Essay on the consequences of the death of Harshavardhana


The death of Harsha witnessed the collapse of his grand imperial edifice. Harsha left no worthy successor to perpetuate his creation. He had only a daughter who was married to the ruler of Valabhi.

The rulers who had bowed to Harsha’s authority were not prepared to recognise any one as his successor and every one declared himself independent. They had recognised Harsha as their superior more out of respect for his personality than of his military strength.

Some of them even aspired to succeed to the imperial authority and to the position of the great Harsha. In the last quarter of the 7th century a scion of the great Gupta line attempted to revive the glories of the Gupta Empire.


He performed the Ashvamedh sacrifices and tried to increase his prestige by similar other deeds of piety. It seems that this time line of later Gupta’s lasted till about the middle of the 8th century.

After Harsha’s death one of his ministers named Arjan or Arunasva laid claim to the throne of Kanauj. But by ill-treating a Chinese envoy he invited an attack from the Chinese Emperor, who inflicted a crushing defeat on Arunasva on the borders of Nepal and took him captive to his country.

The end of the Gupta Empire was followed by a long succession of individual military geniuses of Yasodharmana, Sasanka and Harshavardhana in the seventh century A.D. Yashodharmana, and Lalitaditya in the eighth century A.D.

Although they achieved conspicuous success in this direction and exercised sway over vast areas but their empires perished with them.


In the South India, as in the North India the downfall of an Imperial dynasty almost inevitably gave a fresh lease of life to the independent provincial powers.

So after the Satavahana family had passed away in the first half of the third century A.D. the Deccan plateau as well as the Southern peninsula witnessed the rise of a number of independent Kingdoms.

In the second quarter of Seventh century A.D. the three natural division of India namely-North India, the Deccan and the South India, developed in to three well defined imperial zones under Harshavardhana, the Chalukya king Pulakesin II and the Pallava Kings Mahendravarman I and Narasimharvarman I, respectively.

The rivalry and struggle between the Harshavardhana and Pulakesin n, the Chalukya King and between the Chalukya king Pulakesin II and Pallava king Mahendravarmana-I form the main theme of the History of this period.

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