Harsha was the second son of Prabhakaravardhana, the first king of Pushyabhuti dynasty with its capital at Thanesvar. Pushyabhutis were the feudatories of the Guptas but had assumed independence after the Huna invasions. Harsha was a great warrior and a conqueror and fought against many powers. In his first expedition he drove away Sasanka from Kannuj who had occupied it after killing his elder brother. It appears that there was a war between Harsha and the king of Valabhi. His hostilities with Valabhis ended through matrimonial alliance. Upon consolidating his position in the north Harsha led an expedition to the south. But he was defeated by King Pulakesin II of Chalukya dynasty. However Harsha was successful in his eastern campaign.
In the east the empire extended right up to the Brahmaputra. A Chinese account mentions him as the king of Magadha in 641 AD, the king of Kamarupa, Bhaskaravarman was his ally in his campaign of Bengal and other parts of eastern India. According to Bana, his empire included the states of Kashmir, Sindh and Nepal. It included the states of eastern Punjab, UP, Bihar, Bengal, Orissa, Saurashtra, Kanyakubja etc. He maintained cordial relationship with China and Persia. Harsha was a great scholar and authored several dramas and books. He profusely encouraged learning and patronised the learned persons. The Nalanda University was the great seat of learning which came to forefront under his patronage. His court was adorned with scholars like Bana, Matanaga, Divakara, ayasena, Bharti hari. He reigned for about 41 years and died in the beginning of 647AD.