South India during the Harsha Period
The Satavahana’s rule ended in the first half of the 3rd century A.D. from Deccan and south India.
In the second half of the 3rd century A.D., the Vakatakas came into power. However, much is not known about the founder of the Vakatakas dynasty,
Pravarasena was the (known) founder of the Vakataka Empire in western and central India.
Vindhyasakti was the father of Pravarasena. He played an important role in establishing Vakataka Empire.
Pravarasena is the only Vakataka ruler to whom the title ‘samrat’ was accorded. He performed ‘Vajapeya’ and four ‘Ashvamedhayajnas.’
The successors of Pravarsena divided the Vakataka Empire into two parts. The main branch was known as Vatsagulma branch.
Chandragupta-II raised the importance of the Vakatakas as a political power in western and central Deccan. He married his daughter Prabhavati Gupta into the Vakataka family.
After this matrimonial alliance, the Vakatakas and the Guptas remained friendly for a long-time.
Kingdoms of Central and South India
After the Vakatakas, three major kingdoms (listed below) dominated the Deccan and south India for about 300 years −
Chalukyas of Badami,
Pallavas of Kanchipuram, and
Pandyas of Madurai.
The Vakatakas in the Deccan were followed by the Chalukyas of Badami.
The Chalukyas develop their base at Vatapi or Badami and Aihole. They moved northwards and captured the areas around Nasik and the upper Godavari region.
Pulakesin-II was the greatest king of Chalukya dynasty.’ He ruled from A.D. 610 to 642.
Pulakesin-II was the contemporary of Harshavardhana of Kanauj.
The Aihole inscription mentioned the detailed account of Pulakesin II‘s victories as well as early history of the Chalukyas. This inscription was composed by Ravikirti.
Vishnuvardhan, son of Pulakesin-II, founded the eastern branch of the Chalukyas with its capital first at Pishtapuri. Later Vengi developed as a capital of the east Chalukyas kingdom.
This branch remained independent of the main western branch and exercised uninterrupted authority over the kingdom up to the 12th century.
The Rashtrakutas succeeded the Chalukyas of Badami and build a vast empire in the Deccan.
Dantidurga-I was the first known ruler of the Rashtrakuta dynasty. He defeated the Chalukyas and conquered Badami in A.D. 752.
The Chalukyas and the Pallavas were contemporaries of the Gangas and the Kadambas in the Deccan.
The western Gangas were distinguished from the eastern Gangas of Kalinga. The Chalukyas and the Pallavas were ruled over a large part of modern Mysore.This region was called after them as Gangavadi.
Konkanivarman Dharmamahadhiraja was the founder of the family. He ruled in the second half of the 4th century A.D. and had his capital at Kolar. He ruled independently from A.D. 350-550.
Durvinita was a prominent Ganga king. He was a scholar of Kannada and Sanskrit literature.
Sripurusha was another important ruler of (western Ganga) dynasty. He shifted his capital to Manyapura (Manne near Bangalore). His kingdom was known as Srirajya on account of its prosperity.