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1. AIHOLE near Badami with rock cut and structural temples of
Western Chalukya period, is favous for the temples of Vishnu, Ladkhan
and Durga. It furnish examples of a well developed Deccan style of
architecture. The other three styles of ancient India being Nagar
Dravidian and Vesara. It is also famous for its inscription or Prasasti
composed by Ravikirti, the court poet of Pulkesin II. This prasasti
mentions the defeat of Harsha by the Chalukya king, Pulkesin II, a r
rare event of a Northern emperor or ruler being defeated by a ruler
south of Narmada.

2. ACHICHHATRA identified with modern Ramnagar in Bareily district

of U.P. was the capital of North Panchala in the first half of first
millennium B.C. Exacavation grove that it had moats and ramparts
around it, it has revealed terracottas of the Kushan period, and also
remarkable siries of coins of second century A.D. Its importance lies in
the fact that it was on the important ancient Indian northern trade
route linking Taxila and Inidraprastha with Kanyakubaj and Sravasti,
Rajgriha and Pataliputra indicating that trae could be one of the
reasons for its prominence.

3. AJANTA near Aurangabad (Maharashtra), is famous for wonderful

Buddist caves, and also paintings probably executed only b the
Buddhist monks. Paintings of exceptional skill belong to the period
between 2nd century B.C. and 7th Century A.D. One of the cave well
depicts the reception of a Persian mission in the Chalukya court of
Pulkasin II indicating cultural and commercial contacts with the Persian

4. ANUPA in Narmada valley mentioned in the Nasik inscription (dated

115 A.D.) of Gautami Balasri, mother of the Satvahana ruler Sri
Satakarni (Circa 72-95 A.D.) was conqured bythe latter from the
sakas, and was a bone of contention for long between the Sakas and
the Satvahanas. The sakas were responsible for driving the
Satavahanas. Into the south -eastern and western direction. In other
words, Anupa signifies the earlier homeland of the Satvahanas.

5. APARNTAKA (Aparanta), identified withk Konkan, i.e. North

western region of the Deccan, was a bone of contention between the
sakas and the Satavahanas and is mentioned in Nasik Inscription
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(dated circle 155 A.D.) of Gautami Balasri. Gautamiputa stakarni

conquered it from theSakas. According to the Mahavamsa, the third
Buddhist council deputed Great elder Dharamarakshita to do
missionary work in Aparantaka region. Literacy evience locates the
Abhiras in this region, who probably were responsible for identifying
Lord Krishna as the diety of cowherd and milk-maids.

In matters relating to trade and commerce it was famous for the

production of cotton textiles in ancient times and ated, as the
hinterland for the ancient ports of Bharukachechha and Sopara.

6. ARIKAMEDU near Pondicherry, known to the periplus as podoka,

wa port of call in Sangam Times (200 B.C.) on the route of Malaya and
china. Recent excavation during which a veryrich treasure of Roman
beads, glass and coins, and of Roman and south Indian Pottery were
found have proved that it was once a prosperous settlement of
Western trading people, including the Romans.

The favourable balance of Payments position ejoyed by India in its

trade with Rome is amply revealed by the rich haul of Roman gold

7. AYODHYA also known as A-yu-te or Abhur of Saketa on the river

Sarya (Modern Ghaghra) in Faizabad district of U.P. was the earliest
capital of the Kosala Janapade and was the seat of the epic hero,
Rama. It is also known for its short Sanskrit inscription of king
Dhandeva of Kosal (belonging probably to the first century B.C.) which
refers to the conducting of two Asvamedha sacrifices by king
Pushyamitra. From the economic view-point it was located on the
important trade of Tamralipti-Rajagriha-Sravasti which passed via

8. AMRAVATI near modern Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh), is famous

for its stupa and as an art center flourishing under the Satavahanas
and the pallavas. Second century works of art khow mastery of stone
sculpture. Amravati bas-reliefs have the representation of ancient
Indian vehicles - the boat or the ship or the cart, and of a foreign
mission (like the Ajanta cave paintings) of marchants being received
by a king. In ancient times is was an important center of trade, and
ships from here sailed to Burma and Indonesia.

It is maintained by some scholars that a human figure, for the first

time, that a marble stone relief was executed.
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9. ASIKA (Probably on the left bankof the river Krishna), is mentioned

in the Nasik inscription (dated circe 115 A.D.) of Gautami Balasri, it
was conquered by the Satavahana rular Gautamiputra Satakarini
(………) The latter fact reveals that Gautamiputra Satakarni gained a
stronger hold of southern India which proved beneficial because of the
continuing Saka pressure even after his victory against the Sakas.
King Kharavela of Kalinga also made a claim of its conquest.

10. AVANTI (western Malva) one of the 16 Janapadas of 6th century

B.C. with its capital at Ujjain; struggle dhard against Magadhan
imperialism but in vain. According to Buddhist traditions, Asoka, the
Mauryan ruler, served as the Viceroy of Avanti, while he was a prince.

Since Malwa region is important politically, and economically it became

a bone of contention between the Sakas. And the Satavahanas,
Rashtrakutas and Pratiharas in ancient India. It is through this region
that the importanttrade routes from eastern and western Indian
passed Via Ujjain to the important Western ports Bharukachchha
(Broach) and Soparaka (Sopara).

11. ANGA one of the 16th Janapadas of 16th century B.C. Lay to the
east of Magadha with Champa, near Bhagalpur, as its capital. Some of
the Anga monarchas, like Brahmadatta, appear to have defeated their
Magadha contemporaries. Subsequently, however, Magadha emerged
supreme leading to the establishment of the first empire of ancient
India. In other words, the conquest of Anga by Magadha was one of
the stepping stones for the Magadhan Empire.

12. BARHUT in central Indian is famous for Buddhist Stupa and stone
railings which replaced the wooden ones in the Sunga period. Barhut
sculptures depict the visit of king Ajatasatru to the Buddha. Barhut
along with Sanchi and Bodh-Gaya represent the first organized art
activity of the Indian people as a whole. Furthermore, all these clearly
indicate the transition of sculpture from wood to stone.

13. BARYGAZA OR BHARUKACHCHA (Broach) was the oldest and

largest northern most entrepot on the mouth of the Narmada river in
modern Maharashtra. It handled the bulk of the trade with western
Asia (Jataka stories and the Periplus mention it). It was also one of the
district head quarters of the Saka rulers. According to Jain traditions, it
was the capital of the Saka empire. It was international trade that
mode Barygaza important in ancient India.
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14. BARBARICUM was an important port in the Indus delta, receiving

Chinese furs and silks through Bacteria for export to the West. It
added to the growing prosperity of India in the first century A.D.

15. BADAMI (MODERN NAME FOR VATAPI) in Bijapur district was

founded by pulkesin I as an early capital of the Western Chalukyas. It
as a hill-fort and an exquisite cave temple of lord Vishnu excavated
during the rule of Manglesh, the Chalukya ruler. Huen-tsang visited it.

16. BODH-GAYA situated six miles south of Gaya in Bihar on the

western bank of the Nilajan river, was the place where the Buddha
attained enlightenement. It was part of the Magadha janapada.

17. BANAVASI (north kanara in Karnataka) also known as Vaijayanti,

was the capital of the Kadambas who were defeated by the Chalukya
king Kirtivarman during the last quarter of the 6th century A.D.
According to the Ceylonese chronicles Ashoka sent a mission to Deccan
with the Monk Rkshita who went as far as Banavasi.

18. BRAHMAGIRI in Chitaldurg district of Karnataka, is remarkable

for its continuity of cultural heritage extending from Neolithic (stone-
age culture) to megalithic (early historic culture-3rd century B.C. to Ist
century B.C. with possible links with Mediter anean and Caucasian
Megaliths) revealing ancestory worship and animism pointing to the
practice of cist and pit burials. It is the site of one of the two minor
rock edicts of Askoka. These edicts suggest the provability of Ashoka
entering the Sangha as a full monk after two and a half years of his
conversion to Buddhism.

19. BURZAHOM in Kashmir Valley near Srinagar, is associated with

megalithic settlements (dating 2400 B.C.) where the people lived on a
plateau in pits using tools and weapons of stone (axe) and bones. (The
only other site which has yielded considerable bone implements is
Chirand, 40 km. West of Patna on the northern bank of the Ganges
and using coarse grey pottery. The information that we gather from
the two places, recently discovered, throws light on the proto-histroy
of India).

20. BAMIYAN an important Buddhist and Gandhara Art center in

Afghanistan in the early Christian centuries, has tall rock-cut Buddha
statues. The ancient trade route linking north western India with China
passed through it. It was the capital of the Hunas in the 5th and the
6th centuries A.D.
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21. BELUR with a group of Hoysala monuments including the famous

Chennakesava temple (built around 1117 A.D.) represents an art
which applies to stone the technique of the ivory worker or the

22. CHIDAMBARAM a town in south Arcot district in Tamilnadu is

famous for its great Hindu Siva Temple dedicated to Nataraja, i.e. Siva
in his aspects of cosmic dance. The Nataraja sculptures are esteemed
as tehgreatest specimens of sculpture in the world. Also,
Chidambaram bears evidence to the birth as well as the development
of Shaivism to begin with insouthern Indian and its consequential
spread to the whole of India.

23. CHEDI OR CHETI one of the 16 Janapadas of 6th century B.C.

roughly corresponds to modern Bundelkhand and adjacent tracts. It
lay near the Kanuna, its metropolis was suktimati to Sottihivatinagar.

24. CAAMPA the capital city of the Anga Janapada on the border of
Bengal was of great commercial importance in ancient times; for it was
a river port from which ships would sail down the Ganges and the
coast the south India, returning with jewels and spices which were
much in demand in the North. By Mauryan times, with the eastward
expansion of Aryan culture, Tamralipti replaced in in importance. An
interesting feature of this is the fact that a Hindu Kingdom with the
same name came into existence in the mainland of South east Asia.
Indeed it is difficult to say how exactly this name came to be
transplanted in South-east Asia.

25. DASAPURA modern Mandasor in western Malwa, was disputed

between the Sakas and the Satavahanas. Its famous Siva temple of
the guild of Silk weavers, was built during the reign of kumar Gupta I
(414 A.D.-455 A.D.) the institution that is responsible for building the
Siva temple indicates the climax of Indian trading and commercial
activities in ancient Indian. It also reveals that manufacture of silk was
no longer the secret monopoly of China and it had taken roots in India
by the 5th century A.D.

26. DEVAKA modern Dokak in Nowgong district in Assam, a frontier

country which paid tribute to Samudragupta claiming the payment of
tribute by Kamarupa goes along with Devaka. However, it is to be
borne in mind that Harisena's Prasasti is of doubtful historical validity.
The one significant thing that is known is the fact that no ruler of the
northern India could ever conquer the Assam region but instead
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Burma conquered it and it was wrenched from Burma by the British in

1829 by the Treaty of Yandavoo.

27. DEOGARH in Jhansi district of U.P. is famous for its Dasvatara

Vishnu temple belonging to the Gupta period. The temple may be
considered as most respresentative and well known example of the
early sikhara style of temple architecture in example of the early
sikhara style of temple architecture on the panels of its walls. Deogarh
is one the temples with which began the temple architecture of India.
In particular, the Shikhara is the unique feature of the
northerntemples compared to those of southern Indian.

28. DWARAKA Legends associate this place toYadavas after the

battle of Kurukshetra. According to mythology Dwaraka was destroyed
by the huge tidal wave as per the forewarning of Lord Krishna. In very
recent times Dr. S.R.Rao with the cooperation of the Department of
Ocenography, did carry out under-sea explorations. Some artifacts
including stone anchors have been found dating back to the Harappan
period. The exploration is still continuing.

29. ELLORA With three distinct groups of rock-cut architecture

associated with Buddhism, Jainism and Brahmanical Hinduism, is
famous for its temple of Kailash (Siva) "an entire temple complex
completely hewn-out of the live rock in imitation of a distinctive
structural form". The temple ws built by the Rashtrakuta king Krishna I
(758-773 A.D.) and is one of the most magnificent examples of
Dravida architecture with its four principal characteristic components,
viz. Vimana, Mandapa, nandi mandapa and gopuram. The Ellora
sculptures are famous for their liveliness.

30. ERAN Besnagar district (Madhya Pradesh) is famous on account of

Eran Inscriptions dated 510 A.D. This inscription mentions the practice
of Sati, first of its kind. It is also famous for its colossal board, the
zoomorphic incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

31. ELEPHANTA beautiful little island off Bombay, with latest

cavetemples in Ellora style was famous for their sculpture, especially
the great Trimutti figure of Siva, emblem of the Maharashtar Govt.
representing the highest plastic expression of the Hindu concept of

32. GANDHARA with Taxila and peshwar as two capitals, in earlier

and later ancient periods was one of the 16 Janapadas (6th century
B.C.) onthenorth-western frontier of India. Under the Kushans it
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become a popular center of Mahayana Buddhism and Gandhara art-

Indian images both secular and religious (the Buddha and Lord
Krishna) but in long floating garments, as is the tradition of early
Greek sculpture. It was a meeting ground for several civilizations and
mercantile communities belonging to different countries.

33. GORATHAGIRA A hill fortress on the modern Barabar hills in the

Gaya district of Bihar, was attacked by King Kharavela of Kalinga in
the 8th year of his reign. This fact is known from the Hathigumpha
Inscription of king Kharavela.

34. GANGAIKOND-CHOLA-PURAM was capital city of the greatest

Chola ruler Rajendra Chola I (1012-1044 A.D.) who built it after the
successful Chola military camaign upto the bank of the river Ganges in
1021-22. Currently the city lies inruins and its enormous tankshas
dried up.

35. GIRNAR hill near Janagarh in Gujarat, where a Mauryan governor

is said to have built an artificial lake, known as Sudarsana lake which
Rudradaman, the Saka ruler renovated. Rudradaman's Sanskrit
Inscription was located here and it is the first Sanskrit inscription It
had been a sacred place to the Jainas since remote times because Jain
shrines are also located here.

36. HASTINAPURA aim district Meerut in U.P. (known as Asandivant)

was the capital of the ancient tribe of the Kurus. Later the floods
destroyed it. Recent excavations prove that the people of this region
used iron by about 700 B.C. that is the Aryans had learnt the art of
making iron which revolutionized the whole socio-economic pattern of
Aryan communities. It was this fact that lay at the base of the
Economic Revolution that India passed through between 1000 B.C. to
600 A.D. with far too many consequences like the emergence of an
empire, various kinds of guilds, brisk trade both with in and with out
the country and links with buth South-east Asia and the Roman

37. HATHIGUPHA on Udaigir hill, three miles from Bhuvaneshwar in

the puri district of Orissa, is famous for an inscription in post-ashokan
character, engraved inside the elephant cave. It depicts the meteoric
and dazzling carer of Jaina king Kharavela, the 3rd ruler of the Cate
dynasty. It also refers to the building of an equeduct in Kalinga by one
of the Nanda rulers of Pataliputra. The importance of this inscription
lies in the fact that it is the first important sign-post in fixing the
chronology of ancient India.
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38. HAILBID is famous for Hoysalesvara temple (Hoysala period)

designed and built by Kedoroja, the master-building of Narasimha I.
The infinite wealth of sculpture over the exterior of this temple makes
it one of the most remarkable monuments of the world. Known as
Dwaramudra it was the capital of the Hoysalas.

39. INDRAPRASTHA identified by Jain scholars with the site around

the enclosure of the Purana Oila (Delhi) one of the sites of painted
Grey Ware (10th century B.C.) finda, was the legendry capital of the
Pandava brothers of the epic Mahabharata, which they lost to the
Kauravas having been defeated in the gambling match. After the
second battle of Tarain (1192) Moh. Gauri appointed Outbuddin Aibak
as his deputy at Indraprastha which became a base for Aibak's
successful operations against north Indian states.

40. KURA one of the 16 Janapadas of 6th century B.C., was in the
neighbourhood of Delhi. Among its towns may be mentioned
Indraprastha and Hastinapur. This place clearly brings home the truth
to us that Mahabharata was not purely fictional story but some amount
of historical evidence is embedded in the story. As a matter of fact,
Vasudeve Krishna is now known as a historical personality as borne
out by the writings of patanjali and other sources of evidence.

41. KAJANGALA in Raj mahal district in Eastern Bihar, where king

Harsha (606-647 A.D.) held his court while campaigning in eastern
India.The Chiense pilgrim Huen-Tsang first saw Harsha here.

42. KAPISA It is the region near Kabul, probably Kipin as referred to

by Chineses writers. The presiding diety of the city according to
Chiense writers was zeus. The Greek god. The gold and silver coins
issued by the Greek kings have been discovered from this region in big
numbers. The Greeks were the first to issue gold coins in India. These
coins testify to the growing trade links between India and Central Asia
and China and also with the Roman world. Far more important is the
fact that these coins testify to the gowing worship of Vasudeva-krishna
or the Bhagavata cult which later repened as Vaishnavism.

43. KIPIN is identified with Kapisa or Kafirstan in Kashmir. It

indicated the wide region know in earlier times as the Mahajanapada
of Kamboja. It was ruled by the Sakas, the Kushans and the Hunas in
succession. The name Kamboja reappears as the name of kamboja, an
important of the mainland of South-East Asia.
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44. KAMPILYA was the capital of southern Panchalas, one of the

tribal communities of the Aryans. This fact proves that the Aryans, to
begin with in India, lived as various tribes. The tribes were in constant
war with eachother culminating in the emergence of the Magadha

45. KUSAMDHVALA (Patliputara) Gargi-Samhita alludes that in the

2nd century B.C. the Yavanas (Indo-Bacterians) having reduced
Saketa, Panchala, and Mathura reached kusumdhvana. Demetrios,
was, most probably, the Yavana leader. He was defeated or he retired
withouth fighting.

46. KASI one of the 16 Janapadas of the 6th century B.C. with its
capital of the same name. It was also called Varanasi (69). It greatly
prospered under the rule of Brahmadatta.

47. KOSAL one of the 16 janapadas of the 6th century B.C. had three
different capitals (Saketa, Ayodhya and Sravasti) in three different
periods. It region roughly corresponded to modern oudh.

48. KUSINAGAR (Kusinara ?) moder Kasia, in Gorakhpur district in

UP was a small town where the Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana. It
was one of the two capitals of the Mall Janapada in pre-Buddhists
times. It was visited by Ashoka and the Chinese pilgrim Fa-hien.

49. KANYAKUBJA (Kanauj) on the bank of river Gangas in UP rose

to prominence during the time of Mukhar is, Harsha and Gujara-
Pratiharas. Under the pratiharas, Kanauj successfully resisted the
Arabs. In the 9th century A.D. It was disputed among the Palas of
Bengal, Prathiharas, and the Rashtrakutas. It was situated on a very
important trade-route linking north-Western regions of India with
Prayaga, Kasi, Vaishali, Pataliputra, Rajagriha, Tamralipti.

50. KAUSAMBI identified with the villagesof Kosam near Allahabad

was one of the earliest cities, so prominent that Anand, the Buddhist
monk, though it important enough for a Buddha to die in. Recent
excavation it here unearthed historically and culturally important
terracotta figures. It was built in the shape of a trapezium and was the
capital of the vastse Janapada. One of the Ashokan Pillars was located
here. It was also an inscription of the Kushan monarch.

60. KARNA-SUVARNA : refers to the region of Bengal and some

parts of Bihar and Orrisa, fuled by sasanka in the early 7th century
A.D. Harsha conquered the region from him after 619 A.D.
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61. KANHERI In Thana district near Bombay, has rock cut Chaitya
shrines with elaborately decorated railings belonging to the third
century A.D. One inscription of the last great ruler of the Satavahana
dynasty. Yajnasri Satakarni is found here. Kanheri Buddhist Tank
inscription makes mention of Matiemonial relationship between the
Sakas and the Satavahanas. It was the chief center of Buddhism in
Rashtrakuta times. Faint traces of the art of paintings may be traced in
the caves of Kanheri.

62. KANCHI modern canjeevaram, south-west to Madras is reckoned

among the seven sacred cities of the Hindus. It was an important
center of Jaina culture in the first half of the first millennium A.D. It
was one of the south Indian kingdoms conquered by Samudragupta. It
was visited by Huen-Tsang. It rose to prominence in 7th century A.D.
Under the Pallava king. It possesses the famous Kailashnath temple
(built by Pallava King Narsimhavarman - II) and Vaikuntha perumalla
(constructed sometime after the kailashnath). The Kailashnath temple
is a landmark in the development of dravida temple style with its
characteristic components-vimana, mandapa gopuram and an array of
vimanas along the walls of the court, i.e. peristyle cells.

63. KAVERIPATTANAM known as Puhar, was the Chola capital and

chief port in Sangam period (200 B.C.- 300 A.D.) with a large colongy
of foreigners. It was an important trade center. Ships sailing from here
to South-East Asia. A long poem on this Chola capital is the part of the
famous Sangam work pattupattu (Ten Idylls).

64. KURUKSHETRA near Thaneswar, to the north of Delhi in

Haryana, was the site of the great battle of Mahbharata. This battle
fought between the Kauravas and the Pandavas, formed the basis of
the story of the greatness of India epics the Mahabharata. It is in this
great war that Krishna prached his gospel of the Gita, to the Pandava
hero Arjuna who saw his own elders and kishmen arranged himself for
the fith and then early decided to renounce and retire. Krishna gave
him the message of disinterested perfomance of duty i.e. renunciation
in action but no renunciation of action. That a great war ws fought
between the cousin brothers - Kauravas and Pandavas is quite

65. MANYAKHET (modern Malkhed in Hyderabad region) was the

capital of Rashtrakuta Amoghavarsha I in the 9th century A.D.

66. MAHABALIPURAM is today a tiny coastal village 65 kms. south

of Madras. This port-city was founded by Pallava king
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Narasimhavarman in the 7th century A.D. Pallava kings created an

architecture of their own which was to be the basis of all the styles of
the south. In fact Mahabilipuram, the Pallava art with its monolithic
temples (rathas) and rocks sculptured in the shapes of animals with a
wonderfully broad and powerful naturalism, with whole cliffs worked in
stone frescoes, immenspictures unparalleled at the time in all Indian in
their order movement and lyrical value. The Descent of the Ganges,
the unique masterpiece of Pallava art was surely one of the most
remarkable compositions of all time (in which is portrayed the Ganges
coming down to earth, with gods, animals men and all creation in
adoration). The shore temple built by Rajasimha represents one of the
earliest examples of structural temples. the Pallvava monuments at
Mahabalipuram symbolize not only the transition from rock-
architecture to structural stone temples but also significantly the
completion of the "Aryanisation" of South India during the Pallava

67. MADHYAMIKA is identified with Nagari near Chitor in Rajasthan.

Patanjali alludes toYavana (Indo-Bacterian) invasion of Madhyamika.

68. MUSHIKAS on the lower Indus with its capital at Alord. Was the
greatest principality at the time of Alexander's invasion. Its king
mousikanas submitted to Alexander after brave resistance.

69. MATIPUR modern Mandawar in district Bijnor of UP was a center

of Hinayana Buddhist studies in the 6th and 7th centuries A.D. Huen-
Tsang stayed here for some time.

70. MADURAI popularly known as the city of festivals, was the seat
of the 3rd Sangam and was till the 14th century the capital of the
Pandyan kingdom which had sea-borne brade with Rome and Greece.
It is famous for the Minakshi temple.

80. MACCHA or Matsaya, was one of the 16 janapads. The Matsyas

ruled to the west of the Jamuna and south of the Kurus. Their capital
was at Viratnagar (modern Bairrat near Jaipur).

81. MALLA was one of the 16 Janapadas of the16th century B.C. The
territory of the Mallas was on the mountain slopes probably to the
north of the vijjain confederation. They had to branches with their
capitals at Kusinagar and Pawa. But in pre-Buddhist time the Mallas
were a monarchy.
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82. MUZIRIS modern canganors in Kerala at the mouth of the river

Periyar, an important port in Sangam period (20 B.C. - 300 A.D.)
abounded in ships with cargoes from Arabia and Roman world. Later
literature speaks of Roman settlements and a temple was built here ni
honour of Augustus.

83. NAGARJUNAKONDA is Krishna Velley, harboured a Neolithic

community with stone-axe-culture and primitive mode of agriculture.
With a few classical accidental looking sculptures in proves trade and
culture contacts with the Roman world. Survival of a Buddhist stupa
proves it to be a Buddhist center in early Christian centuries. The
beginning of Hindu temple architecture in south India are best traced
in the remains of the early brick temples of the Ikshavakus excavated
here anticipating the Nagara, Dravida and Vasars styles.

84. NASIK (also known as Naiskya and Govardhan) is famous for

exquisite rock-cut Buddhist temple (of the period 2nd BC - 1st A.D.)
with an engraved iscription of Gautami Balsari recording the
achievement of the Satavahanas ruler Gautamiputra Satakarni). A
large board of silver coins bearing the name, the titles of Nahapana
were discovered at Jogalthambi very close to the Nasik suggesting the
defeat of the Saka ruler bythe Satavahana knig. It is also famous for
the Chaitya and Vihar as pan-du-lonea.

85. PITHUNDA on the Godavari, was the capital of the Avapeople or

the Avamukta which was conquered as Samudragupta.

86. PADMAVATI was Nag capital is Gwalior region. Its king Ganapati
Naga was defeated by Samudragupta.

87. PRATISHTHANA (Paithan) at the mouth of the river godavri in

the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, was the capital of Satavahana
kings. It was an important commercial mart linked with Sravasti.

88. PURUSHPURA (modern Peshawar) was the capital of

Kanishka's vast empire and the center of Gandhara art. It became the
chief center of Buiddhist activity and studies with building of number of
huge Chaityas and viharas and with one stupa. The Chiense pilgrims
refer to a many storied relic-tower in which some relics of Buddha
were enshrined. It is here that the icons of Buddha and other Hindu
gods were first finely carved. In provided the meeting place of the
marchants of India, China, central Asia, Persia, and the Roman world.
Dinesh Rathod Page 13 of 17

89. PATTADAKAL near Aihole Badami is famous for magnificentrock-

cult and sculptures temples in Chalukya and Pallava style. The number
of such temples is ten - four in the northern style and six in southern.
Most famous of these temples is lokesvara temple (now called

90. PANCHALA was one of the 16 janapadas of the 6th century B.C.
Its area correspondent to modern Bundelkhand and the portion of the
Central Doab. It had two divisions northern and southern, the Ganges
forming the boundary line. Their capitals were Ahicchatra and
Kampilya respectively. One of the early Panchalas kings, Durmukha, is
credited with conquests in all directions.

91. PUSHKALAVATI i.e. the "city of lotuses' in Afganisthan to the

north of the river Kabul (modern Charasadda) in the district of
Peshawar was conquered by Alexandar. It was the old capital of
western Gandhara. A gold coin (belonging to the 2nd century B.C.)
with the city goddess (Lakshmi) holding a lotus in her right hand and
an appropriate Kharoshthi legend "Pakhalavati devata" had been
discovered here pointing to the popularity of Indian goddess. It
remained under the rule of the Indo-Greeks, the sakas and the
Kushana. It was an important link in India's trade relations with
central Asia and China.

92. RAJAGRIHA moder Rajgir, near Patna in Bihar was and ancient
capital of Magadha under Bimbisara and Ajatsatru. It was here that
first Buddhist council was held after the death of Buddha. The
cyclopean walls of the this old commercial town are among themost
remarkable finds in India.

93. SAKALA modern Sialkot, capital of Menander, was the refuge of

Buddhist monks. It was here, according to Buddhist tradition, that
Pushyamitra Sungha declared to give an award of 199 dinars for the
head of a Buddhist monk.

94. SANCHI :near Bhopal famous for a Buddhist stupa and for one of
Ashoka's Minor Pillar Edicts. Sanchi sculptures along with Bharhut
Godh-Gaya represent the first organized art activity of the Indian
People. There are reliefs of the Jatkas on the stone walls around the
stupa. Sanchi revealed historically important inscription of the
Satavahanas and the Gupta kings. Kakanodbota probably was the
ancient name for Sanchi, which was inhabited by the tribal people
Kakar, and was conquered by the Samudragupta.
Dinesh Rathod Page 14 of 17

95. SRAVASTI moder Saket-Mahet on the borders of the Gonda and

the Bahraich districts of U.P. On the river Rapti - It was a famous
center of trade in ancient times, from where three important trade
routes emanated linking it with Rajagriha, Pratishthana, and Taxila. It
was one of the early capitals of the Janapad of Kosal. Later, it served
as the provincial headquarters of the Gupta kings. Fa-hien visited it.

96. SAKETA region around Ayodhya, was invaded by Yavanas (Indo-

Bacterin) is attested to by Patanjali.

97. SARNATH near Varanasi, is the place where the Buddha delivered
his frist sermon in the Deer park, this event being known as the
"Turning of the Wheel of Law". It is the site of the famous Ashokan
Pillar of Polished sand-stone whose lion capital was adopted by the
people of Free India as the state emblem. It was also the famous seat
of Gupta sculpture. Gupta plastic art reached its perfection e.g. the
seated Buddha in preaching posture.

98. SRAVANA-BELGOLA in Hasan district of Karnataka, is famous for

the monolithic statue of Gometeswara- 85fit. High, erected in 980 A.D.
by Chemundya Rai, the chief minister of the Ganga king Rachmal.

99. SOPARA port town known to the Periplus and ptolmey, carried
most of the ancient Indian trade with foreign countries; gradually it
began to lose its importance to Berygaza and Barharium- Ist century
A.D. onwards. It ahs survived as a village 40 miles north of Bombay.

100. TOSALI (Dhauli) near Bhuaneshwar in Puri district of Orissa,

was the seat of one of the Mauryan viceroyalties as well as one of the
fourteen major rock edicts of Ashoka. The Tosali rock edict refers only
to the conquered province.

101. TRIPURI now village near Jabalpur, was the capital of the
Kalachuri dynasty. The Kalachuri kings became independent in 10th
century A.D. In 1939, Tripuri had the distinction of being the venue of
the 54th session of Indian National congress.

102. TAMRALIPTI Tamluk in the Midnapur district of Western Bengal

was one of the most important port-towns of ancient India. Outlet to
south-east Asia when there was trade boom.

103. TANJORE is famous for Rajarajeswava or Brihadeswara temple

of lord Shiva which is the largest and tallest of all India temples with
its vimana towering to a height of nearly 200 feet over the
Dinesh Rathod Page 15 of 17

Garbhagriha with Pyramidal body in thirteen tiers. It was the seat of

Chola government in the 9th century A.D. and later of an independent
kingdom after the fall of ther Vijayanagar Empire. Weight of the cap
80 tonnes. Conceived on a gigantic scale. Stone relief as minute as
that of jewelers.

