◦ For administrative purposes, the Pratiharas divided their empire into various units.
Maha samantahipati or Maha Pratihara were the titles given to the samantas. The
villages were run on a local level. The elders of the villages were known as Mahattar,
and they were in charge of the village administration.
◦ Economy in Pratihara Empire was mainly dependent on agricultural production. Thus, the major source
of government revenue at that time was the tax derived from the bulk of agricultural production. The
feudal levies due from subordinates to the Gurjara king were supplemented by standing armies
garrisoned on the frontiers. The use of money was strongly implied by such a system. The maintenance
of large permanent military forces required the regular disbursement of pay or expenses in the form of
ready cash. The forms of money needed to fulfil two conditions: sufficiently high value units to be easily
transportable from point of collection to point of disbursement; yet sufficiently low value units to meet
the modest salary or expenditure levels of individual soldiers.
◦ The Gurjara-Pratihara was a Rajput dynasty that ruled much of Northern India from the mid-8th to
the 11th century. They ruled first at Ujjain and later at Kannauj.
◦ Gurjara-Pratihara are known for their sculptures, carved panels and open pavilion style temples. The
greatest development of their style of temple building was at Khajuraho, now a UNESCO World
◦ The Gurjara-Pratiharas were instrumental in containing Arab armies moving east of the Indus
River. Nagabhata I defeated the Arab army under Junaid and Tamin in the Caliphate campaigns in
India. Under Nagabhata II, the Gurjara-Pratiharas became the most powerful dynasty in northern
India. He was succeeded by his son Ramabhadra, who ruled briefly before being succeeded by his
son, Mihira Bhoja. Under Bhoja and his successor Mahendrapala I, the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty
reached its peak of prosperity and power. By the time of Mahendrapala, the extent of its territory
rivalled that of the Gupta Empire stretching from the border of Sindh in the west to Bengal in the east
and from the Himalayas in the north to areas past the Narmada in the south. The expansion
triggered a tripartite power struggle with the Rashtrakuta and Pala empires for control of the Indian
subcontinent. During this period, Imperial Pratihara took the title
of Maharajadhiraja of Āryāvarta (Great King of Kings of India).
◦ From the mid-seventh to the eleventh centuries, the Gurjara-Pratiharas, also known as the Pratihara Empire, ruled
much of Northern India.
◦ They were crucial in keeping Arab armies east of the Indus River at bay.
◦ During the Caliphate campaigns in India, Nagabhata I defeated the Arab army led by Junaid and Tamin.
◦ The sculptures, carved panels, and open pavilion style temples of Gurjara-Pratihara are well-known.
◦ The most significant advancement in their temple-building style occurred at Khajuraho, which is now a UNESCO
World Heritage Site.
◦ Rajasekhara was the court poet of the Gurjara Pratihara Kings and an eminent Sanskrit poet, dramatist, and critic of
the 10th century. His most important works are Kavyamimamsa and Karpurmanjari. He had written Karpurmanjari
to please his wife Avantisundari. Karpurmanjari is written in Sauraseni Prakrit.
◦ Despite the constant threat of war, the Pratiharas were able to provide stability to their subjects while also
patronizing the arts and literature.
◦ Juzr, according to Al-Masudi, had 18,000,000 villages, cities, and towns and was about 2000 kilometers long and
2000 kilometers wide.
◦ Rajashekhara, a poet who worked with Mahendrapala and Mahipala, left a significant body of work.
◦ Many Hindu temples and buildings were built, many of which are still standing today.
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