Dravidian and non Sanskritic terms occur in
Vedic text. Similarly Pali and Sanskrit terms appear in Tamil text called
sangam literature. The eastern India inhabitated by tribes contribute their own
in Indo Aryan languages. Munda language is most important to contribute to
indo Aryan language. Phonetics and vocabulary of Vedic culture can be

explained on basis of Dravidian culture as well as Munda culture.


Despite several religion Indians follow a common lifestyle.
The geographical unity of Indian subcontinent played important role in cultural

integration of India.
Iranian inscription first mention Hindu as a district on the Indus. It was a

territorial unit then.


The division of states in ancient India called as Janapadas were divided

according to tribes.
Ancient poets, philosophers and writers viewed the country as an integral unit.
The king that extended authority on whole of India was called Chakravarti.
This happened twice in Indian history. First during Ashoka period (3 rd BC) and

Samudragupta (4th AD).


Though India wasnt politically united, the political structure was more or less

the same.
The term India is a Greek term for which is close term to Hindu.
Iranian rulers conquered Sindh and named it Hindustan.
In 3rd century BC Prakrit in Brahmi script served as the language of India.
During Gupta period (4th AD onwards) Sanskrit acquired same position as

Prakrit.
The ancient epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata are studies with great zeal in
north as well as south India.

RELEVANCE OF INDIAS PAST TO THE PRESENT


-

It gives us information about the progress made by our ancestors in various

fields despite of the odds of nature.


It gives us the understanding of social injustice towards women and people of
lower castes. Thus it answers the questions of social customs that are deeply

ingrained in the Indian mind.


Thus study of the past highlights not only the true nature of past but also the
obstacles that hampers Indias progress in present.

Colonialist views on Indian history


-

After the fall of Bihar and Bengal to east India Company in 1765, the company
found it difficult to implement the Hindu law of inheritance. Thus Manu Smriti

was translated as code of Gentoo laws.


The Pundits and Maulvis were equated with the British judges.
The Asiatic society of Bengal (1784), the Bombay Asiatic society (1804) and

Asiatic society of Great Britain (1823) was founded for study of Indian culture.
Wilkins translated Baghvat Gita in English in 1785.
Historians like Max Muller considered that Indians lack sense of history and

nationhood and any form of self govt.


They emphasized the role and importance of foreigners for Indias progress.
India was considered the land of despotism and thus advocated autocracy as
only form of Govt in India.

Material importance of history


-

Prehistory is period when there were no written sources.


Writing was known in India by middle of 3rd millennium BC in Indus culture.
As the writing of Harappan hasnt been deciphered hence that time is known as
proto historic.

Decipherable writing was known in India only since Ashoka times in 3 rd

century BC.
In dry climate the antiquities are found in better state of preservation than

humid climate.
Coin moulds of burnt clay used to form coins during Kushan period i.e. 3

Christian centuries. The use of moulds disappeared post Gupta period.


Coins helped in cataloguing the history of major dynasties in India.
Some coins were issued by guilds of merchant and goldsmith with the

permission of rulers.
Trade and commerce flourished in post Maurya period.
Guptas issued the largest number of gold coins.
Trade and commerce declined post Gupta period. Cowries (sea shells) were
used as coins specifically after post Gupta period. There purchasing power was

low.
Prakrit used as earliest inscription in 3 rd century BC. Sanskrit was used since
2nd century AD and flourished in 4 th and 5th century. Inscription in regional

language began since 9th and 10th century.


Harappan inscription were in pictographic form
Ashokan inscription were in Brahmi script which continued upto Gupta period.

It is written from left to right.


Kharoshthi script from right to left.
Grand public sacrifices: Shrautasutra; domestic rituals related to birth,
marriage etc: Grihyasutra; measurement for construction of sacrificial altars

which mark the beginning of geometry and mathematics: Sulvasutra


Early Buddhist texts were written in Pali language. Jain texts were written in
Prakrit. Both give information about the political history, economic and social

condition of their time.


