Sunday, January 24, 2010

MAURYAN DYNASTY (from 321 to 185 B.C.E.)
KINGS
Stamp on Maurya ChandaguptaImage via Wikipedia

Stamp on Maurya ChandaguptaImage via Wikipedia
             http://www.freeindia.org/biographies/greatlkings/ashoka/ashoka.jpg
CHANDRAGUPTA MAURYA  ( ascended the throne 322BC)  :Identified with Sandrocottus; overthrew last of the Nandas- Dhanananda ; his capital: Pataliputra ; conquered: Guj , Kathiawar, some parts of Deccan ; 300B.C.-abdicted his throne , starved himself in 298BC at Sravanabelagola( Mysore ) ; succeeded by his son










BINDUSARA : maintained friendly ties with Hellenic west;
He requested Antiochus I (Seleucid King of Syria) to send the figs, wine nd sophist. Antiochus I sent figs, wine but not sophist nd replied greek sophist were not export
Deimachos- greek envoy at his court


ASOKA : succeeded in about 269 BC ; B4 he came to d throne, he was viceroy of Taxila & Ujjain ; known as Devanampiya & Piyadassi 
fought only one war – Kalinga (261 BC) he embarked on conquest by righteousness (Dhamma Vijaya )
won many victories by righteousness- 5 Hellenic Kings  - Antiochus II Theos of Syria, Ptolemy II Philadephus of Egypt, Antigonus Gonatas of Macedonia , Magas of Cyrene , Alexander of Epirus 
strongly  supported d doctrine of ahimsa , not a complete pacifist
despite d remorse at conquest of kalinga , he dint restore it to its original rulers; he inaugurated new class of officers “ Officers of  Righteousness” his personal region was Buddhism; was not metaphysician , never mentions nirvana but heaven 
The Last Mauryas
Brihadratha – was assassinated by his senapat Pushymitra ( Shunga dynasty)
ADMINISTRATION
A map of the Maurya Dynasty, showing major cii...Image via Wikipedia


Centralized  Administration : the kings was highest authority  , had unlimited power ;
Acc. to Kautilya : “ sovereignty is possible only with assistance
imp functionaries called Tirthas – 27 adhyakshas( superintendents)
Provincial Administration
empire was divided into no. of provinces, der was governor for each provinces
Kumar-mahamatras- prince of  royal blood as viceroy
Mahamatras- rest of the mahamatras
Asoka had four provinces
              Provinces                         Capital
  • Magadha                          ---Pataliputra
  • North-western                  ---Taxila
     Provinces
  • Western                            ---Ujjain
             Province
  • Southern                             ---Swarnagiri
            Province
Kalinga with its capital Tosali
Mahamatras were assisted by  yukta( tax collector),rajuka ( revenue officer) sthaniks( district officer)
Village- smallest unit nd officer known as Gramika 
Land revenues from rural areas
  • Bhaga: was levied at the rate of one- fourth to one –sixth
  • Pindikara- assessed on groups of villages and paid by husbandsmen
  • Hirayna – paid in cash
  • Bali- known from the Vedic times ,
  • Pranaya- was levy imposed by the state during emergency periods.
Justice And Punishment – the Arthashtra mentions two types of courts
  • Dharmasthiya- analogus with modern civil courts
  • Kantakasodhan-   analogus with modern criminal courts
Seven Penalties Were Imposed On Law-Breakers; Capital punishment was know and practiced ;penalties were based on Varna hierarchy 
Espionage: worked under Mahamatyapasurpa
2 types of spies- santha & sanchara
Male spies known as santi, tishna, sarad  while female spies were called vrishali, bhikshuki, parivarjaki
SOCIETY
caste system had become very rigid in Asoka’s reign – caste system had become somewhat loose
women position they were respected but they  had to face discrimination; Purdah system was not known but practiced
polygamy – was prevalent in royal family
slaves were employed in agriculture
RELIGION
cover of Notes on Dhamma (1960-1965) by Nanavi...
A black and white illustration of the dharmacakra.
Hinduism , Jainism & Buddhism were popular religion , rivalry existed between dem yajnas were performed but animal sacrifices had lost much of importance , image worship still not in vogue
Asoka’s Dhamma
personal religion was Buddhism , it is dhamma that had made Asoka of the greatest ruler of Indian history
ECONOMICS CONDITIONhttp://www.indiabuzzing.com/wp-content/uploads/maur.jpg
economy was agrarian ; Indian silk & COTTAN WERE IN MUCH DEMAND IN WESTERN COUNTRIES  existence of srenis( guilds)
coins of different metals
nishka- gold
purana- silver
karshapana- copper
heavy taxation

