Lectures of History

Lectures of History

Lecture – 1

Sources of Ancient Indian History


  1. How far can the ancient Indian Shruti literature be used as historical sources.
  2. “Archaeology known of no Aryans, only literature knows of Aryans “Examine critically.
  3. write a short notes on the following.
  • numismatics.
  • Puranas
  • Harshacharita
  • the Rig-veda,


Lecture – 1

Sources of Ancient Indian History


Archaeological and Literary Sources!

The purpose of history is to throw light on the past. This is done through discovery and study of historical sources.

These sources are divided into two main groups.

They are Archaeological and Literary. The Archaeological Source can again be divided into three groups, namely,

  • Archaeological Remains and Monuments,
  • Inscriptions and

The Literary Source can also be divided into three groups, namely,

  • Religious Literature,
  • Secular Literature and
  • Accounts of Foreigners. A brief account of these sources is given below.

Ancient ruins, remains and monuments recovered as a result of excavation and exploration are archaeological sources of history. The archaeological remains are subjected to scientific examination of radio-carbon method for its dates.

  1. Inscriptions:

Inscriptions supply valuable historical facts.

  • The study of inscriptions is called epigraphy.
  • The study of the writings on ancient inscriptions and records is called palaeography.
  • Inscriptions are seen on rocks, pillars, stones, slabs, walls of buildings, and body of temples.
  • They are also found on seals and copper plates.We have various types of inscriptions.
  • Some convey monarchical orders regarding administrative, religious and major decisions to the public in general.
  • These are called royal proclamations and commandments.
  • Others are records of the followers of major religions. These followers convey their devotion on temple walls, pillars, stupas and monastries.
  • The achievements of kings and conquerors are recorded in prasastis, i.e. eulogies.
  • These are written by their court poets, who never speak of their defects.
  • Finally we have many donatives i.e. grants for religious purpose. India’s earliest inscriptions are seen on the seals of Harappa, belonging to the Indus Valley Civilisation.
  • The most famous inscriptions of India are the huge inscriptions of Asoka.
  • The Hatigumpha Inscription of Kharavela, the Allahabad Pillar Inscription of Samudragupta, and many other rock and pillar inscriptions contain most valuable historical accounts. Political, administrative and religious matters are gathered from such sources Ashokan inscriptions were written in the Brahmi script from left to right. Some were also engraved in the Kharosthi script from right to left.
  • Sanskrit was used as an epigraphic medium in the second century A.D. Inscriptions were also engraved in regional languages in the ninth and tenth centuries.


  • The study of coins is known as numismatics.
  • The coins of the Kushana and the Gupta period give interesting accounts of those days.
  • They throw light on religious, political, economic and commercial conditions.


1. Literary Sources:

Amongst literary sources, we include all written records in the form of texts, essays or descriptions

It has been mainly divided into two parts, religious and secular as follows:

(A) Religious Literature:

This includes religious texts of Hindus, Buddhists and Jains.

  1. Hindu Religious Texts:
  • The first literary sources of Hindus are Samhitas which includes four Vedas —
  • the Rig-veda,
  • the Sam-veda,
  • the Yajur-veda and
  • the Atharva-veda. B
  • Besides these are Brahmanas (the Satapatha, the Panchavis, the Aitreya etc.),
  • Upanishads (the Kathaka, the Isa, the Svetasvatra etc.),
  • Aranyakas,
  • Vedanga (Total No. 6),
  • Upo-veda (the Aur-veda, the Danur-veda etc.),
  • Sutras (the Dharam-Sutra, the Graha-Sutra etc.), Smiritis (the Manu, the Vishnu, the Narad, the Brahaspati etc.),
  • Puranas (the Vishnu, the Vayu etc. 18 in all) and Epics (the Ramayana and the Mahabharata) which throw light mostly on the history and culture of India from the Vedic up to Gupta age.

The Rig-veda provides us information about the civilization of the early Vedic Age while the rest of the three Vedas are useful to know about the civilization of the later Vedic age.

  • Brahmanas provide us knowledge concerning the expansion of the Aryans towards east India during the later Vedic age and also religious beliefs and rituals of the Aryans.
  • Upanishads concern the philosophical speculations and beliefs of the Aryans such as the trans-migration of soul, Brahma, salvation of soul etc. Sutras tell us the rituals while performing different Yajnas and the religious, social, moral and political responsibilities of an individual.
  • Smiritis reveal to us the social and religious conditions of the Indians between 200 B.C. to 600 A D.
  • The Ramayana and the Mahabharata are useful for knowing the living conditions of the Aryans during the later Vedic age
  • while Puranas help us in finding out the history of the rulers and their kingdoms which existed in India after the war of Mahabharata till the 6th century A.D.
  1. Buddhist Religious Texts:

The original Buddhist texts are known as Tripitakas.

They are three in number:

The Vinyapitaka describes rules and regulations for the

  • guidance of the Buddhist monks
  • and the general management of the Church;

(ii) The Sutt-Pitaka is a collection of the religious discourses of the Buddha, and

(iii) The Abhidhamma-pitaka contains an exposition of the philosophical principles underlying the religion.


  1. Jain Religious Texts:
  • The original Jain religious texts were called Agams,
  • Afterwards these were compiled into 14 Purvas and further,

the first ten Punas were re-arranged in 12 Angas in the fifth century A.D. Now only 11 Angas are available The Bhadrabhahu Charita refers to several events of the reign of Chandra Gupta Maurya. Among the later Jain religious texts, one of the most prominent ones is the Parisista Parva which was prepared during the 12th century.

 (B) Secular Literature:

It includes:

(i) Writings by foreigners,

(ii) Biographical works of great historical persons and historical texts, and

(iii) Literary compositions.

  • Amongst Greek and Roman writers Strabo, Skylex, Justin, Herodotus, Curtius, Diodorus, Arrian, Plutarch, Ptolemy and the anonymous author of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea have left useful accounts of India.
  • But the most popular account amongst them is the Indica written by Megasthenes who lived for some time in the court of Chandra Gupta Maurya as an ambassador of Seleucus.
  • Amongst Muslims, Sulaiman and Al Masudi left brief records of India
  • The Tahkika-i-Hind of Al-Baruni provides us good information concerning political, social and cultural condition of northern India in the 11th century.

The contemporary biographical works also provide us with good information. The most important of these works are the Harsha-charita of Banabhatta,

  • Pure literary works as dramas and poems and works on polity, economy and even grammar carried on by scholars in other branches of knowledge are also of valuable help.
  • Amongst them the most notable are the Arthasastra of Kautilya, the Mahabhashya of Patanjali, the Ashtadhaya of Panini, the Mudra-Rakshasa of Visakhdatta, the Kamasutra of Vatsyayana,
  • the Priyadarshika, the Ratnavali and the Naganand (dramas) by emperor Harsha Vardhana and extensive writings of Kalidas and Bhavbhut

2. Archaeological Sources:

The archaeological sources can be divided as follows:

(i) Inscriptions,

(ii) Coins, and

(iii) Monuments, remnants of cities, art-pieces, pottery, weapons and tools of stone or metals etc.


  • The inscriptions, being contemporary records, have proved a source of the highest value for reconstruction of the political history of ancient India.
  • These are mostly engraved on stone and metal, particularly copper Practically all of them are
  • either commands, records of conquests,
  • descriptions of achievements
  • or sale and gift of lands by different rulers. The earliest of these inscriptions have been found on the seals of Harappa belonging to about 3,000 B.C.
  • their script has not been deciphered so far.
  • After them are those of emperor Asoka engraved on rocks and pillars throughout his vast empire.
  • These inscriptions were engraved in Brahmi script barring a few which were engraved in Kharoshthi script which was written from right to left.

Hoards of gold, silver and copper coins have been unearthed in different parts of the country which provide us valuable information regarding Indian history till the Gupta age. Most of them were issued by rulers and contain dates and

Remnants have been found in India even of the prehistoric age. These remnants have proved that man existed in India even during the palaeolithic age. On the basis of remnants found at Hastnapur, Dr B.B. Lai has expressed the opinion that the war of Mahabharat was fought in nearly 900 B.C.

Ramayana, Valmiki

  • composition started in 5BC. passed through five stage. fifth stage in 12AD
  • 6000 verses=>12000 verses and finally 24000 verses.
  • As a whole, this text seems to have been composed later than Mahabharata.

Mahabharata, Vyas

  • reflects the state of affairs between 70BC to 4AD
  • originally 8800 verses, collection dealing with victory.
  • Later raised to 24000 verses- came to be known as Bharata after Bharat tribe
  • final compilation: 1 lakh verses and came to be known as Mahabharata or Satasahasri Samhita.
  • didactic portion from Post Maurya, Gupta times.


Lecture – 1

Sources of Ancient Indian History

Questions for pre examination


  1. As per Asoka’s inscriptions, which among the following place was declared tax free and proclaimed only 1/8th part as taxable?


  1. Which among the following places have given the earliest evidence of agriculture in Indian subcontinent?


  1. Who among the following was the 23rd Jain Tirthankara ?
    (a)Nemi Natha



4.     The last ruler of the Mauryan Dynasty, who was assassinated by Pushyamitra Sunga, his commander-in-chief was


(b) Brihdritha

(c) Agnimitra

(d) None of these


5.    The Tahkika-i-Hind of Al-Baruni provides us good information ABOUT

(a) India in the 11th century

(b) India in the 8 TH century

(c) India in the 18th century

(d)India in the 6 century


  1. Jataka stories ARE related with the religion-

(a) Buddha

(b) Jaina

(c) hinduism

(d) None of these

  1. The Vinyapitaka describes rules and regulations for the-

(a) the religious discourses of the Buddha, and

(b) philosophical principles underlying the religion.

(c) guidance of the Buddhist monks

(d) None of these

  1. Which one is not related with Archaeological Source of history-

(a) Archaeological Remains and Monuments,

(b) Inscriptions and

(c) Coins.

(a) Accounts of Foreigners


  1. Satasahasri Samhita is known as

(a) Mahabharata.

(b) Ramayana

(c) veda

(d) upveda


  1. Which of the following branches of historical studies, considered to form the subject matter of the Puranas, is correctly matched?

    Branches                                         Subjects

(a)Sarga                                involution of universe
(b) Manvantantra                   recurring of time
(c) Pratisarga                         evolution of universe
(d) Vamsa                               religious importance


  1. Jain and Buddhist literature were written in which of the following language?                                    

(c) Sanskrit
(d) Both a and b


Which of the following statement is incorrect? 

I. Panini’s Ashtadhyayi, book on grammar in eight chapters is the final culmination of this excellent art of writing in sutra (precepts) in which every chapter is precisely interwoven.
II. The Brahmanas elaborates vedic caste system of the society.
III. The Aranyakas and the Upanishads give discourses on different spiritual and philosophical problems.

Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?

(a)Only I
(b) I and II
(c) I and III
(d) All of the above


  1. Who among the following has written Mudrarakshasha, a play?   

(a) Kautilya
(b) Vishakhadatta
(c) Kalidasa
(d) Panini

  1. Who among the following has written Malavikagnimitram?   

(a)Pusyamitra Sunga
(b) Banabhatta
(c) Kautilya
(d) Kalidasa

  1. Which of the following pair is correctly matched?

Poets                       Historical Texts

(a)Banabhatta          Kumarapalacharita
(b) Vakpati                Kumarapalacharita
(c)Bilhana                Vikramankadevacharita
(d) Jayasimha           Gaudavaho


  1. What was the time period of Indus Civilization / Harappan Civilization?

(a) 2400 BC – 1700 BC

(b) 2400 BC – 1750 BC

(c) 2500 BC – 1700 BC

(d) 2500 BC – 1750 BC

  1. Which of the following book advises the king to devote a part of his time everyday for hearing the narrations of History?

(a) Atharvaveda

(b) Brahmanas

(c) Upanishads

(d) Arthashastra


  1. What is the number of main Puranas?

(a) 14

(b) 16

(c) 18

(d) 20


  1. According to many scholars the Puranas were completed during the reign of

(a) Parishit

(b) Mahapadma Nanda

(c) Uday

(d) All the above


  1. The Greek ambassador Megasthenes came in the court of

(a) Ajatasatru

(b) Udayi

(c) Mahapadma Nanda

(d) Chandragupta Maurya


  1. The book ‘Rajatarangini’ was written by

(a) Al-beruni

(b) Kalhan

(c) Kalidas

(d) Rajshekhar







  • Write short notes on
    1. Prehistoric rock art 
    2. Bhimbetka
    3. Adamgarh
    4. Langhnaj
    5. Bagor







 Scientific study, geologists fix age of the earth as 4,600 million years.

  1. The fossils of the earliest humans found in Africa were about 4.2 million years old.
  2. The earliest human beings were shorter in height and had a smaller brain.
  3. About 42-lakhs years ago, Human being evolves and the present form reached about 50,000 years ago.
  4. The fossils found in Africa, China, Java, Sumatra, and southern Europe portray the various stages and periods of human development.
  5. In India, the only hominid fossil found from ‘Hathnaura’ in the Narmada Valley.

Earliest Palaeolithic Tools

  1. The stage of human development started at the time when people begin the use of tools for their aid. It was the time that laid the foundation of science and the uses of machines.
  2. About 2.6 million years ago, human beings started the regular use of tools in east Africa.
  3. The archaeological site of Bori in Pune district of Maharashtra is about 1.38 million years old. It gives the scientific record for the early stone tools in India.
  4. The early human settlement in India is contemporary to the Asian countries, but it is of the later period than that in the African region.

Palaeolithic Cultures

  1. Based on tool technology, the Palaeolithic Age in India is divided into the following three phases
  2. Lower Palaeolithic Hand-axe and cleaver industries;
  3. Middle Palaeolithic Tools made on flakes; and
  4. Upper Palaeolithic Tools made on flakes and blades.

Lower Palaeolithic Culture

  1. The time period of Lower Palaeolithic culture was marked between 600,000 and 60,000 B.C.
  2. The main tool types of this era were hand axes and cleavers, along with chopper-chopping tools. These were made on cores as well as flakes.
  3. The raw materials used for making the stone tools were largely of different kinds of stones, including quartzite, chert, and sometimes even quartz and basalt, etc.
  4. Following are the major types of sites of the Lower Palaeolithic culture −
  5. Habitation sites (either under rock-shelters or in the open);
  6. Factory sites associated with sources of raw materials;
  7. Sites that combine elements of both these functions; and
  8. Open-air sites (any of the above categories).
  9. The Lower Palaeolithic tools have been abundantly found throughout the Indian subcontinent, except the plains of the Indus, Saraswati, Brahmaputra, and Ganga where raw material in the form of stone is not available.

Following are the important sites of Lower Palaeolithic cultures −

  1. Pahalgamin Kashmir,
  2. Belanvalley in Allahabad district (Uttar Pradesh),
  3. Bhimbetkaand Adamgarh in Hoshangabad district (Madhya Pradesh),
  4. 16 Rand Singi Talav in Nagaur district (Rajasthan),
  5. Nevasain Ahmadnagar district (Maharashtra),
  6. Hunsgiin Gulburga district (in Kanlataka), and
  7. Attirampakkam(Tamil Nadu).


Some other sites also have been found in

  1. Shivalikrange of Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Punjab;
  2. Belanvalley in Uttar Pradesh;
  3. Berachbasin and the hilly area of Rajasthan; and
  4. Narmadaand Sone valleys in Madhya Pradesh;
  5. Malprabhaand Ghatprabha basins in Karnataka;
  6. Chhota Nagpurplateau and several areas of Maharashtra;
  7. Some areas near Chennai in Tamil Nadu; and
  8. Some areas of Orissa, West Bengal, and Madhya Pradesh.


Middle Paleolithic Culture

  1. The period between 150,000 B.C. and 40,000 B.C. is marked as the middle Palaeolithic culture.
  2. The tools of middle Palaeolithic were characterized as −
  3. The flake tools those are made on flakes obtained by striking them out from pebbles or cobbles.
  4. These tool types include small and medium-sized hand-axes, cleavers, and various kinds of scrapers, borers, and knives.
  5. The Middle Palaeolithic tools were found in Central India, Deccan, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Orissa.

The most important sites of Middle Palaeolithic period were −

  1. Bhimbetka
  2. Nevasa
  3. Pushkar
  4. Rohiri hills of upper Sind
  5. Samnapur on Narmada


Upper Palaeolithic Culture

  1. The period between 9,000 and 8,000 B.C. is marked as Upper Palaeolithic culture.
  2. The tools of Upper Palaeolithic culture were characterized by basic technological innovation in the method of producing parallel sided blades from a carefully prepared core and in the development of the composite tools.


The main tool types of Palaeolithic period were −

  1. Scrapers
  2. Points
  3. Awls
  4. Burins
  5. Borers
  6. Knives etc.


  • During the Upper Palaeolithic period, the concept of composite tools developed.
  • The most noteworthy discovery of the Upper Palaeolithic period is the rubble-made platforms and the Mother Goddess who was worshiped as female principle or Sakti in the countryside.
  • The rubble platform with its unique stone was made by a group of final upper Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers. A piece of natural stone in the center of the platform is found on the top of the Kaimur escarpment.

The upper Palaeolithic tools were found in −

  1. Rajasthan,
  2. Central and Western India,
  3. Parts of the Ganga and Belanvalleys,
  4. Gujarat,
  5. Andhra Pradesh, and
  6. The various sites in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra were of the upper Palaeolithic period lasted from about 45,000 to 10,000 B.C.
  7. The time period between 12,000 and 2,000 B.C. in India is marked as Late Stone Age, Mesolithic, or Microlithic period.

Tools of Mesolithic Culture

  1. The tools of Mesolithic Culture were characterized by −
  2. Parallel-sided blades taken out from prepared cores of such fine material as chert, chalcedony, crystal, jasper, carnelian, agate, etc.;
  3. Stone size (of tools) decreased;
  4. Tools were hafted in wood and bones;
  5. The size and shapes of the tools used as composite tools; and
  6. Some new tool-types namely lunates, trapezes, triangles, arrow-heads, etc. were developed.
  7. The archaeological stratigraphy reflects the continuity from the Upper Palaeolithic age to the Microlithic age and it proved that the Microlithic industry is rooted in the preceding phase of the Upper Palaeolithic industry.
  8. The C-14 dates available for the Mesolithic culture illustrate that this industry began around 12,000 B.C. and survived up to 2,000 B.C.


Sites of Mesolithic Culture

  1. The various sites of the Mesolithic period were located in −
  2. Langhnajin Gujarat,
  3. Bagorin Rajasthan,
  4. Sarai Nahar Rai, Chopani Mando, Mahdaha,and Damdama in Uttar Pradesh,
  5. Bhimbetkaand Adamgarh in Madhya Pradesh,
  6. Orissa,
  7. Kerala, and
  8. Andhra Pradesh


  • The inhabitant community of the sites in Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh were essentially hunters, food-gatherers, and fishermen. However, some of the agricultural practice also evidenced at these sites.
  • The sites of Bagor in Rajasthan and Langhnaj in Gujarat elucidate that these Mesolithic communities were in touch with the people of the Harappan and other Chalcolithic cultures and traded various items with each other.
  • About 6,000 B.C., the Mesolithic people may have partly adopted the settled way of life and started domestication of animals including sheep and goat.

Prehistoric Rock Art

  1. The rock-shelters in India were mainly occupied by the Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic people.
  2. The rock-paintings depict a variety of subjects related to animals and the scenes including both people and animals. Besides animals and birds, fishes have also been depicted in the rock paintings.

Following were the important rock-painting sites −

  1. Murhana Paharin Uttar Pradesh
  2. Bhimbetka, Adamgarh, Lakha Juarin Madhya Pradesh
  3. Kupagalluin Karnataka.


  • The Pleistocene Age came to an ended about 10,000 years ago.
  • By the time, the climatic conditions in western and southern Asia were settled more or less similar to that of today.

Beginning of Settled Life

  1. About 6,000 years ago the first urban societies came into being in both the western and southern Asia regions.
  2. The peculiar advancement in the human life was the domestication of a large number of animals and plants.
  3. Around 7,000 B.C., humans in west Asia started domesticated crops like wheat and barley.
  4. Rice might have been domesticated at the same time in India as it is shown by the evidence from Koldihwa in the Belan valley.
  5. The domestication of various animals and successful exploitation of various species of wild plants ushered a shift towards permanent settlements, which gradually lead the economic and cultural developments.

Neolithic-Agriculture Regions

  1. The Neolithic-agriculture based regions (in Indian), can be categorized into four groups −
  2. Indus system and its western borderland;
  3. Ganga valley;
  4. Western India and the northern Deccan; and
  5. Southern Deccan.
  6. Agriculture and animal domestication were the main economic activity of early Neolithic cultures.
  7. The evidence of the agricultural based economy of Neolithic culture comes from the Quetta valley and in the Valleys of Loralai and Zob rivers in the north-western part of the Indo-Pakistan region.
  8. The site of Mehrgarh has been extensively examined and the result shows that the habitation here began in (around) 7,000 B.C. There is also an evidence of the use of ceramic during this period.
  9. Around 6,000 B.C., earthen pots and pans were used; initially handmade and later wheel-made.
  10. Initially, in the pre-ceramic period, the houses were in irregular scatter of square or rectangular shape and were made up of mud bricks.
  11. The first village was formed by separating the house by waste dumps and passage ways between them.
  12. The houses were generally divided into four or more internal compartments to be used some as storage.
  13. The subsistence of early inhabitants was primarily depended on hunting and food gathering and additionally supplemented by some agriculture and animal husbandry.
  14. The domestic cereals included wheat and barley and the domesticated animals were sheep, goat, pig, and cattle.
  15. Beginning of the 6th millennium B.C. marked as the use of pottery by the human beings; first handmade and then wheel-made.
  16. The people of this period, used to wear beads made up of lapis lazuli, carnelian, banded agate, and white marine shell. Beads were found with burial remains.
  17. The people were largely engaged in long-distance trade as suggested by the occurrence of shell bangles and pendants made up of a mother of pearl.
  18. During 7,000, the Neolithic settlement at Mehrgarh marked the early food-producing subsistence economy and beginning of trade and crafts in the Indus valley.
  19. The communities in the Indus valley during the next 2,500 years developed new technologies to produce pottery and figurines of terracotta; elaborate ornaments of stone and metal; tools and utensils; and architectural style.
  20. Large numbers of Neolithic sites have been found in the Ganga valley, Assam, and the north-east region.
  21. Apart from the Indus valley, some important Neolithic sites are −
  22. Gufkraland Burzahom in Kashmir,
  23. Mahgara, Chopani Mando,and Koldihwa in Belan valley in Uttar Pradesh, and
  24. Chirandin Bihar.
  25. The site of Koldihwa (of 6,500 B.C.) provided the earliest evidence for the domestication of rice. It is the oldest evidence of rice cultivation in any part of the world.
  26. The agriculture in the Belan valley began around 6,500 B.C. Besides rice, cultivation of barley was also attested at Mahgara.
  27. The radiocarbon dates of the bone remains, (from Koldihwa and Mahgara) show that cattle, sheep, and goat were domesticated in the region.
  28. The early Neolithic settlers in Burzahom lived in pit dwellings, rather than building houses on the ground.
  29. The settlement at Chirand in Bihar is of the later period (relatively) to Indus valley.
  30. Small polished Neolithic stone axes have been found from Cachar Hills, GaroHills, and Naga Hills in north-east regions of India.
  31. The excavations at Sarutaru near Guwahati revealed shouldered Celts and round-butted axes associated with the crude cord or the basket-marked pottery.
  32. The new patterns of subsistence found in south India that was almost contemporary with the Harappan culture.
  33. Following were the important sites in southern India −
  34. Kodekal, Utnur, Nagarjunikonda,and Palavoy in Andhra Pradesh;
  35. Tekkalkolta, Maski, Narsipur, Sangankallu, Hallur,and Brahmagiri in Karnataka
  36. Paiyampalliin Tamil Nadu.


The evidence (discussed above) leads us to draw certain broad conclusions.

  1. The earliest Neolithic settlements, in the Indian subcontinent, was first developed in the west of the Indus River. At Mehrgarh, the Neolithic culture began about 8,000 B.C. and soon it became a widespread phenomenon.
  2. People lived in mud houses; wheat and barley were cultivated; and sheep and goat were domesticated.
  3. Long-distance trade for precious goods was practiced.
  4. By 3,000 B.C., the Neolithic culture was a widespread phenomenon and covered a large part of the Indian subcontinent.






      1. What did  neolithic and paleolithic people had in common?

(a) They lived in small groops.

(b) The hunted and fished

(c) Made farming tools

(d) Made tools out of copper and silver


  1. What kind of materials did the paleolithic people use to make weapons?

(a) Silver

(b) Gold

(c) Rocks

(d) None of these

3______________ is an ancient city near the Jordan River, in the Palestinian Territory.

(a) Los Angeles

(b) Jerusalem

(c) Tenochtitlan

(d) Jericho


4.The first humans discovered ______________ in the ______________.

(a) Neolithic Age

(b) Paleolithic Age

(c) Bronze Age

(d) Agriculture Age


  1. During the ________________ age the most important job is to ____________.

(a) Neolithic Age / find shelter

(b) Neolithic Age / paint in caves walls

(c) Paleolithic Age / to find food

(d) Paleolithic Age / to grow crops


6.During the _______________ age humans are ___________________.

(a) Neolithic / hungry

(b) Neolithic / elevated caves

(c) Paleolithic / nomads

(d) Paleolithic / living in small cities


  1. How long did it take for humans to learn agriculture?

(a) One thousand years

(b) One hundred years

(c) One year

(d) Thousands of years


  1. Many of the early settlements during the Neolithic age are located near the _________?

(a) Indian Sea

(b) Mediterranean Sea

(c) Pacific Ocean

(d) Bering Sea


  1. Which is the best meaning for the word AGRICULTURE?

(a) The study that assumes and attempts to interpret the influence of the heavenly bodies on human affairs.

(b) The science that deals with the material universe beyond the earth’s atmosphere.

(c)  The science or occupation concerned with cultivating land, raising crops, breeding, and raising livestock; farming.

(d)  Emergence of life or living matter in all its forms and phenomena, esp. with reference to origin, growth, reproduction, structure, and behavior.


10. Historians are people who……

(a) An historian is an individual who makes history

(a) An historian is an individual who studies and writes about history

(a) An historian is an individual who sings about history

(a) An historian is an individual who changes history

Lecture 3:

 Indus Valley Civilization

(2500 BC • 1500 BC)

Mains Questions


  1. Discuss the economic basis of indus valley civilization?
  2. Discuss the urban planning of indus civilization?
  3. Write short notes on
  4. Lothal
  5. Kalibangan
  6. Mohenjodaro
  7. The great bath





Lecture 3:

Indus Valley Civilization

(2500 BC • 1500 BC)


From the beginning of the 4th millennium BC, the individuality of the early village cultures began to be replaced by a more homogenous style of existence. By the middle of the 3rd millennium, a uniform culture had developed at settlements spread across nearly 500,000 square miles, including parts of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Baluchistan, Sindh and the Makran coast. It was a highly developed civilization and derived its name from the main river of that region— Indus. The cities were far more advanced than their counterparts in prehistoric Egypt, Mesopotamia or anywhere else in Western Asia.

The Ancient Indus River Valley Civilization extended from Balochistan to Gujarat and from the east of the river Jhelum to Rupar.

  • Some time back, a number of sites were also discovered in Pakistan’s NW Frontier Province. Harappan Civilization covered most of Pakistan, along with the western states of India.
  • Even though most of the sites have been found on the river embankments, some have been excavated from the ancient seacoast and islands as well.

As per some archaeologists, the number of Harappan sites, unearthed along the dried up river beds of the Ghaggar-Hakra River and its tributaries, is around 500. Apart from that, those along the Indus and its tributaries are approximately 100 in number.

Image 1

Image 2

Script and Language

  • Harappan script is regarded as pictographic since its signs represent birds, fish and a variety of human forms.
  • The script was boustrophedon. Written from right to left in one line and then from left to right in the next line.
  • The number of signs of the Harappan script is known to be between 400 and 600. The language of the Harappans is still unknown and must remain so until the Harappan script is deciphered.



  • Harappan Pottery is bright or dark red and is uniformly sturdy and well baked.
  • It is chiefly wheel made, and consists of both plain and painted ware, the plain variety being more common.
  • Harappan people used different types of pottery such as glazed, polychrome, incised, perforated
  • And knobbed. The glazed Harappan pottery is the earliest example of its kind in the ancient World.
  • On the whole, Harappan pottery was highly utilitarian in character, though the painted designs on some pieces show a remarkable artistic touch.


  • they are the greatest artistic creations of the Indus people.
  • Most commonly made of steatite (soft stone).
  • The technique of cutting and polishing these seals with white luster was a unique invention of the Harappans.
  • The majority of the seals have an animal engraved on them with a short inscription.
  • Unicorn is the animal most frequently represented on the seals.
  • Main type – (a) the square type with a carved animal and inscription, (b) the rectangular type with inscription only.

Some New Finds

DholaviraRann of Kachh (Gujarat)                    R. S. Bisht

Ganverivala           Pakistan                                RafeeqMugal

RakhiGarhiJeend (Haryana)                                RafeeqMugal


Burial Practices

  1. Three forms of burials are found at Mohenjodaro, viz.
  2. complete burials.
  3. fractional burials (burial of some bones after the exposure of the body to wild beasts birds) and
  4. post-cremation burials. But the general practice was extended inhumation, the body lying on us back, with the head generally to the north.


  1. The chief male deity was the Pashupati Mahadeva (proto-Siva), represented in seals as sitting in a yogic posture on a low throne, and having three faces and two horns.
  2. He is surrounded by lour animals (elephant, tiger, rhino and buffalo), each lacing a different direction, and two deer appear at his feel.
  3. The chief female deity was the Mother Goddess, who has been depicted in various forms
  4. There is sufficient evidence for the prevalence of phallic worship. Numerous stone symbols of female sex organs (yoni worship), besides those of the phallus, have been discovered.
  5. The worship of fire is proved by the discovery of fire altars at Lothal. Kalibangan and Harappa.
  6. Indus people also worshipped Gods in the form of trees (piapal, etc.) and animals (unicorn etc)
  7. Further they believed in ghosts and evil forces and used amulets as protection against them.

Trade and Commerce

  1. Inter regional trade was carried on with Rajasthan, Saurashtra, Maharashtra. South India, parts of Western Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
  2. Foreign trade was conducted mainly with Mesopotamia and Bahrain.
  3. Trade was carried on by overland as well as overseas transport. Bullock carts and pack-oxen were employed for land


  1. There is evidence of sea and river transport by ships and boats in several seals and terracotta models, apart from the dockyard at Lothal.
  2. The Sumerian texts refer lo trade relations with Meluha’ which was the ancient name given to Indus region and
  3. they also speak of two intermediate stations called Dilmun (identified with Bahrain) and Makan (Makran coast).


  1. After 2000 BC, the Indus culture slowly declined and gradually faded out.
  2. Some ascribe this to the decreasing fertility of the soil account of the increasing salinity, caused by the expansion of the neighbouring desert.
  3. Others attribute it to some kind of depression in the land, which caused floods
  4. Still others pointout that the Aryans destroyed it. According to some scholars, decline of trade, particularly oceanic trade with the Sumerians, must have contributed partly in the decline. Even though there are various theories for the downfall of this civilization,

the most accepted version is that of ecological destruction.

Major Sites


  1. The Great Granary measuring 1 69 ft x 3 5 feet is the largest and the most remarkable structure found at Harappa.
  2. So far 891 seals have been recovered from Harappa, and that is 40% of the total number of seals belonging to Indus
  3. Valley Civilization that have been found.
  4. A red sandstone naked male torso has been found, which shows traces of Jainism
  5. Between the granary and the citadel, have also been found a series of circular platforms, probably for the pounding of grain
  6. At a lower level below the granary, platforms and the citadel were crowded one-room dwellings, which suggest slave habitats.