104. THANESWAR near Kurukshetra, to the north of Delhi in the

province of Haryana, was the capital of the Pushyabhuti dynsty. The
kingdom of thanesar emerged into a powerful state under Harsha's
(606-647 A.D.) father, Prabhakarvardhan who was in constant warfare
against the Huns on the frontier and with the rulers of Malwa. Harsha
shifted his capital from Thaneswar to Kannauj. According to Heun-
Tsang the people of this city were specially inclined to trade. Thus
thanesar was a principal center of trade. It was attacked by Mahmud
of Ghazni in 1014 A.D. it is here that ahmad Shah Abdali first defeated
the Maratha army in 1759 boding to the Maratha collapse at Panipat in

105. UJJAIN in Madhya pradesh was the capital of Avanti (6th

century B.C.) and Chandragupta II, and was one of the provincial
capitals of the Mauryas. It was the modal point of two ancient trade
routes, one from Kausambui and the other from Mathura, its chief
exports being agate, jasper and carnelian. It has an observatory built
by Maharaja Savai Jai Sing II (1686-1743).

106. URAIYUR also known as Aragaru,on the river Kavari, was for
some time the Sangam chola capital, was famous for its pearls and
muslin, the latter being as think as the slough of the snake.

107. UTTARMERUR is a village of Tamil Nadu where nearly two

hundred inscriptions belonging to Pallava and Chola periods indicating
the nature and working of the village administration have been found.
According to Uttarmerur inscriptions Pallava and Chola villages enjoyed
maximum of autonomy inadministrative matters with popular village
assemblies like the Ur, Sabha, Mahasabha or Nagaram looking after
the village affains without any interference from royal officers. The
village of Uttarmerur was divided in thirty wards.

108. VATSGULMA modern Basim in the Ahoka district in the South of

Ajanta, was the capital of a Junior branch of the Vakatakas who are
mentioned in the Ajanta cave inscriptiona No. XVI.

109. VIDISA modern Besnagar, near Bhilsa, in East Malwa, was a

part of Sunga empire with Agnimitra, the sone of Pushyamitra Sunga
Dinesh Rathod Page 16 of 17

as viceroy. The Vidisa guild of ivory worker was famous for these
workers carved the stone sculpture on the gateways and railings
surrounding the Sanchi Stupa. It indicates commercial prosperity. It
was also famous for the Garuda Pillar Inscription which testified its
erection by a Greak ambassabor named Heliodorus in honour of
Vasudeva Krishna, the god of the Bhagavatas.

110. VAISHALI indentified with modern Basali in Muzaffarpur district

of Bihar, was apulent and prosperous town in the Buddhist period. The
second Buddhist Councial was held here. It served as the capital of
lichchavis. Later, Ajatsatru annexed it to this kingdom. Ambapali, the
famous charming courtesan, lived here and hosted to the Buddha at
one time and later she became a convert to Buddhism.

111. VENGI (in Andhra Pradesh) one of the south Indian kingdoms
probably joined the Sangha conquered by Samudragupta. It was the
capital of the eastern Chalukyas, and was disputed between the
Chalukyas and the Pallavas.



You have two maps on ancient India, one with place names along with
rivers and the other with numbers (accompanied by an index).

In the map outline for both, you will see that the outlines of Nepal,
Bhutan, Bangaladesh, Punjab, China and Burma are left out. There are
reasons for it. At times the examiners will provide you the map with no
outlines of other countries or with the outlines of one a couple of
countries. To avoid this risk, we have deleted all the outlines. Far more
important is the reason that every place and apporoximate boundary
of any area or empire confruning to either the coastline or the river
systems. It is these two that you have to master when you attempt
practicing for the map questions.

Talking of how exactly you have to make use of the notes the following
are the hints:

(a) Every time do remember whether the place time is along the
coastline or along or close to a river, it is the only way that you can be
nearly accurate inplacing the places names required in the
Dinesh Rathod Page 17 of 17

(b) Do like this. Do prepare a number of outline maps along with rivers
- doing the latter by hand, while for the former relying on a tracer with
outlines of the Indian sub-continent and a carbon paper along with a
plain sheet of paper. This part of preparing the map you must master
and it should be done in not more than three of four minutes, that is
your practice must bring downthe time involved in preparing the brae

First of all study the map with place names. After some time pick up
the map with numbers. You should be able to remember which
number refers to which place name. Whether your memory is correct
or not, you can test from the index for the numbers. At that time try
to remember where exactly a practice lar place name is located along
the river (at the mouth. Away from the mouth or in the mid or the tail
end, etc.) Accurately grasp the distance, which is a must because the
size of the map that you would be getting in the examination would be
the same as the one before your. And at thattime please remember
whether you can remember the tributaries of any river involved Ina
place name. In other words. You must know at that measurement any
particular place name can be marked on the map with only the
coastline and the river systems. If in the first one or two attempts you
have gone wrong, please do not get discourgaged. Do it again and
again till the time you in attempting the and question, which is a
compulsory question in the examination.
1/26 I couldn't wait for success, so I went ahead without it.

The Mauryan Empire:

Between the sixth and the fourth centuries BC Magadha became the
most powerful Mahajanapda.Modern historians explain this
development in a variety of ways: Magadha was a region where
agriculture was especially productive. Besides iron mines were
accessible and provided resources for tools and weapons. Elephants an
important component of the army was found in forests in the region.
Also the Ganga and its tributaries provided a means of cheap and
convenient communication. However early Buddhist and Jaina writers
who wrote about Magdha attributed its power to the policies of
individual's ruthlessly ambitious kings of whom Bimbisara, Ajatshastru
and Mahapadma Nanda are the best known and their ministers who
helped implement their policies. Initially Rajagaha was the capital of

The old name means house of the king.Rajagaha was a fortified

settlement located amongst hills later in the fourth century BC the
capital was shifted to Patliputra commanding routes of communication
along the Ganga.

The Mauryan Empire was the first and one of the greatest empires that
were established on Indian soil. The vast Mauryan Empire stretching
from the valley of the Oxus to the delta of Kaveri was given a well knit
common administration.Chandragupta Maurya was the first ruler who
unified entire India under one political unit. About Mauryan rulers we
have epigraphically sources, literary sources, foreign accounts and
materials obtained from archaeological excavations. The Arthashastra
gives us detailed information about the administrative system of the
Mauryan Empire. The work was written by Kautilya who is also known
as Chanakya.Some scholars think that Kautilya was the real architect
of the Mauryan Empire and was also the prime minister of
Chandragupta Maurya.

Megasthenese the Greek ambassador from the court of Selectus to

that of Chandragupta Maurya wrote accounts of India and Indian
people. His book 'Indica' is lost but some fragments of it are known to
us in the form of quotations in the works of the later Greek writers.
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However the most important and authentic source for the history of
Mauryan period is provided by the inscriptions of Ashoka.

Sources of Mauryan History

1.Epigraphical Evidences
The most authentic source of Mauryan history is the epigraphical
evidence. The edicts of Ashoka are the oldest, the best preserved and
the most precisely dated epigraphic records of India. The inscriptions
are engraved on rocks, boulders, cave walls and pillars of stone. The
inscriptions of Ashoka are of two kinds -the smaller group consists of
declaration of the king as a lay Buddhist to his church. These describe
his own acceptance of Buddhism and his relationship with the
Samgha.The second group of important inscriptions consists of Major
and Minor rock edicts and the pillar edicts.

They describe his famous policy of Dhamma.These inscriptions were

installed in prominent places either near towns or on important trade
and travel routes or in the proximity of religious centres and places of
religious importance.

2.Literary Sources
Of the religious sources the Buddhist and Jain traditions the early
Dharmashastra are of great importance. The Ashokavadana and
Divyavadana are two Buddhist texts containing information about
Bindusara,Ashoka's expeditions to Taxila to suppress a rebellion and
about his conversion to Buddhism.DipVamsa and Maha Vamsa describe
in detail the role played by Ashoka in the spreading of Buddhism in
SriLanka.Chaitra or Parisisthaparvan ( biography of Chanakya) of
Hemachandra provides very interesting information on Chandra Gupta

Amongst the Brahmanical works the Puranas give information on the

history of the Mauryas.Megasthenese 's Indica is another source in
which he had described the physical features of the country-
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soil,climate,animals and plants, its government and religion, the

manners of the people and their art.

This book in original form has been lost. But most passages have been
preserved in form of epitomes and quotations which are found
scattered here and there in the later writings of various Greek and
Roman authors such as Strabo, Arrian and Plinius.Another important
source which gives valuable information on the Mauryan period is the
Arthashastra.It is believed to be the work of Vishnu Gupta Kautilya
also known as Chanakya.He was the chief advisor of Chandragupta
Maurya.His book Arthashastra is a standard work on politics and art of

It is considered to be the most valuable work in the field of secular

literature.Mudra Rakshasa is another important work which throws
some light on Chandragupta Maurya's career. It is a drama written by
Vaisakha Dutta in the Gupta period. The author collected all the
information available to him in the 5th century AD.This drama gives
the detail of the revolution by which Chandragupta Maurya overthrew
the Nandas.It also mentioned that Chandragupta belonged to a low

3.Foreign sources
As a sequence of Alexander's invasions of India a number of Greek
travellers visited India. They gave valuable information of India to the
outside world.Neachus was deputed by Alexander to explore the coast
between the Indus and the Persian Gulf.Onesicritus took part in the
voyage with Neachus and afterwards wrote a book about the voyage
and India.Megasthanese was sent as an ambassador to the court of
Chandragupta Maurya by Seleucus Nikator the Greek ruler of Persia.
His account about Mauryan India is compiled in Indika.

4.Evidences from Art and Architecture

The Mauryan Art remains include chaityas, viharas, stupas, animal
capitals surmounting the pillars. On some pillars the Edicts were
inscribed. These remains give us an information about the material
used at that time about the craftsmanship, about the peaceful times,
efficient administration ,religion of the king and people etc.From these
stupas,pillars,caves we can see the progress of Mauryan art in
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different spheres like architecture,sculpture,art of polishing,

engineering and art of ornamentation.

5.Numismatic Evidence
The Mauryan empire was based on the money economy.Kautilya refers
to suvarna,silver pana and copper mashaka as a token currency. A
horde of punch marked silver coins were found at Golakhpur at a site
of ancient Patliputra belonging to Pre-Mauryan times. Most of these
coins have only symbols like tree in railing, sun, moon, mountain, and
animals, birds etc punched or stamped on them. These symbols on the
coins had probably some connection with local commerce such as the
guilds, local or provincial administration, the royal and dynastic
symbols etc.The sites from where these coins have been found imply
that these places were inhabited during the Mauryan period.

Causes of Magadhan Supremacy

The kingdom of Magadha rose to pre-eminence during the period of
Bimbisara and became the first great empire in India by the time of
Nanda.Magadha occupied a strategic position of geographical
importance. It was bound on the north and west by the river Ganges
and Son on the south by the spurs of the Vindhyas and on the east by
the river Champa.In this way it was safe from all four sides. Even its
two capitals Rajgriha and Patliputra were situated at a strategic
position from a geographic viewpoint. Its first capital Rajagriha was
surrounded by five hills forming a natural defence. While its second
capital Pataliputra being at the junction of the Ganges and the Son had
natural means of defence.

Natural resources were also favourable to Magadha.The rich iron

deposits were situated not far away from Rajgir.It was from this that
its rulers could make effective and strong weapons. Its adversaries
lacked reserves of iron ore and could not equip themselves with
weapons of such high quality. Hence they were easily defeated by
Magadhan rulers. Thus the local iron ore deposits made possible better
implements and weapons and a profitable trade in iron.

The land of Magadha was also fertile which yielded rich harvests.
Heavy rainfall made the land more productive even without irrigation.
They produced varieties of paddy which are mentioned in the early
Buddhist texts. Land taxes could be kept high which proved to be
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regular and substantial source of income to the state without which

the maintenance of a big army could not be possible and the empire
could neither be built nor consolidated. Neighbouring forests provided
timber for buildings and elephants for the army.

Chandragupta Maurya (324-300 BC)

The Buddhist sources like Mahavamsa and Dipavamsa describe
Chandragupta Maurya as a scion of the Kshatriya clan of the Moriyas
branch of Sakyas who lived in Pipphalivana in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
The Mudrarakshasa a play written by Vishakha Datta uses the terms
like Vrishla and Kulahina for Chandragupta which mean a person of
humble origin.Tuskin a Greek writer also says that Chandragupta was
born in humble life. According to Buddhist sources Chandragupta's
father was killed in a battle and he was brought up by his maternal
uncle.Chanakya finding the signs of royalty in the child Chandragupta
took him as his pupil and educated him at Taxila which was then a
great centre of learning.Chandragupta's early life and education at
Taxila is indirectly proved by the fact that the Greek sources says that
he had seen Alexander in course of the latter's campaign of Punjab.

Bindusara (300-273 BC)

Chandragupta Maurya was succeeded by his son Bindusara.The Jain
scholar Hemachandra and Tibetan historian Taranath say that
Chanakya outlived Chandragupta and continued as a minister of
Bindusara.From Divyavadana it come to know that Bindusara
appointed his eldest son Sumana as his viceroy at Taxila and Ashoka
at Ujjain.

It also tells that a revolt broke out at Taxila and when it could not be
suppressed by Susima Ashoka was sent to restore peace. Some
scholars give the credit of south India conquest to Bindusara but most
scholars believe that this was done by his father Chandragupta
Maurya.Bindusara continued the policy of friendly relations with
Hellenic world. Pling mentions that Ptolemy Philadelphus of Egypt sent
Dionysius as his ambassador to his court.
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Ashoka (273- 232 BC)

After the death of Bindusara in 273 BC Ashoka succeeded to the
throne. According to the Buddhist sources his mother was Janapada
Kalyani or Subhadrangi.As a prince he served as a victory first at
Ujjain and then at Taxila.According to the Buddhist tradition Ashoka
was very cruel in his early life and captured the throne after killing his
99 brothers.Ashoka is the first king in the Indian history who has left
his records engraved on stones. The history of Ashoka and his reign
can be reconstructed with the help of these inscriptions and some
other literary sources. The inscriptions on rocks are called Rock edicts
and those on pillars, Pillar edicts.

The Ashokan inscriptions are found in India, Nepal, Pakistan and

Afganistan.Altogether they appear at 47 places. However the name of
Ashoka occurs only in copies of Minor Rock Edict I found at three
places in Karnataka and one in MP.All other inscriptions refer to him as
devanampiya (beloved of the gods) and piyadasi.The inscriptions of
Ashoka were written in different scripts. In Afghanistan they were
written in Greek and Aramaic languages and script and in Pakistan
area in Prakrit language and Kharosthi script. Inscriptions from all
other places are in Prakrit language written in Brahmi script.

Kalinga war and its impact

The earliest event of Ashoka's reign recorded in his inscription is his
conquest of Kalinga (modern Orissa) in the 8th year of his reign. This
turned out to be first and also the last battle fought by him. The Rock
Edict III describes vividly the horrors and miseries of this war and its
impact on Ashoka.According to this edict one lakh people were killed in
this war, several lakhs perished and lakh and a half were taken
prisoners. He felt great remorse for the atrocities the war brought in
its wake.

He thus abandoned the policy of aggression and tired to conquer the

hearts of the people. The drums declaring wars were replaced by the
drums announcing ethical and moral principals with dhamma ghasa.He
sent ambassadors of peace to the Greek Kingdoms in West Asia and
several other countries. Within the empire he appointed a class of
officers known as rejjukas who were vested with the authority of not
only rewarding people but also punishing them if required.
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He thus abandoned the policy of aggression and tired to conquer the

hearts of the people. The drums declaring wars were replaced by the
drums announcing ethical and moral principals with dhamma ghasa.He
sent ambassadors of peace to the Greek Kingdoms in West Asia and
several other countries. Within the empire he appointed a class of
officers known as rejjukas who were vested with the authority of not
only rewarding people but also punishing them if required.

Dhamma of Ashoka
There is no doubt that Ashoka's personal religion was Buddhism. In his
Bhabru edict he says he had full faith in Buddha,Dhamma and
Sangha.he showed respect to all sects and faiths and believed in using
among ethical and moral values of all sects. In Rock Edict VII he says
all seeks desire both self control and purity of mind. In Rock Edict XII
he pronounces his policy of equal respect to all religious sects more

The Dhamma as explained in Ashoka's edicts is not a religion or a

religious system but a moral law, a common code of conduct or an
ethical order. In Pillar Edict II Ashoka himself puts the question what is
Dhamma? Then he enumerates two basic attributes or constituents of
Dhamma: less evil and many good deeds. He says such evils as
rage,cruelty,anger,pride and envy are to be avoided and many good
deeds like kindness,liberty,truthfulness,gentleness,selfcontrol,purity of
heart, attachment to morality ,inner and outer purity etc are to be
pursued vigorously.Ashoka established hospitals for humans and
animals and made liberal donations to the Brahmans and ascetics of
different religious sects.

He erected rest houses, caused wells to be dug and trees to be planted

along the roads.Ashoka took for the propagation of Buddhism. He
conducted Dharamyatras and instructed his officials to do the same.
He appointed special class of officials called Dharamahamatras whose
sole responsibility was to propagate Dhamma among the
people.Ashoka sent missions to foreign countries also to propagate
dhamma.His missionaries went to western Asia, Egypt and Eastern
Europe. Of the Foreign kings whose kingdoms thus received the
message of Buddhism five are mentioned in the inscriptions of Ashoka
namely Antiochus, Syria and Western Asia, Ptolemy Philadelphus of
Egypt, Antigonus Gonatas of Macedonia, Megas of Cyrene and
Alexander of Epirus.Ashoka even sent his son Mahendra and daughter
Sanghamitra to propagate Buddhism in Srilanka.
8/26 I couldn't wait for success, so I went ahead without it.

Policy and Administration

The Mauryan Empire was one of the largest in the whole of the ancient
world. It ushered in a centralized form of government. From the
Arthashastra Ashokan inscription and from the fragments available
from Megasthense's account there have a good idea about the various
aspects of administration, economy, society and religion of the people.
The king was head of the state. He had judicial, legislative and
executive powers. The king issued what was known as sasana or
ordinances. The edicts of Ashoka are examples of the sansanas.The
king was assisted in administration by a council of ministers
(mantriparishad).Besides there were some referred as Adhyakshas

Kautilya refers to a large number of superintendents like those of gold,

store houses, commerce, agriculture, ships, cows,
horses,chariots,infantry,the city etc.In the Maurya administration there
was an officer called yukta who was perhaps the subordinate officer in
charge of the revenues of the king.

The rajjukas were officers responsible for land measurement and fixing
their boundaries. They were also given power to punish the guilty and
set free the innocents. Another officer of the Mauryan Administration
was pradeshikas.Some scholars think that he was responsible for the
collection of revenue while others think that he was the provincial
governor. The Mauryan Empire was divided into provinces. During the
reigns of Bindusara, Ashoka was posted at Ujjain as Governor of the
Avanti region while his Brother Susima was posted at Taxila as the
governor of the north-western provinces. Provinces were subdivided
into the district each of these was further divided into groups of the
villages and the final unit of administration was the village. The
important provinces were directly under kumara (princes).According to
the Junagarh rock inscription of Rudradaman,Saurashtra was governed
by vaisya Pushyagupta at the time of Chandragupta Maurya and by
Yavana-raja Tushaspa at the time of Ashoka both provincial governors.

A group of officials worked in each district. The pradeshika was the

head of district administration who toured the entire district every five
years to inspect the administration of areas five years to impact the
administration of areas under his control. The rajjuka was responsible
for surveying and assessing the land, fixing its rent and record keeping
besides judicial functions. The duties of yukta largely comprised
secretarial work collection and accounting of revenue etc.There were
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intermediate levels of administration between district and that of

village. This unit comprised five to ten or more villages. The village
was the smallest unit of administration. The head of the village was
called gramika who was assisted in village administration by village
elders. It is difficult to say whether the gramika was a paid servant or
was elected by the village people. The villages enjoyed considerable
autonomy. Most of the disputes of the village were settled by gramika
with the help of village assembly. The Arthashastra mentions a wide
range of scales in salary, the highest being 48000 panas and the
lowest 60 panas.

City Administration
A number of cities such as Pataliputra, Taxila, Ujjain, Tosali,
Suvarnagiri, Samapa, Isila and Kausambi are mentioned in the edicts
of Ashoka.The Arthashastra has a full chapter on the administration of
cities.Megasthenese has described in detail the administration of
Pataliputra and it can be safely presumed that similar administration
system was followed in most of the Mauryan cities.Megasthenese
described that the city of Pataliputra was administered by a city
council comprising 30 members. These 30 members were divided into
a board of five members each. Each of these boards had specific
responsibilities towards the administration of city. The first board was
concerned with the industrial and artistic produce. Its duties included
fixing of wages, check the adulteration etc.The second board dealt with
the affairs of the visitors especially outsiders who came to
Pataliputra.The third board was concerned with the registration of birth
and death.

The fourth board regulated trade and commerce kept a vigil on the
manufactured goods and sales of commodities. The fifth board was
responsible for the supervision of manufacture of goods. The sixth
board collected taxes as per the value of sold goods. The tax was
normally 1/10th of the sold goods. The city council appointed officers
who looked after the public welfare such as maintenance and repairs of
institutions,sanitation,water supplies etc.The officer in charge of the
city was known as Nagarka.The administrative machinery of the
Mauryan state was fairly developed and well organized. Numerous
depts regulated and controlled the activities of the state. Several
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important depts that Kautilya mentions are accounts, revenue, mines

and minerals, chariots, customs and taxation.

Economic Activities
The Mauryan state concerned machinery which governed vast areas
directly and to enforce the rules and regulations in respect of
agriculture, industry, commerce, animal husbandry etc.The measures
taken by the Maurya state for the promotion of the economy gave
great impetus to economic development during the period. The
vastness of India's agricultural and mineral resources and the
extraordinary skill of her craftsmen have been mentioned by
Megasthenes and other Greek writers. The large part of the population
was agriculturists and lived in villages. New areas were brought under
cultivation after cleaning the forest. People were encouraged to settle
down in new areas.

chief of the guild was called jesthaka.The guilds settled the disputes of
their members. A few guilds issued their own coins.

Among the crops rice of different varieties, coarse grains, sesame,

pepper, pulses, wheat, linseed, mustard, vegetable and fruits of
various kinds and sugarcane were grown. The state also owned
agricultural farms, cattle farms and dairy farms etc.Irrigation was
given due importance. Water reservoirs and dams were built and water
for irrigation was distributed. The famous inscription of Rudradaman
found at Junagarh mention that one of Chandragupta's governors,
Pushyagupta was responsible for building a dam on Sudarshana Lake
near Girnar in Kathiawad.From an inscription of Skandagupta it has
been known that this dam was repaired during his reign almost 800
years after it was built. Industry was organized in various guilds.

The chief industries were textile, mining and metallurgy, ship building,
jewellery making, metal working etc.The trade was regulated by the
state. India supplied to other states indigo, cotton and silk and
medicinal items. Provisions of warehouses, godowns and transport
arrangements were also made. Foreign trade was carried on by land as
well as by sea. Special arrangements were made for the protection of
trade routes. The state controlled and regulated the weights and
measures. The artisans and craftsmen were specially protected by the
state and offences against them were severely punished. The guilds
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were powerful institutions. It gave craftsmen great economic, political

and judicial powers and protection. The

The Sanchi Stupa inscription mentions that one of the carved gateways
was donated by the guilds of ivory workers.Similary the Nasik cave
inscription mentions that two weaver's guilds gave permanent
endowments for the maintenance of a temple.Kautilya says a full
treasury is a guarantee of the prosperity of the state and it is the most
important duty of the king to keep the treasury full at all the times for
all works. During the Mauryan period taxes were levied both in cash
and in kind and were collected by local officers. The chief source of
revenue was land tax and tax levied on trade etc.The land tax was
1/4th to 1/6th of the produce. Toll tax was levied on all times which
were brought for sale in the market. Tax was also levied on the
manufactured goods. Those who could not pay the tax in cash or kind
were to contribute their dues in the form of labor.Strabo mentions that
craftsmen, herdsmen, traders, farmers all paid taxes. The
Arthashastra describes revenues at great length. This was further
augmented by income from mines, forests, pasture lands, trade and
forts etc.Brahmans, children and handicapped people were exempted
from paying taxes. Also no tax was levied in areas where new trade
routes or new irrigation projects or new agricultural land were being
developed. Tax evasion was considered a very serious crime and
offenders were severely punished.

Society and Culture

Megasthenese speaks of Mauryan society as comprising seven castes-
philosophers, farmers, soldiers, herdsmen, artisans, magistrates and
councillors. He could not properly comprehend the Indian society and
failed to distinguish between jati, Varna and the occupation. The
chaturvana system continued to govern the society. But the craftsmen
irrespective of jati enjoyed a high place in the society. The material
growth mellowed the jati restrictions and gave people prosperity and
respectability. The urban way of life developed. The residential
accommodation and its wealth etc were entered into official records
and rules and regulation were well defined and strictly implemented.
The education is fairly wide spread. Teaching continued to be the main
job of the Brahmans. But Buddhist monasteries also acted as
educational institutions.Taxila, Ujjayini and Varanasi were famous
educational institutions. The technical education was generally
provided through guilds, where pupils learnt the crafts from the early
age. In the domestic life the joint family system was the norm. A
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married woman had her own properly in the form of bride gift and

These were at her disposal in case of widowhood. The widows had a

very honourable place in the society. There are frequent references to
women enjoying freedom and engaged in many occupations. Offences
against women were severely dealt with.Kautilya laid down penalties
against officials in charge of workshops and prisons who misbehaved
with women.Megasthenese have stated that slavery did not exist in
India. However forced labour and bonded labour did exist on a limited
scale but were not treated so harshly as the slaves in the western
world. About one and half century of Mauryan rule witnessed the
growth of economy, art and architecture, education.

Art and Architecture

During the Mauryan period there was a great development in the field
of art and architecture. The main examples of the Mauryan art and
architecture that survived are

Ashokan pillars and capitals.

Remains of the royal palace and the city of Pataliputra
Rock-cut Chaitya caves in the Barabar and Nagarjuni hills
Individual Mauryan sculptures and terracotta figurines

Pillar and Sculpture

The pillars set up by Ashoka furnish the finest remains of the Mauryan
art. The pillars with Ashoka edicts inscribed on them were placed
either in sacred enclosures or in the vicinity of towns. The pillars are
made of two types of stone-the spotted red and white sandstone from
the region of Mathura and the buff coloured fine grained hard
sandstone usually with small black spots quarried in Chunar near
Banaras.The stone was transported from Mathura and Chunar to the
various sites where the pillars have been found and here the stone
was cut and carried by craftsmen. Each pillar has three parts: the prop
under the foundation, the shaft of the column and the capital. The
prop is buried in the ground. The shaft made of a single piece of sand
stone supports the capital made of another single piece of sandstone.
Thin round and slightly tapering shaft is highly polished and very
graceful in its proportions. The capital which is the third part of the
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pillar consists of some finally executed animal figures such as the lion
or the elephant.

The sacred dharmachakra with 24 spokes symbol engraved with

animal seulpures in relief and the inverted or bell shaped lotus. The
capital of the Sarnath Pillar is the magnificent and best piece of the
series. The wonderful life like figures of four lions standing back to
back and the smaller graceful and stately figures of four animals in
relief on the abacus and the inverted lotus- all indicate a highly
advanced form of art. The Indian government adopted this capital with
some modifications as its state emblem. The sculpture of the Mauryan
period is represented by the figures such as

• The Yakshi of Besnagar in MP.

• The Yaksha of Parkham near Mathura
• The Chauri bearer from Didarganj in Bihar
• The stone elephant from Dhauli in Orissa

Artistically these figures do not appear to belong to the same tradition

as the animal capitals. They were probably carved by local craftsmen
and not by the special craftsmen who were responsible for the animal

Decline of Mauryan Empire

Ashok ruled over 40 years and met with his death in 232 BC.The
decline set in and soon after the empire decline set in and soon after
the empire broke up. Seven kings followed Ashoka in succession in a
period of 50 years. The empire was divided into an eastern and
western part. The western part was governed by Kunala, Samprati and
others and the eastern part with southern India with its capital at
Pataliputra by six later Mauryan Kings from Dasarath to
Brihadratha.The revolt of the Andhras in the south and victorious raids
of Greek king in the west gave a blow to the power and prestige of the
Mauryan Empire. Due to the concern for the empire and total
disillusionment on kings unworthiness Pushyamitra the commander-in-
chief killed the King Brihadratha while he was reviewing the army. This
is the only recorded and undisputed incident in the history of India till
the 12th century AD where the king was murdered and replaced.

Most of the historians agree that after Ashoka his successors were
weak who could not control the unrest and revolt in various parts of
the empire. Some historians hold Ashoka responsible for this
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decline.Ashoka's pacifist policies weakened the empire in terms of

wars and military strength. The centralised empire needed very strong
willed rulers which were not the case with Ashoka's successors. Some
historians think that Ashoka's welfare measures must have eaten away
a large chunk of income and overall income must have been very
inadequate to maintain the army and the administrative machinery.

Moral Codes of Ashoka

Ashoka in Rock Edict XII and many other edicts prescribes the
following codes:

Obedience to mother and father, elders, teachers and other

respectable persons.
Respect towards teachers
Proper treatment towards ascetics,relations,slaves,servants and
dependents, the poor and miserable,friends,acquaintances and
Abstention from killing of living beings
Non-injury to all living creatures
Spending little and accumulating little wealth
Purity of heart

Later Mauryas (232-184 BC)

The evidence for the later Maurya is very little and whatever is there is
in an uncertain form rendering the re construction of their history very
difficult. The Puranas besides Buddhist and Jaina literature do provide
us with some information on the later Maurya but there is no
agreement among them. Even among the Puranas there is lot of
variance between one Purana and another. But on one point which all
Puranas are in agreement is that the Mauryan dynasty lasted 137
years.Ashoka's death was followed by the division of the Mauryan
Empire into two parts-western and eastern. The western part was
ruled by Kunala (son of Ashoka) and then for a short time by
Samprati.It was later threatened by the Bactrian Greeks in the north-
west and by the Satvahanas and others in the Deccan.

The eastern part of the empire with Pataliputra as the capital came to
be ruled by Dasaratha.Dasaratha is also known as from the caves in
the Nagarjuni hills which he dedicated to Ajivikas.Three inscriptions
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ordered by Dasartha Devanampriya state that the caves were

dedicated immediately on his accession.Samprati also mentioned in
the Matsya Purana is referred to in both the Buddhist and Jaina
literature as the son of Kunala.

According to Jaina tradition he was a grandson of Ashoka and a patron

of Jainism. He is said to have been converted to Jainism by Suhastin
after which he gave the religion both his active support as a ruler and
encouragement in other ways. The western part including the north-
western province ,Gandhara and Kashmir was governed by Kunala.It is
possible that Kunala gradually extended his territory to include the
western province of the empire.According to the Puranas Dasaratha
reigned for eight years.Jaina sources mention that Samprati ruled from
Ujjain and Pataliputra.

This would suggest that the capital of the western part of the empire
was moved from the north to Ujjain.The decade following was to see
the conflict between Antiochus III of Syria and Euthydemus of Bactria
with Bactria emerging as a strong power ready to threaten north-
western India.A number of Principalities in the trans-indus region
broke away from the empire while Samprati was occupied in
establishing himself at Pataliputra.Gradually the concentration of
attention moved to Magadha and the main line of the Mauryan dynasty
lived out its years at Pataliputra unable to control or prevent the
breaking up of the empire in the more distant regions.