The royal highway betn Taxila & Pataliputra was the ancestor of the grand trunk road of 2day.
ART &ARCHITECTURE
Mauryan building in the Barabar Mounts. Grotto...
Chandragupta Maurya built his capital & palace apparently of wood.
introduced stone masonry
Palace @ Kumahar near Patna –  80 pillared hall
  Asoka’s reign the art of sculpture & rock cutting attained great heights.
four rock-cut sanctuaries on the Barabar hills nd three on Nagarjuni  hills near Gaya(  Bihar) 
Pillar at Sarnath.
It was in the Mauryan times that burnt bricks first used in north- eastern India.   
LITERATURE                                                                     http://mumbai.burrp.com/images/evt/j/i/jixtyf1g_fhq_1_300.jpg                                                                        
Literature---Chandragupta & bindusara favored   Sanskrit & & BRAHMANICAL learning Asokan  Inscription – composed mainly in Prakrit language & in brahmi script also used Kharoshthi  and Greek scripts
kautilya’s Arthashastra
Bhadrabahu’s Kalpasutra
Buddhist  scripture – Katha Vathu 




The Shungas  :
KING                                                     http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_SIbeWkfuYJ4/SVY9sqc8E3I/AAAAAAAABuI/eaqT7Rudosk/s400/345e477580027f.gif
Pushyamitra: founder , referred as senapati, Agnimitra: son of Pushyamitra & viceroy of Vidisa ;  was instrumental in suppressing the revolt of Vidarbha under Yajnasena
Vasumitra: grandson of  Pushyamitra, repulsed a major attack of Demetrius 
ADMINISTRATION
not  a closely-knit centralized rule;  was more of federal one
RELIGION
brahmanical influence revived , the practice of Vedic sacrifice  was popularized , Pushyamitra is said to have performed two ashvamedha yajnas ;
ART & ARCHITECTUREhttp://www.cpcs.umb.edu/~Peter/art/yakshi_chandra.bharhut_stupa.jpgBharhut Stupa
Bharhut stupa being built , besides the fine railings of the Sanchi stupa (despite Buddhist persecution)
LITERATURE                                                                     http://images.exoticindiaart.com/books/the_mahabhasya_of_patanjali__with_annotations_ahnikas_ide104.jpg http://pustak.org/bs/booksimage/169malavika.jpg                    
Mahabhashya- Patanjali  ( was born at Gonanda in this period) Malavikagnimitra-  Kalidasa ( based on life of Agnimitra)




THE KANVAS:  founder of dynasty- Vasudeva Kanva comprised four kings & ruled for 45 years. Its decline was due to the expansion of Satavahana power in the Deccan and the foreign invasions in the north.