  1. In Sindhi language, the word Mohenjodaro means mound of the dead’.
  2. It is the largest of all Indus cities
  3. The Great Bath is the most important public place, measuring 39 feet (length) X 23 feet (breadth) X 8 feet (depth).
  4. Located at the center of the citadel, it is remarkable for beautiful brickwork Its floor is made of burnt bricks set in gypsum and mortar. It must have served as a ritual-bathing site
  5. Remains have been found of an oblong multi-pillared assembly hall and a big rectangular building, which must have served administrative purposes.
  6. Most of Mohenjodaro houses are built of kiln-fired brick
  7. The major streets are 33 feet wide and run north-south, intersecting subordinate ones, running east-west at right angles.
  8. The evidence of Indian ships (figured on a seal) and a piece of woven cloth has been discovered from here
  9. There is a large granary consisting of podium of square blocks of burnt-bricks with a wooden superstructure
  10. Parallel rows of two-roomed cottages found The workmen or poor sections Of the society perhaps used these cottages.
  11. Abronzedancinggirl, steatite statue of a priest and a seal bearing Pashupati have been found here
  12. It is important to remember that Mohenjodaro shows nine levels of occupation towering over 300 feet above the present flood plain
  13. Excavation reveals that the city was flooded More than seven times


  1. Has pre-Harappan as well as Harappan cultural phases.
  2. Less developed compared to Mohenjodaro
  3. There is evidence of mud-brick fortification
  4. Pre-Harappan phase here shows that the fields were ploughed unlike the Harappan period.
  5. Archaeologists have discovered two platforms (within the citadel) with fire altars suggesting the practice of cult sacrifice
  6. The existence of wheel conveyance is proved by a cartwheel having a single hub


  1. Only Indus city without a citadel.
  2. Existence of Pre-Harappan as well as Harappan cultural phase
  3. A small pot was discovered here, which was probably an ink pot.
  4. Excavations reveal that people of Chanhudaro were expert craftsmen. Archaeologists have discovered here metal-workers’, shell-ornament makers’ and bead-makers’ shops
  5. The city was twice destroyed by inundations. Here more extensive but indirect evidence
  6. of super-imposition of a barbarian lifestyle is seen


  1. Like Kalibangan, Amri, KotDiji and Harappa, Banwali also saw two cultural
  2. phases – pre-Harappan and Harappan.
  3. Human and animal figures, clay bangles and statue of mother Goddess found here.
  4. Here we find large quantity of barely, sesamum and mustard.
  5. Surkotada
  6. Excavations leveal a citadel and a lower town, both of which were fortified.
  7. It is the only Indus site where the remains of a horse have actually been round.

Kot Diji

  1. Pre-Harappan and Harappan phases found.
  2. According to excavations, the city was probably destroyed due to fire
  3. Wheel made painted pottery, traces of a defensive wall and well-aligned streets,
  4. knowledge of metallurgy, artistic toys etc.
  5. Five figurines of Mother Goddess discovered


  1. The excavations have yielded five-fold sequence of cultures — Harappan, PGW, NBP, Kushana-Gupta and Medieval.
  2. The evidence of burying a dog below the human burial is very interesting
  3. One example of rectangular mudbrick chamber was noticed.


  1. It is the latest and one of the two largest Harappan settlements in India, the other Being Rakhigarhi in Haryana
  2. The other Harappan towns were divided into two parts — Citadel and the Lower Town, but Dholavira was divided into three principal divisions, two of which were strongly protected by rectangular fortifications.
  3. There are two inner enclosures — the first one hemmed in the citadel (which probably housed the highest
  4. authority)and the second one protected the middle town (meant for the close relatives of the rulers and other
  5. officials). The
  6. existence of this middle town, apart from the lower town, is the real exclusive feature of this city.


  1. Only Indus site with an artificial brick dockyard. It must have served as the main seaport of the Indus people It was surrounded by a massive brick wall, probably as flood protection.
  2. Lothal has evidence for the earliest cultivation of rice (1800 BC) The only other Indus site where rice husk has been found is Rangpur near Ahmedabad.
  3. Fire altars, indicating the probable existence of a fire cult, have been found









Lecture 3:

Indus Valley Civilization

(2500 BC • 1500 BC)

Pre Questions

  1. The Indus Valley Culture was different from the vedic Civilization because

(a) It had the amenities of a developed city life

(b) it has a pictographic script

(c) it had a lack of knowledge of iron and defensive arrow

(d) all of the above


  1. the source of knowledge about Harappan culture is

(a) rock edict

(b) writing in Terracotta

(c) archaeological excavations

(d) all of the above


  1. A ploughed field was discovered at

(a) MohenjoDaro

(b) Kalibangan

(c) Harappa

(d) Lothal


  1. Which of the following animals was not represented on the seales and Terracotta art of the Harappan culture

(a) cow

(b) elephant

(c) Rhinoceros

(d) Tiger


  1. which of Indus Valley is now in Pakistan

(a) Kali bangan

(b) Harappa

(c) Lothal

(d) Alamgirpur


  1. the great bath was found at the archaeological site of

(a) Ropar

(b) Harappa

(c) MohenjoDaro

(d) Lothal


  1. which of the following statement about the Indus civilization is not true

(a) accurate drainage system in cities

(b) trade and Commerce work in an advanced stage

(c) worshipping of mother goddess

(d) people knew about Iron


8. dadheri is a late Harappan site of

(a) Jammu

(b) Punjab

(c) Haryana

(d) Uttar Pradesh


  1. who among the following was not associated with the excavation of Harappa and Mohenjo Daro


(b) KN dikshit

(c) MS vats



  1. who was the director of the archaeological excavations that led to the discovery of Harappa and Mohenjo Daro

(a) Lord mekale

(b) Sir John Marshall




  1. Harappan Civilization Lothal is located in

(a) Gujarat

(b) Punjab

(c) Rajasthan

(d) Haryana


Lecture -4

Vedic Age (1500 BC-1000 BC)

  1. It is generally agreed that Aryans originally lived somewhere in Steppes stretching from southern Russia to central Russia. The consensus of opinion is that originally they lived somewhere in the East of Alps.
  2. Inscription of about 1600 BC and Mittani Inscription of 1400 BC found in Iraq bear some Aryan names, which suggest that from Iran a branch of Aryans moved towards west.
  3. The Rig Veda has many things in common with the Avesta – the oldest text in Iranian language. Rig Veda is the earliest specimen of any Indo-European language.
  4. According to Rig Veda, early Aryans first settled in the region called ‘Sapta-Sindhava’ or the land of seven rivers encompassing the present East Afghanistan, Punjab and Western UP
  5. Early Aryans were semi-nomadic and kept large herds of cattle. As they settled down in villages, they also became cultivators.
  6. using ox to draw their ploughs. They were ruled by warriors, who depended upon priests to perform the rituals to protect their crops and cattle, and insure victory in war.
  7. The Indian sub-continent got its name Bharat Varsha after the Bharata tribe, which was the strongest one. During the later Vedic phase, the Aryans moved away from their


Original Home of Aryans

  1. Central Asia        Max Muller
  2. Tibet                   Dayanand Saraswati
  3. German plain      Prof. Penka
  4. Pamirs                 Mayor
  5. Turkistan            Hurz Feld
  6. Bactria               J. C. Rod
  7. Steppes             Brandstein
  8. Arctic Region    B.G. Tilak
  9. Central India     Rajbali Pandey
  10. Kashmir             L. D. Kala
  11. Sapta Sindhu      A. C. Das


Rivers Mentioned in Rig Veda

Old Name              New Name

  1. Gomati                      Gomal
  2. Krumu                      Kurram
  3. Kubha                       Kabul
  4. Suvastu                     Swat
  5. Sindhu                       Indus
  6. Drishadvati              Ghaghar/Chitang
  7. Satudri                       Satluj
  8. Vipas                        Beas
  9. Parushni                   Ravi
  10. Asikni                      Chenab
  11. Vitasta                      Jhelam


Rig Vedic Polity

  • The chief was the protector of the tribe or Jana.
  • However, he did not possess unlimited powers for he had to reckon with the tribal Assemblies.
  • Sabha, Samiti, Vidhata and Gana were the tribal Assemblies. Of these, Vidhata was the oldest.
  • These assemblies exercised deliberative, military and religious functions.
  • The two most important Assemblies were the Sabha and Samiti. Samiti was general in nature and less exclusive than Sabha.Women attended Sabha and Vidhata in Rigvedic times.
  • There were a few non-monarchical states {ganas), which are described whose head was Ganapati or Jyestha.


Metals Known

  1. Gold           Hiranya
  2. Iron           Shyama (Krishna Ayas)
  3. Copper       Ayas


  • The Aryans were a wild, turbulent people and had few of the taboos prevalent in later India. They were much addicted to inebriating drinks, of which they had at least two, soma and sura. Soma was drunk at sacrifices and its use was sanctified by religion.
  • Sura was purely secular and more potent, and was dis- approved by the priestly poets. The Aryans loved music, and played the flute. Lute and harp, to the accompaniment of cymbal and drums. People also de- lighted in gambling. They enjoyed chariot races.


Rigvedic Gods

  1. The early Vedic religion was naturalistic.
  2. Evidently, there were neither temples nor idols. The mode of prayer was recitation of mantras.
  3. Sacrifice was offered for Praja (children). Pasu (cattle) and Dhana (wealth) and not for spiritual upliftment or misery.


  1. 250 hymns are attributed to Indra.
  2. He was the Aryan warlord and also controlled the weather.
  3. Has been called Purandhar or destroyer of forts.
  4. He was the proverbial Rain God (prajanya),responsible for causing rainfall.
  5. He was associated with thunder and storm and bore the thunderbolt (Vajra),
  6. with which he destroyed his enemies
  7. He has been addressed by various names -Ratheshtha, Jitendra, Somapa, Purandra, Vritrahan and Maghayan.



  1. He was the upholder of Rta or cosmic order and whatever happened in the world was thought to be reflection of his desire.
  2. As an administrator of the cosmic law (Rta), he regulated all activities in the world. It is he who has spread out the earth and set the sun in motion.
  3. He is therefore called the world sovereign and is also regarded at the of human morality.
  4. His worship gives the earliest signs of Bhakti.
  5. In every hymn for Varuna. there is an appeal for forgiveness.



  1. About 200 hymns on the Rig Veda are attributed to Agni.
  2. He was the intermediary between Gods and men. He consumed the sacrificial offerings and carried them to Gods.
  3. He dwelt in heaven in the form of lightning. On earth he existed in many forms.
  4. He dwelt in the domestic hearth.



  1. A sort of Adam – The first man to die, who became the guardian of the world of dead.


  1. The God of plants. An intoxicant drink was also named Soma.
  2. The Soma sacrifice was an important Vedic rituals.
  3. He is the special God of Brahamans, who referred to him as their patron deity.


Later Vedic Gods

  1. India and Varuna lost their previous importance and Prajapati attained the Supreme position. Rudra and Vishnu became more important than before.
  2. Pushan became the God of Shudras.
  3. Brahmin monopoly over divine knowledge was established.
  4. An elaborate system of Yajnas developed. Among the important ones were— Rajasuya, Ashvamedha and Vajapeya.


Rig Vedic Society

  1. Based on kinship, the early Aryan society was essentially tribal and egalitarian.
  2. People owed their primary loyalty to their tribe, which was called Jana.
  3. The family was essentially patriarchal and birth of son was desired.
  4. The family was a large unit, indicated by a common word for son, grandson,nephew and one word for paternal and maternal grandfather.
  5. Rashtra (kingdom) had not come into existence


The Cow

  1. The cow seems to be the most important form of wealth.
  2. Most wars were fought for cows.
  3. The term for war in Rig Veda is Gavishthi or search for cows.
  4. Duhitri is a word for daughter, which literally means one who milks cows.


Other Gods

  1. Vayu                Wind God
  2. Dyaus              Father of Heaven
  3. Aditi                Mother of Surya
  4. Morals             Storm spirits
  5. Gandharvas      Divine musicians
  6. Ashvins            Healers of diseases and experts in surgical art
  7. Ribhus              Gnomes
  8. Apsoras            Mistresses of Gods.
  9. Rudra              An archer God, whose arose brought disease


The term Aghanya, or not to be killed has been used for cow. This indicated cow’s economic importance.

  1. Primarily a military leader, the King fought for cows and not for territories
  2. Guests were called Goghana, which indicates that beef was offered to them.
  3. The gift made to priests usually consisted of cows and women slaves and never of land.


Position of Women

  1. Women held respectable position in society. They could attend tribal assemblies.
  2. They took part in sacrifices alongwith their husbands.
  3. There are no examples of child marriage and the marriageable age for girls was 16 to 17 years.
  4. We also get evidence of widow remarriage and practice of Niyoga (levirate) in which a childless widow would co-habit with her brother-in-law until the birth of a son.
  5. Monogamy was the established practice. However, polygamy and polyandry were also known.


Female Deities

  1. Usha                    Goddess of dawn.
  2. Aditi                    Mother of Gods.
  3. Prithivi                Earth Goddess.
  4. Aryani                Forest Goddess
  5. Saraswati            The River deity.


Important Rituals

  1. Rajasuya: The King’s influence was strengthened by rituals. He performed this
  2. sacrifice, which was supposed to confer supreme power on him.
  3. Asvamedha: A King performed the Asvamedha, which meant unquestioned control over the area in which the royal horse ran uninterrupted. The ceremony lasted for 3 days at the end of which horse sacrifice was performed.
  4. Vajapeya: A King performed the Vajpeya or the chariot race, in which the royal chariot was made to win the race against his kinsmen (a case of match-fixing!).
  5. The ritual lasted for 17 days and was believed not only to restore the strength of the middle-aged king but also to elevate him from the position of Raja to that of Samrat.



Chief Priests

The chief priests who were engaged in performing the sacrifices were –

  1. Hotri – the Invoker, he recited hymns from Rigveda.
  2. Adhvaryu – the executor, he rected hymns from Yajurvada.
  3. Udgatri – the singer, he recited hymns from Samveda.


Social Divisions

  1. When the Aryans first came to India, there was no consciousness of caste, nor were the professions hereditary.
  2. The word ‘Varna’ is used in the Rig Veda with reference to only the Aryan or Dasa having respectively, fair or dark complexion, but never with reference to the Brahmana or Rajanya (Kshatriya).
  3. Quadruple division of society made its formal appearance only at one place in the Tenth Mandala of Rig Veda (Purushsukta hymn). The term Shudra is mentioned for the first time in the Tenth Mandala of Rig Veda.
  4. The Ashrama system had not developed fully till the Later Vedic Period.

Six System of Philosophy

  1. Nyaya (Analysis)                                         Gautam
  2. Vaisesika (Atomic Characteristic)                Kanada
  3.  Sankhya (Enumeration)                                 Kapil
  4. Yoga (Application )                                      Patanjali
  5. Purva Mimansa (Enquiry) Jaimini
  6.  Uttar Mimansa (Vedanta)                             Vyasa

Image 1

  1. Of these eight forms the first four were generally approved and were permissible to Brahmans.
  2. Daiva marriage was considered ‘the ideal’. The other forms were looked down upon with varying degrees of disfavour. Gandharva marriage. which often might amount to no more than a liaison, was surprisingly respected.
  3. A special form of the Gandharva marriage was the Swayamvara

Administrative Officers

  1. Purohita                             Chief priest
  2. Senani                                The leader of the army.
  3. Vrajapati                            Officer who enjoyed authority over pasture ground.
  4. Kulapas                              Heads of families led by Vrajapati.
  5. Gramini                              Head of fitting hordes under Vrajapati.


  • There was no officer for tax collection, nor we do hear of any officer for administering justice.
  • Spies (Spasa) were employed to watch over anti-social activities like theft and burglary.
  • The chief received from people voluntary offering called Bali.


Later Vedic Age

(1000 BC-600 BC)

During the Later Vedic Age the Aryans thoroughly subdued the fertile plains watered by Yamuna, Ganges and Sadanira.


Political Organisation

  1. During the Later Vedic Age popular assemblies lost much of their importance and royal power increased at their cost.
  2. In other words, chiefdom gave way to kingdom.
  3. Formation of large kingdoms made the king more powerful. For all practical purposes, kingship became hereditary.
  4. The Vidhata completely disappeared. Sabha and Samiti continued to hold ground, but their character changed and they were no more representative of the will of the majority.
  5. Women were no longer permitted to attend the assemblies. which came to be dominated by nobles and Brahamanas.
  6. The term rashtra indicating ‘territory’ first appealed in this period.



  1. The institution of Gotra appeared in the Later Vedic Age.
  2. Literally meaning cowpen, Gotra signified descent from a common ancestor.
  3. The Gotra has been regarded as a mechanism for widening the socio- political ties,as new relationships were forged between hitherto unrelated people.
  4. People began to practice Gotra exogamy. In other words, marriage between persons belonging to the same Gotra was prohibited.


Regions and Kings

  1. Eastern King                           Samrat
  2. Western King                        Suvrat
  3. Northern King                        Virat
  4. Southern king                        Bhoja
  5. King of middle country .        Raja Pottery


Various types of pottery known:

  1. Black and Red ware
  2. Black Slipped ware
  3. Plain Grey ware
  4. Red ware.


Social Organisation

  • Society in the Later Vedic Age became increasingly complex and came to be divided into four Varnas – Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras.
  • Brahamanas: The growing cult of sacrifice enormously added to the power of Brahmanas, who performed various rituals and sacrifices for their clients. In the beginning, they were merely one of the
  • sixteen classes of priests, but later on they overshadowed others.
  • Kshatriyas: They constituted the warrior class. Majority of the rulers belonged to this class.
  • Vaisyas: They were the agriculturists, cattle-rearers, traders, artisans and metal workers, which formed the bulk of population.
  • In some texts, the Kshatriyas are represented as living on the tributes collected from the Vaisyas.
  • Sudras: They were the lowest in social hierarchy and were meant to serve the upper three varnas.
  • The upper three varnas were known as the Dvijas (twice born).
  • The upper three varnas were entitledto ‘upanayana’ or investiture with the sacred thread.
  • Education began with upanayana ceremony. Sometimes the girls were also initiated. The age of upanayana was 8 years for Brahamana. 11 for Kshatriya, and 12 for Vaisyas.
  • Certain sections of artisans such as Rathakara or chariot-maker enjoyed high status and were entitled to the sacred thread ceremony.
  • In Later vedic Age, polygamy was prevalent and there were
  • instances of child-marriage.
  • The term Nagara appears for the first time in the Later Vedic Age, showing faint beginnings of town life.
  • In later vedik age Due to increase in complexity of the society and political structure, some new officials were appointed by the state namely −
    1. Suta(charioteer),
    2. Sangrahitri(treasurer),
    3. Bhagadugha(collector of taxes),
    4. Gramini(head of a village),
    5. Sthapati(chief judge),
    6. Takshan(carpenter),
    7. Kshatri(chamberlain), etc.


Vedic Literature

  • The word Veda is derived from the Sanskrit word Veda meaning, to know or knowledge par excellence.
  • Vedic texts are divided between Sruti (based on hearing), which is distinct from Smriti (based on memory).
  • Four Vedas and their Samhitas, the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas and the
  • Upanishads form a class of literature known as Sruti.


Rig Veda

  • It is divided into 10 Books or Mandalas. Books II to VII are considered the oldest. Book I, VIII and X seem to be later additions.
  • A collection of 1028 hymns of a number of priestly families.
  • Written between 1700-1500 B.C. when Aryans were still in Punjab.
  • Books II to VII are earliest and are also called as family books. They are attributed to Gritsamada, Visvamitra, Vasudeva. Am. Bhardwaj, Vashishtha. Kanva and Angiras.

Image 2

Yajur Veda

  • A ritualistic Veda.
  • It is divided into Shukla Yajurveda and Krishna Yajurveda.
  • Atharvaveda mentions beliefs and practices of non-Aryans.
  • In Atharvaveda, Sabha and Samiti are described as uterine sisters – the two daughters of Prajapati.
  • Written in prose, it deals with procedure for performance of sacrifices and contains rituals as well as hymns.


Sama Veda

  • Sam Veda derives its roots from Saman. which means a melody.
  • A collection of melodies.
  • A collection of 1603 hymns. Except 99, all others were derived from Rig Veda.


Atharva Veda

  • A collection of 711 hymns, it is divided into 20 Kandas.
  • It is the latest Veda.
  • Atharva Veda is a book of magical formula.
  • It contains charms and spells to ward-off evil and disease.
  • Its content throws light on the practices of non-Aryans.


The Upanishads

  • The term Upanishada indicates knowledge acquired by sitting close to the teacher.
  • They consisted of discussions on several problems such as the creation of the universe, the nature of God. the origin of mankind etc. They are anti-ritualistic and define the doctrine of Karma (Action), Atman (Soul) and Gad (Brahma).
  • They are spiritual and philosophical in nature.
  • They are called the Vedanta or the end of Vedas. They advocate J nana Marga and are anti-ritualistic in nature.
  • There are 108 Upanishads. Generally, the period from 800 to 500 BC is known as the period of Upanishads.
  • The Aitareya and Kaushitaki Upanishads belong to Rig Veda.
  • Chhandogya and Kena Upanishad belong to Sama Veda. Taittiriya. Katha and
  • Svetasvatara Upanishad belong to the Krishna Yajur Veda.
  • Brihadaranyaka and Isa belong to the Shukla Yajur Veda.
  • Mundaka and Mundukya belong to the Atharva Veda.

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  • The ashrama system is found mentioned for the first time in the Aitareya Brahman a.
  • Meant mainly for regulating the life of the male members of the higher castes, they
  • consisted of four stages:
  • Brahmacharin or student life;
  • Grihastha or life of the  householder;
  • Vanaprastha or partial retirement and Sanyasin or complete retirement (ascetic life).
  • Full recognition of the fourth stage was done only in the post-Vedic period.



Pre- Questions

  1. In which text the term Verna is found referred for the first time

(a) Rig Veda

(b) atharveda

(c) samveda

(d) yajur Veda


  1. In Rig Veda there are ………. himes

(a) 1028

(b) 1017

(c) 1128

(d) 1020


  1. Earliest evidence of the use of iron in India has been discovered from

(a) Takshila

(b) Atranjikhera

(c) Kaushambi

(d) Hastinapur


  1. Which Mandal of Rigveda is completely dedicated to Soma

(a) 10

(b) 6

(c) 8

(d) 9


  1. The vedic River,kumbha was located in

(a) Afghanistan

(b) Chinese

(c)  turkistan

(d) Kashmir


  1. The famous dialogue between Nachiketa and Yama is mentioned in the

(a) mundakopnishad

(b) chandogya Upanishad

(c) Kathopanishad

(d) kenopanishad


  1. A brahmavadini who composed some times of the Vedas

(a) Lopamudra

(b) Gargi

(c) Leelavathi

(d) Savitri


  1. the philosopher king of paanchaal reffered in upnishdas

(a) Ajatshatru

(a) Pareekshit

(a) Brahmdatta

(a) Pravahan javaali


9. Ghoshitaram where Buddha stayed for some time located at

(a) Rajgrih

(b) Champa

(c) Shravasti

(d) Kaushambi


  1. The religion of early Vedic Aryans was primarily of

(a) Bhakti

(b) image worship and

(c) worship nature

(d) Stone worship


  1. during the Rig Vedic period Nishaka was an ornament of

(a) years

(b) neck

(c) wrist

(d) fingers

Mains Questions


  1. in the rigvedik age discuss the social condition of women ?
  2. write short notes on (50 words)
  3. upnishadas
  4. aswamedha
  5. saraswati river
  6. asharama




Mains Question


  1. Discuss the causes of Magadha’ s success ?
  2. Write short notes on
  3. Ashtangikmarga
  4. Mahayana
  5. Ajatshatru
  6. Mahavir swami 






In 6th century BC, ancient India had a number of kingdoms which emerged during the Vedic Age . This period saw socio-economic deveopment along with religious and political developments across the Indo-Gangetic plain. These permanent settlements led the evolution from janapadas to mahajanpadas. By sixth century BC, the centre of major political activity shifted from western part of gangetic plain to the eastern part, comprising the present day Bihar and eastern UP. Major reason for this shift was,

  • the fertile lands of this area with better rainfall and rivers,
  • their closeness to iron production centres also played a key role.
  • In fact, it was the increased use of iron tools and weapons that enabled small states to become kingdoms, known as Mahajanapadas.


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.Again the republic were basically of 2 types:

  • the republics comprising a single tribe like those of the Sakyas, the Kollis and the Mallas.
  • the republics comprising a number of tribes or the republics of confederacy like the Vrijjis.

Magadhan Ascendancy

Of the sixteen Mahajanapadas, Magadha, Kosala, Vatsa and Avanti were more powerful. They fought amongstthemselves for political pre-eminence for about a hundred years. Ultimately, Magadha, under the leadership of Bimbisar’a(542 BC – 493 BC) and Ajatshatru (493 BC – 461 BC) emerged victorious. The victory of Magadha was a victory for themonarchical system, which was now firmly established in the Ganges plain.

  • Magadhan ascendancy began with Bimbisara of the Haryanka dynasty.
  • He married the princesses of Kosala, Vaishaliand madya which helped him in his expansionist policy.
  • His one and only conquest was that of Anga.
  • He also gained a part of Kashi as(he dowry in his marriage with the sister of King Prasenajit of Kosala. Bimbisara was murdered by his own son. Ajatasatru (492-460BC).
  • He defeated Prasenajit, mar-ried his daughter, and annexed Kashi.
  • Ajatasatru was succeeded by Udayin (460-444 BC), whofounded the new capital at Pataliputra.
  • The Haryanka dynasty was succeeded by the Sisunaga dynasty, which destroyed the power of Avanti and incorporated it in the Magadhanempire. Thus, the 100-year-old rivalry between Avanti and Magadha came to an end.
  • The Sisunagas were succeeded by the Nandas. Who annexed Kalinga to the empire.Mahapadma Nanda was the most important king of his dynasty. The Nandas are said to have checked Alexander’s army from ad-vancing towards Magadha.
  • Their rule was supplanted by that of the Mauryas,

Religious Movements

  • The period between 7th and 5th century BC was a turning point in the intellectual and spiritual development ofthe whole world, for it witnessed the emergence of early philosophers of Greece, the great Hebrew poets, Confucius in China and Zoroaster in Persia. It was at this time that Jainism and Buddhism arose in India, each based on a distinctive set of doctrines and each laying down distinctive rules of conduct for attaining salvation

Causes of New Movements

  • The Vedic philosophy had lost its original purity.
  • The Vedic religion had become very complex and degenerated into superstitions, dogmas, andrituals.
  • Supremacy of the Brahmans created unrest in the society and Kshatriya reacted against the Brahmanical domination.
  • Introduction of a new agricultural economy in eastern India.
  • The desire of Vaishyas to improve their social position with the increase in their economic position due to the growth of trade.


Buddha’s Life

  • Gautama, the Buddha also known as Siddhartha, Sakyamuni and Tathagata.
  • Born in 563 BC (widely accepted), on the vaisakhapurnima day at Lumbini, nearKapilvastu, capital of the Sakya republic.
  • Left home at the age of 29 and attained Nirvana at the age of 35 at Bodh Gaya.
  • Delivered his first sermon at Sarnath.
  • He attained Mahaparinirvana at Kusinara in 483 BC.

Buddhist Councils

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Buddhist Scriptures

  • The VinayaPitaka:
  • mainly deals with rules and regulations, which the Buddha promulgated,
  • it describes in detail the gradual development of the Sangha.
  • Anaccount of the life and leaching of the Buddha is also given.


The Sutra Pitaka:

  • Consists chiefly of discourses delivered by Buddha himself on different occasions,
  • Few discourses delivered by Sariputta, Ananda, Moggalana and others are also included in it.
  • It lays down the principles of Buddhism.


The AbhidhammaPitaka:

  • Contains the profound philosophy of the Buddha’steachings,
  • It investigates mind and matter, to help the understanding of things as they trulyare.


The Khandhakas: contain regulations on the course or life in the monastic order and have two sections – the Mahavagga and the Cullavagga.


The thud part – the Parivara is aninsignificant composition by a Ceylonese monk.


Among the non- canonical literature Milindapanho, Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa areimportant. The later two are the great chronicles of Ceylon.

Buddhist Philosophy

  • Idealism: Two source of valid knowledge:
  • Perception and
  • Doctrineof dependent origination (Pratisamutpada): Central theory of Buddhist Philosophy.
  • It tells us that in the empirical worid dominated by the intellect, everything is relative, conditional. dependent, subject to birth and death andtherefore impermanent.
  • Theory of momentariness {Kshanabhanga or Impermanence): It tells that everything in this world is merely a conglomeration of perishable qualities.
  • According to it. Things that can produce effect exist and whatever cannot produce effect has noexistence.

Five Great Events of Buddha’s

Life and their Symbols

  • Birth: Lotus and Bull
  • Great Renunciation: Horse
  • Nirvana: Bodhi tree
  • First Sermon: Dharmachakra or wheel
  • Parinirvana or Death: Stupa

Four Noble Truths

  • The world is full of sorrows.
  • Desire is root cause of sorrow.
  • If Desire is conquered, all sorrows can be removed.
  • Desire can be removedbyfollowing the eight-fold path.


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Three Ratnas

  • Buddha
  • Dharma
  • Sangha

Sacred Shrines

  • Lumbini– Birth
  • Bodh-Gaya- Enlightenment
  • Sarnath-first sermon
  • Kusinagar-Mahaparinirvana

To these are added tour places Sravasti, Rajgriha. Vaishali and Sankasya- these eight places have all along been considered as the eight holy places (ashtamahasthanas).

Buddhist architecture developed essentially in three forms, viz.

  • Stupa –relics of theBuddha or some prominent Buddhist monk are preserved)
  • Chaitya -prayer hall
  • Vihara-residence




10 Types of Buddhism


  • Its followers believed in the original teachings of Buddha,
  • They sought individual salvation through self-discipline and meditation.
  • They did not believe in idol-worship,
  • Hinayana, like Jainism, is a religion without God, Karma taking the place of God.
  • Nirvana is regarded as the extinction of all.
  • The oldest school of Hinayana Buddhism is the Sthaviravada (Theravada in Pali) or the ‘Doctrine of the Elders’,
  • Its Sanskritcounterpart, which is more philosophical is known as Sarvastivada or the doctrine whichmaintains the existence of all things, physical as well as mental,
  • Gradually, from Sarvastivada or Vaibhasika branched of  another school called Sautantrika, which was more critical in outlook.




  • Its followers believed in the heavenliness of Buddha and sought the salvation of all through the grace and help of Buddha and Bodhisatvas.
  • Believes in idol-worship, ( Believes that Nirvana is not a negative cessation of misery but a positive state of bliss,
  • Mahayana had two chief philosophical schools: the Madhyamika and the Yogachara.
  • Theformer took a line midway between the uncompromising realism of Hinayanism and the idealism of Yogachara.
  • The Yogachara school founded by Maitreyanatha completely rejected the realism of Hinayana and maintained absolute idealism.


  • Its followers believed that salvation could be best attained by acquiring the magical power, which they called Vajra.
  • The chief divinities of this new sect were the Taras.
  • It became popular in Eastern India, particularly Bengal and Bihar.

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Life of Mahavira

  • Born in 540 BC at Kundagrama near Vaisali.
  • Siddhartha was his father: Trisala his mother, Yasoda his wife andJameli was the daughter.
  • Attained Kaivalya at Jrimbhikagrama in eastern India at the age of 42.
  • Died at the age of 72 in 468 BC at Pavapuri near Rajagriha.
  • He was called Jina or Jitendriya, Nirgrantha and Mahavira.

 Way to Nirvana

Three Ratnas)

  • Right faith (Samyakvishwas)
  • Right knowledge (Samyakjnan
  • Right conduct (Samyak karma)

The Principles of Jainism as

Preached by Mahavira

  • Rejected the authority of the Vedas and the Vedic rituals.
  • Did not believe in the existence of God.
  • Believed in karma and the transmigration of soul.
  • Laid great emphasis on equality.

Five Main Teachings

  • Non-injury (ahimsa)
  • Non-lying (saryai)
  • Non-stealing (asateya)
  • Non-possession (aparigraha)
  • Observe continence (Bralmmcharya).

The first four principles are of Parsavanath and the fifth Bramacharya was included by Mahavira).

Sacred Literature

The sacred literature of the Svetambaras is written in a form of Prakrit called Ardhamagadhi, and may be classified as follows:

The twelve Angas

  • The twelve Upangas
  • The ten Parikarnas
  • The six Chhedasutras
  • The four Mulasutras.

Jaina Philosophy

  • Syadvada: All our judgements are necessarily relative, conditional and limited. According ‘to Syadvada (the theory of may be) seven modes of predication (saptabhangi) are possible. Absolute affirmation and absolute negation both are wrong. All judgements are conditional.
  • Anekantavada: The Jain a metaphysics is a realistic and relativistic pluralism. It is called Anekantavada or the doctrine of the ‘manyness of reality’. Matter (Pudgala) and Spirit (Jiva) are regarded as separate and independent realities.

Spread of Jainism

  • Jainism received patronage from the kings of the time, including Chandragupta Maurya. In the south, royal dynasties such as the Gangas, Kadambas. Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas patronized Jainism. In. Gujarat, patronage came from wealthymerchants. The concrete expression of Jainism’s religious zeal is seen all over the country in works of art and architecture.
  • The 57-foothigh statue of Gomateshvara at Sravanabelagola in Mysore, erected in 983 or 984 AD is a marvel of its kind.
  • The temples at MountAbu and those at Palithana in Gujarat and Moodabidri and Karkala in the south make a rich contribution to the Indian heritage.