After the reign of nine years Samprati was followed by Salisuka who
ruled for thirteen years. The successor of Salisuka mentioned as
Somavarman or Devavarman ruled for seven years. The last two kings
of the Mauryan dynasty were Satadhanvan who is said to have ruled
for 8 years and finally Brihadratha who ruled for seven years and was
assassinated by Pushyamitra Sunga.
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Vedic CITyS truths

Things to remember
It is believed that before the coming of the Aryans in India the
greater part of northern and north-western India was inhabited by a
group of people known as Dravidians
The Dravidians could not meet challenge and hence gradually
moved southwards. The horse played a very important role in the lives
of the Aryans.
There is no trace of totemism and animal worship.
Rig Veda is collection of 1017 hymns supplemented by 11 others
called Valakhilyas. Purusukta theory developed in the later Vedic
The first three Vedas -Rig,Sam and Yajur Veda are collectively
known as Trayi.
The word Arya comes from the root word meaning to cultivate and
Aryans as a whole were agriculturists who considered agriculture a
noble profession or occupation.
In the later Vedic period the purohita or priest was described as the
rashtragopa or the protector of the realm of the raja.
The king in later Vedic age performed Rajsuya sacrifice which was
supposed to confer supreme power on him. The king also performed
Vajpeya or the chariot race .The ritual lasted for 17 days and it was
supposed to elevate him from the position of Raja to that of Samrat.
Indra and Varuna lost their previous importance and prajapati
attained the supreme position in later Vedic age.
Pushan became the God of Sudras.
Rudra and Vishnu became more important than before.

Delhi Sultanate
The Slave Dynasty
1.Qutub-ud-din Aibek
5.Rulers of the Sultanate Period
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Khalji Dynasty
Jalaluddin Firuz Khalji

Jalaluddin Firuz Khalji was the founder of the Khalji dynasty. He came
to power after the overthrow of slave dynasty. Their ascendancy is
known as Khalji imperialism because with the accession of Jalaluddin
on the throne of Delhi, the supremacy of the Turks ended in India. He
expanded the boundaries of his empire besides his achievements
include suppression of the revolt of Malik Chhaju with the governor of
Oudh.He suppressed the thuggees a band of robbers and send them
off peacefully to Bengal. He adopted conciliatory policy towards the
Mongols. He allowed some of the Mongols to settle in India.

It was during the conquest of Bhilsa that Alauddin the nephew of

Jalaluddin started realising the dream of being sultan. In 1292 AD
Alauddin led an expedition to Devagiri hearing of its wealth.Devagiri
was forced to pay a huge war indemnity. This helped Alauddin in
buying the nobles and pleasing the soldiers who were dissatisfied by
the rule of Jalaluddin.Alauddin than hatched a conspiracy and got
Sultan Jalaludin killed and proclaimed himself as the sultan.

Alauddin Khalji

In 1296 Alauddin became the sultan after Malika Jan the widow of
Jalaluddin and her younger son Qadir Khan left Delhi. He also
exterminated the old Balbani and Jalali nobles.The reign of Alauddin
Khalji marks the zenith of the power of the Delhi Sultanate. In 1297 he
set off for conquering Gujarat. He sent an expedition under Ulugh
Khan and Nusrat Khan to Gujarat. On the way Ulugh Khan conquered
Jaisalmer.During the plunder of the rich port of Cambay Alauddin's
commander Nusrat Khan acquired a Hindu turned Muslim slave Kafur
who later on rose to become a great military general and the Malik
Naib of Alauddin.After the conquest of Gujarat Alauddin sent an
expedition under Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan to
Ranthambhore.However they were beaten by the Rajputs and Nusrat
Khan died.Alauddin went to Ranthambhor and annexed it in 1301.The
next expedition was sent to Mewar and after the siege of 8 months he
captured Chittor in 1303.The government of Chittor was put in the
hands of Khizr Khan, the eldest son of Alauddin.Chittor was renamed
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as Khizrabad after the name of Khizr Khan. In 1305 Alauddin sent Ain-
ul-Mulk Multani for the conquest of Malwa which was placed under the
governorship of the latter. By the end of 1305 the whole of Northern
India fell into the hands of Alauddin and he directed his attention to
the conquest of Deccan.

Between 1307 and 1312 he began the southward expansion of his

empire. He invaded Devagiri in 1306-07 AD. The immediate cause for
this was unduly long delay in sending the annual tribute. In 1309 the
Kakatiya kingdom was attacked and its ruler Pratap Rudra Deva
accepted the suzerainty of Delhi and surrendered vast treasures. The
next expedition was against Vir Ballala III the Hoysala ruler in
1311.His capital Dwarsamudra was captured. The whole of Deccan was
forced to acknowledge the supremacy of Alauddin.His motives were to
secure the immense wealth and to force the southern states to accept
the suzerainty of the Sultanate. He had to face more than dozen
invasions. These invasions started from the end of 1296 and continued
upto 1308.The Mongols threatened not only Punjab,Multan and Sindh
but even Delhi and the Ganga-Yamuna Doab.This grave crisis
compelled him to take strong measures for the protection of the
northwest frontier. The 20 years of his rule came to an end with his
death on 2nd January 1316 AD.

Qutubuddin Mubarak Shah Khalji

A young son of the Sultan was placed on the throne and Malik Kafur
acted as the regent. Malik Kafur killed other members of the
Allauddin's family but he was murdered and Mubarak Khan the third
son became the regent. He imprisoned Sahibuddin and ascended the
throne as Qutub uddin Mubarak in the year 1316.He tried to win the
good will of the people.He liberalized Alauddin's rigorous
administrative policies and repealed economic regulations.All prisoners
were released and harsh regulations were cancelled. The lands which
were confiscated were given back to their legitimate owners. Taxes
were lowered. He was under the influence of youth called Hassan who
later was called Khusru Khan who conspired to kill him. Thus Khalji
dynasty came to an end.Khusro tried to strike a reign of terror to
control the nobles. This was resented by the nobles particularly Ghazi
Malik who captured and beheaded the sultan. He ascended the throne
under the title of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq Shah.
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Ruler of the Khalji Dynasty

Ruler of the Khalji Dynasty AD
1. Jalaluddin Firuz Khalji 1290-1296
2. Alauddin Khalji 1296-1316
3. Qutubuddin Mubarak 1316-1320

Tughlaq Dynasty
Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq
Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq laid the foundation of the Ttughlaq Dynasty.The
word Tughlaq was not the name of any tribe or clan but was the
personal name of Ghiyasuddin.He had to face enormous problems as a
Sultan. There were riots in various parts of the empire and the royal
treasury was empty. He pursued a policy of reconciliation with the
nobles and the people who were severely restricted under Alauddin.He
liberalized administration in certain respects. He gave up the practice
of physical torture in case of economic offences and recovery of debts.
He also discarded Alauddin's system of measurement of land for the
assessment of land revenue. He attempted to improve the finances of
the state and perused a policy to encourage agriculture. His twin
object was to increase land under cultivation and improve economic
condition of the cultivators. He took keen interest in the construction
of canal for irrigation and formulated famine policy to provide relief to
peasants in time of drought. The state demand of revenue was fixed
between 1/5th and 1/3rd of the produce. He further instructed that the
land revenue should not be enhanced more than 1/11th of the
estimated produce.

He continued the system of Dagh and Chehra instituted by

Alauddin.He built the fortified city of Tughlaqabad and gave a new
touch to the architecture of the Sultanate period. In 1321 he
dispatched the crown prince Jauna Khan to re-establish Sultan's
authority in the south. He annexed Warangal.Madurai and Bengal.
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Mohammad Bin Tughlaq

Jauna Khan ascended the throne in 1325 AD with the title of
Mohammad Bin Tughlaq.He ruled up to 1351.He was a profound
scholar of Persian, a penetrating critic,a litterateur of repute. He was a
great scholar of Persian and Arabic. He faced many revolts and
rebellions. The first of these revolts included his attempt to consolidate
his empire by curbing the rebellions of 1327 by his cousin Bahauddin
Garsharp in the Deccan and other of Kishulu Khan the governor of
Multan and Sind in 1328.One of the much condemned experiments of
the Sultan was the transfer of capital from Delhi to Devagiri
(1327).The transfer was attempted primarily due to two reasons -for
its central location and secondly its close proximity to the south which
was a newly conquered region. The transfer of capital involved the
shifting of the army, officials, servants, tradesmen, court and shift of
population. There was a widespread resentment against the Sultan
who decided to retransfer the capital to Delhi. The order of going back
to the old capital caused much distress to the people. Another of his
novel and daring experiments was the introduction of the token
currency of bronze coins in place of silver tanka in 1329-30.The value
of the token coins was deemed to be equal to a silver coin. The main
reason for this measure was the scarcity of silver.

This measure proved useful in the beginning but later on it caused

serious problems. People soon began to manufacture counterfeits of
bronze in large numbers. There was a surfeit of coins in circulation.
This naturally led to its depreciation and most people began to prefer
copper tankas for payments and silver or gold issues for receipts. The
Sultan was compelled to withdraw the token currency. He offered to
exchange all the token coins for the silver coins resulting in huge
losses to the treasury. He planned an expedition for the conquest of
Khurasan and Iraq. He raised an army of 3, 70,000 soldiers and gave
it a whole year's salary in advance. But the army did not leave for the
expedition and was disbanded. The scheme was abandoned when the
Sultan learnt that the conditions in Iraq had improved and was not
conducive to an expedition. Towards the end of his reign the sultan
increased the land revenue in the doab. He decided to enhance the
land tax in the doab because of richness of its soil.Doab was facing
total famine which was followed by plague. The Sultan raised the tax
from 5 to 10%. Therefore the peasants instead of paying the taxes
abandoned their lands and adopted highway robbery. The tax
collectors continued to collect taxes by oppression. It resulted in
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extensive revolts. Mohammad Bin Tughlaq died in 1351.The whole of

south India became independent during his life time and three major
independent states- the empire of Vijaynagar,the Brahmani kingdom
and the Sultanate of Madura were founded in the territories of the
sultanate of the south.

Later Tughlaqs
Firoz Tughlaq was succeeded by his grandson who took up the title of
Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq Shah II.Within a year of his accession he fell
victim to intrigue and was beheaded in early 1389.For the next five
years Sultans- Abu Bakr, Muhammad Shah and Alauddin Sikandar
Shah ruled. In 1390 Nasiruddin entered Delhi and enthroned himself.
He was the last sultan of the dynasty and ruled from 1390-
1412.During his reign Timur the Mongol leader of Central Asia invaded
India. After plundering Delhi he returned to Samarkand.On his way
back he plundered Firozabad, Kangra, Meerut and Jammu.Khizr Khan
was appointed governor of Multan, Lahore and Dipalpur.Timur's
invasion dealt a fatal blow to the Tughlaq dynasty and the Sultanate of
Delhi. In 15th century the Sultanate completely disintegrated and
numerous provincial kingdoms emerged in various parts of the

Rulers of the Tughlaq Dynasty

Rulers of the Tughlaq Dynasty AD
1. Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq Shah 1320-1325
2. Mohammad Bin Tughlaq 1325-1351
3. Firuz Tughlaq 1351-1388
4. Later Tughlaq 1388-1414

The Saiyyid Dynasty

Khizr Khan was not only the founder of the Saiyyid Dynasty but also
its ablest ruler. Khizr Khan did not rule as a sovereign ruler but
professed to rule as the deputy of Timur's son and successor. He
assumed the title of Shah and got the Khutba read in his name. In
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1412 he conquered Gujarat,Gwalior and Jaunpur.In 1416 he defeated

Bayana and in 1421 he attacked Mewat.Due to the illness he died in
the year 1421.He was succeeded by his son Mubarak Shah in 1421
who ruled till 1434.He was succeeded by his son Muhammad Shah in
1434 who ruled till 1445 AD. He remained in his capital sunk in
indolence and pleasure. He was succeeded by his son Alauddin Alam
Shah 1445-51.He was the weakest ruler of the Saiyyid Dynasty. He
was deposed by Bahlol Lodhi, the powerful governor of Lahore and
Sirhind who founded the Lodhi dynasty.

Rulers of the Saiyyid Dynasty

Rulers of the Saiyyid Dynasty AD
1. Khizr Khan 1414-1421
2. Mubarak Shah 1421-1434
3. Muhammad Shah 1434-1445
4. Alauddin Alam Shah 1445-1450

Lodhi Dynasty
Bahlol Lodhi was the founder of Lodhi dynasty. He ruled for 39 years.
His links were with a famous Afghan clan known as Shahurbel.He
established his suzerainty by defeating and capturing the jagirdar of
Mewat, Sambha, Koel, Khari, Bhogaon, Etawah and Gwalior.He
annexed the Jaunpur kingdom in his empire. In the last years of his
life he invaded Gwalior and obtained 80 lakh tankas from the ruler. He
was succeeded by his son Nizam Shah who ascended the throne with
the title of Sikandar Shah.

He was ablest of three Lodhi rulers. In 1504 he established the city of

Agra. He conquered south Bihar in 1494-95 and concluded a treaty of
friendship with Alauddin Husain Shah the ruler of Bengal. He
introduced the measurement of land and started a measurement
known as Sikandar Gaz.He tried to propagate Islam and crush
Hinduism. He died at Agra in 1517.The last Lodhi ruler was Ibrahim
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Lodhi.In 1526 Ibrahim Lodhi fought with Babur the battle of Panipat.In
this fierce battle Ibrahim Lodhi was defeated. The Sultanate came to
an end and a new power Mughals came to rule India.

Rulers of the Lodhi Dynasty

Rulers of the Lodhi Dynasty AD
1. Bahlol Lodhi 1451-1489
2. Sikander Lodhi 1489-1517
3. Ibrahim Lodhi 1517-1526

Administration of the Sultanate

The government established by the Turks was a compromise between
Islamic political ideas and institutions on the one hand and the existing
Rajput system of government on the other. Consequently many
elements of the Rajput political system with or without changes
became part and parcel of the Turkish administration in India. Most of
the Sultans kept up the pretence of regarding the caliph as the legal
sovereign while they themselves were the caliph's representatives.
Most of them included the name of the caliph in the Khutba and the
Sikka and adopted titles indicative of their subordination to the caliph.
Three rulers emphasised their own importance.Balban used to say that
after the Prophet the most important office was that of the sovereign
and called himself the Shadow of God.Muhmmad bin Tughlaq assumed
this style during the early years of his reign and although Balban had
retained the name of the caliph in the Khutba and Sikka, he made no
mention of caliph anywhere. Despite all this neither of them had the
power to call himself the caliph. The only person who had done this
was Qutubuddin Mubarak Khalji.Only three Sultans sought and secured
a mansur or letter of investiture from the caliph.The first among them
was Iltutmish.Next Muhmmad bin Tughlaq tried to pacify the ulema by
securing an investiture from the Abbasid Caliph in Egypt.

After him Firoz also sought and secured it twice. According to Islamic
ideals essential attributes of a sovereign required that he should be a
male adult suffering from no physical disability, a freeborn Muslim
having faith in Islam and acquainted with its doctrines and he should
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be elected by the people. There were several violations of the

prescribed criteria as Raziya was raised to throne despite her being a
woman. Minority proved no bar in the case of Mohammad bin
Tughluq.Alauddin Khalji admitted his ignorance of the Sharia but
nobody questioned him.In the framing of new rules and regulations
the authority of the Sultan was circumscribed and every ruler could
not govern the kingdom in complete disregard of the advice of the
ulema or theologians as Alauddin Khalji and Muhammad Tughluq had
been able to do. The power of the nobility also blunted their authority
to some extent. When there was a weak ruler on the throne the nobles
and the ulema particularly dominated him but during the reign of
Balban, Alauddin Khalji and Muhammad Tughluq these checks proved
ineffective. The sultans were not powerful enough to rule the land in
complete disregard of the sentiments of the Hindus.

The Sultan dominated the central government as he was the legal

head of the state and acted as the chief executive and the highest
court of appeal. The Sultan was assisted by number of ministers. The
slave dynasty sultans constituted four ministers at the top level these
were held by Wazir,Ariz I mamalik,the diwan -i-insha and the diwan-i-
risalat.After sometime an extraordinary officer of the state styled as
naib-ul-mulk or malik naib the regent came into existence. When the
sultanate was well established two more departmental heads were
raised to the status of central ministers sadr-us-sadur and the diwan-i-
qaza.The commander of the royal army next after the sultan, the
crown prince and above mentioned ministers constituted the nucleus
of the council of advisers called majilis-i-am or majilis-i-khawat which
comprised the most trusted and the highest officers of the state. The
wazir also styled as vakil was the prime minister and his department
was called the diwan-i-wizarat.He was head of the finance dept and
usually held overall charge of the entire administrative set up. The
head of the army establishment or the ministry of defence was the
diwan -i-arz.He was responsible for the organization and maintenance
of the royal army and exercised disciplinary control over it. The
department of correspondence and records of the royal court was
called diwan-i-insha; it was held under the charge of central minister
known as dabir-i-mamlik, dabir-i-khas or amir munshi.The diwan-i-
risalat constituted the fourth pillar of the imperial administration of the
sultanate. Under slave dynasty the head of the dept was sadr-us-sadur
who was primarily a minister for ecclesiastical affairs. During the time
of Alauddin Khalji diwan-i-risalat dept was taken out of the hand of the
sadr and renamed diwan-i-riyasat.Its primary function was to
implement the economic regulations issued by the sultan and control
the markets and prices.Barid-i-mamalik ;vakil -i-dar,amir-i-
25/26 I couldn't wait for success, so I went ahead without it.

barbak,amir-i-hajib,amir-i-majlis,amir-i-shikar,kotwal etc were other

important officials of the time.

Provincial Government

The provincial government of the sultanate was not well developed.

The provincial governors of the region were usually called walis or
muqtas.The provincial government was an exact replica of the central
government. In some provinces the sultan appointed an imperial
officer called sahib-i-diwan for controlling the provincial revenues and
he exercised a sort of check on the powers and activities of the
governor. The provinces were further divided into shiqs or districts
which were governed by shiqdars.Each shiq comprised a few parganas
which was an aggregate of villages. At the lowest ladder were the
villages which were governed by their local panchayats.

Judicial System

The sultans implemented shariat or the Islamic law of crime and

punishment the main sources of which were the Quran, the Hadis and
Ijma.The ecclesiastical cases were separated from the criminal and
civil suits. The durbar of the sultan constituted the highest civil and
criminal court of justice which took original as well as appellate cases.
Below the sultan there was the court of qazi-i-quzat or the chief justice
of the empire.Muhtasib the censor of public morals acted as police cum
judge in the observance of the canon law by the Muslims. The village
panchayats enjoyed the sanction of the state to administer justice
according to the local tradition, customs and the personal law of the
populace. The penal code was severe, physical torture and capital
punishment constituted an essential part of it.

Military organization

The sultanate was military dictatorship; it owed its genesis to the

military victory of the Turks over the Indian rulers in the 12th and
26/26 I couldn't wait for success, so I went ahead without it.

13th centuries and its strength and stability depended primarily on its
strong and efficient army. The army organization of the sultans was
based on feudal principles which carried all the inherent defects of the
system with it.
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Geographical knowledge of the vedic

The geographical evidence as to be found in the hymns of Vedas thros
some light on the course of Indo-Aryan migration and the origin of
Hinduism. Whether the Indo-Aryans came from Central Asia or not
depends largely on the interpretation of the geographical allusions in
the Rig and Yajur Vedas. The hymns in praise of rivers in the 10th
blcok are interesting. The author while singing the greatness of the
Sindhu enumerates at least 19 rivers including the Ganges. The fifth
Stanza gives a list of 10 streams, small and great-Ganges, Yamuna,
Saraswati, Satluj, Ravi, Chenab, Jhelum, Maruwardwan (in J&K),
Sushoma (Rowalpindi District) and probably Kanshi in the same
district. This system of rivers did not remain the Saraswati. The
existing delta of the Indus has been formed since the time of
Alexander the Great.

The Vedic hymns reveal the initial Aryan settlements in India : western
tributaries of the Indus, the Gomti (modern Gomal) the Krumu
(modern Kurram) and the Kubha (modern Kabul). The one river
mentioned in the North of Kabul is Suvastu (modern swat).

But the main focus of the Rig Vedic settlements was in the Punjab and
the Delhi region. When the Rig-Vedic hymns were compiled the focus
of Aryan settlement was the region between the Yamuna and the
Sutlaj, south of modern Ambala and laong the upper course of river
Saraswati. The most frequently mentioned rivers are the Sindhu
(Indus), the Sarasvati (modern Sarsuti), the Drishadvati (modern
Chitang), and the five streams of the Punjab.

Regarding the other geographical features, the Vedic poets knew the
Himalayas but not the land south of Yamuna, since they did not
mention the Vindhayas, In the east also the Aryans did not expand
beyond Yamuna; for the river Ganga is mentioned only once in one
late hymn.

And possibly, the Aryans had no knowledge of the oceans since the
word 'samudra' in the Vedic period meant a pool of water. But the
later Vedic knowledge shows that the Aryans knew the two seas, the
Himalayas and the Vindhyan mountainas and generally the entire
Indo-Gangetic plain.
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The Aryans used various kinds of pottery and the sites where the
painted grey were are found, confirm the Aryan settlements. The Vedic
texts show that the Aryans expanded from the Punjab over the whole
of western Uttar Pradesh covered by the Ganga-Yamuna Doab. The
Bharatas and Purus known as Kuru people first lived between
Sarasvati and Drishadvati just on the fringe of the Doab. Soon the
Kurus occupied Delhi and the Upper portion of the doab, that is the
area called Kurukshetra, After this event, the Kurus joined with the
people called Panchalas who occupied the middle portion of the Doab
or the moder districts of bareilly Dadaun and Farrukabad. It was the
Kuru-Panchalas who had set up their capital at Hastinapur situated in
the district of Meerut. Later the Kauravas and the Pandavas belonging
to the same Kuru clan fougth out a battle which led to the extinction of
the Kuru clan.

And by 600 B.C. the Aryans spread from the Doab further east to
Kosala in Eastern U.P. and Vedeha in north Bihar. The former town is
associated with the story of Ramchandra, but it is not mentioned in
Vedic literature.

Indus And Vedic Civilisation

There is muc to be contrasted between the cultures of the Harappans
and the Aryans. There are indeed a few points of similarities, but they
are not of any significance. Why the points of contrast are more is
primarily because of geographic location, economic activity and the
religious practices followed by both the cultures. Far more important is
the fact that the Aryans, with a plasticity of mind, made life vibrant;
whereas, the Indus life looks more like stylized puppet show.

The plasticity of the Aryan mind was shown in the language as well as
the way in which they adapted agricultural and settled life. The seals
of the Indus Valley show that the pictographs remained statis,
whereas, the Aryan language in the Rig Veda at places rises to musical
levels. The success with which the Aryan writings were composed
reveals the ability of the Aryan mind to grasp the mulitiple dimensions
of human life. And language which exhibits immense potentialities in
its vocabulary reveals that the community is full of potentialities. On
the other hand, out of nearly 400 characters known to the Harappans
only a few were repeated time and again.
Be great in act, as you have been in thought. Page 3 of 56

The other manifestation of Aryan civilization, that is, its capacity to

change and adapt itself, has given a continuity to Indian Civilization
despite the absence of mighty empires. On the other hand, the Indus
Valley people reached a blind alley and the never learnt anything from
other civilizations like the Sumerian. Adaptability or ability to respond
to challenges is the hallmark of any youthful civilization. The Indus
civilization reached its senilithy by 2000 B.C. whereas the Aryan
Civilization was full with creative dynamism.

Archaeology is the only source of our knowledge of the Harappan

civilization, but information concerning the Vedic Aryans depends
almost entirely on literary texts, which were handed down by the oral
tradition. It is clear from the material remains that the Harappan
civilization was in certain respects superior to that of the Aryans. In
Particular it was a city civilization of a highly developed type, while by
contrast city life was unfamiliar to the Aryans. The superiority of the
Aryans lay in the military field. In which their use of the light horse
chariot played a prominent part, or in literary exuberation.

Harappans were peace loving city-dwellers and good planners as is

evident by grid pattern towns, elaborate drainage system, street
lights, kelp-burnt brick houses, fortifications, granaries, baths and
wells. The early Aryans were not city builders. Their way of life,
nomad-pastoralists as theywere, was dominated by war like stock-
breeding (they practiced a little agriculture) and migrations. City
buildings etc. as a large-scale socio-economic activities is only much
later mentioned in the later Vedic texts, epics and the Puranas.

The Harrapa culture is located in the Indus Valley and western India
and its urbanization is based on a chalcolithic system with and absence
of iron. Later Vedic society centering on the Ganges Valley from which
the Harappan culture is largely absent owes its gradual urbanization to
iron technology, the widespread domestication of the horse and the
extension and intensification of plough agriculture. (Iron, horse and
plough being nearly absent - some evidence in later Harappan sites).

The expansion and budding off of the Harappan system in the east as
far as Alamgirpur (U.P.) and to the neighbouring areas was neither
'colonisation' nor was it 'political expansion' of any from, it was rather
the expansion in terms of the permeations of the socio-economic and
socio-cultural systems of Harappan society whereas, the Aryan
advance towards eastern region - the Doab of the Ganges and Jamuna
- was no doubt facilitated by their horse chariots and effective
weapons and can be viewed as 'colonisation' or 'political expansion'
Be great in act, as you have been in thought. Page 4 of 56

though not all the Aryan culture contacts and expansion need have
been of a violent kind.

The focal centers of the Harappan culture remained for a long time the
twin cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro and it is from these centers
that Harappan culture budded off, whereas the focus of attention of
the Rig Veda was the Punjab and in the later Vedic period it shifted to
the Doab of the Ganges and Jamuna rivers. The Punjab seems
gradually to fade into the background and was regarded even with

The Harappan society had a very complex social stratification, division

of labour and multiplicity of crafts and industries, urbanism was its
marked feature with Harappans enjoying a settled and sedentary life,
and in this society the priest and the merchant played dominant roles
perhaps constituting a 'ruling' elite. On the other hand, in the early
period the Aryans were organized into a social organization which may
be described as 'tribal' or rural' one with a minimal of division of labour
and sedentariness. It was sed fully with more pronounced and
increased division of labour when specialized trades and crafts
appeared. But in this society it was not the priests and the merchants
(Vaishyas) but the Priests and the Kshtriya who constituted the rule in
elite (though with a tendency to rivalry).

In the Harappan society the Priestly class was of great importance as

the central authority. Though there is little evidence in the Rig Veda of
any special importance of the priests, however in later Vedic society,
the priests as a class assumed a form of institutional authority. The
institutions of slavery and prostitution were common to both the

The entire Harappan civilization was the product of an available food

surplus (wheat and barley), a fairly high level of craft industry, a script
and most important of active commercial intercourse by which it was
able to obtain its different and varied material from places far and near
both in India (the sub-continent outside the Harappan sphere was not
terra-incognita) and outside (i.e. Sumerian towns, Baluchistan and
Central Asia). Both northern and southern India was connected in
Harappan period by ties of brisk trade. But the early Aryans did not
fully emerged out from the food-gathering and nomadic pastoral
stage. They hated the panis, i.e. those who indulged in trade. Though
by the end of the Vedic age trade contracts and commercial inter-
course did not reach the Harappan level. It was only by the end of the
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Vedic period that the Aryans had some familiarity with the sub-

The religion of the Harappan differed widely from that of the Vedic
people. The Harappan practiced the cults of Sakti (mother Goddess)
and Pasupati (Proto-Shiva) of animal-tree and stone worship and of
Phallus and Yoni, i.e. fertility cult. The early Aryans condemned many
of these cults. Harappans worshiped Mother Goddess but the Female
deities played a minor part in Vedic religion though the Aryans
provided spouses to their gods by later Vedic times. But the fear of the
Phallus worship was replaced in the Yajur veda by its recognition as an
official ritual. Siva also gained increased importance in the later Vedas.
The Aryans anthropomorphized most of the forces of nature and
prayed to them as Indra, Varuna, Agni, Mitra, Rudra, Soma, Surya,
and Asvins. The fire of sacrificial cult was common to both. Vedic
Aryans worshipped the cow while the Harappans reserved their
veneration for bulls. The Harappans were iconic and the Aryans
aniconic. Ascetic practices were known to both.

That the Harappan had a ruling authority or elite and / or an

administrative organization cannot be doubted. Almost uniform
planning of the cities and presence of sanitary system, standard
weights and measures, assembly halls, huge granaries and citadels
point to the existence of an authority, but what it was like as the later
Vedic period the Aryan tribes had consolidated in little kingdoms with
capitals and a sedimentary administrative system with important
functionaries the Purohit and the twelve ratrins playing dominant role
in support of the monarchy, the prevalent form of government.

The food habits of the Harappans were almost identical with those of
the later Aryans if not early Aryans. The Harappans unlike the Aryans,
preferred indoor games of outdoor amusements (chariot racing and
hunting) though dice was popular past time with both. Playing music,
singing and dancing were common to both. But about the musical
instrument of the Harappan little is known or not known while the
Aryans had the drum, lute and flute with cymbals and the harp as later
additions. The Harappans buried their dead - the Aryans largely
created their dead. The Harappans used a script, which remains
undeciphered to date in spite of many claims for its deco din, where as
references to writing in Vedic society came at a much later stage.

In art the Harappans made considerable progress. Their works of art

add tour comprehension of their culture. In fact, the earliest artistic
traditions belong to them. In sculpture (beareded man from Mohenjo-
Be great in act, as you have been in thought. Page 6 of 56

daro and two sand stone statuettes from Harappa), though a very few
sculptures survive, in metal (bronze dancing girl) and ivory works, in
terracotta's (small images and figures of animals, birds or human or
animal and inscription a 9 Harappan script on them), and in their
pottery (painted red and black, at times glazed), the Harappan show
vigor, variety and ingenuity. On the other hand, Rig Vedic age is
devoid of any tangible proof of Aryan achievements in these directions.
In fact the Rig Veda says nothing of writing, art and architecture. The
art of ceramics made Harappan, the Vedic pottery was a simple one.

The Harappans lacked that plasticity and dynamism of mind which is

very essential for further growth and survival and they refused to learn
from others, on the other hand, the Aryans possessing what the
Harappans lacked, were youthful enough to be receptive, adaptive and
assimilative, transforming themselves into a comprehensive civilization
which in due course of time became essentially composite in character.

In the end we have to say that apart from the minor causative factors
causing difference like the close mindedness of the Harappans and
contrasted to the Plasticity of the Aryan mind, formalized and
ritualized religion of the Harappans as contrasted to the animals and
the metaphysical traits of the Aryans and the geographical locale were
entirely different. The differences in socio-economic matrices between
the two civilizations primarily account for the contrast between the


The decline of the Maurya Dynasty was rather rapid after the death of
Ashoka/Asoka. One obvious reason for it was the succession of weak
kings. Another immediate cause was the partition of the Empire into
two. Had not the partition taken place, the Greek invasions could have
been held back giving a chance to the Mauryas to re-establish some
degree of their previous power.

