Rajasthan Board RBSE Class 12 History Chapter 2 The Golden Chapter of Indian History
RBSE Class 12 History Chapter 2 Textual Questions
RBSE Class 12 History Chapter 2 Multiple Choice Questions
With whose help did Chandragupta Maurya establish the Mauryan empire ?
On which pillar inscription is the Dhamma of Ashoka defined ?
Which Gupta ruler’s conquests are described in the Prayaga Prashasti ?
Which Indian mathematician propounded the decimal system?
Of the following works, which one is not attributed to Harshavardhana ?
Which Chola ruler assumed the title of ‘Gangeikonda Chola’?
(a) Rajaraja – I
(b) Rajendra – I
(c) Rajadhiraja – I
(d) Aditya – I
In the court of which Vijaynagar ruler did eight best poets live ?
(a) Krishnadev Rai
(b) Achyut Deva Rai
(c) Devarai – I
(d) Devrai – II
What was the main characteristic of Chola administration ?
(a) centralised rule
(b) local autonomy
(c) provincial rule
(d) military rule
1. (a), 2. (b), 3. (c), 4. (d), 5. (a), 6. (b), 7. (a), 8. (b). (a)
RBSE Class 12 History Chapter 2 Very Short Answer Type Questions
Who wrote the book named ‘Arthashastra’?
Kautilya (Chanakya) wrote ‘Arthashastra’.
Who propounded the principle of Dhamma ?
Ashoka the Great propounded the principle of Dhamma.
Who constructed the Sudarshan Lake ?
The construction of Sudarshan lake was done by the governor of Saurashtra province of the Mauryan empire.
Who initiated the Gupta Samvat and When ?
Chandragupta I initiated the Gupta Samvat in 319 CE – 320 CE.
In which Gupta ruler’s reign did the Chinese traveller Fa-hien came to India ?
The chinese traveller Fa – hien came to India during the reign of Chandragupta Vikramaditya.
Which Gupta ruler made Ujjain his second capital ?
Chandragupta II, son of Samudragupta made Ujjain his second capital.
Which Gupta ruler re-constructed the Sudarshan Lake ?
Re – construction of the Sudarshan Lake was done by the son of Saurashtra’s governor Parnadutta, and administrator of Girnar Chakrapalit.
In which period did temple architecture develop in India ?
In India, temple architecture developed in the Gupta period.
In which age were Hindu traditions revived and compiled ?
Hindu traditions were revived and compiled in the Gupta period.
Which chinese traveller visited India during Harsha’s reign ?
Chinese traveller Fa – hien visited India during Harsha’s reign.
Into how many parts did Harsha divide his state revenue ?
Harsha divided his state revenue into four parts.
Write the names of two works of Banabhatta.
Which city was founded by Karaikal and where ?
Karaikal founded ‘Puhar’ Pattam (Kaveri Pattanam) at the bank of river Kaveri.
Which Chola ruler’s navy was highly advanced ?
Chola ruler Rajendra I’s navy was highly advanced.
With which saint’s blessing did Harihara and Bukka establish the Vijayanagar empire ?
Harihara and Bukka established the Vijayanagar empire with saint Vidyaranya’s blessing.
RBSE Class 12 History Chapter 2 Short Answer Types Questions
Explain the provincial administration of the Maurya period ?
The Mauryan empire was divided into four regions which were administered by princes with the help of council of ministers and ‘Amatyas’. The four major provinces were Uttarapath, Dakshinapath, Avantipath, and Madhya Pranta. Dharma Mahamatra and Amatya were provincial officers who looked after ‘Dhamma’ and other functions. Provinces were further divided into ‘Aahar’ or Vis’, which were headed by “Vispati’.
Comment on Ashoka’s administrative reforms.
Ashoka made the following administrative reforms:
- He appointed Rajuk, Yukta, and Pradeshik etc. to deal with land, justice and accounts.
- He created the post of Dhamma Mahamatra to create social harmony and to provide aid to unjustly persecuted people and their families.
- He set up such a system as enabled communication of the problems of common people to the king at all times and from all places.
- To bring uniformity in the judicial system, he gave independent powers to the Rajukas in justice related matters.
Comment on Samudragupta’s conquests.
Samudragupta initially carried out a military campaign in Aryavarta or the GangaYamuna plains, which was completed in two stages. He defeated nine kings – Rudradeva, Matil, Nagadatta, Chandravarman, Ganapati, Naga, Nagasen, Achyut, Nandi and Balvarma and annexed their territories.
He defeated 12 kingdoms in the south but later freed them under the treaty of sovereignty over enemy territory and Moksha. He also defeated the Attavikas of central India and made them his vassals. Hence he conquered a large part of India and unified it under one rule.
Comment on the development of science during the Gupta era.
Notable progress took place in various branches of science and technology during Gupta period. It can be presented as follows:
- Aryabhatta propounded the principles of Earth’s spherical shape and its rotation about its axis.
- Varahmihir invented the method of determining square root and cube root and discussed the science of astronomy in detail.
- Brahmagupta propounded the principle of Gravity.
- Dhanvantri was a famous Ayurvedic and surgical expert.
Comment on the Prayag Prashasti.
The famous poet Harisena lived in Samudragupta’s court. He described Samudragupta’s victorious compaigns in ‘Prayag Prashati’ inscriptions. This inscription is written on the same pillar on which Ashoka’s inscription is written. This is located in Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh.
This is an important historical source of the Gupta period. In ‘Prayag Prashasti’, Samudragupta has been described as ‘Kaviraj’, Shaming Guru Tumbru and Narada in singing and musical ability, donor of lakhs of cows, scholar of superior quality, preserver of knowledge and rampart of religion.
Describe the Kannauj Dharma Assembly in Harsha’s period.
Harsha organised an assembly at Kannauj in 643 CE. The objective of the assembly was to utilise Heium-Tsang’s presence to propagate and develop Buddhism in the country. Many rulers attended the assembly. 3000 Mahayana and Heenayana Buddhist monks, 3000 Brahmins and about 1000 Buddhist scholars from Nalanda university came to participate in the assembly.
This assembly continued for 23 days and Mahayana tenets were preached in it. Due to Harsha’s protection and efforts, Mahayana Buddhism spread out within and outside the country. He built Buddhist viharas and stupas and gave charity.
Comment on the Prayag Assembly convened in Harsha’s reign.
In 643 CE, Harsha convened the Prayag Assembly which was also called ‘Moksha Council. 18 royal friends of Harsha and Heiun – Tsang participated in this assembly. More than 5,00,000 people were present on this occasion. On the first day of the assembly, a Buddha statue was installed and innumerable clothes and precious articles were distributed among the people.
On the second and third day, the idols of the gods Surya and Shiva were honoured respectively. Buddhist monks were given charity on the fourth day and charity was given to Brahmins on the next day. Jain and other adherents of various faiths were given charity for ten days.
Mendicants of distant lands were given charity for many days. For the next one month, the poor, orphans, and handicapped people were given aid. All this was done in 75 days. In this way Harsha encouraged religious tolerance and harmony and spread the message of humanism.
What has Heiun – Tsang written about India ?
Heiun – Tsang was a Buddhist Chinese traveller who visited India during Harsha’s reign. He came to India with the objective of seeing Buddhist holy places and to study Buddhist treatiss. He gave the following description about India-
- Contemporary society was divided into Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra Varnas (castes). The first three castes were affluent. They paid more attention to cleanliness and lifestyle. Shudras were engaged in agriculture and service.
- The land was fertile and people were prosperous. Gold and silver coins and cowrie shells were generally used as currency. India had trade relations with China, Central Asia, and the west.
- The main objective of the religious life was obtaining enlightenment. The king and the subjects were tolerant of all religions. Idol worship was prevalant in all regions.
- The administrative system was based on welfare and benevolent principles. Crimes were few.
- Education was provided through Viharas and Gurukuls. Vedas were recited orally and the Brahmi script was prevalent.
Comment on Nalanda University.
Nalanda was a major education centre of India. Probably Gupta emperor Kumargupta I constructed it. Its fame was at its top during the Gupta and medieval periods. Students from the country and abroad came to gain education here. Admissions were made through an entrance test.
Teachers and students numbered more than 10,000. Here eaucation was given related to religion, science, industry, logic etc. There also existed a grand library. Ganamati, Sthiramati, Sheelbhadra were famous chancellors here.
Write a note on the local self-rule during the Chola rule ?
The most significant feature of Chola administration was local autonomy at the rural and urban levels. These were carried out by representative institutions-Ur, Sabha, Mahasabha and Nagaram. Their members had to have certain educational, economic, and moral qualifications. These elected members were called ‘Peru Makkal’.
Member committels called ‘Vaarium’, looked after irrigation facilities, land dislribution, land taxation, realisation of taxes, maintenance of temples, justice, administrative functions etc. Ur was an assembly of ordinary tax paying adults men, while only Brahmin members were allowed in Sabha and Mahasabha.
These institutions enjoyed internal autonomy and central interference was negligible. In fact villages were small republics. In this way Chola adminstration was a well organised and efficient one.
Write a note on Cholas’ central administration.
