• The Vakataka kingdom was founded by Vindhyashakti, who was succeeded by his son Pravarasena.
  • The Vakataka king Rudrasena II married Prabhavati Gupta, the daughter of Chandragupta II. After the death of Rudrasena II, the administration was carried on by Prabhavati Gupta as agent of her minor son.
  • It is said that the caves XVI and XVII and the Chaitya cave XIX of Ajanta belong to the Vakataka age.


  • He belonged to the Aulikara family which probably ruled upto the beginning of Gth century.A.D.
  • He defeated Mihirkula according to his Mandsor inscription.

Age of Harsha 

  • Pushyabhuti was the founder of the Pushyabhuti Dynasty.
  • The fourth King Prabhakarvardhan assumed the title of Maharajadhiraja. His daughter Rajyashree was married to the Maukhari King Grahavarman of Kannauj.
  • Sasanka King of Gauda advanced towards the west and in alliance with the King of Malwa Devagupta, defeated and killed the Maukhari king Grahavarman and imprisoned his queen Rajyashree.
  • Harsha made Kannauj the seat of power from where he extended his authority in all directions. In the beginning he contended himself with the modest title of `Rajaputra Siladitya'.
  • Hieun Tsang mentions the Vallabhi King Dhruvasena II as Harsha's son in law. He also attended the religious assembly called by Marsha at Prayag. The Vallabhis remained a strong power during the reign of Harsha.
  • The early history of Harsha's reign is reconstructed by his biography 'Harshacharita' written by his court poet Banabhatt.
  • The later history is known from the account of Hiuen Tsang who wrote Si-yu-Ki.
  • He ruled a vast territory comprising eastern Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Orissa. He is reported to have led an expedition to Kashmir from where he carried forward to the tooth relic of Buddha.
  • In eastern India he faced opposition from the Shaivite King Sasanka of Ganda, but his death in A.D. 619 put an end to his hostility.
  • He was defeated by Chalukyan King Pulakesin II in A.D. 634.


  • The empire was administrated on almost the same lines as that of the Guptas except that Harsha's administration had become more feudal and decentralised.
  • Land grants to officers in lieu of their salary were probably begun by Harsha on a considerable scale.
  • Harsha assumed the title of the king of Magadha, and maintained diplomatic relations with China.


  • A Shaiva in the beginning, he gradually embraced Buddhism.
  • He held two grand assemblies - one in the city of Kannauj and the other at Prayag known as `Mahamoksha Parishad'.
  • The Kannauj assembly was summoned to honour Hiuen Tsang and publicise the Mahayana form of Buddhism. The assembly was attended by Bhaskarvarman and kings of twenty countries.
  • Ban Bhatta wrote Harshcharita and Kadambari. Other scholars included Matanga, Divakar, Jayasena and Bhartrihari.
  • Harsha founded the Harsha era in 606 A.D.

The Chalukya of Badami (Vatapi) 

  • In A.D. 535 Pulkeshin I founded a small kingdom with the capital at Vatapipura (modem Badami).
  • The next notable king was Pulakeshin II. A long inscription on the walls of a Jaina temple in Aihole gives an account of his reign (Aihole Prasasti by Ravikirti).
  • The greatest achievement of Pulkeshin II was the defeat he inflicted on Harshvardhana.
  • He annexed the region between the Krishna and Godavari (Vengi) from the Pallavas and placed them under his brother Vishnuvardhana. This was the beginning of the Kingdom of eastern Chalukyas or the Chalukyas of Vengi.
  • The Pallava king Narsinihavarman routed and killed him and adopted the title of Vatapikonda or the conqueror of Vatapi. 
  • Vikramaditya I, son of Pulkeshin II, re-established his authority over the whole kingdom and defeated three successive Pallava kings and captured Kanchi. He also defeated the Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas.
  • Kirtivannan, the last ruler of this dynasty was defeated by the Rashtrakutas and the Chalukyan rule came to an end in about 757 A.D.

