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1 2013 A Brief History of India History A brief study note of history of
A Brief History of India
A brief study note of history of India comprising of Ancient, Medieval and Modern


Megasthenes was sent to the court of Chandragupta by the Greek ruler Selucus Nicator.

Ashoka appointed people known as Dhamma Mahatma

Important ruler of Satavahana was Gautamiputra Satakarni

Kushanas were the earliest rulers to issue gold coins

Kanishka was famous Kushana king. He frequently organized Buddhist council.

Ashwagosha, a poet in his court, composed Budhacharitha.

Harshavardhana’s court poet Banabhatta wrote Harshacharita in Sanskrit

Best known Chalukya ruler was Pulakeshin. His poet was Ravikirti

Silappadikaram was composed by Ilango around 1800 years ago.

Another tamil epic Manimekalai was composed by Sattanar

Mahmud Gazni raided Somnath temple of Gujarat

Gazni’s scholar was Al-Biruni who wrote Kitab-al-Hind

Rajaraja 1 is the most powerful chola ruler. Built Thanjavur temple

His son was Rajendra 1

Chola bronze statues are the best in the world.

Delhi first become the capital under Tomaras

Rajput Dynasty


Ananga Pala

Chauhans 1165-1192

th early 12 century 1130-1145
early 12

Early Turkish Rulers

Qutubddin Aibak

Shamsuddin Iltumish


Ghiyasuddin Balban

Khilji Dynasty

Jalaluddin Khilji

Alauddin Khilji

Tughlak Dynasty

Ghiyasuddin Tughlak

Muhammad Tughlak

Firoz Shah Tughlak

Sayyed Dynasty

Lodi Dynasty


First Battle of Panipat: Babar defeated Ibrahim Lodi


Abu Fazl wrote Akbar Nama and Ain-ikbari

Taj Mahal was built in 1643

Battle of Plassey 1757 Robert Clive and Sirajudaulah. After Nawab’s defeat, Mir Jafar


was installed. Then Mir Qasim and again Mir Jafar

Battle of Buxar. British and Mir Qasim 1764

Mysore wars 1766, 1780, 1789 and 1799. In the last Battle of Srirangapatnam, Tipu

sultan was killed.

Battle of Panipat

1 st Battle 1526 Babur and Ibrahim Lodi

2 nd Battle 1556 Akbar and Hemu

3 rd Battle 1761 Ahmed Shah Durrani and Maratha Empire

Anglo Maratha war

1 st

Anglo Maratha war 1777 (Treaty of Surat and Salbai)


2 Anglo Maratha war 1803


3 Anglo Maratha war 1817. Also called Pindari war

Doctrine of Lapse by Lord Dalhousie

called Pindari war  Doctrine of Lapse by Lord Dalhousie  Vellore Mutiny 1806  12

Vellore Mutiny 1806

12 Aug 1765 Robert Clive got appointed as the Diwan of Bengal

1917 champaran Bihar, indigo plantation. Abolished Tinkathia system

1918 Kheda Gujarat, People couldn’t pay taxes(Vallabbhai Patel was also involved)

1918 Ahmedabad for cotton mill workers.

Rowlatt Act 1919. It gave govt enormous powers to repress political activities and

allow detention. Anyone can be arrested without trial.On April 13 1919 Jalian wala

bagh due to violence of Rowlat Act

Khilafat movement. After 1


world war, Ottoman Turkey was defeated. To defend

the Khalifa’s temporary power, Khilafat movement and Non cooperation was started

in 1921. Mohd Ali and Shaukat Ali

Chauri chaura 1922. Non cooperation was halted because of a police clash

Dec 1929 Lahore congress. Demand for purna swaraj

March 1930 Gandhiji begins civil disobedience movement by breaking salt law.

March 5 1931 Gandhi Irwin Pact. He consented to participate in the round table


Lord Ripon repealed the Vernacular Press Acts. He also tried to bring Indian Judges at

par with English. Criminal procedure amendment bill or Ilbert Bill


First Congress President WC Banerjee. Lord Dufferin was the Governor General when

INC was found in 1885.

Servants of Indian Society Gopalkrishna Gokhale

Important Time Lines


Battle of Plassey


Battle of Buxar


Regulating act


Pitt’s India Act


Permanent Settlement


Supreme court established


Vernacular Press Acts


Indian National Congress 28 th Dec Bombay Gokal Das Tejpal Sanskrit



Indigo riots. Bengal


Indian Factory Act


Congress splits in Surat Session


Swaraj demand G.K Gokhale Banares Swaraj demand Dadabhai Naoroji Calcutta
Swaraj demand G.K Gokhale Banares
Swaraj demand Dadabhai Naoroji Calcutta

Bengal Partition by Lord Curzon




University Act. Reduced the number of Indians in the committee. Lord



Bengal reunification


Gandhi received Kaiser-i-Hindi Gold medal for organising Ambulance

Corps of the Indians in First World War

1917-18 Gandhi’s entry into the politics because of formation of Rowlatt Act

committee under Justice Sydney Rowlatt

1909 Morley Minto: The introduction of this act is to be seen in the background

of a phase of turmoil and militant activities that followed the council of Act of



Montague Chelmsford: Bicameral legislature at the centre


Charter act. Law member was added to the Executive council of Governor

General. He was entitled to sit and vote in the council of Governor General only

when it met for legislative purposes. For the first time, a separation was

introduced between Executive and the legislative functions of the Central

Government. Another change was that the Presidency Governments were

deprived of their independent legislative power.


