In the sixth century AD the disintegration of the Gupta Empire gradually paved way for the growth of many smaller kingdoms. In certain regions new kingdoms emerged and in other areas the dynasties which had earlier accepted Gupta suzerainty now declared their independence.
Political powers like the Maukharis, the Hunas, the later Magadhan Guptas, the Pushyabhutis, the Gaudas, the Varmans and the Maitrakas came into prominence during this period.
The political fortunes of these dynasties fluctuated with time. Some of the powerful kings like Harsha managed to bring almost the whole of northern India under their control, but their kingdoms were short-lived.
This period witnessed the origins of many regional states. While they were not all-India empires, they represented the beginnings of regional political structures.
In the Deccan, the Chalukyas of Badami became a powerful dynasty. Yet another powerful dynasty was that of the Pallavas of Kanchi, believed to have originally been in the employment of the Satavahanas.
The political history of this period is marked by intense rivalry and frequent wars between the Chalukyas and the Pallavas.