History Optional Paper- 1 Solution – 1988: Q.1 (d)
Q.1 (d) Write a short essay on: “The Maukharis paving the way for the glory of Harshavardhana.”
The Maukharis flourished in the Gangetic valley during post Gupta age and they ruled over an extensive area with their capital at Kannauj.
The first important Maukharis king was Isanavarman who claimed victory over the Andhras, the Sulikas of Orissa, the Gaudas and assumed the title of Maharajadhiraja.
The Maukharis had paved the way for the glory of Harshavardhana because of the following reasons:
(1) The Maukhari king Ishanvarmana had defeated Hunas invaders. This had weakened Hunas and when the Hunas attacked the Kingdom of Prabhakarvardhana (father of Harshavardhana), they were easily defeated.
In this way, Harshavardhana of the Pushyabhuti dynasty of Thanesar was free from Huna danger. This helped him to spread and strengthen his Empire.
(2) Bana’s Harshacharitta mentions that there was a matrimonial alliance between the Pushyabhuti dynasty and the Maukharis, as the Maukhari king Grihavarman was married with Rajyasri, the sister of Harshavardhana. This led to increase in the power and prestige of the Pushyabhuti dynasty.
(3) There was a long duel between the Maukharis and the ‘Later Guptas’. Devagupta, a Gupta king of Malwa, who was an ally of King Sasanka of Gauda, defeated and killed the Maukhari king Grahvarmana who was married with Harshvardhana’s sister Rajyasri. This led to the control of Maukharis kingdom coming under Harshavardhana. In this way he became the ruler of a vast empire without any conquest through war. He also acquired the capital of Maukharis, Kannauj, which had strategic position.
This increased the strength and glory of Harshavardhana.
(4) The Later Guptas and the Gauda Kingdom weakened due to continuous war with the Maukharis. This helped Harshavardhana to expand his Empire.