THE CHETIS OF KALINGA : SOURCE OF INFORMATION: Hathigumpha inscription ( near Bhubaneswar, Orissa)


Kharavela

http://www.freeindia.org/biographies/kharavela/kharvela.jpg 
- 3rd king of dynasty ,said to have defied the Satavahana ruler Satakarni , follower of Jainism  nd he constructed the caves in Udaigiri


THE SATAVAHANAS :  referred to as the ANDHRAS  in the puranas; came into prominence in the Deccan after ending  the rule of shungas nd kanvas .SIMUKA : founder of dynasty
King
SIMUKA : founder of dynasty
 http://www.indohistory.com/images/ancient/satavahana_empire.jpg
HALA: famous king SRI SATAKARNI :ruled for 18 yrs, identified with the  Satakarni the Nanaghat  inscription ( called as Lord of Deccan &^ husband of Naganika) ; performed two horse sacrifice ; capital was at Pratisthan( Paithan- Maharashtra)
GUATIMIPUTRA  SATAKARNI: saved Deccan from Shaka onslaught s;  managed to salvage whatever damage was done by Nahapana( Shaka King) , also overthrew Parthian    & Greeks  ; control over Malwa, Kathiawar, Gujarat , Berar
VASHISHTHIPUTRA PULAMAYI : son of  GUATIMIPUTRA  SATAKARNI, first satavahana ruler to establish   his authority in Andhra country
VASHISHTHIPUTRA  SATAKARNI: married to the daughter of Rudradaman i  but this didn’t prevent him from twice defeating satavahanas
YAJNASRI SATAKARNI:  recovered north-Konkan and Malwa from the Shakas, lover of navigation & trade, his coins have been found in ANDHRA, Maharashtra. Gujarat & Madhya Pradesh , ship on his coins
ADMINISTRATION
monarchy was hereditary, content simple title of Rajan , empire was divided into janapadas & aharas; Gama – division below ahara ; taxes – neither burdensome nor many
sources of income- royal domain, salt monopoly, taxes on land & income from court fees
Satavahanas acted as link between north nd south India ( in trade & exchange of ideas )
SOCIETY
Gautamiputra Satakarni – re-established the four –fold Varna  system Absorption Of Shakas in Hindu society as Kshatriyas
In social hierarchy, there were at least four classes – mahabhojas. Maharathis and mahasenapatis : cream of society
amatyas, mahamatras, bhandagarikas & non-officials – 2nd class
vaidya, lakhaka, suvarnakara- 3rd class
malakara, vardhaki, dasaka- 4th class
customary to their king to be named after his mother , the women enjoyed a good deal of importance, family was patriarchal coz succession to the throne passed to the male member
RELIGION
worshipped a large number of Vaishnava gods such as Krishna, Vasudeva & others  , Vedic sacrifice were performed & Brahmans were paid , king also promoted Buddhism , Mahayana Buddhism commanded considerable following , Buddhism flourished in Nasik & Junnar areas in the western Deccan 
ECONOMICS CONDITION
In Karimnagar district a blacksmith’s shop has been discovered ; gold may have been used as bullion . dint issue gold coins but coins of lead ,potin, copper and bronze money kingdom was famous for production of rice and cotton
ART & ARCHITECTURE       
http://www.ancientindia.co.uk/buddha/explore/images/stupa_sm.gif                                                    Amravati Stupa                                                                    http://www.buddhist-tourism.com/gifs/nagarjunakonda.jpg                                         Nagarjunakonda                                                                                     
many Buddhist chaityas nd vihars were cut out of the solid rock in the north –western Deccan , most famous chaitya – Karle( 1st cen. BC) rock –cut architecture found in Andhra
Amravati stupa – began in about 200 BC but completed in 2nd century AD
Nagarjunakonda- prospered most in the 2nd-3rd centuries under the patronage of the Ikshvakus
LITERATURE
official language –  Prakrit all inscription were written in Prakrit & in brahmi script 
prakrit text called Gathasapati is attributed to a Satavahana king Hala
Other rlted person/place                                                         http://questgarden.com/33/98/8/061015163841/images/pliny.jpg                                                                       
Pliny                                                  


