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The Reign of Harsha

This song was created for Game of Bands round 141 : "Epic II"



Harshavardhana, also known as Harsha, was an Indian emperor who ruled over a large empire in northern India from 606 to 647. The second son of Prabhakarvardhana, he hailed from the Pushyabhuti Dynasty. After the death of his father, his elder brother Rajyavardhana took over the reins of the kingdom. However, Rajyavardhana too died, most probably killed by Shashanka, the ruler of the Gauda kingdom following which the young Harsha came to power. After the downfall of the Gupta Empire in the middle of the 6th century, Northern India had fallen apart to small republics and minor states. After ascending the throne Harsha united the small republics from Punjab to central India, to create a vast unified empire. Under his rule, the empire underwent considerable expansion and grew to include the Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bengal, Odisha and the entire Indo-Gangetic plain north of the Narmada River. He proved himself to be an able administrator and presided over a kingdom where peace and prosperity prevailed for most of the time. He had an intellectual bent of mind and his court was a hub of artistic activities. Harsha himself was a Mahayana Buddhist and was tolerant towards all Indic faiths.

Born in India, 2nd son to the king
The year was 590, sister and brother
The King died - his elder brother succeeding
But the Malava dominion made everyone suffer

Harshavardhana's sister Rajyashri
was kidnapped and her husband slaughtered
Malava fell under the King Brother's Blitzkrieg
Enemy was destroyed by marauders

But Brother Rajyavardhana was killed
Betrayed by a ruler he thought was a friend
In 606 Harsha's destiny becomes fulfilled
At age 16 to the crown he ascends

The first thing he does is promise revenge
Inherited his brother-in-law's city
But his family deaths have to be avenged
For the backstabber Shashanka no pity

Rescued his sister by a forceful attack
but the enemy somehow survived
Harsha added regions as cities were sacked
But Shashanka still remained alive

Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Bengal
were added to the regions he reigned
Odisha and Northern India all were assailed
Added them to the cities he gained

But to the people he ruled he was good
Benevelent prosperous and fair
The economy swelled and he helped where he could
For the underprivleged and poor he did care

But he could not defeat the the southern traitor
And trade business dropped which was alarming
He thought how to make his kingdom greater
So he moved its main focus to farming

With Emperor Taizong, Tang Dynasty made friends
Needed more allies to make power wider
And to his country he contined to tend
Made the 1st diplomatic relations with China

Made a giant university as a walled fort
Promoted learning, literature and arts
Allowed religious diversity in his court
But hated Shashanka in his heart

Converted to Buddhism from Hindu
And even wrote 3 plays of his own
In the last one the two religions were merged into
His giant religious gathering, it still goes

With his wife Durgavati, had 2 sons
They'd inherit the world that he built
But all of his plans came undone
His chief minister had his sons killed

And he tried again to win war in the South
And lost again to the kings that he hated
Revenge he'd have to go without
From his high point his glory was faded

So he sat alone on his throne in the North
Empty hall full of treasure and maps
Nothing mattered anymore on this earth
And when he died his whole kingdom collaped.


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