10 Greatest Empires of India

1. Maurya Empire

Maurya Empire is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Top 10 Greatest Empires of India

The Mauryan Empire was a geographically extensive Iron Age historical power in ancient world, ruled by the Mauryan dynasty from 321 to 185 BC. Originating from the kingdom of Magadha in the Indo-Gangetic plains (modern Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bengal) in the eastern side of the Indian subcontinent, the empire had its capital city at Pataliputra (modern Patna). The Empire was founded in 322 BC by Chandragupta Maurya, who had overthrown the Nanda Dynasty and rapidly expanded his power westwards across central and western India taking advantage of the disruptions of local powers in the wake of the withdrawal westward by Alexander the Great’s Greek and Persian armies. By 320 BC the empire had fully occupied Northwestern India, defeating and conquering the satraps left by Alexander.

2. Maratha Empire

Maratha Empire is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Top 10 Greatest Empires of India

 The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was an Indian imperial power that existed from 1674 to 1818. At its peak, the empire covered much of India, encompassing a territory of over 2.8 million km². The Marathas are credited for the re-establishment of Hindu rule in India.Initially deriving from the western Deccan, the Marathas were a peasant warrior group that rose to prominence during the rule in that region of the sultans of Bijapur and Ahmadnagar. The empire was founded and consolidated by Chhatrapati (“Emperor”) Shivaji Bhosle.

3. Chola Empire

Chola Empire is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Top 10 Greatest Empires of India

Chola dynasty was a Tamil dynasty which was one of the longest-ruling dynasties in southern India. The earliest datable references to this Tamil dynasty are in inscriptions from the 3rd century BC left by Ashoka, of Maurya Empire; as one of the Three Crowned Kings, the dynasty continued to govern over varying territory until the 13th century AD.

 The Cholas left a lasting legacy.The Chola kings were avid builders and envisioned the temples in their kingdoms not only as places of worship but also as centres of economic activity. They pioneered a centralised form of government and established a disciplined bureaucracy.

4. Gupta Empire

Gupta Empire is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Top 10 Greatest Empires of India

The Gupta Empire  was an ancient Indian empire which existed from approximately 320 to 550 CE and covered much of the Indian Subcontinent. This period is called the Golden Age of India and was marked by extensive inventions and discoveries in science, technology, engineering, art, dialectic, literature, logic, mathematics, astronomy, religion and philosophy that crystallized the elements of what is generally known as Hindu culture.The 4th century CE Sanskrit poet Kalidasa, credits Guptas with having conquered about twenty one kingdoms, both in and outside India, including the kingdoms of Parasikas (Persians), the Hunas, the Kambojas tribes located in the west and east Oxus valleys, the Kinnaras, Kiratas etc.

5. Vijayanagara Empire

Vijayanagara Empire is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Top 10 Greatest Empires of India

The Vijayanagara Empire referred to as the Kingdom of Bisnagar by the Portuguese, was an empire based in South India, in the Deccan Plateau region. It was established in 1336 by Harihara I and his brother Bukka Raya I of Sangama Dynasty and Dhangar / Kuruba Gowda lineage. The empire rose to prominence as a culmination of attempts by the southern powers to ward off Islamic invasions by the end of the 13th century. It lasted until 1646 although its power declined after a major military defeat in 1565 by the Deccan sultanates. The empire is named after its capital city of Vijayanagara, whose ruins surround present day Hampi, now a World Heritage Site in Karnataka, India. Archaeological excavations at Vijayanagara have revealed the empire’s power and wealth.

6. Chalukya Empire

Chalukya Empire is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Top 10 Greatest Empires of India

The Chalukya dynasty was an Indian royal dynasty that ruled large parts of southern and central India between the 6th and the 12th centuries. During this period, they ruled as three related yet individual dynasties. The earliest dynasty, known as the “Badami Chalukyas”, ruled from Vatapi (modern Badami) from the middle of the 6th century. The Badami Chalukyas began to assert their independence at the decline of the Kadamba kingdom of Banavasi and rapidly rose to prominence during the reign of Pulakesi II. After the death of Pulakesin II, the Eastern Chalukyas became an independent kingdom in the eastern Deccan. They ruled from Vengi until about the 11th century. In the western Deccan, the rise of the Rashtrakutas in the middle of the 8th century eclipsed the Chalukyas of Badami before being revived by their descendants, the Western Chalukyas, in the late 10th century. These Western Chalukyas ruled from Kalyani (modern Basavakalyan) until the end of the 12th century.

7. Vardhman Empire

Vardhaman Empire is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Top 10 Greatest Empires of India

After the downfall of the Gupta Empire in the middle of the 6th century, North India was split into several independent kingdoms. The Hunas had established their supremacy over the Punjab. The northern and western regions of India passed into the hands of a dozen or more feudatory states.Prabhakara Vardhana, the ruler of Sthanvisvara, who belonged to the Pushyabhuti family, extended his control over neighboring states. Prabhakar Vardhan was the first king of the Vardhana dynasty with his capital at Thaneswar.After Prabhakar Vardhan’s death in 605, his eldest son, Rajya Vardhana, ascended the throne. Harsha Vardhana was Rajya Vardhana’s younger brother.

8. Mughal Empire

The Mughal Empire is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Top 10 Greatest Empires of India

The Mughal Empire (also Moghul) Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power in the Indian subcontinent from about 1526 to 1757 (though it lingered for another century). The Mughal emperors were Muslims and direct descendants of Genghis Khan through Chagatai Khan and Timur. At the height of their power in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, they controlled most of the subcontinent—extending from Bengal in the east to Balochistan in the west, Kashmir in the north to the Kaveri basin in the south. Its population at that time has been estimated as between 110 and 150 million, over a territory of more than 3.2 million sq.km

9. Slave Empire

Slave Empire is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Top 10 Greatest Empires of India

The conquest of India and the establishment of Turkish rule changed India by destroying Buddhism and introducing the Muslim religion. Sultan Muhammad of Ghur and his slave lieutenant Qutb-ud-din Aybak led their first raid in 1175 and then eventually conquered Delhi in 1193, which became the first capital under Turkish rule. Ghur left his trusted slave Aybak in charge of consolidating North India to Delhi conquests. His introduction of martial slavery, or mamluks, proved to be advantageous for intelligent, ambitious, young men to rise up rapidly out of and above their birth status. Aybak took advantage of this opportunity and earned the right for higher position. In 1206 Ghur was assassinated and so Aybak became his successor. Because Ghur was his master and he was still regarded as a slave, Aybak legitimized his rule by arranging several marriages of influential figures. So began the first Turkish dynasty known as the Slave Dynasty (1206-90).

10. Khilji Empire

Khilji Empire is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Top 10 Greatest Empires of India

The Khilji dynasty or Khalji was a Muslim dynasty of Turkic Khalaj origin. The Khiljis ruled large parts of South Asia between 1290 and 1320. They were the second dynasty to rule the Delhi Sultanate of India. Led by their ruler, Ala-ud-din Khilji, they are noted for having repeatedly defended India against the Mongol invasions of India.Before their expansion into India, the Khaljis were mainly concentrated in Turkestan.In the writings of Al-Biruni, Ibn-Batuta, Ibn-Khaldun, Al-Khwarezmi, Masudi, Varahamihira and Juzjani’s Hudud ul-‘alam min al-mashriq ila al-maghrib, they are presented as a group of Turkic origin which formed one of the older members of the Hephthalite confederation, and included many nomads near Bactria (in Turfan) and east of modern Ghazni.

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