Chola adminstration had a monarchical and dynastic form. The king was the head of administration and many officials aided him in his duties. The Chola kings organised a huge army with a view to protect their empire and achieve conquests. It had three organs – Padati, Ashwarohi, and Gajarohi. The Chola rulers used their navy for both commercial and military purposes.
The main source of state revenue was land revenue. Probably the land tax was 1/3rd of the total crop production. Other sources of state revenue wer-trade, commerce, importexport, and irrigation taxes.
Write note on the development of Vijaynagar empire’s art.
The Vijaynagar rulers made praise worthy contributions to the development of architecture. Among the finest examples are the ‘Hazara temple’ built by Devarai II, and Vitthalswami temple’ built by Krishnadevarai. These temples are built in the Dravidian style of Chola period but with some special features.
First of all, in every temple’s mandapa, an additional ‘Kalyan mandap’ is built. The second special feature is seen in ‘Amman Mandir’. This was a separate temple in which the deity was the wife of the god.
Special emphasis was laid on the pillars of Gopurams and temples in their ornamentation. The diverse and intricate ornamentation of pillars is the most outstanding feature of Vijaynagar style of architecture.
Write a note on the development of Vijaynagar’s literature.
Among the literary creations of Vijaynagar, treatises related to religion, history, biographics, and poetry are available. Under the guidance of Sayana, a council of scholars wrote Bhashyas (commentaries) on all four Vedas, many Brahminical tomes and Aranyakas.
Under the patronage of Krishnadeva Rai, Ishwar Dixit wrote two commentaries on epic named ‘Hemkoot’. Agatsya composed many poems and poetic works, of these, on some, Krishnadeva’s minister Salua Timmar wrote commentaries. The greatest ruler of Vijaynagar, Krishnadeva Rai was a poet of superior calibre and fine writer, who had a scholarly knowledge of Sanskrit and Telugu languages.
Krishnadeva Rai also wrote a Sanskrit play ‘Jambavati Kalyanam’. Eight excellent Telugu poets lived in the court of Krishnadeva Rai. Also many poets received patronage in his court. Rajnath’s Saaluvabhiyuday’ and ‘Bhagwat Champu’ are especially notable in literature.
Write a note on Harsha’s administration:
Emperor Harsha himself was the axis of his administration. As a ruler, Harsha’s adminstration was dictatorial and autocratic but people enjoyed autonomy in their regions. A council of ministers was constituted to aid the emperor. It seemed that there was a wellorganised secretariat in the capital.
Harsha had 60,000 elephants and 1,00,000 horsemen. The foot army must have been much larger. Harsha’s empire was divided into Bhuktis, Vishyas etc. Provinces were divided into Bhuktis.
The taxes were – Bhaga, Hiranya and Bali. The emperor gained 1 / 6th part of production as tax. Criminals were exiled from cities to spend their lives in forests. For some crimes, monetary fine was imposed. Investigation and trials were also used to ascertain crimes. The government was a welfare system and the needs of government were few.
Write a note on the central administration of the Mauryas.
The king was the central power of the administration. All important and policy related decisions were taken by him. All the administrative, judicial, and executive powers were vested in the king.
A council of ministers played an advisory role to the king and it was selected and appointed on the basis of their descendents and ability by the king. There was an internal council which was called ‘Mantrin’. It included 3 – 4 members.
There were senior most state officials who were 18 in number. They were called “Teertha”. They oversaw the functions of the central department of these officials. The ‘Koshadhyaksha’, Karmantik’, ‘Samaharta’, ‘Purohit’, and ‘Senapati’ were the major ones. Additionally 27 chairmen (presidents) are mentioned in Arthshastra.
RBSE Class 12 History Chapter 2 Essay Type Questions
Write an article an Ashoka’s Dhamma.
The conduct code which Ashoka presented to unite various communities, castes, and cultures in a single entity, was called, ‘Dhamma’. The principles of Dhamma were acceptable to people related to all religious communities. The Main Principles of Dhamma
- Tolerance – Tolerance among common people, various idologies, religions and faiths.
- Non – violence – Propounding the principle of non – violence towards all creatures.
- Exhibiting hypocritical rituals / traditions – Religious rituals and offering sacrifices was called meaningless.
- Public welfare – Tree – plantation, wells and inns were built.
- High, pure morals – Emphasis was laid on high morals, pure conduct, good behaviour, and truthfulness.
Implementation of the policy of Dhamma – Ashoka took practical measures to propagate Dhamma.
For this, Ashoka not only gave up the policy of war but also understood and felt the problems, sorrows and needs of common people. He constrained bureaucrats to render instant justice and perform public works. He worked for public welfare and constructed roads, irrigation facilities, wells, inns etc. The objective of these public welfare works was to make Dhamma acceptable.
Evaluation of the policy of Dhamma – The basic principles of Dhamma were tolerance, non-violence, and moral conduct, which had been the basic elements of Indian culture since the very beginning, and their relevance remains even today. Ashoka’s successors on the throne accepted these principles, nevertheless, this policy could not bear absolute results after Ashoka’s death.
Elucidate the art and literature of Gupta period.
The zenith of India’s architecture, sculpture, painting etc. is observed in the Gupta period. The art of Gupta period is notable for its Indianisation, expression of beauty, expression of feelings and spirituality. Architecture – Gupta period temples show examples of ‘Nagar’ style.
Its general features were – Adhar Pitheeka’, ‘Garbhagriha’, ‘Sabha Mandap’, ‘Shikhar’, ‘Antaral’, ‘Pradakshina’ and sculptures of Ganga-Yamuna at the gates.
Sculpture – Mathura, Sarnath, and Patliputra were major centres of sculpture. Statues were made of metal, stone and clay. Sculpting was done in accordance with the classical laws. Buddha of Sultanganj, Mahavir of Mathura, Vishnu of Mathura and Deogarh, Varah sculptures of Aran and Udaigiri are fine examples of sculpture.
Painting – The best examples of Gupta paintings have been found in Ajanta and Bagh caves of Gwalior. Natural beauty, Buddha and Bodhisattva and descriptive scenes of Jatak tales are found in Ajanta paintings. Beautiful imagination, brillance of colours, beauty of lines, diversity of subject, richness of expression and skillful conveyance of thoughts make the paintings of Ajanta incomparable.
Literature – Literature made astounding progress in the Gupta period. Sanskrit language and complex ornamental style was developed. The Prashastis of Mehrauli and Prayag were created. Bhasha wrote, ‘Swapna – Vasavadutta’, Vishakhadutta wrote, “Mudra Rakshsas. kalidas wrote, “Abhijnana shakuntalam,’ and ‘Raghuvansham.’ Prakrit tomes were written in this period. Worldly literature was prolific in this period.
Evaluate Harsha as a patron of learning and education.
Harsha was a great patron of learning, education and religion. He spent half of his state revenue on preservation of religion, education, and literature. He convened a grand council in 643 CE at Kannauj. Buddhis, Brahmins, Jains and about 1000 Buddhist scholars from Nalanda university participated in this convention.
One – fourth of Harsha’s revenue was spent on intellectual persuits i.e., propagation of education and rewarding scholars. He gave his patronage to the author of ‘Mayurashatak? and ‘Suryashatak’, Maurya, the author of ‘Kadambari’ and ‘Harshcharita’-Banabhatta and also Bharathari, Matang, Devakar, etc. Harsha himself wrote, “Nagananda’,
‘Priyadarshika’, and ‘Ratnavali’ treatises. He gave away wealth and villages for spread of education. Nalanda university was the major centre of education. Harsha was the chief patron of Nalanda University. Vallabhi, many Gurukuls, Ashrams, and Viharas were other important centres of education. In this way Harsha attempted to raise the level of education and knowledge of his subjects.
Harsha patronised many scholars in the cause of knowledge and funded the spread of education. Therefore he is called a great preserver of religion and knowledge. All the scholars praised Harsha as a great warrior, empire – maker, able administrator, benevolent and knowledge loving ruler. In his time, the Vedas were recited orally and the Brahmi script was prevalent.
Discuss the art and literature during Chola period.
The Cholas were great lovers of art and prolific builders. They built grand palaces, artificial lakes, large dams, beautiful cities, sculptures of metal and stone and grand temples. Architecture The main contribution of Chola architecture is temple construction. These temples were built in the Dravidian style. The great Chola rulers took Dravidian architecture to
its pear during their reign. The main features of the temples built by them were-huge and square vimana, a large courtyard in the centre, ornamental Gopuram, Mandapa, lion, traditional brackets for inner decoration and use of joint pillars etc. The Rajarajeshwar or Brihadeshwar temple built by Rajaraja I at Tanjore is considered to be the epitome of Chola architectural excellence.
Sculpture – Alongwith architecture, the Chola craftsmen were skilled in the art of metal-casting. The fine examples of metal – craft and sculpting in this period are the stone, bronze and octal metal statues of Brahma, Vishnu, Nataraj, Kings queens etc. Apart from Shiva statues, bronze statues of other Shaivite goods like Parvati, Shankar, Kartikeya and Ganesha etc. were made.
Painting – Chola painting was a developed form of the pallava -pandey branch. In the wall paintings, the religious paintings done on the walls of Brihadeshwar temple were influenced by the Ajanta paintings. Pictures of Shiva, Kailash, Nandi etc. were made. Excellent examples of painting are found in Thanjavur.
