Sunday, November 1, 2009


These were a race of fierce nomads who were heard of from about 165 BC when they defeated the Yuhchi tribe in north western China. After this the Huns moved towards the Oxus valley and was known as Ephthalites. One section of this group entered Europe and were known of their fierce and cruel attitudes. In about the second  decade of the fifth century the Huns turned south, crossing Afghanistan and the north western passes entered India. Accompanied by the Gurjaras and other tribes they gradually occupied both Persia and Kabul. They attacked the western regions of the Gupta empire in about 458 AD but the able Skandagupta repulsed their attack. With the collapse of the Persian power and the capture of Kabul  they intruded into India. Toramara was the leader of the Huns and he was successful in annexing large parts of the Gupta empire.

Toramara was succeeded by his son Mihiragula in about 502 AD, Being a truant his rule was not favoured by the Huns. Yashodarma king of Malwa and Baladitya a Gupta king organised a national uprising against Mihiragula. Mihiragula fled to Kashmir, where he took advantage of  hospitality offered to him and usurped the throne of his benefactor. But he could not live along to enjoy his victory. In about 540AD after  the death of Mihirakulan the Hun empire broke up. Local Indian chiefs especially the Maukharis vanquished the Huns from their dominions. It is believed that in course of time the Huns were absorbed into the Rajputs.

The Invasion of the Huns had brought some significant changes in the course of Indian history. Firstly it broke up the political unity of Northern India. Secondly There was an intermixture of the Huns, Rajputs thus resulting in the evolution of new classes. This awakened the Hinduistic rigidity of caste system to maintain their tradition and practices. After the decline of the imperial Guptas a group of  kings grew important to the north of the Ganges.

They were called the Mukaris. The Mukari  clan said to have existed from the period of the Mauryans. The  Mukari chiefs held the Gaya districts of the Guptas, In about the sixth century they made Kanauj their capital. By the end of the century the conquered the large parts of Magadha from the Guptas. Insame Varma was one of the greatest king of Mukaris. Grahavarman was the last king and after his death the rule of the Maukhans was erased. This was owing to their constant opposition to the Huns.

During the period when the Gupta was weak over Saurashtra. A new dynasty was founded by Senapati Bhattarka called Valabhi near Bhavnagar in about 5th century AD. He was succeeded by Dharasena I who is referred to as Senapatis. He was followed by DhruvasenaII during this period Vallabhi was a centre for Buddhist learning . Dhruvasenas second son Dharasena IV and assumed the title of Paramabhattaraka, Maharajadiraj, Paramesvara and Chakravartin. The last king of the dynasty was Siladitya VII. This dynasty lasted about 770 AD when the Arabs over threw it.

Another important ruler of this period was Yasodharman of Malwa, the ruler of Mandosor. He is said to have defeated Mithiragula the king of the Huns.

The imperial Guptas declined in the sixth century. The country spilt up into a number of independent kingdoms. Another line of kings with names ending in the names of Gupta rose in Magadha. After the Mukharis occupied Magadha they entered into a matrimonial alliance with the king of Thaneshwar. As circumstances changed the Muakharis were forced to take the protection of Harshas father Prabhakara -Vardhana of Thaneshwar. After the end of the Maukhari dyasty in the seventh century the power passed to the brother in-law of Grahavarman, Harsha. The conflicts between the independent kingdoms required a strong role. It was under Harshavardhana that India again witnessed unity and a good administration.

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