CAPF-AC (Assistant Commandant) Exam Study Material :
History – Early Medieval India
History : Early Medieval India
Dynasties emerged from the
mobilization of warriors inside and around farming communities; but they also
came from pastoral, hunting, and mountain societies. It is accepted that there
is a period of overlap during which one phase blends into the other. This
interim period is now called “early medieval India”, with the medieval period,
properly speaking, regarded as beginning with the establishment of Turkish rule
in Delhi in A.D. 1206. Multiple sovereignties formed ranked layers as a king
(raja) became a great king (maharaja) or “king of kings” (maharajadhiraja) by
adding the names of more subordinate rulers (samantas) to the list of those who
bowed to him.
The interregnum between the
death of Harsha in the mid-seventh century A.D. and the rise of the Delhi
Sultanate nearly six hundred years later is often viewed as a tedious epoch
in Indian history, with few redeeming features.
The opening of the eighth
century witnessed the ascendancy of Yashovarman in Kanauj. A reputed
warrior, he is even said to have allied with China against the growing power
of the Arabs.
He is also remembered as the
patron of the great Sanskrit litterateur, Bhababhutti, as well as Vakpati,
composer of the Prakrit poem, Gaudavaho (“Slaying of the king of Gauda”).
In the eighth century,
Lalitaditya of Kashmir made the Karkota dynasty the most powerful in India
since that of the Guptas. He routed the Arabs of Sind and established his
mastery over Kanauj, and was also the builder of the magnificent Martand
The great monarchs of the line
included Indra, Dantidurga, and Krishna who built the famous rock-cut
Kailash temple at Ellora. The dynasty entered a new phase with the accession
of Dhruv, who launched its northern expansionist drive.
Several tribal groups made the
transition from pastoral economies to settled agriculture, as a consequence
of which agrarian society was considerably expanded.
Local and tribal forces also
began to contribute to state formation. In Orissa, for instance, the
Shailodbhavas, who came down from the Mahendragiri mountains and settled
near the Rishikulya river, established a kingdom in the central regions.
The great Sankaracharya renewed
Vedanta philosophy and incorporated several doctrinal and organisational
features of Buddhism and Jainism into Hinduism.
He organised the sanayasis into
ten Orders and established four spiritual centres at Badrinath. Puri. Dwarka
The great Bhakti saints
included Appar, Sambandar and Manikkavasagare whose writings were collected
in the Tirumurai, known as the Tamil Veda.