Regarding the decline much has been written. Haraprasad Sastri

contends that the revolt by Pushyamitra was the result of brahminical
reaction against the pro-Buddhist policies of Ashoka and pro-Jaina
policies of his successors. Basing themselves on this thesis, some
maintain the view that brahminical reaction was responsible for the
decline because of the following reasons.
Be great in act, as you have been in thought. Page 7 of 56

• (a) Prohibitino of the slaughter of animals displeased the

Brahmins as animal sacrifices were esteemed by them.
• (b) The book Divyavadana refers to the persecution of Buddhists
by Pushyamitra Sunga.
• (c) Asoka's claim that he exposed the Budheveas (brahmins) as
false gods shows that Ashoka was not well disposed towards
• (d) The capture of power by Pushyamitra Sunga shows the
triumph of Brahmins.

All these four points can be easily refuted. Asoka's compassion

towards animals was not an overnight decision. Repulsion of animal
sacrifices grew over a long period of time. Even Brahmins gave it up
by the book Divyavadana, cannot be relied upon since it was during
the time of Pushyamitra Sunga that the Sanchi and Barhut stupas
were completed. Probably the impression of the persecution of
Buddhism was created by Menander's invasion who was a Budhhist.
Thridly, the word 'budheva' is misinterpreted because this word is to
be taken in the context of some other phrase. Viewed like this, this
word has nothing to do with brahminism. Fourthly, the victory of
Pushyamitra Sunga clearly shows that the last of the Mauryas was an
incompetent ruler since he was overthrown in the very presence of his
army, and this had nothing to do with brahminical reaction against
Asoka's patronage of Budhism. Moreover, the very fact that a Brahmin
was the commander in chief of the Mauryan ruler proves that the
Mauryas and the Brahmins were on good terms.

After all, the distinction between Hinduism and Buddhism in India was
purely sectarian and never more than the difference between saivism
and vaishnavism. The exclusiveness of religious doctrines is a Semitic
conception, which was unknown to India for a long time. Buddha
himself was looked upon in his lifetime and afterwards as a Hindu saint
and avatar and his followers were but another sect in the great Aryan
tradition. Ashoka was a Buddhist in the same way as Harsha was a
Budhist, or Kumarapala was a Jain. But in the view of the people of the
day he was a Hindu monarch following one of the recognized sects. His
own inscriptions bear ample withness to the fact. While his doctrines
follow themiddle path, his gifts are to the brahmibns, sramansa
(Buddhist priests) and others equally. His own name of adoption is
Devanam Priya, the beloved of the gods. Which gods? Surely the gods
of the Aryan religion. Buddhism had no gods of its own. The idea that
Ashoka was a kind of Buddhist Constantine declearing himself against
paganism is a complete misreading of India conditions. Asoka was a
kind or Buddhist Constantine declearing himself against paganism is a
Be great in act, as you have been in thought. Page 8 of 56

complete misreading of India conditions. Asoka was essentially a

Hindu, as indeed was the founder of the sect to which he belonged.

Raychaudhury too rebuts the arguments of Sastri. The empire had

shrunk considerably and there was no revolution. Killing the Mauryan
King while he was reviewing the army points to a palace coup detat
not a revolution. The organization were ready to accept any one who
could promise a more efficient organisation. Also if Pushyamitra was
really a representative of brahminical reaction he neighbouting kings
would have definitely given him assistance.

The argument that the empire became effete because of Asokan

policies is also very thin. All the evidence suggests that Asoka was a
stern monarch although his reign witnessed only a single campaign.
He was shrewd enough in retaining Kalinga although he expressed his
remorse. Well he was wordly-wise to enslave and-and-half lakh sudras
of Kalinga and bring them to the Magadha region to cut forests and
cultivate land. More than this his tours of the empire were not only
meant for the sake of piety but also for keeping an eye on the
centrifugal tendencies of the empire. Which addressing the tribal
people Asoka expressed his willingness to for given. More draconian
was Ashoka's message to the forest tribes who were warned of the
power which he possessed. This view of Raychoudhury on the pacifism
of the State cannot be substantiated.

Apart from these two major writers there is a third view as expressed
by kosambi. He based his arguments that unnccessary measures were
taken up to increase tax and the punch-marked coins of the period
show evidence of debasement. This contention too cannot be up held.
It is quite possible that debased coins began to circulate during the
period of the later Mauryas. On the other hand the debasement may
also indicate that there was an increased demand for silver in relation
to goods leading to the silver content of the coins being reduced. More
important point is the fact that the material remains of the post-
Asokan era do not suggest any pressure on the economy. Instead the
economy prospered as shown by archaeological evidence at
Hastinapura and Sisupalqarh. The reign of Asoka was an asset to the
economy. The unification of the country under single efficient
administration the organization and increase in communications meant
the development of trade as well as an opening of many new
commercial interest. In the post - Asokan period surplus wealth was
used by the rising commercial classes to decorate religious buildings.
The sculpture at Barhut and Sanchi and the Deccan caves was the
contribution of this new bourgeoisie.
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Still another view regarding of the decline of Mauryas was that the
coup of Pushyamitra was a peoples' revolt against Mauryans
oppression and a rejection of the Maurya adoption of foreign ideas, as
far interest in Mauryan Art.

This argument is based on the view that Sunga art (Sculpture at

Barhut and Sanchi) is more earthy and in the folk tradition that
Maruyan art. This is more stretching the argument too far. The
character of Sunga art changed because it served a different purpose
and its donors belonged to different social classes. Also, Sunga art
conformed more to the folk traditions because Buddhism itself had
incorporated large elements of popular cults and because the donors of
this art, many of whom may have been artisans, were culturally more
in the mainstream of folk tradition.

One more reasoning to support the popular revolt theory is based on

Asoka's ban on the samajas. Asoka did ban festive meetings and
discouraged eating of meat. These too might have entagonised the
population but it is doubtful whether these prohibitions were strictly
enforced. The above argument (people's revolt) also means that
Asoka's policy was continued by his successors also, an assumption
not confirmed by historical data. Further more, it is unlikely that there
was sufficient national consciousness among the varied people of the
Mauryan empire. It is also argued by these theorists that Asokan
policy in all its details was continued by the later Mauryas, which is not
a historical fact.

Still another argument that is advanced in favour of the idea of revolt

against the Mauryas is that the land tax under the Mauryas was one-
quarter, which was very burden some to the cultivator. But historical
evidence shows something else. The land tax varied from region to
region according to the fertility of the soil and the availability of water.
The figure of one quarter stated by Magasthenes probably referred
only to the fertile and well-watered regions around Pataliputra.

Thus the decline of the Mauryan empire cannot be satisfactorily

explained by referring to Military inactivity, Brahmin resentment,
popular uprising or economic pressure. The causes of the decline were
more fundamental. The organization of administration and the concept
of the State were such that they could be sustained by only by kings of
considerably personal ability. After the death of Asoka there was
definitely a weakening at the center particularly after the division of
the empire, which inevitably led to the breaking of provinces from the
Mauryan rule.
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Also, it should be borne in mind that all the officials owed their loyalty
to the king and not to the State. This meant that a change of king
could result in change of officials leading to the demoralization of the
officers. Mauryas had no system of ensuring the continuation of well-
planned bureaucracy.

The next important weakness of the Mauryan Empire was its extreme
centralization and the virtual monopoly of all powers by the king.
There was a total absence of any advisory institution representing
public opinion. That is why the Mauryas depended greatly on the
espionage system. Added to this lack of representative institutions
there was no distinction between the executive and the judiciary of the
government. An incapable king may use the officers either for
purposes of oppression or fail to use it for good purpose. And as the
successors of Asoka happened to be weak, the empire inevitably

Added to these two factors, there is no conception of national unity of

political consciousness. It is clear from the fact that even the
resistance against the greeks as the hated miecchas was not an
organized one. The only resistance was that of the local rulers who
were afraid of losing their newly acquired territory. It is significant that
when Porus was fighting Alexander, or when Subhagasena was paying
tribute to Antiochus, they were doing so as isolated rulers in the
northwest of India. They had no support from Pataliputra, nor are they
even mentioned in any Indian sources as offering resistance to the
hated Yavanas. Even the heroic Porus, who, enemy though he was,
won the admiration of the Greeks, is left unrecorded in Indian sources.

Another associated point of great importance is the fact that the

Mauryan Empire which was highly centralized and autocratic was the
first and last one of its kind. If the Mauryan Empire did not survive for
long, it could be because of the failure of the successors of Asoka to
hold on to the principles that could make success of such an empire.
Further, the Mauryan empire and the philosophy of the empire was not
in tune with the spirit of the time because Aryanism and brahminism
was very much there. According to the Brahmin or Aryan philosophy,
the king was only an upholder of dharma, but never the crucial or
architecture factor influencing the whole of life. In other words, the
sentiment of the people towards the political factor, that is the State
was never established in India. Such being the reality, when the
successors of Asoka failed to make use of the institution and the
thinking that was needed to make a success of a centralized political
authority. The Mauryan Empire declined without anyone's regret.
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Other factors of importance that contributed to the decline and lack of

national unity were the ownership of land and inequality of economic
levels. Land could frequently change hands. Fertility wise the region of
the Ganges was more prosperous than northern Deccan. Mauryan
administration was not fully tuned to meet the existing disparities in
economic activity. Had the southern region been more developed, the
empire could have witnessed economic homogeneity.

Also the people of the sub-continent were not of uniform cultural level.
The sophisticated cities and the trade centers were a great contrast to
the isolated village communities. All these differences naturally led to
the economic and political structures being different from region to
region. It is also a fact that even the languages spoken were varied.
The history of a sub-continent and their casual relationships. The
causes of the decline of the Mauryan empire must, in large part, be
attributed to top heavy administration where authority was entirely in
the hands of a few persons while national consciousness was unknown.

The splendour of the 'Dark Centuries'

The five centuries which passed between the decline of the first great
Indian empire of the Mauryas and the emergence of the great classical
empire of the Guptas has often been described as a dark period in
Indian history when foreign dynasties fought each other for short-lived
and ephemeral supremacy over Northern India. Apart from Kanishka's
Indo-Central Asian empire which could claim to be similar in size and
importance to has china, the parthians of Persia and to the
contemporary Roman empire this period did lack the glamour of large
empires. But this 'dark period' particularly the first two centuries AD
was a period of intensive economic and cultural contact among the
various parts of the Eurasian continent. Indian played a very active
role in stimulating these contacts. Buddhism which has been fostered
by Indian rulers since the days of Ashoka was greatly aided by the
international connections of the Indo-Greeks and the Kushanas and
thus rose to prominence in Central Asia. South India was establishing
its important links with the West and with Southeast Asia in this
period. These links especially those with southeast Asia, proved to be
very important for the future course of Asian history.

But India it self experienced important social and cultural changes in

this period. For centuries Buddhism had enjoyed royal patronage. This
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was partly due to the fact that the foreign rulers of India found
Buddhism more accessible than orthodox Hinduism. The Vedic
Brahmins had been pushed into the background by the course of
historical development all though Hinduism as such did not experience
a decline. On the contrary new popular cults arose around gods like
Shiva, Krishna and Vishnu-Vasudeva who had played only a marginal
role in an earlier age. The competition between Buddhism which
dominated the royal courts and cities and orthodox Brahminism which
was still represented by numerous Brahmin families every where left
enough scope for these new cults to gain footholds of their own, of
great importance for the further development of Hinduism and
particularly for the Hindu idea of kingship was the Kushana rulers
identification with certain Hindu gods - they were actually believed to
attain a complete identity with the respective god after their death.

Religious legitimation was of greater importance to these foreign rulers

than to other Indian kings. Menander's ashes had been distributed
according to the Buddhist fashion and Kanishka was identified with
Mithras but wima kadphises and Huvishka were closer to shiva as
shown by the images on their coins. Huvishka's coins provide a regular
almanac of the iconography of the early Shiva cult. The deification of
the ruler which was so prevalent in the Roman and Hellenistic world as
well as among the Iranians was thus introduced into India and left a
mark on the future development of Hindu Kingship.

Another future of crucial importance for the future political

development of India was the organization of the Shaka and Kushana
Empires had been, but were based on the large-scale incorporation of
local rulers. In subsequent centuries many regional Empires of India
were organized on this pattern.

The most well-known contribution of the 'dark-period' was a course, to

Indian art. After the early sculptures of the Mauryas which were
greatly influenced by the Iranian style, a new Indian style, a new
Indian style has fist emerged under Shungas and their successors in
the Buddhist monuments of Bharhut and Sanchi which particularly
showed a new style of relief sculpture. The merger of the Gandhara
school of art, with its Graeco-Roman style and the Mathura school of
art which included 'archaic' Indian elements and became the center of
Indo-Kushana art, finally led to the rise of the Sarnath school of art.
This school then set the pattern of the classical Gupta style.

Less-well-known, but much more important for the future

development of Hindu society, was the compilation of the authoritative
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Hindu law books (dharmasastra), the foremost of them being the code
of Manu which probably originated in the second or third century AD.
After the breakdown of the Maurya and Shunga Empires, there must
have been a period of uncertainty, which led to renewed interest in
traditional social norms. These were then codified so as to remain
inviolate for all times to come. If we add to this the resurgence of
Sanskrit, as testified by Rudradaman's famous rock inscription of the
second century AD. We see that this 'dark-period' actually contained
all the element of the classical culture of the Gupta age, Thus the
many splendoured and much maligned 'dark-period' was actually the
harbinger of the classical age.



In the post-Mauryan era (200 BC. To 300 A.D.) the economy moved at
an accelerated tempo. Society witnessed structural reorientation as
significant groups of foreigners penetrated into India and chose to be
identified with the rest of the community.

The occupation of craftsmen was an important segement of the day's

socio-economic milieu. The craftsment were not only associated with
the towns but also villages like Karimnagar in the Telengana region of
Andhra Pradesh. The categories of craftsmen who were known in this
period bear out the truth that there was considerable specialization in
mining and metallurgy. A large number of iron artifacts have been
discovered at various excavated sites relating to the Kushan and
Satavahans Periods. It is surprising to notice that the Telengana region
appears to have made special progress in iron artifacts - not only
weapons but also balance rods, sickles, ploughshares, razors and
ladels have been found in the Karimnagar and Nalgonda districts. Also,
cutlery made out of iron and steel was exported to the Abyssinian

Equally significant was the progress made in cloth-making and silk-

weaving. Dyeing was a craft of repute in some south Indian towns like
Uraiyur, a shurb of Tiruchirapalli, and Arikamedu. The use of oil was
also high because of the invention of oil wheel. The inscriptions of the
day mention weavers, goldsmiths, dyers, workers in metal and ivory,
jewelers, sculptors, fishermen, perfumers and smiths as the donors of
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caves, pillars, tablets, cisterns etc. Among the luxury items the
important ones were ivory and glass articles and beed cutting. At the
beginning of the coristian era the knowledge of glass-blowing reached
India and attained its peak. Coin minting also reached a high level of
excellence made out of gold, silver, copper, bronze, lead and potin. A
coint mould of the Satavahans period shows that through it half a
dozen coins could be turned out a time.

In urban handicrafts the pride of place goes to the beautiful pieces of

terracotta produced in profuse quantities. They have been found in
most of the sites belonging to the Kushan and Satavahans periods. In
particular, terracotta figures of great beauty have been found in the
Nalgonda district of Telengana. The terracotta figures were mostly
meant for the use of upper classes in towns.

This immense manufacturing activity was maintained by guilds. At

least to dozen kinds of guilds were there. Most of the artisans known
from inscriptions hailed from the Mathura region and the western
Deccan which lay on the trade routes leading to the ports on the
western coast.

The guilds, coming from the days of the Mauryan period, became a
more important factor in the urban life both in being instrumental to
increase in production and moulding public opinion. The primary guilds
of the day were those of the potters, metal workers and carpenters.
Some guilds organized their own distribution system while owning a
large number of boats to transport goods from various ports on the

The guilds of the day fixed their own rules of work and the standards
of the finished products. They exercised care regarding price also to
safeguard the interest of both the artisan and the customer. They
controlled the price of the manufactured articles. He conduct of the
guild members was regulated through a guild court. The customary
uses of the guilds had the same force as those of laws.

The extensive activity of the guilds can be known from their seals and
emblems. The banners and insignia of each guild were carried in
procession of festive occasions. These prosperous guilds in addition,
donated large sums of money to religious institutions and charitable

Since the activity of the guilds was so buoyant, it appears that they
attracted the attention of kings too. It is said that kings had financial
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interests in guilds. Royalty invested its money in commercial activities.

This naturally led to protection being provided by State to the guilds.
Regarding the activities of guilds, it appears from inscriptions that they
acted asbankers, financiers and trustees although these activities were
carried out by a separate class of people known as sresthins. Usury
was a part of banking and the general rate of interest was around 15%
loans extended to sea-trade carried higher interest rate. An authority
of the day states that the rate of interest should vary according to the
caste of the man to whom money is lent.

Interestingly, apart from the guilds, there were workers bodies also.
The workers co-operative included artisans and various crafts
associated with a particular enterprise. The classic example of this
activity was the co-operative of builders, which has its members drawn
from specialized workers such as architects. Engineers, bricklayers etc.

The immense commercial activity was bolstered by the thriving trade

between India and the Easter Roman Empire. With the movement of
Central Asian people like Sakas, Parthians and Kushans, trade came to
be carried across the sea. Among the ports, the important ones were
Broach and Sopara on the western coast, and Arikamedu and
Tamralipti on the eastern coast. Out of these ports Broach was the
most important as not only goods were exported from here but a also
goods were received. Across land, the converging point of trade routes
was Taxila, which was connected with the Silk Route passing through
Central Asia. Ujjain was the meeting point of good number of trade

The trade between India and Rome mostly consisted of luxury goods.
To begin with Rome got her imports from the southern most portions
of the country. The Roman imports were Muslims, pearls, jewels and
precious stones from Central and South India. Iron articles formed an
important item of export to the Roman Empire. For certain articles
India became the clearing house, as for example, silk from China
because of impediments posed by the Parthian rule in Iran and the
neighboring areas.

The Romans, in return, exported to India various types of potters

found in excavations at places like Tamluk in West Bengal, Arikamedu
nevar Pondicherry and a few other places. Probably lead was important
from Rome. It is also presumed that the Kushans had brisk trade with
the Romans as they conquered Mesopotamia in 115 A.D. At a place
close to Kabul, glass jars made in Italy, Egypt and Syria have come to
light, apart from small bronze statues of Greko-Roman style, And the
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most significant Roman export to India was the gold and silver coins -
nearly 85 finds of Roman coins have been found. There is nothing
surprising in the lamentation of the Roman writer Pliny in the 1st
century A.D. that Roman was being drained of gold on account of
trade with India.

Indian kingdoms sent embassies to Rome the best known being the
one sent about 25 B.C. Which included strange collection of men and
animals-tigers, snakes, tortoises a monk and an armless boy who
could shoot arrows with his toes. This mission reached Rome during
the days of Emperor Augustus in 21 B.C.

In the southern kingdoms maritime trade occupied the pride of place.

The literature of the day refers to harbours, docks, light houses and
custom offices. Large variety of ships were built, both for short
distance as well as long distance voyages. According to pliny the
largest Indian ship was 75 tons. Other sources mention higher figures.

In the self-same period there was a boom in trade with south-East

Asia. This was first occasioned by the Roman demand for spices.
Gradually this trade grew in dimensions.

The growing number of strangers in the port towns and trade centers
led to their absorbing Indian habits as their numbers grew, social laws
of the day became rigid as to be seen from the law code of Manu.
Further as conversions to Hinduism was technically impossible the
non-Indian groups gradually grew into separate sub-castes. After all
the conversion of a single individual was a problem but the device of
caste made such absorption easier. Moreover the foreigners found it
easier to become Buddhists instead of Aryans. Faced one theoretical
knowledge confined to brahmins and the other practical and technical
knowledge which became the preserve of the professionals.

It was during this period Dharmashastras came to be written. These

Shastras made the social structure to be rigid. Apart from these
writings poetry and drama were also popular. The outstanding poem in
Tamil was Shilappadigaram. Another poem in Tamil was Manimegalai.
In Sanskrit, Asvaghosa and Bhasa were the two great dramatists. The
manuscripts of Asvaghosa were found in a monastry in Turdan in
Central Asia. Both of his plays deal with Buddhist themes. Bhasa
appeared a couple of centuries later. His plays are based on the
incident from the spics or historical romances around the exploits of
king udayan in Avanti.
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In the field of plastic art. Great were the achievement of this period
like the stupas at Sanchi and Bar hut the caves at Karlellora and
Ajanta. At Amravati the great age of painting began. Also the
sculptures at Amravati show a mastery of stone sculpture and with the
mathura school of sculpture the Indian tradition of sculpture began.

The booming trade and commerce of the period was at the base of the
urban settlements that came into existence. The important towns of
northern India were Vaishali, Pataliputra, Varanasi, Kausambi,
Sravasti, Hastinapur, Mathura and Indraprastha. Most of the towns
flourished in the Kushan period as revealed by excavations. The
excavations at Sonkh in Mathura show as many as seven levels of the
Kushan are but only one of the Gupta period. Again in Jalandhar,
Ludhiana and Ropar also several sites show good Kushan structures.
The Satayahans kingdown also witnessed thriving towns like Tagar,
Paithan, Dhanyakataka, Amravati, Nagarjunakonda, Broach, Sopara,
Arikamedu and Kaveripattanam.


After Alexander the Great, the greed seleukidan dynasty of Persia held
on to the trans-Indus region. After seleukos Nikator was defeated by
Chanragupta Maurya in 303 B.C. the trans-Indus region was
transferred to the Mauryas. In mid third century B.C. the seleukidan
rule was ended by two peoples. In Iran the parthiar became
independent and their sassanians in 226 A.D. In like manner the
greeks of Bactria rose in revolt under the leadership of Diodotus.
These Greeks were later known as Indo-Greeks when they gained a
foot-hold in the Indian sub-continent.

Bactria situated between the Hindu Kush and the oxus, was a fertile
region and it controlled the trade routes from Gandhara to the West.
The greek settlement in Bactria began in the 5th century B.C. when
Persian emperors settled the Greek exiles in that area.

Bactria figured in history with the revolt of diodotus against Antiochus

the seleukidan king. This breakaway of Bactria was recnised by the
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seleukidans when the grandson of Diodotus, Enthymemes. Was given

a seleukidan bride in about 200 B.C.

About the same time the seleukidan king defeated king subhagasena
after crossing the Hindu Kush in 206 B.C. This defeat reveals the
unguarded nature of northwestern India.

Thus begins the history of Indo-Greeks. The history of the Indo-Greeks

is mainly gathered from their coins. This evidence is very often
confusion because many kings had identical names.

The son of Euthydemos, Demetrios, Conquered modern southern

afghanistion and the Makran area he also occupied some parts of
Punjab. Then around 175 B.C. the homeland of Bactrians came to be
ruled by Eukratides, another branch of the Bactrians. His son
Demetrios-II penetrated deep into the Punjab proceeding along the
Indus, he penetrated till kutch.

The most known Indo-Greek was Menander, whose claim rests on the
Buddhist treatise the Questions of king Milinda-discussion between
menander and the Buddhist philosopher, Nagasena and he ruled the
Punjab from C.160 to 140 B.C.

Menander not only stabilized his power but extended his frontiers. His
coins are to be found in the region extending from Kabul to Mathura
near Delhi. He attempted to conquer the Ganges valley but in vain.
Probabley he was defeated by the Sungas.

After menander one Strato ruled. At that time Bactaria was rule by a
different group of Bactrians. Probably Mitrhadates - I of Persia
annexed the region of Taxila during the third quarter of the second
century B.C.

A little later, Antialkidas ruled from Taxila as known from the

inscription from besnagar near Bhilsa. This inscription was incised on
the order of Heliodoros, who was the envoy of antialkidas in the court
of Besnagar. Heliodoros got a monolithic column built in honour of
vasudeva. Thus began the Bhakti cult of Vasudeva.

The last known greek kings were hippostratos and Hermaeus, the
former defeated by moga and the latter by khadphisus.

Indo-Greek influence declined from the time Bactria itself was attacked
by the nomadic tribes from central Asia, the scythians.
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The penetration of Indo-Greeks, as well as of sakas pahlavas and

Kushana influenced the government, society, religion literature and art
of ancient India. The very fact that India absorbed influences of these
foreigners speaks for the then youthful nature of Indian civilization.

The extent of Greek influence of Indian Civilisation is a most point.

Whatever the Greek influence that was felt by India came in the wake
of Alexander's invasion of the cast and the settlement of Greeks in the
Bactrian region. Alexander himself cannot be regarded as the standard
bearer of the heritage of ancient Greece. By the time Alexander and
his soldiers marched towards the east the culture of Greece was on the
decline hence at the most Alexander and his men could have spread a
debased version of the great Geek civilization represented by Socrates,
Plato, Phidia, Aristotle, Sophocles, Pythagoras and others. Despite the
fact that Alexander and his men could not be the true torch bearers of
Greek culture to the east, the traces of Greek influence could be
definitely found on India civilization.

To begin with, the invasion of Alexander left very little imprint on

Indian civilization. Indian rulers did not adopt the military tactics of
Alexander, but continued to rely on their forefold organization.
Although the region that was beyond the Hindu Kush in the Mauryan
period was definitely in close contact with whatever the Greek
influence that was there, the Greek influence was not felt in the
interior of India. Probably the use of stone in buildings and sculptures
by the Mauryas was inspired by the Greek practice of working in stone.
Columns of the Ionic order were definitely used in the buildings of

To speak point wise, the first influence of the Greeks was on the divine
right theory of kingship. The Indo-Greeks took high sounding title e
like divine kings, sons of gods, etc. and maintained the myth of
Empire. Even before Indo-Greek rulers established themselves in India
the services of the Greeks were utilized. Ashoka appointed a Greek as
very viceroy of his province. And after the Indo-Greek period, a Greek,
during the period of Kushans, was entrusted with engineering work.

Talking of social life, a number of Greeks figure as donors in the

inscription of the Karle caves. The Greek mode of wearing hair and the
habit of eating in a lying posture came into vogue. Also when some of
the Indo-Greeks settled in India, they took to trade and they became
affluent merchants. Even Tamil literature refers to Greek ships
bringing cargoes, and the Greek section of Kaveripatnam was very
prosperous. And some of the Tamil kings kept Greek body-guards.
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Regarding science, contemporary writers admit the greatness of the

Greek scientists. The Gargi Samhita admits that the Greeks were like
gods in science and they penetrated into India as far as Pataliputra.
Varahmihira, during the Gupta age was in the know of Greek science
and used a number of Greek technical terms in his works, It is also
argued that Charaka was influenced by the works of Hippocrates, the
father of Medicine, but there is not evidence to confirm this view. Thus
it is difficult to conjecture the extent to which ancient scientists of
India were influenced by the scientific knowledge of Greeks.

In the field of art, first the Indo-Greeks did contribute to die cutters'
art. They showed a remarkable skill in making the portraits of rulers.
Also the Greek kings adopt some of the indigenous methods of minting
the coins. Although Indians did not fully learn the fine art of die-
cutting, the coins of Indian rulers were influenced by the Greeks.
Indian adopted the art of striking coins with two dies, the obverse and
the reverse. Secondly, the curious open air theatre that came into
being in this period was directly a Greek legacy. The term Yavanika for
curtain shows that Indian drama, at least on one point, was influenced
by the Greek model, Thridly, the Greek form of sculpture influenced
the Gandhara art of the Kushan period. The school began in the Kabul
valley where the Greek influence was the maximum. Accordingly tone
author, the terracottas of toys and plaques were all influenced by the

In the religious field too, the Greek influence was felt, as borne out by
Millinda-Panho and the Besnagar inscription. Legions of Greeks were
converted into Indian religions of the day. One Greek officer,
Theodorus, got the relics of the Buddha enshrined in the Swat valley.
Besides, Hindu iconography was greatly changed because of the Indo-
Greek influences. It is difficult to say how many Babylonian and
Iranian Gods were incorporated in Hindu religions. A few deities were
taken over by the Parthians and they were adopted by the Kushans.
But it is doubtful to say as to which of the Greek dieities were
incorporated in the Pantheon of Indian gods.

All told, the Greek influence was mostly felt in art (the Gangdhara
sculptures, which probably influenced the later day Mathura
sculptures) and in religion (gave a fillip to Mahayana Buddhism and
popularized the Bhakti aspect of religion as pioneered by the vasudeva
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The Sunga rule, extending a little over a century, is in interlude in the
history of India. There is nothing extraordinary about the political
events associated with the Sungas. The significance of their history, on
the other hand, primarily consists in the place they occupy in the social
and cultural history of India.

The founder of the dynasty, Pushyamitra Sunga, overthrew the

Mauryas; either in 187 B.C. or 184 B.C. After him there were nine
other rulers. Among them, Agnimitra, Vasumitra, Bhagvata and
Devabhumi were the prominent ones. The names of the first two were
associated with some events in political history, whereas the latter two
were known for their long rule, they being 32 and 10 years

There is some controversy about the identity of Pushyamitra Sunga. It

was stated in a Sutra that he belonged to a family of teachers.
Patanjali claims that he was a brahminor the Bhardwaja gotra.
Ivyavadana stated that the Sungas were related to the Mauryas. A
Malavikagnimitram refers to them as brahmins belonging to Kashyap

After the overthrow of Brihadrata, Pushyamitra Sunga waged a few

wars to consolidate his position. Evidence shows that Pushyamitra
Sunga defeated the Yavanas. This is confirmed by Patanjali's
Mahabashva. And the claim made in the Hathigumpha inscription that
Kharavela of Kalinga defeated Pushyamitra Sunga cannot be sustained
because Kharavela ruled in the second half of the first century B.C.
Later, Vasumitra, the grandson of Pushyamitra Sunga, defeated the
Yavanas. This is confirmed by the Malavikaganimtiram and gargi
Samhita. Both Agnimmitra and Veerasena fought against Vidarbha rule
of the Sungas ended C. 75 B.C.

Some scholars regard that the establishment of Sunga dynasty ws

symbolic of the brahminical reaction to the Mauryan bias towards
Buddhism. Pushyamitra Sunga performed the vedic sacrifices of
asvamedha, and the others like aginstoma, Rajasuya and vajpeiya. But
some facts of his region clearly show that he did not persecute
Buddhists. The claim of Divyavandana, that Pushyamitra Sunga
destroyed 84,000 Buddhist stupas and slaughtered srameans, has no
corroborative evidence. Interestingly, the sculptured stone gateway
and the massive stone railing aroused Sanchi stupa were executed
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during the time of Pushyamitra Sunga. Also the Bharhut stupa and the
sculpture relating to Jataka stories around it came into existence
during the same period. One of the donors of Bharhut stupa was
Champadevi wife of the Idisha King, who was a worshipper of Vishnu.
This fact bears testimony to the high degree of tolerance prevailing
during the period. (And some minor works of Sunga art are to be
found at Mathura, Kausambi and Sarnath).

