Ancient History

What are the seven books of Abhidhamma Pitaka?

Abhidhamma Pitaka is the third and latest of the three Pali Canonical Texts (Tripitaka) recognized in early Buddhist Theravada tradition. The other two collections are the Sutta Pitaka and the Vinaya Pitaka. It was compiled in the third Buddhist council held during the reign of Maurya emperor Asoka. This text deals with the philosophy and doctrine of Buddhism […]

Ancient and Medieval Dynasties of South India

Chalukyas of Badami First half of the sixth century marks the rise Chalukyas of Badami or Vatapi as a very strong power in Deccan. The Chalukyas seem to be a race of Rajputs from North who imposed their rule upon the Dravidian inhabitants of the Deccan tableland. The Royal Emblem of Chalukyas of Badami was […]

Chola Empire

As per the traditions, the Chola Country or Cholamandalam was along the Coromandel Coast in the fertile valley of Cauvery river. Its most ancient capital was Uraiyur in Tamil Nadu. This was one of the longest lasting dynasties of South India {circa 300 BC to 13th century}. This 1500 years period has been divided into […]

Dynasties of North India at the time of Arab Invasions

As we have discussed earlier, most landscape of India at the time of death of Harsha was controlled by numerous regional kings and local chieftains. Whatever consolidation was done by Harsha, it lasted only for his lifetime. The fracturing of northern India was aggravated by the Arab invasion of Sindh, which was first foreign intrusion […]

Indian History: King Harsha Vardhana

The decline of imperial Guptas led to the demise of imperial idea in India. Since most of the great empires were built in north India under great empire builders such as Mahapadmananda, Chandragupta Maurya, Asoka, Kanishka and Samudragupta, it was North India which felt the impacts of demise of imperial idea. From Sixth century onwards, […]

Buddhism and Jainism – Old UPSC Questions

Many of the Greeks, Kushanas and Shakas embraced Buddhism rather than Hinduism because (a) Buddhism was in the ascendant at that time (b) they had renounced the policy of war and violence (c) caste-ridden Hinduism did not attract them (d) Buddhism provided easier access to Indian society Answer: Correct answer in above question is D. […]

Fa-Hien’s India Visit

Pataliputra was considerably neglected by the warrior kings like Samudragupta and Vikramaditya, but it continued to be a magnificent and populous city though out the reign of Chandragupta II. Later Patliputra was reduced to reigns in the wake of the Hun invasions in the 6th century. However, Pataliputra was rebuilt and revived by Shershah Suri […]

Important Inscriptions of Ancient India

Here are some important notes on different inscriptions of ancient India giving us relevant information about Shungas, Satavahanas, Shakas, Kushana, Guptas and Hunas. Junagarh Rock inscription The Junagarh Rock inscription of Rudradaman is considered as an early example of chaste Sanskrit, written in mid second century AD. It mentions that one of Chandragupta Maurya’s governors, […]

Various Calendar Eras of Ancient India

Many a times, UPSC asks a question on different calendars of ancient India. Here is basic information about the same: Buddhist Era This era based on Buddha’s birth and date. The dates of Buddha’s birth and date are uncertain but as per current theravada and Sri Lankan traditions, the Buddha Era begins from 544BC. Thus, […]

Caste System in Gupta Era

One of the most notable features of Indian society till date has been caste system. So was it during Gupta era also. There were three notable features of caste system in Gupta era as follows: Firstly, upper castes although managed their respective position in the caste hierarchy, yet there was an indication mobility and fluidity, […]