Gupta Dynasty
KINGS                                     http://www.uncp.edu/home/rwb/GUPTA.GIF
Sri Gupta & Ghatatkacha – first two rulers of dynasty Chandra Gupta: son of Ghatatkacha , assumed the title of Maharajadhiraja  strengthened his position by matrimonial alliance with Lichchavis(kshratiyas) , the lichchavis princess Kumaradevi must have brought to the Guptas
the gupta era started in AD 320
Samudra GUPta:  has been called Indian Napolean by V.A.Smith
prayag prasaTI- EULOGIC INSCRIPTION composed by his minister and court poet  Harisena , on old Asokan pillar( @ Allahabad ) ; HArisena described him as  the hero of hundred battle , some coins of samdrugupta represent him as playing on the vina, performed Ashvamedha sacrifice , follower of brahmanical learning..he granted permission to the Buddhist king of Ceylon-Meghaverman to build monastery @ Bodh Gaya ;assumed the title of Vikramankaand Kaviraja
Chandra Gupta II: in the play Devichandrapuptam of Visakhadatta…Rama Gupta is elder brother of Chandra Gupta II however Gupta  records do not refer to Rama Gupta...married with the Nga princess Kubernaga and allowed his daughter Prabhavati to marry with Rudrasena II,a Vakataka King …invaded the  shaka  Kingdom of Gujrat  &Khatiawar , killed the Shaka chief Rudrasimha III …Ujjain - @nd capital of Guptas …adopted the title of Vikaramaditya …adorned by many scholars ….Kalidasa Amarsimha…Chinese Pilgrim   - FA-Hsien(399-414) visited india …Mehrauli iron pillar inscription near Qutab Minar ,Delhi ,enumerates the exploits of Chandra gupta II
Kumaragupta
Chandragupta II was succeeded by his son Kumaragupta I. Known as the Mahendraditya, he ruled until 455. Towards the end of his reign a tribe in the Narmada valley, the Pushyamitras, rose in power to threaten the empire.
Skandagupta: is generally considered the last of the great rulers. He defeated the Pushyamitra threat, but then was faced with invading Hephthalites or "White Huns", known in India as the Huna, from the northwest. He repulsed a Huna attack c. 455, But the expense of the wars drained the empire's resources and contributed to its decline. Skandagupta died in 467 and was succeeded by his son Narasimhagupta Baladitya
Administration
golden age of ancient India .. the country was divided into into several Bhuktis(provinces) …further divided into Visyas(districts) adopted  titles like Parambhattaraka, Paramdaivata, Chakravati,Parmeshwar etc.
Kumaraamtyas- most imp officials
Economy                                                                                     http://www.crystalinks.com/guptacoins.jpg
issued the largest no. of gold coins …called dinars. Items of import included Chinese silk in greater quantity & ivory from Ethiopia …Horses too imported from Arabia, Bactria & Iran...cities like Banaras, Thaneshwar & Mathura came into prominence
society and Religion                                                                                                                             

