The period between the Guptas and the Vardhanas saw many independent principalities. North India lacked a strong central power.
The Huns, Maithrakas of Valabhi, Maukharis of Kanauj, Yasodharman of Mandasor, Pushyabhutis of Thaneswar and Later Guptas of Magadha were sub-regional kingdoms.
Harsha subdued the minor powers and became the king of Thanesar and Kanauj. His authority and control prevailed over Bengal, Kamarupa, Valabhi, Sind, Nepal and Kashmir.
Harsha maintained cordial relations with China and the Chinese pilgrim Hieun Tsang recorded the socio-religious conditions of the people of that period.
Harsha patronised Buddhism and convened Buddhist assemblies at Kanauj and Prayag.
The founder of Pala dynasty Gopala was elected to rule by the chieftains and rulers of little kingdoms.
Dharmapala, Devapala and Mahipala I ruled ably and kept their domain under effective control.
Weak successors contributed to the decline of the dynasty.
Mahayana Buddhism flourished during the Pala reign.
The patronage of Palas to Vikramashila and Nalanda universities paved the way for the progress of Buddhist, Jain and Sanskrit literature.
Rashtrakutas emerged as the most feared and powerful kingdom during the reign of a series of successful rulers from Krishna I through Krishna III.
Harmony existed amongst various religious sects existing under Rashtrakuta dominions.
Rashtrakutas patronised Sanskrit and Kannada scholars.
The art found at Ellora and Elephanta are their contributions.