- Sangam literature: (ancient india pg number 23-24)
- Sangam literature
(r s Sharma pg number 217-219, lucent page number 38)

Neolithic age or New Stone Age ( from 7000 BC-3000BC)

Only Neolithic settlement found in Mehrgarh (Baluchistan).


They were first food producers and animal keepers.
The Neolithic people used tools and implements of polished stones. They also

used tools made of bones.


As they produced cereals the people used pots to store grains. Coarse Grey

pottery (burnt) started in Neolithic age.


People domesticated dogs. In Kashmir, the people of Neolithic settlements

used to bury dogs with their masters.


South India has largest number of Neolithic settlements because of easy
availability of stones. As tools were made from stones Neolithic people didnt
find settlements away from hilly areas.

It gave way to Chalcolithic phase

Chalcolithic culture

End of Neolithic age saw use of metals.


It was age where stone and copper tools were used.
Sites mostly found in western India.

Chalcolithic age was mostly rural. Only Jorwe culture of Maharashtra that

period was reached urban age.


People knew copper smelting. However formation of alloy not known.
People used red and black color pottery.
They reared animals. However agriculture production was poor.
Not acquainted with burnt bricks.
Expert in cloth manufacturing knew art of weaving and spinning.
In Maharashtra dead were buried in north south direction in the houses. In
south India dead buried in east west direction. They did not use separate

crematories as in Harappan culture.


Venerated terracotta figure of mother goddess.
Social inequalities present.
We also find Orch Colored pottery in north and central India.
Chalcolithic neither write nor lived in cities.
Some Chalcolithic Cultures
Ahara Culture: The sites of Ahar Culture were Aahar (Rajasthan), balathal,
Gilund etc. The distinctive feature is black and red ware.
Kayatha Culture: Located in Chambal and its tributaries, the sturdy red
slipped ware with chocolate designs is main feature
Malwa Culture: Narmada & its tributaries in Gujarat. One of the largest
Chalcolithic settlements.
Svalda Culture: The well-known sites are in Dhulia district of Maharashtra.
Prabhas & Rangpur Culture: Both of them are derived from the Harappa
culture. The polished red ware is the hall mark of this culture.

HARAPPAN CULTURE
GEOGRAPHY
- (2500 BC-1750BC)
- Spread over daimabad(MH) in south to Manda (J and K) in north, Hindon or
-

alamgirpur (UP) in east to sutkagendor(Baluchistan) in west.


Port cities: lothal, sutkagendor, allahdino, balakot, kuntasi

Capital cities: Harappa and Mohenjodaro.

- Lucent Page 1 (star marked). (Location of cities).


80% civilization on Saraswati river.

Polity
-

Harappan culture older than Chalcolithic but more developed than the latter. Use

of bronze.
Ruled by merchants. Not much weapons found. No standing army. Rulers more

concerned with commerce than war.


People more concerned with commerce than conquest.
Lack of warrior class
Seals served as symbol of authority, used for stamping and as amulets. Not used

for trade.
Seals made of steatite. But not used for coinage.
Economy
- Iron not known.
- Harappan civilization was primarily urban.
- Wheat, barley, peas, rice, sesamum cultivated.
- Bead making, shell ornament making, terracotta, brick kilns, bronze images,
-

clay images. Harappan practiced boat making and well versed in textile.
Trade in raw materials with Arabia, mesoptomia, Persia, bharain. (no mention

of china). Trade by barter system


Domesticated animals.
First producer of cotton in world.
They didnt used currency or coinage. Trade carried out by barter system.

Social and cultural


-

Worship of mother goddess, yoni and lingam.


The Harappan culture paid great attention to health and cleanliness.
Dholavira has fort within forts. Dholavira citadel constructed of stones. This
isnt the case with other citadels. While other Indus Valley sites were divided
into two parts viz. Citadel and Lower Town, Dholavira was divided into three

divisions.
Aware of wheel but not spoked wheel.
No temples or religious structures.
Phallus worship. (shivalinga worship)
Proto shiva seal contained images of Rihno, Tiger, Elephant and Buffalo and
two Deer at feet.