It at all there was anyting like persecution of Buddhists during the

days of Pushyamitra Sunga, it could be in the context of Menander's
invasion. May be, the Buddhists of India welcomed the invasion of
Menander' and this might have resulted in Pushyamitra Sunga wrath
falling on the Buddhists. Or, may be withdrawal of royal patronage
with the coming of the Sungas apparently enraged the Buddhists and
thus the Buddhists writers present an exaggerated account of their

The importance of the Sungas, therefore, was primarily in the context

of cultural and social development. In the social field, the emergence
of Hinduism had a wide impact. The Sungas attempted to revive the
caste system with the social supremacy of the brahmins. This is more
than evident in the work of Manu (Manusmriti) wherein he reassures
the position of the brahmins in the fourfold society. Even then, the
most significant development of the Sunga era was marked by various
adjustment and adaptations leading to the emergence of mixed castes
and the assimilation of the foreigners in India society. Thus we notice
that Brahminism gradually transformed itself in a direction towards

In the field of literature Sanskrit gradually gained ascendancy and

became the language of the court. Patanjali was patronized by
Pushyamitra Sunga and he was the second great grammarian of
Sanskrit. Patanjali refers to a Sanskrit poet, Varauchi, who wrote in
the Kavya style and which was later perfected by Kalidasa. Some
Buddhist works of this age were written in Sanskrit.

In the field of art, there was immediate reaction against the Buddhist
era of the Mauryas. Nevertheless, there were certain differences. The
Sunga art reflects more of the mind, culture, tradition and ideology
than what the Mauryan art did. During the Sunga period, stone
replaced wood in the railings and the gateways of the Buddhist stupas
as noticed at Bharhut and Sanchi. Bharhut stupa is replete with
sculptures - apart from floral designs, animal, figures, Yakshas and
human figures. Even the stone railing around the Sanchi Stupa is in
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rich belief work. This age definitely witnessed the increasing use of
symbols and human figures in architecture. Besides, the Sungas art is
a manifestation of popular artistic genious - the artistic activity was
because of the initiative of individuals, corporation or villages. A part
of the gateway of Sanchi was constructed by the artisans of Vidisha.
Even temple building began in this period. A Vishnu temple was build
near Vidisha. There was an increase in the construction of rock-cut
temple as noticed in the Chaitya Hall. In the temples and household
worship we find the idols of Shiva and Vishnu.

All told the importance of the sunga dynasty lies in the restoration of
Real politik while abandoning the asokan approach. In the cultural field
the beginnings as well as accomplishments in sculpture and
architecture are of tremendous significance. In the field of religion too
they not only revived the earlier tradition but also gave an impetus to
new approaches combative towards the heterodox sects the cult of
katakana the god of war the resurgence of Bhagvata cult and the
supremacy of Vasudeva in the Hindu pantheon.

In the post-Mauryan era, central Asia and north-western India
witnessed hectic and shifting political scenes. The Great Yuehi-chi
driven out of fertile lend in Western china migrated towards the Aral
Sea. There they encountered the Sakas near Syr Darya river and
evicted them. The Great Yuehi-Chi tribes settled in the valley of Oxus
and with the occupation of the Bactrian lands the great hordes were
divided into five principalities. A century later the Kushan section or
sect of Yuehi-Chi attained predominance over the otheres. Their leader
was Kadphises. Thus began the history of Kushans.

The unique geographical position of the Kushans empire made it a

colossus astride on the spine of Asia uniting the Greco-Roman
civilization in the west the Chinese civilization in the east and Indian
civilisation in the south-east.

The leader of the Kushans was kadphises and his rule probably began
in 40 A.D. He attacked the regions south of Hindu Kush, conquered
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Kabul and annexed Gandhara including the kingdom of Taxila.

Kadphises died in 77 A.D. or 78 A.D. By then the Kushans had
supplanted the princes belonging to the Indo-Greek saka and Indo-
Parthian communities along the frontiers of India. The successor of
kadphises was Vima-Kadphses. He conquered large parts of norther
India. His coins show that his authority extended as far as Banaras
and as well as the Indus basin. In all likelihood his power extended as
far as Narbada and the Saka satraps in Malwa and Western India
acknowledged his sovereignty.

By that time the Chinese reasserted their authority in the north and
this led to a collusion with the Kushans. The Chinese general pan-chao
conquered Chinese Turkistan and established the Chinese authority in
parthia that is on the territory south of the Caspian sea.

These advances frightened the Kushans. In 87 AD Kadphises II,

claimed the hand of a Chiese princes, an acknowledgement of his
equality with the son of Heaven. The proposal was rejected and
Kadphises, dispatched a large army, But the army was decimated
because of the difficult terrain. And it was easily defeated by the
Chinese. The Kushan ruler was compelled to pay tribute the China and
the Chinese records so that the Kushans continued to send missions to
Cnina till the close of the century. Rossibly the reign of Kadphises II
ended C. 110 A.D.

The next ruler, Kanishka probably belonged to the little Yuehi-chi

section of the horde. His capital was Purushapura and here he erected
a large number of Buddhist buildings. In his early years he annexed
Kashmir and consolidated his rule in the Indus and the Gangetic basin.
His army crossed the Pamirs and inflicted a defeat on the Chinese. The
chief of Khotan, Yarkand and the Ksshgar were made to pay tribute.
Tradition states that while Kanishka was on his return from the
Chinese Turkistan, he was sothered to death by his officers who had
got weary of his campaigns. Most of his time was spent on waging

A large number of inscriptions were incised during the times of

Kanishka and his successor. According to evidence, Kanishka became
an active partron of the Buddhist Church during the later part of his
reign. Althouth the Buddhist records gloat over this fact and regard
him as the second Asoka, his coins prove that he honoured a medley
of gods - zoroastrain, Greek, Mitraic, and Indian. The prominent Indian
duty on the coins was Shiva. The peculiar assembly of deities by the
Kushans offers a great deal of speculation. May be Kansihka follwed a
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loose from of Zorostrianism and freely venerated the deities of other


Also, Kanishka covened a council of Buddhist theologians to settle

disputes relating to Buddhist faith and practices. The conclusions of
this council were engraved on copper sheets and preserved in the
stupa of the capital. The delgates to the council primarily belonged to
the Hinayana sect.

The Buddhism of this period was definitely a lax one. The Mahayana
sect was popular. But early Buddhism was an India product and was
based on the Indian ideas of rebirth, transmigration of souls and the
blessedness of escape from the pains of being. This Buddhism was
supported by a practical system of ethics inculcating a stoic devotion
to duty for its own sake. Such a teaching needed fundamental changes
to attract the sturdy mountaineer, the nomad horseman and the
Helloe rized Alexandrian. The veneration for a dead teacher passed
into a worship of living seviour.

Soon the Kushan power declined. Within the Kingdom, harm was done
to the Kushan Empire by the Nagas and Yaudheyas. A Naga ruler
probably performed ten ashvamedha sacrifices. Apart from these two
communities, a few other tribes also, like the Malavas and the
Kunindas, probably regained their importance at the expense of the
Kushan empire.

Apart from the weaknesses to the successors of Kanishka,

developments in the Persia influenced the history of North western
India. The Parthians were overthrown byArdashir in 226 A.D. who
established theSassanian dynasty. His successors annxed Peshawar
and Taxila during the middle of the 3rd century. And Kushan kings in
the north-west became the vassals of the Sasssanians. The successors
of Kanishka, as established today, are the following : Vashiska (102-
106), Hyvishka (106-138), and Vasudeva (c. 152-176). The history
after this period is extremely vague. Over the ruins of the empire, in
Central Asia and the west, rose the Sassanian empire of Persia and in
India. The Gupta empire.

Speaking in general about the achievement of the Kushans, the first is

the economic prosperity. As the Kushan empire was situated in a
crucial geographical region. There was brisk trade. Moreover, the very
area covered by the Kushan empire helped the flow of trade between
the east and the west. Some trade routes which came into existence in
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this period continued to serve the future also. Gold coins of great
complexity were issued by the Kushans.

These coins speak of the prosperity of the people. The coins of

Kanishka usually show the figure of Kanishka standing and sacrificing
at altar, and on the obverse, deities belonging to various religions. The
coins of the Kushans also show that the Kushans were in contact with
the Romans - the weight of the Kushan coins has certain similarities
with the Roman coins. According to the author of the Periplus god and
silver species were imported at Barygaza (Broach).

As regards art and literature, we have to state that their greatest

contribution was the Gandhara art. It was in this period that the stone
images of the Buddha and the Bodhisattavas were craved out. The
chief of quality of this art is the blending of Buddhist subjects with
Greek forms. Images of the Buddha appear in the likeness of Apollo,
and theYakshakubera is posed in the fasino of Zeus. The imprint of this
school of art is still to be found in Mathura and Amarvati. Indeed, the
carving of images and the building of temples was not neglected in
earlier days, but under the Kushans they attained a refinement. The
Chaitya built at Peshawar was as high as four storeys. Fa-Hien,
passing through Gandhara, during the fifth century, praised the
images of the Buddha, Bodhisattavas and numerous other deities. The
early rulers fostered the Hellenistic art of Gandhara and also the
Bhikshu Bela, and from this place artistic products were sent to
Sarasvati and Sarnath. Kanishka was a great builder - tower at
Peshawar, a new city in Taxila, a town in Kashmir and fine buildings
and sculptures at Mathura. It was at the last place a portrait stature of
Kanishka has been found but its head is not there. Further, the die-
engravers employed by the Kushans were far from negligible. A special
note is to be taken of coinage. The Kushan coins became the
prototypes for many varieities of coins of Yadheyas, the imperial
Guptas, some kings of Nepa and several Kings of Chedi. Eminent
Buddhist writers - Nagajuna, Asvaghosha and Vasumitra were the
names associated with Kanishka. The first was a poet, musician,
scholar and a zealous Buddhist monk. Charaka was the court physician
of Kanishka.

The next thing to be noted about the Kushana is their religion. In all
likelihood, missionaries propagated Buddhism in central Asia and China
in this period. Possibly, it was during the time of Kanishka that
Mahayana Buddhism was sanctified. The fourth Buddhist council that
was summoned by Kanishka canonized the doctrines of Hinayana and
Mahayana. The deliberations of the conference were engraved on
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sheets of copper and were sealed and deposited in a stupa, but they
have not been found so far. But to regard Kanishka as the founder
patron of the Mahayana sect, which came into existence under the
Kushans, is a disputable point. Even though many scholars regard
Kanishka as the second Asoka some writers do not agree with this
view. In addition to these things, we must mention that the Kushana
kings patronized all kinds of religions, including Hinduism. Kanishka
was definitely and eclectic monarch as he honored a medley of gods
belonging to the Greek, Zoroastrian and Hindu faiths. Not only
Buddhism flourished under the Kushanas but there were definitely
stirrings of Hinduism. Many brahminical sects started merging. Along
with religion, Sanskrit language received an impetus. In a way the
Kushan age constituted the prelude to the Gupta age.

In this ammner, the services rendered by the Kushanas are

commendable. A mere evaluation of the personality of Kanishka alone
would not help us to estimate the importance of the Kushanas as the
empire lasted for three centuries. To a certain extent, the prosperious
time of peace during the Gupta period was directly due to the Kushans
undertaking the unconscious role of the shield and buckler of Indian
civiliszation and culture. The Kushan state was a buffer between the
Aryan civilization and the nomadic hordes in central Asia who from
time to time, had overrun the civilized worlds with the sweep of
avalanches. It was also responsible for the exchange of ideas and
goods between different civilization because of the peculiar
geographical position occupied by the Kushanas a clearing house for
the ideas and goods of different civilization.

Andhra Satavahanas
(a) Aitrareya Brahmana puts the Adhras beyond the pale of Aryanism.

(b) Nasik Prasasti lays claim to Gautmi as a brahamana.

(c) Puranas called them their services to Aryanism they were -

admitted to the Aryan folk after their services to Arynanism - there is
a reference to them in the Asoka inscriptions as well as by

(d) Some call them Brahmins - some, mixed Brahmins of Naga origin,
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aqnd some, protectors of Brahmins,

(e) Numismatic evidence points to the origin in Western Deccan and

Madhya Pradesh. Epigraphic and literary evidence points to their
western origin - the figure of the founder of the dynasty is found in
paition in western Deccan.

(f) Epigraphic evidence refers to them as Satavahanas, not as


(g) Possibly, Andhra is the Tribal name : Satavahana, the dynastic

name, and satakarni, the Surname.

(a) Puranas - mention 30 kings,.

(b) Aitrareya Brahmina.

(c) Literary sources -- Gunadhya's Brihatkatha. And Leelavati, which

deals with the military exploits of Hala.

(d) Nasik inscription of Gautami Balsari.

(e) Hathigumpha inscription of Kharavela for inferring the date of the

first ruler.

(f) Sanchi inscription extent of the Satavahanas kingdom till Malwa.

(a) The founder war one Simukha - probably the first century B.C. -
supplanted the lingering Sunga and Kanva rulers - rule of the dynasty
was for 300 years. Simuka was succeed by Krishna or Kanha.

(b) The next known king was Satakarni - the kingdom expanded -
probably defeated by Kharavela - performed Ashvamedha Pratishthana
was the capital - confusion after him. Kshaharatas or sakas occupied
parts of Maharashtra.

(c) Hala is the 17th in the list of Puranas - his book is saptasataka -
deals with both erortic and philosophical themes. Gundhaya's
Brihatkatha deals with the rivalry between Prikrit and Sanskrit.

(d) Beginning from 25 A.D. to 75 A.D. there was confusion - saka

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(e) The greatest ruler was Gautamiputra Satakarni. He was the 23rd
according to Pupranas - around 72 A.D. the Nasik inscription of his
mother talks of his being the destroyer of Sakas, Yavanas and
Kshaharata - also says that he crushed the pride of Kshatrias - overran
konan, Saurashtra, Bihar and Malva. A Philanthropist, he maintained
Arya Dharma - put an end to Varna - Sankara - some regard him to be
Vikramaditya. Built the city of Benakataka and assumed the titles of
Raja Raja and Svamin.

(f) The next known ruler was Pulumayi II around 96 A.D. - first ruled
Andhra country - Vaijyanti and Amaravati famous cities - Satavahanas
a naval power - probably overseas colonisation - large number of

(g) The next know ruler was Vasishtiputra Batakarni of sri Pulumayi -
married the daughter of Rudradaman, a Saka ruler -- however
Rudradaman twice defeated him. Also, Sri Pulumayi lost to Chastana,
son of Bhosmotika.

(h) Next known ruler was Yajna Sri Satakarni - around 160 A.D. -
Malva, Kathiawad and North Konkan - inscription found in Konkan and
Krishna - coints found in Gujarat and Kathiawad - defeated Kshatapas.

(i) After the declined Salankeyanas ruled over the Satavahana



(1) The Very area over which they ruled was important connecting link
between link between northern and southern India - Andhras were
instrumental in spreading Aryan culture to the south.

(2) Their colonizing activities spread to South-East Asia - influence of

Amaravati sculptures on South-East Asian sculptures.

(3) They did maintain contact between India and the Western world in
matters of trade.

(4) They were instrumental in curbing the penetration of Sakas further

into south.

(5) Some of the later southern dynastic like Ikshvakus, Kadambas,

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Tarikutakas and Abhiras continued the Satavahan tradition and the

Pallsvas and the Chalukya claimed the tradition of Satavahanas.

The government if the Satavahana kingdom was organized on the
traditional lines. The kingdom was divided into Janapadas, which were
further sub-divided into aharas. Each ahara was under an Amataya.
The basic unit of the ahara was the grama with the village headman
called gamika. Central control was maintained over the provices.
Princes were generally made viceroys. And the kings did not assume
high-sounding titles. They were expected to maintain dharma.

Taxation was not burden some. The state derived its income from
crown lands, court fees, fines and ordinary taxes on lands. The
extraordinary taxes of the Mauryan period were not imposed. In
general, Central control was not high because feudal traits emerged in
the Satavahana period. The feudal chiefs like maharathas
mahasenapatis and mahabhojas issued their own coins.

The area under the satavahanas in general witnessed considerable

prosperity. There was brisk trade. Broach was the most important port
and it had a vast and rich hinterland. Pratishthana produced cotton
cloth. Tagara and Ujjain produced muslin. The chief imports were
wines, copper, tin, lead and gold and silver coins. Another important
port was kalyan mentioned in the Perilus. The other ports were
Sopara, Goa and pigeon islands. Within the kingdom there were
important cities like Tagara, Prathishthana, Nasik, Junnar and
Dhanyakataka. Koddura and Chinnaganjam were the important ports
on the east. The general life led by the people was similar to the one
portrayed in Vatsayana's Kama-Sutra.

Evidence also shows that a good number of people emigrated from the
Deccan to colonize the regions in South-East Asia

The Satavahanas and Shiva were worshiped. Saptasataka reveals the

worship of many Hindu deities. Vaishnavasim and Shavism grew
popular. Gautamiputra-Satakarni claimed himself to be the protector
of brahmins. The Naisk prasasthi states that Varnashrama Dharmawas
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Buddhism too was popular. Both the sakas and Satavahanas

encouraged Buddhism. Ushavadata mare several grants to Buddhist
monks. Some of these grants were renewed by Guatamiputra
Satakarni. Buddhist momuments and stupas came into existence at
Nasik, Vidisa, Bhattiprolu, Goli, Ghantasala and Amaravati. It was at
the last plece that most probably human figures were carved out for
the first time. And the stupa at this place had a marble railing with
relief sculptures. A vaijayanti merchant was responsible for enriching
Karle and Kanheri Buddhist caves. Merchants from Nasik contributed
to the caves at Vidisa and Bharhut. In brief cave architecture and
building of stupas witnessed certain development under the auspices
of the satavahanas; and the donations or the merchants belonging to
the guilds prove the commercial prosperity of the area.

Emcouraged by wealth the kings patronized literature and architecture.

Hala was an authority on the Puranas. He was the author of Sapta-
Sataka. It is said that Hala paid as much as 40 million pieces of gold
for four kavyas. Leelavati deals with the military campaigns of Hala.

The kings encouraged architecture. The five gateways at Sanchi the

rock-cut Chaity-halls of Bhaja, Karle, Nasik and Kanheri and the stupas
at Amaravati, Bhattiprolu, Goli and Ghantasala were built in this
period. The capitals of the pillars in Karle caves are elaborately
sculptured. The dome and the base of the Amaravati stupa is
elaborately sculptured. Jataka stories were incised on marble slabs.
The upper part of the dome is a beautiful floral design. It is generally
said that its construction began during the t8ime of Gautamiputra
Satakarni and was completed during the time of Yajna Sri Satakarni.
Most probably two Ajanta Frescoes (9th and 10th) came into existence
during this period.

The satavahanas weregreat excavators of cave temples and the

magnificent temples of Ellora and Ajanta were the continuation of the
Satavahana tradition to which all Middle Indian dynasties in succeeding
ages claimed historic relationship. The basic tradition in Middle India is
of the Satavahana empire. As in the north it is of the Mauryan. From
the point of view of historic continuity it is important to remember this
primary fact as up to quite recent times the traditions flowing from the
satavahanas were living factors in Indian history.
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Significance Of The Satavahanas

(1) It was the emergence of Vakataka power in the Vindhya area some
where about the middle of the third century that brought about the
downfall of the Satavahanas. But an empire so firely established in its
home domains does not break down with the fall of a dynasty. The
Rastrakutas and the Chalukyas in the Godavari valley and the Pallavas
in the south originally the viceroys of the Satavahanas, claimed
successtion to the empire with in their own territorial limits as the
Vakatakas claimed it to the north of the Vindhyas. The Gangas and the
Kadambas were also the inheritors of the tradition and as the
Vijayanagar emperors claimed in time to be Chalukya Chudamanis, or
the crest jewels of the Chalukya dynasty and as the great kings of
Gujarat equally claimed succession from the Chalukyas, the imperial
tradition of the Satavahanas may be said to have been carried forward
at least to the beginning of the seventeenth century.

(2) The rise of the Satavahanas signified that the economic revolution
of the Gangetic region was repeated allover India. Added to this
because of the peculiar geographical terrain of the Deccan peninsula a
number of small kingdoms came into existence but not any big empire.

(3) Since the Satavahanas had controlled part of the Deccan and part
of northern India, they acted as the couriers of Aryanism to southern

(4) It is intriguing to note that the Satavahana inscriptions were

primarily in pali but not in Sanskrit indicating it look long time to
establish Sanskrit language as the language of the elite although
people professed Aryanism much earlier.

(5) The administrative structure of the Satavahana is a revealing one

because it was not a highly centralized administration and it conceded
the emergence of feudalism. Feudal chiefs like Mahara this
mahasenapatis and mahabhojas issued their own coins.

(6) The artistic excellence that was achieved under the aegis of the
Satavahanas had a tremendous significance. Buddhist mouments came
into existence at Nasik, Vidisha, Bhattiprolu, Goli, Ghantasala and
amaravati. Most probably human figure was first carved out at
Amaravati and Amaravati's sculptures influenced South-east Asian
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(7) Under the aegis of the Satavahanas trade was given a boost. The
important pores were Koddura and Chinnaganjam on the east and
Kalyan, Sopara, Goa and Pigeon islands on the West coast. And some
of the important commercial centers were Tagara, Pratishthana, Nasik,
Junnar and Dhanyakataka.

Saka-satavahana Conflict
1. There is controversy about the name 'Sakas'. Some hold the view
that they were probably. One branch of them was known as
kshabaratas. Some say Nahapana was a pahlava and Ghasmotika the
father of Chashtana was Scythian. It was from the Gupta period that
the name 'saka' came to be applied to this family of people.

2. The one reason that was responsible for the southward thrust of the
sakas was the Kushan pressure from the north.

3. To begin with they established themselves in western Rajputana,

Gujarat and Kathiawad. Then they took malva and even northern
Maharashtra from the Satavahanas. At one time they even got
southern Maharashtra as far as Vijayanti from the Satavahanas.

4. The earliest known king of the Kshaharatas, a branch of the Sakas,

was Bhumaka. He ruled over Gujarat, Kathiawad and north
Konkancoins belonging to him are found.

5. His successor was Nahapana-title Raja-numerous coins-advanced at

the expense of Satavahanas-this advance began five years before the
end of Nahapana's rule. After Nahapana defeated the Satavahana he
assumed the title of Maha Kshatrapa. A Jaina work mentions Broach as
the capital of Nahapana.

6. Ushavadata was the general and son-in-law of Nahapana and he

succeeded him as the Saka ruler. He took western deccan including
Malva. It is not known whether Paithan, the capital of Satavahanas
was lost or not. He defeated Satavahana rulers were Sundara
Satakarni, Chakora Satakarni and Siva sati.

It is interesting to note that Ushavadata following Puranic Hinduism

gve cows to brahmins - visited Pushiar - gave religious benefactions -
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also gave viallages to Buddhists - Saka country was divided into


7. It was Gautamiputra Satakarni who revived the glories of

Satavahanas. He defeated the successor of Nahapana, Ushavadata
was killed. Some say that he defeated Nahapana. Also a Jaina work
speaks of Nahapana's defeat and death at the hands of Satavahanas.
The coins of Nahapana were re-issued by Gautamiputra Satakarni.
Some land grants also confirm this victory. It is said that the
Satavahana king made preparations for 16 years to defeat the Sakas.

8. The coflict was re-opened during the days of Pulumayi II, the king
after Gautamiputra Satakarni, as well as, Sri Pulumayi.

9. After this Ghamotika appeared on the stage who ruled over

Kathiwad. His successor, Ghashtana also infliceted defeats on the
Satavahanas. Rudraman too defeated the Satavahanas. The victory of
Rudraman and Ghastana around 150 A.D. (cofirmed by Junagarh
inscription) mad the Patavahanas lose all their northern conquests.

(1) The conflict between the Sakas and Satavahanas was inevitable as
such conflicts were natural in feudal times. Probably the Sakas were
perforce dieven to expand southward because of the establishment of
Kushan empire. The Saka-Satavahana conflict was because of the
basic factors working in the political dynamic of the day.

(2) The Sakas issued coins of great artistic value. Gatuamiputra

Satakarni re-issued the coins of Nahapana. In other words, the Sakas
had a better artistic sense.

(3) Evidence shows that the Sakas introduced new ideas and
institutions in south-silver coins, free use of Sanskrit and Vigorour
patronage of Buddhists and brahmins. Kshaharatas used Khoreshthi -
alphabet of extreme north-west.
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Sanskrit is a remote cousin of all the language of Europe ecepting the
Finnish, Hungarian, Turkish and basqe. Around 2000 B.C. an ancestral
group of dialects arose among the tribesmen of South Russia.

With Panini (probably 4th century B.C.) the Sanskrit language reached
its classical form. It developed a little thense forward except in its
vocabulary. The grammer of Panini, Asthadhyayi, pre-supposes the
work of may earlier grammarians. Latter grammars are mostly
commentaries on Panini, the chief being Mahabashya by Patanjali
(second century B.C.) and the Banaras-commentary of Jayaditya and
Vamana (seventh century A.D.).

It was from the time of Panini onwards that the language began to be
called Samskarta, perfected or refined, as opposed to Prakras
(natural), the popular dialects which had grown over time. In all
probability, Panini bsed his work on the languages as it was spoken in
the north west. Beginning as the lingua franca of the priestly class, it
gradually became that of the governing class also. The first important
dynasty to use Sanskrit was that of the Sakas of Ujjain and the
inscriptions of Rudraman at Girnar. Otherwise, the Maurya and the
other important dynasty till the Guptas used Prakrit for their official

The Language of the Rig Veda was already archaic when the hymns
were composed and the ordinary Aryan spoke a sompler tongue, moer
closely akin to classical Sanskrit. By the time of the Buddha themasses
were speaking languages which were much simpler than Sanskrit.
These were the prakrits. The ordinary speech of Ancient India has
been preserved forus largely throughthe unorthodox religions. Most
inscriptions of pre-Gupta time are in Prakrit. The women and humbler
characters of the Sanskrit drama are made to speak in formalized
prakrit of various dialects. A few of secular literary works were
composed in Prakrit.

Classical Sanksrit increasing became thelanguage of brahmins and the

learned few. Its use was restricted to certainoccasions such as issuing
of proclamations and during the performance of Vedic ceremonies. In
the towns and villages a popular form of Sanksrit, known as Prakrit,
came into the existence. There were a breat number of local
variations. The chief western variety was called Shuraseni and the
eastern variety, Magadhi, Pali was another popular language based on
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Sanksrit. It, too, was used in the same religions as Prakrit. The
Buddha, to reach more people, taught in Magadhi.

Speaking of literature, the four Vedas and the Brahmins and

Upnishadas have some literary qualities. Some hymns of the Rig Veda
and some parts of the early Upnishadas have some merit. Otherwise,
they are mostly dry and monotonous.

In the 1028 hymns of the Rig Veda there is a great variety of styled
and merit. The hymns contain many repetitions and the majority of
them have the sameness of outlook. A number of hymns show
deployment feeling for nature, as for example, the hymns to Ushas. A
few vedic hymns are primarily secular, as for example the Gamester's

Very tittle of liverary quality is there in the later Vedic literature the
Atherva veda mostly a monotonous collection contains a few poems of
great merit. The prose Brahmanas, though written in simple and
straight forward language have little literary merit.

Thus the earliest Indian literature is to be found in the Mahabharata

and the Ramayana. The Mahabharata consisting of 90,00 stanzas, is
probably the longest single poem in the world's literature. Ignoring the
interpolations, the style of the Mahabharata is direct and vivid though
consisting of repeated clinches and stock epithets, typical of epic
literature every where. The chief characters are delineated in a very
simple outline but with an individuality which makes them real

The other epic Ramayana also contains interpolations but they are
much briefer and are mostly didactic. The main body of the poem
gives the impression of being the work of one author whose style was
based on that of the other epic to show some kinship to that of
classical Sanskrit poetry. The style of the Ramayana is less rugged
than that of the Mahabharata. It is a work of greater art and it
contains many dramatic passages and beautiful descriptive writing.

The earliect surviving Sanskrit poetry is that of the Buddhist writer

Ashvaghosa who probably lived in the Ist century A.D. He composed
the Buddha-Charitra in a comparatively simple classical style. The
Girnar inscription of Rudradaman, dated 150 A.D. is the earliest
surviving example of Sanskrit prose.
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The earliest surviving prose stories are a few narrative episodes in the
Brahmanas followed by the pali Jatakas. It was in the Gupta period
that ornate Sanskrit prose was developed. The chief writers in this
style were Dandin, Subandhu and Bana.

Chronologically pali is the first Sanskrit language and various Prakrits
oppeared later. Even the meaning of the word 'Pali' underwent
changes. In the final stages the word "Pali" meant language of the
texts of Theravada Buddhism. The Tripitaka meaning three baskets are
books which consist of the canons of the Theravada sect. One part of it
deals with the monastic discipline. The second part lays down
principles of Buddhism. And the last part deals with various subjects
like ethics psychology theories of knowledge and metaphysical

Besides the canonical literature, there was also non-canomical

literature in pali. In pali liberature the earlieat works relate to the
Jataka stories. The early poetry consisted of a few verses from the
songs of the older monks and Nuns, a collection of poems ascribed
wrongly to the great disciples of the Buddha in the early days of the
order. The style of these is simpler then Sanskrit literature and
suggests influence of popular song. The book milinda panda is the
most important one. Its subject matter is the dialogue between Milinda
and monk Nagasena over some problems of the Buddhist faith. This
particular kind of canonical literature in pali was practised in Ceylon
also. The classical works Depavamsa and Mahavamsa, the two great
chronicles of Ceylon and also some grammatical metrical and
lexicographical texts were written in pali.

Now for the word "Prakrit". It stands for all the middle Indo-Aryan
speeches which belong to an era between Sanskrit on the one hand
and Aryan languages it has sectarian value since it was exclusively
used as the speech of the Hinayana Buddhism.

From the earliest times to the first century A.D. inscriptions were
composed exclusively in Prakrit. Asoka left behind 30 inscriptions in
Prakrit. Even in literature prakrit came to be used particularly in plays.
And prakrit itself consists of different dialects. There were several
other prakrits of lesser importance. By the time of the Guptas the
prakrits were standardized and had lost their local character. The
vernaculars had already developed beyond them. What panini did for
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Sanskrit others did dor the Prakrits and they began to resemble more
the languages actually were based on the conventions of dramatic
theory and they never represented popular life. Now did they reflect in
any way the linguistic conditions of society. Some plays are composed
exclusively in Prakrit and they are technically called sttakas. The
Karpuramanjari (about 900 A.D.) Rajasekhara depicting love between
man and woman is the most important work of this type.

Continuting the secular aspect of Prakrit language a number of stanzas

were written both on love and maxims. The most remarkable amongst
such texts is the Gatha Saptasati of Hala one of the Satavahana rulers.
This book consists of 700 stanzas about love depicting the varied
phases of South Indian rural life. The king probably ruled in the Ist
century A.D. The poems are notable for their consciseness and for
their great economy of words and masterly use of suggestions. Some
poems contain simple and natural descriptions and references to the
lives of peasants and the lower class. More important is the fact that
narrative literature and epic poems are fairly extensive in Prakrit. The
most noteworthy among themare the Brihatkatha of Gunadhya
composed in Paisachi dialect and Setubandha of Pravarasena.

