Harshacharita is a biography of Harshavardhana, the ruler of Kannauj, written in Sanskrit, its author Banabhatta (7th century AD) was the court poet of Harshavardhana.

The below passage is a part of that book. In this, a very rare picture of the life of a settlement on the edge of the forest of Vindhya region has been given:

Most of the area on the edge of the township is forest and here paddy yield, threshing and parts of fertile land have been divided among themselves by small farmers….most of the people here use hoe…..because in the land full of grass It is difficult to solve. Very few parts are clean, whatever it is, its black soil is as hard as black iron.

Here people carry bundles of tree bark… countless sacks full of flowers… linseed and flax, loads of honey, peacock feathers, wax, wood and grass go on and on. Rural women are ready to go to the villages situated on the way and sell them. At their ends were baskets of fruits collected from the forest.

Q 1. Who was the author of ‘Harshacharita’?

The author of ‘Harshacharita’ was Banabhatta, the court poet of Harshavardhana.

Q 2. Describe the area at the edge of the forest of the Vindhya region.

There was a settlement on the edge of the forest of Vindhya region whose main features were as follows:
(a) The land of this settlement was fertile where paddy was cultivated.
(b) It was difficult to plow the grassy land here. That’s why farmers used to use spade.
(c) There were very few parts of the land that were clean, the black soil there was as hard as black iron.

Q 3. Describe the activities of the people of that area. Mention two main activities of the farmers of that time and of today.

People here sold many things to other villages – (a) tree bark, (b) flowers, (c) linseed, (d) flax, (e) honey, (f) wax, (g) ) Peacock feathers, (h) Fruits collected from the forest etc.
The farmers of that time used spade for agriculture. They used to cultivate paddy. Today’s farmers use iron fall ploughs, tractors etc. for agriculture. They clear and level the land with modern agricultural machinery and grow a variety of crops.

FAQ About Harshacharita

Q 1. Who written Harshacharita?

Answer – Harshacharita (The Deeds of Harsha) is a Sanskrit language text written by the 7th-century Indian scholar Banabhatta. It is an historical work that chronicles the life and reign of the Indian emperor Harsha, who ruled a large kingdom in northern India in the 7th century.