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Name required. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. He attained enlightenment in Bodh Gaya , gave his first sermon in Sarnath and the first Buddhist council was held in Rajgriha.
The Nanda Empire , at its greatest extent, extended from Bengal in the east, to the Punjab region in the west and as far south as the Vindhya Range. The Nanda dynasty built on the foundations laid by their Haryanka and Shishunaga predecessors to create the first great empire of north India.
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To the west, it reached beyond modern Pakistan, to the Hindu Kush mountains in what is now Afghanistan. The empire was established by Chandragupta Maurya assisted by Chanakya Kautilya in Magadha in modern Bihar when he overthrew the Nanda dynasty. The Mauryan Empire then defeated Seleucus I , a diadochus and founder of the Seleucid Empire , during the Seleucid—Mauryan war , thus gained additional territory west of the Indus River.
By the time he died in c. However, the region of Kalinga around modern day Odisha remained outside Mauryan control, perhaps interfering with their trade with the south. This filled Ashoka with remorse and led him to shun violence, and subsequently to embrace Buddhism. Under Chandragupta Maurya and his successors, internal and external trade, agriculture, and economic activities all thrived and expanded across India thanks to the creation of a single efficient system of finance, administration, and security.
Mauryan India also enjoyed an era of social harmony, religious transformation, and expansion of the sciences and of knowledge. Chandragupta Maurya's embrace of Jainism increased social and religious renewal and reform across his society, while Ashoka's embrace of Buddhism has been said to have been the foundation of the reign of social and political peace and non-violence across all of India.
The Arthashastra and the Edicts of Ashoka are the primary written records of the Mauryan times. Archaeologically, this period falls into the era of Northern Black Polished Ware. The Mauryan Empire was based on a modern and efficient economy and society. However, the sale of merchandise was closely regulated by the government.
A significant amount of written records on slavery are found, suggesting a prevalence thereof. During this period, three Tamil dynasties, collectively known as the Three Crowned Kings of Tamilakam : Chera dynasty , Chola dynasty and the Pandyan dynasty ruled parts of southern India. The Sangam literature deals with the history, politics, wars, and culture of the Tamil people of this period. They belonged to different faiths and professions like farmers, artisans, merchants, monks, priests and even princes and quite a few of them were even women.
Around c. The Great Chaitya in the Karla Caves. Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves is home to the Hathigumpha inscription , which was inscribed under Kharavela , the then Emperor of Kalinga of the Mahameghavahana dynasty. Relief of a multi-storied temple, 2nd century CE, Ghantasala Stupa. Classical period begins after the decline of the Maurya Empire , and the corresponding rise of the Shunga dynasty and Satavahana dynasty. The Gupta Empire 4th—6th century is regarded as the "Golden Age" of Hinduism, although a host of kingdoms ruled over India in these centuries.
The dynasty was established by Pushyamitra Shunga , who overthrew the last Maurya emperor. Its capital was Pataliputra , but later emperors, such as Bhagabhadra , also held court at Vidisha , modern Besnagar in Eastern Malwa.
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Pushyamitra Shunga ruled for 36 years and was succeeded by his son Agnimitra. There were ten Shunga rulers. However, after the death of Agnimitra, the empire rapidly disintegrated;  inscriptions and coins indicate that much of northern and central India consisted of small kingdoms and city-states that were independent of any Shunga hegemony. Art, education, philosophy, and other forms of learning flowered during this period including small terracotta images, larger stone sculptures, and architectural monuments such as the Stupa at Bharhut , and the renowned Great Stupa at Sanchi.
The Shunga rulers helped to establish the tradition of royal sponsorship of learning and art. The script used by the empire was a variant of Brahmi and was used to write the Sanskrit language. The Shunga Empire played an imperative role in patronising Indian culture at a time when some of the most important developments in Hindu thought were taking place.
This helped the empire flourish and gain power. The territory of the empire covered large parts of India from the 1st century BCE onward. They were one of the first Indian states to issue coins struck with their rulers embossed. They formed a cultural bridge and played a vital role in trade as well as the transfer of ideas and culture to and from the Indo-Gangetic Plain to the southern tip of India. They had to compete with the Shunga Empire and then the Kanva dynasty of Magadha to establish their rule. Later, they played a crucial role to protect large part of India against foreign invaders like the Sakas , Yavanas and Pahlavas.