Lion not known to the people


Hump less bull in Indus seals. They also knew humped bulls.
People believe in ghosts and evils. Used amulets to ward off evils. Seals were

used as amulets
Invented their own independent art of writing. But not deciphered. Hence

called proto-historic.
Citadel of Dholavira built of stone unlike Harappa and mohanjodaro which

used bricks.
Used standard weights and measures.
Red ware pottery painted with black designs. Pottery contained the figure of

trees, animals and humans.


Terracotta images were unsophisticated. Hence it shows class variation among

people that used it.


Harappan werent Vedic. As during Rig-Vedic time people were unaware of
burnt bricks, horse centered unlike Harappans, knew only barley, major

occupation cattle rearing unlike agriculture and trade of Harappan.


Harappan script written from right to left.
Tree and animal worship present.
Burial was method of cremation. Double burial found in Lothal. Human
skeleton huddled together found in Mohenjo-Daro. Oval shape grave in

Surkotada.
Size of dwelling show considerable variation in Harappan culture.
There was also certain kind of social inequalities present in Harappan culture
on basis of class rather than caste. The size of houses and citadels give a clear

indication of an elite ruling class.


Swastika figured in Harappa culture.
Lucent
Rigvedic period (1500-1000BC)

Geography
-

Located in land of Saptasindhu i.e North India near Punjab and western UP

Polity
-

Monarchy was normal but non-monarchial polities also existed.


Kings post was hereditary. Traces of election of king by samiti can be found.
Women participated in sabha and vidatha.
Bali: voluntary offering made by common people to the king; vrajapati: officer

who enjoyed authority over large stretch of land.


Tribal system of government with strong military. No civil system of

administration.
Horse chariots used in war
No standing army
The Indo Aryan tribes succeeded against the indigenous tribes because of use

of chariots and better army equipped with arms and coats.


fought with bows and arrows
Gifts made to priest were in form of cows and women slaves.

Economy
-

Pastorals and cattle herders


Domesticated horses
Land didnt form a type of private property
No tax collection.
Very little trade.
Coins not known.
Professions like carpenters, smiths, tanners, weavers, potters grinders etc

existed.
Didnt know to grow rice.
The main Iron Age archaeological cultures of India are the Painted Grey Ware
culture (1200 to 600 BCE) and the Northern Black Polished Ware(700 to 200

BCE).
Superior knowledge of agriculture. Knew different seasons. Ploughshare
mentioned in Rig-Veda. However society mainly pastoral.

Society

Also called Ochre colored pottery culture.


Varna system mentioned in Rig-Veda. However members of same family were

from different varnas.


Art of healing wounds. Experts in surgery
male dominated society
Buried dead bodies. But also practiced cremation.
Horse sacrifice. Mentioned in Rig-Veda
Animal sacrifice. Didnt raise animals for dairy products.
Central Asian influence in Rig-Veda
Cult of soma
Spoked wheel
Pit dwelling
Underground houses and use of Birchwood.
Fire cult. (it connects people with god)
The fire altars discovered at Harappa has no relation with the Rig-Vedic period.
Tribal element in society still dominant and hence largely egalitarian.
Dominant way of god worship was recitation of prayers and performance of

sacrifices.
In Rig-Veda no desire expressed for daughters.
Women could attend assemblies and offer sacrifices along with their husband.
Institution of marriage established. Polyandry practiced.
Widow Remarriage. No child marriage. Marriageable age fixed at 16-17.
The term shudra first mentioned in Rig-Veda.
The god varuna: personified water. Supposed to uphold natural order (rita).
Patriarchal society. Male gods more important than female gods.
Indra, Agni and Varuna were important gods.
Rig-Vedic people worshiped gods to ask them for children and cattle.
Fathers property inherited by son.
Rig-Vedic people ate meat.
Death penalty for killing cows.
Not familiar with cats and camel. Lion was known.
Lucent (pg 10: various gods)

LATER VEDIC PERIOD (1000BC- 500BC)


Geography
-

Extended to whole of north India. Mentioned in satapatha brahamana.