The Pallavas 

  • Simhavishnu was the founder of the Pallava dynasty.
  • Mahendravarman I was called Mattavilasa. He wrote Mattavilasa Prahasanna. He gave up Jainism and took up Shaivism under the influence of Appar.
  • Narsimhavarman I was called Mahamalla which means a wrestler. He defeated Pulkashin Ii and adopted the title Vatapikonda.
  • He sent an expedition to Ceylon to reinstate Sinhalese prince Manaverma.
  • He erected the Rathas at Mahabalipuram (seven Pagodas).
  • Parrneshwara Vartnan built the temple at Kanchi.
  • Narsimha Varman II adopted the title of Rajsinha.
  • Dandin, the author of Dasakumarcharita, lived in his court.
  • He built the Kailashnath Temple and shore temple at Mahabalipuram.

The Rashtrakutas 

  • Dantidurga who was a feudatory of Chalukyan King Vikramaditya H founded the Rashtrakuta dynasty in 753 A.D. He made Manyakhet or Malkhed as his capital.
  • He was succeeded by Krishna 1 who gave a final blow to Pallavas.
  • Dhruva defeated Dharmapala and Nagbhatt II.
  • Govinda III also made incursions to north India and defeated Pala king Dharmapala and wrested Malwa from Pratihara Nagabhatt.
  • Amogbvarsha I fought with eastern Chalukyas and Gangas.
  • He wrote Kavirajamarga which is the earliest Kannada work on poetics. He also wrote Prasnottarmalika.
  • Indira III defeated Pratihara Mahipala I.
  • Krishna I built the famous Kailashnath temple at Ellora.
  • Krishna III defeated the Chola king Parantaka I in the battle of Takkolam.

The Pratiharas 

  • The Pratiharas are also called Gurjara Pratiharas belonging to the 36 clans of Rajputs.
  • The dynasty was founded by Nagabhatt II who is known for checking the invasion of the Arabs. He was defeated by the Rashtrakuta king Dhruv.
  • The tripartite struggle for control of Kannauj began during the reign of Nagabhatt's successor Vatsaraj.
  • The Pratiharas recovered under Bhoja I or Mihir Bhoja who was enthroned in Mahodaya Nagar (Kannauj) in 836 A.D.
  • Mihir Bhoja was a devotee of Vishnu and adopted the title `Adivarha'.
  • Mahendrapala extended his power over Magadha and Bengal. His court was adorned by Rajshekhar who wrote Kapurmanjari, Kavya Mimansa, Bal Ramayana, Bal Bharat, Vidhsaal, Bhrinjika, Prapanch Pandav, and Bhuvan Kosh-Harvilas etc.
  • During Mahmud Ghazni's raid on Kannauj, Rajyapala fled from the battle-field and was murdered by Vidyadahra Chandella. 
  • Yashpal was the last ruler of this dynasty. By 1090 A.D. the Garhwalas conquered Kannauj.

The Palas 

  • The Pala Empire was founded by Copal in 750 A.D. when he was elected the king by notable men of the realm during a period of anarchy or `Matsa Nyaya'. He founded Odantapuri.
  • The Palas displaced the Later Guptas of Magadha and the Khadga dynasty of eastern Bengal.
  • He was succeeded by Dharmapala in 780 A.D.
  • Suleiman visited his kingdom and called the Pala kingdom Ruhma (Dharma). Dharmapala founded the Sompur and Vikramshila University and gave 200 villages as grant to revive the Nalanda University.
  • Devapala who succeeded Dharmapala in 810 A.D. extended his control over Prayagjyotishpur (Assam) and parts of Orissa and Nepal. He claimed victory over the Huns.
  • He preferred Monghyr to Patliputra as the seat of his 'Camp of Victory'.
  • The Pala power was destroyed by Vijaysena who founded the Sena dynasty.

The Senas 

  • The Senas of Bengal called themselves Kshatriya, Brahma Kshatriya and were original inhabitants of Dakshinpatha. 
  • Vijaysena founded the dynasty by defeating the last Pala ruler Madanpala. In 1095 A.D. he conquered Vanga by defeating Bhojavarman.
  • The Senas had a capital in Vikrampura and another in Vijaypura, modem India.
  • Vijaysena was succeeded by his son Ballalsena. He conquered Mithila and portion of eastern Bihar.
  • Ballalsena was succeeded by Lakshamana Sena who defeated Jayachandra of the Gadhwala dynasty. During his reign Mohd. Bit Bakhtiyar Khalji made a sudden raid and captured Nadia.
  • Around the middle of 13th century, the Senas were overthrown by the Deva dynasty.

