Chapter Notes and Summary
• Mamallapuram : Mamallapuram is known for its monolithic temples of Pallavas.
• Harshacharita : In early seventh century, Harshavardhan became ruler of Thanesar. Information about Harsha’s reign is also available in Harsha’s biography Harshacharita, written by Banabhatta. Chinese pilgrim Xuan Zang spent a lot of time in court of Harsha.
• Rulers in South India : After decline of Satavahanas, there arose smaller kingdoms in South. Of these, Chalukyas and Pallavas were important ones.
• Administration of Kingdoms : Administrative posts were hereditary. poet, Harisena was Maha-dandanayaka or Chief Judicial Officer. Some people held more than one post. Harisena was also Kumar-Amatya, an important minister. Nagara-Shreshthi was chief banker or merchant of city.
• Ordinary People : Our knowledge about life of people of time is drawn mainly from literary works such as Kalidasa’s plays, Banabhatta’s Harshacharita and accounts of foreign travellers like Fa Xian. Fa Xian mentions about conditions of untouchables who lived outside city.
• Prashasti of Samudragupta : Samudragupta was a famous ruler of Gupta dynasty. Allahabad pillar inscription is a Prashasti on Samudragupta’s military achievements. poem was composed in Sanskrit by Court Poet, Harishena. poet praised King as a warrior and equal to God.
• Prashastis and Different Rulers : Prashasti described four different kinds of rulers and Samudragupta’s policies towards them. These are :
• rulers of Aryavarta.
• rulers of Dakshinapatha.
• Neighbouring states like Assam, Coastal Bengal and Nepal.
• States ruled by descendants of Kushanas.
• Genealogies in Prashastis : Prashastis mention complete genealogies of rulers. Allahabad Prashasti mentions that Samudragupta’s mother Kumara Devi belonged to Lichhavi gana. His father, Chandragupta held grand title of Maharaj-Adhiraja. His Court was full of learned persons like Kalidasa and Aryabhatta.
• Prashastis : Prashasti is a Sanskrit word, meaning ‘in praise of ’. Prashastis are long inscriptions, written in praise of kings. From time of Guptas, Prashastis became very important.
• Chalukyas : Chalukya kingdom was centered at Raichur Doab. Raichur Doab is located between rivers Krishna and Tungabhadra. Their capital was at Vatapi. Pulakeshin II was a famous king of this dynasty.
We know about him from a poem composed by his court poet Ravikirti.
• Pallavas : kingdom of the, Pallavas was in far South. They ruled between mid 6th to 8th century. capital of Pallavas was Kanchipuram, around Kaveri delta in present Tamil Nadu.
• Sabha-Assemblies : Pallava inscriptions talk about many local assemblies. Sabha was an assembly of Brahmin land-owners. It functioned through subcommittees, which looked after irrigation, agriculture, roads and temples.
• Fa Xian : Fa Xian was a Chinese pilgrim. He visited India and Sri Lanka. He is most known for his pilgrimage to Lumbini, birthplace of Lord Buddha.
Chapter Notes and Summary