Later texts also mentions vindhya mountain.

Polity
Vidatha disappeared. Sabha and samiti dominated by men. Womens position

in society relegated.
Women no longer attended political assemblies.
King performed ceremonies like, rajasuya: sacrifice;

ashvamedha:

unquestioned control over the area over which the royal horse ran. The horse
-

was then sacrificed; vajapeya: chariot race.


Kings still didnt have standing army.
In taittariya brahmana we notice divine origin of kingship.

Economy
-

Agriculture chief means of subsistence of later vedic people.


Barley, rice and lentils grown.
Collection of tax and tributes become common.
Considerable advancement in knowledge of metals.

Society
-

Also called painted grey ware pottery culture


Yajurveda: contains rituals
Atharvaveda: magical charms.
Bhramanas: ritualistic formulae and explain social and religious meaning of

rituals.
Used iron weapons
Hardly knew about burnt bricks.
Weaving was confined to women.
Settled life because of agriculture and arts and craft.
Towns begin to appear. But nothing close to Harappa culture.
Varna and Gotra system introduced. Rig-Veda mentions Varna system.
Rigidity in Varna system.
Maitrayani samhita: three evils: liquor, women and dice.
Indra, agni and varuna relegated to lower position. Its place was taken by

Bhrama, Vishnu and Mahesh.


Brihadaranyaka upanishada first gave the doctrine of transmigration of soul

and doctrine of karma.


Evidence of formation of guilds.
Iron implements buried with dead bodies.

Four types of pottery known: black and red ware; black slipped ware; painted

grey ware and red ware.


Vedic texts mention sea voyages.
No upanayana (sacred thread ceremony to permit learning vedic text) and

gayatri mantra for women and shudras.


Aitareya brahmana mentions bramhana as seeker of livelihood and acceptor of

gifts from the prince but also removable by him.


Grant of land to priest not established.
Sacrifices to god become more important than prayers.
Worshipping of god for material gains and not for spiritual upliftment. (same as
Vedic period)

Maghada empire (Gautama Buddha times) (600BC-325BC)

16 mahajanapadas mentioned in Buddhist and jain literature.

Monarchial as well as republic kingdoms present

Polity

Chronology: haryanaka dynasty (bimnisara-ajatshatru-udayin); shisunaga

dynasty; nanda dynasty (rule of dhanananda during alexanders invasion );


Alexanders invasion: 326BC
Magadha which first used elephants in war on large scale.
Bimbisara was contemporary of Gautama Buddha. He was the first king who

had a regular standing army.


Ajatshatru: 1st Buddhist council organized; Buddha attains enlightment.
Mahapadma of nanda dynasty uprooted the shisunaga dynasty. He is known as

the first empire builder of India.


Rajgir and Patliputra were two capitals of Magadha empire.
In 516BC Iranian ruler Darius annexed Punjab and Sindh. It was later

conquered by Alexander.
Horse chariots were losing importance.

Economy
-

Also called northern black ware phase.


It marks beginning of second urbanization in India.
Saw the use of metal money in the age of Buddha. Money was made of silver.

However copper coins were also used.


Trade facilitated use of money.
Village lands were divided into cultivable plots and allotted to family.
Taxes collected by royal agents and there was no landlord between peasants

and the state.


Rice production grew in this phase.
Production of low carbon steel.
Advanced food producing economy established in the Gangetic region. Hence

maintenance of large army possible.


Artisan and traders too paid taxes. The payment was made both in cash and
kind.

Society, art and culture


-

NBPW was very glossy and shinning type of pottery.

Artisans and merchants were organized in guilds. Specialization in crafts

developed on the strength of guild system. Generally crafts were hereditary.


During Iranian invasion in 5th century BC they brought Kharoshthi script.
Written from right to left. Some Ashokan inscription in north west India is in

this script.
Pali language used throughout India.??