Literature – The Chola rulers were patrons of eudcation and literature. Temples and Gram Mahasabhas were centres of education and learning. Tamil and Sanskrit languages were prevalent. Tamil had royal patronage. Kamban wrote a book named ‘Ramavatara’. Kamban lived in the court of Kolottunga III. Jayangondar wrote a treatise ‘Kalitunga Parni’. He was the court poet of Chola ruler Kolottunga I.
Shekkillaar’s ‘Priyapuranam’ and ‘Pulagendis’s ‘Nalabemba’ were important literary creations. The other important creations included religious treatises – Tirutatondapuram’ by Priya Purnam or Shekhara; Nandi’s Tiruvillaiyadal Purnam’, Amudnaar’s ‘Ramanuj Nurandadi’, ‘Tirukadevar’s, “Shivakoshindamani’ etc., and Buddhimitra’s Virasolium’, Pabandi’s ‘Nannore’ etc. were the major grammar tomes.
Explain the achievements of Krishnadeva Rai.
Krishnadeva Rai was the greatest king of Tuluv Dynasty. He reigned from 1509 CE to 1529 CE. In his rule, Vijayanagar was at the peak of its power and grandeur. At this time the condition of the kingdom was not satisfactory. However, within ten years of his constant efforts, Krishnadeva Rai resolved all the problems. He was usually successful in his military compaigns.
He defeated the ruler of Bidar and Bijapur, Sultan Mahmud Shah and Yusuf Adil Shah. He freed the Bahmani ruler Sultan Mahmud Shah from Barid and put him on the throne, and assumed the title of Yavan Raj Sthapanacharya’. By 1520 CE, Krishnadeva Rai defeated all his enemies and proved his valour.
He established his supremacy in South India. He established friendly relations with the Portuguese. In his time, many Portuguese merchants and travellers came to Vijayanagar. He permitted the Portuguese to build a fort in Bhatkal.
Krishnadeva Rai was a great scholar of Telugu. Eight best scholars of Telugu lived in his court. In architecture, he founded a new city named Nagalpur and built temples named Hazara and Vitthalswami.
RBSE Class 12 History Chapter 2 Other Important Questions
RBSE Class 12 History Chapter 2 Multiple Choice Questions
Who was Kautilya ?
(c) Chief Minister
When did Chandragupta Maurya establish the Maurya Empire ?
(b) 319 CE
(c) 322 CE
(d) 312 CE
When did the war between Chandragupta Maurya and Seleucus take place ?
(a) 305 CE
(b) 307 CE
(c) 302 CE
(d) 300 CE
Who wrote the book ‘INDICA’?
(b) Chandragupta Maurya
Which kingdom did Selucus rule over ?
(d) None of these
Who became the heir of Chandragupta Maurya ?
(d) None of these
In which year did Ashoka ascend the throne of Maurya empire ?
(a) 261 CE
(b) 250 CE
(c) 273 CE
(d) 278 CE
Who got victory over Kalinga ?
(a) Chandragupta Maurya
In which year did Ashoka get victory over Kalinga ?
(a) 273 CE
(b) 258 CE
(c) 261 CE
(d) 230 CE
Which of the following principles is not related to Dhamma?
(a)Non – Violence
(b) Public welfare
Into how many regions was the Maurya empire divided ?
Who founded the Gupta Dynasty ?
(b) Sri Gupta
Who started the Gupta Samvat?
(a) Chandragupta I
(b) Chandragupta Maurya
(c) Chandragupta Vikramaditya
Which Gupta ruler had to face the aggression of the Hunas during his reign ?
(b) Sri Gupta
(c) Chandragupta I
Who re – constructed the Sudarshan lake?
Which ruler’s victorious campaigns does Harisena’s ‘Prayag Prashasti’ describe ?
(d) Chandragupta I
During the reign of which Gupta ruler, did Fa – hien come to India ?
(c) Chandragupta II
Who has written ‘Mudrarakshasa’?
(b) Vishnu Sharma
Which emperor is called ‘the Nepolean of India’?
(b) Chandragupta Vikramaditya
Which dynasty did Harsha belong to?
(a) Maurya dynasty
(c) Kushan dynasty
(d) Pushyabhuti dynasty
Which inscription describes the war between Harsha and Pulkeshin II ?
(a) Aihole Prashasti
(b) Prayag Prashasti
(c) Junagarh inscription
(d) None of these
Which country did Heiun – Tsang belong to?
(d) None of these
Who is the author of ‘Harshacharita’?
Who was the court poet of Harsha ?
(d) None of these
Who was the last ruler of Sangam Dynasty ?
(a) Veerupaksha II
(b) Devarai II
(c) Devarai I
(d) None of these
In 1279 CE, who took control of the Chola kingdom and ended it ?
(a) The Cheras
(b) The Pandyas
(c) The Pratiharas
(d) The Hunas
What was Nadu in the Chola administration ?
(c) Jila (district)
(d) Group of villages
How many tarangas does ‘Rajatarangini’ contain ?
In which language composed is ‘Rajatarangini’ composed ?
In which year was the battle of Talikota fought ?
(a) 1662 CE
(b) 1550 CE
(c) 1565 CE
(d) 1560 CE
1. (c), 2. (c), 3. (a), 4. (d), 5. (a), 6. (a), 7. (c), 8. (c), 9. (c), 10. (c), 11. (d),
12. (b), 13. (a), 14. (d), 15. (c), 16. (b), 17.(c), 18. (a), 19. (d), 20.(d), 21. (d),
22. (b), 23. (b), 24. (a), 25. (a), 26. (b), 27. (c), 28. (c), 29. (c), 30. (c).
RBSE Class 12 History Chapter 2 Very Short Answer Type Questions
Which dynasty was founded by Chandragupta Maurya and when ?
Chandragupta Maurya founded the Maurya Dynasty in 322 CE.
Who was the last ruler of Nanda Dynasty ?
Ghanananda was the last ruler of Nanda dynasty.
What has Ashoka been named in scriptures ?
Ashoka has been named as ‘Devanampriya’, ‘Devanapriyadarshi’ and king in scriptures.
Which two cities did Ashoka found during his reign ?
Ashoka founded Srinagar at Vitasta river in Kashmir and Lalitpattan in Nepal.
When did Ashoka get victory over Kalinga?
Ashoka got victory over Kalinga in about 261 BCE.
Who was the last ruler of the Maurya Empire ?
Brihadratha was the last ruler of the Maurya Empire.
Who founded Shunga Dynasty and when ?
Pushyamitra Shunga founded the Shunga dynasty in 184 BCE.
What is ‘Dhamma’?
The conduct code which Ashoka presented to unite various communities, castes, and cultures in a single entity was called ‘Dhamma’.
Who is the author of ‘Arthshastra’?
Kautilya is the author of Arthshastra.
Into how many regions was the Maurya Empire divided ? Name the regions.
The Maurya Empire was divided into four regions. These were – Uttarapath, Dakshinapath, Avantipath, and Madhyaprant.
Name two great emperors of the Gupta period.
Two great emperors of Gupta period were – Samudragupta and Chandragupta Vikramaditya.
Who founded Gupta Dynasty and When ?
Sri Gupta founded Gupta Dynasty in 240 CE.
Who founded Samvat Era and When ?
Chadragupta I founded the Samvat Era in 319 CE.
How many kings of Dakshinapath were defeated by Samudragupta ?
Samudragupta defeated twelve kings of Dakshinapath.
Mention any two achievements of Chandragupta II.
1. Chandragupta II extended the Gupta empire upto the Arabian sea and conquered the Saurashtra peninsula.
2. By making Ujjain his second capital, he increased the sea trade of the empire and the resources of Gujarat region.
Who was the founder of Nalanda University ?
Kumargupta was the founder of Nalanda University.
Which lake was re – constructed by Skandagupta ?
Sudarshan lake was re – constructed by Skandagupta.
During which Gupta ruler’s reign did the Hunas invade ?
The Hunas invaded during the Gupta emperor Skandagupta’s reign.
Name any two texts or granthas written by Kalidas.
Who propounded ‘Brahmafut Siddhanta’ and the Principle of Gravity’
Brahamgupta propounded ‘Brahmafut Siddhanta’ and the ‘principle of Gravity.
Who propounded Vaisheshik Darshan’ and ‘Anu Siddhanta’ in the Gupta era ?
Kanad rishi propounded ‘Vaisheshik Darshan’ and ‘Anu Siddhanta’ in Gupta era.
Which Gupta ruler was the first to issue coins ?
Chandragupta I was the first Gupta ruler to issue coins.
Name the main commercial cities of the Gupta era ?
Ujjain, Bharuch, Vidisha, Prayag, Vaishali, Tamralipti, Mathura, Ahichhatra, Kaushambi etc. were main commercial cities of Gupta era.
With which countries did, India have trading relations during the Gupta period ?
During the Gupta period India had its trading relations with China, Sri Lanka, Persia, Arabia, Ethiopia, Byzantine (Roman Empire) and islands of Indian Ocean.
Who was Fa – hien ? When did he come to India ?
Fa – hien was a Chinese traveller who came to India in 399 CE during the reign of Chandragupta II.
