(born circa 590—died circa 647) Ruler of a large empire in northern India (606–47). He was a Buddhist convert in a Hindu era. He brought what is now Uttar Pradesh and parts of Punjab and Rajasthan under his hegemony, but he contented himself with tribute and homage and never built a centralized empire. His chroniclers, including the Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang, describe him as benevolent and energetic. He set up institutions to benefit the poor and the sick and established the first diplomatic relations between India and China (641). A patron of scholars, he was himself a poet.
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