History

Short Note on Maitrakas

A probe into the landgrant charters of the first seventy years of Maitraka male reveals that Saurashtra witnessed the formation of a regional state for the first time in the sixth century. The inscriptions of this period suggest the difficulties of territorial and political integration and the mechanisms devised by the Maitrakas in their attempts …

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Short Note on Vakatakas

The Vakatakas of Vidharbha were an important political power in central India and northern Deccan. We can envisage three tentative phases in the emergence of the state in Vidarbha under the Eastern Vakatakas (the Vakatakas of Nandivardhan while another branch, the Vakatakas of Vatsagulma rules in western Vidarbha). The first phase coincides with the early …

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The Gupta Empire – Literature

We have already mentioned about the compositions of early Puranas such as VishnuPurana, Vayu Purana, Bhagvata Purana, Brahmanda Purana and Harivamsha Purana in this period in the section under religion. It has been noted that the Puranas are important sources not only for the study of brahmanical religious but also for royalo genealogy and historical …

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The Gupta Empire – Art and Patronage

Very few examples of temple architecture have survived from the Gupta period. Architecture of the Gupta period temples was still in its formative period. Rock-cut Buddhist caves at Ajanta and Ellora are the best examples of architecture. These were inspiration for the later Vaishanva and Shaiva, rock-cut temples at Ellora, Elephanta and Aurangabad. Buddhist stupas …

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The Gupta Empire – Religious Life

The Gupta period has been traditionally known as a period of brahmanical renaissance. A range of brahmanical religion was flourishing in this period. Buddhism was still prevalent in some parts of the sub-continent and its rivalry with shaivism had become well known. But Buddhism was being influenced by ritual of worship of other religions. Buddhism …

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The Gupta Empire – Economic Changes

The changes in the agrarian economy introduced in the Gupta period have been already noted in the section on administration. The most important innovation in the agricultural sector was the introduction of land grant economy. Initially, religious donees were exempted from payment of revenue (land-tax) and later received administrative judiciary rights over the villages. However, …

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The Gupta Empire – Social Changes

The conventional historiography projected continuation of the four-fold division of the Varna-System (Chatuh-Varna) in the Gupta and post-Gupta period. However, R.C. Hazra mentions that early Puranas offer descriptions of Kaliyuga in terms of foreign invasions, instability, social tension, struggle, teaching of hedonistic sects. But modern historians like Ram Sharan Sharma ascribes the origin of Kaliyuga …

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The Gupta Empire – Land Grants

Grants of land were made to religious and ritual specialist or to officers. This did not produce revenue for the state, but it allowed some shuffling of revenue demands at the local level and created small centers of prosperity in rural areas that, if imitated, could lead to widerimprovement. If the land granted to brahmans …

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The Gupta Empire – Administration

The Gupta kings took exalted imperial titles, such as maharaja-adhiraja, ‘the great king of kings’, parameshvara, ‘the supreme lord’, yet in the case of later rulers these titles were exaggerated since their claimants possessed limited political power when compared with the ‘great kings’ of earlier centuries. Such grand titles echo those of the rulers of …

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Origin of the Guptas

Evidence on the origin and antecedents of the Gupta family is limited, as it seems to have emerged from obscure beginnings. It was thought that the family ruled a small principality in Magadha, but recent opinion supports the western Ganges Plain as a base. The name could indicate that they were of the vaishya caste, …

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