Jaina Councils

  • By the end of fourth century BC, there was a serious famine in the Ganges valley leading to a great exodus of manymJaina monks to the Deccan and South India (SravanaBelgola) along with Bhadrabahu and Chandragupta Maurya.
  • They returned to the Gangetic valley after 12 years. The leader of the group, which stayed back at Magadha wasSthulabahu. The changes that took place in the code of conduct of the followers of Sthulabahu led to the division ofthe Jainas into Digambaras (sky-clad or naked) and Svetambaras (white-clad).
  • First Council was held at Pataliputra by Sthulabahuin the beginning of the third centuryBC and resulted in the compilation of 12 Angas to replace the lost 14 Purvas.
  • Second Council was held at Valabhi in the 5th century AD under the leadership of
  • DevaradhiKshamasramana and resulted in final compilation of 12 Angas and 12 Upangas.

Alexander Expeditions in India

  • In 326 B.C. when Alexander reached on the Indian soil, the king of Takshasila near Rawalpindi in Punjab offered help to him. But many of the Republican Chiefs and kings in Afghanistan, Punjab, and Sindh had poised a brave resistance and refused to submit to the Alexander without a fight.
  • Alexander divided his army into two parts after crossing Hindukush and Alexander himself, conquers the north-western part of India.
  • The Greeks had faced a strong resistance from tribal Hastichief having capital Pushkalavati.
  • The army of Assakenoi king was led by the queen, which was the example of an enthusiasm for the defense of the country by the people of these regions that even women and the mercenaries took part in fighting and preferred a glorious death.
  • In spite of a hard resistance for many days (by the Assakenoi soldiers), Alexander captured the city Massaga(the capital of Assakenoi).
  • After the victory of Assakenoi, Alexander had himself resolved a special agreement by which he granted the lives of the army of 7,000 mercenaries. But deceitfully, they had been slaughtered mercilessly in the night by Alexander and his soldiers. This massacre of Assakenoi has been condemned even by the Greek writers.
  • Alexander, after defeating Assakenoi, joined his other division of army and constructed a bridge on the Indus River nearby Attock.
  • After crossing the Indus, Alexander proceeded towards Taxila, but the king Ambhiadmited the sovereignty of the Alexander.
  • Paurava (Greeks call Porus), the ruler of a kingdom between the Jhelum and the Chenab was the most powerful among the north-western Indian provinces. Alexander made intense preparations to defeat him.
  • Porus fought bravely and with nine wounds on his body, was led a captive before Alexander.
  • When Porus was brought as captive before Alexander, he (Alexander) asked him how he would like to be treated. Porus replied proudly, “Like a King”.
  • Alexander made a coalition with the brave king Porus by restoring his kingdom and adding to it the territories of 15 republican states along with 5,000 cities and villages.
  • Alexander had to fight hard with the Kathaioi (Kathas) on the bank of river Beas. The casualties tolled up to 17,000 killed and 70,000 captured.




Pre exam question


1.When was Gautam Buddha born

(a) 563 b.c.

(b) 561 BC

(c) 558 BC

(d) 544 BC


  1. Who founded Patliputra

(a) Udayin

(b) Ashoka

(c) bimbisara

(d) mahapadma Nanda


  1. the first Republic of the world was established in Vaishali by

(a) Morya

(b) Nanda

(c) Gupta

(d) Lichchavi


  1. which one of the following pair is correctly matched

(a) parsvanath –    Janatrika

(b) Bindusara  –    Shakya

(c) SkandGupta –    Maurya

(d) Chetak   –    Lichchavi


  1. the prince who responsible for the death of his father was

(a) Azat Shatru

(b) Chandapradyot

(c) prasenjeet

(d) Udayan


  1. Champa was the capital of which mahajanapada

(a) Kasha

(b) Kaushal

(c) Anga

(d) Magadha


  1. in the 6th century BC suktimati was the capital of

(a) panchala

(b) Kuru

(c) Avanti

(d) Chedi


  1. jeevaka the famous physician at the time of Mahatma Buddha was associated with the court of

(a) bimbisara

(a    ) pradyot

(c) Prasenjit

(d) Udayan


  1. the woman of which Indian tribe are kingdom had taken up arms against Alexander after a large number of its soldiers have been killed

(a) abhisara

(b) glausai

(c) massaga

(d) none of them


  1. first Buddhist council was held at

(a) vaishali

(b) Kashmir

(c) Rajgriha

(d) Magadha


  1. whom Alexander defeated on the bank of river Jhelum

(a) Aambhi

(b) Porus

(c) Chandragupta Maurya

(d) mahapadma Nanda


  1. which one of the following rulers of Magadha was the contemporary of Alexander the Great

(a) mahapadma Nanda

(b) dhanananda

(c) sukalpa

(d) Chandragupta Maurya

Lecture – 6

The Mauryan Empire was the first largest empires that ever established on Indian soil till 324 B.C. The Mauryan Empire was spread from the valley of the Oxus (present Amu River) to the delta of Kaveri.

Chandragupta Maurya


  • Chandragupta Maurya had ruled during the period of 324-300 B.C.
  • The Buddhist literature, the ‘Mahavamsa’ and ‘Dipavamsa’ give a detail account of Chandragupta Maurya.
  • Chandragupta Maurya has been described as a descendant of the Kshatriya clan of the Moriyasbranch of Sakyas. They lived in Pipphalivana, in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
  • The ‘Mudrarakshasa’ is a play written by Vishakhadatta, referred Chandragupta as ‘Vrishala’ and ‘Kulahina,’ which means a person of humble origin.
  • According to Parisistha-parvam (the Jain text), Chandragupta with the help of Chanakya, defeated the Nanda king and captured his empire and became the great ruler of Magadha empire.
  • The Junagarh rock inscription describes that a dam for irrigation was constructed on the SudarshanaLake by Pushyagupta, a provincial governor of Chandragupta Maurya.
  • Inscriptions of Ashoka found at Girnarhills in Junagarh district in Gujarat and at Sopara, in Thane district in Maharashtra reflect that these areas were under the rule of Mauryan Empire.
  • The Jain tradition confirms that in his old age, Chandragupta abdicated the throne and retired to Shravanabelagolain Karnataka with his teacher Bhadrabahu (a Jain ascetic).



  • Bindusara extended the kingdom further and conquered the south as far as Mysore.
  • Bindusar asked Antiochus I of Syria to send some sweet wine, dried figs, and a Sophist.  Antiocus I sent wine and figs but politely replied that Greek philosophers are not for sale.
  • Bindusar patronized Ajivikus.



  • According to the Buddhist tradition, Asoka usurped the throne alter killing his 99 brothers and spared Tissa, the youngest one.
  • Radhagupta a Minister of Bindusar helped him in fratricidal struggle.  Under Asoka. the Mauryan Empire reached its climax.
  • For the first time, the whole of the subcontinent, leaving out the extreme south, was under imperial control.
  • Asoka (ought the Kalinga war in 261 BC in the 9th years of his coronation.  The king was moved by massacre in this  war and therefore abandoned the policy of physical occupation in favour of policy of cultural conquest.
  • In oilier words, Bherighosha  was replaced by Dhammaghosha.

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  • Asoka was not an extreme pacifist.
  • He did not pursue the policy of peace for sake of peace under all conditions.
  • Thus he retained Kalinga after its conquest and incorporated it into his empire.
  • Asoka sent missionaries to the kingdoms of the Cholas and the Pandyas, and five States ruled by Greek kings.
  • We also know that he sent missionaries to Ceylon and Suvarnabhumi (Burma) and also parts of South East Asia.


economic activities.

  • The state controlled almost all economic activities.
  • Tax  collected  from peasants varied  from  ¼  to  1/6  of  the
  • The state also provided irrigation facilities and charged water-tax.
  • Tolls  were  also  levied  on commodities brought to town for sale and they were collected at gate.
  • The state enjoyed monopoly in mining,  sale   of   liquor, manufacture of arms etc
  • The main industries during this period were textile, mining and metallurgy, ship-building, jewelry making, metal working, pot making, etc.
  • The industries were organized in various guilds. Jesthakawas the chief of a guild.
  • The guilds were powerful institutions. It gave craftsmen great support and protection.
  • The guilds settled the disputes of their members. A few guilds issued their own coins.
  • The Sanchi Stupa inscription mentions that one of the carved gateways was donated by the guilds of ivory workers.


The Mauryan Administration

  • The Mauryan government was a centralised bureaucracy of which the nucleus was the king.
  • The Mantri Parishad The king was assisted by Mantri Parishad, whose members included –
  • The Yuvaraj, the crown prince
  • The Purohita, the chief priest
  • The Senapati.
  • the commander-in-chief of the army  a few other ministers.


  • The king was the head of the state. The king used to issue ordinances known as ‘Sasana.’ He possessed the judicial, the legislative, and the executive powers.
  • Sasanasare available in the form of ‘Edicts of Ashoka’.
  • The Mauryas king had to follow the law of the country given by law givers and had to govern according to the customs of the land. He could not do whatever he liked.
  • The king was assisted in administration by ‘Mantriparishad,’ which was a Council of Ministers.
  • Adhyakshas(superintendent) were officers who performed a special task.
  • Kautilya mentioned a large number of Adhyakshas, such as Adhyakshasof gold, store houses, commerce, agriculture, ships, cows, horses, elephants, chariots, infantry, passports etc.
  • Yuktawas the officer in-charge of the revenues of the king.
  • Rajjukaswere the officers for land measurement and fixing their boundaries. They were also given power to punish the guilty and set free the innocents.
  • The Mauryan Empire was divided into provinces. Pradeshikaswas another officer of the Mauryan administration. He was the provincial governor.
  • Bindusara appointed his son Ashoka as Governor of the Avanti region and posted him at Ujjain.
  • Asoka’s elder brother Susima was posted at Taxila as the Governor of the northwestern provinces.
  • The important provinces were directly under Kumaras(princes); however, the total number of provinces is not known.
  • Junagarh rock inscription of Rudradaman mentions that Saurashtra (Kathiawar) was governed by Vaisya Pushyagupta at the time of Chandragupta Maurya and by Yavana-raia Tushaspa at the time of Ashoka, both were the provincial governors.
  • The Mauryan kingdom was divided into different provinces, which were subdivided into the districts and each district was further divided into groups of five to ten villages.
  • The village was the smallest unit of an administration.
  • The pradeshikawas the head of district administration. He used to tour the entire district every five years to inspect the administration of areas under his control. A group of officials worked in each district under him.
  • Gramikawas the head of the village. He was assisted in village administration by the “village elders”.
  • The villages, during this time, enjoyed substantial autonomy. Most of the disputes of the village were settled by Gramikawith the help of village assembly.
  • The Arthashastra mentions the highest salary being 48,000 Panasand the lowest 60 Panas. There was a wide range of scales in salary.


City Administration

  • The Arthashashtra has a full chapter on the administration of cities.
  • The Edicts of Ashoka also describe name of the cities such as Pataliputra, Taxila, Ujjain, Tosali, Suvarnagiri, Samapa, Isila, and Kausambi.
  • Megasthenese had described the administration of Pataliputra in detail.
  • Megasthenese described that Pataliputra city was administered by a city council comprising 30 members. These 30 members were divided into a board of 5 members each.
  • Each of the 5 member boards had specific responsibilities towards the administration of the city. For example −
    • One such board was concerned with the industrial and artistic produce. Its duties included fixing of wages, check the adulteration etc.
    • The second board dealt with the affairs of the visitors, especially foreigners who came to Pataliputra.
    • The third board was concerned with the registration of birth and death.
    • The fourth board regulated trade and commerce, kept a vigil on the manufactured goods and sales of commodities.
    • The fifth board was responsible for the supervision of manufacturing of goods.
    • The sixth board collected taxes as per the value of sold goods.
  • The tax was normally one-tenth of the sold goods.
  • Officers were appointed by the ‘City council’ and accountable for the public welfare such as maintenance and repairs of roads, markets, hospitals, temples, educational institutions, sanitation, water supplies, harbors, etc.
  • Nagarakawas the officer in-charge of the city.
  • There were numerous departments that regulated and controlled the activities of the state.
  • Kautilya mentions several important departments such as accounts, revenue, mines and minerals, chariots, customs, and taxation.


Art & Architecture

  • The Mauryas  introduced  stone masonry on large scale.
  • Fragments of stone  pillars and slumps indicating the existence of an 80-pillared hall have been discovered at  Kumarhar on outskirts of Patna.
  • The pillars represent the Masterpiece of Mauryan
  • Each pillar is made of single piece of sandstone.
  • only their capitals which are beautiful pieces of sculpture in form of lion or bulls are joined with pillar on the top.
  • Single Lion capital at Rampurva and Lauriya Nandangarh.
  • Single bull capital at Rampurva.
  • Four lion capital at Sarnath and Sanchi.
  • A carved elephant at Dhauli and engraved elephant at Kalsi.
  • The Mauryan artisans also started the practice of hewing out caves from rocks for monks to live in. the earliest  example are Barabar  caves in
  • Stupas were built  throughout the empire  to enshrine the relics  of Buddha. Of these, the most famous are at Sanchi  and Bui hut


  • The Decline The Mauryan Empire lasted a little over a century and broke up fifty years after the death of Asoka. Slowly, the various princes of the empire began to break away and set up independent kingdoms.
  • In  185 BC. the Mauryan  king  was  overthrown  by Pushyamitra  Shunga, an  ambitious Commander-in-Chief of armed forces.
  • He started the Shunga dynasty in Magadha. The Mauryan Empire ushered in a dream that was to survive and echo again and again in centuries to come.
  • The invasion of Yavanas from the west was the important event in the history of ancient Indis. It started during the reign of Pushyamitra Sunga.
  • Kalidasa also mentions about Vasumitra’s conflict with Yavanas in his book Malavikagnimitram.
  • Patanjali had also mentioned this invasion.
  • Originally, the word ‘Yavana’ used for Ionian Greeks, but later it came to denote, all people of Greek nationality.
  • The Yavanaswere the first ones to establish foreign supremacy on Indian soil.
  • The Yavanascame after several central Asian tribes who invaded India and established their political authority.



  • The arrival of the Yavanasin India marked by their invasion on the western border of India.
  • After Alexander’s death, a large part of his empire came under the rule of his Generals.
  • Bactria and Parthia, the adjoining areas of Iran were two main areas under the rule of Alexander’s Generals.
  • Diodotus, the governor of Bactria, revolted in about 250 B.C. against the Greeks and proclaimed his independence.
  • Euthydemus, Demetrius, Eucratides, and Menander were some important Indo-Greek kings.
  • Menander, during the 165-145 B.C., was most illustrious among all the Indo-Greek rulers. His capital was Sakala (modern Sialkot) in Pakistan and he ruled for almost twenty years.
  • Greek writers mentioned that Menander was a great ruler and his territory extended from Afghanistan to Uttar Pradesh in east and Gujarat in the west.
  • Menander was converted to Buddhism by Buddhist monk Nagasena.
  • Menander asked many questions related to philosophy and Buddhism to Nagasena. They were recorded together with Nagasena’s answers in Milindapanhoor the Questions of Milinda.
  • The Indo-Greek rulers were the first one in the history of India, whose coins carried the portraits of kings and their names.
  • Before the Indo-Greek rulers, the coins in India did not carry names or portraits of the kings and also Indo Greeks were the first rulers who issued gold coins.
  • Their coins are known for the depiction of realistic and artistic portraits.



  • The Parthians were also known as Pahlavas. They were Iranian people. Few facts may be gathered from the coins and inscriptions. However, their history is not clear.
  • Vonones was the earliest king of the Parthian dynasty. He captured power in Arachosia and Seistan and adopted the title of “great king of kings”.
  • Vonones was succeeded by Spalirises.
  • Gondophernes was the greatest of the Parthian rulers. He ruled from A.D. 19 to AD 45.
  • Gondophernes became master of the Saka-Pahalva area both in eastern Iran and north-western India for a short period.
  • After Gondophernes, the Pahlava rule in India ended. They were replaced by the Kushanas.
  • This fact is established by the excavations at Begram in Afghanistan where a large number of coins of Gondophernes was found.



  • The Indo-Greek rule in north-western India was destroyed by the Sakas.
  • The Sakas are also known as the Scythians.
  • Sakas or Scythians were nomadic tribes originally from central Asia.
  • In about 165 B.C., Sakas were turned out of their original home by the Yueh-chi.
  • Yueh-chi later came to be known as Kushanas.
  • Sakas were also pushed out of their land and came to India.
  • The departure made by the central Asian tribes was the result of the prevailing situations in central Asia and adjoining northwestern China.
  • The construction of the Great Wall of China in the 3rdcentury B.C. left these tribes like Hiung-nu, Wu -sun and Yueh–chi, no option but to move towards south and west.
  • The first migrants were Yueh-chi, they displaced Sakas.
  • The Sakas invaded Bactria and Parthia and thereafter entered India through the Bolan Pass.
  • The Sakas were divided into five branches and established themselves in various parts of north-western and northern India.
    • The first branch settled in Afghanistan.
    • The second branch settled in Punjab with Taxila as its capital.
    • The third branch settled in Mathura.
    • The fourth in Maharashtra and Saurashtra.
    • The fifth in central India with Ujjain as its capital.
  • The Sakas ruled in different areas from the 1stcentury B.C. to about 4thcentury A.D.
  • Therefore, Sakas ruled in different parts of the country. However, the branch of Sakas who ruled in central and western India rose to prominence.
  • Nahapana was the most prominent ruler of western India. His reference had been found in various inscriptions in Maharashtra and in the records of the Satavahanas.
  • Rudradaman the most illustrious ruler of the central Indian branch. He ruled from (about) A.D. 130 to 150.
  • Junagarh rock inscription was erected by Rudradaman.
  • Junagarh inscription mentioned that his rule extended over a vast territory including the areas of Gujarat, Sindh, Saurashtra, north Konkan, Malwa, and some parts of Rajasthan.
  • Rudradaman undertook the repairs of the Sudarsan lake dam. However, Sudarsan lake dam had been built by the provincial governer of Chandragupta Maurya in Kathiawad when it was damaged by heavy rains.
  • Ujjayini was the capital of Rudradaman. It became a centre of culture and education.
  • The Saka’s dynasty came to an end with the defeat of the last king in the hands of Chandragupta II of the Gupta dynasty, in about A.D. 390.

Image 3

  • Yueh-chi were a nomadic tribe settled on the north-western border of China as per accounts of the Chinese historians.
  • Yueh-chi came in conflict with a neighbouring tribe known as Hiung-nu in the year 165 B.C. In this conflict, Yueh-chi were defeated and forced to move out of their land.
  • They could not move towards china in the east because of the China Wall; therefore, they moved toward the west and south.
  • In westwards movement, Yueh-chi came in conflict with another tribe called Wu-sun whom Yueh-chi defeated easily. Thereafter, Yueh-chi were divided into two groups as −
    • Little Yueh-chi migrated to Tibet.
    • Great Yueh-chi came to India.
  • Yueh-chi met with the Sakas who occupied the territory of Bactria after defeating Wu–sun.
  • The Saka’s were defeated and forced to leave their land.
  • Saka’s came to India and the Yueh-chi settled down in the land of the Sakas.
  • Yueh-chi people, lastly, gave up their nomadic life and adopted an agricultural and a settled way of life.
  • The great Yueh-chi branch was divided into five branches.
  • Chinese sources explained that the first great Yueh-chi king was Kujula Kadphises. He was also known as Kadphises I. He united all the five groups and established his authority over Afghanistan. He called himself ‘great king’.
  • Kujula Kadphises was also known as ‘Dharmathida’and ‘Sachadharmathida’(meaning one who believs in true faith). It is suggested that he was a Buddhist.
  • Kadphises I was succeeded by his son Kadphises II. He extended Kushana’s territory upto Punjab, or perhaps even up to the Ganga Yamuna doab.
  • Kadphises II issued gold and copper coins. He is referred as the great king and a devotee of Siva.
  • On some of Kadphises II’s coins, Siva holding a trident and bull are shown.



  • Kadphises II was succeeded by Kanishka. He was most known and greatest of all the Kushana kings.
  • Kanishka ascended to throne in A.D. 78 and he founded the Saka era.
  • Kaniskha ruled from A.D. 78-101.
  • Kanishka’s empire extended from Khotan in the northwest to Benaras in the east and Kashmir in the north to Saurashtra and Malwa in the south.
  • Purushapur i.e. modern Peshawar was the capital of the vast empire of Kanishka.
  • The Coins of Kanishka had been found from almost all over the above mentioned area.
  • Kanishka was a follower of Buddhism. The 4thBuddhist council was held during Kanishka’s reign.
  • Kanishka’s court was adorned by the presence of scholars such as Parsva, Vasumitra, Ashvaghosha, Charaka, and Nagarjuna.
  • Taxila and Mathura emerged as the great centres of art and culture during the reign of Kanishka.
  • His successors were Vasishka, Huvishka, Vasudeva, and some others.
  • Vasudeva is a purely Indian name and it suggests the complete Indianisation of Kushana. Vasudeva was a Saiva, though his name is after the Vaishnava deity.
  • The decline of Kushana power begins after Vasishka. However, Kushanas continued to rule up to the 4thcentury A.D. over small kingdom, independently under some sovereign rulers.





Pre question


  1. Chandragupta Maurya figured prominently in the book of

(a) Bhasha

(b) shudraka

(c) Vishakha Dutt

(d) Ashvaghosha


  1. Which of the following can be compared to prince of machiavelli

(a) Kalidasa- malavikagnimitram

(b) Kautilya -arthasastra

(c) vatsyayana -Kamasutra

(d) Thiruvalluvar –Thirukkural


  1. The remains of which ancient city have been found at the kumrahar site

(a) Vaishali

(b) Patliputra

(c) Kapilvastu

(d) Shravasti


  1. Rajjuk were

(a) traders in the Chola Kingdom

(b) officers in the mauryan administration

(c) feudal Lords in the Gupta Empire

(d) soldiers in the Saka army


  1. In spite of being Buddhist Ashoka did not leave believe in Hinduism validation of this fact is

(a) pilgrims

(b) believes in Moksha

(c) epithet of devanampriya

(d) establishment of veterinary hospital


  1. Buddhist council during the reign of Ashoka was held at

(a) Nagda

(b) Patliputra

(c) Samastipur

(d) Rajgriha


  1. What were sarthwah

(a) brokers

(b) convoy of murchent

(c) pilgrims officer

(d) Policeman


  1. Which one of the following official was not a part of the mauryan administration

(a) AgraHarika

(b) Yukta

(c) pradeshika

(d) Raju



  1. Sarnath pillar was built by

(a) Harshvardhan

(b) Ashoka

(c) Gautam Buddha

(d) Kanishka


  1. Language used in the inscription of Ashoka is

(a) Sanskrit

(b) prakrit

(c) Pali

(d) Hindi

Mains examination question

  1. Write short notes on

(a) Chanakya neeti

(b) Indika

(c) Mudrarakshas

(d) Junagarh rock inscription


  1. Mauryan had diplomatic relation with Syriya .name the Syrian ruler .who was ashoka contemporary ?




  • Mrichchakatika,
  • Nine gems,
  • Ajanta  Paintings
  • Brahmagupta


  1. Discuss in brief about literary and cultural development in gupta period (150 words)

Image 1

  • The Satavahanas, also known as ‘Andhras’ (in Deccan region) covering the parts of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra was a powerful dynasty.
  • The Andhraswere ancient people and were mentioned in the AitareyaBrahmana also.
  • The Greek writer Pliny mentions that the Andhraswere powerful people who possessed a large number of villages and thirty towns, an army of one lakh infantry, two thousand cavalries and one thousand elephants.
  • During the Mauryan age, they were part of the Mauryan Empire, but it appears that immediately after the fall of the dynasty, the Andhras declared themselves free.
  • Simuka dynasty ruled from 235 B.C. to 213 B.C. and established Simuka
  • Simuka was succeeded by his brother Krishna.
  • Satakarni-I was the third king. He made extensive conquests and performed two Ashvamedhayajna. The Nanaghatinscription described his achievements in details. He conquered western Malwa, Vidarbha, and Anupa (Narmada Valley). He is also referred to as the lord of ‘Dakshinapatha.’
  • Satakarni-I’s name also occurs on one of the gateways of Sanchistupa because substantial donations were made by the Satavahanas for the renovation and decoration of Sanchi stupas and monasteries.
  • Satakarni-II ruled for about 56 years.
  • Gautamiputra Satakarni gained Malwa from the Sungas.
  • Nahapana had conquered the part of Satavahana territory after Satakarni-II. A large number of coins of Nahapana has been found in Nasik area.
  • The Satavahanas became powerful again during the reign of Gautamiputra His achievements are recorded in glowing terms in the Nasik inscription of Queen-mother, GautamiBalasri. This inscription was engraved after his death and in the nineteenth year of the reign of his son and successor Pulmavi II.
  • In Nasik inscription, GautamiputraSatakarni has been described as one who destroyed the Sakas, Yavanas, and Pahlavas. He overthrew Nahapana and restricted a large number of his silver coins. He also recovered northern Maharashtra, Konkan, Vidarbha, Saurashtra, and Malwa from the Sakas.
  • Satakarni dedicated a cave in Nasik in the eighteenth year of his reign and granted some land to ascetics in the twenty-fourth year.
  • GautamiputraSatakarni is the first king bearing matronymic and this practice was followed by nearly all his successors.
  • Gautamiputra was succeeded by his son Vasisthiputra Sri Pulmavi in about A.D. 130 and ruled for about twenty-four years.
  • The coins and inscription of Pulmavi have been found in Andhra Pradesh. This shows that Andhra was the part of Satavahana Empire in the second century A.D. Perhaps, in order to save the Satavahana Empire from the onslaught of the Sakas, Pulmavi married the daughter of Saka ruler Rudradaman. But this Saka king defeated the next Satavahana ruler twice.
  • Sri YajnaSatakarni (A.D. 165-195) was perhaps the last of the great Satavahana rulers. His inscriptions have been found in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh.
  • From the distribution of his coins, it appears that he ruled over a large kingdom extending from the Bay of Bengal in the east to the Arabian Sea in the west. Thus he regained the land that the Sakas had conquered from his predecessors.
  • Maritime trade and activities during his reign had been proved by the depiction of ship with a fish on his coins.
  • After centuries of political disintegration an empire came to be established in A.D. 319, under theGuptas. Although the Gupta Empire was not as large as the Maurya Empire, it kept north India politi­cally united for more than a century, from A. D. 335 to 455.
  • The Guptas were possibly the feudatories of the Kushanas in Uttar Pradesh, and seem to have succeeded them without any wide time-lag.
  • The Guptas enjoyed certain material advantages. The centre of their operations lay in the fertile land of Madhyadesha covering Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. They could exploit the iron ores of central India and south Bihar. Further, they took advantage of their proximity to the areas in north India which carried on silk trade with the Byzantine Empire.
  • On account of these favourable factors, the Guptas set up their rule over Anuganga (the middle Gangetic basin), Prayag (modern Allahabad), Saket (modern Ayodhya) and Magadha. In course of time this kingdom became an all-India empire.
  • The king, Srigupta, has been identified as the first Gupta king mentioned in the Allahabad pillar inscription.
  • Puranas also mentioned that the early Guptas controlled the area along the Ganga (the middle Gangetic basin), Prayag (Allahabad and surrounding region), Saketa (Ayodhya region), and Magadha.
  • Ghatottotkacha succeeded his father Srigupta. He was also referred as the Maharaja in Gupta records.


Chandragupta I (A.D. 319-320 to 335):

  • The first Gupta ruler of consequence was Chandragupta I, son of Ghatotkacha. By marrying a Lichchhavi Princes Kumaradevi he sought to gain in prestige, though Vaishali does not appear to have been a part of his kingdom. His rule remained confined to Magadha and parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh (Saketa and Prayaga). He took the title of Maharajadhiraja, and his accession in about A.D. 319-20 marked the beginning of Gupta era.



  • Samudragupta succeeded his father Chandragupta-I about A.D. 340. He earned a reputation as one of the greatest kings and conquerors. He was chosen by his father as his successor because of his qualities that would make him into a good king.
  • The Allahabad pillar inscription gives a detailed account of the career and personality of Samudragupta.
  • Harishena one of the officials composed the inscription and engraved on the Ashoka’s pillar at Allahabad.
  • Campaign of southern India was the most important campaign of Samudragupta
  • Altogether twelve kings and princes of the south (dakshinapatha) are listed in the inscription.
  • During the campaign of southern India, he adopted the policy of first capturing the kings, then releasing them from captivity, and then reinstalling them as kings in their territory. By showing royal mercy, he won their allegiance.
  • Samudragupta proceeded for his south Indian campaign, through the eastern and southern parts of Madhyadesha to Orissa and then advanced along the eastern coast and reached Kanchi and beyond and returned to his capital by way of Maharashtra and Khandesh.
  • Samudragupta performed ‘Ashvamedhayajna’ after his several conquests and issued gold coins depicting the sacrificial horse and bearing the legend, which conveying that he performed the Ashvamedha
  • The Allahabad pillar inscription also lists fourteen kingdoms bordering his kingdom. These rulers paid tribute followed his orders and showed their obedience by attending his court.
  • These were located in eastern Rajasthan, northern Madhya Pradesh, Assam, and Nepal. Further, some forest kings (atavika-rajas) are mentioned whom Samudragupta had made his ‘Paricharaka’ (helpers).
  • Other political powers listed in the inscription are such as Kushanas, Sakas, Murundas as well as Simhalas (Sri Lanka) and inhabitants of other islands. These rulers sent embassies to Samudragupta’s court.
  • Meghavarna, the king of Sri Lanka, sent an embassy to Samudragupta for his permission to build a monastery and a guest house for Buddhist pilgrims at Bodh Gaya.
  • Samudragupta was a versatile genius. He was called as ‘Kaviraja’ i.e. the king of poets. He was proficient in war and sastras as well.
  • The Allahabad pillar inscription calls him a great musician. This is also confirmed by his lyricist type of coins, which shows him playing veena (lute).
  • Samudragupta died in about A.D. 380 and was succeeded by his son Chandragupta II.


Chandragupta II

  • Chandragupta II was the son of Samudragupta and Dattadevi and he was chosen by his father as his successor.
  • The Gupta Empire reached its highest glory, both in terms of territorial expansion and cultural excellence under Chandragupta II.
  • Chandragupta II had inherited a strong and consolidated empire from his father Samudragupta.
  • Chandragupta II had established a matrimonial alliance with Vakatakas by marrying his daughter Prabhavatigupta with Rudrasena-II of the Vakataka dynasty.
  • Chandragupta-II made an alliance with the Vakatakas before attacking the Sakas so as to be sure of having a friendly power to back him up in Deccan.
  • Prabhavatigupta acted as a regent on behalf of her two minor sons after the death of her husband Rudrasena II.
  • Chandragupta-II’s victory over the mighty Sakas dynasty was his foremost success. The annexation of Sakas’s kingdom comprising Gujarat and part of Malwa strengthened the Gupta Empire, but also brought it into direct touch with western sea ports. This gave a great motivation to foreign trade and commerce.
  • Ujjain, a major centre of trade, religion, and culture became the second capital of the Gupta Empire after the conquest.
  • After the victory over Sakas, Chandragupta-II adopted the title of ‘Vikramaditya.’
  • Chandragupta-II issued dated silver coins to commemorate his victory over Sakakshatrapas.
  • The Mehrauli iron pillar inscription records portray a king named Chandra.
  • The king Chandra is generally identified as Chandragupta-II. This would mean his kingdom extended from Bengal to the north-west frontiers.
  • Chandragupta-II’s reign is remembered for his patronage of literature and arts and for the high standard of artistic and cultural life.
  • Kalidas, the great Sanskrit poet was a member of Chandragupta-II’s court.
  • Fa-Hien, the Chinese Buddhist pilgrim visited India between A.D. 405 and A.D. 411. He visited for collecting Buddhist manuscripts and text and studying at Indian monasteries.



  • Chandragupta-II died about A.D. 413. His son Kumaragupta became the next king.
  • Kumaragupta ruled for more than forty years. He performed an Ashvamedhasacrifice; though his military achievements are not known.
  • Kumaragupta issued Ashvamedhatype of coins like his grandfather, Samudragupta.
  • The epigraphic records show that he organised the administration of vast empire and maintained its peace, prosperity, and security for a long period of forty years.
  • The Gupta Empire was challenged by the Pushyamitras at the end of Kumaragupta’s reign.
  • Pushyamitras were living on the banks of the Narmada.
  • Skandagupta was the son of Kumaragupta-I.



  • Kumaragupta-I died in A.D. 455. His son Skandagupta became the next king.
  • Skandagupta’s reign seems to have been full of wars. He struggled with his brother Purugupta.
  • Hunas were the greatest enemies of Gupta’s empire during this period.
  • Hunas were a ferocious barbarian horde. They lived in central Asia.
  • Skandagupta successfully defeated the Hunas. So they did not dare to disturb the Gupta Empire for half a century. Though they continue to disconcert Persia during this period.
  • The important event of Skandagupta’s reign was the restoration and repair of the dam on SudarsanaLake after 8 hundred years of construction. It was built during Chandragupta Maurya’s reign.
  • SudarsanaLake was also repaired previously during the reign of Sakakshatrapa Rudradaman I.