In particular, their struggles with the Western Kshatrapas went on for a long time. In the 3rd century CE the empire was split into smaller states. Kushan territories full line and maximum extent of Kushan dominions under Kanishka dotted line , according to the Rabatak inscription. The Kushan Empire expanded out of what is now Afghanistan into the northwest of the Indian subcontinent under the leadership of their first emperor, Kujula Kadphises , about the middle of the 1st century CE.
The Kushans were possibly of Tocharian speaking tribe;  one of five branches of the Yuezhi confederation. Emperor Kanishka was a great patron of Buddhism ; however, as Kushans expanded southward, the deities of their later coinage came to reflect its new Hindu majority. Historian Vincent Smith said about Kanishka:. He played the part of a second Ashoka in the history of Buddhism. The empire linked the Indian Ocean maritime trade with the commerce of the Silk Road through the Indus valley, encouraging long-distance trade, particularly between China and Rome.
The Kushans brought new trends to the budding and blossoming Gandhara art and Mathura art , which reached its peak during Kushan rule. The Kushan period is a fitting prelude to the Age of the Guptas. By the 3rd century, their empire in India was disintegrating and their last known great emperor was Vasudeva I.
Marking the location where the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. The Gupta period was noted for cultural creativity, especially in literature, architecture, sculpture, and painting. The Gupta period marked a watershed of Indian culture: the Guptas performed Vedic sacrifices to legitimise their rule, but they also patronised Buddhism, which continued to provide an alternative to Brahmanical orthodoxy. The military exploits of the first three rulers — Chandragupta I , Samudragupta , and Chandragupta II — brought much of India under their leadership.
Indian Castles The Rise and Fall of the Delhi Sultanate (…
Strong trade ties also made the region an important cultural centre and established it as a base that would influence nearby kingdoms and regions in Burma, Sri Lanka, Maritime Southeast Asia , and Indochina. The latter Guptas successfully resisted the northwestern kingdoms until the arrival of the Alchon Huns , who established themselves in Afghanistan by the first half of the 5th century, with their capital at Bamiyan.
Their state is believed to have extended from the southern edges of Malwa and Gujarat in the north to the Tungabhadra River in the south as well as from the Arabian Sea in the western to the edges of Chhattisgarh in the east. They were the most important successors of the Satavahanas in the Deccan , contemporaneous with the Guptas in northern India and succeeded by the Vishnukundina dynasty.
The Vakatakas are noted for having been patrons of the arts, architecture and literature. They led public works and their monuments are a visible legacy. The Ajanta Caves are 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave monument built under the Vakatakas. Many foreign ambassadors, representatives, and travelers are included as devotees attending the Buddha's descent from Trayastrimsa Heaven; painting from Cave 17 of the Ajanta Caves. Davaka was later absorbed by Kamarupa, which grew into a large kingdom that spanned from Karatoya river to near present Sadiya and covered the entire Brahmaputra valley, North Bengal , parts of Bangladesh and, at times Purnea and parts of West Bengal.
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Ruled by three dynasties Varmanas c. All three dynasties claimed their descent from Narakasura , an immigrant from Aryavarta.
Later, after weakening and disintegration after the Kamarupa-Palas , the Kamarupa tradition was somewhat extended until c. The Pallavas , during the 4th to 9th centuries were, alongside the Guptas of the North , great patronisers of Sanskrit development in the South of the Indian subcontinent.
The Pallava reign saw the first Sanskrit inscriptions in a script called Grantha. The Pallavas used Dravidian architecture to build some very important Hindu temples and academies in Mamallapuram , Kanchipuram and other places; their rule saw the rise of great poets. The practice of dedicating temples to different deities came into vogue followed by fine artistic temple architecture and sculpture style of Vastu Shastra. Pallavas reached the height of power during the reign of Mahendravarman I — CE and Narasimhavarman I — CE and dominated the Telugu and northern parts of the Tamil region for about six hundred years until the end of the 9th century.
King Mayurasharma defeated the armies of Pallavas of Kanchi possibly with help of some native tribes.
The Kadamba fame reached its peak during the rule of Kakusthavarma , a notable ruler with whom even the kings of Gupta Dynasty of northern India cultivated marital alliances. The Kadambas were contemporaries of the Western Ganga Dynasty and together they formed the earliest native kingdoms to rule the land with absolute autonomy.