Chapter- 10 New Empires and Kingdoms

Prashastis and what they tell us

  • This is a special kind of record.
  • Prashasti is a Sanskrit word
  • Prashasti means praise.
  • Samudragupta is known as a Sanskrit poem written by his court poet Harishena about 1700 years ago.
  • Prayag, Ujjain, and Patiliputra were important centers of Gupta rule.


  • Most of the prashastis tell a lot about the ancestors of the rulers.
  • Prashasti also tells about Samudragupta’s great-grandfather, Pitamah i.e. great-grandfather, grandfather, father, and mother.

Harshavardhana and The Harshcharita

  • Harshavardhana was the king about 1400 ago, about which his court poet Ban Bhatt has told in his biography Harshacharita.
  • Information about Harshavardhana comes from Harshacharitra, written in Sanskrit by his court poet Banabhatta.
  • The Chinese pilgrim stayed at the court for a long time.
  • Harshavardhana became the king after the death of his father and elder brother.
  • When Harshavardhana tried to move the Narmada river to the Deccan, the Chalukya king Pukeshin II stopped it.

The Pallavas Chalukyas and Pulakeshin’s Prashasti

  • The Pallavas and Chalukyas were the greatest rulers of the south during this period. The capital of the Pallavas extended from around Kanchipuram to the delta of the river Kaveri.
  • The kingdom of Chalukyas was situated between Kaveri and Tungabhadra and their capital was Aihole.
  • Pulakeshin II was the greatest Chalukya king.


The king kept a well-organized army consisting of elephants, mounted chariots, and foot soldiers, along with soldiers.

Assemblies in the Southern Kingdoms

  • Many local assemblies have been discussed in the inscriptions of the Pallavas.
  • The organization of Brahmin landowners was called Sabha.
  • In the areas where the landowners were not Brahmins, there was talk of the existence of a village assembly called Ur.
  • Nazram was the name of a group of merchants.

Common People of that time

  • We get some glimpses of the life of the masses through plays and some other sources.
  • Kalidas depicted the royal court in his plays.
  • It depicts a king and a brahmin talking.
  • Kalidasa’s most famous play Abhigyan Sakuntalam is the love story of a king named Dushyanta and a young woman named Shakuntala.

Let’s Recall

Question 1:- What changes took place in the military organization in this era?
:- The king used to keep a well-organized army in which elephants, and chariots. There were cavalry and foot soldiers. He also had commanders who used to give military aid to the king when needed. They were not given any regular salary. They were given land donations. They used to collect taxes from the given land from which they looked after the army and the horses. The generals were called feudatories.

Question:- Will the common people understand after reading the prashasti?
: – By reading the Prashasti, the common people would hardly understand because they used to be in Sanskrit. Sanskrit was not the language of the common people. Some people were educated, so it was not possible for everyone to read and understand the praises.

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