Acc to Naradasmriti( 5th cen) – Brahmanas became richer because oif land grants position of Shudras- improved slightly , permitted to listen to the epics & Puranas , to worship new god called Krishna , now considered as agriculturists rather than slaves  but untouchables increased in numbers (chandalas)
women position declined ..disallowed formal education & inheritance of property , widow marriage was disallowed …the fisrt reference to sati appears in Gupta Times in AD 510 at Eran…
Buddhism- no longer received Royal patronage …Bhagavatism or Vaishnavism overshadowed Mahayana Buddhism
Vishnu became a member of  trinity of Goods
shakti cult   gave rise to consorts to gods, and goddess like Lakshmi , Paravati , Durga ..by the fourth century AD Bhagavad-Gita was finally  complied
Art & Crafts                                                                                          http://mahamakuta.inet.co.th/EN%20101/Jataka1.jpg            
brick temples –  Bhitargaon(Kanpur), Bhatari(Ghazipur), Deogarh(Jhansi) Nalanda( Buddhist University ) –  was set up in 5th century
two important styles – Nagara & Dravida
stupas : Mirpur Khas(sind), Dhamekh at Sarnath
rock-cut architecture- chaitya nd viharas..mostly found in Ajanta, Ellora & Bagh
sculpture -   2 metre high bronze image of the Buddha(Sultanganj, near Bhagalpur)
hindu  sculpture- Deogarh temple( mythological themes of Rama, Vishnu And Narayana)
Art of Painting- high degree of proficiency…narrative scenes mostaly portray Jataka stories
Ajanta : portray panorama the whole human and natural drama
literature                                                                                      http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41TQ4zSNIeL._SL500_AA246_PIkin2,BottomRight,8,34_AA280_SH20_OU01_.jpg
Sanskrit- official language of gupta empire …Ramayana and Mahabharata were complied in this period.
science and technology                                                              http://www.indianetzone.com/photos_gallery/4/aryabhatta_10826.jpg                                                                   
Indian notational system –called Arbic by the English , called Hindsa by the Arabs themselves Aryabhatta- calculated vale  22/7& length of solar year , theorized upon the Earth’s rotation on its axis
Varahamitra- astronomer: moon rotated the earth which rotates around the sun
Vagabhatta – renowned physician





  SMALL KINGDOMS   IN NORTH                                                                                                                       
Maitrakas  of Valabhi
family belonged to the Maitraka clan in Saurashtra founder:Bhatarka; Capital: Valabhi
Dhruvasena II married to the Daughter of Harsh of Kanauj
during the time of Dhruvasena IV that the celebrated Sanskrit Epic Bhattikavyam or Ravanavadham was composed by Bhatti
overthrown by the Arabs of Sind 
Maukharis of Gayas
source of information: Barabar & Nagarjuni  inscription first ruler of branch – Yajnavarnma
Maukharis of Kanauj
probably were Kshatriyas, isanavarman- claimed victory over Andhras, Sulikas of Orissa & the Gaudas long dual between Maukharies & the later Guptas 
The Later Guptas
Kumara Gupta: 1st independent ruler of Dynasty Adityasena- took title of Parama-Bhagavata, got a temple of Vishnu constructed
Aspad inscription from Gaya- gives name of eight late-gupta kings
Gaudas of Bengal
greaset ruler of dynasty- Sasanka…fought against the rulers of Thaneshwar nd Kanuaj …entered into alliance of Maukhari ruler


small kingdoms of Deccan
the Vakatakas                                                                            http://www.worldhistory.timemaps.com/images/AD500/Vakatakas.jpg
belonged to Bundelkhand ; founder: Vindyasakti Pravarasena ( son of  Vindyasakti)  ruled over territories extending from Bundelkhand to Andhara Pradesh
Prithvisena: contemporary of the Great Gupta Emperor Samudragupta
Rudrasena II: married to Prabhavati (daughter of Chandragupta  II)
Harisena – belonged to minor branch of Vakataka
Vakataka power was destroyed by the kalachuries & THE Kadambas
Ajanta cave fresco paintaings were excavated during their rule.
Ikshvakus
after fall of Satavahanas ,there arose the kingdom , they built monument at Nagarjunakonda & Dharanikonda. rule ended with their conquest by the Pallavas
Chalukyas-                                 


