How was India in 1000AD

Jay Kakade
Brihadeshwar Temple

1000 CE is known as the golden age as well as the dark age of India. But why? How can the same era be called golden as well as dark?
This is because it saw the rise of art, Culture and excellent architecture as well as disintegration of large Empires into smaller at a same time. Large empires unified India politically, breaking of these empires gave chance for foreigners to invade India.

This was the period in which prince started slaughtering their own siblings. Taking advantage of all this circumstances, Same invader plundered India 17 times, with a massive havoc. Who was this invader?
You will be given answers for all this questions in this topic

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India in 1000 AD

In 1000 AD, A dynasty came into power who not only consolidated Military power but also supreme Navy power. This dynasty was Chola Empire.
King Rajendra was the first Indian king to use Navy at large scale. He captured Maldives, Andaman and Nicobar, coastal Burma and Lakshadweep with a superior navy.

Rajendra Chola 1 constructed a 25 KM long and 5 KM wide lake. This lake is one of the largest lakes in India.
Chola dynasty consolidated and developed their powers too strong that it captured Bihar and Bengal king King Mahipal. To highlight the victory Chola king made a new capital at Gangai Konda Cholapuram.

This is a place where Lord Shiva Temple was made inspired by structure of Brihadiswara Temple. This lord Shiva Temple is one of the largest Temple in India. In 2004, UNESCO declared it as World Heritage Site.
Contributions for temples like Tanjavur, Chidambaram, Darasuman and Tribhuvanam were also made by Chola Dynasty


Why Kings used to build too many Temples?

Emperors used to have war to conquer more territory. When won the area was added to their empire. For redevelopment of this areas, Temples were constructed.
For example, when a new temple was built trade and tourism used to increase in these areas.
This paves way for new settlements and creation of new Village. Then king used to clear forests and bring forested area under cultivation. Which eventually added revenue to the empire.

So Temples were made for empire expansion. But was this expansion so easy? Was the empire expansion the only reason for war?
We can't deny the expansion was the one of the reasons for battles. Each emperor tried to bring as much as area possible under their control. Ultimate goal to become Chakravartin - Capture whole India. From North to South and East to West.

Adding new areas, more revenue, spreading religion and revenge were another possible reason to begin a war.
Many foreign invasions took placed just to plunder India. 
There was one such plundering which was a serious blow to India's GDP. British Historian Maddison stated India and China in 1000 AD alone contributed 50% of world's GDP.

This luxurious economy attracted many plunderers of which one was Mahmud Ghazni. He mostly attacked in Summer to be on safer side against floods near Punjab region. Punjab is a region made by five rivers like Chenab, Sutlej, Beas, Ravi and Jhelum.

Mahmud Ghazni started his attack from regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Here he faced an Indian ruler Raja Jay Pala. In this battle Raja Jay Pala lost.
The last plunder by Mahmud Gazhni was in Gujrat near Somnath Temple. Here Mahmud Gazhni battled with Rajput for three days, ending up with a victory over Rajput. Ghazni not only won the battle but also took 200 lakhs of Dinars with him. This was one of the most brutal battles as it saw death of 5,000 men.

What gave Mahmud Ghazni the courage to attack India that too for 17 times. Well, there was no supreme power unifying whole India. The great emperors of India were busy in battles with one another. At this time, India divided into three empires Rashtrakutas, Palas and Pratiharas. These three kingdoms conflicted with each other for Kannauj. This conflict lasted for more than 2 centuries.

But Why Rashtrakutas, Palas and Pratiharas had long lasting battle for Kannauj. Kannauj was the area which connects the silk route. Silk route was used by India, China, Persia, Italy and Arabia. In this battle, The Pratiharas emerged victorious.
But later successors of Pratiharas were weak. New Kingdoms like Chola, Parmaras and Pal emerged which broke unity in India.
This were some favourable conditions in which Mahmud Gazhni attacked and Plundered Ancient India.

Was India able to recover from this Loss?

In 1st century India's economy was world's 32.9% which lowered to 28.9% in 11th century. India not only faced economic loss during this period but also much cultural loss too.
In 1700, When Mughals ruled almost whole India, GDP was 24.4 which was higher than whole Europe (23%).

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