(Last Updated on : 07-04-2012)
Chinese sources primarily comprise the accounts of travellers like Fa Hien, Hiuen Tsang and Using, who condensed into writings the experiences of their visit to India. Buddhism drew these travellers and they started coming to India from 399 A.D. The chronicles of these travellers sheds light upon the social, economic, religious and political conditions of India during that time. Fa Hien was the first Chinese pilgrim who came to India in 399 A.D. and remained here uptil 413 A.D. His chronicles render a graphic description of the government of the Gangetic territories during the reign of Chandra Gupta II.
However, the most important of Chinese pilgrims was Hiuen Tsang. who is also known as "Prince of Pilgrims". He came to India during the reign of Harshvardhana. His delineations of that period renders priceless information about the social, economic, religious and political conditions of India at that time. He had travelled a lot in India and stayed here for 15 years. From the historical point of view, his book 'Si-Yu-Ki' is very essential for the history of that era. His book predominantly is useful for deciding the magnitude of Harshavardhana's empire and about the knowledge that Buddhism was on the downslope and Jains and Buddhists lived serenely and in co-operation with each other. Tsang travelled within India from 671 A.D. to 795 A.D. Though he also furnishes contemporary records with dates, yet his accounts are chiefly religious in inclination.
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