1853 Charter act. Here law member was given the status of full member. At the

same time the distinction between the Council fo the Governor General as an

Executive and as a legislative body became more marked because of the size of

this council for legislative purpose was increased by 6 additional members. 4

represented the 3 presidencies and the Govt of the North Western Province and

two were judges. The proposal to add non official members was not accepted.

1861 Indian Council Acts: Restored to the Govt of Bombay and Madras the

power of legislation and establishment of Legislative councils in other provinces.

1892 Indian Council Acts: It was an amending act. The basic constitutional

provisions remained the same as under the act of 1861. Mainly 2 types of

changes were introduced.

1. Changes in the composition of legislative bodies.

2. Enlargement of functions.

24 th April

National Panchayati Raj day

Amritsar was called Ramdas pur and was founded by Guru RamDas. Golden


Temple was built by 5


Guru Arjun Dev in 1859. 6 th guru Hargobind built Akal

1916 Justice party was formed in Madras. The founders were T.N.Nair,

Tyagaraja Chetti and C Natesa Mudaliar.

E V Ramasami Naicker(Periyar) and the Self Respect Movement. He became the

hero of Vaikom Satyagraha. He started paper Kudi Arasu.

1920-22 Non Cooperation Movement


Swaraj Party by C.R.Das


Muslim League


All India Hindu Mahasabha founded by Madan Mohan Malaviya


Lucknow pact. Attempt made by congress and league to arrive at a

settlement. It was arrangement between leaders and not people.


Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh


Lahore: Two nation theory by Jinnah.


Kakori conspiracy. Asfaqullah Khan, Ramprasad Bismil , Roshan Singh and

Rajendra Lahari were hanged.

1928 Oct 30 1928 Lala Lajpat Rai died due to beatings in anti Simon

commission march.


1928 Dec Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad and Rajguru assassinated

Saunders at Lahore


23 rd March Hanging of Bhagat Singh and team


Civil Disobedience movement was started by Dandi March


Bardoli Satyagraha. Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat


March 12 th 1930. Gandhi started Dandhi march


First Communist party of India outside India. M.N.Roy in Tashkent


Feb. All parties conference to prepare constitution for India

Governor Generals of Fort William in Bengal (Regulating Act of 1773)

Warren Hastings 1774-1785

Cornwallis 1786-1793

Wellesley 1798-1805

Lord Minto 1807-1813

Lord William Bentick 1828-1833

Lord Minto 1807-1813 Lord William Bentick 1828-1833 Governor Generals of India (Charter Act of 1883) Lord

Governor Generals of India (Charter Act of 1883)

Lord Willian Bentick 1833-1835

Charles Metcalfe 1835-1836

Hardinge 1844-1848

Dalhousie 1848-1856

Lord Canning 1856-1858

Governor Generals and Viceroys (Act of 1858)

Lord Canning 1858-1862

Mayo 1869-1872

Lytton 1876-1880

Ripon 1880-1884

Dufferin 1884-1888

Lord Curzon 1899-1904

Chelmsford 1916-1921

Lord Irwin 1926-1931

Willingdon 1931-1934

Linlinthgrow 1934-1936

Mountbatten March 1947-15 Aug 1947


After Independence

Mountabatten 1947-1948

C Rajagopalachari 1948-1950


Some of the famous sites of Old Stone Age (before 10,000 BC) in India are

1. The Soan valley and the Potwar Plateau on the north west

2. The Siwalik hills on the north India

3. Bhimbetka in MP

4. Adamgarh hill in Narmada Valley

5. Kurnool in AP

6. Attirampakkam near Chennai

Middle Stone Age (10,000 BC to 6,000 BC)

The remains are found in Langhanj in Gujarat, Adamgarh in MP and some places in Rajasthan,

UP and Bihar. An important item was Microlith

in Rajasthan, UP and Bihar. An important item was Microlith New Stone Age or Neolithic Age

New Stone Age or Neolithic Age (6000 BC to 4000 BC)

The remains are found in Kashmir Valley, Chirand in Bihar, Belan valley in UP and Deccan.

Famous sites in south are Maski, Brahmagiri, Hallur and Kodekal in Karnataka, Paiyampalli in

TN and Utnur in AP.

