7. Golden Age
50 AD: Thomas, an apostle of Jesus, visits India
50 AD: The first Buddhist stupa is constructed at Sanchi
200 AD: The Manu code puts down the rules of everyday life and divides Hindus into four major castes (Brahmins, warriors, farmers/traders, non-Aryans)
300 AD: The Pallava dynasty is established in Kanchi
350 AD: The Sangam is compiled in the Tamil language in the kingdom of Madurai and the Puranas are composed
380 AD: Two giant Buddha statues are carved Buddhist monks in the rock at Afghanistan 390 AD: Chandra Gupta II extends the Gupta kingdom to Gujarat
450 AD: Kumaragupta builds the monastic university of Nalanda
499 AD: Hindu mathematician Aryabhata writes the "Aryabhatiyam", the first book on Algebra 500 AD: Beginning of Bhakti cult in Tamil Nadu
528 AD: Gupta Empire sees a downfall due to continuous barbaric invasions
550 AD: Chalukyan kingdom is established in central India with capital in Badami 600 AD: Pallava dynasty governs southern India from Kanchi
606 AD: Harsha Vardhana, a Buddhist king builds the kingdom of Thanesar in north India and Nepal with capital at Kannauj in the Punjab
625 AD: Pulikesin extends the Chalukyan Empire in central India
647 AD: King Harsha Vardhana is defeated by the Chalukyas at Malwa
650 AD: Pallavas of Kanchipuram are defeated by the Chalukyas
670 AD: Pallavas establish themselves at a new city at Mamallapuram
750 AD: Gurjara - Pratiharas rule the north of India and the Palas establish themselves in eastern
753 AD: Rashtrakutas, a Chalukya dynasty, expands from the Deccan into south and central
775 AD: Chalukyas defeat the Rashtrakutas and move the capital at Kalyani
800 AD: Many kingdoms are created in central India and in Rajastan by Rajputs 846 AD: Cholas get back their independence from the Pallavas
885 AD: Pratihara Empire reaches its peak and extends its empire from Punjab to Gujarat to Central India
888 AD: End of the Pallava dynasty
985 AD: Rajaraja Chola extends the Chola Empire to all of south India and constructs the temple of Thanjavur
1000 AD: Chola king Rajaraja builds the Brihadeshvara Temple in Thanjavur
1019 AD: Mahmud Ghazni attacks north India and destroys Kannauj, which is the capital of the Gurjara-Pratihara Empire
1050 AD: Chola Empire conquers Srivijaya, Malaya and the Maldives
7.2 Gupta Empire (300-550CE) (Region- North):
Iron Pillar, Qutub Complex in Delhi; erected during Gupta period
Gupta Empire (300-550CE) (Region- North):Iron Pillar, Qutub Complex in Delhi; erected during Gupta period
Although preceded by two Guptan rulers, Chandragupta I (reign 320-335 CE) is credited with establishing the Gupta Empire in the Ganges River valley in about 320 CE, when he assumed the name of the founder of the Mauryan Empire. The period of Gupta rule between 300 and 600 CE has been called the Golden Age of India for its advances in science and emphasis on classical Indian art and literature. Gupta rulers acquired much of the land previously held by the Mauryan Empire, and peace and trade flourished under their rule.
Sanskrit became the official court language, and the dramatist and poet Kalidasa wrote celebrated Sanskrit plays and poems under the presumed patronage of Chandragupta II. In 499 CE, the mathematician Aryabhata published his landmark treatise on Indian astronomy and mathematics, Aryabhatiya, which described the earth as a sphere moving around the sun.
Detailed gold coins featuring portraits of the Gupta kings stand out as unique art pieces
from this period and celebrate their accomplishments. Chandragupta's son
Samudragupta (r. 350 to 375 CE) further expanded the empire, and a detailed account
of his exploits was inscribed on an Ashokan pillar in Allahabad toward the end of his
reign. Unlike the Mauryan Empire's centralized bureaucracy, the Gupta Empire allowed
defeated rulers to retain their kingdoms in return for a service, such as tribute or
military assistance. Samudragupta's son Chandragupta II (r. 375-415 CE) waged a long
campaign against the Shaka Satraps in western India, which gave the Guptas access to
Gujarat's ports, in northwest India, and international maritime trade. Kumaragupta (r.
415-454 CE) and Skandagupta (r. c. 454-467 CE), Chandragupta II's son and grandson
respectively, defended against attacks from the Central Asian Huna tribe (a branch of
the Huns) that greatly weakened the empire. By 550 CE, the original Gupta line had no
successor and the empire disintegrated into smaller kingdoms with independent rulers.
7.3 Aryabhata (476-550 CE) was the first in the line of great mathematician-astronomers
from the classical age of Indian mathematics and Indian astronomy. His most famous
works are the Aryabhatiya (499 CE, when he was 23 years old) and the Arya-siddhanta.
Aryabhata contributions include Solar systems, Eclipses, Place value systems, PI and more.
"Add four to 100, multiply by eight and then add 62,000. By this rule the circumference of a circle of diameter 20,000 can be approached."
In other words, p= ~ 62832/20000 = 3.1416.
In Aryabhatiya Aryabhata provided elegant results for the summation of series of squares
7.4. Nalanda - The Ancient University of Learning
Towards the Southeast of Patna, the Capital City of Bihar State in India is a village called the 'Bada Gaon', in the vicinity of which, are the world famous ruins of Nalanda University.
Kumaragupta builds the monastic university of Nalanda in the 5thCenturyA.D.The university was known as
the ancient seat of learning. 2,000 Teachers and 10,000 Students from all over the Buddhist world lived and studied at Nalanda, the first Residential International University of the World.