Revenue Administration:

Land revenue was the main source of the state’s income besides the fines.

  • In Samudragupta’s time we hear of an officer Gopasramin working as Akshapataladhikrita whose duty was to enter numerous matters in the accounts registers, recover royal dues, to check embezzlement and recover fines.
  • Another prominent high official was Pustapala (record-keeper).
  • The Gupta kings maintained a regular department for the proper survey and measurement of land as well as for the collection of land revenue.


Provinces, Districts and Villages:

  • The provinces or divisions called bhuktis were governed by Uparikas directly appointed by the kings.
  • The province was often divided into districts known as Vishayas which were ruled by Kumaramatyas, Ayuktas or Vishayapatis. His appointment was made by the provincial governors.
  • Gupta inscriptions from Bengal shows that the Municipal board – Adhisthanadhikarana associated with itself representation from major local communities: the Nagarasresthi (guild president), the chief merchant Sarthavaha, the chief artisan – PrathamaKulika and the chief scribe – PrathamaKayastha. Besides them were the Pustapalas – officials whose work was to manage and keep records.
  • The lowest unit of administration was the village. In eastern India, the vishayas were divided into vithis, which again was divided into villages. The Gramapati or Gramadhyaksha was the village head­man.
  • The Gupta inscriptions from north Bengal show that there were other units higher than the villages such as the Rural Board – Asthakuladhikarana which comprised of the village elders – Mahattaras and also included the village headman – Gramika and the householders Kutumbins.
  • With the absence of any close supervision of the state, village affairs were now managed by the leading local elements. No land transactions could be affected without their consent. The village disputes were also settled by these bodies with the help of Grama-vriddhas or Mahattaras (village elders). The town administration was carried on by the mayor of the city called Purapala.

Image 2

  • Gupta period was considered as the golden phase of Indian literature.
  • The wonderful literature was produced in prose, poetry, drama, and grammar. It is the noticeable product of the system of education and learning.
  • The Puranaspreserved the traditions, legends, moral codes, religious, and philosophical principles. They are eighteen in number.
  • The Smritisare metrical texts containing the rules and regulations and laws for the guidance and governance of the society.
  • Smritisare based on dharmasutras and grihyasutras of Vedic literature. They are written in verse.
  • Some additions and alterations have been done to make Smritissuitable to the changing conditions of society.
  • The commentaries on the Smritiswere written after the Gupta period.
  • The compilation of Ramayanaand Mahabharata was completed by the 4thcentury A.D.
  • Kalidas has written the best works in poetry, drama as well as in prose. His kavyassuch as Meghaduta, Raghuvamsa, and Kumarasambhava, and dramas such as Abhijnashakuntalam are the best literary works of this time and it is considered as the best even today. These works have been translated into many languages.
  • Kalidas adorned the court of Chandragupta-II, the king of Ujjayini, who was popular as Vikramaditya.

Image 3

  • These all inscriptions (listed above) consist most of the characteristics features of Sanskrit kavya.
  • The most notable in the field of drama were Bhasa, Sudraka, Kalidas, and Bhavabhuti.
  • Mrichchakatika(written by Sudraka), is considered one of the best plays of ancient India. This play is about the love of a Brahman with the beautiful daughter of a courtesan.
  • Vishakhadatta had written two plays, namely Mudrarakshasaand Devichandraguptam.
  • Famous plays written by Kalidas are Malavikagnimitram, Abhijnanashakuntalam,and Vikramorvasiyam.
  • Uttararama-charitaand Malati-Madhava were written by Bhavabhuti.
  • Panchatantra, written by Vishnu Sharma, is one of the most famous works of this period. It was translated into Persian and Arabic in the 8thcentury A.D. and has been translated into almost all European languages by the time.
  • The popular work Hitopadesais based on the Panchatantra.
  • Harshacharitais the biography of Harsha written by Banabhatta. It is an outstanding work of the period.
  • The development of Sanskrit grammar (based on Panini and Patanjali) was also seen in this period.
  • Bhartrihari composed three Shatakas. He had also written a commentary on the Mahabhasyaof Patanjali.
  • The compilation of the Amarakoshaby Amarasimha is memorable work of this period. Amarasimha was a popular personality in the court of Chandragupta II.
  • The Prakrit was popular language of the Gupta period (as it was earlier).
  • The SvetambaraJain cannot have been written in Ardha-Magadhi Prakrit.

Image 4

  • Aryabhata, a great mathematics, wrote the book ‘Aryabhatiya’ in Kusumpura (Pataliputra) at the age of 23 years.
  • Aryabhatiyais divided into four parts and the most important features of Aryabhata’s mathematical system was the unique system of notation. It is based on the decimal place-value system unknown to other ancient people.
  • Aryabhata explained various principals of geometry, an area of a triangle, the area of circle and the theorem relating to rectangles.
  • Brahmaguptawas also a famous mathematician. He wrote ‘Brahmsiddhanta’ in A.D. 628. He developed rules for operating with negative qualities and with zero. He began to apply Algebra to astronomical problems.
  • Jyotisawas an ancient term used for astronomy and astrology. Varahamihira wrote ‘Panchasiddhantika in A.D. 505. He was á popular person in the court of Chandragupta II.
  • Panchasiddhantikaconsisted five works (siddhantas), which is popular as Paitamaha, Romaka, Paulisa, Vasishtha, and Surya.
  • The Suryasiddhantais the most important and complete work on the astronomy of the period.
  • Varahamihira wrote Brihatsamhita. This is considered as an encyclopedic work on astrology.
  • Varahamihira’s son, Prithuyashas also wrote a book on astronomy in about A.D. 600, named as Harashatpanchashika.
  • Hastayurvedais a guide book that describes (elaborately) the ‘animal diseases’ particularly about elephants.
  • Asvasastrawas written by sage Salihotra. It is a treatise on the horse.
  • Chemistry was another science that developed along with the medicine that helped in the development of metallurgy.
  • Nagarjuna the great Mahayanistwas also genus in chemistry.
  • The Mehrauli iron pillar is a living memorial of this period. It portrays the progress in metallurgy achieved 1,500 years ago by the Indians. It has been surviving without rusting since its establishment (i.e. for over 1,500 years).


Foreign Accounts

  • Fa-Hien, the Chinese pilgrim with four other monks, came to India during the reign of Chandragupta II.
  • Fa-Hien came to India through land route via central Asia and Kashmir and traveled across north India.
  • Fa-Hien stayed three years at Patliputra and here he learned the Sanskrit language.
  • Fa-Hien was interested only in Buddhism; however, he gave an idea of general peace and welfare during Gupta’s court.
  • Hiuen-Tsang, another Chinese traveler, visited India during Harsha’s reign. He spent thirteen years in India, in which eight years, he stayed in Harsha’s kingdom.
  • Hiuen-Tsang had studied at Nalanda University. He visited various Indian kingdoms and mentioned about their condition. His book “Si-yu-ki”is a precious source of ancient Indian history.
  • Hiuen-Tsang was honoured by Harshavardhana of Kanauj and Bhaskarvarma of Assam.


  • I-tsing, a Chinese traveler, came to India viasea route. He spent many years in Sumatra and Sri Vijaya and learned Buddhism.
  • I-tsing stayed at Nalanda for ten years and studied and translated Buddhist texts.
  • I-tsing compiled a Sanskrit Chinese dictionary and translated a number of Sanskrit texts.
  • I-tsing mentioned about Buddhist Religion as Practised in India. He gave a detailed account of Buddhism and general condition of India and Malaya.
  • After the Gupta period, India was divided into different small and medium kingdoms.


North India

  • There were four major kingdoms in north India between the period in which the Guptas declines and the rise of Harsha (i.e. in the beginning of 7thcentury), namely −
    • Guptas of Magadha;
    • Maukharis of Kanauj;
    • Maitrakas of Valabhi (Saurashtra); and
    • Pushyabhutis of Thaneswar.
  • These four kingdoms (enlisted above) were competed with each other to succeed to the past glory of the Guptas.
  • The Guptasof Magadha were different from the main imperial Gupta dynasty. It was a minor dynasty of Magadha. It could not be determined whether they were connected in any way with the imperial Guptas. But some of the kings of this Gupta family were very powerful and ruled up to as far as the Brahmaputra River.
  • The Maukharisoccupied the region of western Uttar Pradesh around Kanauj. They captured a part of Magadha.
  • Isanavarman and his son Sarvavarman were powerful Maukhari kings. They have adopted the title of “Maharajadhiraja.”
  • Isanavarman successfully restrained the Hunas who had once again attempted to move towards the heart of India.
  • The Maitrakaclan founded a kingdom in Saurashtra in the west. They made their capital at Valabhi.
  • Valabhi developed as a seat of learning and culture along with a center of trade and commerce.
  • The Maitrakas survived the longest and ruled until the middle of the 8thcentury; however, they were defeated by the Arabs.
  • The Pushyabhutisof Thaneswar was the fourth Kingdom. It was destined to play a distinguished part in Indian history.
  • The Pushyabhuti family became known after the Huna invasion. Prabhakarvardhana became a powerful king of this kingdom. He played an important role in the history of India.
  • Prabhakarvardhana assumed the title of ‘ParamabhattarakaMaharajadhiraja.’
  • Banabhatta described him as “a lion to the Huna deer, a burning fever to the king of Sindhu, a troubler of sleep of Gurjara king, a bilious fever to that scent-elephant, the lord of Gandhara, a destroyer of the skill of the Latas, an axe to the creeper, which is the goddess of fortune of Malwa.
  • Prabhakarvardhana’s sovereign kingdom was extended to the whole of Punjab in the north-west and part of Malwa in the south.
  • There was a Huna invasion in the last phase of Prabhakarvardhana’s rule.
  • Prabhakarvardhana had two sons, Rajyavardhana and Harshavardhana and a daughter Rajyasri. He married his daughter to the Maukhari king Grahavarman.
  • Prabhakaravardhana had been rapidly extending the boundaries of his kingdom towards the west and south. During this period, two powerful kingdoms were established in Bengal and Assam.
  • About A.D. 525, one independent kingdom was established in Bengal.
  • Gauda kingdom comprises western and northern parts of Bengal. They declared their independence; however, the Maukharis defeated them.
  • Sasankabecame the king of Gauda kingdom about half a century later. He founded his capital at Karnasuvarna (near Murshidabad). He occupied the whole of Bengal. He captured Orissa and then advanced towards Kanauj in the west against the Maukharis.
  • The Maukhari king Grahavarman was married to Rajyasri, daughter of Prabhakaravardhana. This marriage alliance strengthened the position of the two families.
  • Sasanka (Gauda), with the help of Malwa king, invaded Kanauj after the death of Prabhakaravardhana. The King Grahavarman of Kanauj, was killed and the queen Rajyasri was thrown into prison.
  • Hearing the news of Kanauj defeat, Rajyavardhana (brother of Harsha) started campaign to suppress the kings of Gauda and Malwa. But he was deceitfully killed by Sasanka.


  1. What was the name of the Lichchavi princess who Chandragupta-I married?
    [A] Kumaradevi
    [B] Kubernaga
    [C] DhruvaDevi
    [D] Vasu Devi


  1. In context of Gupta empire during whose time period was the Iron Pillar in Delhi erected?
    [A] Samudragupta
    [B] Chandragupta II
    [C] Kumargupta I
    [D] Skandgupta


  1. Which of the following are the famous temples of Gupta empire?
    [A]MukundDarra Temple, Kota
    [B]Dasavtar Temple, Jhansi
    [C]Vishnu Temple, Tigawa
    [D]All of the above


  1. Who among the following Gupta emperor made Ujjain as his second capital?


[B]Chandragupta II

[C]Kumargupta I



  1. Which of the following inscriptions mentions Chandragupta Vikramaditya’s authority over

North-Western India?

[A]Mehrauli iron pillar inscription

[B]Beirut inscription

[C]Junagarh inscription

[D]Allahbad pillar inscription


  1. Which of the following is / are the 9 gems of Chandragupta Vikramaditya?




[D]All of the above


  1. The gold coins issued during the reign of Chandragupta Vikramaditya were known as__?






  1. Who defeated the Saka king Rudrasimha III and annexed his kingdom?


[B]Chandragupta II

[C]Kumargupta I



  1. Who defeated the Saka king Rudrasimha III and annexed his kingdom?


[B]Chandragupta II

[C]Kumargupta I




  1. Who granted permission to Buddhist king of Ceylon Meghavarman to build a monastic at Bodh





[D]Chandragupta II


  1. The Gupta Emperor Chandragupta II was succeeded by whom?

[A]Kumargupta I




Mains examination question


  1. write short notes on (50 words)
  • Alberuni
  • Qutub-ud-din-Aibek,
  • Tolkappiyam,
  • Silappathikaram



  • The period between the 1st century B.C. to the end of 2nd century A.D. in Southern India is known as Sangam Period. It has been named after the Sangam academies during that period.
  • According to the Tamil legends, there were three Sangams (Academy of Tamil poets) held in the ancient South India popularly called sangam. These Sangams flourished under the royal patronage of the Pandya kings of Madurai.
  • The First Sangam, is believed to be held at Madurai, attended by gods and legendary sages. No literary work of this Sangam is available.
  • The Second Sangamwas held at Kapadapuram, only Tolkappiyam survives from this.
  • The Third Sangamat Madurai was founded by Mudathirumaran. A few of these Tamil literary works have survived and are a useful sources to reconstruct the history of the Sangam period.

Sangam Literature:

  • The Sangam literature includes Tolkappiyam, Ettutogai, Pattuppattu, Pathinenkilkanakku, and two epics named – Silappathikaram and Manimekalai .
  • Tolkappiyam was authored by Tolkappiyar, it is considered the earliest of Tamil literary work. Though it is a work on Tamil grammar but it also provides insights on the political and socio-economic conditions of the time.
  • Ettutogai (Eight Anthologies) consist of eight works – Aingurunooru, Narrinai, Aganaooru, Purananooru, Kuruntogai, Kalittogai, Paripadal and Padirruppattu.
  • The Pattuppattu (Ten Idylls) consist of ten works – Thirumurugarruppadai, Porunararruppadai, Sirupanarruppadai, Perumpanarruppadai, Mullaippattu, Nedunalvadai, Maduraikkanji, Kurinjippatttu, Pattinappalai  and  Malaipadukadam .
  • Pathinenkilkanakku contains eighteen works about ethics and morals. The most important among these works is Tirukkuralauthored by Thiruvalluvar, the tamil great poet and philosopher.
  • The two epics Silappathikaram is written by Elango Adigal and Manimekalai by SittalaiSattanar. They also provide valuable details about the Sangam society and polity.
  • Other Sourcesthat give details about the Sangam Period are –
  • the Greek authors like Megasthenes, Strabo, Pliny and Ptolemy mentioning about commercial trade contacts between the West and South India.
  • Also, the Ashokan inscriptions mention about the Chera, Chola and Pandya rulers to the south of Mauryanempire.
  • Another inscription, Hathigumbha inscription of Kharavela of Kalinga also has mention of Tamil kingdoms.

Political History of Sangam Period:

  • The area lying to the south of river Krishna and Tungabhadra is called South India. During the Sangam Age, it was ruled by three dynasties-the Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas. The main source of information about these kingdoms is traced from the literary references of Sangam Period.


  • The Cheras had their rule over major parts of modern Kerala/ malabar areas.
  • The capital of Cheras was Vanji and their important seaports were Tondi and Musiri.
  • They had the palmyra flowers as their garland.
  • The insignia of Cheras is the” bow and arrow”.
  • The Pugalur inscription of  the 1st century AD has reference to three generations of Chera rulers.
  • The important ruler of Cheras was Senguttuvan who belonged to 2nd century A.D.
  • His military achievements have been chronicled in epic Silapathikaram, with details about his expedition to the Himalayas where he defeated many north Indian rulers.
  • Senguttuvan introduced the Pattini cult or the worship of Kannagi as the ideal wife in Tamil Nadu.

.Image 1


  • The Chola kingdom in the Sangam period extended from Northern Tamil Nadu to southern Andhra Pradesh.
  • Their capital was firstly at Uraiyur and later shifted to Puhar(Tanjore).
  • King Karikala was a famous king of the Sangam Cholas.
  • The insignia of Cholas was “tiger”.
  • Pattinappalai portrays his life and military conquests.
  • Many Sangam Poems mention the Battle of Venni where he defeated the confederacy of Cheras, Pandyas and eleven minor chieftains.
  • He also fought at Vahaipparandalai in which nine enemy chieftains submitted before him.
  • Hence, Karikala’s military achievements made him the overlord of the whole Tamil country.
  • Therefore, Trade and commerce flourished during his reign.
  • He also built irrigation tanks near river Kaveri to provide water for reclaimed land from forest for cultivation.



  • The Pandyas ruled over the present day southern Tamil Nadu.
  • Their capital was Madurai.
  • Their insignia was the “carp”.
  • King Neduncheliyans also known as AryappadaiKadanthaNeduncheliyan. He ordered the execution of Kovalan. The curse of Kovalan’s wife-Kannagi burnt and destroyed Madurai.
  • Maduraikkanji was written by MangudiMaruthanar which describes the socio-economic condition of the flourishing seaport of Korkai.


Sangam Polity and administration:

  • During the Sangam period hereditary monarchy was the form of government. Each of the dynasties of Sangam age had a royal emblem – tiger for the Cholas, carp for the Pandyas, and bow for the Cheras.
  • The king was assisted by a wide body of officials who were categorised into five councils.
  • They were ministers (amaichar), priests (anthanar), envoys (thuthar), military commanders (senapathi), and spies (orrar).
  • The military administration was efficiently organized with each ruler a regular army was associated.
  • The chief source of state’s income was Land revenue while a custom duty was also imposed on foreign trade.
  • Major source of fulfilling the royal treasury was the booty captured in wars.
  • The roads and highways were maintained and guarded to prevent robbery and smuggling.

Position of Women during Sangam Age:.

  • There were women poets like Avvaiyar, Nachchellaiyar, and Kakkaipadiniyar who flourished and contributed to Tamil literature.
  • Love marriage was a common practice and women were allowed to choose their life partners.
  • But, life of widows was miserable.
  • There is also a mention about the practice of Sati being prevalent in the higher strata of society.

Economy of the Sangam Age:

  • Agriculture was the chief occupation where rice was the most common crop.
  • The handicraft included weaving, metal works and carpentry, ship building and making of ornaments using beads, stones and ivory.
  • These were in great demand of all above products in the internal and external trade as this was at its peak during the Sangam period.
  • A high expertise was attained in spinning and weaving of cotton and silk clothes. Various poems mention of cotton clothes as thin as a cloud of steam or like a slough of snake. These were in great demand in the western world especially for the cotton clothes woven at Uraiyur.
  • The port city of Puhar became an important place of foreign trade, as big ships entered this port containing  precious goods.
  • Other significant ports of commercial activity were Tondi, Musiri, Korkai, Arikkamedu and Marakkanam.

Image 2

  • Many gold and silver coins that were issued by the Roman Emperors like Augustus, Tiberius and Nero have been found in all parts of Tamil Nadu indicating flourishing trade.
  • Major exports of the Sangam age were cotton fabrics and spices like pepper, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and turmeric along with ivory products, pearls and precious stones.
  • Major imports for the traders were horses, gold, and sweet wine.

Northern India: Age of three Empires

  • A number of powerful Empires arose in northern India and the Deccan between 750-1000 AD. These werePalas, which dominated eastern India till  the middle  of 11 th century, the Pratiharas. which dominated eastern India and the upper Gangetic valley and the Rastrakutas, which dominated Deccan.

The Palas

  • Gopala founded the Pala Empire in 750 AD. His son Dharmapala succeeded him.
  • Dharmpala revived Nalanda University, which had been famous all over the eastern world.  He also founded the Vikramshila University
  • The Pratiharas
  • The Pratiharas are also called Gurjara-Pratiharas probably because they originated from Gujrata of southwest Rajasthan.
  • Bhoja was the greatest ruler of this dynasty.
  • He was a devotee of Vishnu  and adopted the title of ‘Adivaraha’. He is sometimes called MihirBhoja to distinguish him from BhojaParmara of Ujjain



The Rashtrakutas

  • Dantidurga who fixed his capital at Manyakhet or Malkhed near modern Sholapur founded the kingdom.
  • The greatestRastrakuta rulers were Govinda 111 and Amoghvarsha.  Amoghavarsha ruled for 68 years but by temperament he preferred persuit of religion and literature to war. He was himself an author and wrote “KaviRajamarga’ the earliest  Kannada Book on poetics.
  • The famous rock cut temple of Shiva at Ellora was built by one of the Rastrakuta kings  Krishna I in 9th


Chalukyas (543-757 AD)

  • They established their capital  at Vatapi (Badami) in district of Bijapur in Karnataka.
  • Pulakesin II was able to check Harsha’s design to conquer Deccan.
  • Aihole Inscription is a eulogy written by his court poet Ravikirti.
  • The Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang visited his kingdom.
  • Pallava ruler Narsimhavarman I invaded the Chalukya kingdom, killedPulakesin II and captured Badami.


Chalukya Art

  • They developed the Deccan or Vesara style in the building of’ structural temples, which reached culmination, however, only under the Rashtrakutas   and  the Hoyasalas
  • They perfected the art of stone building, that is, stones finely joined without mortar.
  • Under than auspices the Buddhists,  Jainas and  Brahmins competed  with each other in building cave temples.
  • Thought the cave frescoes began earlier,  some of the  finest specimens  belonged  to  the Chalukyas.
  • The murals that were executed on the walls dealt with not only religious themes but also with secular ones.


  • Hieun Tsang The Chinese Buddhist pilgrim, Hieun Tsang visited  India dining Harsha’s reign.  He  has left  a lengthy  account  of  his  travels Hieun Tsang noticed that Buddhism was not  as popular in all pans of India as  he  had thought it would be.
  • But in eastern India, it was still popular.  Nalanda  University  was still  a famous centre of  He  also recorded the existence of a rigid caste system and talks about the  existence of  many  subcastes He   also takes  note  of  many outcastes and untouchables, who were segregated and  not  allowed to mix with the people of the higher varnasand had  habitations marked with a distinguishing  sign.  Chola art
  • In the temples, the Vimana or the  tall   pyramidal   tower dominates the whole structure of the shrine  and imparts an extraordinary dignity to it.
  • Gopuram and Garbhagriha are the other  two  important structures.
  • The best specimens are the temples of Vijayala-Choleswara. theNageswara temple, the Koranganatha  temple and the Muvarakovintha temple.


  • Hoyasala art
  • Temples usually stand on a high platform.
  • The minute carving of the Hoyasala temples is their  most attractive  feature, achieving the effect of Sandalwood and ivory carving and reproducing the  same infinite variety of ornamental decoration.
  • The temple at Hoyasaleshvaraat Halebid  is  the  greatest achievement of Hoysala art.

Art and  Architecture

  • Gandhara Art
  • It Clearly exhibits the influence of Greek and Roman art.
  • However, patrons of this art were not  Greeks  but  Sakas  and Kushanas.
  • The school specialized in Buddha and Bodhisattva images, stupas and monasteries.
  • Built mostly of blue schist stone.
  • Buddhas of this school are gentle. graceful   and  (Lacking the spirituality of those of the Gupta period).
  • The chief characteristics arc  the realistic representation of human figures,  distinguished muscles of the   body  and   transparent garments.

Gupta Art

  • Achieved the highest level of perfection.
  • the art was sensitive, secular and anthropomorphic.
  • Gupta temple was not excavated from rock, it was an independent structure built of dressed stone blocks.
  • Dasavatara temple at Deogarh is a beautiful example of Gupta architecture.
  • Two of the best examples of Gupta images are the standing Buddhas from Mathura. the rock sculpture showing the Varahaavatara of Vishnu  in the Udayagiri  cave  represents the vigour of which  the  art was capable.

Mathura Art

  • Buddhas of Gandhara were copied here but in a more refined way.
  • The art represents an important formative stage in the history of Indian art.  The great majority  of creation consisted  of  nude  seminude figures of  female Yakshinis or Apsoras in  erotic pose.
  • The images exhibited not only form, masculinity and energetic body but also grace and religious feeling.
  • The attempt to display spiritual strength  by halo  began  with Muthura School.
  • The forms of Brahmanical deities became crystallized at Mathura for the first time.

Rajput Clans

  • The four clans, namely −
    • Pratiharas, (or Pariharas),
    • Chauhans (or Chahamanas),
    • Solankis (or Chaulukyas), and
    • Pawars (or Paramaras).


  • These four agni-kulaclans established their power in western India and parts of central India.
    • The Pariharas ruled in the region of Kanauj;
    • The Chauhans were strong in central Rajasthan;
    • Solanki power rose in the region of Kathiawar and the surrounding areas, and
    • The Pawars established themselves in the region of Malwa with their capital at Dhar near Indore.


  • Besides, some other minor rulers also became powerful and gradually built small kingdoms in various parts of northern India, for example −
    • Nepal,
    • Kamarupa (in Assam),
    • Kashmir, and
    • Utkala (in Orissa).
  • Many of the hill states of the Punjab also developed during the early phase of medieval period; such as −
    • Champaka (Chamba),
    • Durgara (Jammu), and
    • Kuluta (Kulu) in Himachal.\
  • Some other worth noting kingdoms of central India (contemporary to the Rajputs) were −
    • The Chandelles in Bundelkhand,
    • The Guhilas in Mewar to the south of the Chauhans, and
    • The Tomaras in Haryana and the Delhi region.
  • Over a period of time, the Chauhansdefeated the Tomarasand annexed their kingdom.

v  Prithviraj III, the prince of Chauhan dynasty, was the most powerful king of that period in northern India. Chandbardai, the Hindi poet of his (Prithviraj’s) court had written the famous poem ‘Prithviraja-raso.’

Mahmud of Ghazni

  • Ghazni was a small kingdom in Afghanistan, which was founded by a Turkish nobleman in the tenth century. One of its successors, namely Mahmud wanted to make Ghazni into a big and powerful kingdom; therefore, he decided to conquer a part of Central Asia.
  • In order to make his large and powerful army, Mahmud had needed a huge property; hence, he decided to attack India to rob Indian wealth (to accomplish his great ambition).
  • The first raid of Mahmud began in A.D. 1,000. In a short period of twenty-five years, Mahmud made seventeen raids. Meanwhile, he fought battles in Central Asia and in Afghanistan as well.
  • Between A.D. 1,010 and 1025, Mahmud attacked only on the temple towns in northern India, as he had heard that there were much gold and jewelry kept in the big temples in India.
  • One of these attacks, which is frequently mentioned while discussing Medieval History, was the destruction of the Somnath temple located in western India.
  • In 1,030, Mahmud died and the people of northern India get relieved. Though Mahmud was destructor for the Indians, but in his own country, he was a builder of a beautiful mosque and a large library.
  • Mahmud was the patron of the famous Persian poet, Firdausi, who wrote the epic poem ‘Shah Namah.’
  • Mahmud sent the Central Asian scholar Alberuni to India, who lived here for many years and had written his experience, describing the country and the condition of the people.


Muhammad Ghori

  • Muhammad Ghori was the ruler of the Ghor kingdom, a small kingdom of Afghanistan. He was the supreme ruler of Ghurid Empire.
  • Ghori was more ambitious than Mahmud, as he was not only interested in robbing wealth of India, but also intended in conquering northern India and adding it to his kingdom.
  • Since Punjab had already been a part of the Ghazni kingdom; therefore, it made easier to Ghori to plan India campaign.
  • Muhammad’s most important campaign in India was against the Chauhan ruler, Prithviraj III. In 1191, Prithviraj defeated Ghori; this battle is popularly known as the ‘first battle of Tarain.’
  • In 1192, Muhammad Ghori defeated Prithviraj in the second battle of Tarin. The defeat of Prithviraj opened the Delhi area to Muhammad and he began to establish his power.
  • In 1206, Ghori was murdered and his kingdom in northern India was left in the control of his general Qutb-ud-din Aibak.

Image 3

  • The Slave Sultans (AD. 1206-1290)
  • Mamlukswere the earliest rulers of the Delhi Sultanate. They are also known as the Slave Kings because many of them were either slaves or were the sons of slaves and became Sultans.
  • The first of the slave kings was Qutb-ud-din Aibak, who was the general of Muhammad Ghori. After the death of Ghori, Qutb-ud-din stayed in India and established his kingdom.
  • The ruler of Ghazni tried to annex the territory held by Qutb-ud-din, but he failed. When lltutmish succeeded Qutbud-din as Sultan, a separate kingdom was established in the northern India, namely Delhi Sultanate.
  • Over a period of time, the Sultans of Delhi extended their control up to Bengal in the east and Sind in the west.
  • During the Sultanate period, there was the problem of the local Indian rulers who had been conquered. Sultans had taken territories of some rulers and some others were allowed to keep it.
  • The rulers who were allowed to keep their territories paid a sum of money as a tribute and agreed to help the Sultan with military support when required.
  • Sultanate had also problems from the north-west, for example, the rulers of Afghanistan were quiet, but the Mongol people of Central Asia, led by Chenghiz Khan, made fresh conquests.
  • The Sultan Iltutmishhad faced the administrative problems. However, when he died, his daughter Raziya became the sultan and she had to face the problems.
  • After Iltutmish, the next important Sultans was Balban, a strong and iron-willed Sultan. He was more successful in solving the problems than his predecessors. He defended the Sultanate from the attacks of the Mongols.
  • Balban’s success was integrated into his strategic administrative policy. He successfully changed the organization of the army and curbed the revolt of the nobles.
  • Balban encouraged people to do the ‘sijdah’ in his presence. Sijdahmeans, people had to kneel and touch the ground with their forehead in salutation to him (Balban).
  • Sijdah, horrified the orthodox Muslims. According to Muslims belief, “all men are equal, and therefore, no one should do the sijdahbefore anyone else except God.”

The Khalji Dynasty (1290-1320)

  • The Khilji Dynasty was the second dynasty to rule the Delhi Sultanate of India. Towards the end of Slave Dynasty it became weaker because of internal rebellions.
  • Jalal-ud-din Khilji killed MuizuddinQaiqabad, the last operational sultan of Slave Dynasty and founded the Khilji Dynasty in 1290 AD. This dynasty ruled the Delhi Sultanate from 1290 AD to 1320 AD.
  • The advent of the Khalji dynasty marked the zenith of Muslim imperialism in India.The founder of the Khalji dynasty was JalaluddinKhalji. He was seventy years old when he came to power. He was generous and lenient. Malik Chhajju, nephew of Balban was allowed to remain the governor of Kara. His leniency was misunderstood as weakness. When Chhajju revolted, it was suppressed but he was pardoned.
  • When the thugs (robbers) looted the country, they were allowed to go after a severe warning. In 1292 when Malik Chhajju revolted for the second time, he was replaced by his son-in-law, AlauddinKhalji. In 1296 AlauddinKhalji took an expedition to Devagiri and returned to Kara. During the reception there, AlauddinKhalji treacherously murdered his father-in-law JalaluddinKhalji and usurped the throne of Delhi.