Badami Chalukya Empire MapImage via Wikipedia
Chalukyas of Vatapi(Badami)                                                                                                                                                                               
Jayasingha & Ranaraja- !st two ruler Pulakesin I(535-566) ; founded the fort of Vatapi ( Bijapur, Karnataka)
Pulakesin II(611-642): known as Satyasraya, contemporary of Harshvardhana…victory over Harsha in 620.
established his influence over the whole of Deccan…defeated the Pallava king, Mahendra Varman I ….made himself master of 3 kindoms – Maharashtra, Konkan  and Karnata
killed by Narasimhavarman( Pallava king) in 642
Vikaramaditya (655-6810):son of Pulekesin II , succeeded in recovering his paternal dominions from grip of the Pallavas.
Vikaramaditya II(733-746): defeated the The Pallava
kirtivarman- II (733- 757): lost Maharashtra to Dantidurga( Rashtrakuta)     
Eastern Chalukyas of Vengi
founded by  Kubja-Vishnu-Vardhana (Pulakesin II’s brother )…transferred his capital from Pishtapura to the ancient city of Vengi(Andhra)….hostilities between of the Rashtrakutas and Chalukyas of Vengi  were strong Vijayaaditya III(848-892) : credited with the victories  over the Pallavas, the Pandyas and the Rashtrakutas
they became the allies of the Cholas- Kulottunga chola annexed the empire 





Western Chalukyas of Kalyani
Western Chalukya Empire MapImage via Wikipedia

descent from the main line of  Chalukyas  of Vatapi…re-established by Taila in 973, when he defeated the last Rashtrakuta ruler  Amoghvarsha IV Somesvara I(1043-1068) : involved in a protracted war with Cholas 7 was finally defeated by Chola ruler, Virarajendra in the battle of kudal 
Somesvara II(1068-1076): a tyrannical ruler –was overthrown by his brother Vikramaditya II Tribhuvanamalla(1076-1126): the hero of Bilhana’s Vikramaaditya Charita…he introduced Chalukya-Vikrama Era (1076 AD)
Jagadekamalla II- with the death of him Challukyan power was eclipsed…nd the thorne was usurped by the Kalachuri minister – Vijjala/Vijjana….
Achievements of Chalukyas
* en: Padmapani from Ajanta * ru: Бодхисаттва ...Image via Wikipedia

much of the paintings & sculptures of Ajanta & Ellora caves were completed during this region …style of temple –vesara( admixture of the Dravida & Nagara) : famous temple- Virupaksha temple (Pattadakal, near Badami) , the Vishnu temple of Badami, the Siva temple of Maguti, the Kashi Visveswara temple of Lakhundi Sanskrit writer : Bilhana- Vikramaaditya Charita and Chaurapanchasika(poet)
Vijnanesvara- Mitaksara


Rashtrakutas




The Palas of Bengal in comparison with other c...Image via Wikipedia



Dantidurga: founder ….succeeded by his uncle Krishna(758-722)….succeeded by his son Govinda(773-780)…was deposed by his younger brother Dhruva Nirupama- regarded as peak of rashtrakuta…territories ultimately came to his son, Govinda III Jagattunga(793-814)…succeeded by son Sarva, known as Amoghvarsha I(814-878)…said to hav built the city of Manyakheta as his capital….last great ruler of the dynasty was Krishna  III(939-967)- who occupied Kanchi and Tanjore & defeated a chola army at the battle of Takkolam(949)  
Achievements of Rashtrakutas
Great Kailasa From Above

Krishna I –built the  rock-cut Kailasa temple @Ellora(latter half  of the 8 cen AD), constructed in Dravidyan style of the Chalukyas …. Amoghvarsha said to have written the earliest book of poems in Kannada


