The Post Gupta era (up to 750 A.D.)
During the end of 5th century A.D. the Gupta Empire began to disintegrate. Along with this breakdown Imperial Guptas, Magadha and its capital Patliputra also lost their importance. Therefore, Post Gupta Period was very turbulent in nature. Five major powers immersed in north India after the fall of the Guptas. These powers are following:-
1. The Hunas: The Hunas were a rare race of Central Asia who came to India. During the reign of Kumargupta, Hunas invaded India for the first time. They could not succeed in India under the dynasty of Kumargupta and Skandagupta, though they could penetrate into India. Huns occupied India for a very short period of thirty years. Hunas’ supremacy was established in North India.
Toramana was their ablest ruler and Mihirakula the most and cultured one.
2. The Maukharis: The region of Western Uttar Pradesh around Kanauj was held by the Maukharis. They also conquered some part of Magadha. Gradually they overthrew the later Guptas and made them move to Malwa.
3. The Maitrakas : Most probably the Maitrakas were Iranian in origin and ruled in Saurashtra region of Gujarat with Valabhi as capital. Valabhi became centre of learning, culture and trade and commerce under the guidance of Bhatarka. It survived the longest Arab attacks.
4. The Pushyabhutis : Thaneswar( north of Delhi) was the capital of Pushyabhutis . Prabhakarvardhan was the most important ruler of the dynasty who assumed the title of parambhattaraka maharajadhiraja. . They had a marriage alliance with the Maukharis. The marriage alliance strengthened the two empires. Harshavardhana belonged to this clan.
5. The Gaudas: They ruled over a territory in Bengal and were quite lesser-known of the four kingdoms. It’s most powerful and ambitious ruler was Sasanka. He invaded Makhauris, killed Grahavarman and detained Rajyasri.
Important Dynasties and Ruler
Harshavardhan (606-647 A.D.): Harshavardhana, who ruled nearly 1400 years ago.
Several historical sources which deal with Harshavardhan’s reign:-
Hieun Tsang: composed Si-Yu-Ki.
Bana Bhatt: Harshacharita (an account of harsha’s rise to power/ biography of Harshavardhan in Sanskrit), Kadambri and Parvatiparinaya.
Harsha’s own drama: Ratnavali, Nagananda and Priyadarsika about political conditions. Harsha also patronised Haridatta and Jayasena .
Harsha's Rise to Power: After the death of his elder brother Rajyavarman Harsha immersed to the throne in 606 A.D. and led an army against the ruler of Bengal to avenge his brother’s death and also to release his sister. He was failed in his first mission against Gaudas, but soon extended his empire.
Harsha was generally regarded as the last great Hindu emperor of India. But he was not staunch Hindu ruler. He has limited his power up to north of India except Kashmir, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Orrisa were under his direct control.
Administration of Harshavardhan:-
Official Area of administration
Mahasandhi Vigzahak Officer to decide about war and peace
Mahabaladhikrit Highest official of the Army
Ayuktak Ordinary officer
Vrihadeshwawar Head of Cavalry
Doot Rajastharuya Foreign Minister
Katuk Head of elephant brigade
Uparik Maharaj Provincial head