Rulers Khilji Dynasty

The rulers of Khilji Dynasty who ruled the Delhi Sultanate were :

  • Jalal-ud-din Khilji (1290 AD-1296 AD):Jalal-ud-din Khilji was the first sultan of Khilji Dynasty. He ruled the dynasty from 1290 AD to 1296 AD. He was very liberal towards Hindus and it was not fully accepted by the nobles. His mild policies failed to control the unfaithful nobles. In 1296 AD, he was killed by his nephew Ala-ud-din Khilji while he went to welcome his victorious nephew after the conquest of Devagiri.
  • Ala-ud-din Khilji (1296 AD-1316 AD):Ala-ud-din Khilji was the most powerful ruler of Khilji Dynasty. He killed Jalal-ud-din Khilji and became the sultan of Delhi in 1296 AD. He expanded his territory to a larger area including most of the India and part of Pakistan and Afghanistan. (refer individual section for detail.)
  • Reforms of AlauddinKhalji: AlauddinKhalji maintained a large permanent standing army and paid them in cash from the royal treasury. According the Ferishta, he recruited 4,75,000cavalrymen. He introduced the system of dagh(branding of horses) and prepared huliya (descriptive list of soldiers). In order to ensure maximum efficiency, a strict review of army from time to time was carried out. The introduction of paying salaries in cash to the soldiers led to price regulations popularly called as Market Reforms. AlauddinKhalji established four separate markets in Delhi, one for grain; another for cloth, sugar, dried fruits, butter and oil; a third for horses, slaves and cattle; and a fourth for miscellaneous commodities.
  • Each market was under the control of a high officer called Shahna-i- Mandi. The supply of grain was ensured by holding stocks in government store-houses. Regulations were issued to fix the price of all commodities. A separate department called DiwaniRiyasat was created under an officer called Naib-i-Riyasat. Every merchant was registered under the Market department. There were secret agents called munhiyans who sent reports to the Sultan regarding the functioning of these markets. The Sultan also sent slave boys to buy various commodities to check prices. Violation of regulations was severely punished. Harsh punishment was given if any shopkeeper charged a higher price, or tried to cheat by using false weights and measures. Even during the famine the same price was maintained. We are not sure whether the market regulations in Delhi were also applied in the provincial capitals and towns.
  • Apart from market reforms, AlauddinKhalji took important steps in the land revenue administration. He was the first Sultan of Delhi who ordered for the measurement of land. Even the big landlords could not escape from paying land tax. Land revenue was collected in cash in order to enable the Sultan to pay the soldiers in cash. His land revenue reforms provided a basis for the future reforms of Sher Shah and Akbar.
  • Military Campaigns: AlauddinKhalji sent his army six times against the Mongols. The first two was successful. But the third Mongol invader Khwaja came up to Delhi but they were prevented from entering into the capital city. The next three Mongol invasions were also dealt with severely. Thousands of Mongols were killed. The northwestern frontier was fortified and Gazi Malik was appointed to as the Warden of Marches to protect the frontier.
  • The military conquests of AlauddinKhalji include his expedition against Gujarat, Mewar and the Deccan. He sent Nusrat Khan and Ulugh Khan to capture Gujarat in 1299. The king and his daughter escaped while the queen was caught and sent to Delhi. Kafur, an eunuch, was also taken to Delhi and later he was made the Malik Naib – military commander. Then in 1301, Alauddin marched against Ranthampur and after a three month’s siege it fell. The Rajput women committed jauhar or self-immolation.Alauddin next turned against Chittor. It was the powerful state in Rajasthan. The siege lasted for several months.
  • In 1303 Alauddin stormed the Chittor fort. Raja Ratan Singh and his soldiers fought valiantly but submitted. The Rajput women including Rani Padminiper formed jauhar. This Padmini episode was graphically mentioned in the book Padmavathwritten by Jayasi. AlauddinKhalji’s greatest achievement was the conquest of Deccan and the far south. This region was ruled by four important dynasties – Yadavas of Devagiri, Kakatiyas of Warangal, Hoysalas of Dwarasamudra and the Pandyas of Madurai. In Alauddin sent Malik Kafur against the ruler of Devagiri, Ramachandra Deva, who submitted and paid rich tributes.
  • In 1309 Malik Kafur launched his campaign against Warangal. Its ruler Pratabarudra Deva was defeated and enormous booty was collected from him. Malik Kafur’s next target was the Hoysala ruler ViraBallala III. He was defeated and a vast quantity of booty was seized and sent to Delhi. Kafur next marched against the Pandyas. Vira Pandya fled the capital Madurai and Kafur seized enormous wealth from the Pandya kingdom and returned to Delhi. AlauddinKhalji died in 1316. Although the Sultan was illiterate, he patronized poets like Amir Khusrau and Amir Hasan. He also built a famous gateway known as Alai Darwaza and constructed a new capital at Siri. Mubarak Shah and Khusru Shah were the successors of AlauddinKhalji. Ghazi Malik, the governor of Dipalpur, killed the Sultan Khusru Shah and ascended the throne of Delhi under the title of GhiyasuddinTughlaq in 1320.
  • Ala-ud-din Khilji is also known for defeating Mongols in multiple instances. In 1297-98 AD Mongol army invaded his territory but the sultan army led by Zafar Khan and Ulugh Khan defeated the Mongol invasion at Jalandhar. Mongol again attacked in 1299 AD with a larger army. Sultan army had a convincing victory and defeated the Mongol.
  • South Indian Campaign: Ala-ud-din started his military campaign in Southern India. Malik Kafur was appointed as the military commander and he carried out the attack to the Deccan. In 1305 AD, Malik Kafur attacked King Ram Chandra of Devgiri and made him a tribute paying ruler under the protection of Sultan. King Ram Chandra paid huge indemnity to Delhi Sultan.
  • In 1309 AD, Malik Kafur occupied Warangal of Kakatiya Dynasty. King Prataprudra signed a treaty with Delhi Sultan and Ala-ud-din Khilji took hold of famous Koh-i-Noor diamond with other wealth.
  • In 1310 AD, Ala-ud-din sent Malik Kafur to attack against Hoysalas of Dwarasamudra. Sultan army defeated ViraBallala III of Dwarasamudra and the king paid huge amount of indemnity to Delhi Sultan and accept his protection and overlordship.
  • In 1311 AD, Malik Kafur attacked King Vir Pandya of Pandya Kingdom in Madurai of Tamil Nadu. King Vir Pandya fled away from the capital and Sultan army occupied the capital of Pandya Kingdom.
  • Administration: Ala-ud-din Khilji was an efficient administrator and known for his strict and harsh policies. He introduced a strict Price Control measure and cut all unnecessary expenditure. He controlled the market price of the commodities. He increased the tax of agriculture and introduced a strict monitoring system to prevent bribes. He controlled the demand and supply by introducing godowns to store the surplus grain and make available at the time of scarcity.
  • Note: AlauddinKhilji wanted to be a world conqueror. In his coins he depicted himself as Sikaiidar-i Sam, meaning Second Alexander. So he is known as Second Alexander of India.





  1. Why did Alauddin Khilji introduce market reforms?

A: To maintain large army

B: To increase tax

C: To provide easy living for the people

D: Better administration


  1. The Barids of Delhi Sultanate was –


A: Police Officer

B: The Spy

C: Accountant

D: Priest


  1. During which reign Al Beruni came to India?

A: Mahmud of Ghazni

B: Balban

C: Iltutmish

D: FirozShaTughlaq


  1. Who was the first Muslim ruler of India?

A: Qutubuddin Aibek

B: Iltutmish

C: NasiruddinMehmud

D: Muhammad Ghori


  1. The first and last woman ruler of India was –

A: Riziya Sultana

B: Noor Jahan

C: MumtajBibi

D: Shaibabibi


  1. Who was the famous General of Alauddin Khilji?

A: Chengiz Khan

B: Zafar Ali

C: Malik Kafur

D: Ghazi Malik


  1. The Monuments has a dome and said to be one of the largest in the world is –

A: Tomb of Akbar

B: Jama Masjid

C: GolGumbaz, Bijapur

D: TajMahal


  1. Mohammad bin Tughlaq

A: introduced measures to regulate markets

B: introduced monetary reforms

C: Increase taxes in Doab Region

D: Conquer Deccan


  1. Who was the first Muslim invade India?

A: Muhammad bin Quasim

B: Ghazni from Mahmud

C: Timur Long

D: Muhammad Gori


  1. Which Sultan is known as the ‘Mixture of Opposites’?

A: AlauddinKhilji

B: Qutub-ud-din-Aibek

C: Muhammad bin Tughlaq

D: Mahmud of Ghazni


Tughlaq to lodi

The Tughlaq Dynasty, a North Indian Dynasty ruled the Delhi Sultanate from 1320 AD to 1414 AD. In 1320 AD, Khusro Khan, a Hindu convert killed the last ruler of Khilji Dynasty Qutbud din Mubarak Shah and thus ended the Khilji Dynasty. Khusro Khan ruled for a short period of time.

  • Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq was a governor from the time of Ala-ud-din Khilji. Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq sent his son Juna Khan to fight against Warangal. He defeated Pratabarudra and returned with rich booty. Ghiyasuddin laid the foundation for Tughlaqabad near Delhi.
  • Ulugh Khan was said to have treacherously killed his father and ascended the throne with the title Muhammad bin Tughlaq in 1325.


Some of the important rulers of Tughlaq Dynasty were :

  • Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq (1320 to 1325 AD): He was the first ruler of TughlaqDynasty.His childhood name was Ghazi Malik. He ruled the Delhi Sultanate from 1320 AD to 1325 AD. He built the fort Tughlaqabad in the southern part of Delhi. (for detail about Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaqrefer his individual section)
  • Muhammad-bin Tughlaq (1325 to 1351 AD):He succeeded his father Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq and became the sultan of Delhi in 1325 AD. He is known as one of the most controversial rulers of India. He undertook many administrative reforms but most of them failed due to his lack of judgement. In Indian history he is referred as the wisest fool king.

Muhammad bin tughlaq’s Reforms:- He tried to introduce many administrative reforms. But most of these fails due to his impatience and lack of judgement.

  • Transfer of Capital (1327): Muhammad bin Tughlaq wanted to make Devagiri (also known as Deogir) his second capital so that he might be able to control South India better.
  • In 1327 he ordered the whole population of Delhi and royal household including ministries, scholars, poets, musicians to move to the new capital. It is believed that he wished to shift the capital as a safeguard measure from Mongol Invasion.
  • During the journey from Delhi to Daulatabad many people died on the way. By the time people reached Daulatabad, Muhammad changed his mind and decided to abandon the new capital and move to his old capital Delhi. Many people died in the movement. A severe plague broke and half of the army died in the epidemic. The distance between these two places was more than 1500 kilometres. Many people died during the rigorous journey in the summer. After two years, the Sultan abandoned Daulatabad and asked them to return to Delhi. The plan of shifting capital completely failed.


  • Introduction of Token Currency(1330): In 1329-30 he introduced a token currency. There was a shortage of silver throughout the world in the fourteenth century. Kublai Khan issued paper money in China. In the same manner, He issued copper coins at par with the value of the silver tanka coins. He might have been successful if he could prevent people from forging the new coins. He was not able to to do so and soon the new coins began to be greatly devalued in markets. The goldsmiths began to forge the token coins on a large scale. Soon the new coins were not accepted in the markets. Finally, he stopped the circulation of token currency and promised to exchange silver coins for the copper coins. Many people exchanged the new coins but the treasury became empty. According the Barani, the heap of copper coins remained lying on roadside in Tughlaqabad.


  • Taxation in Doab: The failure of these two experiments affected the prestige of the Sultan and enormous money was wasted. In order to overcome financial difficulties, he increased the tax on the alluvial lands between the Ganga and the Yamuna valley. During his reign the empire faced a severe famine and worse measures were taken by the king. People abandoned their home involved in robbery and theft, thousands perished. They fled from the villages but Muhammad bin Tughlaq took harsh measures to capture and punish them. The revolts were crushed. Governor of each province were ordered to submit their book of accounts to Delhi.


  • Rebellions: The latter part of Muhammad bin Tughlaq’s reign witnessed a spate of rebellions by the nobles and provincial governors. The rebellion of Hasan Shah resulted in the establishment of the Madurai Sultanate. In 1336 the Vijayanagar kingdom was founded. In 1347 Bhamini kingdom was established. The governors of Oudh, Multan and Sind revolted against the authority of Muhammad bin Tughlaq. In Gujarat Taghi rose in revolt against the Sultan who spent nearly three years in chasing him. Muhammad bin Tughlaq’s health became worse and he died in 1351.


  • Agricultural Reforms: However, the Sultan realized later that adequate relief measures and the promotion of agriculture were the real solution to the problem. He launched a scheme by which takkavi loans (loans for cultivation) were given to the farmers to buy seed and to extend cultivation. A separate department for agriculture, Diwan- i- Kohi was established. Model farm under the state was created in an area of 64 square miles for which the government spent seventy lakh tankas. He spent huge amount of money but the scheme didn’t succeed due to corruption of officers and other factors. This experiment was further continued by Firoz Tughlaq.


  • Military Campaigns and Territory Expansion: After becoming the Sultan of Delhi, Muhammad bin Tughlaq wanted to expand his territory and occupied Kalanaur and Peshawar in the north west. He desired to expand his borders in southern India and re-occupied the states those were initially conquered by Malik Kafur during the reign of Ala-ud-din Khilji. He occupied Andhra, Karnataka, Maharashtra, larger parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala and thus he conquered major part of South India and annexed it to the Delhi Sultanate.


  • Diplomatic Relation: Muhammad maintained a good relation with the other world leaders. He sent ambassadors to China and other places.


  • Downfall of Tughlaq Dynasty: Towards the end of his reign people started to revolt because of dictatorial policies. There were revolts in many provinces. Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq died in 1351 AD and after his death Firuz Shah Tughlaq succeeded him and ascended the throne of Delhi Sultanate.


  • Firuz Shah Tughlaq (1351 to 1388 AD): He succeeded Muhammad-bin Tughlaq and became the sultan of Delhi in 1351 AD.
  • He ruled the dynasty for about 37 years. He founded Firuzabad, the new capital at Delhi. He is mostly known as religious man.
  • He was a kind and merciful mainly to Muslims and paid attention for the happiness of his subjects. He reduced the tax burden and relaxed the strict policies.
  • Although he was kind to Muslims, he was strict towards non Muslims. He strictly enforced the Jiziya tax to all non-Muslims. He destroyed many Hindu Temples. He was not a powerful military commander to fight back the external attacks. Firuz Shah died in 1388 AD. After his death the dynasty gradually became weaker and finally it was overthrown by Sayyid Dynasty.


Timur’s Invasion: Mahmud Shah Tughluq was the last ruler of Tughlaq Dynasty. During his reign Timur invaded India and did a massive massacre in Delhi. (for detail about Timur’s Invasion, see the individual section)

Syyid dynasty

Khizr-Khan , a lieutenant of Timur, was a Sayyid and so his dynasty is called Sayyid Dynasty. Khizr Khan ruled till 1421, but his whole reign was marked by utter chaos and disorder. He was succeeded, after his death, by his son Mubarak Shah (1421-1434).

Image 1

Lodi Dynasty was the last dynasty of Delhi Sultanate and ruled from 1451 AD to 1526 AD. The Lodi Dynasty was of Afghan origin and Bahlul Lodi was the founder of Lodi Dynasty. In 1451 AD, Alam Shah, the last ruler of Sayyid Dynasty voluntarily abandoned the throne of Delhi Sultanate in favour of Bahlul Lodi. In 1526 AD, the Lodi Dynasty came to end after the first Battle of Panipat and marked the beginning of Mughal Empire.


Rulers of Lodi Dynasty

  • BahlolLodhi (1451-88 AD)Bahlul Lodi was the first ruler of the Lodi Dynasty. He ruled the Delhi Sultanate from 1451 AD to 1489 AD. (for detail see the Bahlul Lodi individual section)
  • SikandarLodhi (1489-1517 AD)After the death of Bahlul Lodi, his son Sikandar Lodi succeeded him and ascended the throne of Delhi Sultanate in 1489 AD. He ruled the Delhi Sultanate from 1489 AD to 1517 AD. Sikandar Lodi was a good and caring ruler for his Muslim subjects but he was extremely strict and harsh for Hindus. He founded Agra in 1504 AD as his second capital after Delhi.
  • Administration: Sikandar Lodi was a good and caring ruler for his Muslim subjects but he was extremely strict and harsh for Hindus. He installed Persian language as the official language. Sikandar enforced the Jiziya tax to non-Muslims. He destroyed Hindu Temples and erected Mosques.
  • Sikandar Lodi wanted to overpower the Gwalior Fort and attacked 5 times but he never succeeded.He was a staunch Sunni and a Muslim fanatic. He lacked religious tolerance. In the name of religion, he perpetuated untold cruelties on the Hindus. He took a keen interest in the development of agriculture. He introduced the Gaz-i-Sikandari(Sikandar’s yard) of 32 digits for measuring cultivated fields.
  • Successor: Sikandar Lodi died in 1517 AD. Ibrahim Lodi , the youngest son of Sikandar Lodi succeeded his father in 1517 AD and ruled the Delhi Sultanate till 1526 AD.
  • Ibrahim Lodhi (1517-26 AD): Ibrahim Lodi , the youngest son of Sikandar Lodi succeeded his father in 1517 AD and ruled the Delhi Sultanate till 1526 AD. He was the last Sultan of Lodi Dynasty as well as the Delhi Sultanate. In 1526 AD, the Mughal Emperor Babur defeated him in the first Battle of Panipat and established the Mughal Empire. Ibrahim Lodi died in the battle. This battle is considered as ending of Lodi Dynasty and beginning Mughal Empire in India. (for detail see the Ibrahim Lodiindividual section)
  • During the period of Lodi Dynasty, the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gamalanded in India in 1498 AD. (for detail see the Vasco da Gama individual section)


Vijayanagara Kingdom

  • Vijayanagara Kingdom was founded by two brothers Hariharaand Bukka.
  • In 1336, Harihara and Bukka conquered the territory of the Hoysala(i.e. modern Mysore State) and proclaimed themselves as an Independent ruler of the Vijayanagara Kingdom.
  • Harihara and Bukka made Hastinavati(modern Hampi) their capital.
  • Apart from these big kingdoms, there were many other smaller kingdoms, especially along the eastern coast (from Orissa to Tamil Nadu). These smaller kingdoms were being frequently attacked by either the Bahmanis or the Vijayanagara rulers.
  • In 1370, Vijayanagara conquered Madurai. It was also active on the west coast. Meanwhile, the Bahmani kingdom was engaged in fighting against its northern neighbors, namely the kingdoms of Gujarat and Malwa.
  • All these kingdoms of the subcontinent became powerful, because of the handsome income that came through the land revenue and trade.
  • Gujarat and Bengal received big profits from overseas trade especially with western Asia, East Africa, South-East Asia, and China.
  • The Bahmani and Vijaynagara kingdoms also took part in the overseas trade.
  • Besides trade, local culture, literature in the regional language, architecture, paintings, and new religious ideas were developed in these kingdoms
  • After the arrival of Islam in India, some changes can be seen in religious practice as well. Religious ideas (especially Hindu and Muslim religions) were exchanged. However, in context of religious trends, the following two movements are the most noticeable −
    • Sufi Movement and
    • Bhakti Movement

Sufi Movement

  • During the eleventh century, some of the Muslims (especially who had come from Persia and nearby regions) were fundamentally Sufis. They settled in different parts of India and soon gathered plenty of Indian followers.
  • The Sufi ideology promoted love and devotion as means of coming nearer to God. The true God’s devotees bound to came close (both) to God and to one’s fellow men. Secondly, Sufis suggested that prayers, fasts, and rituals were not as important as the true love of God.
  • The Sufis, as they were promoting true love to God and fellow men, they were pretty flexible and tolerant for all other religions and sects, and advocated that the paths to God can be many.
  • The Sufis, further, promoted respect for all human beings. This was the reason that the orthodox Ulemadid not approve of the ideology of Sufis and said that Sufi teachings were not in agreement with orthodox Islam.
  • Many of the Hindus also respected the Sufi saints and became followers. However, the Sufis did not attempt to deceive or convert Hindus to Islam, but rather advised Hindus to be better Hindus by loving the one true God.
  • One of the most popular Sufi saints was Muin-ud-din Chishti. He lived most of his life in the city of Ajmer (where he died in 1236).
  • Muin-ud-din Chishtiemphasized on the devotional music and said that the devotional music is one of the ways to go closer to the God.
  • The Ulemadid not approve of linking music with religion or God. However, Chishti’s followers held gatherings at the places where some of the finest music could be heard.
  • The qawwaliwas a familiar form of singing at the sufi Some songs sung in Hindi were also popular.
  • Baba Farid who lived at Ajodhan (now in Pakistan) was also a popular Sufi saint.
  • Nizam-ud-din Auliyawas the Sufi saint who was loved by both the Sultans and by the public. His center was in the neighborhood of Delhi.
  • Nizam-ud-din Auliya was a brave and honest man and he advocated with his free mind. If Nizam-ud-din Auliya did not like any action of even the Sultan, he said so and was not afraid as were so many other people.

The Bhakti Movement

  • During the seventh century, Bhakti movement evolved in the south part of the country (especially in the Tamil speaking regions). Over a period of time, it spread in all the directions.
  • The alvarsand the nayannars of the Tamil devotional cult had started the tradition of preaching the idea of bhakti through hymns and stories.
  • Most of the saints of Bhakti movement were from the non-Brahman families.
  • Like Sufi ideology, the bhakti ideology also taught that the relationship between man and God was based on love, and worshipping God with devotion was better than merely performing any number of religious ceremonies. Bhakti Saints emphasized on the tolerance among men and religions.
  • Chaitanya, the devotee of Krishna, was a religious teacher who preached in Bengal. He composed many hymns dedicated to Krishna.
  • Chaitanya had traveled different parts of the country and gathered a group of his followers. At the end of his life, he settled at Puri in Orissa.
  • In Maharashtra, the Bhakti ideology was preached by Jnaneshvara. Jnaneshvara had translated Gita in Marathi.
  • Namadevaand in a later period, Tukaram, were the pretty popular saints of Bhakti movement.
  • Kabir, who was basically a weaver, was also a Bhakti saint (in Banaras). The dohas(or couplets), which Kabir composed and preached to his followers are still recited.


  • The fiscal policy of Turkish Sultans of India was modeled on the theory of finances of the “Hanafi School” of Sunni Jurists”.
    Only four different sources of revenue were sanctioned by the Quran – Kharaj, Khams, Jaziya and Zakat, but the Sultanate of Delhi charged about two dozen extra taxes. Following were the few important taxes:
  • Zakat:The religious taxes were collectively known as the Zakat. This was realized from well to do Muslims amounting at the rate of 1/40th of one’s property.
  • Jizya:It was levied on non-Muslims in return for the protection of life and property and exemption from military services. Women, children, indigent and the Brahmanas were exempted from it.
  • Kharaj:It was the land tax realized from non-Muslims.
  • Khums:It was the tax on mines, treasure trove and share in war booty.
  • Sharaf:It was the irrigation tax charged at the rate of 1/10th of the produce. This was imposed by FiruzTughlaq.
  • Abwafs:It was the extra taxes like housing tax, grazing tax, etc.



  • Kabir realized that religious differences do not matter, for what really matters is that everyone should love God. God has many names (e.g. Ram, Rahim, etc.). Therefore, he tried to make a bridge between the two religions, namely Hinduism and Islam.
  • The followers of Kabir had formed a separate group, popular as Kabirpanthis. Later, Surdas and Dadu continued the bhakti tradition.
  • The Delhi Sultanate was an Islamic state with its religion Islam.
    According to the theological basis, Muslims believe that Islamic society and government should be organised on the basis of divine injunctions of the Quran. The saying and doings of Prophet Muhammad, collectively known as hadis, began to be supplemented with the above.
    • The ulema (Muslim theologians) gave various religons on the basis of the Quran and the hadis to meet different situations and problems, which are together known as the Sharia (Islamic Law).
    • According to secular basis, Zawabit (rules and regulations framed by the Sultans) were also used for a smooth and efficient running of the administration.
    • The doctrine of farr or farrah (supernatural effulgence or radiance) was first enunciated in the Shah Namah by firdausi, according to whom the God endows the rulers with farr, which symbolises the divine favour.
    • Among the Delhi Sultans, Balban was the first to exhibit his awareness of the doctrine when he remarked that ‘the king’s heart is the mirror of the divine attributer’.
    • Amir Khusrau observed that Kaiqubad was endowed with the farr.
    • The Sultans considered themselves as representatives of the Caliph. They included the name of the Caliph in the khutba or prayer and inscribed it on their coins.
    • Although Balban called himself the shadow of God, he continued to practice of including the name of Caliph in the khutba and coins.
    • Iltutmish, Muhammad bin Tughlaq and FirozTughlaq obtained mansur or letter of permission from the Caliph.
    • The office of the Sultan was the most important in the administrative system. He was the ultimate authority for the military, legal and political activities.

    • Deputy Sultan or Naib:Appointment to this post was generally made only when a ruler was weak or minor. The Naib enjoyed practically all the powers of the Sultan on his behalf and exercised a general control over the various departments of the governments.
    • Wazir:He was the head of the finance department and next to the Sultan was the highest dignitary of the state. But if there was a Naib Sultan, he ranked above the Wazir. The department of the Wazir was called Diwan-i-Wazarat. He had a number of powerful assistants, three among whom deserve particular mention-NaibWazir (chief’s deputy), Mushrif-i-Mumalik (Accountant General) and MustaufiMumalik (Auditor General).
    • Ariz-i-Mumalik:He was the chief of military staff and was responsible for the organisation, maintenance and control over the armed forces of the state. His department was called Diwan-i-Arz. He was not the ex-officio commander-in-chief of the forces.
    • Sadr-us-Sudur:He was the head of the ecclesiastical department. He was in charge of public charities and was also responsible for enforcing conformity to Islam. It was he who made grants in cash or land for the construction and maintenance of mosques, tombs, khanqahs, Madarsas and Maktabs.
    • Qazi-ul-Quzal:He was the head of judicial department and usually the post of the chief Sadr and the chief Qazi were combined in a single person.
    • Dabir-i-Khas or Amir Munshi:He was the head of the records department, which was called Diwan-I-Insha. The Farmans of the Sultan were issued from his department also while all high-level correspondence passed through his hands.
    • Barid-i-Mumalik:He was the head of the information and intelligence department. Dakchaukis or news outposts were also under his control.

Provinces were divided into Shias and were headed by a Shiqdar.
• The Shiqswere further divided into Parganas which comprised a number of villages and was headed by the Amil.
• Villages were the basic unit of administration and continued to enjoy a large measure of self government.
• The most important official of the village was the village headman called Muqaddam.
• Other important functionaries were Khats, Chaudharies, etc. Most of the towns had a Kotwal and Qazi.


  • After consolidating their position in India, the Delhi Sultans introduced reforms in the land revenue administration. The lands were classified into three categories:
  • Iqta land –lands assigned to officials as iqtas instead of payment for their services.
    Khalisa land – land under the direct control of the Sultan and the revenues collected were spent for the maintenance of royal court and royal household.
    3. Inam land – land assigned or granted to religious leaders or religious institutions.


Iqta System

  • The institution of the Iqta had been in force in early Islamic world as a form of reward for services to the state.
    In the caliphate administration it was used to pay civil and military officers.
    • After the establishment of the Sultanate iqta system was introduced by the Sultans.
    • The army commanders and nobles were given territories to administer and collect the revenue. The territories thus assigned were called iqta and their holders as iqtadar or muqti.
    • In essence this was a system of payment to the officers and maintenance of army by them.
    • Gradually rules and regulations were laid down to organize the whole system.
    • Through the years it became the main instrument of administrating the Sultanate.
    • Further the sultans could get a large share of the surplus production from different parts of the vast territories through this system.






  1. The real name of GhyasuddinTughlaq was


a.  Ghazi Kafur

b.  Ghazi Malik

c.  Qaraunah Turk

d.  Zafar Khan


  1. “Wisest fool” was known to which Tughlaq King?


a. Mohammad bin Tughlaq

b. Firoz shah Tughlaq

c. Ghyasudding Tughlaq

d. None of These


  1. “Ill starred idealist” was known to which ruler?


  1. Iltutmish
  2. Mohammad bin Tughlaq
  3. Alauddin Khalji
  4. Kutubuddin Aibek


  1. Tughlaqabad fort built by which Tughlaq ruler?


  1. GhyasuddinTughlaq
  2. Mohammad bin Tughlaq
  3. Firoz Shah
  4. Nadir Shah


  1. Who was the founder of Sayyad Dynasty?
  1. Khizr Khan
  2. Mubarak Shah
  3. Muhammad Shah
  4. AlauddinAlam Shah


  1. Who was the founder of Agra city?
  1. Bahlol Lodhi,
  2. Sikandar Lodhi,
  3. Ibrahim Lodhi
  4. Daulat khan lodi


  1. Who Was the last ruler of the Lodi dynasty
  1. BahlolLodhi,
  2. SikandarLodhi,
  3. Ibrahim Lodhi
  4. Daulat khan lodi



  1. Who invented the musical instrument called Sitar?

(A) Ablberuni
(B) HasanNizami
(C) Utbi
(D) Amirkhusru


  1. Who was the father of Ibrahim Lodi

(A) Sikandar Lodi
(B) Alam Khan
(C) Nizam Khan
(D) Bahlul khan Lodi


  1. Who annexed the jaunpur in lodi kingdom
  1. BahlolLodhi,
  2. SikandarLodhi,
  3. Ibrahim Lodhi
  4. Daulat khan lodi


Lecture – 10

Mughal Empire


Mains examination question

 1. What were the Reasons for babur Indian expedition?

  1. Write short notes on (75 words)

(a) ghalla-bakshi.,

(b) nasaq.

(c) polaj

(d) mansabdari system



Lecture – 10

Mughal Umpire


Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur

  • Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur, descended from his father’s side in the 5th generation from Timur. and through his mother in the 15th generation from Chenghiz Khan.

Reasons for his Indian expedition.

  • TheOttomans defeated the Safavids and the Uzbeks controlled Transoxiana forcing Babur’s imperial impulses towards India.
  • Meagre income of Kabul
  • Desire to emulate Timur
  • Punjab was part of the Timurid province  and  hence was considered a legal partrimony of the Timurids
  • Apprehension of Uzbek attacks.
  • He was invited to attack India by  Daulat Khan Lodi, Subedar of Punjab; Ibrahim Lodi’s uncle Alamkhan Lodi and RanaSanga.
  • He was successful in his 5th expedition.
  • In the Battle of Panipat 20th April 1526.
  • he finally defeated Ibrahim Lodhi. Babur was the first one to entitle himself as the ‘Padshah’
  • Battle of Panipat (1526)- Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi
  • Battle of Khanwa (1527)-  Babur defeated RanaSanga
  • Battle of Chanderi(1528)- Babur defeated MediniRai
  • He wrote “Tuzuk-i-Baburi” or Baburnama in Turkish.
  • It was  translated into Persian by AbdurRaltim Khan  i- Khanan.
  • Other works include a  “Masnavi” Significance     After the Kushans,  he  was the  first to bring Kabul and Kandahar into the Indian empire, which provided stability since it was  the staging post of invasions of India. This helped in promoting trade since these towns  were the starting points of caravans meant for China in the east & Mediterranean  in the west.
  • He smashed Lodi and Rajput power, destroying the  balance of power which paved the way for. an empire. New mode of warfare was intr
  • Humayun was the second Mughal ruler of territories in the Indian subcontinent including what is now Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of northern India
  • . He became the Mughal emperor at the age of 23.
  • He was inexperienced at the time of ascending to the throne and faced bitter rivalry from his half-brother Kamran Mirza who ruled over Kabul and Lahore
  • .Even though Humayun was a brave soul and an adventurous ruler, he lost several territories to his rivals over the ensuing years.
  • However, he was not someone to accept defeat so easily and he successfully won back his territories after a few years.

Childhood & Early Life

  • Humayun was born on 17 March 1508, in Kabul, Mughal Empire (present-day Afghanistan), to Babur, the founder of the Mughal dynasty and his wife Maham Begum. He had several siblings; many of his brothers and half-brothers would become his bitter rivals in future.
  • He received an upbringing typical for princes of his stature. He learned Turki, Arabic, and Persian and was interested in mathematics, philosophy, and astrology. He also received military training and was appointed governor of Badakhashan at the age of 20.
  • He proved his bravery as a young governor and fought at Panipat and Khanwa, two decisive battles in Indian history. His father ensured that he was trained as an administrator and a warrior.

Accession & Reign

  • Babur died and Humayun ascended to the throne on 26 December 1530 as the second emperor of the Mughal dynasty. He faced bitter rivalry from his brothers, and also faced threat from other rulers such as Sultan Bahadur and Sher Shah Suri (Sher Khan). His half-brother Kamran treacherously took the Punjab and the Indus Valley.
  • During the initial years of his reign, both his major rivals extended their territories. Sultan Bahadur planned to attack Humayun’s territories, but Humayun acted quickly and went on to capture the forts of Mandu and Champaner, forcing Bahadur to take up refuge with the Portuguese. Bahadur eventually died in 1537.
  • Meanwhile Sher Shah Suri was consolidating his power in Bihar and Bengal and was emerging as a powerful ruler. He challenged the Mughal rule and even though Humayun was able to temporarily oust Sher Shah from Bengal, he could not defend his territories from Sher Shah for long.
  • Sher Shah successfully defeated the Mughals at Chausa in 1539 and over 8,000 Mughal troops were killed in the bloody battle. This considerably weakened Humayun’s strength, and to add to his miseries, his own brothers were also plotting against him. Sher Shah Suri continued his attacks on the Mughals and drove Humayun to the west.
  • The Mughals faced the growing army of Sher Shah at the Battle of Kanauj in 1540 where once again the Mughals were defeated. Further defeats followed the Mughals and the emperor Humayun was compelled to quit the battlefield. Sher Shah also captured Agra, the capital city of the Mughals, and forced Humayun to flee from India.
  • Humayun fled to Persia with his wife and a few companions. There Shah Tahmasp not only offered him refuge, but also treated him as a royal visitor. With military support from Shah Tahmasp, Humayun proceeded to claim Kandahar and Kabul.
  • Meanwhile Sher Shah Suri died in 1545, and his son and successor also died within a few years of his father in 1554. The ensuing political chaos provided Humayun with the perfect opportunity to reclaim his empire. He gathered a large army which he placed under the leadership of Bairam Khan, a great military strategist. Bairam Khan led the army and successfully laid claim to the throne for the Mughals. Once again Humayun claimed Babur’s throne on 23 July 1555.
  • After becoming the Mughal emperor once again, he embarked on a series of military campaigns to extend his reign over areas in eastern and western India. At the time of his death, the Mughal Empire spanned almost one million square kilometers.