Gangas
either belonged to the line of Ishvakus or associated with the river Ganga…kingdom included the greater part of Mysore or with Kanvas…founded by Didiga(konganivarman) & Madhava(in 4th cen AD)…early capital was Kuluvala but was trf to Talkad by Harivarma…Durvinita..had to conflict with the Chalukyas of Vengi and Dhruva Nirupama devotees  of Jainism- it was during reign of Rajamala IV(977-985) that his minister & general , CHamundaraya, erected the celebrated imge of Gomateshvara at Sravanabelagola(983)
Yadavas
descendents of the Yadu race to which belonged  Mahabharata hero Krishna Bhillama V- made Devgiri his capital, but was defeated by Vira Ballala I Hoysala @ battle of Lakhundi
Jaitrapala I1191-1210) – killed the Rudradeva ( Kakatiya ruler )….Singhana(`1210-1247)- most energetic ruler
during the reign of Mahadeva & Ramachandra- greater Brahman minister, Hemadri- renowned for his Hindu Dharmashtra  flourished , his most imp work – Chaturvarga-Chinatamani
during the reign
during the reign of Ramachandra- army led by Ala-ud-din Khalji then Governor of Kara…invaded Devagiri (1294)
Harapala was  killed  at the  behest of Sultan Mubarak
Kakatiyas
first feudatories of the Later Chalukyas ….they rose to power in Telegana… seat of power shifted from Anmakonda to Telengana… Prolaraja- warfare against the western Chalukyas
Ganapati – successfully  overcame the Cholas, Kalingas, Yadavas …succeeded by his daughter, Rudramba in 1261….assumed the male title of Rudradeva Maharaja…succeeded by  her grandson, Prataparudradeva- immortalized by Vaidyanatha’s  Prata- Parudriya (poetics work)….had to submit b4 d muslim invader, Malik Kafur… 
Silaharas
notable monarch Bhoja(1175-1210): aftr whom d kingdom was conquered by Singhana( Yadava Ruler)
Kadambas
founder- Mayurasarman….kakusthavarman- under whom influence grew considerably….Ravivarman…his capital at Halsi
Hoysalas                                                     http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5e/Hoysala_Empire_extent.svg/180px-Hoysala_Empire_extent.svg.png

Founder- a kshatriya named Sala…Bittiga Vishnuvardhana(1110-1140)….transferred  his capital from Velapura to Dwarasamdudra( Halebid) & made himself independent of Chalukyan Suzerain Vikaramaditya VI… Vira-Ballala I(1172-1215): first to assume the title of Maharajadhiraja …..  Vira-Ballala III- last ruler …kingdom was ravaged by Malik Kafur
hoysalas were great  temple builders….Kesava temple @ Belur( Hasan district), dedicted to Vishnu
Hoysaleswara temple @ Helabid ,  dedicted to Siva


