Disappearance of Himalayan Republic States During 3rd And 4th Century AD

 Disappearance of Himalayan Republic States During 3rd And 4th Century AD

Disappearance of Himalayan Republic States During 3rd And 4th Century AD


  • In 327 B.C. Alexander from Macedonia crossed the Afghanistan and advanced as far as river Beas in 326 BC. Alexander met stiff resistance in Punjab and river Beas was flooded, and his soldiers refused to go further. So he could not cross Beas and returned back to Macedonia and died on the way at Babylon in Afghanistan. 
  • After departure of Alexander Chandragupta Maurya gained Magdha in 324 with help of Chanakya who was also known as Kautilya and Vishnugupta. 
  • Chandragupta fought a battle against Alexander's governor and with the help of Himalayan chief Parvataka who was the ruler of the territory between the Ravi and the Yamuna.
  •  Ashoka the grandson of Chandra Gupta extended his boundaries in the Himalayan region. He was a staunch Buddhist. He sent group of Buddha monks - Kasapagotta, Dundhibissara, Sahadeva and Mulankadeva to spread Buddhism in Himalayan regions. This mission was headed by Majjhima. 
  • Mauryan Dynasty was followed by the Sunghas dynasty and during Sunghas reign, local republics of Himalaya became free and issued their own coins. Sunghas were followed by Kushana. Kanishka was the greatest ruler of this dynasty. Kushana copper coins were found on the Kalka- Kasauli road.
  •  In the 4th century AD Guptas were emerged as power with its capital at Patliputra.
  •  The greatest king of his dynasty was Samudragupta, also known as Napoleon of India and Kavi Raj. His achievement has been mentioned by his minister of defence, Harisena on Allahabad pillar that Himalayan rulers have accepted Samudragupta's paramountcy without having any armed conflict. 
  •  Another famous ruler of Gupta dynasty was Chandragupta - II. The plot of Vishakhadatta's play Devichandraguptam which tells the story of Ramgupta, his wife Druva Devi and Chandragupta-II who killed Saka king in order to protect her sister-in-law. These two throw sufficient light on the mission and achievement of Monarch. There is no reference to republic Audumbaras in any inscriptions and books. It shows that Audumbaras came to an end probably in the 4th century
  • Kunindas republic fragmented into many small kingdoms with the rise of Guptas power in 4th century AD. One of these small kingdoms was Kartipur which found mentioned in the Allahabad inscription. 
  • The Trigarta people seem to have faced foreign aggression and Gupta subjugation. 
  • During this time three new powers i.e. Bushahr and Sirmaur came into existence and in the area of upper Ravi Chamba was founded by Meru Varman. Its capital was Brahmpura (modern Bharmaur), 
  • Hunas: In the middle of the 5th century AD a central Asian tribe, the Huna accompanied by Gujjars entered Punjab and moved towards Yamuna valley under the leadership of Toraman and he was succeeded by his son Mihiragula. He was very cruel. In 520 AD he was defeated at Kahru (Multan) by united forces of Baladitya of Magadha and Yashodharman of Malva. 
  • After the Guptas Empire and before emergence of Harsha except Kangra and Kullu, the whole of HP was divided into small Apthakurai ruled by Raja, Rana and Thakurs. 
  • Harsha ascended the throne in 606 AD and the central power now shifted first from Patliputra to Thaneshwar and then to Kannauj. 
  • The great Chinese pilgrim Hiuen-Tsang visited India during Harsha's reign and stayed here for 13 years (630-644 AD). In 635 AD he visited Jallandhara, remained there as a guest of Raja Utitas for months. He mentioned temples of gods, all belonged to the Pahsupati. Then he went to Kullu and called it Kuluta (Kuluts). He visited Lahaul also and stayed for some time, and then went to Surughna (Sirmaur) with the monk Jaya-Guptam. 
  • Niramand plate in Kullu district is made up of copper. It is estimated that it belongs to 7th century AD, this plate mentions the name of Mahsamanta Maharaja Vermasen and his successor. The Sena dynasty appears to have been subordinate to the rules of Kuluta.
  •  THE MAURYAN EMPIRE: The vast Mauryan empire of old (4th and 2nd BC) extended its boundaries well into Himachal. Chandragupta's grandson, Ashoka (3rd BC), introduced Buddhism here and erected many stupas. One of those stupas existed in Kullu valley, which the Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang (AD 630- 45) talks about in his writings. 
  • THE THAKURS AND RANAS: After the Mauryas, the land came to be ruled by petty chiefs known as Thakurs and Ranas. Their states were small in size and boundaries constantly changing due to wars with neighbours. However, in Mandi and the adjoining areas of Suket (present day Sundernagar) and Kullu, these Ranas and Thakurs were quite powerful and retained their independence for a long time of these principalities. Trigarta (Kangra) is known to have had great administration and reached a high level of development. It came to be regarded as the land of legendary wealth. Kuluta (Kullu) is also known to have had an organised administration under the Pal kings. Their capital was at Jagatsukh.
  • THE HARSHA PERIOD: The next great king after the Mauryans to establish an empire of worth was Harshavardhana (early 7th Century). Most of the small states in Himachal Pradesh acknowledged his overall supremacy. After the break-up of his empire, there was, once again, great political upheaval. In two successive wars with Kullu, Meru Varman (AD 700) of Chamba killed the Pal kings and expanded his kingdom from the Ravi valley to as far as the present capital. Hiuen Tsang (the Chinese traveller) reported around this time that Chamba, Kangra, Kullu and Mandi were still the important states. 
  • ΤΗE RAJPUT PERIOD: A few decades after Harsha's death (AD 647), many Rajput states ascended in Rajasthan and Indus plains. They fought amongst themselves and the vanquished moved to the hills with their followers, where they set-up small states or principalities. These states were Kangra, Nurpur, Mandi, Beghal, Bilaspur, Nalagarh, Dhami, Sirmaur, Keonthal, Bushahar, Kunihar, Kutlehar and Suket. Harihar Chand from Bundelkhand landed in Bilaspur (AD 900). This marked the origin of the Kahluria clan of Rajputs. The Chands remained the ruling family of Kahlur and the credit of making it a strong state goes to Bir Chand. The Kiras, who came from Baijnath (which was also known as Kiragama or land of the Kiras) in Kangra, occupied Brahmapura for a while around AD 800, but the next Varman promptly won it back. Chamba (the present town) was made the new capital in AD 930.

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