Major Battles

  • Humayun was not well known for being a great military leader. However, he recognized his limitations and therefore placed his army under the leadership of Bairam Khan while attempting to reclaim the throne of Delhi from the descendants of Sher Shah Suri. This proved to be a wise move as Bairam Khan was successful in recapturing the capital for Humayun.
  • Humayun had several wives and concubines, the most notable ones being HamidaBanu Begum, MahChuchak Begum, BibiGunwar Begum, KhanishAghacha, ShahamAghacha, and Maywa Jan Aghacha. He fathered a number of children including son Akbar who would one day become known as one of the greatest Mughal emperors.
  • He was descending the staircase from his library with his arms full of books when the muezzin announced the Azaan (the call to prayer). The emperor tried to kneel in reverence on hearing the summons, but tripped and fell down the stairs. He was seriously injured as a result and died three days later on 27 January 1556. He was succeeded by his son Akbar.
  • Humayun was known for his peaceful personality and patience which earned him the title ’Insān-i-Kamil (Perfect Man), among the Mughals.

Sher Shah Suri

  • Sher Shah Suri was the founder of the Sur Empire in North India. After taking control of the Mughal Empire in 1540,
  • he set up a new civic and military administration and implemented several reforms in the financial and postal sectors. He reorganized the empire and revived the historical city of Pataliputra as Patna which had been in decline since the 7th century CE.
  • Sher Shah Suri was born as Farid Khan in 1486 in Sasaram, Rohtas district, Bihar in India. His grandfather Ibrahim Khan Suri was a land lord (Jagirdar) in Narnaul area and his father Mian Hassan Khan Suri, was a horse breeder and a prominent figure in the government of Bahlul Khan Lodi. Farid had several brothers.
  • Farid Khan grew up to be a brave young man and was given a village in Fargana, Delhi (comprising present day districts of Bhojpur, Buxar, Bhabhua of Bihar) by Omar Khan Sarwani, the counselor and courtier of Bahlul Khan Lodi.
  • Farid often got into disputes with his father and ran away from home to independently seek his fortunes.

Later Years

  • He then enlisted as a soldier in the service of Jamal Khan, the governor of Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh. Meanwhile his father died and he took possession of his paternal jagir.
  • Farid Khan entered the service of Bahar Khan, the ruler of Bihar, in 1522. He quickly impressed Khan with his bravery and valor, and was appointed his deputy. He also became the tutor and mentor of Bahar Khan’s minor son.
  • Once on a hunting trip Farid killed a full grown tiger with his bare hands, and earned the title of Sher Khan from Bahar Khan in recognition of his bravery.
  • Sher Khan faced Humayun at the Battle of Chausa in June 1539. Sher Khan defeated the Mughal Emperor and assumed the royal title of Farid al-Din Sher Shah. The confrontations between Sher Shah and Humayun continued as Humayun retried to capture lost territories and the men faced each other again at Kannauj in May 1540.
  • Sher Shah was once again successful in defeating Humayun who was forced to flee India. By 1540, Sher Shah had managed to drive out all his enemies from Bengal, Bihar, and the Punjab. He took control of the Mughal Empire and founded the Sur Empire in North India, with its capital at Delhi. He then went on to conquer Malwa in 1542; Raisin, Multan and Sindh in 1543; and Marwar and Mewar in 1544.
  • Sher Shah Suri was not only a courageous warrior, but also an able administrator. He introduced several reforms and reorganized the civil and administrative structures. He is also credited to have introduced the tri-metal coinage system which later came to characterize the Mughal coinage system.
  • He undertook notable architectural works during his reign and built structures like Rohtas Fort, Sher Shah Suri Masjid, and Qila-i-Kuhna mosque. He also built a new city Bhera of Pakistan in 1545.

Major Battles

  • One of the most famous battles fought by Sher Shah Suri was the Battle of Chausa in which his forces defeated the Mughal emperor Humayun’s army in 1539. Sher Shah’s victory in the battle marked the beginning of the downfall of Humayun’s reign and laid the foundation for Suri to establish the foundation of the Sur Empire in North India.

Major Works

  • Sher Shah Suri rebuilt the Grand Trunk road, which existed during the Maurya Empire, extending from the mouth of the Ganges to the north-western frontier of the Empire. The purpose behind building the road was to link together the remote provinces of his vast empire for administrative and military reasons.
  • He also built several monuments including Rohtas Fort, Sher Shah Suri Masjid in Patna, and Qila-i-Kuhna mosque at PuranaQila, Delhi
  • Sher Shah Sur married Lad Malika, widow of Taj Khan, governor of Chunar. This marriage helped him greatly in consolidating his powers as a powerful ruler as it gave him the possession of the Fort of Chunar.
  • He remained a brave and ambitious warrior till the very end. Sher Shah Suri was killed in a freak accident during the siege of Kalinjar fort on 13 May 1545. He was succeeded by his son, Jalal Khan who took the title of Islam Shah Suri. His successors, however, proved to be weak rulers and the Mughals were able to re-establish their rule in India after a few years.

Akbar, the great

  • In 1542, Akbar, the greatest of the Mughal rulers, was born at Amarkot.
  • When Humayun fled to Iran, Kamran (brother of Humayun) captured young Akbar. Kamran treated the child well; however, Akbar was re-united with his parents after the capture of Qandhar.
  • When Humayun died, Akbar was in Punjab, commanding operations against the Afghan rebels.
  • In 1556, Akbar was crowned at Kalanaurat the age of merely thirteen years and four months.
  • When Akbar succeeded, the Afghans were still strong beyond Agra, and were reorganizing their forces under the leadership of Hemu.
  • Kabul had been attacked and besieged. Sikandar Sur, the defeated Afghan ruler, was forced to loiter in the Siwalik Hills.
  • Bairam Khan, the tutor of the prince Akbar and a loyal and favorite officer of Humayun, became the wakil(advocate) of the kingdom and received the title of ‘i.khanan;’ . He united the Mughal forces.
  • The threat from Hemu was considered the most serious for Akbar. Further, the area from Chunar to the border of Bengal was under the domination of Adil Shah, a nephew of Sher Shah.
  • During Islam Shah’s reign, Hemu had started his career as a superintendent of the market, but soon promoted under Adil Shah. Surprisingly, Hemu had not lost a single one of the twenty-two battles in which he had fought.
  • Adil Shah had appointed Hemu as wazir, gave the title of ‘Vikramajit,’ and entrusted him with the task to expel the Mughals.


Second Battle of  Panipat

  • Hemu first seized Agra, and with an army of 50,000 cavalry, 500 elephants and a strong park of artillery marched towards Delhi.
  • In a well-contested battle, Hemu defeated the Mughals near Delhi and captured the city. But Bairam Khan took an energetic and smart step to meet the critical situation. Bairam Khan strengthened his army marched towards Delhi before Hemu could have time to consolidate his position again.
  • On 5 November, 1556, the battle between the Mughals (led by Bairam Khan) and the Afghan forces (led by Hemu), took place once again at Panipat.
  • Though Hemu’s artillery had been captured by a Mughal force, the tide of battle was in favor of Hemu. Meanwhile, an arrow hit in the eye of Hemu and he fainted. Hemu was arrested and executed. Akbar had virtually reconquered his empire.
  • Since Akbar held the throne at his teen age; he had been supported by a group of nobles.

Bairam Khan’s Conquest

  • Bairam Khan remained at the helm of affairs of the Mughal Empire for almost next four years and during this period, he kept the nobility fully under control.
  • The territories of the Mughal Empire were extended from Kabul (in the north) to Jaunpur (in the east) and Ajmer (in the west).
  • Mughal forces captured Gwalior and vigorous efforts were made to conquer Ranthambhor and Malwa.
  • Bairam Khan chose to retire to Mecca. On his way to Mecca, he was assassinated at Patan near Ahmadabad by an Afghan who bore him a personal grudge.
  • Bairam Khan’s wife and a young child were brought to Akbar at Agra. Akbar married Bairam Khan’s widow (who was also his cousin), and brought up the child as his own son.
  • Bairam Khan’s child later became popular as Abdur Rahim Khan-i-Khananand held some of the most significant offices and commands in the Mughal Empire.
  • During Bairam Khan’s rebellion, some groups and individuals in the nobility became politically active. The group included Akbar’s foster-mother, MahamAnaga, and her relatives. However, MahamAnaga soon withdrew from politics.
  • MahamAnaga’s son, Adham Khan, was an impetuous young man. He assumed independent airs when he had been sent to command an expedition against Malwa. He claimed the post of the wazir, and when this was not accepted, he stabbed the acting wazirin his office. His tyrannical act enraged Akbar. In 1561, Adham Khan had been thrown down from the parapet of the fort and he died.
  • Much before Akbar’s maturity and establishing his full authority, the Uzbeks formed a powerful group. They held important positions in eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Malwa.


Kingdom of Malwa

  • During Akbar’s initial period, Malwa was being ruled by a young prince, BazBahadur. BazBahadur’s accomplishments were a mastery of music and poetry. Besides, the romantic story of BazBahadur and Rani Rupmati is also very famous. Rani Rupmati is known in history because of her beauty.
  • Because of BazBahadur’s interest in music and poetry, Mandu (BazBahadur’s capital) had become a celebrated center for music. The army, however, had been neglected by BazBahadur.
  • In March 1561, the expedition against Malwa was led by Adham Khan, son of Akbar’s foster-mother, MahamAnaga. BazBahadur was badly defeated (in the battle of Sarangpur) and the Mughals took valuable assets, including Rupmati. However, she refused to go with Adham Khan and preferred to commit suicide.
  • After defeating Malwa, Adham Khan ruled with cruelties, because of this, there was a reaction against the Mughals, which supported BazBahadur to recover Malwa.
  • In 1562, Akbar sent another expedition to Malwa (led by Abdullah Khan). BazBahadur defeated again and he had to flee west. He took shelter with the Rana of Mewar.
  • After wandering about from one area to another, BazBahadur, finally approached to Akbar’s court and was enrolled as a Mughal mansabdar. Likewise, the extensive territory of Malwa came under Mughal rule.

v  Kingdom of Garh-Katanga

Image 1

  • In 1564, Mughal arms (led by Asaf Khan) overran the kingdom of Garh-Katanga. The kingdom of Garh-Katanga included the Narmada valley and the northern portions of present Madhya Pradesh.
  • The kingdom of Garh-Katanga consisted of a number of Gond and Rajput principalities.
  • In 1542, Aman Das (also known as Sangram Shah), ruler of Garh-Katanga married his eldest son Dalpati Shah with Rani Durgawati (daughter of famous Rajput Chandel Emperor KeeratRai of Mahoba) and strengthened his position.
  • Dalpati Shah died soon after his marriage and the princess Durgavati became a widow. But she made her minor son king and ruled with great courage.
  • Princess Durgavati was a good markswoman with both guns and bow & arrow. She fought many successful battles against her neighbors, including BazBahadur of Malwa.
  • Asaf Khan, the Mughal governor of Allahabad moved towards Garh-Katanga with 10,000 cavalries. Some of the semi-independent rulers of Garha-Katanga found it an opportune moment to throw off the Gond supremacy.
  • The Rani Durgavati was not supported by her nobles rather left with a small force. She fought bravely but defeated. Once finding that she lost the battle and was in danger of being captured, she stabbed herself to death.
  • Over a period of time, Asaf Khan also became despotic; however, when Akbar had dealt with the rebellion of the Uzbek nobles, he forced Asaf Khan to expel his illegal games.
  • Akbar restored the kingdom of Garh-Katanga to Chandra Shah, the younger son of Sangram Shah and took ten forts to round off the kingdom of Malwa.

Gujarat Expedition

  • In 1572, after defeating Rajputs (namely Chittoor, Ranthambhor, Jodhpur, etc.), Akbar advanced towards Ahmadabad viaAjmer; however, Ahmadabad surrendered without a fight.
  • After Rajasthan expedition, Akbar turned his attention towards the Mirzas who held Broach, Baroda, and Surat (regions of Gujarat).
  • During the Gujarat expedition, Akbar saw the sea for the first time at Cambay, he rode on it in a boat.
  • In 1573, when Akbar returned back, after defeating Gujarat, a fresh rebel broke out all over Gujarat. Immediately after hearing the news, Akbar moved out of Agra and traversed across Rajasthan in merely nine days.
  • On the eleventh day, Akbar reached Ahmadabad. In this journey, which normally took six weeks, only 3,000 soldiers were accompanied with Akbar. But with only 3,000 soldiers, Akbar overcame the 20,000 rebellions.
  • In 1576, Akbar defeated Daud Khan (the Afghan ruler) in Bihar and executed him on the spot. Likewise, ended the last Afghan kingdom from northern India.


Akbar administration

  • Though Akbar adopted Sher Shah’s administrative system, he did not find it that much beneficial hence he had started his own administrative system.
  • In 1573, just after returning from Gujarat expedition, Akbar paid personal attention to the land revenue system. Officials called as ‘karoris’ were appointed throughout the north India. Karoriswere responsible for the collection of a crore of dams (i.e. Rs. 250,000).
  • In 1580, Akbar instituted a new system called the dahsala; under this system, the average produce of different crops along with the average prices prevailing over the last ten (dah) years were calculated. However, the state demand was stated in cash. This was done by converting the state share into money on the basis of a schedule of average prices over the past ten years.
  • Akbar introduced a new land measurement system (known as the zabtisystem) covering from Lahore to Allahabad, including Malwa and Gujarat.
  • Under the zabtisystem, the shown area was measured by means of the bamboos attached with iron rings.
  • The zabtisystem, originally, is associated with Raja Todar Mal (one of the nobles of Akbar), therefore, sometimes, it is called as TodarMal’sbandobast.
  • Todar Mal was a brilliant revenue officer of his time. He first served on Sher Shah’s court, but later joined Akbar.
  • Besides zabtisystem, a number of other systems of assessment were also introduced by Akbar. The most common and, perhaps the oldest one was ‘batai’ or ‘ghalla-bakshi.’
  • Under bataisystem, the produce was divided between the peasants and the state in a fixed proportion.
  • The peasants were allowed to choose between zabtiand batai under certain conditions. However, such a choice was given when the crops had been ruined by natural calamity.
  • Under bataisystem, the peasants were given the choice of paying in cash or in kind, though the state preferred cash.
  • In the case of crops such as cotton, indigo, oil-seeds, sugarcane, etc., the state demand was customarily in cash. Therefore, these crops were called as cash-crops.
  • The third type of system, which was widely used (particularly in Bengal) in Akbar’s time was nasaq.
  • Most likely (but not confirmed), under the nasaqsystem, a rough calculation was made on the basis of the past revenue receipts paid by the peasants. This system required no actual measurement, however, the area was ascertained from the records.
  • The land which remained under cultivation almost every year was called ‘polaj.’
  • When the land left uncultivated, it was called ‘parati’ (fallow). Cess on Paratiland was at the full (polaj) rate when it was cultivated.
  • The land which had been fallow for two to three years was called ‘chachar,’ and if longer than that, it was known as ‘banjar.’
  • The land was also classified as good, middling, and bad. Though one-third of the average produce was the state demand, it varied according to the productivity of the land, the method of assessment, etc.
  • Akbar was deeply interested in the development and extension of cultivation; therefore, he offered taccavi(loans) to the peasants for seeds, equipment, animals, etc. Akbar made policy to recover the loans in easy installments.

v  Army

  • Akbar organized and strengthened his army and encouraged the mansabdariMansab” is an Arabic word, which means ‘rank’ or ‘position.’
  • Under the mansabdarisystem, every officer was assigned a rank (mansab). The lowest rank was 10, and the highest was 5,000 for the nobles; however, towards the end of the reign, it was raised to 7,000. Princes of the blood received higher mansabs.
  • The mansabs(ranks) were categorized as −
    • Zat
    • Sawar
  • The word ‘zat’ means personal. It fixed the personal status of a person, and also his salary.
  • The ‘sawar’ rank indicated the number of cavalrymen (sawars) a person was required to maintain.
  • Out of his personal pay, the mansabdarwas expected to maintain a corps of elephants, camels, mules, and carts, which were necessary for the transport of the army.
  • The Mughal mansabdarswere paid very handsomely; in fact, their salaries were probably the highest in the world at the time.
  • mansabdar, holding the rank of −
    • 100 zat, received a monthly salary of Rs. 500/month;
    • 1,000 zatreceived Rs. 4,400/month;
    • 5,000 zatreceived Rs. 30,000/month.
  • During the Mughal period, there was as such no income tax.
  • Apart from cavalrymen, bowmen, musketeers (bandukchi), sappers, and miners were also recruited in the contingents.

v  Relation with Mewar State

  • Mewarwas the only state which had stubbornly refused to accept Mughal suzerainty.
  • In 1572, RanaPratapsucceeded RanaUdai Singh to the ‘gaddi‘ (throne) of Chittoor. Akbar sent a series of embassies to RanaPratap asking to accept Mughal suzerainty and to do personal homage. All these embassies, including the one led by Man Singh, were courteously received by RanaPratap. In return, RanaPratap also sent Amar Singh (his son) with Bhagwan Das to do homage to Akbar and accept his service. But Rana never accepted or made any final agreement.
  • In 1576, Akbar went Ajmer, and deputed Raja Man Singh with a force of 5,000 to lead a campaign against Rana. In anticipation of this campaign, Rana had devastated the entire territory up to Chittoor so that the Mughal forces might get no food or fodder and fortified all the passes in the hills.
  • The battle between RanaPratap and Mughal force (led by Man Singh) was fought at Haldighatiin June 1576.
  • The powerful attack by the Rajputs, which was supported by the Afghans threw the Mughal force into disarray. However, because of the fresh reinforcements in Mughal’s forces, the tide of battle turned against the Rajputs. The Mughal forces were advanced through the pass and occupied Gogunda, a strong point which had been evacuated by the Rana earlier. RanaPratap somehow managed to escape from the battle field.
  • The battle of Haldighati was the last battle that Rana engaged in a pitched battle with the Mughals; afterward, he relied upon the methods of guerilla warfare.
  • In 1585, Akbar moved to Lahore to observe the situation in the north-west which had become dangerous by that time. Because of the critical situation, he (Akbar) remained there for the next 12 years. Therefore, after 1585, no Mughal expedition was sent against RanaPratap.
  • Akbar’s absence gave an opportunity to RanaPratap and hence, he recovered many of his territories, including Kumbhalgarh and the areas nearby Chittoor. RanaPratap built a new capital, namely Chavand, near modern Dungarpur.
  • In 1597, Rana Pratap died at the age of 51, due to an internal injury incurred (by himself) while trying to draw a stiff bow.
  • Akbar’s deccan campaign began with  the siege  of Ahmednagar {defended by Chand Bibi). Ahmednagarsoon  resurrected itself under  the leadership of Malik Amber.
  • Akbar’s last campaign  was against Asirgarh, resulting in the annexation of Khandesh ( 1601). Akbar conquered Kandahar in 1595.
  • Bharmal of Amber, followed by Jaiselmer  and Bikaner established  marital relationships with Akbar.
  • Bhagwan Das (5000/at) and Man Singh  (7000 zat) enjoyed a privileged position in the Mughal court.
  • Akbar faced a rebellion in Gujarat in 1572. which was crushed and  following  which he built  the Buland Darwaza at Fatehpur Sikri. Organization


Akbar’s Religious Policies

  • He abolished Jaziya and pilgrimage tax and  forcible conversion of prisoners of war.
  • He built an  IbadatKhana at FatehpurSikri to discuss religious matters.
  • He invited many distinguished persons To  curb  the dominance of Ulema.
  • Akbar introduced a new Khutba. written by  Faizi and proclaimed Mahzarnama in 1579. which made him the final interpreter of Islamic law (Mujtahid Imam-i-Adil) in case of an controversies.  It made him Amir ulMomin (leader of the faithful) and Amir-i-Adil (a just ruler).
  • His liberalism is reflected again in the pronouncement of Tauhid-i-Ilahi or Din-i-llahi. which propounded Sufi divine
  • Tenets of Din-i-llahi (1582) It could be adopted on Sunday by  performing paibos (The emperor placed  his feel on the head of the initiated).
  • following which Akbar gave Shat (formula) The initiated had to express greeting in the form of Allah-o-Akbar and Jalle-Jalalhu a He had to  abstain from meat and give alms. there were no scriptures and priests.
    • Akbar’s CourtTodar Mai, AbulFazl, Faizi, Birbal, Tansen, Abdur Rahim Khan-i-Khanan, Mullah do Pyaza and Man Singh were gems of his court.
  • Akbar established the painting Karkhana, headed by
  • Ralph Fitch (1585) was the first Englishman to visit Akbar’s’Court.

AbulFazl  wroteAkbarnama,  the appendix of which  was called Ain-i-Akbari. This section deals with the laws and revenue system.


Lecture – 10

Mughal Umpire

Preliminary question


Q 1 – Consider the following statements:


  1. During the period between 1560 and 1562, Akbar’s administration was under the influence of MahamAnga and Adham Khan.
  2. In 1560, Akbar terminated the Bairam Khan’s regency.

Choose the correct answer from the codes given below:

(A) Only 1

(B) Only 2

(C) Both

(D) Neither 1 nor 2


 2.– Who among the following had founded the Sangama Dynasty?

A – Harihar and Bukka

B – SaluvaNarsimha

C – Veer Narsimha

D – Tirumala


Q 3.– Who among the following had translated Baburnama into Persian language?

A – Babur

B – Humayun

C – Abdur Rahim Khan i-Khanan

D – a & c both together


Q 4. – In which year, Akbar abolished the Jaziya?

A – 1574

B – 1564

C – 1571

D – 1562


Q 5. – Who among the following invited Babar to invade India and defeat Ibrahim Lodhi?

A -SikandarLodhi

B – Daulat Khan Lodhi

C – BahlulLodhi

D – Mubarak Lodhi


Q 6.– Consider the following statements:

  1. During the period between 1560 and 1562, Akbar’s administration was under the influence of MahamAnga and Adham Khan.
  2. In 1560, Akbar terminated the Bairam Khan’s regency.

Choose the correct answer from the codes given below:

A – Only 1

B – Only 2

C – Both

D – Neither 1 nor 2


  1. Which of the following about the duties of the Dewan in the time of Akbar is correct?

A. He posted news-writers and spices in different provinces.

B. He recommended the appointment of provincial dewans and guided and controlled them

C. All orders of appointment to Mansabs of all ranks passed through his office

D. He gave authoritative ruling ion conflicting interpretations of Shara


  1. Din-a-Ilahi was introduced by Akbar in—

(A) 1575A.D.

(B) 1579A.D.

(C) 1582A.D.

(D) 1585AD.


  1. The range of the mansabs as organized by Akbar was —

(A) 100 to 5000

(B) 10 to 5000

(C) l0 to 10000

(D) l0 to 6000


  1. The Humayun tomb got constructed by—

(A) Humayun

(B) Akbar

(C) His widow

(D) None of these


  1. Akbar discontinued the debates in the Ibadat Khana in—

(A) 1580

(B) 1582

(C) 1581

(D) 1583

Mains examination

  1. write short notes on (75 words)
  2. discuss the heights of painting arts in Jahangir era?
  • mansabdari
  • system,Sarkar
  •  taccavi
  • ,daswant


Lecture 11 (English Medium)



Jahangir (1605-27)

His wife,  Nurjahan (daughter of Itimad-daulah) exercised tremendous influence  over the state affairs. She was made the official Padshah Begum.

  • Jahangir banned slaughter of animals on Sunday and
  • he established Zanjir-i-Adal at Agra Fort for the seekers of royal justice.
  • Jahangir also married Jodha Bai of Marwar, and a Kachchwaha princes.
  • His son Khusrau, who received patronage of Guru Arjun Dev, revolted against The fifth Sikh Guru Arjun Dev was later sentenced to death for his blessings to the rebel prince.
  • Khurram (Shahjahan) supported by his father-in-law, Asaf Khan, also revolted against Jahangir but the two soon reconciled.
  • His military general, Mahabat Khan revolted and abducted him but Nurjahan saved him due to her diplomatic efforts. H
  • e was well read and wrote his memoirs Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri in Persian.
  • the refusal to pay the fine, Guru Arjun’s son, Hargovind was imprisoned in the fort of Gwalior.
  • Jahangir faced a formidable opponent in Malik Amber (an Abyssinian) in his expedition to Ahmednagar.
  • Shahjahan’s military capacity was proved during the expeditions undertaken during Jahangir’s reign and Ahmednagar was annexed (1601).
  • John Hawkins resided  at Agra for two years (1609-11). He was given the mansab of 400.
  • Sir Thomas Roe (1615-18) was ambassador of James I.
  • Shahjahan (1628-58) In 1612 he married Arzmand Banu Begum who became famous as Mumtaz Mahal
  • In 1632, he defeated Potugese and annexed Ahmednager in 1636
  • Shahjahan’s reign is described by French traveller Bernier and Tavernier and the Italian traveller Manucci.
  • Peter Mundi described the famine that occured during Shah Jahan’s time.
  • Shahjahan succeeded to the throne on the death of Jahangir in The first thing that he had to face was revolts  in Bundelkhand (Jujjhar Singh Bundela of Orchcha) and the Deccan (Khan-i-Jahan  Lodi, the governor of Deccan).the sent his armies  to Balkh and Badakshan in Central Asia in order to secure the defence of northwestern India. Shah Jahan who had recovered Kandahar (1638) from  the Iranians but  lost it again (1649) despite three campaigns under Prince Murad, Aurangzeb and Dara.
  • The War of succession took a notorious turn during Shahjahan’s reign and his two daughters Jahan Ara and  Roshan Ara supported his  two sons.  Dara and Aurangzeb, respectively.

Aurangzeb  (1658-1707)

  • He defeated Dara (1659).
  • He took the title of ‘Alamgir’ in 1659.  He was called as Zinda Pir, the living saint.
  • In 1662, Mir Jumla, Aurangzeb’s ablest general led the expedition against Ahoms.  He forbade inscription of Kalma on the
  • he ended the  celebration  of Navroz festival.
  • Muhtasib (regulator of moral conduct) were appointed.  He forbade music in the court.
  • He ended Jarokha darshan, use of almanacs and weighing of the emperor.
  • Aurenzeb compiled  Fatwa-i-Alamgri.  Jaziya was re-introduced. However,  the Hindu mansabdars  maintained their high proportion during his   The  Mughal conquests reached a climax  during his reign, as  Bijapur and Golconda were annexed in 1686  and  1687, respectively.


  • Revolts under Aurangzeb
  • Aurangzeb’s failure  to understand the  root causes and nature  of  the rise  of Marathas, gave him a formidable opponent, Shivaji.
  • The first anti- imperial reaction took place in the form of Jai \ Rebellion  under  Rajaram and Chinaman  Satnamis.
  • First Afghan rebellon was by  Yusufshahi  tribes of Afghanistan of  Roshnai sect.
  • Second Afghan rebellion led by Ajmal Khan.
  • During his reign, ninth Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed.

Mughal State  and Architecture Babar

  • Babar’s built two mosques one at Kabulibagh  in Panipat and the other at Sambhal in Rohilkhand.
  • Humayun laid the foundation of the city Din Panah at Delhi.
  • Humayun’s tomb is called the proto type of Taj Mahal. It has a double dome of marble, while the central dome is octagonal.
  • It was built by his widow Haji Begum. The  garden and  the gateway are to be found in all Mughal-style tombs.
  • Building’s built by Akbar are Agra Fort (1565), Lahore Palace (1572), Fatehpur Sikri’, Buland Darwaza and Allahabad Fort (1583).
  • The architecture at Fatehpur Sikri is an excellent blending of Persian, Central Asian and various Indian (Bengal and Gujarat) styles .
  • It is also known as Epic poem in red sandstone. Indian tradition includes deep eaves, balconies and Kiosks. Central  Asian Style is evident in the use of glazed blue tiles.
  • Two unusual buildings at  Fatehpur Sikri are
  • Panch Mahal & Diwan-i-Khas
  • The Panch Mahal has the plan of Buddhist
  • The Jodhabai’s Palace, Diwan-i-Aam, Diwan-i-Khas are Indian in their plan.
  • Buland Darwaja (built after Gujarat victory),  formed the main entrance to Fatehpur Sikri. It  is  built in  the Iranian style of half dome portal.
  • Salim Chisti’s tomb (redone in Marble by Jahangir is the first Mughal  building in Pure marble), palaces of Birbal, Anup Talao, Mariyam Mahal are also inside the Fatehpur Sikri.
  • He built the Jahangiri Mahal in Agra fort according to Hindu design based on  Man Mandir.  Haroon Minor—Tower built by Akbar in memory of his elephant (Haroon).
  • He also began to build his own tomb at Sikandara which, was later completed by Jahangir.



  • The style of architecture used by both Jahangir and Shahjahan is known as Indo Persian.
  • Important features of this style are Curved lines, Bulbous dome, foliated arches vigorous use of marble instead of red sand stone and use of pietre dura for decorative purposes.
  • Nurjahan built Itimad-ud-Daula’s (another name of Mirza Ghiyas Beg) marble tomb at Agra, which is noticeable for the first use of pietra dura (floral designs made up of semiprecious  stones)
  • He built Moti Masjid in Lcdwre and his own mausoleum at Shahdara (Lahore).
  • He also changed the plan of Akbar’s tomb at Sikandara. It is an unusual tomb as it is not surmounted by a dome and built on the model of a Buddhist Pagoda.



  • Mosque building activity reached its climax in Taj Mahal.  He also built the Jama Masjid (sand stone).
  • Some of the important building built by Shahajahan at agra are Moti Masjid (pniy mosque of marble) in Agra, Khaas Mahal,  Musamman Bun (Jasmine Palace where he spent his last years  in captivity ) and Sheesh Mahal with mosaic glasses on walls  and ceilings.
  • Many stone  buildings were destroyed by him and replaced by marble.
  • He laid the foundations of Shahjahanabad in 1637 where he built the Red Fort and Taqt-i-taus (Peacock throne).
  • Most richly ornamented building in Red Fort was the Diwan-i-Khas or Rang Mahal
  • He laid the Shalimar Gardens in Lahore.
  • Shahjahan built Nahar-i-Fuiz.



  • Only building built by Aurangzeb in the Red Fort is Moti Masjid.
  • Only monument associated with Aurangzeb is Bibi ka Makbara which is the tomb of his wife Rabbia-ud-daura in
  • He also built the Badshahi mosque in Lahore.


Mughal Painting

  • The Mughals introduced new themes depicting the conn, battle scenes and the chase and added new colours (Peacock blue and Indian red).
  • Humayun had taken into his service two master painters Mir Syed Ali and Abdus Samad.
  • Jaswant and Dasawan were two famous painters of Akbar’s court.
  • Apart from illustrating  Persian  books  of  fables (Hamzanama),  the  painters  illustrated  Razamnama (Mahabharta) and Akbaranama.
  • Jahangir claims that he could distinguish (The work of each artist in a
  • Under Akbar, European painting was introduced at the court by the Portuguese priests.

The Maratha

The Maratha ruler Shahji Bhonsle and his son, Shivaji, consolidated the Maratha kingdom. Shahji acted as the kingmaker in Ahmednagar, and defied the Mughals.