THE THREE EARLY Kingdoms
The Pandyas  









 The Cholas 










The Chera  


first mentioned by Megasthense…  kingdom was celebrated for pearls & was ruled by woman ….capital was Madurai…the kingdom profited with the trade with  the Roman empire & sent embassies to the Roman emperor, Augustus..Brahmans enjoyed considerable influence  and Pandyan king performed Vedic sacrifices
chief centre of power lay at  Uraiyur( famous for cotton trade )…  chola king Elara conquered Sri Lanka ( middle of 2nd Century )  nd ruled over it for about 50yrs …were expelled by the Sinhalese national hero, king Dutugamunu(161-137 BC)….Karikala , chola king- who founded Puhar( Kaveripattanam)- chola capital … last remnants of Chola power were wiped out by the attacks of the Pallavas
flourishing trade with Romans… Romans had set up 2 regiments at  Muziris (modern Cranganore )  in the Cgera country …they hav built a temple of Augustus ….thhe greatest Chera king : Senguttuvan, the Red / Good Chera, he is credited with having invaded the North nd crossed the Ganga… 
Economic country
mostly self-sufficing….single source of revenue land tax called Karai… war booty was known as Irai …they had volumionious trade with the Greek /Hellenistic kingdom, Egypt & Arabia, the Malay archipelago & China…
Polity
hereditary monarchy…entire kingdom was called mandalam , below it was nadu..the ur was town….puhar was harbor area…Pattanam…coastal town ..village was fundamental unit of administration & looked aftr by7 manrums(panchayats)…
Society
Brahmans first appear in the South in the Sangam age…captains of the army were  invested with the title of enadi ruling class was called  arasar…members of lowest class: Kadaisiyar…agriculturist labourers: pariyars..referrence of sati 
Religion
Kings were performed Vedic sacrifices….MURUGAN- god worshipped by the people…
The Imperial Cholas
KINGS
founder: Vijayalaya( first feudatory of the Pallavas)…captured Tanjore(in 850) Aditya I Chola : wiped out the Pallavas of Kanchi…
Parantaka(907-955)….captured Madurai  but was defeated by the Rashtrakuta ruler, Krishna III( battle of Takkolam) lost Tondaimandalam
Sundara-Chola: overcame Rashtrakuta & wrested  Tondaimandalam 4m him
Rajaraja (985- 1014): destroyed the Chera navy @ Thiruvandapuram nd attacted Quilon..captured the Pandyan Capital Madurai…also annexed the northern part of Sri Lanka…conquest of Maldive Islands
Rajendra I (1014-1044): annexed the rest of Sri Lanka which remained under Chola rule for next 50 yrs..sent an expedition against  Bengal…defeated the Pala Kin g , Mahipala of Bengal …he assumed the title Gangaikonda ( in --commemoration of his victories in the Gangetic delta)  n& founded the capital –Gangaikonda Cholapuram…naval expedition against revived Sri Vijaya( Sumatra empire) ..conquest of Kadaram/ kedah 
Kulottunga I : remained undiminished under his rule except loss of Ceylon
Kulottunga III (1178-1210): : was last great Chola Monarch….involved in the Pandyan wars of succession ..sacked Madurai( pandyan capital)
Administration
Hereditary monarchy…  Rajaraja I ; initiated the system of Prefacing the stone inscription of the reign Velams: the palace servants of the Chola were organized into velams and settled in separate quarters in the capitals
udankutaam: the chola monarch had immediate attendants, a group of ministers
olai: there were corresponding officers in the Chalukyan court
The officials tended to form a separate class in society, organized in two ranks, an upper perundanam nd a lower sirudanam…
jivitas: the officials were often remunerated by assignments of land suited to their station
the empire was divided into convenient areas …the division in ascending order being Vlanadu/mandalam, nadu and Kurram
local self –government
ur: assembly of common village , all members of the village could become the member of ur sabha: exclusively Brahman assembly of the brahmadeya villages  ; criteria to secure the membership of Sabha: ownership of more than Fourth veli( abt an acre nd half) , residence in house built on one’s own land , age between 35 nd 70, knowledge of vedic literature
variyam system : local administration were entrusted to committees of 6 to 12 members ….memebers called Variyapperumakkal
Economy:
self – sufficing…overseas trade eas the strength of the chola merchants Persia & Arabia- destinations of those trading with the west… 
Society
the centre of social nd economic life at the time…particularly in the rural areas was the temple….devadasis were commomnly found Brahmans maintained a distinctness….slavery was comman……society was divided into Brahmans & non- Brahmans … temple continued to be the centre of formal education in Sanskrit …
oral instruction , much simpler than the Sanskrit learning of colleges , was imparted through the medium of the Saivite nd Vaishnavite hymns composed by the Tamils saints….
Literature
Kamban’s version of Ramayana ( in tami)… Kuttan, Jayangondur, Kalladanar…
Religion
Sanskrit remained the language of hindu theology nd of the Brahmans…buddhism practically disappeared by the end of the period …Buddha being commonly accepted as an incarnatyion of Vishnu Jainism: survived with a following in Mysore.
variety of extreme sects: such as the tantric nd shakti cult 
Kalamukha sect: ate food out of human skull, were generally seen carrying a pot of wine and a club
Saivism- produced other sects at this time….Lingayat/ Virasaiva sect : founded by Basavaraja in 12th century, questioned the authority of the Vedas, worshipped Siva in form of Lingam(phallic emblem)..nd encouraged late post-puberty marriage and widow-remarriage…
Art and Architecture
http://static.royalacademy.org.uk/images/width370/01shiva-571.jpg
The masterpiece of chola sculpture is the famous Nataraja (the dancing Siva) bronze image of Chidambaram.
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