Medieval India Tripartite Struggle and Cholas
New Kings and Kingdoms
• Many dynasties emerged during 7th century.
• By the 7th century there were big landlords or warrior chiefs in different regions of the subcontinent.
• Existing kings often acknowledged them as their subordinates or samantas. As these samantas gained power and wealth, they declared themselves to be maha-samanta, maha-mandaleshvara (the great lord of a “circle” or region) and so on.
• Sometimes they asserted their independence from their overlords.
• Rashtrakutas in the Deccan is one such instance. Initially they were subordinate to the Chalukyas of Karnataka.
In the mid-eighth century, Dantidurga, a Rashtrakuta chief, overthrew his Chalukya overlord.
• In each state, resources were obtained from the producers, that is, peasants, cattle-keepers, artisans, who were often persuaded or compelled to surrender part of what they produced.
• Prashastis contain details that may not be literally true. But they tell us how rulers wanted to depict themselves – as valiant, victorious warriors, for example.
• However, author named Kalhana composed Sanskrit poems in 12th century and he was critical about the rulers and their policies.
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