Post Gupta Period Gupta Age History

Post Gupta Period Gupta Age History

Post Gupta Period, Numerous Foreign Invasions and disruptions caused by provincial governments led to the decline of Gupta Empire. Later, under the rule of Harshavardhana of Thaneswar, the capital was shifted from Pataliputra to Kamnauj. This chapter sheds light on the aftermath of fall of Gupta Empire in India.

Huna Invasions

o The Hunas were a wild and fierce nomadic people of central Asia. They over-ran the whole of Persia and Afghanistan and then in the middle of the 5th century A.D. they poured towards India in large numbers.

Huna Invasions

• The Hunas for the first time invaded India in about 478 A.D. when Kumaragupta was the ruler of India. The crown prince, Skandgupta, then gave them a crushing defeat and saved the honour and prestige of his dynasty.

• Toramana: A few yearS later (484 A.D.) when the Hunas conquered Persia they began to attack India with a greater force and their leader Toramana wrested large territories from the Gupta Empire including the Punjab, Rajputana, Sindh and Malwa.

Post Gupta Period Gupta Age

The loss of these portions, especially Malwa, was a great blow to the fortunes and prestige of the Guptas, “whose direct sway did not now extend much beyond Magadha and Northern Bengal”. Because of C this success against Guptas Toramana is said to have assumed the title of “Maharajadhiraja”. He died in about 511 A.D.

• Mihirakula: Toramana was succeeded by his son Mihirakula. He is regarded as the greatest Huna ruler in India. He made Sakla or modern Sialkot as his capital. He was a great tyrant who took great delight in acts of Brutality.

• He was very fond of animal fights and took great pleasure in throwing the elephants down from high hill tops.

• According to Hieun-Tsang Mihirakula, persecuted the peaceful Buddhist monks and mercilessly plundered, destroyed and burnt the Buddhist monasteries and Stupas.

• His cruelties assumed such a formidable form that the Indian rulers were forced to organize a confederacy against him. King Baladitya of Magadha and king Yashodharman of central India took leading part in organizing this confederacy. Mihirakula was defeated, taken prisoner and later on released. He then took shelter in Kashmir; where he was given a warm welcome by its ruler.

• But, he proved treacherous to his benefactor and usurped the throne after killing him.

• Then he attacked Gandhara and defeated its ruler. A large number of Buddhist Viharas and Stupas were looted and later on destroyed. Thousands of people were put to the sword on the banks of the river Indus.

• But such a cruel ruler was not destined to rule for a long time and died in about 540 A.D.

• With the death of Mihirakula, there ended the rule of the Hunas in India. Petty Hunas chiefs, however, continued to rule small principalities in the North West of India till the seventh century A.D. Gradually, they were converted to Hinduism and were thus permanently absorbed in it.

Effects of the Invasions

• The Hunas, though, ruled in India for a short time, and that too in the North-west of India and central India & yet they have left a deep impression on the history of India.

• It gave a severe blow to the tottering Gupta Empire and made it with the dust.

• The unity of the country was shattered and it was again divided into a states which were always quarrelling with one another and thereby making the confusion large number of more confounded.

• Hunas 0ccupation of India led to the development of despotism in India. Formerly the Indian rulers believed in the democratic principles but now despotism from their Hunas counter-parts.

• The Hunas entered into matrimonial alliance with the Indians, and as a result of these intermarriages, the racial composition of the Indian people was greatly affected and the number of castes increased many-folds.

• E. B. Havell some historians, like Havell, would suggest that the Hunas and their inter-marriages resulted in the origin of the Rajputs.

• The settlement of the Hunas in India affected adversely the Indian society. “They lowered the high ethical standards of Indo-Aryans and favored the growth of many vulgar superstitions.

• Those barbarians butchered a large number of artists and Scholars, burnt various literary works of great value and destroyed many big town and cities. They ruthlessly destroyed some of the unique specimens of art, architecture (including temples, Viharas, monasteries and Stupas) and literature.

• The destruction of great relics of art and burning of the valuable records of history by the Hunas proved very harmful as far as the knowledge of history is concerned.

Post Gupta Period,

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