Apart from secular literature prakrit was used for religious literature
also like the Jaina canonical works. It was during the 5th century A.D.
that most of the Jaina canons were written down. In prakrit literature
the Jaina writings have very little literary the poetry of the Jainas is
better than prose. Its poetry is written in lively vernacular style.

Furthermore it is to be stated here that scholars treated Apabhramas

as a kind of Prakrit. It boasts of extensive literature particularly
narrative stories. The first writer to make use of it was Asvaghosa. The
others who followed the example were Bhasa (3rd century A.D.) and
later Visakhadatta and kalidasa.

In the Apabhramsa the meter doha was adopted as powerful form of

expression of religious and philosophical thoughts. Both Jaina monks
and contemporary writers of Tantrik Bhddhism utilized this meter.
Incidentally stray poems dealing with morals maxims ethics religious
discourses and legenos were commonly written in Apabhramsa. Among
the Jains the columinous texts on the life and activities of Jaina heroes
were written in Apabhramsa. It may be noted here in the end that
Apabhramsa, Sanskrit and Prakrit had a great influence both on
Gujarati and Hindi as late as the 16th century.
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Futhermore Prakrit is of linguistic importance since it is illustrative of

the linguistic evolution from Prakrit to Apabhramsa and finally to a new
regional language. Apabhramsa meaning falling down was a corrupt
form of Prakrit dialect. It is believed to have originated in the north-
west and traveled from that region along with the migrant people who
scattered and settled incentral and western India after the Huna
invasions. The Prakrit as used by Jains was greatly influenced by
Apabhramsa. It is here that the link between the older and the new
languages of Maharashtri and Gujarati is evident.

India's Impact on Southeast Asia

Causes and Consequences

The transmission of Indian culture of distant parts of Central Asia,

China, Japan, and especially Southeast Asia is certainly one of the
greatest achievements of Indian history or even of the history of
mankind. None of the other great civilizations - not even the Hellenic -
had been able to achieve a similar success without military conquest.
In this brief survey of India's history, there is no room for an adequate
discussion of the development of the 'Indianised' states of Southeast
Asia which can boast of such magnificent temple cities as Pagan
(Burma; constructed from 1044 to 1287 AD,) Angkor (Combodia;
constructed from 889 to c. 1300 AD), and the Borobudur (Java, early
ninth century AD). Though they were influenced by Indian culture,
they are nevertheless part and parcel of the history of those respective
countries. Here we will limit our observations to some fundamental
problems oncerning the transmission of Indian culture to the vast
region of Sotheast Asia.

Who Spread Indian Culture in Southeast Asia ?

Historians have formulated several theories regarding the transmission

of Indian culture of Southeast Asia :
(1) the 'Kshatriya' theory;
(2) the 'Vaishya' theory;
(3) the 'Brahmin' theory.

The Kshatriya theory states that Indian warriors colonized Southeast

Asia; this proposition has now been rejected by most scholars
although it was very prominent some time ago.
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The Vaishya theory attributes the spread of Indian cultura to traders;

it is certainly much more plausible than the Kshatriya theory, but does
not seem to explain the large number of Sanskrit loan words in
Southeast Asian languages.

The Brahmin hypothesis credits Brahmins with the transmission of

Indian culture; this would account for the prevalence of these
loanawards; but may have to be amplified by some reference to the
Buddhists as well as to be amplified by some reference to the
Buddhsits as well as to the traders. We shall return to these theories,
but first we shall try to understand the rise and fall of the Kshatriya

It owed its origin to the Indian freedom movement. Indian historians,

smarting under the stigma of their own colonical sujection, tried to
compensate for this by showing that al leat in ancient times Indians
had been strong enough to establish colonise of their own. In 1926 the
Greater India society was established in Calcutta and in subsequent
years the renewed Indian historia R.C. Majumdar published his series
of studies, Ancient Indian colonise in the Far East. This school held
that Indian kings and warriors had established such colonise and the
Sanksrit names of South east Asian rulers seemed to provide ample
supporting evidence. At least this hypothesis stimulated further
research, though it also alienated those intellectuals of Southeast Asia
who rejected the idea of having once been colonized by a 'Greater
India'. As research progressed it was found that there was vary little
proof of any direct Indian political influence in those states of
Southeast Asia. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that Southeast
Asian rulers had adopted Sanskrit names the mselves - thus such
names could not be adduced as evidence for the presence of Indian

The Vaishya theory, in contrast, emphasized a much more important

element of the Indian connection with Southeast Asia. Trade had
indeed been the driving force behind all these early contacts.
Inscriptions also showed that guids of Indian merchants had
established outposts in many parts of Southeast Asia. Some of their
inscriptions were written in languages such as Tamil. However, if such
merchants had been the chief agents of the transmission of Indian
culture, then all their languages should have made an impact on those
of Southeast Asia. But this was not so : Sanskrit and, to some extent,
languages. The traders certainly provided an important transmission
belt for all kinds of cultural influences. Nevertheless, they did not play
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the crucial role which some scholars have attributed to them. One of
the most important arguments against the Vaishya theory is that some
of the earliest traces of Indianised states in Southeast Asia are not
found in the coastalareas usually frequented by the traders, but in
mountainous, interior areas.

The Brahmin theory is in keeping with what we have shown with

regard to the almost contemporary spread of Hindu culture in
Southern and Central India. There Brahmins and Buddhist and Jain
monks played the major role in transmitting cultural values and
symbols, and in disseminating the style of Hundu kingship. In addition
to being religious specialists, the Brahmins also knew the Sanskrit
codes regarding law (dharmasastra), the art of government
(arthasastra), and art and architecture (silpasastra). They could taus
serve as development planners' in many different fields and were
accordingly welcome to Southeast Asian rulers who may have just
emerged from what we earlier described as first-and second phase
state formation.


Indian historians have conducted a heated debate for many decades
about the relative marits of different regions with regard to the spread
of Indian influenced in southeast Asia. Now a days there seems to be a
consensus that, at least as far as the early centuries AD are
concerned, South India and specially Tamil Nadu-deserves the gerates
credit for this achievement. In subsequent periods, however, several
regional shifts as well as parallel influences emanaging from various
centers can be noticed. The influence of Tamil Nadu was very strong
as far as the earliest inscriptions in Southeast Asia are concerned,
showing as they do the influence ofteh script prevalent in the Pallava
kingdom. The oldest Buddhist sculputure in Southeast Asia- the
famous Buddha of Celebes - shows the marks of the Buddhist
sculptures of Amarvati (Coastal Andhra) of the third to the fifth
centuries AD. Early Hindu sculptures of Western Java and of the
Isthmus of Siam seem to have been guided by the Pallava style of the
seventh and eighth centuries AD. Early southeast Asian temple
architecture similarly shows the influence of the Pallavas and Chola
styles, especially on Java and in Kampuchea.
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The influence of the North Indian Gupta style also made itself felt from
the fifth century AD onwards. The center of this school was Sarnath,
near Baranasi (Banaras), where Buddha preached his first sermon.
Sarnath produced the classical Buddha image which influenced the art
of Burma and Thailand, as well as that of Funan at the mouth of the
Mekong. The art of the Shailendra dynastry of Java in the eighth and
ninth centuries AD - of which the Borobudur is the most famous
monument - was obviously influenced by what is termed the Late
Gupta style of western central Java of about (c.800 AD) explicitly
refers to the canstant flow of the people from Gurjardesha (Gujarat
and adjacent regions) due to which this temple had been built. Indeed,
the temple's sculptures show a striking similarity with those of the late
Buddhist caves of Ajanta and Ellora.

In later centuries Southeast Asia was more and more influenced by the
scholars of the University of Nalanda and the style of the Pala dynasty,
the last of the great Indian dynasties which bestowed royal patronage
on Buddhism. The influence of Mahayana Buddhism prevailing in Bihar
and Bengal under the Palas was so strong at the court of the
Shailendras of Java that a Buddhist monk from 'Gaudi' (Bengal) with
the typical Bengali name of Kumara Ghose, became rajguru of the
Shailendra king and in this capacity consecrated a statue of Manjushri
in the royal temple of the Shailenras in 782 AD. Bengal eastern Bihar
and Orissa were at that time centers of cultural influence. These
regions were in constant contact with Southeast Asia, whose painters
and sculptors reflected the style of Eastern Indian in their works.
Typical of this aesthetic was the special arrangement of figures
surrounding the central figure. This types of arrangement can be found
both in Indonasia sculptures and in the temple paintanings of Pagan
(Burma) during this period.

In the same era south Indian influence emerged once more under the
chola dynasty. Maritime trade was of major importance to the choals,
who thereby also increased their cultural influences. The occasional
military interventions of the Cholas did not detract from the peaceful
cultural intercourse. At the northern coast of Sumatra the old port of
Dilli, near Medan, had great Buddha sculptures evincing a local
variation of the Chola style, indeed a magnificent status of the Hindu
God Ganesha, in the pure Chola style, have recently been found at the
same place, Close to the famous temple of Padang Lawas, central
Sumatra, small but very impressive chola-style bronze sculptures of a
four armed Lokanath and of Tara have been found. These sculptures
are now in the museum of Jakarta. They are dated at 1039 AD, and a
brief inscription containing Old Malay words in addition to Sanskrit
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words- but Tamil words-proves that the figures were not imported
from India but were produced locally.

Nevertheless, Chola relations with southeast Asia were by no means a

one-way street. It is presumed that the imperial cult of the Choals,
centred on their enormous temples, was directly influenced by the
grantd style of Angkor. The great tank at Gangaikondacholapuram was
perhaps conceived by the Chola ruerl in the same spirit as that which
moved the Combodian rulers who ordered the construction of the
famous Barays (tanks) of Angkor, which are considered to be a special
Indication of royal merit.

In the late thirteenth century Ad Pagan (Burma) was once more

exposed to a strong current of difect Indian influence emanating from
Bengal at that time conquered by Islamic rulers Nalanda had been
destroyed by the end of the twelth century and large groups of monks
in search of a new hoem flocked to Pagan and also to the Buddhist
centers of Tibet. The beautiful paintings in the temples of Minnanthu in
the eastern part of the city of Pagan may have due to them.

Islamic conquest cut off the holy places of Buddhism. A millennium of

intensive contacts between India and southeast Asia have come to an
end. But there was anther factor which must be mentioned in this
contact. In 1190 AD Chapata, a Buddhist monk from Pagan, returned
to that city after having spent ten years in Sri Lanka. In Burma he
founded a branch of the Theravada school of Buddhism, established on
the strict rules of the mahavihara monastery of the Sri Lanka. This led
to a schism in the Burmese Buddhist order which had been established
at Pagan by Shin Arahan about 150 years earlier. Shin Arahan was a
follower of the South Indian school of Buddhism, which had its center
at Kanchipuram. Chapata's reform prevailed and by the thirteenth and
fourteenth centuries AD. Burma, Thailand and Combodia had adopted
Theravada Buddhism of the Sri Lanka school. In Combodia this shift
from Mahayana to Theravada Buddhism seesm to have been part of a
socio-cultural revolution. Under the last great Knig of Angkor,
Jayavarman VII (1181-1218) royan Mahayana Buddhism had become
associated in the eyes of the people with the enormous buden which
the king imposed upon them in order to build the enormous Buddhist
temples of Angkor Thom (e.g. the gigantic Beyon).

Even in Indonesia, however, where Tantrist Buddhism with an ad-

mixture of Shaivism prevailed at the courts of rulers all the way from
Sumatra down to Bali, direct Indian influence rapidly receded in the
thirteenth century. This was only partly due to the intervantion of
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Islam in India, its other cause being an upsurge of Javanese art which
confined the influence of Indian art to the statues of defied. Kings
erected after the death of the ruler. The outer walls of the temples
were covered with Javanese reliefs which evince a great similarity to
the Javanese shadowplay (Wayang kulit). The chandi Jago (thirteenth
century AD) and the temples of Panantaran (fourthenth century AD)
show this new Jvanese style very well. It has remained the dominant
style of Bali art upto the present time. A similar trend towards the
assertion of indigenous styles can also be found in the Theravads
Buddhist countries. The content of the scence depicted is still derived
from Hindnu mythology of Buddhist legends but the presentation
clearly incorporates the respective national style.


The highly esteemed Vedas have come to down to us. They existed for
nearly 2000 years before they were known in India. It was the
knowledge of acustics that enabled ancient Indians to orally transmit
the Vedas from generation to generation. Institutional form of
imparting learning came into existence in the early centuries of the
Christian era. The approach to learning was to study logic and

The study of logci was followed by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains, one of
the most important topics of Indian thoughts was pramana or means
of reliable knowledge. The nyaya schools upheld four pramanas -
perceptions of areliable by anology or comparison, word (Sabda), and
pronounciation of a reliable authority such as the Vedas. The Vedanta
school added one more to it i.e. intution.

It is probably while studying the process of inference that the schools

of true logic arose. Ancient Indian postulated syllogism though not as
accurate as that of Aristotle. Yet, they recognize some of the major
fallacies of logic like reduction and absurdom, circular argument,
infinite regression, dilemma, and ignoratio elenchi.

In the field epistemology, Jains contriubuted the most for the Jains
there was not only two possibilities of existence and non-existence but
seven more. Although the modern logicians might laugh at this
pedantic system of ontological and epistemological reality they
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concede that the world is more complex and subtle than we think it to

Regarding institutional form of education the first was the guru-sishya

system. According to sacred texts, the training of the Brahmin pupil
took place at the home of a Brahmin teacher. In some texts the guru
is depicted as the poor ascetic and it is the duty of the student to beg
for his teacher. The first lesson that was taught to the student was the
performance of sandhya and also reciting of gayatri.

The family functioned as a domestic school, an asrama or a hermitage

where the mental faculties of the pupils were developed by the
teacher's constant attention and personal instruction. Education,
treatant as a matter of individual concern, did not admit of the method
of mass production applicable in industry. The making of man was
fegarded as an artistic and not a mechanical process. Indeed, the aim
of education was the developing of the pupil's personality, his innate
and latent capacities. This view of education as a process of one's
inner growth and self-fulfilment evolved its own technique, its rules,
methods and practices.

The thinking principle, manana sakti was reckoned higher than the
subject of thinking. So the primary subject of education was the mind
itself. According to the ancient Indian theory of education, the training
of the mind and the process of thinking, are essential for the
acquisition of knowledge. The chase counts more than the game. So
the pupil had mainly to educed himself and achieve his own mental
growth. Education ws reduced to the three simple processes of
Sravana, Manana and Niddhyaasana. Sravana was listening to the
truths as they fell from the lips of the teacher. Knowledge was
technically called sruti or what was heard by the ear and not what was
seen in writing.

The second process of knowledge called Manana implies that the pupil
has to think out for himself the meaning of the leassons imparted to
him orally by his teacher so that they may be assimilate fully. The
third step known as Nidhyasana means complete comprehension by
the pupil of the truth that is taught so that he may live the truth and
not merely explain it by word. Knowledge must cultimate in

The admission was made bythe formal ceremony upanayana or

initiation by which the pupil left the home of his natural parents for
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that of the preceptor. In this new home he had a second birth and was
called Dvijya. Twice-born.

Besides these regular schools of instructions, there were special

institutions for the promotion of advance study and research. These
are called in the Rig Veda as Brahmana-Sangha, Academies of learned
most its discussions hammered into shape the very languageofthe
country, the refined language of Sanksrit (Samkrata) as the Vehicle of
highest thought. These Academics were called prisads, there is a
reference to the Pancala parisad in the Upnishads, in whose
proceedings even kings participated, learning was also prompted by
discussions at public meetings which were a regular of rural life, and
were addressed by wandering scholars known as Carakas, These
scholars toured the country to deliver public discourses and invite

What might count as earliest literary congress of the world was the
congress of philoshophers which was codification of Brahmanical
philoshophy by discussing the subject under the direction of the
master philosopher, Yajnavalkya. In these deliberations at the highest
level, a lady- philoshopher named Gargi was a prominent participant
beside men like Uddalaka Arni. Obviously, in those days women were
admitted to the highest knowledge and did not suffer from any
education disabilities. There was equality between the sexes in the
filed of knowledge. The Rig Veda mentions women Rais called

To begin with, in ancient India, the main subject was the Veda. The
teacher would instruct handful of students seated on ground. For many
hours daily they would repeat verses after verses of the Vedas till they
attainmastery of at least one of them. To ensure correctness of
memory, the hymns were taught inmore than one way.

Soon the curricula was expanded. The limbs of the Veda or the six
Vedangas were taught - the performance of sacrifice, correct
pronounciation, knowledge of prosody, etymology, grammer, and
jyotisha or the science of calender. Also in the post-Vedic era, teachers
often instructed their students in the six schools of Philoshophy.

The writers of smititis maintain that young women of upper class

updrewent this kind of training. This is a dboutful contention. Princes
and other leading Kshatriyas were tained in all the manifold sciences
to make them fit for government. Most boys of the lower orders learnt
their trades from their fathers.
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Some cities became renewned because of their teachers. Chief among

them were - Varanasi, Taxila from the day of Buddha and Kanchi in
the beginning of the Christian era. Varanasi was famous for its
religious teachers. Taxila was known for its secular studies. Among the
famous men connected with Taxila were Panini, the grammarian of the
fifth or fourth century B.C. : Kautilya, the Brahmin minister of
Chandragupta Maurya and Charaka one of the two leading authorities
of Indian medical sciences. The institutions imparting vedic knowledge
that exists even today. There were also universities like Taxila and
Ujjain for medicine and learning incuding mathematics and astronomy
respectively. In the south Kanchi became an important center of
learning. Hiuen remarks that vallabhi was as great as Nalanda and

Although the smirits maintained that a small number of students study

under a single teacher, university turned towns came into existence
like Varanasi, Taxila etc. At Varanasi there were 500 students and a
number of teachers. The whole estalisment was maintained by
charitable people Ideally, the teacher asked no fee, but the students
repaid his debt by their service to the teacher. A Jataka story tells of
how a teacher of Taxila treated well the students who paid him money
while keeping other waiting. It is also interesting to note that in Taxila
even married people were admitted as students.

Out of all the Universities, Nalanda and imposed structures. Eight

Colleges were built by different patterns including one by the king of
Sri Vijaya (Sumatra). One of the colleges was four storeyed high as
stated by Hiuen-Tsang. Every facility existed for studying various kinds
of subjects in the University. There were three great libraries as per
Tibetan records.

Nalanda attracted students not only from different parts of India but
also from Tibet and China. The standards of examination were stiff,
and only those who could pass the test prescribed by the dvarapandita
or the scholar at the gate were admitted to this university. Also, for
being admitted to the university, candidates were required to be
familiar with old and new books.

Nalanda was one of the earliest examples ofa residential cum-teaching

institutions which housed thousands of monks devoted to learning,
philoshophy and meditation. Over 10,000 students including teachers
lived and studied at the university. The came from various parts of the
world apart from India-Cental Asia, China and Korea.
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Though Nalanda was primarily a Buddhist university its curricula

included Hindu scriptures, Philoshophy and medicine as recorded by
Hiuen-Tsang. Logic and exagetics wre pre-emenent because thes
students were expected to enter into dialogue with visiting doctors of
all schools. This compulsion of public debate made both teachers and
students become familiar with all systems of thought in accurate

The university had also succession of brilliant teachers. Dharmapala

was a Tamil noble from Kanchi in the south. Janamitra come from
another country. Silabhadra, the saintly guru of Hiuen-Tsang, came
from Assam and he was a converted Brahmin. A great achievements of
the University was that it was able to continuously rejuvenate
Buddhism in far off countries. Tibetan records mention a succession of
learned monks who visited their country. It is also said that Sudhakara
Simha went to China and worked there on the translation of Buddhist


(a) Neither the Hindu nor the Budhist emigration was supported by
any kingdom or empire in India, clearly provingthat the expansion was
not colonial in nature.

(b) Since no home support was there for these kingdoms, they later
easily succumbed to local influences.The Chinese influence as spear-
headed by the Annamites caused the destruction of the Khmer rule.
The arab capture of trade and their subsequent penetration into this
region led to the spread of Islam in Indonesia and to some extent in

(c) The early Hindu influence succumbed to the Buddhist influence

partly coming from India and partly from China.

(d) The thais coming from Yunnan maountains in China established

themselves at the expense of Hindu kingdoms in Indo-China.

(e) The local influences over which Hinduism was super imposed re-
asserted themselves. Somehow the Buddhist influence remained partly
because of the cultural patronage of China to Buddism.
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(f) The final disappeaance of Hinduism must definitely be because of

Hinduism going to seed in its own home land by 1000 A.D.


The expansion of Indian culture and influence both in Central Asia and
in the south-east towards the countries and islands of the pacific is
one of the momentous developments in the period immediately
preceeding the Christian era. Asoka's missionaries traveled for to the
west but the result of their work in Antioch and Alexandria and other
distant countries must remain a matter of speculation.

It is however the Kushan empire of Kanishka, Huviska and Vassudeva

which became the carriers of Indian thought into Central Asia.
Kanishka was the patron of Mahayana Buddhism, and his empire
outside Indian became a scene of Indian missionary activity. The great
Kasyapa Matanga and Dharmaratna were actually employed in
missionary work in Indo-Scycthian counries when the Chinese
ambassadors met them (68 A.D.) From that time there was a
countinous and uninterrupted flow of Scholars, Monks and missionaries
to china of whom the most famous was Kumarajuna and Vasubandhu.
The Indianisation of Khotan, Kucha, and others areas in Central Asia is
still evidenced by the great mass of Buddhist literatures that has been
discovered there by various expeditions.

With the archaeological discoveries of Sir Aurel Stein began our

knowledge of India and central Asia. Manuscripts belonging to second
century A.D. were found at Khotan-written in Prakrit. Another script
was found at Kucha belonging to the 4th century A.D. quotations from
Charaka and Susruta. And Russian archaeologists discovered 182
frescos in Tun-Hunang known as the cave of the thousend poets.

2. Chinese Turkestan, called by sir Aurel Stein as the innermost heart

of Asia and forming a vast basin was at one time a prosperous country
of flourishing cities with their rich sanctuaries and monasteries. The
remains in Turkestan and the finds that and monasteries. The remains
in Turkestan and the finds that different sites explored or excavated by
archaeologists have established beyond boubt that a large number of
Indians had migrated from the Punjab and Kashmir and settled in the
Tarim basin where thet when stein was exploring that region he felt as
if he was in some Punjab village, although he was nearly 3,00 km.
Away from the land of the five rivers.
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3. There was an Indian Kingdom in Khotan. It is alleged that it was

founded by son of emperor Asoka. The names of the early kings all
begin with Vijeta. Buddhism was introduced in that kingdom more than
a century after its establishment. Later many Buddhist monasteries
were set up in the region; two famous ones, Gosrnga and Gomati
Viharas, were great centers of learning. Many other Indian monks
visited khotan and many Buddhist monasteries flourished there.

Both Prakrit and Sanskrit were studied in Khotan. The whole of Central
Asia was a meeting place of different cultures since it contained the
famous silk trade route between China and Roma. The northern route
touched Kucha (Kuchi) Oarashara (ancient Agnidesa) and Turfan, while
the Southern route passed through Kashgar, Yarkand, Khotan, Niya,
Miran and other important centers. The two routes fimally converged
at Tung-huang on the western border of China, a strong Buddhist
center noted for its famous grottos. Buddhism flourished in all these
regions but traces of Brahmanical religion are also found in khotan and
other places.

Besides religion, Indian influence can also be traced in art and

architecture. Probably some Indian artists from Khotan had migrated
to China. Various remnants of frescos leave no doubt that not only the
whole oconography but the technique of drawing, conventions and
mannerism were derived from the Buddhist paintings in India. Stucco
figures were modeled on the existing ones at Gandhara. The Indian
influence is even more distinctly confirmed by the finds from khotan,
Tumshuq and Schorshuq.

4. BUDDHIST missionaries went first to Central Asia. Fahien and

Biuen-Tsang spoke of thousands of Buddhists living in the area. From
this area, Buddhism spread to China. Kashyapa Matanga a and
Dharmaratha visited the Chinese empire in the 2nd century B.C. and
converted the people to Buddhism. And historical evidence shows that
it was kumarjiva of the fourth century B.C. who converted the people
of Kucha to Buddhism.

5. Tibet was brought under the orbit of Buddhist in the 7th Century
A.D. Later, Tibetans borrowed the Kashmiri script which was later
transformed into the Tibetan script of today. Later, the Tibetan
Buddhists came in large numbers to India during the pala period and
there was a lively exchange between Tibet and Pala kingdom. Tibetan
monks studied at the monasteries of nalalnda and Vikramasila.
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6. Political and cultural ties between India and central Asia continued
till about the 8th century A.D. the gradual advance of Islam and the
suspension of the silk trade on account of insecureties between India
and the innermost heart of Asia.

7. This Indian cultural expansion into Central Asia was no attempt at

political expansion. Instead the assimilation of all the foreigners who
came to Indian- Greeks, Parthians, Sakas, Kusanas and Hunas-in the
socio-religious structure of India was the triumph of Indian culture.

8. During the long course of history, India's attitude towards political

and cultural expansion has never been imperialistic. Armies were
never sent to conquer andy region. The conquest was mainly
intellectual, and incidentally the superior culture triumphed over the
native one. Individual men or groups set up kingdoms which in course
of time shaped into empires. The contact with the motherland was
maintained but India never exploited the colonies for her own benefit.
The kingdoms were, however, repositories of Indian culture-replicas of
the ones in India.


Bamiyan Kapsa Pushkalavati
Purushpura (Peshawar) Massage Sahabazgarhi
Manshere Taxila Burzahom
Srinagar Sakala Mehrgarh
Marappa (Hariyupa?) Yaudheya Jalandhara
Rupar Kalibangan Banavali
Thanesvara Kalsi Topra
Kurukshetra Alamgirpur Hastinapur
Indraprastha Ahicchatra Mathura
Kampilya Kanyakubja Sravasti
Niglava Ayodhya Rummindei
Kapilvastu Pavapuri Kusinagar
Be great in act, as you have been in thought. Page 52 of 56

Rampurva Lauriya-Nandangarh Lauriya - Araraj

Vaisali Chirand Pataliputara
Purnia Barbar and Gorthagiri Gaya
Rajagriha Nalanda Champa
Devaka Navadvipa Tamralipti
Kandhar Mohenjodro Kot Diji
Amri Chanho-daro Barbaricum
Pushkar (Ajmer) Sakambhari Nindowari (near 53)
Bairat (Bhabra) Jaipur Padmavati
Deogarh Bharhut Kausambi
Prayaga Sarnath Kasi
Arbuda Madhyamika Daspura
Eran Ujjayani Besnagar
Sanchi Vidisa Rupanath
Tripuri Surkotada Evarka
Lothal Rangapur Girhar (Girinagar or Junagarh)
Valabhi Somnath Bharukacche (Broach, Barygaza)
Bagh Mahismati Harda
Bhagtrav Surat Anupad
Ajanta Ellora Devagiri
Pratisthana (Paithan) Nasik Aparanta
Kanheri Surparaka (Sopara) Elechanta
Karle Bhaja Vatagulma
Maha Kosal Mahakantar Sisupalgarh
Dhauli (Tosali) Puri-Hathigumpha Jauguda
Gangam Kottura Mahendragiri
Devaragiri Devarasthra Visakhapatnam
Pishtapura Kalyana Manyakheta
Vengi Kaurala Ghantasala
Amravati Vatapi Aihole
Maski Yarragudi Vanavasi (Banavasi or Vaijayanti)
Brahmagiri Pallaka Dwarsmudra
Belur Sravana Belgola Kanchi
Uttarmerur Mamlalpuram Sopatma
Arikamdeu Chidambaram Puhar (Kaveripatnam)
Be great in act, as you have been in thought. Page 53 of 56

Gangaikonda -Choleapuram Nagapattanam Naura

Tyndis Kongu Uraiyar
Srirangam Tiruchirapali Tanjor (Tanjavur)
Madurai Muziris Nelcynda
Balita Korkai Kanyakumari
Tondi Anurudhapur Sriengri (near 133)
Kajangala (near 43) Pattakakal (near 125) Iskkeri (near 132)


The post-Mauryan era is known for meaningdul contacts between

central Asia and India. North-western India came under the rule of a
number of dynasties hailing from Central Asia.

The first were the Indo-Greeks who earlier ruled over Bactria situated
to the South of Oxus river in the area covered by north of Afghanistan.
(For details see Indo-Greeks.)

The Indo-Greeks were followed by the Sakas. One of their branches

settled in India with Taxila as their capital. Another branch ruled over
western India. The latter came into conflict with the Satavahanas.
There is nothing conspicuous regarding this contact. The only famous
ruler was Rudradaman (130 to 150 A.D.) who undertook repairs to
improve Sudarshana lake in Kathiawar, this lake was used for a very
long time. Also, he was a patron of Sanskrit. It was the who first
issued a long inscription in chaste Sanskrit.

After the Sakas, the Central Asians who influenced India were the
Kushans. They originally came from the steppes of north Central Asia
and lived in the neighbourhood of China. (Refer to the topic on the
Kushans for further details).

In general the central Asia contactsled to certain developments.

Building activity was very brisk. Burnt brick was used for flooring and
tiles were used forboth flooring and roofing. Also, brick wells wre
constructed. The typical pottery of the Saka-Kushan period was the
red ware, both plain and polished. Some pots have spouted channels.
Such like objects have been found in Soviet Central Asia also.

More important is the fact that the Sakas and the Kushans settled in
India for good. They adopted the scripts, languages and religious of
Be great in act, as you have been in thought. Page 54 of 56

India. Thus they became integral parts of Indian society and this
fusion of the Sakas and the Kushans with Indian society left its own
imprint. They introduced better cavalry and use of riding hourses on a
large scale. Use of reins and Saddles became common as shown in the
Buddhist sculptures of the second and the third centuries A.D.
Numerous equestian terracotta figures of the Kushan period have been
found. Horsemen were heavily armed and fought with spears and
lances. More important are the changes introduced by them in the
ordinary pattern of life - turbans, tunics, truousers and heavy long
coat. The first one is worn by the Afghans and Punjabis till today and
probably the Sherwani of today is the successor of the long coat.

The close contacts between Central Asia and India also led to the
import of gold from the Altai mountains in Central Asia. Also, as the
Kushans controlled the silk Route they derived large revenues. This
made the Kushans issue gold coins for the first time on a wide scale in

Furthermore, the rule of central Asian conquerors strengthened the

feudal tendencies of society. The very fact that the Kushans called
themselves 'King of kings' shows that they exercised suzerainty over
small princes. Along with this new dimension in polity, the Sakas and
Kushans introduced the concept of Divieright of kingship. The Kushan
kings called themselves sons of god. Possibly this has made manu
state that the king should be obeyed because he is a great god ruling
in the form of human beings.

In matters relating to society, the Greeks, the Sakas, the parthians

and the Kushans came to be absorbed as the Kshatriya community.
These were known as the falled kshatriyas.