Early Career of Shivaji

  • Shahji had left the Poona jagirto his neglected senior wife, Jija Bai and his minor son, Shivaji.
  • In 1647, after the death of his guardian, Dadaji Kondadeo, Shivaji became his own master and the full control of his father’s jagircame under his control.
  • In 1656, Shivaji conquered Javli from the Maratha chief, Chandra Rao More and started his reigning career.
  • In 1657, the Mughal invasion of Bijapur saved Shivaji from Bijapur reprisal. Shivaji first entered into negotiations with Aurangzeb and asked him for the grant of all the Bijapuri territories he held and other areas including the port of Dabhol in the Konkan. Later Shivaji betrayed and changed his side.
  • Shivaji resumed-his career of conquest at the expense of Bijapur. He burst into the Konkan, the coastal strip between the Western Ghats and the sea, and seized the northern part of it.
  • The ruler of Bijapur sent Afzal Khan (one of the premier nobles) along with 10,000 troops. Afzal Khan had been given instructions to capture Shivaji by any possible means.
  • In 1659, Afzal Khan sent an invitation to Shivaji for a personal interview, promising to get him pardoned from the Bijapuri court. Convinced that this was a trap, Shivaji went with full preparation, and murdered Afzal Khan. Shivaji captured all Afzal Khan’s property, including equipment and artillery.
  • Shivaji soon became a legendary figure. His name passed from house to house and he was credited with magical powers. People flocked to him from the Maratha areas to join his army, and even Afghan mercenaries who had been previously in the service of Bijapur, joined his army.
  • Aurangzeb was anxious because of the rising of the Maratha power near to the Mughal frontiers. Poona and adjacent areas, which had been parts of the Ahmednagar kingdom had been transferred to Bijapur by the treaty of 1636. However, these areas were now again claimed by the Mughals.
  • Aurangzeb instructed Shaista Khan, the new Mughal governor of the Deccan (he was also related to Aurangzeb by marriage), to invade Shivaji’s dominions and Adil Shah, the ruler of Bijapur, was asked to cooperate.
  • Adil Shah sent Sidi Jauhar, the Abyssinian chief, who, invested Shivaji in Panhala. Getting trapped, Shivaji escaped and Panhala came under the control of the Bijapuri forces.
  • Adil Shah took no further interest in the war against Shivaji, and soon came to a secret understanding with him. This agreement freed Shivaji to deal with the Mughals.
  • In 1660, Shaista Khan occupied Poona and made it his headquarters. He then sent detachments to seize control of the Konkan from Shivaji.
  • Despite harassing attacks from Shivaji, and the bravery of Maratha defenders, the Mughals secured their control on north Konkan.
  • In 1663, on one night, Shivaji infiltrated into the camp and attacked on Shaista Khan, when he was in his harem (in Poona). He killed his son and one of his captains and wounded Khan. This daring attack of Shivaji put Khan into disgrace. In anger, Aurangzeb transferred Shaista Khan to Bengal, even refused to give him an interview at the time of transfer as was the custom.
  • In 1664, Shivaji attacked Surat, which was the premier Mughal port, and looted it to his heart’s content.

Treaty of Purandar

  • After the failure of Shaista Khan, Aurangzeb deputed Raja Jai Singh of Amber, who was one of the most trusted advisers of Aurangzeb, to deal with Shivaji.
  • Unlike Shaista Khan, Jai Singh did not underestimate the Marathas rather he made careful diplomatic and military preparations.
  • Jai Singh planned to strike at the heart of Shivaji’s territories i.e. fort Purandarwhere Shivaji had lodged his family and his treasure.
  • In 1665, Jai Singh besieged Purandar (1665), beating off all Maratha attempts to relieve it. With the fall of the fort at sight, and no relief likely from any quarter, Shivaji opened negotiations with Jai Singh.
  • After hard bargaining with Shivaji, the following terms we agreed upon −
    • Out of 35 forts held by Shivaji, 23 forts were surrendered to the Mughals;
    • Remaining 12 forts were left with Shivaji on condition of service and loyalty to the Mughal throne;
    • Territory worth four lakhs of hunsa year in the Bijapuri Konkan, which Shivaji had already held, was granted to him.
    • The Bijapur territory worth of five lakhs of hunsa year in the uplands (Balaghat), which Shivaji had conquered, was also granted to him. In return for these, Shivaji was to pay 40 lakhs huns in instalments to the Mughals.
    • Shivaji asked them to be excused from personal service. Hence, a mansabof 5,000 was granted to his minor son, Sambhaji.
    • Shivaji promised, however, to join personally in any Mughal campaign in the Deccan.

Shivaji administration

In theory, Shivaji was an autocrat, like his contemporaries. He could do what he pleased. However he was assisted by a Council of 8 ministers known as the Ashta Pradhan. It is absolutely misleading to say that Ashta Pradhan was like a modern cabinet. Its functions were purely advisory. The eight ministers were the following:


  • The Peshwa or Prime Minister whose duty was to look after the general welfare and interests of the state.
  • The Amatya or Finance Minister whose duty was to check and countersign all public accounts of the Kingdom in general and the particular districts.
  • The Mantri or Chronicler whose duty was to keep a diary of the daily doings of the King and also record everything that happened at the court. He was also called Wakia-Nawis.
  • Summant or Dabir or Foreign Secretary whose duty was to advise the King on matters relating to foreign states and all questions of war and peace. He was also to see foreign Ambassadors and envoys and keep touch with the state of affairs in other states.
  • Sachiv or Shuru Nawis or Home Secretary whose duty was to look after the correspondence of the King, He was to see that ail royal ietters and dispatches were drafted in the proper style. He had the authority to revise them. He also checked the account of the Parganas.
  • Pandit Rao or Danadhyaksha or Sadar and Muhtasib or Ecclesiastical Head whose duty was to fix dates for religious ceremonies, punish hearsay and distribute among the Brahmins the charity of the King. He was the judge of canon law and censor of public morals.
  • Nyayadhish or Chief Justice who was responsible for civil and military justice.
  • Senapati or Sari Naubat or Commander-in-Chief who was in charge of the recruitment, organisation and discipline of the Army. He arranged disposition of the troops in the battlefield.


Lecture 11 (English Medium)


Pre exam question

  1.  Who was “ Chin Qilich Khan”?

(A) He was a general of Babur

(B) He was a provincial governor under Aurangazeb

(C) He was the first independent Nawab of Bengal

(D) He was the governor of Mughal Deccan Area


  1. Which of the following about the duties of the Dewan in the time of Akbar is correct?

(A) He posted news-writers and spices in different provinces.

(B) He recommended the appointment of provincial dewans and guided and controlled them

(C) All orders of appointment to Mansabs of all ranks passed through his office

(D) He gave authoritative ruling ion conflicting interpretations of Shara


  1. Who said “Those men who have strong dislike for paintings, I have strong dislike for


(A) Akbar

(B) Babar

(C) Jahangir

(D) Shah Jahan


  1. The Humayun tomb got constructed by—

(A) Humayun

(B) Akbar

(C) His widow

(D) None of these


  1. Who was the Mughal Emperor at the time of Nadir Shah’s attack?

(A) Rafi-ud-darjat

(B) Muhammad Shah

(C) Ahmad Shah

(D) Alamgir II


  1. Who built Jama Masjid at Delhi?

(A) Akbar

(B) Shah Jahan

(C) Nur Jahan

(D) Aurangzeb


  1. What according to Jadunath Sarkar was the reason of the downfall of Aurangzeb?

(A) Religious policy

(B) Military helpness

(C) Rajput policy

(D) Shivaji


  1. Who was famous for laying many gardens?

(A) Babur

(B) Humayun

(C) Akbar

(D) Jahangir


  1. ‘Fatwa-i-Alamgiri’ is a book on—

(A) Digest of Muslim Law under Aurangzeb’s supervision

(B) Religious decrees of Aurangzeb

(C) Aurangzeb‘s autobiography

(D) Law decrees of Aurangzeb


  1. Who among the following was the author of Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri?

(A) Emperor Jahangir

(B) Muhammad Hadi

(C) Muhamid Khan

(D) None of these


  1. Which were the two kingdoms conquerred by Akbar?

(A) Khandesh and Bijapur

(B) Bijapur and Ahmednagar

(C) Ahmednagar

(D) Berar and Ahmednagar

Image 1

Image 2


Later Mughals and Disintegration of the Mughal Empire in India

  • Later Mughals (1707-1857 A.D.):
  • The Mughal Empire was vast and extensive in the beginning of the eighteenth century. But by the close of the century it had shrunk to a few kilometres around Delhi.
  • After the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, a war of succession began amongst his three surviving sons, Muazzam – the governor of Kabul, Azam-the governor of Gujarat, and Kam Baksh-the governor of Deccan.
  • Azam turned to Ahmednagar and proclaimed himself emperor. Kam Baksh too declared himself the sovereign ruler and conquered important places as Gulbarga and Hyderabad. Muazzam defeated both Azam at Jajau in 1707 and Kam Baksh near Hyderabad in 1708. Muazzam emerged victorious and ascended the Mughal throne with the title of Bahadur Shah I. He was also known as Shah Alam I.


Bahadur Shah:

  • Bahadur Shah I (1707-12) was the first and the last of the later Mughal rulers to exercise real authority. He was learned, dignified and tried to reverse some of the narrow-minded policies and measures adopted by Aurangzeb. He followed a conciliatory policy towards the Rajput’s and Marathas but a strict policy towards the Sikhs



  • Shahu, son of Shambhaji who was in Mughal captivity was released in 1707. He granted them the sardeshmukhi of the Deccan but not the chauth. He also did not recognize Shahu as the rightful Maratha king thus keeping the fight for supremacy going between Tara Bai and Shahu. Marathas thus remained dissatisfi



  • Bahadur Shah made reconciliation with Guru Gobind Singh and granted him high mansab. But after the death of the Guru, the Sikhs once again raised a revolt under the leadership of Banda Bahadur. The Mughal authority defeated Banda Bahadur at Lohgarh, a fort built by Guru Govind Singh. That was however recovered in 1712 by the Sikhs.
  • Bahadur Shah made peace with Chhatrasal, the Bundela chief and the Jat chief Churaman who joined him in the campaign against Banda Bahadur. He adopted a more tolerant attitude towards the Hindus. There was however a deterioration in the field of administration in his reign because he lavishly granted jagirs and promotions. Khafi Khan called him Shah-i-Bekhabar (Headless King). He died in 1712.Henceforth a new element entered Mughal politics and the war of succession.
  • Previously, the contest for power was between the royal princes; the nobles had merely backed and sided with them. Now they became direct aspirants to the throne and began using the princes as pawns to capture authoritarian positions.


Jahandar Shah (1712-1713):

  • In another war of succession following Bahadur Shah’s death, his four sons, Jahandar Shah, Rafi-us-Shan, Azim-us-Shan and Jahan Shah became involved. Jahandar Shah (1712-13) was suc­cessful in the war than the others. But Jahandar Shah was a weak ruler and came to the throne chiefly – with the help of Zulfikar Khan, the powerful noble who as a reward was made the wazir (prime minister).
  • He was a clever man and advocated a friendly policy towards the Rajput’s, Marathas and the Hindu chieftains not only to strengthen his own position but to ensure the survival of the empire. He quickly abandoned the policies of Aurangzeb and adopted a liberal attitude towards the Hindus.
  • He abolished the jizyah; gave the title of Mirza Raja Sawai to Jai Singh of Amber and appointed him the governor of Malwa.
  • Ajit Singh of Marwar was given the title of Maharaja and appointed the governor of Gujarat. He confirmed the agreement reached between his deputy and Shahu in 1711 whereby the Marathas were given the chauth and sardeshmukhi of the Deccan on condition that the Mughal officials would make these collections and hand it over to the Maratha officials. He pacified Churaman Jat and Chhatrasal Bundela but continued a strict policy towards the Sikhs.
  • This oppressed the peasantry to a great extent. However the inglorious reign of Jahandar Shah soon came to an end in 1713 when he was defeated by his nephew Farrukh Siyar at Agra. Zulfikar Khan was soon executed by the orders of the new emperor.


Farrukh Siyar (1713-1719):

  • Farrukh Siyar came to power with the help of Sayyid brothers, Abdullah Khan and Hussain Ali Khan Barha – the kingmakers. They were given the office of the wazir and mirbakshi respectively. The two brothers soon acquired dominant control over the affairs of the state.
  • Farrukh was himself inca­pable of ruling and was easily influenced by the others. The Sayyid brothers were convinced that if the real authority were in their hands the empire would be safeguarded from perishing. It was during the reign of Farrukh that Banda Bahadur the Sikh chief was captured and killed. However the struggle for power between the emperor and the Sayyid brothers increased and the efforts of the emperor to overthrow the brothers failed repeatedly. Finally Farrukh was deposed and killed in 1719.


Muhammad Shah (1719-48):

  • As successors Sayyid the brothers quickly raised two young princes, Rafi-ud-Darajat and Rafi-ud- Daula (Shah Jahan II) who died within months. Finally Roshan Akhtar, the son of Jahan Shah was placed on the throne under the title of Muhammad Shah. The Sayyid brothers followed a policy of religious tolerance.
  • They abolished the jizyah as well as the pilgrimage tax at many places. In order to maintain harmony, they advocated a policy of associating Hindu chiefs and nobles with Muslim nobles. In their struggle against Farrukh Siyar, the Sayyid brothers sided with the Rajput’s and the Marathas. Ajit Singh of Marwar and Jai Singh of Amber were won over by giving them high positions in the administration.
  • Alliance was made with Churaman Jat and later placated Shahu by granting him Shivaji’s swarajya and the right to collect the chauth and sardeshmukhi in six provinces of the Deccan. In return Shahu promised them help in the Deccan with fifteen thousand soldiers.
  • The hostile nobles united themselves under the leadership of Nizam-ul-Mulk of the Deccan. Further the murder of Farrukh Siyar created a wave of terror and repulsion against the Sayyid brothers who were looked down upon as traitors.
  • They were branded as anti-Islamic for their policies. The anti-Sayyid nobles were strongly backed by Muhammad Shah who wanted to free him­self from the hold of the brothers. In 1720, Hussain Ali was killed by the rebellious nobles and Abdullah Khan died in 1722 after he was defeated at Agra. This ended the rule of the Sayyid brothers in the Mughal Empire.
  • After the fall of the Sayyid brothers Muhammad Shah had a long reign (1719-48) to save the empire. The Mughal rule was still held in high esteem by the people. The Mughal army especially the artillery was still the most important force; administration in northern India had deteriorated but not collapsed entirely. The Maratha sardars were still confined to the south and the Rajput’s were loyal to the Mughals.
  • But Muhammad Shah was not a good ruler. His first Wazir after the fall of the Sayyid brothers was Muhammad Amin Khan. After his death Nizam-ul-Mulk was appointed the wazir in 1722. But instead of supporting Nizam, the emperor suspected his own ministers. The attempts to reform the administration proved futile and disgusted with the inability and fickle mindedness of the emperor the Nizam chose to pursue his own ambitions.
  • He gave his office in 1724 and proceeded to the south and found the state of Hyderabad. He was the most pleasure-loving ruler of loose morals and is therefore called Muhammad Shah ‘Rangila’. After the fall of Sayyid brothers he fell into the clutches of a dancing girl Koki Jiu and the eunuch Hafiz Khidmatgar Khan.
  • The already declining Mughal Empire received another fatal blow when the Persian monarch, Nadir Shah invaded India in 1738-39. Nadir Shah was attracted to India by her fabulous wealth for which she was famous. The bankrupt Persian Empire found an easy prey in the weak Mughal rule with loose defences on the north-west frontier and used the golden opportunity.
  • The disunity amongst the nobles too proved an added advantage for the invaders. The two armies met at Karnal in 1739 and the Mughals suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Nadir Shah. Emperor Muhammad Shah was taken prisoner and Nadir Shah marched on to Delhi.
  • He plundered the royal treasury at his, own pleasure and carried back the immense wealth from India. He carried away with him the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond and the jewel studded Peacock throne of Shahjahan. Nadir Shah’s invasion inflicted a heavy damage on the Mughal Empire and its dwindling image suffered a severe blow.
  • The invasion affected the impe­rial finances and the economic life of the people adversely. Ahmad Shah Abdali, the successor of Nadir Shah invaded the kingdom for the first time during Muhammad Shah’s reign in 1748. Ahmad Shah Abdali was defeated at Manpur by Ahmad Shah, the Mughal heir-apparent and Mir Mannu, the son of the deceased wazir Qamruddin.


Ahmad Shah (1748-54 A.D.):

  • The death of emperor Muhammad Shah in 1748 saw the beginning of bitter struggles among power hungry nobles of Turani and Irani factions. His successor Ahmad Shah born of Udham Bai, a public dancing girl, ascended the throne but was unable to cope with the disintegrating forces.
  • The weak defenses of the northwest encouraged Ahmad Shah Abdali, who invaded India twice in 1749 and 1752, when he marched upto Delhi. The emperor, with a view to buy peace and save Delhi from devastation, ceded Punjab and Multan to Abdali. Imad ul Mulk ousted the Wazir Safdar Jang and became the wazir. Ahmad Shah was blinded and deposed by this new wazir.


Alamgir II (1754-1759 A.D.):

  • After the dethronement of Ahmad Shah, Imad-ul-Mulk raised Azizuddin, Jahandar Shah’s son on the throne who styled himself after Aurangzeb as Alamgir II. The military and financial position of the empire during this period became worst to the extent that the emperor’s household troops carried off the articles from the houses of the wazirs and nobles and sold



Shah Jahan III (1759-60 A.D.):

  • Muhi-ul-Milat, the grandson of KamBaksh was placed on the throne as Shah Jahan III by Imad-ul- Mulk. ‘He was deposed by the Marathas who captured Delhi in 1760.
  • Shah Alam II (1759-1806 A.D.):
  • Ali Gauhar, the son of Alamgir II became the Mughal emperor in 1759 and took up the title of Shah Alam II. At the time of his father’s death he was in Bihar. Although he was declared the Mughal Emperor, he did not proceed to Delhi for 12 years (the Wazir Imad ul Mulk placed Shah Jahan III on the throne of Delhi and after his deposition by the Marathas, Najib Khan Rohilla made made himself dictator of Delhi till his death in 1770).
  • Ultimately in January 1772, Shah Alam II was reinstated at Delhi by the Marathas. Ghulam Qadir (grandson of Najib and son of Zabita Khan Rohilla) occupied Delhi in 1788, blinded Shah Alam II and deposed him. Ghulam Qadir was defeated and executed by Mahadji Sindhia at Meerut in 1789 and Shah Alam II was reinstated as Sindhia’s pensioner. In 1803, Delhi was captured by the English after Lord Lake defeated the Marathas and Shah Alam became the British pensioner. David Ochterlony became the first resident.


Akbar Shah II (1806-1837 A.D.):

  • After the death of Shah Alam II, his son succeeded as Akbar Shah II. Akbar sent Raja Ram Mohan Roy to England to seek a raise in pension. The presentation of Nazrs (gifts involving sovereign status) was ended by Lord Hastings in 1813.


Bahadur Shah II (1837-57 A.D.):

  • After the death of Akbar II, Bahadur Shah II became the Emperor. He was allowed to retain the imperial title. He was fond of poetry and had the title of “Zafar.” He took part in the Revolt of 1857. He was captured and tried by the British. Bahadur Shah II was deported to Rangoon where he died in 1862. Thus ended the Mughal dynasty.

           Hyderabad  and the Carnatic

  • The state of Hyderabad was founded by Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jahin 1724. He was one of the leading nobles of the post-Aurangzeb era.
  • Asaf Jah never openly declared his independence in front of the Central Government, but in practice, he acted like an independent ruler. He waged wars, concluded peace, conferred titles, and gave jaws and offices without reference to Delhi.


  • Next to Hyderabad, the most important power that emerged in South India was Mysore under Haidar Ali. The kingdom of Mysore had prescribed its precarious independence ever since the end of the Vijayanagar Empire.
  • Haidar Ali born in 1721, in an obscure family, started his career as a petty officer in the Mysore army. Though uneducated, he possessed a keen intellect and was a man of great energy and daring and determination. He was also a brilliant commander and shrewd diplomat.
  • Cleverly using the opportunities that came his way, Haidar Ali gradually rose in the Mysore army. He soon recognized the advantages of western military training and applied it to the troops under his own command.
  • In 1761, Haidar Ali overthrew Nanjaraj and established his authority over the Mysore state. He took over Mysore when it was weak and divided state and soon made it one of the leading Indian powers
  • Haidar Ali extended full control over the rebellious poligars (zamindars) and conquered the territories of Bidnur, Sunda, Sera, Canara,and Malabar.


  • At the beginning of the 18thcentury, Kerala was divided into a large number of feudal chiefs and rajas.
  • The kingdom of Travancore rose into prominence after 1729 under King Martanda Varma, one of the leading statesmen of the 18th
  • Martanda Varma organized a strong army on the western model with the help of European officers and armed it with modern weapons. He also constructed a modern arsenal.


  • The founder of the autonomous kingdom of Avadh was Saadat Khan Burhanul-Mulkwho was appointed as Governor of Avadh in 1722. He was an extremely bold, energetic, iron-willed, and intelligent person.
  • Burhan-ul-Mulk was succeeded by his nephew Safdar Jang, who was simultaneously appointed the wazirof the Empire in 1748 and granted in addition the province of Allahabad.
  • The most outstanding Rajput ruler of the 18thcentury was Raja Sawai Jai Singh of Amber (1681-1743).
  • Raja Sawai Jai Singh was a distinguished statesman, law-maker, and reformer. But most of all he shone as a man of science in an age when Indians were oblivious of scientific progress.
  • Raja Sawai Jai Singh founded the city of Jaipur in the territory taken from the Jatsand made it a great seat of science and art.
  • Jaipur was built upon strictly scientific principles and according to a regular plan. Its broad streets are intersected at right angles.
  • Jai Singh was a great astronomer. He erected observatories with accurate and advanced instruments, some of his inventions can be still observed at Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain, Varanasi, and Mathura. His astronomical observations were remarkably accurate.
  • Jai Singh drew up a set of tables, entitled Zij-i Muhammadshahi, to enable people to make astronomical observations. He had Euclid’s “Elements of Geometry”, translated into Sanskrit as also several works on trigonometry, and Napier’s work on the construction and use of logarithms.
  • Jai Singh was also a social reformer. He tried to enforce a law to reduce the lavish expenditure which a Rajput had to incur on a daughter’s wedding and which often led to infanticide.
  • This remarkable prince ruled Jaipur for nearly 44 years from 1699 to 1743.

          The Jats

  • The Jats, a caste of agriculturists, lived in the region around Delhi, Agra, and Mathura.
  • Repression by Mughal officials drove the Jatpeasants around Mathura to revolt. They revolted under the leadership of their Jat Zamindars in 1669 and then again in 1688.
  • Jats’revolts were crushed, but the area remained disturbed. After the death of Aurangzeb, they created disturbances all around Delhi. Though originally a peasant uprising, the Jat revolt, led by zamindars, soon became predatory.
  • Jatsplundered all and sundry, the rich and the poor, the jagirdars and the peasants, the Hindus and the Muslims.
  • The Jatstate of Bharatpur was set up by Churaman and Badan Singh.
  • The Jatpower reached its highest glory under Suraj Mal, who ruled from 1756 to 1763 and who was an extremely able administrator and soldier and a very wise statesman.
  • Suraj Mal extended his authority over a large area, which extended from the Ganga in the East to Chambal in the South, the Subahof Agra in the West to the Subah of Delhi in the North. His state included among others the districts of Agra, Mathura, Meerut, and Aligarh.
  • After the death of Suraj Mal in 1763, the Jat state declined and was split up among petty zamindarsmost of whom lived by plunder.

      Bangash and Rohelas

  • Muhammad Khan Bangash, an Afghan adventure, established his control over the territory around Farrukhabad, between what are now Aligarh and Kanpur, during the reigns of Farrukh Siyar and Muhammad Shah.
  • Similarly, during the breakdown of administration following Nadir Shah’s invasion, Ali Muhammad Khan carved out a separate principality, known as Rohilkhand, at the foothills of the Himalayas between the Ganga in the south and the Kumaon hills in the north with its capital first at Aolan in Bareilly and later at Rampur.


  • At the end of the 18thcentury, Ranjit Singh, chief of the Sukerchakia Mislrose into prominence. A strong and courageous soldier, an efficient administrator, and a skillful diplomat, he was a born leader of men.


  • Ranjit Singh captured Lahore in 1799 and Amritsar in 1802. He soon brought all Sikh chiefs west of the Sutlej River under his control and established his own kingdom in the Punjab.
  • Ranjit Singh conquered Kashmir, Peshawar, and Multan. The old Sikh chiefs were transformed into big zamindarsand jagirdars.
  • Ranjit Singh did not make any change in the system of lend revenue promulgated earlier by the Mughals. The amount of land revenue was calculated on the basis of 50 per cent of the gross produce.
  • Ranjit Singh built up a powerful, disciplined, and well-equipped army along European lines with the help of European instructors. His new army was not confined to the Sikhs. He also recruited Gurkhas, Biharis, Oriyas, Pathans, Dogras, and Punjabi Muslims.
  • Ranjit Singh set up the modern foundries to manufacture cannon at Lahore and employed Muslim gunners to man them. It is said that he possessed the second best army in Asia, the first was the army of the English East India Company


  • Taking advantage of the growing weakness of the central authority, two men of exceptional ability, Murshid Quli Khanand Alivardi Khan, made Bengal virtually independent. Even though Murshid Quli Khan was made Governor of Bengal as late as 1717, he had been its effective ruler since 1700, when he was appointed its Dewan.


  • Murshid Quli Khan soon freed himself from central control though he sent regular tribute to the Emperor. He established peace by freeing Bengal of internal and external danger.

1857 revolution

Image 3

Leaders of Revolt
  • Delhi : Bahadur Shah Zafar and Bakht Khan
  • Jhansi : Rani Laxmi Bai
  • Bihar : Kunwar Singh
  • Mathura : Devi Singh
  • Meerut : Kadam Singh
  • Faizabad : Muhammad Ullah
  • Kanpur: Nana sahib, Tantya Tope and Azimullah Khan
  • Allahabad : Liaqat Ali
  • Gwalior : Tantya Tope
  • Haryana : Rao Tularam
  • Sambhalpur : Surender Sai
  • Bareli: Khan Bahadur Khan
  • Satara: Rango Bapuji Gupte
  • Hyderabad : Sonaji pant
  • Karnataka: Maulavi Sayyed Allauddin, Bhimrao Mundargi And Chhota Singh
  • Kolhapur : Annaji Phandnavis and Tatya Mohite
  • Madras: Ghulam Gaus and Sultan Baksh
  • Chengalpattu: Annagirian Krishna
  • Coiambatore: Mulbagal Swami


Who said what about this mutiny?

  • Charles Raikes:Merely a mutiny of the soldiers, which took the shape of revolt of the people in certain areas.
  • Sir J.W. Kaye :A battle of Blacks against the Whites
  • T R Holmes:A conflict between civilization and barbarism
  • V D Savarkar:India’s planned war of Independence.
  • Karl Marx:Struggle of soldiers, peasants and democratic combine against the foreign and feudal bondage.
  • Rees:a war of Fanatic religionists against the Christians
  • R C Mazumadar:“Neither first, nor national not war of independence.”
  • Hutchinson:It began as a mutiny and became a popular rebellion.
  • J L Nehru:a feudal outburst headed by feudal chiefs and their followers aided by widespread anti-foreign sentiments.
  • S N Sen:began with a fight for religion, ended with a war for independence.The Indian National Congress (INC), founded in December 1885, was the first organized expression of the Indian National Movement on an all-India scale. It had, however, many predecessors.

Major Public Associations

Following are the important public associations, established before the Indian National Congress −

  • The Landholders’ Society− founded in 1837, it was an association of the landlords of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa. Its purpose was to promote the class interests of the landlords.
  • The Bengal British Indian Society− founded in 1843, it was organized to protect and promote general public interests.
  • In 1851, the Landholders’ Society and the Bengal British Indian Society merged to form the British India Association.
  • The Madras Native Associationand the Bombay Association were established in 1852.
  • The Scientific Societyfounded by Sayyid Ahmad Khan, were established in different towns of the country.

All the above-discussed associations were dominated by wealthy and aristocratic elements — called in those days’ prominent persons and were provincial or local in character.

  • The members of public associations worked for reform of administration, association of Indians with the administration, and spread of education, and sent long petitions, putting forward Indian demands, to the British Parliament.
  • In 1866, Dadabhai Naorojiorganized the East India Association in Londonto discuss the Indian question and to influence British public men to promote Indian welfare. Later he organized branches of the Association in prominent Indian cities.
  • Born in 1825, Dadabhai Naoroji devoted his entire life to the national movement and soon came to be known as the ‘Grand Old Man of India.’
  • Dadabhai Naoroji was the first economic thinker of India. In his writings on economics, he showed that the basic cause of India’s poverty lay in the British exploitation of India and the drain of its wealth.
  • Dadabhai was honored by being thrice elected president of the Indian National Congress.


History of the Indian National Movement can be studied in 3 important phases

  • The phase of moderate nationalism (1885-1905) when the Congress continued to be loyal to the British crown.
  • The years 1906-1916 which witnessed Swadeshi Movement, raise of militant nationalism (Extremism) and the Home Rule Movement.
  • The period from 1917 to 1947 known as the Gandhian era.



Major Causes of Indian National Movements (1885 – 1905)


Political Unity Approx. all India for the 1st time was under single administration
Western Education ·        Spread the concepts of liberty, equality freedom & nationalism

·        English educated Indians led the national movement & organized it

Press Indian Press, both English and vernacular, had also aroused the national consciousness
Administration of Lytton ·        Arranged Delhi Durbar at Famine time

·        Vernacular press act

·        Arms Act

·        Uniform salt tax

Others ·        Development of Communication and Transport brought Indians Closer

·        Social and Religious Movements of the Nineteenth Century

·        Economic & Political Exploitation by the British

·        Racial Discrimination

·        Ilbert Bill controversy


The Indian National Congress (1885)

  • Formed during the period of Governor General Lord Dufferin
  • Founded by A O Hume
  • Its 1stsession was held at Bombay in 1885 under the presidency of W C Banerjee
  • Discussed the problems of all the Indians irrespective of their religion, caste, language and regions
  • Thus INC from the start was an all-India secular movement
  • 2ndsession was held in Calcutta in 1886 and the 3rd in Madras in 1887



Moderate Nationalism

Surendranath Banerjee  ·        Known as Indian Burke

·        Published Newspaper – The Bengali

·        firmly opposed the Partition of Bengal

·        founded the Indian Association (1876) to agitate political reforms

·        Convened the Indian National Conference (1883) which merged with the INC in l886

G Subramanya Aiyar ·        Known as Grand old man of South India

·        Preached nationalism through the Madras Mahajana Sabha

·        founded the The Hindu (English) and Swadesamitran (Tamil)

Dadabhai Naoroji ·        Known as Grand Old Man of India

·        Publication – Voice of India

·        Regarded as India’s unofficial Ambassador in England

·        1st Indian to become a Member of the British House of commons

·        Dadabhai Naoroji in his famous book Poverty and UnBritish Rule in India wrote his Drain Theory

·        Showed how India’s wealth was going away to England in the form of salaries, savings, pensions, payments to British troops in India & profits of the British companies

·        British Government was forced to appoint the Welby Commission, with Dadabhai as the first Indian as its member, to enquire into matter

Gopal Krishna Gokhale ·        Political guru of Gandhi

·        Publication – Sudharak

·        1st to raise voice for free preliminary education

·        In 1905, he founded the Servants of India Society to train Indians to dedicate their lives to the cause of the country


Main Demands of Moderates

  • Expansion and reform of legislative councils.
  • Greater opportunities for Indians in higher posts by holding the ICS examination simultaneously in England and in India.
  • Separation of the judiciary from the executive.
  • More powers for the local bodies.
  • Reduction of land revenue and protection of peasants from unjust landlords.
  • Abolition of salt tax and sugar duty
  • Freedom of speech and expression and freedom to form associations
  • Reduction of spending on army.


Methods of Moderates

  • Moderates had total faith in the British sense of justice and looked to England for inspiration and guidance (Loyal to British)
  • Moderates used petitions, resolutions, meetings, leaflets and pamphlets, memorandum and delegations to present their demands
  • Confined their political activities to the educated classes only.
  • Their main aim was to attain political rights and self-government stage by stage


Indian National Movements (1905 – 1916) – Swadeshi Movement, Rise of Extremism & Minto- Morley Reforms

Causes for the Rise of Extremism

  • Failure of the Moderates to win any notable success other than the expansion of the legislative councils by the Indian Councils Act (1892)
  • An all India famine in 1896, British did not take any famine relief measures approximately 90 lakh people died; moderates were unable to force British to take any measures.
  • Russo-Japanese war of 1904-05 in which Japan defeated the European power Russia.
  • This encouraged Indians to fight against the European nation, Britain.


Immediate cause → Reactionary rule of Lord Curzon

  • Calcutta Corporation Act, (1899) reducing the Indian control of this local body
  • Universities Act (1904) reduced the elected members in the University bodies & reduced the autonomy of the universities and made them government departments
  • Sedition Act and the Official Secrets Act (1904) reduced the freedoms of people & press
  • His worst measure was the Partition of Bengal (1905)


Partition of Bengal

Partition of Bengal in 1905 provided a spark for the rise of extremism in the Indian National Movement. The official reason given for the decision was that Bengal with a population of 78 million (about a quarter of the population of British India) had become too big to be administered.


This was true to some extent but Curzon’s real motives were –

  • To break the growing strength of Bengali nationalism since Bengal was the base of Indian nationalism.
  • To divide the Hindus and Muslims in Bengal.
  • To show the enormous power of the British Government in doing whatever it liked.

