Political Conditions in India




Political Conditions in India:

Some of the royal dynasties of ancient period continued to rule during the mediaeval period while new dynasties arose. The Chola kingdom in South India had expanded into an empire during the mediaeval period. King Vijayalaya defeated the rulers like Pandyas Pallavas etc.; thus Chola empire expanded its boundaries. Making use of the opportunity during a war between Pandyas and Pallavas, Vijayalaya rose out of obscurity and captured Thanjavur. At this time there was a great struggle going on between the Pallavas and the Pandyas for the political supremacy of South India. In this disturbed state of affairs, Vijayalaya seems to have found a good opportunity to defeat the Pandyas, and make himself the ruler of Thanjavur and the surrounding Chola country. He also defeated the Pallavas. Cholas became so powerful that the Pallavas were also wiped out from the Thanjavur region at a later stage.

As North India reverted to small republics and small monarchical states ruled by Gupta rulers after the fall of the prior Gupta Empire, Harsha united the small republics from Punjab to central India, and their representatives crowned him king at an assembly in April 606 giving him the title of Maharaja. Harsha established an Empire that brought all of northern India under his control. The peace and prosperity that prevailed made his court a centre of cosmopolitanism, attracting scholars, artists and religious visitors from far and wide. The Chinese traveller Xuanzang visited the court of Harsha, and wrote a very favourable account of him, praising his justice and generosity.

After the decline of Harshavardhan’s empire many big and small kingdoms came into being in North India. There was constant struggle for power among these kingdoms. There was no power, who could have control over the rulers of these kingdoms. The Turkish invaders took advantage of this political instability of India in 13th century. During this period many petty Rulers existed such as Chauhans of Rajasthan, Pratiharas and Gadhwals (Rathod) of Kanauj, Chandellas of Bundelkhand, Parmars of Malwa, Kalachuris of Gorakhpur, Kalachuris of Tripuri (Madhya Pradesh), Chalukyas (Solanki) of Gujarat, Palas of Bengal etc. They did resist the invasions of the Turks individually but they did not unite for it.


An era ending at a particular date and the era beginning from the next is not what happens in reality. Some traditions of the earlier era continue to exist while new traditions are being formed. Accordingly the historic period was roughly divided into various periods, such as : Early, Mediaeval and Modern. It is difficult to draw a line between two eras as the contexts of the beginning and the end of two eras may differ from place to place and time to time.

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