In matters of religion, a good number of foreign rulers believed in

Vaishanavism. The greek ambassador Heliodorus got a pillar
constructed in honour of Vishnu near Vidisa in Madhya Pradesh. A few
took to Buddhism like the Greek ruler. Menander. The exchange of
views between the Buddhist teacher Nagasena of nagarjuna and
Menander constitutes a good source for the cultural history of this
period. Finaly, some Kushan rulers took to worship of Shiva and the

These contects with foreigners led to some changes in Indian religions.

The old form of Buddhism was too puritanical and too abstract for
foreigners. They were in no position to apprecie the philosophy of
Buddhism as emphasized by the existing Buddhist schools. To satisfy
Be great in act, as you have been in thought. Page 55 of 56

these foreigners, the Mahayana or the Great Vehicle came into

existence in which the Buddha is worshipped in the form of images.
Those who followed the older version of Buddhism or lesser Vehicle
were known as Hinayanists. Kanishaka was a great patron of
Mahayana. He convened a council in Kashmir and he had set up many
stupas in memory of the Buddha.

Also, these foreign rulers became patrons of Indian ort and literature.
Masons and artisans trained in different schools of thought were
employed by the Kushans particularly in north-western India Indian
artisans came into contact with their Greek and roman counterparts.
Such was the beginning of the Gandhara art in which images of the
Buddha were made in Graeco-Roman style. This from of art gradually
spread to Mathura is borne out by the famous headless statue of
Kanishaka. This particular school of art was also instrumental for a
good number of stone images of Mahavir.

It was this impetus that activated the artistic impulse of India. In

several places south of the Vindhyas beautiful Buddhist caves were
carved out of rocks, the famous ones in Maharashtra. In Andhra
Pradesh, nagarjunkunda and Amravati were the centers of Buddhist
art. The stories related to the Buddha have been portrayed in
numerous panels.

The foreign rulers were also instrumental for providing a stimulus to

literature and learning. The inscription of Rudradaman in Kathawar
reveals the Kavya style in Sanskrit. More and more inscriptions came
to be composed in chaste Sanskrit. It is also held that Asvaghosa was
probably patronized by the Kushans. He wrote Buddha Charita, a
biography of the Buddha. He also wrote Saundarananda which is a fine
example of Sanskrit Kavya. In matters relating to theeatre also, the
contact with central Asian rulers led to some changes. The feature of
curtain in dramatic performances was borrowed from the Greeks.

Finally, in the field of science and technology contacts with central

Asian foreigners led to certain developments. The presence of a great
number of Greek terms in Sanskrit shows that Indian astronomy and
astrology benefited from their contact with the Greeks. It is said that
the term Horasastra' meaning astrology in Sanskrit was adapted from
the Greek term horoscope. In technology, Indian gained from its
contacts with the Central Asians. Kanishaka is represented as wearing
trousers and long boots. It is conjectured that the practice of making
leather shoes began in this period. Also, the copper and gold coins of
the Kushans were imitations of the Roman coins. There was exchange
Be great in act, as you have been in thought. Page 56 of 56

of embassises between India and the Roman experors. These contactw

might have led to new practices in technology. For certain, working in
glass during this period was influenced by foreign ideas and practices.
You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do. Page 1


Knowledge of science and technology, however, got linked with
religionand social relations. Relying primarily on pragmatism some
intellectuals in India acquired intuitive awarness of scientific temper.
In view of absence of experiment, some insights became ridiculous.

Knowledge of science was known from very ancient times, although

science, as we know today, was not known in India till modern times.
The archaeological remains of the Indus Valley reveal knowledge of
applied sciences. Scientific techniques were used in irrigation,
Metallurgy, making of fired bricks and pottery, and simple recknowing
and measurement of areas and volumes.

It contrast more is know about Aryan achievements in the field of

astronomy, mathamatcis and medicine. Chinese records indicate
knowledge of a dozen books of Indian origin. Brahmagupta's Sidhanta
as well as Charaka's and Susrata's Samhitas were translated int Arabic
in the 9th or 10th centuries A.D.

In ancient Indian mathematics was known by the general name of

ganita, which included arthimatcs, geometry, algebra, astronomy and
astrology. It was Aryabhata, who gave a new direction to
trigonometry. The decimal system too was an innovation of India.

By the third century B.C. mathematics, astronomy and medicine began

to develop separately. In the fielf of mathematics ancient Indians
made three distinct contributions, the notation system, the decimal
system and the use of zero. The earliest epigraphic evidence of the
use of decimal system belongs to the fifth century A.D. Before these
numerals appeared in the West they had been used in India for
centuries. They are found in the inscriptions of Ashoka in the third
century B.C.

Indians were the first to use the decimal system. The famous
mathematics Aryabhata. (A.D. 476-500) was acquinated with it. The
Chinese learnt this system from the Buddhist missionaries, and the
You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do. Page 2

western world borrowed it from the Arabas when they came incontact
with India. Zero was discovered by Indians inabout the second century
B.C. From the very beginning Indian mathematicians considered zero
as a separate numeral, and it was used in this sense in arithmatics. In
Arabia the earliest use of zero appears in A.D. 873. The Arabs learnt
and adopted it from India and spread it in Europe. So far as Algebra is
concerned both Indians and Greeks contributed to it, but in Western
Europe its knowledge was borrowed not from Greece but from the
Arabs who had acquired it from India.

In the second century B.C. Apastemba contributed to practical

geometry for the construction of altars on which the kings could offer
sacrifices. It describes acute angle, obtuse angle, right angle etc.
Aryabhata formulated the rule for finding the area of a trinangle, which
led to the origin of trigonometry. The most famous work of his time is
the Suryasiddanta the like of which was not found in Contemporary
ancient east.

During the Gupta period mathematics was developed to such an extent

and more advanced than any other nation of antiquity. Quite early
India devised a rudimentary algebra which led to more calculations
than were possible for the Greeks and led to the study of number for
its own sake. The earliest inscription regarding the data by a system of
nine digits and a zero is dated as 595 A.D. Evidently the system was
known tomathematicians some centuries before it was employed in
inscriptions. Indian mathematicians such as Brahmagupta (7th
century), Mahavira (9th century) and Bhaskara (12th century) made
several discoveries which were known to Europe only after
Renaissance. The understood the importance of positive and negative
quantities, evolved sound system of estracting squares and cube roots
and could solve quadratic and certaint types of indeterminate
equations. Aryabhata gave approximate value of pie. It was more
accurate than that of the Greeks. Also some strides were made in
trigonometry, ephrical geometry and calculus. Chiefly in astronomy the
mathematical implications of zero and infnity were fully realized unlike
anywhere in the world.

Amont the various branches of mathematics, Hindus gave astronomy

the highest place of honour. Suryasidhanta is the best know book on
Hindu astronomy. The text was later modeified two or three times
between 500 A.D. and 1500 A.D. The system laid down in the book
can even now be used to predict eclipse within an error of two or three
You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do. Page 3

The most renowed scholars of astronomy were Aryabhata and

Varhamihira. Aryabhata belonged to the fifth century, and
Varahamihira to the sixth. Aryabhata calculated the position of the
planets according to the Babylonian method. He discovered the cause
of lunar and solar eclipses. The circumstances of the earth which he
measured on the basis of the speculation is considered to be correct
even now. He pointed out that the sun is stationary and the earth
rotates around it. The book of Aryabhata is the Aryabhatiya.
Varhimihira's well-known work is called Brihatsamhita which belongs to
the sixth century A.D. Varhaihira stated that the moon rotates around
the earth and the earth rotates around the earth rotates around the
sun. He utilized several Greek works to explain the movement of the
plantes and some other astronomical problems. Although Greek
knowledge influenced Indian astronomy, there is no doubt that Indian
pursued the subject further and made use of it in their ovservations of
the planets.

Aryabhata wrote a book when he was barely 23 years. Varhmihira of

the sixth century wrote a summary of five asronomical books current
wrote a summary of five astronomical books current in his time.
Brahamagupta of the seventh century A.D. appreciated the value of
observation and astronomy and his book was translated into Arabic.
One last great scientist was Bhaskara II. One of the chapters in the
book Sidhanta Shiromani, dealing with mathematics, is the well-known
work of Lilavait.

Nevertheless, Indian viws on the origina and evolution of the universe

was matter of religion rather than of science. The cosmic schemes of
Hindus and Jains in fundamentals were the same. All postulated a flat
earth although Indian astronomers came to know that this was
incorrect early in the Christian era. The idea of flat such remained for
religious pruposes.

Regarding astronomy proper it was studied as a Vedanta. Its name

was Jyotisa. A rimitive kind of astronomy was developed mainly for the
purpose of settling the dates and times at which periodical sacrifices
were to be performed. Serverall Greek words gained momentum in
sankrit through knowledge of Greek astronomy. The sixth century
astronomer Varahamihira called one of his five astronomical systems
as Romaka Sidhanta. It is only western astronomy that introduced in
Indian the sign of the Zodaic. The seven-day week, the hour, and
several other ideas. Later, Indian astronomers made some advances
on the knowledge of the Greeks and passed on their knowledge with
that of mathematics via the Arabs to Europe. As early as seventh
You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do. Page 4

century, a Syrian astronomer knew of the greatness of Indian

astronomy and mathematics.

In the field of medicine, Aurveda was the contribution of India. Seven

hundred hymns in the Vedas, particularly Atharva Veda, refer to topics
of Ayurveda. Indeed, the whole approach was not scientific. He earliest
mention of medicines is in the Atharva Veda. As in order ancient
societies, the remedies recommended in it the are replete with magical
charms and spells. Medicine could not develop along scientific lines. In
post-Maurya time India witnessed two famous scholars of the Aurveda,
Susrtua and Charaka. In the Susrutasmhita Susruta describes methods
of operating contract, stone disease and several other ailments. He
mentions as many as 121 implements to be used for operations. For
the treatment of disease he lays special emphasis on diet. And
cleanliness. Charaka wrote the Charakasamhita in the second century
A.D. It is like encylopedia of Indian medicines. It describes various
types of fever. Leprosy, hysteria and tuberculosis. Possibly Charaka
did not know that some of these are infections. His book contains the
names of a large number of plants and herbs which were to be used as
medicine. The book is thus useful not only for study of ancient Indian
medicine but also for ancient Indian flora and chemistry. In
subsequent centuries Indian medincines developed on the lines laid
down by Charaka. The Vedic hymns attribute various diseases to
demons and spirits and the remedies for hymns prescribing correctly
the symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis, and connecting dropsy with
heart diseases.

However, national medicine began to 800 B.C. Medicine became a

regular subject of study at centers like Taxila and Varanasi. The latter
specialized in surgery. Susrutasmhita was compiled in the fourth
century A.D. Charaka compiled the teachings of two of his predecssors
who served at Taxila. Charaka and Susruta's Samhits reached as far as
Manhcuria through translations in Tibetan and other Asian languages.
In the eighth century A.D. these books influenced European medicine
as carried over by two Arabs. Charaka Samhita was published as late
as 1550 in Arabic. Despite these achievements, medicine did not make
any remarkable strides, for absence of dissection led to ignorance of
anatomy and physiology. Indians were equally ……………….. of the
functions of internal organs such as lungs and brain.

Surgery of some kind was even during the Vedic period. It was only
from the time of Susruta that surgery came to occupy an important
place in medicine. Surgical operations were performed like taking the
You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do. Page 5

foetus out of the womb. Including caesarin, section, treatment of

fistula removal of stone from bloder and plastic surgery for the nose.

Despite the developments as the above in medicine, ancient Indian

doctors, ingeneral had no knowledge of the functions of brain,
although they knew the importance of the spinal cord and the
existence of nervous system. Once again social taboos stood in the
way of the growth of medical knowledge. It was a tabo to too touch
dead bodies.

Despite the fact that the physicological knowledge of ancient Indians

was very poor, Indians evolved empirical surgery. They knew bone-
setting, plastic surgery and surgeons in ancient India were experts is
repairing noses, ears and lips lost, or injured by mutilation.

The physician was a respectable member of society as the Vaidyas

were ranked higher in the hierarchy. Even to this day the rules of
professional behaviour laid down in medical tests are almost the same
as those of Hippocrates. Of course, some statements at one place
states that the Physcians should not betray the patients and shouldbe
always of pleasant speech. In this context, he pleads that every day
they must pray on rising and going to bed, since the work of the
welfare of the all beings specially cows.

Regarding physics, it was closely linked with religion and theology and
it even differed from sect to sect. Almost all religions believed that the
universe consisted of elements like earth, air, water, and akasa
(ether). Most schools maintained that there were as many types of
atoms as there were elements. Some Buddhists conceived atom as the
minutes object capable of occupying space but also as occupying the
minutest possible duration of time coming into being and vanishing
almost in an instant only to be succeeded by another atom caused by
the first. This somewhat resembles the quantum theory of planck. The
Vaisesika school believed a single atom to be a point in space
completely without magnitude. Fruther, most of the schools believed
that atoms constitute moleculues. However, the Indian atomic theories
were not based on experiment but intuitive logic. The great theolgian
Sankara strongly argued against their existence.

Beyond this knowledge of atoms, physics in India did not develop

much. However, in the science of acustics, India made real discovers.
Based on experience for this correct recitation on Vedas, the human
era was highly trained for the phonetic study - distinguished musical
You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do. Page 6

tones far closer than those of other ancient musical systems much
earlier than other civilization.

Regarding chemistry and metallurgy too, some progress was made in

ancient times. The Harappans developed metallurgy of copper and
bronze about 2500 B.C. The Vedic Aryans tanned leather, fermented
grains and fruits, and dyed scale production of copper, iron and steel,
brass, silver and gold and their alloys. Indian steel was highly
esteemed in the ancient world and it was exported in large quantities.
Tin and mercury were imported and worked. And from the senventh
century, alchemy was referred to in literature. The medical chemistry
of ancient India did succeed in producing many important alkalies,
acids and metallic salts. It is claimed by Bashama that ancient Indians
ever discovered a form of gun powder. The coming of middle ages,
Indian chemists, like their counterparts in the rest of the world,
became increasingly interested in a specific remedy for all diseases,
the source of perpetual youth, and even the surest means to salvation.
Although the could not make precious metals, they could understand
the chemistry of metallic sats. The heights attained by Indians in
metallurgy and engineering are brone out by the almost pure copper
stature of Buddha found at Sultanganj and the famous iorn Pillar at
Mehrauli (Delhi which has been able to withstand rain and weather for
centuries without rusting).
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 1/26


Diplomacy and geographical proximity primarily determined the
foreign relations maintained by Asoka. Particularly, the century in
which, Asoka lived was one of continued interactions between the
Eastern Mediterranean and South Asia. That is why most of Asoka's
contacts were with South Asia and the West. It appears that this
interest was not one sided. A fair number of foreigners lived in
Pataliputra to necessitate a special committee under the municipal
management to look after the needs of welfare of the visitors. Apart
from these major factors determining the foreign relations of Asoka,
one more parameter was the desire of Asoka to spread his policy of
dhamma to distant lands.

To begin with, Asoka in his foreign relations was a realist defeat and
annexation of Kalinga. Also his realism is to be seen in Asoka not
annexing the southern kingdoms (Cholas, Pandvas, Satyaputras and
Keralaputras) while being satisfied with theirac knowledgement of his
suzerainty. He probably felt that it was not worth the trouble to annex
the small territories too.

In other foreign relations Asoka reveals as an idealist or a monarch

who wore the robes of a monk. He sent various missions, though not
embassies, to various countries. Their main purpose was to acquaint
the countries they visited with his policies, particularly that of
dhamma. They may be compared to modern goodwill missions helping
to create an interest in the ideas and peoples of the country from
which they came. Also, the fact that they are quite unheard of in
contemporary literature or in later sources would suggest that they
made only a short-lived impression.

In spite of the above reservations, the missions must have opened a

number of channels for the flow of Indian ideas and goods. It is
unlikely that Asoka expected all the kings who had received missions
to put the policy of dhamma into practice, although he claims that his
did happen. It is curious to observe that there is no reference to these
missions in the last important public declaration of Asoka, the seventh
pillar edict. In this edict Asoka mentions the success he had with his
welfare services and the widespread propagation of dhamma but all
within the empire.

The territory immediately adjoining the empire of Asoka on the West

and that Antiochus. There is ample evidence of contacts of similarity in
cultures. The use of Kharoshti in the Shahbazgarhi and Mansehra
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 2/26

edicts in the north is evidence of strong contact with Iran. The

fragmentary Aramaic inscription at Taxila and another of the same
kind from Kashmir point to continue inter communication between the
two areas.

Apart from contacts with Iran, Asoka Empire was close to various
Greek kingdoms. There are references to the Greeks in the rock edicts
of Asoka. On certain occasions the word used refers to the Greek
settlements in the north-west and on others to the Hellenic Kingdoms.
Antiochus II these of Syria is more frequently mentioned. He other
Hellenic Kings where missions were sent were Ptolemy-II Philadephus
of Egypt, Magas of Cyrene, Antigonus gonatas of Messedonia, and
Alexander of Eorius.

Apart from these western contacts, tradition maintains that Asoka

visited Khotan. This cannot be substantiated. On the other hand,
Asoka maintained close relations with modern Nepal. Tradition states
that his daughter, Charumati was married to Devapala of Nepal.

On the East, the Mauryan empire included the provice of Vanga, Since
Tamralipti was the principal port of the area, Indian missions to and
from Ceylon are said to have traveled via Tamaralipti.

The extent of the influence of Asoka's power in South India is better

documented than in north India. The edicts of Asoka are found at
Gavimathi, Palkignuda, Brahmagiri, Maski, yerragudi and Siddapur,
Tamil poets also make references to the Mauryas.

More Important were the contacts with Ceylon. Information is available

in the Ceylonese Chronicles on contacts between India and Ceylon.
Coming of Mahindra to Ceylon was not the first official contact. Earlier,
Dhamma missions were sent. A Ceylonese king was so captivated by
Asoka that the top called himself as Devanampiya. Asoka maintained
close relations with Tissa, the ruler of Ceylon. Relationship between
Asoka and Tissa was based on mutual admiration for each other.

What interests of the country or the aims of Asoka were served

through his missions? Asoka primarily tried to propagate his dhamma
and may be incidentally Buddhims. He claimed that he made a spiritual
conquest of all the territories specified by him as well as a few more
territories beyond them. This claim definitely appears to bean
exaggeration. There is no historical evidence to show that Asoka
missions did succeed in achieving their aim particularly when the
dhamma happened to be highly humanistic and ethical in nature. After
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 3/26

all, Asoka was neither a Buddha nor a Christ to appeal to various

people. Neither a St. Peter nor an Ananda to successful spread the
message of their Masters. Not did he possess fighting men to spread
his message just as the followers of prophet Mohammed. Thus, when
there is no follow up action after the missions visited the various parts
of the world, it is understandable that no one paid any heed to his

Evertheless, there is one intriguing point about the success of his

foreign missions. In likelihood, the history of the Buddha and his
message must have spread to the various parts. What did they need
to? Although it is difficult to answer this question, it is of importance to
observe that there are certain similarities between Christianity and
Buddhism - suffering of man, Mara & Satan, Sangha Monasteries with
Bikshus and Monks, and the use of rosary by Buddhist and Christian's

Asoka's Dhamma
1. There was considered intellectual ferment around 600 B.C. healthy
rivalry was apparent among the number of sects such as the
Charvaks, Jains and Ajivikas, whose doctrines ranged from bare
materialism to determinism. This intellectual liveliness was reflected in
the elected interests of the Mauryan rulers. It was claimed by the
Jainas that Chandragupta was supporter and there is evidence that
Bindusara favoured the Ajivikas.

Thus, the Empire of Asoka was inhabited by peoples of many cultures

who were at many levels of development. The range of customs,
beliefs, affinities, antagonisms, tensions and harmonies were galore.
True, Magadha and the fringes of these areas. The north was in close
contact with the Hellenized culture of Afganisthan and Iran. The far
south was on the threshold of a creative efflorescence of Tamil culture.
The ruler of such as Empire required the perceptions were addressed
to the public at large. It is in these inscriptions that the king expounds
his ideas on dhamma.

It appears, Asoka aimed at creating an attitude of mind among his

subjects in which social behavior was accorded the highest place. The
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 4/26

ideology of dhamma can be viewed as a focus of loyalty and as a point

of convergence for the then bewildering diversities of the Empire. In a
way, Asoka's dhamma was akin to the preamble in the constitution of

2. A centralized monarchy demands oneness of feeling on the part of

its people. The ethics of the dhamma was intended to generate such a
feeling, comparable to the preamble of the Indian Constitution.

3. The Mauryan Society with its heterogeneous elements and with

economic, social and religious forces working against each other posed
the threat of disruption. Asoka, therefore, needed some binding factor
to allow the economic activity to proceed on an even keel and thereby
ensure the security of his state.

4. Also as the commercial classes gained economic importance and

resented the inferior social status as per the sanctions of the
Brahmins, they want over to Buddhism, which preached social
equality. Their support to the Mauryan king was very vital for the
peace and prosperity of the Empire. Asoka thought that he could
attract them by the propagation of this dhamma by weaning them
away from too closely identifying themselves with Buddhism.

5. Asoka felt that the aforesaid forces of contrary pulls would threaten
the peace of the realm not in the general interest of his Empire.
Asoka's dhamma therefore, was intended to serve a practical purpose.

The dhamma was not meant to be a religion but what behooves a man
of right feeling to do, or what man of sense would do. Such being the
nature of his dhamma, it is primarily an ethic of social conduct.

Asoka's Moral code is most concisely formulated in the second Minor

Rock Edict.

Thus saith His Majesty:

'Father and mother must be obeyed; similarly respect for living

creatures must be enforced, truth must be spoken. These are the
virtues of the law of Duty (or "Peity". Dhamma) which must be
practisd. Similarly, the teacher must be reverenced by the pupil, and
proper courtesy must be shown to relations.

This is the ancient standard of duty (or "Piety") - leads to length of

days and according to this men must act.
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 5/26

The three obligations - of showing reverence, respecting animal life,

and telling the truth - are inculcated over and over again in the edicts.

Besides, it was meant for all - Buddhists, brahmins, Jains and Ajivikas,
In the way, it was the sara or the essence of the good principles of all
religions. Also, while pleading on behalf of his dhamma, Asoka
passionately appealed for toleration towards all religions and a
reverence for each other.

Had this dhamma got anything to do with Buddhist principles, Asoka

would have openly stated so in his edicts since he never southt to
hid/his support for Buddhism. For that matter, Asoka did not
incorporate any of the fundamental tenets of Buddhist faith such as
the Four Noble Truths, the chain of casualty the sacred eight-fold path,
and the Nirvana. The omissions, also with repeated reference to the
concept of svarga or heaven (a Hindu belief) show that his dhamma
cannot be identified with Buddhism.

Since Asoka's dhamma was not intended for the cause of Buddhims
during his dharama-yatras, he not only visited various places of
Buddhist importance, but also gave gifts to sramanas and Brahmins.
Most of all, even after entrusting the propagation of dhamma to the
Dharma Mahamatras, Asoka continued to style himself as the beloved
of the devas, a Hindu concept, since there were no Gods in Buddhism
at that time.


Asoka specifically states that his missions were sent to various places
(Ceylon and various Western countries) and maintains that they were
all successful. It is difficult to accept this claim because historical
evidence shows that his officials overshot the mark. Definitely, there
was resentment against their way of doing things. It is known from
evidence that Asoka presumed that not only he was a seeker of truth
but also he did reach the truth. Such convictions are always harmful.
Most of all, it is important to note that there is no authentic proof that
his missions were a success. Significantly, none of Asoka's successors
continued the propagation of dhamma. Far worse is the fact that in the
later ages, his pillar inscriptions came to be misunderstood as symbols
of phallus.
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 6/26

Answering A Question
There are a few ways of setting question on this topic:

(a) a brief history of Indo-Greeks and their impact on Indian


(b) History of the foreigners who came in the wake of the fall of
the Roman empire and their impact on Indian civilization.

(c) A question on Kushans or Kanishka.

(d) Out of the southern kingdoms, the likely thins is the history
of Satavahanas and their impact.

(e) History of the significance of the Sungas and Kanvas.

While attempting questions on the aforesaid topics, candidates have

been facing two difficulties - (i) inadequate information because of not
memorizing the points, and (ii) and lack of information on special

The candidates must be able to correct the first failing. Regarding the
second, the following are the principal heads.

"Kanishka - hardly belongs to the history of India". The questions

requires that first of all, you should show how Kanishka cannot be
regarded as a true Indian ruler. In the second part of the answer, you
should show that it is unfair to estimate him like that. And in the
conclusion, you should maintain that there is a considerable, amount
of truth in the given statement when you view history from a particular
standpoint. Regarding the first part of answer, the following are the
points :-

(i) his capital was located almost on the outer fringes of the
Indian sub-continent, i.e.- Peshawar,

(ii) his primary interest was to conquer areas in central Asia and
compete with the Chinese for suzerainty over that area -
historical evidence shows that the was smothered to death by
his soldiers who were tired of his exploits in Central Asia and his
battles with the Chinese;
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 7/26

(iii) Kanishka did not identify himself with India since he vaguely
patronized Buddhism and Buddhism did not stay in India as a
religion of any significance;

(iv) The Gandhara School of art that came into existence during
his period remained an exotic tradition but not an Indian one,
since it was the tradition of Mathura school that finally became
the tradition of India, It is interesting to observe that a statue of
Kanishka has been found in Mathura, but its head is missing.

In the second part, mention the following points:--

Kanishka was an electic ruler just as Harhsa. Even Akbar's Din-I-Illahi

had electic traits. Aslo, it is interesting to note that some of his flowers
were adherents of Vaishnavism,

(i) to say that Buddhism has no place in the history of India is

too narrow a view. The influence of Buddhism was very wide and
very varied - the Buddhist monks created Ajanta frecos, the
Buddhist stupas and rock-cut chaityas influenced the later-day
Hindu architecture, the Sangha and the Bhikkus of Buddhism
later appeared as mutts and Sanyasis of Sankaracharya;
Buddhist writers enriched Sanskrit literature, and it was
Buddhism that compelled Hinduism to set its house in order.

(ii) It is unfair to treat him as a foreign ruler because of

Kanishka's capital being located in Peshawar. During the time of
Kanishka, new trade routes were opened towards West Asia and
Central Asia. Moreover, you should remember that the
happenings in Central Asia very often influenced the history of
India as remarked by a writer, a good understanding of Indian
history required, an understanding of the history of Central Asia.

(iii) Kanishka's patronage of learning was in tune with the

Patronage of learning by rulers of India like Samudragupta,
Chandragupta II, Amoghsvarsha and many others. Even the very
establishment of Kanishka's rule forced the Sakas to go south
ward which checkmated the amibitions of the Satavahanas.
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 8/26

Architecture in association with sculpture enjoyed the liberal patronage
of Kanishka. The style of this age is known as the Gnadhara. The
forms of Greek art were applied to Buddhist subjects with reasonable
amount of success. Images of the Buddha appeared in the likeness of
Apollo and Yaksha Kubera in the fashion of Zeus of the Greeks figures.
The drapery follows the Hellenistic models. This particulars style was
later transmitted to the Far-East through Chinese Turkista. The figure
of the Buddha in Chiana and Japan reveal distinct traces of the
Hellenistic modes of vogue at the court of Kanishka. Excavatations in
the Kotan (Chinese Turkestan) prove that it was the meeting place of
four civilization - Greek, Indian Iranian and Chinese.

The Kushan dynasty reached its apex-during the days of Kanishka,

who ruled over a flourishing nation strategically located to control to
gates to the rice network of trade crossing Asia. He even sent to an
envoy to the Emperor Trajan in Rome. Kanishka coins also reveal his
desire to live harmoniously with various people and religions within his
domain and beyond it. The elaborate parathion struck on the face of
his coins illustrates particularly the various religions, practised beyond
Gandhara-deities of Persia and Gods of Rome, Alaxandria and the
Hellanised orient and finally Shiva and Skand Kumar representing
brahminical India. The most remarkable image appeared on a gold
coin of Kanishka with standing figure of the Buddha.

The Gandhara sculptures have been found in the ruins of Taxila and in
various ancient sites in Afganishtan and in West Pakistan. They consist
mostly of the images of the Buddha and relief sculptures presenting
scenes from Buddhist texts. A number of Bodhisatava figures were
carved out. A figure of Gandhara shows the first sermon in the deer
park and the death of the Buddha. In all these figures there is a
realistic treatment of the body although it is draped. In these
sculptures there is a tendency to mould the human body in a realistic
manner paying great attention to accuracy and physical details
particularly in the presentation of muscles, moustaches, etc. Also the
representation of the thick bold fold lines forms a distinct
characteristic. Thus the Gandhara sculptures offer a striking contrast
to what has been discovered elsewhere in India.

The Gandhara art primarily depicted the Buddhist themes. The mother
of the Buddha resembles an Anthenian matron. Apollo-like face went
into the making of a Buddhist scene. Perhaps one of the loveliest
Gandhara sculptures reflecting a western subject is the figure of
Athena of Rome at Lahore. This sculpture is made out of blue-grave
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 9/26

schist, which is found only in Gandhara. Although the technique of

Gandhara was essentially borrowed from Greece this particular art is
essentially Indian in spirit. It was employed to give expression to the
beliefs and practices of Bhddhists. Except for a few exceptions no
Greek art motif ahs been detected in the extanct specimens. The
Gandhara artist had the hand of a Greek, but the heart of an India.

There are large Gandhara stupas and monasteries survived as ruins at

Guldara in Afganishta. Later a votive stupa from loriyaan Tangai in
Gandhara has been found. If this is treated as the model of stupa in
Gandhara, the stupa has undergone great changes form great stupa at
Sanchi with its dome structure. It Gandhara the dome grew taller while
the square railing at its summit was enlarged and elaborated.

The greatest of all gandhara stupas as the one erected by Kanishka

outside the gates of modern Peshawar. Here also the stupa had not
survived but a reliquary (receptacle for relics) of Kanishka have been
found. One more such beliquary has been found at Bimaran in

This particular kind of Gandhara style continued at least till the 8th
century. It was along with Caravan route joning Taxila with Bactria
that one of the greatest monastic centers of Buddhism flourished. It is
the Bamiyan valley. The paintings in the valley reveal the motives
adopted from Sassanian fabric designs. The most spectacular creation
carved from the cliffs at Bamiyan are two colossal standing figures of
the Buddha, the largest of them began as high as 175 ft. in its stone
niche. It was finished with lime plaster. The image reflects the Gupta
style of early fifth century. Above the figure's head are fragments of
painting resembling those created by Gupta Buddhists at Ajanta.

Stucco was a popular technique in Gandhara art. A large number of

monasteries of Afganishtan are decorated with stucco images. Also
terracotta was used particularly among those who could not afford
stone sculpture. Terracotta figures were also used as decorations in
homes and as toys. All these provide interesting glimpses of the
dresses and fashions of the time.