Declaration of Swaraj & Beginning of Swadeshi Movement

  • The Swadeshi Movement had its genesis, in the anti-partition movement which was started to oppose the British decision to partition Bengal.
  • The Indian National Congress, meeting in 1905 under the presidency of Gokhale, resolved to
  • condemn the partition of Bengal and the reactionary policies of Curzon
  • support the anti-partition and Swadeshi Movement of Bengal

The militant nationalists led by Tilak, Lajpat Rai, Bipin Chandra Pal and Aurobindo Ghosh wanted the movement to be taken outside Bengal to other parts of the country and go beyond a boycott of foreign goods to become a full-fledged political mass struggle with the goal of attaining swaraj. But the Moderates, dominating the Congress at that time, were not willing to go that far.

  • However, aggressive nationalists forced Dadabhai Naoroji to speak of Swaraj (which was not a Moderate demand) in the Calcutta Session of Congress in 1906
  • The Extremist emboldened by Dadabhai Naoroji’s declaration gave a call for passive resistance in addition to swadeshi and boycott of foreign goods
  • This included boycott of government schools and colleges, government service, courts, legislative councils, municipalities, government titles, etc.


Surat Split, 1907

  • The Moderate Congressmen were unhappy as they wanted Swaraj to be achieved through constitutional methods.
  • The Moderate-Extremist dispute over techniques led to a split in the Congress at the Surat session in 1907, popularly known as the famous Surat Split.
  • Extremists came out of the Congress led by Tilak and others

Swadeshi Movement (Vandemataram movement)

  • It was both a political and economic movement
  • Involved programmes like the boycott of government service, courts, schools and colleges and of foreign goods
  • Promotion of Swadeshi goods
  • Promotion of National Education through the establishment of national schools and colleges
  • Landlords, Women and students actively participated & Students refused using books made of foreign paper
  • Absence of participation of Peasants as well as industrialists


Formation of the Muslim League (1906)

  • Muslim delegates from all over India met at Dacca for the Muslim Educational Conference.
  • Taking advantage of this occasion, Nawab Salimullah of Dacca proposed the setting up of an organisation to look after the Muslim interests.
  • The proposal was accepted & All-India Muslim League was finally set up on December 30, 1906.
  • Like the Indian National Congress, they conducted annual sessions and put their demands to the British government.
  • Their 1stachievement was the separate electorates for Muslims in the Minto-Morley reforms.


Decline of Swadeshi Movement

By 1908, the open phase (as different from the underground revolutionary phase) of the movement was almost over due to many reasons viz.

  • There was severe government repression.
  • The movement failed to create an effective organisation or a party structure.
  • The movement was rendered leaderless with most of the leaders either arrested or deported by 1908
  • Aurobindo-Ghosh and Bipin Chandra Pal retired from active politics.
  • Internal squabbles among leaders, magnified by the Surat split (1907), did much harm to the movement.
  • The movement aroused the people but did not know how to tap the newly released energy or how to find new forms to give expression to popular resentment.
  • The movement largely remained confined to the upper and middle classes and zamindars, and failed to reach the masses—especially the peasantry.
  • Non-cooperation and passive resistance remained mere ideas.
  • It was difficult to sustain a mass-based movement at a high pitch for too long.


Famous Extremist Leaders


Bal Gangadhar Tilak  Titled as Lokmanya

Regarded as the real founder of the popular anti-British movement in India

Attacked the British through his weeklies The Mahratta and the Kesari

Collaborated with Agarkar, and set up institutions to give cheap education to people

Started Akharas, Lathi clubs and anti – cow killing societies to built his rapport

Was deported to Mandalay on the ground of sedition for 6 years in 1908

Set up the Home Rule League in 1916 at Poona and declared “Swaraj is my birth-right and I will have it.”

Build up anti-imperialist sentiments among the public through Ganapati festivals (started in 1893), Shivaji festivals (started in 1896)

Valentine Shirol described him as the ‘Father of Indian Unrest’

Famous books  The Arctic Home of Vedas & Gita Rahasya

Lala Lajpat Rai   Titled as Lion of Punjab

founded the Indian Home Rule League in the US in 1916

Deported to Mandalay on the ground of sedition

Received fatal injuries while leading a procession against the Simon Commission and died on November 17, 1928

Bipin Chandra Pal   Began his career as a moderate and turned an extremist.

Preached nationalism through the nook and corner of Indians by his powerful speeches and writings

Aurobindo Ghosh   Another extremist leader who actively participated in Swadeshi Movement & imprisoned.

After his release he settled in the French territory of Pondicherry and concentrated on spiritual activities



Extremists – Objective, Methods & Achievements


Objective To attain Swaraj or self-government
Methods   No faith in the British sense of justice

Believed that political rights will have to be fought for

Had the spirit of self-reliance and self-determination

Not cooperating with the British Government by boycotting government courts, schools and colleges

Promotion of Swadeshi and boycott of foreign goods

Introduction and promotion of national education

Achievements   1st to demand Swaraj as a matter of birth right.

1st to involve the masses in the freedom struggle.

1st  to organize an all-India political movement, viz. the Swadeshi Movement




  1. Who was the first to describe the mutiny of 1857 as the first war of independence?

(a) R C Mazumadar

(b) T R Holmes

(c) S N Sen

(d) Vinayak Damodar Savarkar,


  1. Which renowned musician sung the famous song “Raghupathi Raghav Rajaram” during the Dandi march?

(a) Vishnu Digambar Paluska,

(b) Rabindranath,

(c) jb kriplani

(d) none of these


  1. In which session of Indian National Congress, the moderates and extremists sections of congress reunited?

(a) 1916 Lucknow,

(b) 1924 belgaum,

(c) Benras

(d) 1907 at Surat session


  1. At which session of the Indian National Congress was “Vande Mataram” sung for the firsttime?

(a) Lucknow (1916)

(b) 1896 Session

(c) Belgaum (1924)

(d) 1929 at Lahore


  1. In which act, the rule of East India Company ended in India?

(a) of India Act, 1858

(b) 1861

(c) 1892

(d) 1857


  1. Who was the Prime Minister of Britain during the Revolt of 1857?

(a) Lord Clement Attlee

(b) churchil ,

(c) Lord Palmerstone

(d) None of these


  1. Who was the leader of the Revolt of 1857 at Jagadishpur?

(a) Tatya tope

(b) ajimulla

(c) bakht khan

(d) Kunwar Singh


  1. Which of the following books was known as Bible of Bengali Patriotism

(a) Gitanjali

(b) Anandmath

(c) Devdas

(d) Gora


  1. the novel Durgesh Nandini is written by

(a) Rabindranath Tagore

(b) Tara cant Gangopadhyay

(c) Swarnakumari

(d) Bankim Chandra Chatterjee


  1. which one of the following books is associated with the rise of National Movement in India

(a) Geetanjali

(b) Anandmath

(c) Satyarth Prakash

(d) Geeta Rahasya

Mains examination question 

  1. Causes of the 1857 revolution


Lecture -13



Mains examination question


  1. Discuss the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi in Indian national movement.

2.Contribution of Sardar Patel in Indian national movement?


Lecture -13



  • Robert Clive (1754-1767)
    • Founder of the British Indian Empire, popularly known as “Clive of India”.
      He was British administrator and military leader to start with, however his destiny brought him to India and he worked in various capacities for British East India Company.
      • He was Governor of Bengal before “Regulating Act of 1773” – which actually marks beginning of Birtish rule.
      • He was involved in Battle of Plassey (1757) and consequent annexation of Bengal.
      • Started Dual administration in Bengal (1757-1722), the practice was stopped by Warren Hastings.
      • Civil Services were organized during Clive’s tenure.
      • He prohibited employees of the company from undertaking any private or accept any gift.
      • During First Anglo-Mysore War (1766-69), Robert Clive was recalled during the course of war in 1767. English were defeated by Haider Ali.




  • Lord Warren Hastings (1773-1785)
    • Governor of Bengal was designated as Governor General of Bengal.
      He annexed Bengal, Bihar and Orissa in 1772.
      • He started modern western administration in India.
      • He entered into business with Egypt, Tibet and Bhutan. He stopped annual pension to Mughal Emperor and reduced the pension of the Nawab of Bengal.
      • Overall administration including Civil Services was very corrupt during Hastings’s tenure.
      • He initiated the Rohilla War (1774) and annexation of Rohilkhand by Nawab of Awadh, with the help of British.
      • During his tenure Act of 1781 came under which the powers of jurisdiction between the Governor-General-in-council and the Supreme Court at Calcutta were clearly divided.
      • He led First Anglo-Maratha War (1775-82) followed by Treaty of Salbai as Marathas were defeated.
      • Pitts India Act of 1784 was enacted.
      • He was involved in Second Anglo-Mysore War (1780-84), Haider All died and Mysore was defeated.
      • During his tenure Judicial Murder of Nand Kumar in 1775 took place. Nand Kumar was critic of Warren Hastings, indicted in false case and sentenced to death.
  • Lord Cornwallis (1786-1793)
    • He was the founding father of ‘Indian Civil Services’. (Reforms for purification of Administration).
      He was the father of modern police administration in India.
      • He created the post of DSP. He believed in the separation of powers, therefore he deprived the District Collector of judicial powers and created the new post of District Judge. He also carried out gradation of courts.
      • He proposed Cornwallis Code (1793) incorporating several judicial reforms. He codified the personal laws (IPC and CrPC are codified personal laws) and separation of revenue and civil administration.
      • Third Anglo-Mysore War (1790-92) followed by Treaty of Seringapatnam (1792).
      • Introduction of the Permanent Revenue Settlement that is Zamindari system in Bengal and Bihar (1793). It was the worst measure of Lord Cornwallis.
      • Europeanization of administrative machinery and introduction of civil services.
      • He established Permanent revenue settlement with a class of revenue collectors (Zamindars under Zamindari rights).
  • Sir John Shore (1793-1798)
    • First civil servant to become Governor-General. He played important role during the introduction of Permanent revenue settlement that is Zamindari system in 1793.
      Charter act of 1793 was enacted during his period.
      • He defeated Nizam of Hyderabad who later on joined Subsidiary Alliance with British during Wellesley’s tenure.
      Lord Arthur Wellesley (1798-1805)
      • During his tenure introduction of Subsidiary Alliance in 1798 occured. The rulers of the state of Nizam of Hyderabad, Mysore, Tanjavore, Awadh, Jodhpur, Jaipur and finally Peshwas also signed Subsidiary Alliance.
      • During his tenure Fouth Anglo-Mysore war (1799) & Second Anglo-Maratha war (1803-05) occured.
  • Lord George Barlow (1805-1807)
    • Pursued moderate policy, that is, the policy of non-intervention with princely states.
      Tried to establish peaceful relations with Marathas.
      • White Mutiny at Vellore (1806) occured during his tenure.
  • Lord Minto-I (1807-1813)
    • Concluded important Amritsar treaty (1809) with Maharaja Ranjit Singh which decided later course of Anglo-Sikh relations.
      Governor General of Bengal at the time of passage of Charter Act of 1813.
      Francis Rawdon Hastings (1813-1823): (Marques of Hastings)
      • Renounced the policy of non-intervention followed by his predecessor and revived aggressive imperialistic policy marking the beginning of second phase of British imperialism in India, so as to build large British Asiatic Empire by conquering territories bordeting India.
      • During his tenure Anglo-Nepal War; Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817-1819) and Pindari War (1817-18) occured.
  • Lord Amherst (1823-28)
    • First Anglo-Burmese War (1824-1826) and signed Treaty of Yaudaboo in 1826 by which British merchants were allowed to settle on southern coast of Rangoon.
      Capture of Barakhphr (1826) occured.
  • Lord William Bentinck (1828-1835)
    • Charter Act of 1833 was enacted.
      He was the most liberal British Governor-General of India.
      • Tenure coincides with socio-religious reform movements of 19th century (Abolition of Sati and other cruel rights (1829) occured during his tenure.
      • Resolution of 1835 and Educational reforms.
      • Suppression of `Thuge’ that is highway robbery in 1830 by Colonel Sleeman.
      • Raja of Mysore was deposed and territories of kingdom were annexed (1831).
      • Annexation of Cachar (1834) and Jaintia (1832) and Coorg (1834) on the charges of mal-administration.
      • Formation of Agra province in 1834.
      • Provincial courts of appeal and circuits were replaced by commissioners of revenue and circuit.
      • Treaty of `Perpetual friendship’ with Ranjit Singh took place.
  • Sir Charles Metcalfe (1835-1836)
    • Brief tenure marked by the liberation of Indian press of prohibitory restrictions as new press law was passed.
  • Lord Auckland (1836-1842)

    Disastrous First Anglo-Afghan War (1838-1842) occured during his tenure.
  • Lord Ellenborough (1842-1844)
    • Successfully completed Afghan war and annexed Sindh province for British in 1843.
      Became first Governor General of India to be recalled for defying the orders of the Court of Directors of East India Company.
      • War with Gwalior (1843) occured during his tenure.
  • Lord Hardinge-I (1844-1848)
    • Issued orders for prohibition of female infanticide and suppression of the practice of human sacrifice among the Goads of Central India.
      Anglo-Sikh War (1845-1846) occured during his tenure.
  • Lord Dalhousie (1848-1856 great imperialist and colonist)
    • Application of ‘Doctrine of Lapse’ (one of the principle political reasons for “Revolt of 1857) annexed Satara (1848), Jaipur and Sambalpur (1849), Bhagat (1850), Udaipur (1852), Jhansi (1853), Nagpur (1854) and Awadh (1856) under `Doctrine of Lapse’
      The introduction of Railways (first train Bombay to Thane), Telegraph and Postal systems (first telegraph line – Calcutta – Agra) in India in 1853.
      • Postal reforms (Post Office Act 1854) initiated during his tenure.
      • Charter- Act of 1853 passed.
      • Wood’s Education Dispatch 1854 (Magna Carta of Modern Western Education in India) also passed.
      • Second Anglo-Burmese War (1852) and annexation of lower Burma occured during his tenure.
      • Widow Remarriage Act (1856) enacted.
      • Military headquarter of British India was moved to Shimla, where summer capital of British India was also established. Headquarter of Bengal artillery was moved to Meerut.
      • Second Anglo-Sikh War (1848-56) and annexation of Punjab from Maharaja Dalip Singh (Maharaja Dalip Singh handed over Kohinoor diamond to British).
      • Establishment of separate Public Works Department in every province.
      • To bring more land under cultivation so as to earn more revenue, two canals (1854), upper Ganga canal, in western Uttar Pradesh (originating in Haridwar) and Baridoad canal in Punjab were constructed. Similarly, the harbors of Calcutta, Bombay and Karachi were modernized to receive large maritime ships.


  • Lord Canning (1856-1857 and 1858-1862)-(Last Governor of East India Company and first viceroy and Governor General of India)

Establishment of three universities at Calcutta, Madras and Bombay in 1857 occured during.
Witnessed and suppressed the Revolt of 1857.
‘Doctrine of Lapse’ started by Lord Dalhousie was finally withdrawn in 1859.
Two arms of British administration originated (Secretary of State of India, Viceroy and Governor General of India to look after the administration of India)
Regressive laws, such as Criminal Procedure Codes (CrPC) and Indian Penal Codes (IPC) were introduced. Introduction of new tax such as income tax, on experimental basis in 1859.
`White Mutiny’ by European troops in 1859 occured.
Indian Councils Act of 1861 enacted.

  • Lord Elgin-I (1862-1863)
    • Wahabi movement occured during his tenure and get suppressed.
      Lord Lawrence (1862-1869)
      Followed a policy of rigid non-interference in Afghanistan called Policy of Masterly Inactivity.
      • Setting up of High Courts at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras (1865).
  • Lord Mayo (1869-1872)
    • Opening of the Rajkot college in Kathiawar and the Mayo College at Ajmer for political training of Indian princes.
      Establishment of Statistical Survey of India occured.
      • Establishment of Department of Agriculture and Commerce.
      • Introduction of State Railways.
  • Lord North Brook (1872-1876)
    • Visit of Prince of Wales in 1875 occured.
      Trial of Gaelcwar of Baroda occured.
      • Kuka movement in Punjab occured during his tenure.
  • Lord Lytton (1876-1880)
    • Famine of 1876-1878 affecting Madras,. Bombay, Mysore, Hyderabad, parts of Central India and Punjab occured. Famine commission under the presidency of Richard Strachey (1878) appointed.
      Royal Titles Act (1876), Queen Victoria assuming the title of ”Kaiser-i-hind” or “Queen Empress of India”.
      • The Vernacular Press Act (1878) and the Arms Act (1878) enacted.
      • The Second Afghan War (1878-1880) took place.
  • Lord Rippon (1880-1884)
    • Repeal of the Vernacular Press Act (1882) took place.
      The first Factory Act, 1881, to improve labor conditions enacted.
      • Government resolution on Local Self Government (1882) also passed.
      • Continuation of Financial decentralization.
      • Appointment of education commission under the chairmanship of Sir William Hunter (1882).
      • The IIbert bill controversy (1883-1884) occured.
  • Lord Dufferin (1884-1888)
    • The third Burmese war (1885-86) and establishment of Indian National Congress occured during his tenure.
  • Lord Lansdowne (1888-1894)
    Factory act (1891) enacted.
    • Categorization of civil services as imperial, provincial and subordinate occured.
    • Indian Council Act (1892) enacted.
    • Setting up of Durand Commission (1893) to define the Durand line between India and Afghanistan (now between Pakistan and Afghanistan).
  • Lord Elgin-II (1894-1999)
    • Two British officials assassinated by Chapekar brothers (1897) during his tenure.
  • Lord Curzon (1899-1905)
    • Appointment of Police Commission (1902) under Sir Andrew Frazer to review police administration.
      Appointment of Universities Commission (1902) and passing of Indian Universities Act (1904) Establishment of department of Commerce and industry.
      • Calcutta Corporation Act (1899) enacted.
      • Ancient Monument Preservation act (1904) & Partition of Bengal (1905) enacted.
      • Curzon-Kitchener controversy started.
      • Partition Bangal (1905) of Bengal occured.
      • Younghusbands mission to Tibet (1904) started.
  • Lord Minto-II (1905-1910)
    • Popularization of Anti-partion and Swadeshi movements.
      Split in Congress in the annual session of 1907 in Surat occured.
      • Establishment of Muslim League by Aga Khan (1906).
  • Lord Hardinge-11 (1910-1916)
    • Creation of Bengal presidency (like Bombay and Madras) in 1911.
      Coronation Durbar of King George V held in Delhi 1911.
      • Transfer of Capital from Calcutta to Delhi 1911.
      • Establishment of Hindu Mabasabha (1915) by Madan Mohan Malavaya.
  • Lord Chelmsford (1916-1921)
    • Formation of Home Rule Leagues by Annie Besant and Tilak (1916).
      Lucknow session of the Congress (1916).
      • Lucknow pact between Congress and Muslim league (1916) signed.
      • Foundation of Sabarmati Ashram (1916) after Gandhiji’s return; Launch of Champaran Satyagraha (1916), Kheda Satyagaha (1918) and Satyagraha at Ahmedabad (1918) occured.
      • Montague’s August declaration (1917) proposed.
      • Government of India’s Act (1919) enacted.
      • The Rowlatt Act (1919) enacted.
      • Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (1919) took place.
      • Launch of Non-cooperation and Khilafat movement occured.
      • Foundation of women’s university at Pune (1916) and appointment of Saddler’s commission (1917) for reforms in educational policy.
      • Appointment of S.V. Sinha as Governor of Bihar (the first Indian to become a Governor).

Lord Reading (1921-1926)

Chauri Chaura incident (February 5, 1922) and the subsequent withdrawal of non-cooperation movement.
• Moplah rebellion in Kerala (1921) started.
• Repeal of the Press Act of 1910 and the Rowlatt Act of 1919 occured.
• Criminal Law Amendment Act and Abolition of cotton exercise.
• Communal riots in Multan, Amritsar, Delhi, Aligarh, Arvi and Calcutta occured.
• Kakori train robbery (1925) also happened during his tenure.
• Establishment of Swaraj party by C.R. Das and Motilal Nehru (1922).
• Decision to hold simultaneous examination for the ICS both in Delhi and London with effect from 1923.

  • Lord Irwin (1926-1931)
    • Visit of Simon Commission to India (1928) and the boycott of the commission by the Indians occured.
      An All Parties Conference held at Lucknow (1928) for suggestions for (future) Constitution of India, the report of “Nehru Report” of the ” Nehru Constitution” proposed.
      • Appointment of Harcourt Butler Indian States Commission 1927.
      • Murder of Saunders, the Assistant Superintendent of Police of Lahore; bomb blast in the assembly hall of Delhi; the Lahore conspiracy case and the death of Jatin Das after prolonged hunger strike (1921) and bomb accident on train in Delhi (1929).
      • Lahore session of the Congress (1929); Puna Swami resolution.
      • Dandi March (March 12,1930) by Gandhi to launch the Civil Disobedience Movement.
      • Deepavali declaration by Lord Erwin (1929).
      • Boycott of the first round table conference, Gandhi-Irwin pact (1931) and the suspension of the civil disobedience movement (March 1931).
  • Lord Willingdon (1931-1936)
    • Second round table conference (1931) and failure .of the conference, presumption of civil disobedience.
      Announcement of communal award 1932 under which separate communal electorates were set up.
      • “Fast unto Death” by Gandhi in Yeravada prison, broken after the Pune pact (1932).
      • Third round table conference (1932) occured.
      • Launch of individual Civil Disobedience Movement (1933).
      • The Government of India Act (1935) enacted.
      • Establishment of All India Kisan Sabha (1936) and Congress Socialist Party by Acharya Narendra Dev and Jayprakash Narayan (1934).
      • Burma-separated from India (1935).
  • Lord Linlithgow (1936-1944)
    • First general elections (1936-37); occured Congress gained majority in 5 provinces and formed coalition in 3 other provinces.
      Resignation of the Congress ministries after the outbreak of the World War-II (1939).
      • Subash Chandra Bose elected President of Congress at the 51st session of the Congress (1938).
      • Resignation of Bose in 1939 and formation of the Forward Bloc (1939) occured.
      • Lahore resolution (March 1940) by the Muslim league demand for the separate state for Muslims.
      • ‘August offer’ (1940) by the viceroy; criticism by the congress and the endorsement by the Muslim league.
      • Vincent Churchill was elected Prime Minister of England (1940).
      • Escape of Subash Chandra Bose from India (1941) and organization of the Indian National Army.
      • Cripps Mission, Cripps Plan to offer dominion status to India and setting up of a constituent assembly and its rejection by the congress.
      • Passing of the ‘Quit India resolutions’ by the congress (1942); outbreak of ‘August Revolution’; or Revolt of 1942 after the arrest of National leaders.
      • ‘Divide and Quit’ slogan at Karachi session (1944) of the Muslim League.
  • Lord Wavell (1944-1947)
    • Rajagoapalachari’s `C.R.Formula’ (1944) was proposed.
      • Failure of Gandhi-Jinnah pacts (1944) occured.
      • Wavell Plan and the Shimla Conference (1942) took place.
      • End of World War-II (1945).
      • Proposals of the Cabinet Mission (1946) and its acceptance by the Congress.
      • Observance of ‘Direct action day”(August 16, 1948) by the Muslim League.
      • Elections to the constituent assembly, formation of interim government by the congress (September 1946)
      • Announcement of the end of British rule in India by Clement Atlee (Prime Minister of England) on February 20, 1947
  • Lord Mountbatten (1947-1948)
    • June 3 Plan (June 3, 1947) announced.
      Introduction of Indian Independence Bill in the House of Commons.
      • Appointment of two boundary commissions under Sir Cyril Radcliffe for the partition of Bengal and Punjab.

Image 1

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Image 3Image 3.

Non-cooperation movement : The non-cooperation Movement was firmly launched on 1 August, 1920. Tilak passed away in the early hours of 1 August, and the day of mourning and of launching of the movement merged as people all over the country observed hartal and took out processions. When the Congress met in special session at Calcutta on September 4, 1920, Gandhiji faced some opposition from vetern leaders. He emphasised the fact that by the adoption of these non-cooperation resolutionSwaraj might be retained within one year.

Features and spread of the non-cooperation movement : It was the first mass based political movement under Gandhiji. The main emphasis of the movement was on boycott of schools, colleges, law courts and advocacy of the use of Charkha. There was widespread student unrest and top Lawyer like CR Das and Motilal Nehru gave up their legal practice. Thereafter, the stress was on boycott of foreign cloth and boycott of the forthcoming visit of the Prince of Wales in November, 1921; popularization of Charkha and Khadi and Jail Bharo by Congress volunteers.
Image 4

Second Civil Disobedience Movement

  • The Second Civil Disobedience Movement was started by Gandhiji on March 12, 1930 with his famous Dandi March.
  • Together with 78 chosen followers, Gandhiji walked nearly 200 miles from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi, a village on the Gujarat sea-coast. Here Gandhiji and his followers made salt in violation of the salt laws.
  • The act of making salt was a symbol of the Indian people’s refusal to live under British-made laws or under the British rule.
  • The movement now spread rapidly. Everywhere in the country, people joined strikes, demonstrations, and the campaign to boycott foreign goods and to refuse to pay taxes.
  • The movement reached the extreme north-western corner of India and stirred the brave and hardy Pathans.
  • Under the leadership of Khan Abdul Ghaffer Khan, popularly known as “the Frontier Gandhi“, the Pathans organized the society of Khudai Khidmatgars(or Servants of God), known popularly as Red Shirts.
  • Nagaland produced a brave heroine i.e. Rani Gaidinliuwho at the age of 13 responded to the call of Gandhiji and the Congress and raised the banner of rebellion against foreign rule.
  • The young Rani was captured in 1932 and sentenced to life imprisonment. She wasted her bright youthful years in the dark cells of various Assam jails, to be released only in 1947 by the Government of free India.
  • The British Government summoned in London in 1930, the first Round Table Conferenceof Indian leaders and spokesmen of the British Government to discuss the Simon Commission Report. But the National Congress boycotted the Conference and its proceedings proved abortive.
  • Lord Irwin and Gandhi negotiated a settlement in March 1931. The Government agreed to release those political prisoners who had remained non-violent, while the Congress suspended the Civil Disobedience Movement and agreed to take part in the Second Round Table Conference.
  • The Karachi Session of Congress is also notable for a resolution on Fundamental Rights and the National Economic Program. The resolution guaranteed basic civil and political rights to the people.
  • Gandhiji went to England in September 1931 to attend the Second Round Table Conference. But in spite of his powerful advocacy, the British Government refused to concede the basic nationalist demand for freedom on the basis of the immediate grant of Dominion Status. On his return, the Congress resumed the Civil Disobedience Movement.
  • Just after the signing of the Gandhi- Irwin Pact, a crowd had been fired in East Godavari, in Andhra Pradesh, and four persons were killed simply because the people had put up Gandhi’s portrait.
  • After the failure of the Round Table Conference, Gandhiji and other (cadets of the Congress were again arrested and the Congress declared illegal.
  • The Civil Disobedience Movement gradually waned and political enthusiasm and exhilaration gave way to frustration and depression.
  • The Congress officially suspended the movement in May 1933 and withdrew it in May 1934. Gandhi once again withdrew from active politics.
  • The Third Round Table Conferencemet in London in November 1932, without the leaders of the Congress.
  • The Second World War broke out in September 1939 when Nazi (Germany) invaded Poland in pursuance of Hitler’s scheme of German expansion.
  • The Government of India immediately joined the war without consulting the National Congress or the elected members of the central legislature.
  • The Congress leaders demanded that India must be declared free or at least effective power put in Indian hands before it could actively participate in the war. The British Government refused to accept this demand the Congress ordered its ministries to resign.
  • In October 1940, Gandhi gave the call for a limited Satyagrahaby a few selected individuals.
  • By March 1942, Japan quickly overran the Philippines, Indo-China, Indonesia, Malaya, and Burma and occupied Rangoon. This brought the war to India’s door-step.
  • The British Government now desperately wanted the active cooperation of Indians in the war effort.

Cripps Mission

  • To secure this cooperation, British Government sent to India a mission headed by a Cabinet Minister, Sir Stafford Cripps in March 1942.
  • Cripps declared that the aim of British policy in India was “the earliest possible realization of self-government in India,” but detailed negotiations between the British Government and the Congress leaders broke down, as the British Government refused to accept the Congress demand for the immediate transfer of effective power to Indians.

Quit India Movement

  • The All India Congress Committee met at Bombay on August 8, 1942. It passed the famous ‘Quit India‘ Resolution and proposed the starting of a non-violent mass struggle under Gandhiji’s leadership to achieve this aim.
  • Early in the morning of August 9, Gandhiji and other Congress leaders were arrested and the Congress was once again declared illegal.
  • The news of these arrests left the country aghast, and a spontaneous movement of protest arose everywhere, giving expression to the pent up anger of the people.
  • All over the country there were strikes in factories, schools and colleges, and demonstrations which were lathi-charged and fired upon.
  • The Government on its part went all out to crush the 1942 movement. Its repression knew no bounds. The press was completely muzzled. The demonstrating crowds were machine-gunned and even bombed from the air.
  • In the end, the Government succeeded in crushing the movement. The Revolt of 1942, as it has been termed, was in fact short-lived.
  • After the suppression of the Revolt of 1942, there was hardly any political activity inside the country till the war ended in 1945.
  • The established leaders of the national movement were behind the bars, and no new leaders arose to take their place or to give a new lead to the country.
  • In 1943, Bengal was plunged into the worst famine in recent history. Within a few months over three million people died because of starvation. There was deep anger among the people for the Government could have pre-vented the famine from taking such a heavy toll of life.

Azad Hind Fauj

  • The national movement, however, found a new expression outside the country’s frontiers. Subhas Chandra Bose bad escaped from India in March 1941, went the Soviet Union for help. But when the Soviet Union joined the allies in June 1941, he went to Germany.
  • In February 1943, Bose left for Japan to organize an armed struggle against British rule with Japanese help.
  • In Singapore, Bose formed the Azad Hind Fauj(Indian National Army or INA) to conduct a military campaign for the liberation of India. He was assisted by Rash Behari Bose, an old terrorist revolutionary.


  • Before the arrival of Subhash Bose, steps towards the organization of the INA had been taken by General Mohan Singh (at that time, he was a captain of the British Indian army).
  • Subhash Bose, who was now called Netajiby the soldiers of the INA, gave his followers the battle cry of ‘Jai Hind‘.
  • The INA joined the Japanese army in its march on India from Burma. Inspired by the aim of freeing their homeland, the soldiers and officers of the INA hoped to enter India as its liberators with Subhash Bose at the head of the Provisional Government of Free India.
  • With the collapse of Japan in the War during 1944-45, the INA too met defeat, and Subhash Bose was died in an airplane accident on his way to Tokyo.


Lecture -13


Pre examquestion

  1. During the times of Governor-General Lord Ellen borough, which among the following acts declared slavery as illegal ?

[A]Act VI

[B]Act V

[C]Act III



  1. The first meeting of Indian National Congress was held in Bombay in1885 A.D. under the leadership of __:

[A]Dadabhai Naoroji

[B]Sir C. Sankaran Nair

[C]Vyomesh Chandra Banerjee

[D]Badruddin Tyabji


  1. Who among the following edited and published the newspaper Indian Mirror in 1861?

[A]Amitava Ghosh

[B]Ravindranath Tagore

[C]Sumit Ganguly

[D]Manmohan Ghosh and Devendranath Tago


  1. The Indian National Association formed in Calcutta by whom among the following?

[A]Dwarkanath Tagore

[B]Surendranath Banerjee

[C]Prasanno Kumar Tagore

[D]Debendranath Tagore


  1. Poona Pact was signed between?

[A]Gandhiji and Lord Irwin

[B]Gandhiji and Jinnah

[C]Gandhiji and S.C. Bose

[D]Gandhiji and Ambedkar


  1. The freedom fighter who died in jail due to the hunger strike was?

[A]Bhagat Singh

[B]Bipin Chandra Pal

[C]Jatin Das

[D]Subash Chandra Bose


  1. Who among the following said “Mahatma Gandhi, like fleeting Phantom raises dust but not the level?

[A]Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

[B]M.A. Jinnah

[C]V.D. Srvarkar

[D]Subash Chandra Bos


  1. The province where the Indian Congress could not get absolute majority during the general election of 1937 was?






  1. Who is the author of the autobiography “The Indian Struggle”?

[A]Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

[B]Jawahar Lal

[C]Lala Lajpat Rai

[D]Subhash Chandra Bose


10.”There is going to be a revolution here (in India) and we must get out quick”; who said this?

A.Stafford Cripps

B.Lord Pathoric Lawarence

C.Lord Wavell

D.A.V. Alexander


  1. The first mass movement started by Mahatma Gandhi was?

[A]Non Co-Operation Movement

[B]Salt Movement

[C]Quit Indian Movement

[D]Indigo Movement


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