When did Harsha ascend the throne ?
Harsha ascended the throne in 606 CE.
Which titles did emperor Harshvardhan adopt ?
Emperor Harshvardhana adopted various titles asParambhattarak, Maharajadhiraja, Sakalettaraishwara, Ekadhikara, Chakravarti, Sarvabhauma, Parmeshwara etc.
In which year did Harsha convene the Kannauj Assembly ?
Harsha convened the Kannauj Assembly in 643 CE.
Name any two plays written by Harsha.
Nagananda, and Ratnavali.
Name any two texts or granthas written by Banabhatta.
Kadambari, and Harshacharita.
Name two major centres of education during Harsha’s reign.
- Nalanda University,
- Vallabhi University.
Name any two scholars belonging to Harsha’s period.
Banabhatta, and Jaisena.
Who was Heiun – Tsang ? Why did he come to India ?
Heiun – Tsang was a Chinese Buddhist traveller. He came to India to see the Buddhist places in India and to study Buddhist texts (granthas).
What was the agriculture tax during Harsha’s reign ?
Agriculture tax during Harsha’s reign was 1 / 6th of the production.
Who is considered the second founder of the Chola Empire ?
Vijayalaya is considered the second founder of the Chola Empire.
Who was the last ruler of the Chola Empire ?
Rajendra III was the last ruler of the Chola Empire.
Into how many parts was the army during the Chola Empire was divided ?
It was divided into three parts – Padati, Ashwarohi and Gajarohi. Besides this the Chola rulers had a powerful navy also.
Which were the main ports during the Chola empire ?
Main Chola ports were – Mahabalipuram, and Kaveri Pattanam.
How much was the land tax during the Chola rule ?
It was 1 / 3rd of the production.
What were the provinces called in the Chola administration ?
Provinces were called “Mandalam” in the Chola administration.
What are the main achievements of the Chola Dynasty ?
The main achievements of the Chola Dynasty are its local administration, navy, Tamil texts, (gramthas), huge temples and idols etc.
Who is the author of Rajatarangini ?
Kalhad is the author of Rajatarangini.
What is the literal meaning of Rajatarangini ?
The literal meaning of Rajatarangini is – the river of kings – which implies, the history or passage of time of the kings.
Name the river at whose was Vijayanagar located.
Vijayanagar was located at the coast of river Tungabhadra.
Who founded Vijayanagar empire and when ?
The two brothers named Harihar and Bukka founded Vijayanagar empire in 1336
Who was the last ruler of Sangam Dynasty ?
Veerupaksha II was the last ruler of Sangam dynasty.
Which dynasty did Krishnadeva Rai belong to ?
Krishnadeva Rai belonged to Tuluv Dynasty.
Who called Kumargupta by the name of Shakraditya ?
Heiun – Tsang called Kumargupta by the name of Shakraditya.
What was ‘Moksha Council’?
Harsha organised Prayag Assembly in 643 CE is Prayag, which was also called “Moksha Council.
What were the most trusted bodyguards of king called during the Chola period ?
They were called Valaikkor.
RBSE Class 12 History Chapter 2 Short Answer Types Questions
What are the sources of history of the Maurya empire ?
The main sources of history of the Maurya empire are – Kautilya’s Arthashastra, Vishakhadutta’s Mudrarakshas, Somdeva’s Kathasaritsagar, Kshemendra’s Brihatkathamanjari, Deepvansh, Mahavansh Teeka, Bhadrabahu’s Kalpasutra, accounts of the Greek travellers i.e., Strabo, Justin, Plutarch etc. and of Chinese travellers i.e., Fa – hien, Hieun – Tsang, It – sing.
The Junagarh rock inscriptions of Rudraman, and Ashoka’s rock inscriptions, which have been found in archaeological excavations are also such sources.
How did Chandragupta found Maurya Dynasty ? And which places did its borders touch to ?
Chandragupta Maurya defeated the last Nanda ruler, Ghanananda in 322 BCE and laid the foundation of Maurya dynasty. He conquered whole of India with an army of 6 lakh. He freed north west India from the successors of Alaxander, destroyed the Nanda dynasty, defeated seleucus and forced him to sign a treaty and established an empire.
Its touched Iran in the north-west, present day north Karnataka in the south and from Magadha in the East to Saurashtra in the west.
What were the provisions of the treaty between Chandragupta and Seleucus after the war between them ?
The provisions of the treaty were
- Seleucus married his daughter to Chandragupta.
- Seleucus gifted Aairia,, Arakosia, Jedrosia and Peripamisdai to Chandragupta as dowry.
- Chandragupta gifted 500 elephants to Seleucus.
- Seleucus sent Megasthenes as his ambassador to Chandragupta Maurya’s court. Megasthenese later wrote ‘INDICA’.
Write a short note on Chandragupta Maurya.
Chandragupta Maurya was a skilled warrior, general and a great conqueror, apart from being an able adminstrator. He built up such an administrative system with the help of his Chief Minister Kautilya, as was suitable for those situations and period.
In the final stage of his life, he adopted Jainism under the guidance of Jain Muni Bhadrabahu and fasted to death on Chandragiri hill in Shravanbelagola of Mysore (Karnataka) in around 298 BCE.
]What do you know about Bindusara ? Describe him briefly.
Chandragupta Maurya’s son, Bindusara, ascended the throne of Maurya empire in 298 BCE. He was named ‘Amitrochedras’ by Greek scholars. Bindusara’s Fleet was called ‘Amitraghata’ or destroyer of enemies. Strabo called him Alitrochadus.
Bindusara strengthened and consolidated the territories annexed by his father. ‘Divyavaadan’ describes the two revolts which occurred in Taxila during Bindusara’s reign. Bindusara sent his son Ashoka and then Susheem to supress the uprising.
According to strabo, Greek ruler Antiocus I sent his ambassdor ‘Dimachus’ to Bindusara’s court. Bindusara requested Antiocus I to send him wine, dried figs and a philosopher. During his reign, Egyptian king Philadelphus (Ptolemy II) sent an ambassador named Dionyrus to Patliputra.
When was Ashoka coronated ? What has he been named in the scriptures?
Ashoka was formally coronated around 269 BCE, though he ascended the throne in of Magadha in 273 BCE. He has been named ‘Devanampriya’, ‘Devarnapriyadarshi’ and king in scriptures. The name Ashoka is seen in the Maski inscriptions.
When and why did Ashoka invade Kalinga?
Ashoka invaded Kalinga around 261 BCE. Hathigumpha edicts reveal that probably Kalinga was ruled by a king named Nandraj and Kalinga’s capital at that time was Toshali. Ashoka wanted to integrate the whole India in a single entity.
Kalinga was famed for its elephants, trade and commerce. Being located on the coastline, it was strategically important for foreign trade. Therefore Ashoka invaded Kalinga to get victory over it.
What was the result of Ashoka’s victory over Kalinga ?
In the battle of Kalinga, 1 lakh people were killed and 1.5 lakh taken captive. This terrible bloodshed tormented Ashoka. He made a proclamation, giving up the policy of war. He now abandoned the warcry to take up Dhamma cry. After getting victory over Kalinga, Ashoka’s heart was completely changed.
After that, he dedicated all his life to religious activities and to the welfare of his subjects. He embraced the public welfare ideal of Kautilya. He was the only such ruler who laid emphasis on the spiritual and moral upliftment of his subjects alongwith production capacities. He integrated India with one religion, one language and usually one script.
What were the principles of Ashoka’s Dhamma ? What did he do for its implementation ?
The main principles of Ashoka’s ‘Dhamma’ were:
- Tolerance – Tolerance among common people, among various ideologies, religious faith etc.
- Non – Violence – Propounding the principle of non – violence towards all creatures.
- Exhibiting hyporitical rituals/traditions-Religious rituals and offering sacrifices was called meaningless.
- Public Welfareb – Tree plantation, wells and inns were built.
- High, pure morals-Emphasis was laid on high morals, pure conduct, good behaviour, and truthfulness.
For its implementation, Ashoka not only gave up the policy of war but also understood the problems, sorrows and needs of common people. He sent Dhamma commissions to various places. He appointed Dhamma ‘Mahamatras’ and fixed their duties. He propagated Dhamma in foreign lands also.
Why could the policy of Dhamma not fructify ? Or Why could Dhamma not flourish after Ashoka ?
The policy of Dhamma could not bear absolute results after Ashoka’s death. The reasons for this were
- Weak rulers, political uncertainty and insecurity of the borders after Ashoka’s death.
- The later rulers could not grasp Ashoka’s visionary acumen.
- The Dhamma ‘Mahamatrats’ misused their unrestricted powers to interfere in the routine life of people in an unwarranted manner.
- Societal standoff continued, giving rise to communal conflicts, since the problem lay in the roots of the system.
Ashoka’s Dhamma is relevant even today. Comment.
The conduct code which Ashoka presented to unite various communities, castes and cultures in a single entity, was called ‘Dhamma’. Among the fundamental principles of Dhamma, Ashoka laid the greatest emphasis on tolerance.
Serving one’s parents, respect to teachers, preachers, proper behaviour towards extension of religious concept, restraint in speech and equality in income was emphasised in Ashoka’s edicts.
