The 'Indian' Huns, or Hunas as they are called by Indian writers, were not entirely independent, since they ruled as viceroys for a Hun overlord. The Hun dominion extended from Persia right across to Khotan, the main capital being Bamiyan in Afghanistan.
The first Hun king of any importance was Toramana, who ruled northern India as far as Eran in central India. Toramana's son Mihirakula (A.D. 520) appears to have been more of the Hun as pictured by tradition. A Chinese pilgrim travelling in northern India at the time describes him as uncouth in manner and an iconoclast, especially in his hatred for Buddhism. Inscriptions from central India suggest that the Guptas were still making belated attempts to resist the Huns both by their own efforts and in collaboration with other local rulers.
Mihirakula was finally driven out of the plains and into Kashmir where he died in about 542 A.D., after which the political impact of Huns subsided. But this was not the sole role the Huns played in the Indian arena. Whatever potential there might have been for the creation of an imperial structure was now demolished, because political energy was directed towards keeping back the Huns. Defence on an all-India scale was unthought of : defence was conceived in local terms with occasional combinations of the smaller kingdoms, which sometimes led to consolidation resulting in the emergence of larger kingdoms under capable protectors. To add to the confusion and the atmosphere of insecurity there was a movement of populations and new ethnic combinations of peoples.
Together with the Huns came a number of central Asian tribes and peoples, some of whom remained in northern India and others moved further to the south and the west. Among them were the Gurjaras, who rose to eminence a few centuries later. Some of the tribes who lived in Rajasthan fled from their homeland when they were displaced by the new tribes who became the ancestors of some of the Rajput families, and again were to dominate the history of the north in later centuries. The tide of Hun invasions had receded by the end of the sixth century, when the Turks and the Persians attacked them in Bactria, but as elsewhere the Huns had acted as a catalyst in the affairs of north India.
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