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Expansion of Harshavardhana Empire

Filed under: History Ancient History Harshavardhana Empire on 2021-06-24 11:49:38
#  On acquiring Kannauj, Harsha united the two kingdoms of Thanesar and Kannauj.
# He moved his capital to Kannauj.
# After the fall of the Guptas, North India was divided into many small kingdoms.
# Harsha was able to unite many of them under his command. He had under his control of Punjab and central India. After Sasanka’s death, he annexed Bengal, Bihar and Odisha.
# He also defeated the Vallabhi king in Gujarat. (The Vallabhi king and Harsha came to a truce by a marriage between Harsha’s daughter and the Vallabhi king Dhruvabhata.)
# However, Harsha’s plans to conquer lands to the south were hampered when the Chalukya king, Pulakesin II defeated Harsha in 618-619 A.D. This sealed Harsha’s southern territorial limit as the Narmada River.
# There were two types of territories under Harsha. One was directly under him and the other type was those that were feudatories.
# Direct territories: Central Provinces, Bengal, Kalinga, Rajputana, Gujarat
# Feudatories: Jalandhar, Kashmir, Kamarupa, Sind, Nepal
# Even the feudatories were under the tight command of Harsha. Harsha’s reign marked the beginning of feudalism in India.
# Hiuen Tsang visited India during Harsha’s reign. He has given a very favourable account of king Harsha and his empire. He praises his generosity and justice.
# Harsha was a great patron of the arts. He himself was an accomplished writer. He is credited with the Sanskrit works Ratnavali, Priyadarshika and Nagananda.
# Banabhatta was his court poet and he composed the Harshacharita which gives an account of Harsha’s life and deeds.
#  Harsha generously supported the Nalanda University.
#  He had a good tax structure. 1/4th of all the taxes collected were used for charity and for cultural purposes.
# Harsha was a competent military conqueror and an able administrator.
# Harsha was the last king to rule over a vast empire in India before the invasions by the Muslims.
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