Chapter

Harsha and His Times

R.S. Sharma

in India’s Ancient Past

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780195687859
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080366 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195687859.003.0027
Harsha and His Times

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The ruler who extended his authority over all the other feudatories was Harshavardhana. He made Kanauj his seat of power, and from there he extended his authority in all directions. The early history of his reign is reconstructed from a study by Banabhatta. He is also called the last great Hindu emperor of India. His administration had become feudal and decentralized. Law and order was not well maintained in his empire. The reign of Harsha is historically important because of the visit of the Chinese pilgrim Hsuan Tsang. Nalanda was the most famous centre of Buddhism, which maintained a great Buddhist university meant for Buddhist monks. Nalanda had a huge monastic establishment during the reign of Harshavardhana. Harsha followed a tolerant religious policy. He is remembered not only for his patronage and learning but also for the authorship of three plays: Priyadarshika, Ratnavali, and Nagananda.

Keywords: Harsha; Banabhatta; Nalanda; Hsuan Tsang; Buddhism; Priyadarshika; Ratnavali; Nagananda

Chapter.  2149 words. 

Subjects: Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)

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