Middle Kingdoms of India, Part 35

BY: SUN STAFF

Lord Varaha
Gurjara-Pratihara Dynasty of Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh


May 30, 2015 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of India's great history, religious movements and temple architecture.


The Gurjara Pratiharas

The Gurjara Pratihara Empire was a Middle Kingdom dynasty that ruled much of northern India from the 6th to 11th Centuries. At its peak of prosperity and power (c. 836–910 A.D.) it rivaled the Gupta Empire in the extent of its territory.[51-52]

Pointing out the importance of the Gurjara Pratihara empire, Dr. R.C. Majumdar observed, "The Gurjara Pratihara Empire, which continued in full glory for nearly a century, was the last great empire in Northern India before the Muslim conquest. This honour is accorded to the empire of Harsha by many historians of repute, but without any real justification, for the Pratihara empire was probably larger, certainly not less in extent rivalled the Gupta Empire and brought political unity and its attendant blessings upon a large part of Northern India. But its chief credit lies in its successful resistance to the foreign invasions from the west, from the days of Junaid. This was frankly recognised by the Arab writers themselves.

Historians of India, since the days of Eliphinstone have wondered at the slow progress of Muslim invaders in India compared to their rapid advance in other parts of the world. Arguments of doubtful validity have often been put forward to explain this unique phenomenon. Now there can be little doubt that it was the power of the Gurjara Pratihara army that effectively barred the progress of the Muslims beyond the confines of Sindh, their first conquest for nearly three hundred years. In the light of later events this might be regarded as the "chief contribution of the Gurjara Pratiharas to the history of India".[53]


Shiva and Parvati
9th to early 10th Century, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art


FOOTNOTES:

[51] Panchānana Rāya (1939). A historical review of Hindu India: 300 B. C. to 1200 A. D.. I. M. H. Press. p. 125
[52] Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty definition of Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty in the Free Online Encyclopedia
[53] Radhey Shyam Chaurasia (2002). History of Ancient India: Earliest Times to 1000 A. D.. Atlantic Publishers & Distributors. p. 207 to 208. ISBN 81-269-0027-X, ISBN 978-81-269-0027-5


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