The Emergence of Vardhan Dynasty

The Emergence of Vardhan Dynasty
Vardhan Dynasty

According to Harshacharit, the founder of Vardhana dynasty was Pushyabhuti. He was a devotee of Shiva and founded a new Rajkula with the capital at Srikanth. This dynasty is said to be of Vaishya caste. Manjushrimulakalya Hieun Tsang’s travel details also confirm her Vaishya. According to Baan, the capital of Harsha’s ancestral kingdom was Sthanvishwar (Thaneshwar). It was located on the banks of river Saraswati in Srikanth district. This area can be equated with present day Haryana.

The early rulers of the Pushyabhuti dynasty were Naravardhan, Rajyavardhana I, Adityavardhana and Rajyavardhana II in Harsha’s Banskheda and Madhuvan inscriptions. The political status of the first three rulers of this dynasty was not strong, they were called Maharajas. It is also possible that they may have been subordinate to the Guptas, Hunas or Maukharis. The title of Naravardhana and Rajyavardhana I was Maharaj but this title was not indicative of absolute sovereignty at that time. Prabhakar Vardhan was first called Maharajadhiraj.

Adityavardhana became the ruler after Rajyavardhana. He married Mahasengupta, sister of the later Gupta ruler Mahasengupta. After establishing this relationship with the later Guptas, there must have been a change in the political status of Pushyabhutas.

Prabhakarvardhan can be considered the first influential ruler of this clan. It was the first ruler to hold the title Parambhattaraka Maharajadhiraja. He is described in Harsha’s Bansakhara inscription as a ruler whose fame reached beyond the four seas, who had conquered other rulers by his valor or policy. It is mentioned in the Harshacharit that its coronation. It is clear that he was a sovereign ruler.

It is undoubtedly that Prabhakarvardhan was the powerful ruler of northern India. His wife’s name was Yashomati.

As soon as Harsha became the ruler, the king of Assam, Bhaskar Varma sent his messenger Hasweg to Harsha with many gifts to befriend him. Bhaskar Varma was adept at forging friendship with Harsha.

These friendships were for mutual benefit as they were both enemies of Gowdadhipati Shashank. The mutual unity between the two was hostile to Shashank. It is mentioned in Harshacharit that Harsha sent his commander Bhandi to defeat King Shashank of Gaur as soon as he became the ruler. The question arises as to what was the result of the campaign against Shashank, a partial indication of this is from the biography of Hieun Tsang. It is said that he (Harsh) soon retaliated by killing his brother and made himself the suzerain of India. The biography of Hieun Tsang also mentions Harsha’s invasion of the country of Kongad. There is no clear information about its results. Harsha wanted to avenge his brother’s murder with Shashank, but Harsha did not get success till 619 AD. It is clear from Ganjam’s article that even by this time, Shashank was ruling with full splendor. It is said in the inscription- Maharajadhiraja Shri Shashank State Government. It is important to be called the ruler of the feudal lords and the Maharajadhiraja. This article is from Mahasamant Madhavraj II and there is a discussion of village donation in it. Similarly, there is a stone named Shashank at a place called Rohtasgarh in Southern Magadh, in which Shashank is called Mahasamant. It is noteworthy that in the Harshacharit, Gaur Naresh has been described as Gaudadhipati, while Heinsang has called him the ruler of Karnasuvarna. According to Hieun Tsang’s travelogue, Shashank had power as Maharajadhiraja until 637 AD. It appears that the stone of Rohtasgarh (in which Shashank was described as Mahasamant) precedes the ascension of Harsha i.e. when Shashank was probably the feudatory of the Maukharis (Kannauj ruler) and he became independent when the power of the Maukharis was weakened. On becoming independent, the whole of Bengal would have been under Shashank’s authority, as well as the Ganjam region of Orissa was also a part of his state.

It is worth remembering here that Hiuen Tsang mentions the rulers of those regions over which Harsha did not dominate. At the time of his visit to Eastern India, Hiuen Tsang did not mention the ruler of the kingdom of Karnasuvarna (Samat-Dvak and Pundravardhana Bhukti). This indirectly indicates that Harsha had acquired the above territories by his visit to East India (of Hannsang) as the first Karnasuvarna kingdom ruler Baan described Gowadhipati (Shashank). Thus it can be said that till 637 AD the Bengal territories were under the jurisdiction of Harsha. In other words, Harsha did not get immediate success in sending the army with Bhandi as the Ganjam article informs that Shashank’s power over Orissa region was maintained by 619-20 AD and he was revered as Maharajadhiraja. Probably after the death of Shashak, Harsha would have captured Bengal and Orissa after defeating his successors. Basak’s belief is that there was also a second war with Shashak and must have taken away all the territories from Shashank’s successors and gave them to Bhaskar Varma. As a result of the first campaign of Bhandi, Shashank would have returned from Kannauj or forced to return to Bhandi but his power could not be abolished till 619 AD. This fact is also confirmed by Arya Manjushrimulakalp. It has a description that a king named Hakakhya (first word ‘H’ Namdhari Raja) advanced towards the former territory of India and reached Pundanagar (Pundravardhana) and defeated Soumakhya (‘Sh’ Namdhari Raja) and defeated him in his kingdom. Forced to remain confined and then returned to the Hakakhya king. This resonates that Harsha could not completely eradicate Shashank. In this way, the proposed campaign of 606 AD did not produce any immediate results. Therefore, Hieun Tsang’s statement that Sheeladitya soon took revenge for his brother’s murder and made himself the suzerain of India.

Pulakeshin II had authority over a wide area extending to the Narmada and Pulakeshin’s influence over the states of Lat (Saurashtra), Gurjar (Gujarat). In order to increase the influence on the western region, Harsha attacked Dhruvasen of Malwa (Valabhi), which can be called the first phase of the campaign against Pulakeshin. It is known from the naval donation of Gujjar Naresh Dadda of 706 AD that it emerged from the defeat of Harshadeva by sacrificing (giving refuge) to the King. The canopy of fame was continuously spread on the Gurjara king Dad. (Shree Harsha Devabhibhoto Shree Vallabhipati Paritrano Pajat: illusiondabhram Vibhramayasho Vitan: Shree Daddah) It can be easily inferred that the King of Dhruvas Dhruvasen was defeated and went to Dad’s asylum. After this victory, Harsha used diplomacy to join Dhruvsen in his favor and married his daughter to her and made the enemy a friend. Nihar Ranjan Rai’s view in this regard is that Harsha was probably inspired by a political motive that had an impact on both the northern and southern emperors. This was the question of the Narmada frontier which arose in the time of the Gupta emperors. He tried to resolve by conquest or marital relations. The same question arose before Harsh.

Dadda’s time is believed to be between 629 AD and 640 AD and Dhruvasen was seated around 630 AD. This war took place around 633 AD. The conflict with Valbhi preceded Hieun Tsang’s move to Western India (ie 641–42 AD). He has called Valabhi Mo-la-po.

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