A walk in the ruins of the university, takes you to an era that saw India leading inimparting knowledge, to the world - the era when India was a coveted place for
studies. The University flourished during the 5th and 12th century. Although Nalanda is
one of the places distinguished as having been blessed by the presence of the Buddha,
it later became particularly renowned as the site of the great monastic university of the
same name, which was to become the crown jewel of the development of Buddhism in
7.5 Cholas (100CE - 270CE) (848-1279CE) (Region- South):
The Cholas, a people living in southern India, first appear in the written record in a 3rd century BCE rock inscription of Mauryan emperor Ashoka the Great. A Tamil-speaking people, the Cholas held the east coast of modern Tamil Nadu and the Cauvery delta region. They eventually gained supremacy over other southern tribes in the area. The empire's earliest king Karikala (r. about 100 CE) is celebrated in Tamil literature, Pattinappaalai describes Karikala as an able and just king. It gives a vivid idea of the state of industry and commerce under Karikala who
promoted agriculture and added to the prosperity of his country by reclamation and settlement of forest land. He also built the Grand Anaicut, one of the oldest dams in the world and also a number of irrigation canals and tanks.
The empire reached its height under Rajaraja (r. 985-1014 CE), who conquered Kerala, northern
Sri Lanka, and in 1014 CE acquired the Maldive Islands.
To commemorate his rule and the god Shiva, Rajaraja built a magnificent temple, Rajarajeshvara or Brihadeesvarar Temple at Tanjore, which was completed in 1009 CE. The temple, the tallest building in India at the time, includes inscriptions describing Rajaraja's victories and was a massive ceremonial space, with a central shrine measuring 216 feet high. Fresco murals that depict military conquests, the royal family, Rajaraja, and Shiva decorate the temple. Villages in the empire and from as far away as Sri Lanka sent tributes.
The Cholas formed south India's first major empire. They had shown professionalism in administration, accounting, audit and justice system. Under Chola rule, between the 9th and the 13th centuries CE, the arts poetry, dance, art, and temple building flourished. But the Cholan artistic legacy is most evident in the bronze sculptures that were perfected during this time and continue to be made even today.
Cholan bronzes were typically of deities, royalty and the politically powerful people of the day all in a distinctive Cholan style, classically representative of the human form, and perfectly proportioned. The sculptures are recognizable by the way the bodies are posed. They are always graceful, elegant and sensuous particularly if a sculpture are that of a couple, such as Shiva and Parvati. The bronzes also depict the "mudras" or gestures derived from classical dance.
One of the common traits noticed in all of the Dynasties in India was to build huge Temples and structures to support art and architecture than building palaces for themselves. They were also supporting agriculture and industries of any kind. The dynasty ended in 1279 CE with the last Chola ruler, Rajendra IV (r. 1246-1279 CE). Compared to Pandyas, Cholas seemed to put strong administrative systems in place. That helped them rule for longer periods of time than most of the dynasties. This is a quality we need to take home from Cholas.ith the last Chola ruler, Rajendra IV (r. 1246-1279 CE). Compared to Pandyas, Cholas seemed to put strong administrative systems in place. That helped them rule for longer periods of time than most of the dynasties. This is a quality we need to take home from Cholas.
7.6. Pandya dynasty (3rd century BC-16th century AD)
The Pandya dynasty was ruled by the southern Indian hereditary rulers based in the
region around Madurai (its capital). The dynasty extended its power into Kerala
(southwestern India) and Sri Lanka during the reigns of kings Kadungon (ruled 590-620),
Arikesar Maravarman (670-700), Varagunamaharaja I (765-815), and Srimara
Srivallabha (815-862). Pandya influence peaked in Jatavarman Sundara's reign 1251-
1268. After Madurai was invaded by forces from the Delhi sultanate in 1311, the Pandyas declined into merely local rulers.
The reason the Pandyas are important to the history is they have one of the Dynasties to be known to live and known the longest and oldest and it gives a glimpse of Dravidian Culture. An official language of India belonging to the Dravidian family, Tamil is not related to the Indo-Aryan family of languages. Tamil, spoken by more than 60 million people, is the official language of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and an official language of Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, and certain African nations that have sizeable Tamilspeaking populations. One of Ashoka the Great's edicts identifies his southern neighbors as the Cholas and Pandyas, both Tamil-speaking peoples.
Tamil literature is over 2,000 years old, and Tamil poetry and grammar reveal much about southern India around the time of Christ. Tamil poetry recited by both men and women at marathon arts festivals, called sangam, describes a caste society and extensive foreign trade with the Roman Empire that extended into southern India from Egypt, which had come under Roman rule in 30 BCE. Dialects within Tamil are numerous, and the language is characterized by a sharp division between a literary or classical style and a colloquial variant.
They are one of the oldest empires to support the literature by forming places for discussions called Sangams, Short poems found in the Akananuru and the Purananuru collections were written C. 100BCE.
In the 13th century a Temple was built by Pandyans in the city of Madurai. The immense,
rectangular temple's layout is based on a mandala, a grid with concentric squares,
surrounded by a highwall.Renowned for itsenormity (843 feetby 787 feet) anddesign,the complex'smainsanctums, to Shiva and Meenakshi, feature ancillary shrines and large, columnedhalls(mandapa), withonecontainingnearly 1,000 richlycarvedpillars.Otherfeatures
includeits numerous sculptures, 12 towered gateways (gopuras), and sacred tank, known as the Golden Lotus Tank, where devotees take baths before a puja (religious ritual).