Another revealing features is the presence of the images of Mother

Goddess as the worship of this goddess remain an essential religious
expression of the ordinary people. Buddhism, too came to be
associated with fertility cult and other popular religious cults. This
association in evident from the symbolic importance of the stupa and
the brackets with female figures as to be seen at Sanchi. As a matter
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 10/26

of fact, these figures are sophisticated version of Mother Goddess


Apart from Gandhara sculpture appeared at Sarnath near Benaras.

Mathura on the Yamuna and 'Amravati' and in Andhara Pradesh. They
all offer many examples of excellent sculpture. Each of them has a
distinct style. The most well-known are the elaborate base relief from
Amravati. Over many years this form was pursued. Most of it was
probably execute in Huvishka reign.

Simultaneously with the appearance of Buddha icon in Gandhara

Buddha portrait based upon Yaksha model began to be created in the
southern worship or Mathura. This place was a religious center even
before the arrival of the Kushans. Under standably the Jains continued
their activities along with those of the Buddhists in the Kushan and
Gupta periods. Some scholars believe that the Mathura worship
created a Buddha icon at least as early as Gandhara. Close to Mathura
is a sanctuary consisting of stone figures of Kushan rulers and deities.
Only mutilated aculptures are recovered. They are carved from sikri
sand-stone which is red mottle with cream spots. Two great
fragmentary protrains are of king Vima Kadphises and standing king
Kanishka. The garments worn by the Kushans can be know from these
two pieces.

Apart from creating the Buddha figures in the form of Bodhisattva the
Mathura school did produce the master-piece of Buddha in the mid 2nd
century. It is carved from the local sand-stone and it is a sitting figure.
Unlike the majority of statis Buddhas of Gandhara wropped in the
toga-like sanghatis this Buddha of a warmer clime is dressed as a true
Indian wearing transparent muslim garments. Such like transparent
textile being shown in a distinctive Mathura feature.

Some hold the view that the Buddha image was evolved independently
both at Mathura and Gandhara since there is a striking difference
between the two. The Gandhara school laid stress on accuracy of an
actomical details and physical beatury while that of Mathura strove to
impart sublime and spiritual impression to the figures. The first was
realistic and the other idealistic.

Others hold the view that the Hellenistic artists of Gandhara are the
earliest iconographers while others attributed to the sculptures of
Mathura. However, it is generally held that sculptures made by the
former have been reckoned as those belonging to the gandhara
school, while those made by the latter have bee ascribed to the
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 11/26

Mathura school. It is probably that images came to the made and

almost simultaneously by both the schools. For the sculpturala and
iconographic features of their products differ in essential details.

Other Schools of Mauryan Period

Talking of other schools, Amravati school is the foremost. Its
sculptures shows a mastery of stone sculpture. The monuments at
Jaggayyapeta, Nagarjuna-konds and Amaravati are a classes by
themselves. The Andhra sculpture is generally known as Amaravati
schools. The stupas at Amaravati were made of a distinctive while
green marble probably it was began about the time of Christ, and
received its final carved faces and railings from about 150 A.D. to 200

The nature art of Amaravati region is one of India's major and district
styles. A great number of graceful and elongated figures on the reliefs
imbue a sense of life and action that is unique in Indian art, not only
that each figures is animated by an internal vitality, the quality of the
surface further enhances the action of having a gluid quality reminding
one of water-worn pebbles.

One of the great stupa railing (probably of the 3rd century A.D.) show
the Buddha in Human form subduing a maddened elephant which had
been sent by his jealous cousin, Devadatta, to attack him.

In the field of sculpture a round figure appears belonging to the 3rd

century of A.D. It has a sure certain modulation of the flowing
sculptural volume and illusion of life, both hallmarks of the late
Amaravati school.

All the railings of the Amaravati stupa are made out of marble while
the dome itself is covered with slabs of the same material.
Unfortunately, the entire stupa is in ruins. Fragments of its railings
have been partly taken to the British Museum. The sculptures of the
stupa are quite different in style from those of northern India. The
figures of Amaravati have slim blithe features and they are
represented in most difficult poses and curves. However, as the scenes
are mostly over-crowded, the general effect is not very pleasing,
Indeed one characteristic and Amaravati is not disputed. The technical
excellence of sculptures in caving plants and flowers, particularly the
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 12/26

lotuses at Amaravati are most admirably represented in this school.

The Buddha is mostly represented by symbols.

It is only recently excavations have revealed art works at

Nagarjunakonda. Slabs of limestone illustate scenes from the Buddha's

Although the period under review is not known for architecture, there
came into existence beautiful temples and monasteries. The famous
tower of Kanishka of Peshawar was one of the wonders of Asia.
Unfortunately, no trace has been left behind.

There is only one class of buildings which merit some attention and
they are the caves hewn out of solid rocks. The caves of the Ashokan
period were plan chambers. But the caves of this period are adorned
with pillars and sculptures. Some were used as Chaityas or halls of
worship. There are many such chaitya caves at Nashik, Bhoja, Bedsa,
and Karle. The last one if regarded as the finest specimen because of
the beauty of the sculptures on the front wall. The chaitya of Karle is
the most impressive specimen of massive rock architecture.
Monasteries or Viaharas were excavated near the chaityas. We have
three viharas of this kind at Nasik.

Apart from these caves we know of several free standing pillars as the
Garuda-dhavaja of Heliedorus. This period of times is really famous for
independent for Buddhis structures. The most important of days
monuments are the stupas distributed over an area of 125 kilometers
all around Ellora. The most famous of them are at Amaravati and
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 13/26



With the coming of the Buddha in early 4th century A.D. historical data
becomes more reliable. Starting from 4th century A.D. till the latter
half of the 6th century AD the facts of the day enable us to come to
firm conclusions.

How exactly the Guptas rose to power is difficult to be portrayed. With

the collapse of the Indo-Scythian or Kushan empire some tie during
the 3rd century A.D. the political pictures for northern Indian began to
transformed. In all likelihood, a large number of independent states
must have been formed. The lichachhavis of Vaisali of the days of
Buddha re-emerged again. It appears that they obtained possession of
Pataliputara and probably ruled as tributaries of the Kushans who had
their headquarters at Peshawar.

Very little is known of the early rulers of the Gupta dynasty. The
founder of the dynasty was Sri Gupta who bore the titles raja and
maharaja. Historically, as can be gleaned from a few Gupta
inscriptions, the history of dynasty really starts with king Ghatokacha,
the son of Sri Gupta. Unfortunately, the original borders of the Gupta
possession are not known. A number of historians feels that these
must have coincided with the borders of Magadha, while others include
parts of present day west Bengal as well. The vagueness of the
answers of this question is because of lack of precise epigraphic data.
One of the main written sources available is the writing of the Chinese
Pilgrim, T-Tsing.


The last great king of the Gupta was Skanda Gupta was ascended the
throne about 455 A.D. Even during the later years of Kumar Gupta's
reign, the empire was attacked by a tribe called Pushyamitra but it
was repulsed, And immediately after the accession of Skanda Gupta,
Hunas made inroads, but they too were repelled.

However, fresh waves of Invaders arrived and shattered the fabric of

the Gupta Empire. Although in the beginning the Gupta king Skanda
Gupta tried effectively to stem the march of the Hunas into India, his
successors proved to be weak and could not cope with the Huna
invaders, who excelled in horsemanship and who possibly used
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 14/26

stirrups made of metal, Although the Huna power was soon

overthrown by Yasodharman of Malwa, the Malwa prince successfully
challenged the authority of the Guptas and set up Pillars of victory
commorating his conquest (AD 532) of almost the whole of northern
India. Indeed Yasodharman's rule was short lived, but he dealt a
severe blow to the Gupta empire.

The Gupta empire was further undermined by the rise of the

feudatories. The governors appointed by the Gupta kings in north
Bengal and their feudatories in Samatata or south-east Bengal broke
away from the Gupta control. The later Gutpas of Magadha established
their power in Bihar. Besides, the Maukharis rose to power in Bihar
and Uttar Pradeshand had their capital at Kanauj. Proabably by AD 550
Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and passed out of gupta hands. And the rulers
of Valabhi established their authority in Guajarat and Western Malw

After the reign of Skanda Gupta (467 AD) any Gupta coin or inscription
has been found in western Malwa and Saurashtra. The migration of
guild of Silk weavers from Gujarata to Malwa in AD 473 and their
adoption of non-productive professions show that there was not much
demand for cloth produced by them. The advantages from Gujarat
trade gradually disappeared. After the middle of the fifth century the
Gupta kings made desperate attempts to maintain their gold currency
by reducing the content of pure gold in it. The loss of western India
complete by the end of the fifth century, must have deprived the
Gutpas of the rich revenues from trade and commerce and crippled
them economically, and the princes of Thaneswar established their
power in Haryana and then gradually moved on to Kanauj.

The causes of the downfall of disappearence of the Guptas were
basically not different from those that brought the end many ancient
and medieval dynasties. Over and above the usual causes of
administrative inefficiency, weak successors and stagnant the fall of
the Guptas: dynastic dissensions, foreign inassions and some internal
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 15/26


There is evidence to show that following the death of Kumaragupta
and Skandagupta, there were civil wars and struggles for the throne.
For instance, wehave the successors of Buddhagupta, highlighting the
rule of more than just one king. Those were Vinayagupta in Bengal
and Bhanugupta in Iran.

Absence of law of primogeniture along with strong centralized

authority in ancient and medieval periods led to chaos. Thus we see
that the resources of the empire were frittered away in petty
squabbles and wars for the throne.

Besides circumstances weakening the Gupta monarchy, the very

personalities of the later Gupta Kings contributed to the ultimate fall of
this dynasty. They were not only men of weak character but also some
of them followed pacifies that affected other spheres of administration,
particularly that of military efficiency.

Foreign invasions was the second major factor in the decline and
disappearance of the Gutpas. The invasion of barbaric tribe
Pushyamitra was not the decisive. A far more important invasion was
that of the White Huns, who, after settling in the Oxus vally, invaded
India. First appeared during the reign of Budhagupta. Again they
reappeared under the command of Toramana who annexed a large
portion of the north-western region including parts of Moder U.P. He
followed by hisson, Mihirakula, who became the overlord of north
India. Indeed he was defeated by Yashodharman of Malwa but the
repercussions of these invasions were disastrous for the Gupta Empire.

As a result of the weakning of Central Authoriy a number of feudal
chieftans, principally those of the north-western region, assumed the
status of independent rulers might more some names in this regard
such as Maitrakas (of Kathiawar), Panivarajaks (of Budndhelkhand),
Unchkalpas, Laxman in Allahabad. Etc.

After the reign of Buddhagupta, the status of certain, governors of

North Bengal and Yamuna - Narmada area around Magadh too
assumed independence and became to be known as the later Guptas.
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 16/26

By fat one of the most important rebellions was that of Yashodharman

of western Malwa who became independentand established his
kingdom. He defeated Mihirakula and sesms to have made extensive
conquests from the Himalayas to Brahamputra. However, his empire
did not last very long. Nevertheless, it set a pattern for other feudal
cheiftans, who in due course, broke away from Central authority.

Last but not the lest, we might note that the change in the Gupta
polity from one of militancy to that of pacifism greatly affected the
composition of the empire. We do have instance some of the later
Gupta kings who changed from Hinduism to Buddhism and this was
reflected inmate total military inefficiency of the later Guptas.

Apart from these three major groups of causes, that led to the final
disappearance of the Gupta empire, it is to be borne mind that no
empire after the Mauryas was a reality. Ver often they were total
fictions. With the disappearance of the Mauryan empire no empire in
its full connotation came into existence in India since we had no
tradition like that of the Greeks where it is held that the State comes
into existence for the necessities of life but continues to exist for the
good of life, and man, by nature, is a political animal. Somehow, after
the Mauryan era the thinking of India became apolitical. The first
factor that contributed for this outlook of Indians was the emergence
of feudalism about which evidence is there from the days of the
Satavahanas. This tendency grew in the Christian ara and was firmly
established by the seventh century AD.

Along with this development one more saboteur of political

consciousness was the religious perception of ancient Indians.
Beginning before the Christian are it came to be gradually established
that the kingship has its own dharma known as rajya-dhrma while the
people had a handul of dharmas like varnashrama dharma and the
grihadharma. All these dharmas led the individual loyalty or perception
towards a non-political entity. This thinking is given religious sanction
by the priestly order. This thinking is given religious sanction by the
priestly order of the day. Thus the State never was the architectonic
factor in the life of ancient Indian except during the Mauryan era. It is
this perception of ancient India that made the emergence and
disappearance of hundreds of States mere non-events.
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 17/26

Introduction to Pallavas Chalukyas etc. The history of the region south
of the Vindhyas between 300 and 750 A.D. constitutes a water-shed.
After the collapse of the Satavahanas, Ikshvakus rose to power in the
Krishna-Guntur region. They were supplanted by the pallavas. In
northern Maharashtra and Vidharba the Satavahanas were succeeded
by the Vakatakas. They in turn, were followed by the Chalukyas of
Badami. After two centuries they were overthrown by their
feudatories, the Rashtrakutas in 757 A.D.

During the period review, the region south of the Vindhyas witnessed
the march of Brahmanism. In early stages, extensive Buddhist
monuments came into existence. A little later Jainism came to prevail
in Karnataka. And the peninsula, as a whole saw the emergence of a
stone temple for Shiva and Vishnu in Tamilnadu under the Pallavas,
and in Karnataka under the chalukyas of Badami. In a way, south
India ceased to be the land of megaliths inearly 4th century A.D.

Along with religion, the language of the rulers and the literate class
witnessed a transformation. From about 400 A.D. Sanskrit became the
official language of the peninsula.

The history of the pallavas illustrate three characteristics the L.C.Ms.

of Indian history till the 17th century: wars with neighbouring States,
controversial neature of historical material, and royal patronage of
literature and arts.

Very little reliable information on the origin of the Pallavas is available.
They appear to have intruded into the south. Katyayana (fourth
century B.C.) mentions the Pandyas and the Cholas, but not the
Pallavas, Ashoka (third century B.C.) refers to the Cholas, the Pandyas
and Keralas, but not the Pallavas.

The Pallavas were a branch of the Pahleves of Parthians is the opinion

of some scholars, like father Heras; but there is no positive evidence
for the Phalava migration into the south.

That Pallavas were an indigenous dynasty which rose to power after

the dismemberment of the Andhra empire, is another thesis. Probably
their leaders gathered around them selves the Kurumbas, the
Moravars, the killers and other predatory tribes in order to form one
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 18/26

great community. According to srinivas Aiyangar, the Pallavas

belonged to the anciert Naga people who them selves were composed
of a primitive Negri, an element of Australisian and the later mixed
race. To start with they lived in the Tondaimandalam districts around
Madras. Later, they conquered Tanjore and Trichinopoly districts. The
Pallavas recruited their troops from the martial tribute of pallis of
Kurumbas. The Pallavas were the hereditary enemies of Tamil Kings.
Even now the term palava means a rogue in Tamil language; and a
section of the Pallavas who settled in the Chola and pandya countries
came to be known as kallar or thieves. All these people doubtless
belong to a Naga race.

The third is that the Pallava dynasty emerged and owed its origin to a
Chola prince and the Naga princess of Manipallavam an is land near
Ceylon. According to this theory, the son born out of the wedlock was
made the king of Tondaimandalam by his father, and the dynasty was
so named after his mother's home land. Dr. Krishnaswamy Aiyangar
argues that the Pallavas are mentioned as Tondaiyar in the literature
of the Sangam era and that they were descended from the Naga
chieftains but owed allegiance to the Satavahana kings. But this
theory, too, is doubtful because of their continual fight with the cholas
and their striking northern character as compared to the Cholas.

Dr. K.P.Jayaswal argues that the pallavas were a branch of the

Brahmin dynasty of the Vekatakas. Except for their early copperplate
charters which are in Prakrit. All the other epigraphich records are in
Sanskrit. Hiuen-Tsang says that their language and literature differed
very slightly from that of northern India. The Talagunda inscription,
however. States that the Pallavas were Kshatriyas.


The first important ruler was Siva Skandavarman who performed an
Aswamedha and other Vedic sacrifices. His capital was kanchi.
Samudragupta forced the pallava king, Vishnugopa, to acknowledge
the Gupta suzerainty. And the story of the Pallavas in the 5th and 6th
centuries is very sketchy.

By end of the sixth century the Pallavas re-emerged on the scene.

Simhavishnu (575 to 600 A.D.) captured the territory of the Cholas
and humbled the pride of his neighbours including Ceylon. He was
ovavaishnava faith as borne out by the magnificent reliefs representing
Simhavishnu and two of his consorts in the Varsha cave at
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 19/26

With Mahendravarman I, the son and successor of Simhavishnu, began

thetitanic tripartite struggle with the Chalukyas of Vatapi and the
Cholas. The Chalukya king, Pulakesin II, captured Kanchi. Pulakesin II
won the pitched battle fought at Pullalur, fifteen miles north of Kanchi.

However, Narsimhavaram I, the son and successor of

Mahendravarman I, defeated pulskesin II in many battles and probably
killed pulakesin himself. He also defeated the Cholas, the Cheras and
the pandyas. He even sent two naval expeditions to Ceylon and placed
his protégé on the throne of Ceylon. Narasimhavarman I was a great
builder too. Mamallapuram was embellished during his time. Hiuen-
Tsand visited his kingdom. He states that the soil was fertile and
produced abundance of grain; flowers and fruits were many precious
gems and other luxury articles were known; and the people were
courageous and greatly attached to learning, honestry and truth.

Narasimhavarman II. He too, fought with the chalukyas. He was

succeeded by Paramesvaravarman I in whose reign Vikramadhitya I of
the Chalukyas, in alliance with the Pandyas, renewed the hostilities. He
probably captured the city of Kanchi. Later, Paramesvarvarman I
defeated Vikramadhity II. The Pallava records claim that the Chalukya
pattack was hurled back.

Yet, as we know, the Chalukyas once again swept through the Pallava
dominions under the captainship of Vikramaditya II in the 8th century,
A.D. Nandivarman was defeated and Kanchi was captured. By then,
the Pallavas faced a serious challenge from the rising dynasties of the
south. The Pandyas advanced along the banks of Kanchi. The last nail
in the coffin was driven by Aditya Chola who defeated Aparajita Pallava
and took possession of his kingdom towards the end of the 9th century

The Chalukya victory over the Pallavas in 740 A.D. was the beginning
of the end of the Pallavas supremacy. The Cholas, in alliance with the
Pandyas, defeated the Pallavas by the close of the 9th century. Very
soon even the Chalukyas collapses but the Pallavas: chiefs continued
to exist till the end of the 13th century. After the 17th century. All
traces of the Pallavas as a distinct community of clan disappeared; but
the Kallar, Palli and Vellala castes trace their origir origin from them.


The Chalukya-Pallava war began with Pulkasin II and ended with the
collapse of both the dynasties singnificantly, the power that rose
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 20/26

thereafter, the Rushtrakutas and the cholas, continued the same sort
of struggle. This was because the Chalukya-Pallava struggled was to a
great extent determined by the geographical loation of the Chalukya
and Pallava kingdoms.

After the first bout was over, the Pallavas agenged their defeat during
the days of Narasimhavarman I. He captured the lost territories. In
thie he was assisted by the king of Ceylon. He entered the capital of
Bademi in 642 A.D. and assumed the title of Vatapikonda, that is, the
conqueror or Vatapi.

After that, for the next tweleve years there was a respite; the Pallavas
were involved in naval wars while supporting the Ceylonese kings, and
the Chalukyas were troubledby their feudatories, Afther the Chalukyan
house was set in order in 655, they re-occupied the terrirtories lost to
the Pallavas. This was the third phase. Soon thej tables were reversed.
There was a rift in the Chalukyan royal family. Taking advantage of
this, the Pallavas once again entered Badami. Details of relating to this
compaign are to be found in the Pallava grant found near Kanchi. This
was th fourth phase.

The fifth phase started when the Chalukyas and the Gangas united in
731 to attack the Pallavas. The reigning Pallava king was killed and
Kanchi was occupied. Later, the council of ministers chose
Nandivarman II.

In the last phase the ball was in the the court of Pallavas. At this time,
the neighbours of the Pallavas in the south, that is, the Pandays,
Joined the conflict. The Pandyas of Madura were not well disposed
towards the Pallavas. In the meantime the Chalukyas wre threatened
by the Arabs, the latter already being in occupation of Sing. While the
Chalukyas were engrossed in the threat from the north, one of their
feudatories Dantidurga, broke away from the but they, too, within a
century ment their end, the last of the Pallavas was assassinated by
the son of a feudatory.

The Pallavas political history covering four centuries is tortous and
complex but their contribution to society is singnificant in two ways -
comletion of Aryanisation of southern India, and consmation of
traditional or indigenous art.
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 21/26

The Aryanisation of south India as completed during the period of the

Pallavas. Their grants show that the Aryan structure of society has
gained frim hold on the south by the sixth century. Grants to brahmins
are specifically mentioned which show that the north Indian Dharma
Sastras had acquired authority in the Pallava kingdom. Sanskrit had
established its sway. The university of Kanchi played to doubt a great
part in India, and we know from Hiuen-Tsang that it was the greatest
center of education in the south. Vatsyayana, the logician, the author
of Nyaya Bhashya who lived in the fourth century. A.D, seems tohave
been Pandit of Kanchi. Denage the famous Buddhist dialectian is also
said to have had his training in the souther capital. In the fifth century
we have epigraphic record of Nayurrasarman of the Kadamba family
going for higher studies to Kanchi. In fact it can ligtimately be calimed
that Kanchi of the Paalvas was the great center from which the
Sanksritisation of the south as well as the Indian colonies in the far-
east proceeded.

Pallavas were orthdox Hindus and they patronized the great

reformation of the medival ages. Most of the kings ere brahminical
Hindus devoted to the worship of Shiva. Mahendravarman was the
first, who about the middle of his reign, adopted the worship of Siva
and he was influenced by the famous saints of the age. He showed
reverence to other Hindu gods also. But, he was intolerant of Jainism
and destroyed some Jain monastries. Some Vaishnava and Saiva
saints lived during his time. In general, the Pallavas were tolerant to
other sects. Buddhism and Jainism lost their appeal. Indeed Hiuen-
Tsang saw at Kanchi one hundred Buddhist monastries and 10,000
priests belonging to the Mahayana school but this has to be taken with
a pinch of salt.

In general, the vedic tradition was super imposed on the local

traditions, As brahmins were custodians of Vedic tradition, they
automaticalldy enjoyed privillages. The Vedic tradition, a little later,
received stimulus because of Sankarcharya. The Temples were the
focal points. The out-castes were not permitted to enter the precincts
of the temple.

Even then, Tamil saints of the 6th and 7th centuries, who were the
progenitors of the bhakti movement, mostly belonged to the lower
castes. The hymns and sermonsof the nayanaras (Shaivism) and the
slvars (vaishnavism) continued the tradition. Amongst the Shaiva
saints the important were Appar (supposed to have converted
Mahendravarman) Sambandar, Manikkawasagar, and Sundarar. The
most ………………………….. about them was the presence of women,
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 22/26

Saints, such as Andal. This Bhakti cult was derived from the ideas in
the Upanishads and also from the heterodox doctrines. Dr. Thapar
opines that the concepts of comapassonate God was a resultant of the
impact of Buddhist ideas particularly the bodhisttava concept, although
the chirstians in malabar might have provided a new perception of
religion. What the bhakti movement contributed was great. The
religious hymns and music as popularized by Tamil saints were sung
during temple rituals. Dancing was also included. From the Pallavi
period onwards dancers were maintained by all the prosperous

Regarding education, in the early days, education was imparted by

Jains and Buddhists. The Jaina institutions were located at Madurai and
Kanchi. Soon brahminical institutions superseded them. Ghatkias or
Hindu colleges were attached to the temples. They were primarily
Brahmin institutions are mostly confined themselves to advanced
studies. And in the 8th century the maths also became popular, which
was an ominous institutions because of its being a rest-house, a
feeding center and an education center. In all these colleges Sanskrit
was the medium of instruction which was also the official language.
Kanchi, the capital, was a great cencentre of Sanskrit learning. The
scientific works of Varahmihira and the poetry of Kalidasa and Bhairvi
were-known in the Pallava country. And Parameshvaravarman I
granted the Kurran copper-plate that was made for the recitation of
the Mahabharata in a mandapa at the village of Kurram, near

By the beginning of the 7th century the Pallavas of Kanchi, the

Chalukyas of Badami and the Pandyas of Madurai emerged as the
three major states. By the time the political rule of these dynasties
came to an end, an event known as the revolt of the Kalabharas took
place. The Pallavas, the Kadambas (North Canara in Karnataka) and
the Chalukyas of Badami along with along with a large number of their
contemporaries were the protage of vedic sacrifices. Logically, the
brahmins emerged as an important segment of society but at the
expense of the peasantry. Possibly, this predominance was oppressive
leading to the revoltof the kalabhars in the 6th century. A.D. It is also
said that they overthrew in numberable kings and established their old
inTamilnadu. They ended the Brahmadeva rights earlier granted to
brahmins in numerous villages. It is also said that the Kalabhras
patronized Buddhism. In the end, the revolt of the kalabhras could be
ended only by the Joint efforts of the Pandays, the Pallavas and the
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 23/26

Kingship was attributed to define origin. The kings claimed their
descent from the God Brahma. It has hereditary. Yet, on one occasion
a king was elected. Most of the kings were accomplished scholars.
Mahendravarman I wrote the famous burlesque, Masttavilasa
Prahsana. Many of the vaishnava alvars and saiva nayanars flourished
during their rule.

The kings adopted high-sounding titles like maharajadhiraja, dharma-

maharjadhiraja (great king of kings rulling in accordance with the
dharma), agnistomavajpeya, asvamedha-yaji (he who has performed
the agnithtoma-vajapeya and asvamedha sacrifices) They were
assisted by ministers. History shows that the ministerial council played
a great part in the state policy in the later period.

A hierarchy of officials in provincial administration, the governor ofa

province was assisted by district officers, who in turn worked in
collaboration with automous local bodies. In local administration the
meeting of assembles were frequent, and the administration the
meeting of assemblies were frequent, and the assemblies were of
many varieities and of many levels. Often special meetings were held.
As the village levelthe assembly was the sabha which looked after
almost all the matters of the village, along with endowments,
irrigation, crime, maintaining census and other necessary records,
Courts at villages level dealt with minor criminal cases. The judicial
courts of the town and districts were presided over by government
officials, climaxing with the king as the supreme arbiter of justice. The
sabha worked in close association with the urar, and informal
gathering of the entire village. Above this unit was a district
administration. Finally, the head man of the villages was the link
between the village assembly and the official administration.

Theoretically the king owned the land. The status of a village

depended on the prevalent land tenure. The fist variety was the village
with inter-caste population where in the people paid taxes to the king.
The second was the brahmadeya village in which the entire land was
donated to a single Brahmin or a group of brahmins. A variation of this
village was the agrahars grant which, was an entire village settlement
of brahmins. Both these forms were exempt from royal taxes. In the
devadana village the revenue was donated to a temple, and the
temple authorities in turn provided employment for the villagers in the
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 24/26

temple whenever possible. In the Pallava period the first two

categories of villages were in vogue.

Apart from these major points relating to land there was a special
category of land, the sripatti or tank land. The revenue from such a
land was sent apart for the maintenance of the village tank. The tank
itself was built by the efforts of the entire village. All shared the water
stored in the tank. Very many inscriptions of the Pallavas refer to the
up-keep of tanks.

There are two Points about taxes. The land revenue varied from one-
sixth to one tenth of the produce of the land. This was paid to the
State. The local taxes that were collected in a village were spent for
the needs of the village. As land revenue was necessarily small, the
State revenue was supplemented by additional taxes on draught
cattle, marriage-parties, potters, makers of clarified butter, textile
manufacturers, washermen and weavers. The major source of revenue
was from land, since the revenue from mercantile activity was not fully

Regarding expenditure, most to the revenue want for the maintenance

of army. The king preferred a standing army instead of feudal levie.
The army primarily consisting of food soldiers and cavalry along with a
sprinkling of elephants. Indeed the Pallavas developed a navy although
the mercantile activity was not great. Two dockyards were built at
Mahablipuram and Nagabatnam. This pioneeringh effort of the Pallavas
reached its climax during the days of cholas. The navy served a double
purpose. It was meant for defence and also assisted the maritime
trade with sout-east Asia, particularly with the three kingdoms of
Kambuja (Cambodia) Champa (Annam) and Shrivijaya (Malayan
peninsula and Sumatra).

Four distinct stages of architecture can be gleaned from the Pallava
temples. The first is the Mahendra style. The influence of the cave
style of architecture is to be seen in an ancient pillar engraved in the
Ekambaranatha (Kanchipuram) temple. The second is the Mamalla
style. The seven Pagodas are small temples, each of which is hewn out
of a single rock boulder. They lie near Mahabalipura Mahabalipuram,
founded by Narasimhavarman. These monolithic temples are complete
with all the details of an ordinary temples and stand as an undying
testimony to the superb quality of the Pallava art. The third is the
Rajasimha style. The most famous temple of this style is the kailasha
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. 25/26

style. The most famous temple of this style is the Kailasha temple of
kanchi. It has a pyramidal tower, a flat-roofed mandapam and a series
of cells surround it resembling rathas. This style is a very elaborate
one foreshadowing the ornate Chola architecuture. The fourth is the
Aparajita style. This is more ornate resembling the Chola architecture.
A few temples built in the style are found at Dalavanur. The note
worthy feature of some shrines is that they are aborned by beautiful
life-like images of Pallava kings and their queens. All told they are
unique in the history of temple architecture.

Pallava sculpture owed more to the Buddhist tradition. On the whole it

is more monumental and linear in form, thus avoiding the typical
ornamentation of the Deccan sculpture. The free standing temples at
Aithole and Badami in the Deccan and the Kanchipuram and
Mahabalipuram in the Tamil country, provided a better background for
sculpture than the rock-cut temples. And the Pallava sculpture was
monumental and linear in form resembling the Gupta sculpture.
Although the basic form was derived from the older tradition, the end
result clearly reflected its local genius.

Now for literature it has been recently proved that Bharavi and
Dandinlived in the Pallava court. Bharavi's Kiratarjuniyam and Dandin's
Dashakumaracharita were the two masterpieces. One of Dandin's
poems was written with such skill that when read normally it gives the
story of the Ramayana; and whe read in reverse, the study of
Mahabharata. Dandin was the author of a standard work on poetics.
Till the eight century Pallava influence was predominant in Cambodia.
Saivism was the of ficial form of worship. And the Pallava type of
sikhara is to be found in the temples of Java, Cambodia and Annam.
This dissemination of Hindu culture proves that it was dynamic till
1,000 A.D. in southern India.

Thus, the Pallavas rendered invaluable service to the country both

within and without as they were one of the torch bearers of Hindu
civilization to south-east Asia. Far more singular is their contribution to
architecture-transforming the architecture and suculpture from wood
to stone. Smith opines that this grat disparimmense length of the
course of Indian history, and the extreme slowness with which
changes have been effeated.

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The temples of the Pallavas bear resemblance to the Buddhsit cave

shrines. The temples of Mahabalipuram reveal traces of barrel-vaults
and archways associated with Buddhist cave shrines.