The Cholas 

  • Vijayalaya was the founder of the Chola Empire. He was a feudatory of the Pallavas of Kanchi.
  • Parantaka I captured Madurai but he was routed by Rashtrakuta Krishna III at the battle of Takkolam. His son Rajaditya lost his life in the battle.
  • Sundarchola also known as Parantaka II wrested Tondaimandalam from the Rashtrakutas and fought a battle with the Pandyas.
  • Rajaraja I (985-1014) adopted the titles of Arumolivarman, Mummadi Chodadeva, Jaykonda, Martand Chola, Mumabi Chola, Keralnath, Sing-haltank, Pandakulashini etc.
  • He defeated the Cheras, Chalukyas and Gangas. He captured Madurai from the Pandayas. He captured northern Ceylon and made Polonnaruva its capital instead of Anuradhapur. He annexed the Maldives.
  • He built the Brihadeshwar temple at Tanjore which is also called the Raja-rajeshwar temple.
  • Rajendra I succeeded Rajaraja I.
  • Rajendra I completed the victory over Ceylon and took its king Mahinda to the Chola Kingdom.
  • He defeated the Pandyas and Keralas and formed a new Kingdom with its capital at Madurai. His son Rajadhiraja was appointed the viceroy there.
  • He led an expedition to the north and defeated the Pala ruler Mahipal I. He assumed the title of Gangaikonda and established a new capital named Gangaikondaacholapuram. He built a Shiva temple here and excavated a tank called Chodagarg.
  • He also defeated the Shailendra or Srivijaya King Vijayatungavarman.
  • He assumed the title of Pandita Chola, Mudikondachola, Nigarilli Chola and Gangikondachola.
  • He allowed Vijaytungavarman of the Shailendra dynasty to build the Chudamani Vihar at Nagapattanam.
  • Rajadhiraja I defeated the Pandyas, Keralas and rulers from Sri Lanka. He sacked Kalyani and planted a Jaystambha at Yadgir. He had his Virabhishekha and assumed the title of Vijay Rajendra. He died in the battlefield while fighting in the battle of Koppam against Someshwar I Ahvamalla, the western Chalukyan King.
  • Rajendra II was crowned in the battlefield. He defeated Someshwar, who drowned himself to death. He planted a Jaystambha at Kolhapur.
  • Veer Rajendra defeated Someshwar II and established a Vedic college of learning.
  • Adhirajendra had to face many rebellions and he died while suppressing one of them. Thus the line founded by Vijayalaya ended with Adhirjendra.
  • The next king belonged to the eastern Chalukyas of Vengi. He was Kollutunga I. He united the eastern Chalukyas of Vengi with the Cholas. Hence, the subsequent history is known as Chola-Chalukyan history.
  • Kollutunga I discarded wars and worked for peace. He was called Sangam Tavritta or abolisher of tolls. lie liberated Sri Lanka, In 1077 he sent an embassador to China. The noted writer Kamban adorned his court.
  • The Cholas were supplanted by the Pandyas of Madurai.

Local Self Government 

  • The Uttarmerur inscription of Dantivarman Pallava and Parantaka I have thrown sufficient light on the local self government of Cholas.
  • The assemblies were of three types.
  • 'Ur' was the most common assembly of villages where land was held by different castes. The assembly consisted of tax-paying residents.
  • The 'Sabha' or the `Mahasabha' was the exclusive assembly of the Brahamanas who resided in the agrahara villages given to them through brahmadeya grants.
  • The third type of assembly was the `Nagaram' and it was the assembly of merchants in the towns.

Art and Literature

  • The Cholas continued with the Pallava architectural style.
  • The Dravida style of architecture of the Cholas had certain special features. It included a viman, mandap, gopuram, lion, pillars, bracket and composite pillars.
  • The Gopuram style was developed under the Cholas.
  • Rajaraja-I built the Rajarajeshwar temple at Tanjore.
  • The system of canals in south is a contribution of the Cholas.
  • Rajendra-I built a Shiva temple at Gangaikondacholapuram.
  • The Cholas were famous for the bronze statue of Nataraja.
  • Kamban wrote Ramayana. Sivagasindamani was also produced.