Mauryan age (322BC-185BC)


Polity
-

Monarchial. Administration run according to that mentioned in kautilyas

Arthashastra.
King most important element in administration.
Megasthenes was a Greek ambassador to the court of Chandragupta Maurya.

His book Indica gives an account of the administration of Mauryas.


The stimulus for state formation in peninsular India came from Mauryas.
The Maurya Empire reached its zenith during the reign of Asoka.
Maurya had a vast bureaucracy
Mauryans maintained huge army and navy.
(The sungas and kanva dynasty succeeded the Mauryas in north India)

Economy
-

All the economic activities were controlled by the state.


State provided irrigation and regulated water supply. Water tax charged.
Employment of slaves in agriculture activities. This was a striking social

development.
Mauryas attached greater importance to assessment than storage and deposits.
Tax also collected in kind.
Punch marked silver coins used as imperial currency.

Society, art and culture

The Varna system wasnt rigid as the Vedic period.


Arthashastra looked upon shudras as Aryans.
Women occupied higher position. They were allowed to seek divorce and
remarry. Women were employed as personal bodyguard of the king and also as

spies.
Introduced stone masonry on large scale.
Polished pillars made up of sandstone.
Terracottas also produced.
Ashokas major edicts (lucent pg no 28)
Sohgaura and mahasthana inscription deal with the relief majors adopted

during famine.
Four Lion capital at sarnath and sanchi, single lion capital at rampurva and

lauriya, single bull capital at rampurva.


Ashoka first started rock cut architecture in India. Barabar caves for ajivika

sect.
Use of iron tools not restricted to any particular class.
Use of spoked wheels.
Burnt bricks first time introduced in north east India.
Ring well first constructed under the Mauryas. Thus settlements can now be

found away from the rivers as ring wells could supply water.
Round form large stone burials made by megalith builders.
Art of making steel spread throughout India during this period.
In order to bring virgin soil under cultivation the farmers were allowed

remission in tax and supplied with cattle, seeds and money.


Asoka inscription also mentions kingdoms of south India.
Prakrit was the official language.
Revere all the Buddhas, revere the dharma, revere the sangha is the

inscription in Mathura lion capital.


Megasthenes wrote that the dress worn by the Indians was made of cotton of a
brighter

Post Mauryan times

white

colour

than

any

cotton

found

elsewhere.

After the fall of Mauryan empire series of attacks came from northwest India.
The chronology is: Indo Greeks(200BC)- shakas- parthains- the kushans- Indo

sassanian.
Indo Greeks: the most important ruler was Milinda. He was converted to
Buddhism by Nagasena. Greeks issued large number of coins. They were first
rulers that issued punched coins definitively attributed to a king or a dynasty.
Introduction of Hellenistic art. First to issue gold coins. Introduced theatre in
India. The plan of theatre is of Greek origin. Astronomy and astrology

flourished. Indian astrology influenced by Greeks.


Sakas: Rudradaman I undertook repairs of sudarshan lake in Kathiawar. Satrap
system (military governorship) adopted. These governors had the power to

issue their own inscriptions and mint their own coins.


Kushans: Kanishka was most famous ruler. He started the Saka era used by
Govt of India. Extended patronage to Buddhism. He held Buddhist council in
Kashmir where Mahayana and Hinayana Buddhism were separated. Kushans
were first to issue gold coins and copper coins on large scale. Kushans
extended the system of satraps. Introduced hereditary dual rule. Kushans issued
inscriptions and coins in various scripts like Bhramhi, Kharoshthi, Greek and
in various languages. Practice of making leather shoes. Gold coins imitated the
roman gold coins. Glass making flourished. They controlled the famous silk
route passing through central Asia. Charak was the court physician of Kanishka

I.
Sakas and kushans were excellent horsemen. They both introduced turban,

tunic, sherwani, coat in India.


Greek ambassador Helidorus setup a pillar in honor of vasudeva in Besnagar

(Vidhisha) in MP in around mid 2nd century BC.


Writers like Ashvagosha were patronized by Kushans. Ashvagosha wrote
Buddhacharitra and composed Sanskrit kavya called saundarananda.

