Early Medieval India

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 19, 2022, 12:22

The medieval era is a significant period in the history of India in terms of development in the fields of culture, art, language, and religion. The transition between the ancient and the medieval periods is called Early Medieval India. It emphasizes the formation of different states and can be divided into two phases.

Early Medieval India spanned from 600 to 1200 CE and is associated with rulers like Prithvi Raj Chauhan, Harshvardhan, and others. It is a crucial aspect of Indian history, marking some significant people, changes, and events.

Early Medieval India History

The period of early medieval had different phases for the north and south of the country. The northern parts of India were under the reign of Pushyabhutis and Maukharis from 600 to 750 CE while southern India comprised three main states the Pandyas of Madurai, the Chalukyas of Badami, and the Pallavas of Kanchi. Prabhakar Vardhana and Harsha Vardhana were two important kings of the Pushyabhuti dynasty.

Early Medieval India during the periods of 750 to 1200 CE is further divided into two phases. The first phase, 750-1000 in north India, had three major reigns the Gurjara Pratiharas, the Palas, and the Rashtrakutas. The second phase, 1000-1200 CE, is referred to as the age of conflict in history.

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Rulers & Dynasties In Early Medieval India

The north Indian state disintegrated into smaller Rajput regions that were controlled by various dynasties like Chandellas, Paramaras, and Chahamanas. The states opposed the Turkish attacks led by Mohammad Ghori and Mahmud Ghazni in 1100 and 1200 CE. The period from 850 to 1200 CE was under the rule of the Cholas in the South.

The phase from 500 to 750 CE was different from the first phase in a few ways. The main kingdoms were the Pallavas, the Chalukyas, and the Pandyas. The period marked the expansion of the agrarian economy and saw a decline in coins, trade, and towns.

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Significance of Early Medieval India

Sanskrit became an official language in the peninsular area and Brahmanism was largely followed. The Chalukyas were famous for cave temple architecture; some of the most popular cave temples were made in Nasik, Ellora, and Ajanta.

All in all, Early Medieval India was an exciting place with plenty going around, and a lot of changes that would define the next few hundred.

While much of Europe was struggling with the Dark Ages and dealing with the Bubonic Plague, India was a perfectly pleasant place to be alive with trade and commerce flourishing and making up 25% of global GDP.

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FAQs on Early Medieval India

Q1. What is Early Medieval India?

Early Medieval India is the long period of the history of India between the ancient and the modern period.

It is considered to be running from the end of the Gupta rule in the 6th century and the beginning of the Early modern phase of the Mughal empire.

Q2. What UNESCO World Heritage sites were built during Early Medieval India?

The Chalukyas had created the Ajanta and Ellora Group of Caves which are world heritage sites created during the Early Medieval Indian period.

Q3. With regards to Early Medieval India, who was the last great Hindu king?

Harsha Vardhana is considered to be the last great Hindu king who is also called the lord of the north.

He was a powerful, wise administrator and a great warrior who was one of the most popular rulers in Early Medieval India.

Q4. How was the economy of Early Medieval India?

Early Medieval India was one of the largest economies in the world after China, making up 25% or 1/4th of global GDP during this period.