After the decline of the Gupta dynasty, around the 6th century BC, a ruler named ' Pushyabhuti ' established the ' Vardhana or Vardhana dynasty'. The Vardhana or Vardhana dynasty is also called the ' Pushyabhuti dynasty'. Its capital was Thaneshwar. The greatest and most famous king of this dynasty was Harshavardhana. Harshavardhana was also known as Shiladitya, it was the title of Harshavardhana.
Harshavardhana was the last great Hindu ruler of North India. Who had established a vast empire by spreading his kingdom all over North India. Harshavardhana shifted his capital from Thaneshwar to Kannauj by uniting Thaneshwar and Kannauj. Harshavardhana's vast empire extended from Kamrup (an ancient state in Assam) in the east to Saurashtra (a region of Gujarat) in the west and from the Himalayas in the north to the Vindhya mountains in the south.
Harshavardhana was a follower of the Mahayana branch of Buddhism, so he did many things for the welfare of the people and for the advancement of the people. Harshavardhana also organized the Buddhist Mahasammelan in Prayag (Uttar Pradesh). Harshavardhana used to organize his religious meetings in Prayag only at an interval of about every 5 years. Which was called ' Mahamokshparishad ' whose time period used to be 75 days. It is also a popular belief that Harshavardhana used to donate his entire property to this council. That is why he was called ' Hatim ' because of Harshavardhana's quality of giving.
Harshavardhana was a learned man, he composed three Sanskrit theatrical texts named ' Priyadarsika ', ' Nagananda or Naganandin ', and ' Ratnavali '.
Scholars like Banabhatta, Mayur Diwakar, Haridatta, and Jayasena used to sit in the court of Harshavardhana. The king poet Banabhatta composed Harshavardhana's biography ' Harshacharitra or Harshacharitam ', in which the information of the Harshavardhana period is contained. Apart from this, Banabhatta had also composed the great novel of Sanskrit literature ' Kadambari '.
The famous Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang (Hiuen Tsang) visited India during the reign of Harshavardhana. Who wrote the book ' Si-U-Ki ', which gives an introduction to the social, economic, religious, and cultural condition of Harsha period India. Hiuen Tsang is also known by the names ' Prince of Travellers ', ' Pundit of Niti ', and ' Shakya Muni ' etc. Harshavardhana organized ' Kannauj Sabha ' in honor of Hiuen Tsang.
The Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang also studied at Nalanda University. At the time of Harshavardhana, the Vice-Chancellor of Nalanda University was ' Shilbhadra '. Nalanda University was at its zenith during the Harshavardhana period. Also, at the time of Hiuen Tsang's visit to India, it may be said that at the time of Harshavardhana, Mathura city was considered to be the most famous city for cotton textile production.
In the reign of Harshavardhana, one-sixth of the total produce was to be given to the king by the farmers in the form of land revenue tax. The feudal system of giving land was also started by Harshavardhana.
After the death of Harshavardhana, its kingdom fell apart and Harshavardhana is known as the last Hindu ruler. Along with this, Harshavardhana is also known as the last Buddhist ruler and great scholar and writer of Sanskrit. After Harshavardhana, no Hindu ruler could leave his mark on the pages of history.
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