Satavahana phase (60BC-225AD)

The satavahanas succeeded the mauryas in deccan.


Coercion played key role in satavahana administration.
They used gold as bullion. They didnt issued gold coins as the Kushans. They

issued lead coins.


Aware of art of paddy transplantation.
They were the first to make land grants to Bhramanas and Buddhist monks.
Satavahanas also started practice of granting tax free villages to Bhramanas

and Buddhist monks.


This phase had matrilineal social structure.
Buddhism flourished.
The Amravati Stupa depicting the life of Buddha was built by these rulers.
Official language Prakrit.
Vakataka empire emerged on ruins of satavahanas.

Megalith history (since 1000BC)


-

Known for their funerary structures.


The graves called as megaliths because they are encircled by large stones.
The graves contains human skeletons, pottery and iron articles.
Megalithic people didnt practice and advanced type of agriculture. They

primarily remained hunters.


In south India the human skeleton were buried in the urns made of red pottery
Despite use of iron the megalithic people preferred hilly slopes for settlement

and funerary structures rather than plain.


They cultivated Ragi and rice on small scale.

(Years 200BC-250AD)
Art and culture
-

Cloth making, silk weaving and manufacture of luxury items developed.

Mathura a centre for manufacture of special type of cloth called shataka.


Coin minting an important craft.

Most guilds in this period confined to Mathura region and western Deccan.

People used to deposit money with these guilds.


The most significant export of Rome to India, especially south India was gold
and silver coins.

(Pandyas were first mentioned by Megasthanese. The kingdom was famous for its pearls.
Pandyas also find mention in Ramayana and Mahabharata).

Gupta period (319AD-540AD)


-

Chandragupta 1 founder of empire. Capital: Patliputra.


Samudragupta believed in conquest. Poet Harisena was in his court. Prayaga
prasasti/ Allahabad pillar inscription gives samudraguptas details. Napoleon of
India. The Gupta emperor, Samudragupta granted permission to Buddhist king
of Ceylon Meghavarman to build a monastry at Bodh Gaya. Hence, he was

also known as Anukampavan (full of compassion).


Traveler Fa hein came to India during reign of Chandragupta 2.
As per Natya-darpana ( by Vishakadata), the Iron pillar had been put up by
Chandragupta II himself after defeating Vahilakas. The Mehrauli iron pillar
inscription mentions Chandragupta II Vikramadityas authority over north
western India and a good portion of Bengal. This pillar was established by

Chandragupta as Vishnupada in the honor of Lord Vishnu.


He made Ujjain its 2nd capital.
Kumargupta founded Nalanda university.
Last ruler: Skandagupta. His reign ended after defeat from Huns from
northwest.

Polity
-

Feudatory nature. Army was maintained by respective feudal chiefs


Practice of appointing crown prince became vogue.

Criminal and civil law coded properly.


Kingship was hereditary; however throne not always went to eldest son.
King looked as god Vishnu.
Horse chariot receded into background. Cavalry and horse archery became

important.
Judicial system far more developed than earlier times.
Bureaucracy not as elaborate as Mauryas.
Vassals: they offered homage to the king, paid tribute to him, presented him
daughters in marriage.

Economy
-

Land taxes increased and that of trade decreased.


Fiscal and administrative concessions to the priest.
Land grants and tax free villages to the Brahmanas.
Guptas issued largest number of gold coins in ancient India. More than the

Kushans. The purity of gold was less than Kushans.


Trade in silk with Romans continued. But it declined in 6th century after

Romans learn the art of growing silk from the Chinese.


Indian merchants had to rely on south East Asia for trade.
Land survey carried out. (Poona plates of prabhavati gupta)

Society, art and culture


-

Forced labour called vishti common.


Guilds enjoyed certain immunities. They looked after affairs of their own

members and punished those who violated laws.


Number of castes increased. This was because: inclusion of foreigners,

inclusion of tribals and inclusion of guilds as new castes.