His principle of nonviolence implied abandoning conquest through war and violence, opposing killing of animals. These ideals or values are universal and immortal in all ages. These don’t belong to any specific age, nation, religion etc. Such ideals are mentioned in Indian culture also. Hence Ashoka’s Dhamma is relevant even today.
What do you know about ‘Prayag Prashasti’?
‘Prayag Prashati’ is also known as The Prayag Pillar Inscription. It is located in Allahabad in Uttar Predesh. Prayag Prashasti was written by the famous poet Harisena, who was the court poet of Samudragupta. In Prayag Prashasti, he has described Samudragupta’s victorious campaigns.
In it, Samudragupta has been described as ‘Kaviraj’, shaming Guru Tumbru and Narada in singing and musical ability, donor of lakhs of cov: 3, scholar of superior quality, preserver of knowledge and rampart of religion.
Describe the achievements of Chandragupta II.
Among all the kings of Gupta dynasty, Chandragupta II was considered to be the greatest king due to his supreme valour. His main achievements can be described as follows:
- He consolidated his position using marital relations. He himself married Kuber Naga of Naga dynasty and princess of Kadamaba dynasty. He married his daughter, 42 Prabhavati to the Vakataka ruler Rudrasena II. This way, he received the friendship and protection of influential rulers.
- By making Ujjain his second capital, he increased the sea trade of the empire and the resources of Gujarat region.
- His court boasted of scholars like Kalidas and Amar Singh.
- He minted special coins of silver to commemorate his victory over the Shakas.
- Chinese traveller Fa – hien came to India during his reign.
Skandagupta was one of the greatest Gupta rulers. Explain.
Skandgupta ruled from 455 CE to 467 CE. As soon as he ascended on the throne, he had to face the aggression of the Hunas named ‘Malechcha’. He protected the Gupta empire from the terrible threat of external enemies, Pushyamitras, and Húnas invasions by defeating them.
He lent stability and organisation to the empire. He repelled the attacks of Vakatakas and Naga rulers and conquered their territories to preserve the empire and expand its extent. He established a strong administrative system to stablise his kingdom.
He faced these threats with courage and patience and became successful. He was able to keep his empire intract from the Arabian sea to the Bay of Bengal. Hence his judicious rule, his bravery in battles, his love for his country made him one of the greatest Gupta rulers.
What were the sources of revenue in Gupta period ?
In Gupta period, land revenue was the main source of state income. The following taxes have been mentioned in the literature of that period. Bhaga – 1 / 6th part of crop production that went to the king. Bhoga – Tax given to the king in the form of fruits – flowers.
Uparikar and Udranga – These were forms of land taxes. In Gupta period, land tax could be paid both in cash (Hiranya) and food grains (Meya) and land, gems, mines and salt etc. were important sources of state revenue. Land revenue varied from 1/4th to 1/6th of the total crop production.
What has Fa – hien written about India in his description ?
Fa – hien described India’s economic, religious, political and social conditions in great detail. He has written that the life of common people was simple and non – violent. Buddhism was prospering in bordering states, while it was losing its prominence in its major places of origin.
Religious quality existed in the society. The people were happy and taxes were not excessive. Penal system was lenient and crime was negligible. There was no fear of theives and robbers.
The king did not interfere in the personal matters of his subjects. Famous cities of Shravasti, Vaishali, Kaushambi were on a decline, and in their place, commercial cities like Ujjain, Kannauj etc. had become prosperous and trade was developed.
How did Harsha expend his empire ?
In 606 CE, Harshvardhan became the ruler of Thaneshwar and reigned till 647 CE. He conquered almost whole or North India and expanded his empire. He firstly carried out campaigns against Gaure of Bengal, when Shashanka was its ruler. He defeated Vallabhi ruler Dhruvasena II Baladitya between 630 CE and 633 CE, which was a pre – stage of his war with the Chalukyas.
Later he forged marital relations with Vallabhi. During his reign of 41 years, Harsha annexed the distant land i.e., Jalandhar, Kashmir, Nepal, Vallabhi, Malwa, Sindh. Frontier regions and Assam- United provinces of Bihar, Bengal, Orissa, Central India and Rajputana were also under his rule.
What was Harsha’s policy towards his subordinate rulers ?
The subordinate rulers under Harsha assumed the titles of Bhupal, Kumara, Lokpal, Nripati, Samanta, Mahasmanta and Maharaja. These subordinate rulers paid taxes to Harsha, aided him militarily and attended his royal court. Harsha not only gave them protection but also adminstrative autonomy.
The main subordinate rulers were – Dhruvasena II of Vallabhi, Bhaskar – Varman of Kamarup, Purraveraman of Magadha, Udit of Jalandhar, and later Gupta ruler Madhavgupta.
Explain the economic condition of India during Harsha’s reign with reference to Heium-Tsang’s description.
Heiun – Tsang was a Buddhist Chinese traveller who visited India during Harsha’s rule. About the economic condition during Harsha’s reign, he wrote – the land was fertile and people were prosperous. Gold and silver coins and cowrie shells were generally used as currency. The business of textile manufacturing was developed. Shreni system was prevalent in the society.
Cities like Tamralipti, Bharuch, Pataliputra etc. were commercial centres. India had trade relations with China, Central Asia and the west. Textiles and spices were exported and horses, gold and silver were major items of import. Agricultural tax was 1/6th of the total production.
Who was the most important ruler among the early Chola kings ? What were his achievements ?
Karaikal was the most important among the early Chola kings. Some of his main achievements are as follows:
- This imperialist ruler defeated the joint armies of Valeri and eleven other rulers at a place Vanni and gained fame.
- He defeated the combined armies of nine small rulers of Vahepparandlai.
- He founded ‘Puhar Pattam (Kaveri Pattanam) at the bank of river Kaveri.
- He had a powerful navy and was probably the greatest and mightiest ruler of the Sangam age.
Which title did Rajendra I assume and why ?
Rajendra I ascended the Chola throne in around 1014 CE. He was an able ruler like his father Rajaraja I. In Kalinga, the Chola armies defeated the Eastern Ganga ruler Madhukamanarva. In eastern India’s Bengal, he defeated the ruler Mahipala.
Upon the success of his Gangetic Valley campaign, he assumed the title of ‘Gangekonda Chola’. And to commemorate this conquest, he built his new capital ‘Gange Kondacholapuram’ on the bank of river Kaveri.
Describe the military organisation in the Chola period.
The Chola kings organised a huge army with a view to protect their empire and achieve conquests. It had three organs – Padati, Ashwarohi, and Gajarohi. In the chola standing army; soldiers like foot soldiers, elephant soldiers, and cavalry (horse) soldiers etc. were included.
The elephant army was called ‘Kunjer – Mallar’, the horse army was called ‘Kudiraichaivagar’, the archers were called ‘Billigarh’, the spearmen were called ‘Saigundar’. The Cholas had formed a powerful naval force also. They used their naval force for both commercial and military purposes. Rajaraja I used his navy to conquer Sri Lanka, Maldweep and Lakshadweep and expanded his empire.
Explain the judicial system of the Chola empire.
In the Chola empire, the king was the highest judge of the land. The king ministered justice with the help of ‘Dharmasanabhatt a Brahmin scholar having knowledge of Smriti Shastra. Regular legal codes were made for justice and courts were set up.
Gram Panchayats had provision of a ‘Jatiya Panchayat. On minor issues, local corporations handed down judicial decisions. In Chola penal system, there was provision for both monetary penalities as well as social ostracisation. Generally monetary penalties had to be given in form of Kaashu (gold coins).
What were the sources of state income in Chola empire ?
In Chola empire, the main source of state income was land revenue. Before fixing land taxes, the land was surveyed, categorized and measured. Contemporary inscriptions tell us that the length of Rajaraja I’s and Kulottungas leg became the unit of measuring the extent of land. Land tax for agriculture was fixed after ascertaining soil fertility and annnual crop rotation. Probably the land tax was 1 / 3rd of the total crop production.
Apart from land tax, the other taxes in Chola empire were – Aayam (revenue tax), Manairai (house-tax), Kadhairai (tax levied on business institutions), Maganmai (trade tax), Aajeevikashu (livelihood tax). Other sources of state income were trade, commerce, import – export and irrigation taxes.
The Cholas were great lovers of art and prolific builders. Illustrate.
The great Chola rulers took Dravidian architecture to its peak during their regin. They built grand palaces, artificial lakes, large dams, beautiful cities, sculptures of metal and stone and grand temples.
The main features of the temples built by them were huge and square Vimana, a large courtyard in the centre, ornamental Gopuram, Mandapa, lion, traditional brackets for inner decoration and use of joint pillars etc.
The Sundareshwar temple of Tirukattalai and Vijayalaya Choleswar temple are famous temples of early Chola period. Other major temples areRajaraja’s Brihadeshwar temple, Rajendra I’s Gangaikonda Cholapuram, and Koranganath, Erateshwar etc.
Write a note on the Rajarajeshwar or Brihadeshwar temple located in Tanjore.
The Brihadeshwar temple was built by Rajaraja I at Tanjore. It is deemed as the epitome of Chola architectural excellence. The absolute advancement of Dravidian style is observed in the construction of this temple. This was built in the period between 1003 CE to 1111 CE.
