The Maukharis came to power in the 6th century A.D. Yagna Varman was the founder of the dynasty and was later succeeded by Sardula Varman. Ananta Varaman was the next successor. The Maukari ruler rose to power under the rule of Isana Varman and under his rule the dynasty ceased to be vassals.
Isana Varman had defeated the Andhras and even subjugated the power of the Gaudas. He had also issued coins imitating the Toramana, the Huna chief. Kumargupta of the later Guptas had defeated Isana Varman. Later Varman was succeeded by his son Sarva Varman. Both Saarva Varman and his successor son Avanti Varman were styled as Maharajadhirajas. Vardhana of Kannauj had given his daughter Rajyasri in marriage to the son of Avanti Varman, Grahavarman. He was however later killed by a ruler of Malwa, Devgupta, and had imprisoned Rajyasri.
Another powerful dynasty, the Pushya-Bhutis ruled in Thanesar, north of Delhi. They had made a marriage alliance with the Maukharis, and, on the death of the last Maukhari king, the Maukhari nobles requested Harsha, the reigning Pushyabhuti king, to unite his kingdom with the Maukhari kingdom and rule from Kannauj. Around 606 A.D. large areas of their empire were recaptured by the Later Guptas.
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