Ancient India Simplified: Post-Gupta Period- Pushyabhuti (Vardhana Dynasty): The Reign of Harshavardhana.

1. Harshavardhana transferred the capital from Thaneswar to Kannauj in the seventh century and finally made Kannauj his capital.
2. Harshavardhana, who ruled North India from 606 to 647 A.D. made Kannauj, the centre of North India’s political dominance.
3. Harshavardhana was often described as ‘a lion to the Huna deer’ as he successfully faced the Huna menace.
4. Harsha governed his empire on the same lines as the Guptas did, except that his administration had become more feudal and decentralised.
5. War against Pulakesin II of the famous Chalukya dynasty: The battle was fought on the banks of River Narmada and Harshavarshana was defeated. Harsh could not extend his empire beyond the river Narmada.
Harsha’s Administration1. He used to supervise personally and didn’t leave the administration to the bureaucrats only.
2. His tour to the remote part of the kingdom and make contact with local population ,understanding their problem and finding solution make him very popular among masses.
3. Maintenance of Public Records was an important feature of Harsha rule.
4. He had a strong army consisting of Elephant,Cavalry,infantry which was very important to establish a powerful kingdom.
5. His deeds of charity embracing Buddhism all gave a very positive sentiment about him to the public.
6. The tax burden was less on people.
7. There was stability and peace in the kingdom.
Harsha’s Religion1. In the beginning used to worship Shiva but later inclined towards Buddhism.
2. Then like Ashoka and Kanisha, he employed all his state machinery for the popularity of Buddhism.
3. He forbade the slaughter of any living thing or the use of flesh as food.
4. Every year, Harsha began to call a general assembly of the Buddhist Sangha for the purpose of examination and discussion.
5. Prayag Assembly: After every 5 years, he would call a general assembly of the Buddhist monks of Prayag where liberal grants were given to the religious  men and institutions.
6. Kannauj Assembly: In honour of the Chinese guest, Hieun Tsang and for the purpose of promoting the cause of Mahayana Buddhism, this grand assembly was arranged. In this assembly huge donations were given to Buddhist monks, Brahmanas, Jains and members of other sects and also to the poor, orphans and destitutes. 
Literature during the times of Harshavardhana1. He was also a Great patron of learning.
2. Harsha has himself authored three dramas- Priyadarshika, Ratnavali and Nagananda.
3. Banabhatta was a poet in Harsha’s court. He wrote ‘Harshacharita’ a biography of Harshavardhan with detailed account of the events leading up to his rise of power. It was written in Sanskrit language. He also wrote a drama called ‘Kadambari’.
4. Hiuen-Tsang, a Chinese pilgrim who visited Harsha’s court, wrote a book ‘Si-Yu-Ki’ (the world of the west) after going back to China.
5. Other Scholars included Matanga, Divakara, Jayasena and Bhartihari.
Harsha died in the mid 7th century AD (A.D. 647). However Kanauj, from the 6th century A.D. till the period of Mohammad Ghori, in 1194 A.D., played an important role in the history of north India. 
During 750-1000 AD, three political powers namely Gurjara-Pratiharas in Northern India, Palas in Eastern India and Rashtrakutas in Southern India emerged. They constantly fought among themselves to establish supremacy over the Gangetic area, particularly for Kannauj which was popularly known as Tripartite Struggle.

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