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Harshavardhana (606-647 AD) All Notes

Harshavardhana (606-647 AD)

Harshavardhana

▪ After Gupta’s decline, Harshavardhana, a ruler of Thanesar, Haryana extended his authority over all fiduciaries
▪ Harshavardhana made Kannauj his capital & seat of power & became last great Hindu ruler of North India
▪ In his early life, Harsha was devoted to Shiva but later he became an ardent Mahayana Buddhist under the influence of Chinese pilgrim Huan Tsang

Kannauj Assembly 

Harsha organised a Kannauj assembly to honour Chinese pilgrim Huan Tsang where he explained doctrines of Mahayana Buddhism & claimed his superiority over others

Prayag Assembly 

2nd Mahayana Buddhism assembly by Harsha, marked by great charity of Harsha where he even gave up his cloths as charity
Revenue collection during Harsha’s period was divided into 4 parts namely

  • 1. For kings
  • 2. For Scholars
  • 3. For officials
  • 4. For Religious purposes
Banskhera inscriptions contains sign & conquest of Harshavardhana

Huan Tsang Account

▪ Book → Si – Yu – Ki and Biography → Hui – Li
▪ Prevalent dowry & Sati system with no system of widow remarriage
▪ Sudras were known as agriculturist
▪ Trade declined & less issuance of coins
▪ Grants of land gained popularity
▪ Thieves at state were met with extreme punishments

Literary Sources

Banabhatta
Harshacharita , Kadambari
Harshavardhana
Ratnavali, Nagananda, Priyadarsika
▪ Harsha patronised Nalanda university (Mahayana type mostly), which attained international reputation as a center of learning during his reign
▪ At Valabhi lied Hinyana form of Buddhism Institution
▪ Nalanda (Giver of knowledge) name was founded by Kumargupta – 1 in Gupta period

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