Medieval India, Palas, Pratiharas, Rashtrakutas and Chola Empire

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Medieval India
Medieval India

Traveller/Historian

In times of

Remarks

Al-Masudi

Pratiharas

Sulaiman

Palas

Mid-9th century. Writes about the Pala empire

Marco Polo

Chola

Ralph Fitch

16th century

Medieval India

AD 750 onwards

Eighth to 10Th Century (Age of Three Empires in North India)

  • Pala –East

  • Pratihara – West and Upper Gangetic Valley

  • Rashtrakuta – Deccan

  • Rashtrakutas lasted the longest

For a long time, Kanauj was considered the symbol of political unity of India (like Delhi was later)

Palas

  • Founder: Gopala

  • Gopala – Dharmapala - Devpala

  • Dhramapala

    • defeated by Rashtrakuta ruler Dhruva

    • revived Nalanda Univ

    • founded Vikramsila Univ

    • Buddhism developed

  • relations with Tibet and SE Asia

Pratiharas

  • Founder: Bhoja

  • Bhoja – Mahendrapala I - Mahipala

  • Bhoja (aka Adivaraha)

    • Capital at Kanauj

  • Mahipala

    • Sankrit poet and dramatist Rajashekhar lived at his court

  • Hostility with Arab and Sindh

Rashtrakutas

  • Founder: Dantidurga

  • Dantidurga – - Govinda III – Amoghvarsha (Jain) - - Indra III – Vallabhraja – Krishna III

  • Capital: Malkhed near Sholapur

  • Amoghvarsha

    • Wrote the first Kannada book on Poetics

    • Capital: Manyakhet

  • Indra III – most powerful ruler of his time

  • Krishna, I built Shiva temple at Ellora

  • Apbhransha poet: Svayambhu

  • Princess Chandrobalabbe (daughter of Amoghavarsha) administered Raichur

Chola Empire (9Th-12Th Century)

  • Founder: Vijayalaya (feudatory of Pallavas)

  • Greatest rulers: Rajaraja – Rajendra I

  • Capital: Tanjaur

  • Built temples: Brihadeshwara temple (Shiva): 1010 AD – Rajaraja

  • Rajendra I

    • Gangaikondachola

    • Capital: Gangaikondacholapuram (near Kaveri mouth)

    • Naval expedition against Sri Vijaya empire (Malay peninsula)

  • Fought constantly with Chalukyas of Kalyani

  • Dravida style of architecture developed (garbhagriha – vimana – mandap)

  • Chalukyan style: Hoysalesvara temple (shiva)

  • Sculpture: Gomteshwara at Sravana Belgola

  • Tirumurai – aka fifth Veda are the collection of writings of Alvar and Nayanar saints

  • Age of Kamban – (late 11th- early 12th century) – golden period of Tamil Nadu

  • Kamban lived at court of Chola king. Wrote Ramayana.

  • Kannada: Pampa, Ponna, Ranna – three gems of Kannada poetry

  • Naniah – began telugu version of Mahabharata. Completed by Tikkanna.

  • Trade with west declined but with South-East Asia and China increased.

Feudalism Grew

Buddhism

  • Declined

  • Became indistinguishable from Hinduism

  • Because of rise of Mahayana Buddhism

  • Palas were patrons but after them it declined

Jainism

  • Chalukyas of Gujarat & Paramaras of Malwa patronised.

  • Dilwara temples built by Chalukyas

    • Use of marbles. Has 5 temples.

  • Ganga rulers of Karnataka

    • Gomteshwar statue built during this time

Bhakti Movement

  • Led by Nayanars and Alvar saints in the South

  • Originated in Tamil Nadu

  • Major saints: Ravidas, Surdas etc

Lingayat Movement

  • Aka Vir Shaiva movement

  • Founder: Basava and Channabasava

    • Lived at the court of Kalachuri kings of Karnatak

  • Worshippers of Shiva

  • Established after bitter disputes with Jains.

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