There is no universally accepted definition of feudalism. However, feudalism may be said to have emerged when there is a decline of trade and commerce, decline of urban centres and decline in the circulation of coins. Hegemony of the feudal lords, instead of king or central power, and development of regional tendencies also are the features of feudalism.
Various causes may be assigned to the growth of feudalism. First, as a result of the practice of land-grant in the Gupta and post-Gupta period there had developed many administrative and economic units outside the control of the king. This gave rise to feudalism.
Second, land-grants in lieu of salary also paved the way of feudalism. For, the system gave rise to an intermediary class of the feudal lords.
Third, decline of trade and commerce in the post- Gupta period also was responsible for the development of feudalism in India. Fourth, in the absence of any central authority different regions became more important. Regio.ialism was an important factor in the growth of feudal tendency.