The rectangular courtyard of this temple is 160 metre long and 80 metre wide. The most attractive feature of the temple is the 60 metre high Vimana built atop the sanctum sanctorum to the west and the pyramidical 3.50 metre high Shikhar built a top it. Percy Brown has termed the Vimana of this temple as ‘Summit of Indian architecture’.
What do you know about the Chola literature ? Mention the names of the important literary creations of Chola literature.
The Chola rulers were patrons of education and literature. Temples and Gram Mahasabhas were centres of education and learning. Tamil and Sanskrit languages were prevalent. Tamil had royal patronage. The linguist Vaikat Madhav wrote sanskrit treatises on Ramanuja, Yamunacharya and Rigveda.Kamban wrote a book named ‘Ramavatara’. Kamban lived in the court of Kolottunga III.
His reign is known as the golden period of Tamil literature. Jayangondar wrote ‘Kalitunga Parni.’ Shekhillaar’s ‘Pariyapuranam’ and Pulagendi’s Nalabemba’ are important literary creations. Other important literary creations were Tirutatondapurnam’ by Priya Purnam (Shekhara), Nandi’s “Tiruvillaiyadal Purnam’, Amudnaar’s ‘Ramanuj Nurandadi’, “Tirukadevar’s ‘Shivakoshindamani’ etc.
When did Kalhad compose Rajatarangini, and what was its objective ?
Kalhan composed Rajatarangini between 1147 CE to 1149 CE during the reign of last Lohar dynasty ruler, Jaisingh. Kalhad’s Rajatarangini is considered to be the first authentic treatise of the history of India. Kalhad composed Rajatarangini to fulfill various objectives which can be mentioned as follows:
- Kalhan wanted to provide information about ancient royal dynasties.
- Entertainment of the readers and learning from the past.
- He wanted to describe the entire geneology of the dynasties which ruled ever Kashmir.
- The uncertainity and chaos which prevailed in those times, motivated Kalhad to compose this.
- He intended to reveal the mortality of wordly life and physical luxury.
- He wanted people to learn from the mistakes of the past.
How was Vijaynagar Empire founded ?
Vijaynagar Empire was founded by two brothers named Harihar and Bukka in 1336 CE, A revolt began in kampili province in 1334 CE, during the reign of Muhammadbin – Tughlaq. To supress the revolt, Harihara and Bukka were sent along with an army to south India.
Upon reaching there, they established an independent state and re – embraced Hinduism. Later, under favourable conditions, both brothers took the blessings of saint Vidyaranya, and founded Vijaynagar empire. Vidyaranya was the saint who initiated Harihara and Bukka into the Hindu faith and motivated them to create an independent Hindu state.
Who were the main rulers of Sangam Dynasty ?
The dynasty founded by Harihar and Bukka was named Sangam dynasty. The main rulers of Sangam dynasty were
- Harihara I – Harihara I was the first ruler of Sangam dynasty. He ruled from 1336 CE to 1356 CE. He shifted his capital from Anagonadi to a new city, Vijaynagar.
- Bukka I – He was the brother of Harihara I. He ruled from 1356 CE to 1377 CE. He assumed the title of Vedmarg Pratishthapak’.
- Harihara II – He was the son of Bukka. He ruled from 1379 CE to 1406 CE. He assumed the titles of Maharajadhiraja’ and ‘Rajaparmeshwara’.
- Devarai I – He ruled from 1406 CE to 1422 CE. He arranged irrigation facilities by constructing dam on Tungabhadra river and taking out canals from it.
- Devarai II – He was among the greatest rulers of this dynasty. He ruled from 1426 CE to 1446 CE. He was also called ‘Emadidevarai.
- Veerupaksha II – He ruled from 1465 CE to 1485 CE. In his reign, the Vijayanagar empire came to the brink of disintegration. After his death Saluv Narsingh ascended Vijaynagar’s throne.
RBSE Class 12 History Chapter 2 Essay Type Questions
Why is Ashoka called Ashoka the Great?
Ashoka is called Ashoka the great because of his great deeds and policies. He gave a new direction to the Maurayan empire through his policies. He was a visionary who tried to analyse contemporary problems and resolve them. Some of his policies are as relevant today as they were in those times. His following works made him the great.
1. As a Fatherly figure – Ashoka gave the principle of welfare state and made public welfare the most important objective of his rule. He had deep concern for his people. He embraced the public welfare ideal of Kautilya.
Tree plantation, agriculture, irrigation, construction of wells, and inns etc. were done and employment opportunities were provided by him. He called his subjects his children.
2. Policy of Dhamma – To unite various communities, castes, cultures in a single entity; he initiated the policy of Dhamma. Its objective was spiritual and moral upliftment of the public.
3. Direct Contacts with the Subjects – Ashoka was the only ruler in history who had direct contacts with the subjects of his state. He prepared a contract for the king, people and bureaucracy by propounding Dhamma. He worked for public welfare.
4. Emphasis on economic development – Ashoka encouraged social, political, economic and unity and development which strengthened internal relations.
He improved economic and infrastructural framework vastly and strengthened the state economically and socially which is relevant even today. His objetive was to build a strong and welladministered nation.
5. National Integration – Ashoka integrated India with one religion, one language, and usually one script. He taught the lesson of religious tolerence to the entire world.
6. A Uniform Civil Code – Ashoka implemented a uniform civil code and criminal code and established the rule of social justice and law. Ashoka lent dynamism to the weaker sections of society for the propagation of physical, cultural and peaceful co – existence; expanded agricutural land and employed war prisoners in forest, and mines. He made rural development his objective and paid more attention to it.
He made foreign policy very relevant. Due to his activities, the purchasing power of common people increased. Hence, Ashoka’s concern towards his public, towards his nation, made him a great ruler.
Write an essay on the Mauryan administration.
The administrative structure under the Mauryan administration can be presented as follows, Central Administration:
The king – The king was the central power of the administrative system. All important and policy related decisions were taken by the king himself. All administrative, judicial, and executive powers were vested in the king.
Council of ministers -A council of ministers played an advisory role to the king and it was selected and appointed on the basis of their desendence and ability.
Officers – These were the senior most state officials who were 18 in number. They were called ‘Teertha’. Koshadhyaksha, Karmantik, Samaharta, Purohit and Senapati were the major officials.
Regional Administration – The Mauryan empire was divided into four regionsUttarpath, Dakshinapath, Avantipath, and Madhya Pranta. Provinces were further divided, into ‘Aahar’ or ‘vis’ which were headed by Vispati’.
City Administration – There were 6 committees of 5 members each. According to Arthshastra, ‘Nagrak’ was the head of city administration and ‘Gopa’ and ‘Sthanik’ were his assisting officials.
District and Rural Regions – Pradehsti, Rajuk and Yukta were responsible for administration of land, justice and accounting functions. Gramik was the rural level officer. Gopa and Sthanik were the intermediaries between districts and villages.
Justice Religion, conduct, character and state rule were the sources of judicial code. Dharmasthiya, and Kantak Shodhak court settled civil and criminal cases respectively.
Judicial council system was well – developed and the king was the highest judge. Rajuk, Vyavaharik etc. were some of the main judicial officers. Sangrahan and Dronamukha were local and district level courts. Penal system was very harsh.
The Army – Senapati was the highest officer of the armed forces.
The army had six divisions – foot soldiers, horse cavalry, elephants, chariots, transport and naval force. Committees of 5 members each oversaw these forces. Chaturangbal was the main organ of the army. Nayaka led the army in battles.
An elaborate network of spies was also set up. It kept close watch on the activities of common people to ministers. Spies were called ‘Sanstha’ and ‘Sanchaar’.
Revenue Administration – Samaharta was the chief officer of revenue system. Durg, Rashtra, Vraja, Setu, forests, mines, import – export were main sources of revenue collection. Sannidhata was the chief officer of the treasure.
Briefly introduce the main rulers of Gupta dynasty.
Gupta period was the golden period of the history of ancient India. It was an era of peace and system. Economic life, science and technology, arts, all flourished in Gupta period. The main rulers of Gupta dynasty can be introduced as follows :
Sri Gupta – He ruled from 240 CE to 280 CE. He has been described as the founding ruler of the Gupta dynasty. He assumed the title of Maharaja. He was not an independent, sovereign ruler but possibly a feudal lord under some rule.
Ghatotkacha – He ruled from 280 CE to 319 CE. He assumed the title of Maharaja. His kingdom was limited to regions around Magadha.
Chandragupta 1 – He ruled from 319 CE to 335 CE. He was a valiant ruler and married the then famous Lichchvi kingdom’s famous princess Kumar Devi. He assumed the title of Maharajadhiraja. He founded the Samvat era by the name of Gupta Samvať (319–320 CE.).
Samudragupta – He ascended to the throne in 335 CE and ruled till 375 CE. His court poet Harisena has described Samudragupta’s victorious campaigns in ‘Prayag Prashasti? insrcriptions. He performed the Ashwamedha yajna to proclaim his conquests.
The Prayag pillar which is located in Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh) is an important historical source of the Gupta period. In the Prayag Prashasti, Samudragupta has been described as ‘Kaviraj’. He established a new era in India. He united all of India in the thread of political unity.
