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Harsha – Introduction


  • North India splintered into several warrior kingdoms after the downfall of the Gupta Empire.
  • Excepting in the areas that were subdued by the Huns (modern Punjab, Rajasthan and Malwa), regional identity became pronounced with the emergence of many small states.
  • Maithrakas had organised a powerful state in Sourashtra (Gujarat), with Valabhi as their capital.
  • Agra and Awadh were organised into an independent and sovereign state by the Maukharis.
  • The Vakatakas had recovered their position of ascendency in the western Deccan.
  • Despite political rivalry and conflict among these states, Thaneswar, lying north of Delhi between Sutlej and Yamuna, was formed into an independent state by Pushyabhutis.
  • It rose to prominence under Harsha.
  • Harsha ruled the kingdom as large as that of the Guptas from 606 to 647 CE.


I. Literary sources

  • Bana’s Harshacharita
  • Hieun Tsang’s Si-Yu-ki

II. Epigraphical sources

  • Madhuban copper plate inscription
  • Sonpat inscription on copper seal
  • Banskhera copper plate inscription
  • Nalanda inscription on clay seals
  • Aihole inscription

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