warriors and kings. Agricultural territories included more diverse
populations, not only different kinds of farmers (like peasants, landlords, and
landless workers), but also non-farming groups who were essential for
farming: artisans, cattle herders, transporters, traders, priests, engineers,
architects, astrologers and warriors. Many of these people were newly
embraced by the rule of dharma. Without them, economies could not expand;
their incorporation was an important social project.
Causes for Rise of Warrior Power It is in this context that warriors
expanded their influence. The rise of warrior power was due to a variety of
factors, one of which being the increasing number of people with specialised
military skills, living in agrarian societies. Warriors with nomadic roots often
became military specialists, most prominently, in Rajasthan and surrounding
regions, where warrior dynasties rose from the Gurjara Pratihara clans that
conquered most of the Ganga basin after the eighth century. By the tenth
century, professional military cadres became general features of dynastic
Generation of New Dynasties with Professional Military Cadres The
old dynasties used large armies to amass wealth outside their core territories
that could no longer maintain their rapacious ruling classes. The Cholas
typify this trend. The Chola armies campaigned across the peninsula from
Andhra and northern Karnataka to Kanya Kumari, and Kerala; they crossed
the Palk Straights to fight in Sri Lanka. They conquered the Pandyas, made
themselves a new ruling elite and brought brahmins and service castes to
work for them. Chola expansion generated new dynasties among competitors.
Warriors pushed out of coastal Andhra by the Cholas founded a new
Kakatiya dynasty at Warangal in the interior uplands. Kakatiyas built
irrigation tanks that were marvels of the age. Similar dynastic developments
took place in the Mysore region, where Chola pressure combined with
Chalukya expansion in the Deccan to generate a new Hoyasala dynasty,
whose temple sculptures record the professional character of the Hoyasala
armed cavalry.
Extent of Social Mobility Among the various signs of change in society in
the period, one was the application of the blanket varna category—sudra—to
disparate social groups, and the gradual withering away of any sharp