Chandragupta II – Among all the kings of the Gupta dynasty, he is considered to be the greatest one due to his supreme valour and brave qualities. He ruled from375 to 414 CE. Chinese traveller Fa – hien travelled India during his reign.
His court boasted of scholars like Kalidas and Amar Singh. He extended the Gupta empire upto the Arabian sea and conquered the Saurashtra peninsula. He made Ujjain his second capital.
Kumargupta I – He ruled from 415 CE to 455 CE. He issued a large number of coins. About 623 coins of Kumargupta were found in Bayana – Moradabad region. Heiun-Tsang called him ‘Shakraditya’. Possibly Kumargupta was the founder of Nalanda university.
Skandagupta – He ruled from 455 CE to 467 CE. He had to face the aggression of the Hunas named ‘Malechcha’ as soon as he ascended the throne. He gave the responsibility of renovating the Sudarshan lake of Girnar mountain to governor Pranadutta’s son Chakrapalit.
Mention of Huna invasions and their defeat at the hands of Skandagupta is found in Skandagupta’s inner pillar inscription of Chandragupta Pariprachcha’ etc. inscriptions and other literary sources. Skandagupta protected the Gupta empire from the terrible threat of external enemies, Pushyamitras and Huna invasions by defeating them.
He repelled the attacks of Vakatakas and Naga rulers and conquered their territories. His judicious rule, his brave battles, his love for his country made him one the greatest Gupta rulers.
Samudragupta is called ‘the Napolean of India’. Explain.
Samudragupta was a great ruler, general, diplomat and a personality having multifaceted talents and pragmatic outlook. His court poet Harisena has described the valour and conquests of his patron, Samudragupta, in the Prayag Prashasti. His victorious campaigns can be described as follows:
Aryavrata conquest – Samudragupta initially carried out military campaign in Aryavrata or the Ganga-Yamuna plains which was completed in two stages. He defeated nine kings : Rudradeva, Matil, Nagadutta, Chandravarman, Ganapati, Naga, Nagasena, Achyut, Nandi and Balvarma and annexed their territories to his kingdom
South Conquest – Samudragupta defeated 12 kingdoms in the south-Kosala, Mahakantar, Korala, Kottur, Pishtapur, Aronpalli, Kanchi, Avamukta, Vengi, Pallak, Devarashtra, Kusthalpur etc. but later freed them under the treaty of sovereignty over enemy territory and Moksha (freeing the enemy). He knew that direct rule over such distant lands was difficult.
Central India and the Frontier reigons, conquest – He defeated the Attvikas of central India and made them his vassals. The frontier regions of Monarchic and republican kingdoms also accepted his sovereignty out of fear. These included Samtat Dabak, Kamrupa, Nepal, Kartapur and nine republics of Western India.
Friendly relations with foreign rulers – Foreign rulers Devaputra, Shahi Shahanushashi, Shaka Murund, and singla etc. pleaded for friendly relations with Samudra gupta out of fear. He adopted the policy of ‘Aatma Nivedan’, ‘Kanyapayan’, ‘Gurutmandakit ‘Swavishay’, ‘Bhukti’ and ‘Shaasan Yachana’ with them.
In this way Samudragupta conquered a large part of India and united it under one rule. He was feared in far bigger regions which was a symbol of his pragmatism. Hence Smith called him the ‘Napolean of India’ due to his valour and war skills.
Throw light on the economic life of the Gupta period.
Gupta era is called the ‘Golden Age’ of ancient India. This era is considered to be the best on account of political unity, valient emperors, economic prosperity, religious tolerance, inclusion of foreigners in the Hindu faith, resurrection of Hindu religion, progress of sanskrit literature, advancement of all arts and propagation of Indian culture. The details of economic life during the Gupta period are as follows:
1. Agriculture – In this period, agriculture was in advanced stage. Methods of enhancing soil fertility and quality of seeds were used. Facilities for irrigation were provided to the farmers. Various crops like wheat, paddy, millet, sugarcane, peas, pulses, seasame, mustard, castor, ginger, black pepper etc. were produced.
2. Animal Husbandry – Animal husbandry (livestock rearing) was another major source of livelihood. The profession of Vaishyas was rearing of cows. Domestic animals included (apart from the cows) horses, buffaloes, camel, goats, sheep, donkeys, dogs, cats etc. Bullocks were used to pull the ploughs and as load-bearing animals.
3. Industry and Crafts Industry and crafts were in developed condition. In this period, metal craft, textile production, ornament art, wood craft, stone craft, ivory work etc. saw special progress. Metal craft developed remarkably during Gupta period.
A grand example of the advancement that occured in metallurgy during this period is the Pillar of Mehrauli, which even after so many centuries stands intact without getting rusted. Textile manufacturing was also a major industry in Gupta period. In this period, very fine cloth was made.
Indian textile was in great demand in foreign markets. The art of ornament making was quite advanced. Various kinds of gemstones were also used apart from gold and silver to make ornaments.
4. Shreni Organisation – Craftsmen, entrepreneuers and traders were organised and they had their separate councils. These councils were called ‘Shrenis’, ‘Nigam’ or ‘Gana’. These Shrenis played an important role in the fields of industry and production.
These worked like modern banks. They gave loans on interest and accepted deposits on interests. A larger institution than Shreni called ‘Nigam’ existed in Gupta era.
5. Trade and IndustryIn the Gupta era, trade and industry were at their top. Internal trade was conducted through roads and rivers. The long term political stability and peaceful conditions and the large number of gold coins issued by Gupta era rulers helped trade develop greatly.
Travel in Gupta period was safe and unobstructed. Ujjain, Bharuch, Pratisthan, Vidisha, Prayag, Patliputra, Vaishali, Tamralipti, Mathura, Kaushambi etc. were important commercial cities. Indian ports had permanent sea trade connections with many foreign countries.
These countries were China, Sri Lanka, Persia, Arabia, Ethiopia, Byzantine (Roman Empire) and islands of Indian ocean. Bhrigukachuch (Bharuch) was a famous port of the western coast.
6. Sources of Revenue-In Gupta period, land revenue was the main source of state income. The following taxes are mentioned in the literature of that period Bhag – 1/6th part of crop production that went to the king. Bhoga_Tax given to the king in the form of fruits and flowers. Uparikar and Udranga – These were forms of land taxes.
Throw light on the Internal Trade and Foreign Trade in the Gupta period.
Trade and industry was very much developed in Gupta period. Their internal trade and foreign trade can be understood as follows :
Internal Trade – In the Gupta period, trade and industry were at their peak. Internal trade was conducted through roads and rivers. Among the items of internal trade were included almost all commodities of daily use, which were mainly sold in the markets of cities and villages. Luxury products included articles brought from distant lands.
Ujjain, Bharuch, Pratisthan, Vidisha, Prayag, Patliputra, Vaishali, Tamralipti, Mathura, Ahichchatra, Kaushambi etc. were important commercial cities.
Foreign Trade – Indian ports had permanent sea trade connections with many foreign countries. These countries were China, Sri Lanka, Perisa, Arabia, Ethiopia, Byzentine (Roman empire) and islands of Indian ocean. In Gupta era, trade with China reached at a new height. Chinese silk called ‘Chinashunk’ was very popular in Indian markets.
The weakened western foreign trade due to fall of Roman empire became strong again upon establishment of the Byzantine empire. Commodities were exported from there, mainly included silk and spices. Bhrigukachch (Bharuch) was a famous port of the western coast.
Cambay, Sopara and Kalyan were other important ports. Tamralipti was the largest centre of sea trade in the eastern part of India. Merchant ships from Indonesia, China and Sri Lanka came here. India imported silk from China, ivory from Ethiopia and horses from Arabia, Iran and Bacteria.
Why is Gupta era called the ‘Golden Age of ancient India ?
Fa – hien has mentioned religious tolerance, simple penal system, absence of locks in homes, non-use of onion and garlic which indicate the minimality of crime, safety of property, non – violent tendency and pure nature of people. Political unity and efficient organisation was seen for the first time after the Mauryans.
Economy was infused with currency and coinage in the Gupta era. Industry and trade were progressive. Spirituality and decency and Indianness were clearly marked in the art of this period. The cave paintings of Ajanta, Bagh, the temples of Deogarh, Bheetrigaon etc., Sculptures of Vishnu, Buddha, Mahavir etc.
are the symbols of the acme of the art of this period which manifest social prosperity and harmony. In literature; Kalidas, Harisena, Vishnu Sharma, etc. produced literary works of high quality. Aryabhatta, Varahmihira, Nagarjuna etc. developed various disciples of science and the propagation of Indian culture in foreign lands took place in the Gupta period.
The Gupta period is considered to be the best on account of political unity, valiant emperors, economic prosperity, religious tolerance, inclusion of foreigners in the Hindu faith, resurrection of Hindu religion, progress of Sanskrit literature, advancement of all arts and propagation of Indian culture.
Due to these accomplishments, the Gupta era was undoubtedly the Golden Age’ of ancient India. Sri Arvind wrote, “India never witnessed the flourishing of its life – strength in various spheres, in its entire history, as in the Gupta era.”