Shudras and women were permitted to listen to Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Women position relegated. Sati, ban on widow remarriage and child marriage

become common.
Polygamy became common.

No land inheritance to women. However the definition of stridhan now


included property received from parents as well as inlaws during marriage. The

stridhan can be sold by women by herself.


Niyoga i.e practices of remarrying the younger brother of husband after
husbands death was practiced among lower caste people but not among higher

caste.
Buddhism ceased to receive patronage.
Promotion of Vaishnavism. Idol worship flourished. Festivals started on large

scale.
Guptas were tolerant towards other religious sects.
Art and literature flourished.
Ajanta paintings of Buddha.
Poets like Bhasa and Kalidas were present during Gupta period. Kalidas

created Abhijnanashakuntalam (love story of king dusyanta and shakuntala)


The plays during Gupta period had 2 common feature: 1) they were only
comedy plays 2) the character of upper and lower caste people used to speak in

Sanskrit and Prakrit resp.


Bronze image of Buddha started producing on larger scale.
In Maths Aryabhatta produced Aryabhatiya.
Fa hsien mentions that Chandalas lived outside the village.
Awareness of zero and decimal.
Temples (lucent page number 48)
Nagara style temple building. Foundation of garbha griha to place gods.
First time we get images of Shiva, Vishnu and other gods.
Seated Buddha image at Sarnath.
Dasvatara temples, the great boar carved out at udaygiri,
Punishment was light and taxes were low.
Use of Sanskrit flourished.
The Dashavatara Temple or Vishnu Temple also called Gupta temple at
Deogarh. It was built in the Gupta Period (320 to c. 600 AD ). Archaeologists
have inferred that it is the earliest known Panchayatana temple in North India.

Harsha rule (606AD-647AD)

Polity
-

Harshas coming to power typifies the feudal age of north India


Officer received rewards in form of land grants. Hence less number of coins

issued.
Law and order not well maintained.
Punishments were harsher.

Society
-

Hsuan tsang visited harsha kingdom


The kumbha fair started during harshas reign
Shudras position elevated.
Nobles and priest lived luxurious life.
Great support for Buddhism
Harsha was himself a Shaivite
Followed tolerant policy
R S SHARMA (CH 28, 30, 31, 32)

Some facts
Bahubali is also called Gommatesha because of the Gommateshwara
statue dedicated to him. The statue built by the Ganga dynasty minister and

commander Chavundaraya,
The sermon Buddha gave to the five monks was his first sermon, called the

Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta.
Banabhatta was the court poet of Harshavardhana, who wrote Harshacharita

and Kadambari.
Mahabhashya was written by Patanjali. is a commentary on selected rules
of Sanskrit grammar from Pn ini's treatise, the Ashtadhyayi, as well as
Ktyyana's Varttika, an elaboration of Pn ini's grammar. The great

grammarian Patanjali is said to be a contemporary of Pushyamitra Sunga


Tolkppiyam is a work on the grammar of the Tamil language. It deals with
orthography, phonology, morphology, semantics, prosody and the subject
matter of literature. It belongs to second tamil Sangam.

The story of Manimekalai is a sequel of an epic Silappatikaram that tells the


story of the conversion to Buddhism of the daughter of Kovalan and Madhavi.

Seethalai Saathanaar was the author of the book Manimekalai.


The holy places where the four principal events of the Buddhas life took place
are Lumbini (birth), Bodh Gaya (Enlightenment), Sarnath (First Sermon),
Kusinagar (Death took place). Apart from these four places, there are another
four holy places viz. Sravasti, Rajgriha, Vaishali and Vajrayana, these eight

holy places are known as Ashtamahasthanas.


The Bhabru rock edict gives information about Asokas conversion to
Buddhism. The rock edict stated that he has full faith in Buddha, Sangha and

Dhamma.
The Major Rock Edict VIII describes Asokas first Dhamma Yatra to Bodhgaya

and Bodhi Tree.


The Mauryan Emperor Asoka has been mentioned by name Ashoka in his
inscriptions at Maski and Gujarra only.