Evaluate Harsha as a great ruler.
Harsha was a great general, patron of art and literature and a charitable emperor like Karna in the Mahabharata. He tried to adapt his policies in accordance with the trends of that period. He was engaged in public welfare during his whole life. He oversaw his administrative system personally. Public welfare was the main objective of his rule.
He tourned extensively to control feudal powers and strengthened the central administration. He lent impetus to development through travel and charity. He made direct contact with his people. In this way Harsha motivated the forces of public welfare and production overtly as well as covertly.
During Harsha’s rule, Indian culture was promoted in Tibet-China and other Asian countries. He sent a delegation to China. He was the chief patron of Nalanda university. Many Gurukuls, Ashrams and centres of education including Vallabhi existed in his reign. His achievements.were extensive and multi – faceted. He was the supreme hero of Indian polity in the seventh century CE.
Harsha attempted to change the direction of an era and to create new trends. All the scholars praised him as a great warrior, empire maker, able administratior, benvolent and knowledge loving ruler. R. S. Tripathi compares him with Ashoka and Samudragupta. Thus due to his great deed, Harsha is called a great ruler.
Write an essay on Kalhad’s Rajatarangini.
Kalhad composed Rajatarangini during the reign of last Lohar dynasty ruler, Jaisingh between 1147 CE to 1149 CE. The literal meaning of Rajatarangini is – the rule of kings – which implies, the history or passage of time of the kings. This is composed in poetic form.
It contains eight tarangas and a total of 7826 Sanskrit verses. This treatise traces the history of Kashmir from the Mahabharata period to the contemporary times. Rajatarangini is considered to be the first authentic treatise of the history of India. This is an unbiased and fearless historical treatise. Kalhad composed it to fulfill the following objectives –
- Kalhad wanted to provide information about ancient royal dynasties.
- Entertainment of the readers and learning from the past.
- He wanted to describe the entire geneology of the dynasties which ruled over Kashmir.
- The uncertainity and choas which prevailed in those times, motivated Kalhan to compose it.
- He intended to reveal the mortality of wordly life and physical luxury.
- He wanted people to learn from the mistakes of the past.
Rajatarangini is a description of a great warrior’s activities and also of the contemporary society in which Kalhad lived. His family was close to the political rule, therefore he obtained the history of this region in that particular age directly and authentically.
Throw light on the cultural progress and development of literature in the Vijyanagar empire.
Vijyanagar is considered to be the first Hindu empire of the medieval age. It was founded by two brothers Harihar and Bukka in 1336 CE. Persian traveller Abur Razzak wrote about Vijaynagar empire that Vijaynagar was one of the world’s most grand cities which he had seen or heard about. Its cultural progress and development of literature can be understood as follows:
Cultural Progress – In the medival history of South India, the contribution of Vijaynagar empire in the cultural progress of the region is remarkable. On account of being under the rule of Hindu kings, this kingdom was a centre of Hindu religion and culture. The rulers gave special encouragement to Hindu religion and culture.
The credit for resurrection of Hindu religion in medieval times is given to the Vijaynagar rulers. These rulers encouraged literature, architecture, music and painting etc. They made Vijayanagar empire an excellent centre of cultural activities.
Development of Literature – Under the guidance of Sayana, a council of scholars wrote Bhashyas (commentaries) on all the four Vedas, many Brahminical tomes and Aranyakas. Under the patronage of Krishnadeva Rai, Ishwar Dixit wrote two commentaries on the epic ‘Hemkoot’. Agastya composed many poems and poetic works.
The greatest ruler of Vijayanagar, Krishnadeva Rai was a poet of superior calibre and a fine writer. He had scholarly knowledge of Sanskrit and Telugu languages. His Telugu creation was ‘Aamuka Malaydam’, which is one of the greatet epics of Telugu language. Krishnadeva Rai wrote a Sanskrit play ‘Jambavati Kalyanam.’
Alasani Peddan, Timman, Bhatiamurti, Haridas, Tenali Rama were among the important poets of this period. Among literary works, Rajnath’s ‘Saaluvabhiyuday’ and ‘Bhagwat – Champu’ are especially notable. Although the Vijaynagar rulers gave priority to Sanskrit and Telugu languages yet they gave patronage to poets of other languages too.
Throw light on the development of industry and crafts in the Gupta era.
In Gupta period, metal:
craft, textile production, ornament art, woodcraft and stone craft, ivory work etc. saw special progress. Metal craft developed remarkably. A grand example of it is the Iron pillar of Mehrauli. A fine example of copper work of Gupta era is the huge copper
statue of the Buddha which was found in Sultanganj (District Bhagalpur, Bihar). It is kept in a museum in Birmingham, England. The best form of metal craft of this period can be seen in the coins of this period. Stamps put on copper plates in this era, are also fine example of metal craft.
In Chandragupta II’s period, apart from gold coins, silver and copper coins were also used. These coins have been called ‘Dinar’. Textile manufacturing was also a major industry in the Gupta period, which is mentioned in ‘Amarkosh’. In this period, very fine cloth was made for the affluent class. Textile had a major place in south – north trade in India.
Indian textile was a great demand in foreign markets. Silk fabric, muslin, linen, woollen and cotton textiles were in great demand in foreign countries. The art of ornament making was quite advanced during Gupta era. Various kinds of gemstones were also used apart from gold and silver to make ornaments. ‘Brihatsamhita’ describes 22 types of gemstones.
Write an esssay on the development of science and technology in Gupta period.
In Gupta period, remarkable progress was observed in various branches of science and technology. Mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, physics, ayurveda, surgery etc. progressed in a major way. Aryabhatta composed philosophical formulas and Aryashta Shataka treaties. He propounded the principles of earth’s spherical shape and its rotation about its axis.
Bhaskara I wrote ‘Bhasya’ and commentaries on Aryabhatta’s Dashagitik formulas and ‘Aryashta Shataka’. Varahamitra wrote treatises like ‘Panch Siddaantika’, Brihata Samthita’ and ‘Brihata Jalika’. He invented the method of determining square root and cube root. Brahmagupta wrote ‘Brahmaphuta Siddhanta’, ‘Khanda Khadaka’ etc. and also propounded the principle of gravity.
Kanad rishi propounded Vaisheshik Darshan’ and the theory of atom in the Gupta period. Nagarjuna was a scholar of chemistry and metallurgical science. He defined and proved the treatment of various diseases by use of minerals like gold, silver etc. and invented “Parada’.
Shrenis had special knowledge of techniques. Melting of metals through chemical process and their casting developed significantly. Mehrauli’s iron pillar is a fine example of casting and metallurgical expertise.
What do you know about painting of the Gupta era ?
The best examples of Gupta paintings have been found in Ajanta and Bagh caves of Gwalior. Natural beauty, Buddha and Bodhisattva and descriptive scenes of Jatak tales are found in Ajanta pictures. Beautiful imagination, brillance of colours, beauty of lines, diversity of subjects, richness of expression and skillful coneyance of thought make the paintings of Ajanta incomparable.
Among these; the reclining princess, Avalokishwar, Yashodhara and Rahul are famous paintings from cave no. 16. Paintings of cave no. 17 are called Chitrashala. The painting of mother and child is the best in this cave. Nine caves are found in Bagh. The wall paintings of Bagh are related to physical life.
They inform us about contemporary attire, hair style, beauty aids etc., A famous painting about music and dance etc. is found here. Music, drama, art of acting and dance made incomparable progress. Samudragupta’s inscription of playing Veena inscribed on coins shows his love for music.
Throw light on the administrative reforms of Ashoka.
Ashoka followed the administrative system of Chandragupta Maurya, though he made some important changes and improvements in terms of implementation of policies and objectives. He called his subjects his children. He kept welfare of all people and valour as his primary duties. He appointed Rajuk, Yukta, and Pradeshik etc. They dealt with land, justice and accounts.
He created the post of Dhamma Mahamatra. His job was to create harmony between various communities. His job also included to provide aid and assistance to unjustly persectued people and their families. Ashoka set up such a system which enabled communication of the problems of common people to the king at all times and from all places. He appointed ‘Prativedaks’, the mention of whom is made in his 6th rock edict.
In order to bring uniformity in the judicial system, the Rajukas were given independent power in justice – related matters in the 25th year of Ashoka’s reign. He liberalised the penal code and abolished inhuman punishments. He released prisoners on his coronation day. Three days were given to death sentence awardee prisoners for repentence.
In non – violence oriented reforms, Ashoka gave up war policy. He emphasised medical care, roads, well and tree plantation for the welfare of all living beings. He made rural development his priority. Stradhyaksha, Vrajabhumik, Mahamantra, Nagar Vyavaharik, Antamahamatra etc. were appointed to oversee matters related to women, animal protection, justice and border regions.
These appointments helped Ashoka to connect administration with common people. By founding Dhamma’, Ashoka prepared an agenda for the king, subjects and bureaucracy. This improved mutual relations. Ashoka made an efficient foreign policy. Hence, Ashoka made the established Mauryan administration more efficient and capable.
RBSE Class 12 History Chapter 2 map work
mark the expansion of gupta empire on the map of india.
show the empire of Ashoka on map of india.
mark the empire of harsha on the map of india.