Some Megalithic burial sites in South India are Hallur and Maski in Karnataka, Nagarjunakonda

in AP and Adichchanallur in TN.

Mehrgarh: Pre Harappan Site

Amri and Kot Diji: Early Harappan Site

Kalibangan: Mature Harappan Site

Lothal: Late Harappan Site

Chief male deity of Harappans was Pasupati. He is surrounded by four animals (Elephant, tiger,

rhino and buffalo each facing a different direction). Two deer appear on his feet. The chief

female deity was the Mother Goddess.

Aryans spoke Sanskrit.

Veda is derived from the root word ‘vid’ which means to know. The four Vedas are Rig, Yajur,

Sama and Atharva. The Rig Veda is the earliest and it consists of 1028 hymns. The Yajur Veda

consists of various details of rules to be observed at the time of sacrifice. The Sama Veda is set


to tune for the purpose of chanting during sacrifice. It is called the book of chants and the

origins of Indian music are traced in it. The Atharva Veda contains details of rituals.

There was no caste system in early Vedic period. Gods of early vedic period was Indra and Agni.

During the late Vedic period, Prajapathi, Vishnu and Rudra became prominent.

Jainism and Buddhism flourished in 6 th century BC.

Both Buddha and Mahavira belonged to Kshatriya Caste.


Vardhamana Mahavira was the 24 th Tirthankara of the Jain tradition. He was born in 537 BC at

Kundagrama near Vaisali to Kshatriya parents, Siddhartha and Trisala.

He was married to Yasodha. In the 13 th year of his penance, he attained “Kevala Gnana”.

Thereafter he was called as Mahavira and Jina. He died at Pava near Rajagriha.

Teaching of Mahavira

Three principles are known as Triratnas.

1. Right faith

2. Right knowledge

3. Right conduct

. 1. Right faith 2. Right knowledge 3. Right conduct Mahavira organized the Sangha to spread

Mahavira organized the Sangha to spread his teachings. Chandragupta Maurya, Kharavela of

Kalinga and the dynasties of South such as Gangas, Kadambas, Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas

patronized Jainism.

4 th

century BC: famine in the Ganges Valley: Many monks led by Bhadrabagu and Chandragupta

Maurya came to Sravana Belgola in Karnataka. Those who stayed back were led by a monk

named Sthulabahu who changed their code of conduct. This led to division into Svetambaras

and Digambaras.

Jain Councils.

First Jain council was convened in Pataliputra by Sthulabahu, leader of Digambaras, in the

beginning of 3 rd century BC.2 nd

compilation of Jain literature called Twelve Angas was completed in this council.

council was held in Valabhi in 5 th Century AD. The final


Gautama of Siddhartha was born in 567 BC in Lumbini near Kapilavastu. His father was

Suddhodhana of the Sakya clan and mother Mayadevi. He was married to Yashodhara. Got


enlightenment under Bodhi Tree in Gaya. He delivered his first sermon at Sarnath near Benares.

He died at Kusinagara.

His most important disciples were Sariputta, Moggallanna, Ananda, Kassapa and Upali. Kings

like Prasenajit of Kosala and Bimbisara and Ajathashatru of Magadha accepted his doctrine and

became his disciples.

Teaching of Buddha

1. The world is full of suffering

2. The cause of suffering is desire

3. If desires are get rid of, suffering can be removed.

4. This can be done by eight fold path.

Buddha has two kinds of disciples, monks(Bhikshus) and lay worshippers(Upasikas). Sariputta,

Moggallana and Ananda were some of his monks. 200 years after Buddha’s death, Asoka

embraced Buddhism. He spread Buddhism to West Asia and Ceylon.

Buddhist Councils.

1 st

council was held at Rajagraha under the chairmanship of Mahakasapa after the death of


rd th

was held in Vaisali.3

council was held in Pataliputra under Asoka. The final

council was convened in Kashmir by

Buddha. 2

version of Tripitakas was completed in this council. 4

Kanishka under the chairmanship of Vasumitra. Asvagosha participated in this council. New

school, called Mahayana came into existence during this councila came into existence during

this council. The Buddhism preached by Buddha and spread by Ashoka was Hinayana.

The Buddhist texts were known as Tripitakas- namely the Sutta, Vinaya and the Abhidhamma

Pitakas. They were written in Pali. One of the Buddhist Literature Anguttara Nikaya gives a list

of sixteen great kingdoms called “Sixteen Mahajanapadas”. Finally in the mid of 6 th BC, only four

kingdoms Vatsa, Avanti, Kosala and Magadha survived.

Cause of decline of Buddhism

1. Revival of Brahmanism and Bhagavatism.

2. Pali, the language of the masses was given up from 1

3. Buddhist began to adopt Sanskrit, language of elite

4. After birth of Mahayana, practice of idol worships and offering started, which led to the




5. Attack of Huns in the 5


and 6


Ad and Turkish in 12


AD destroyed monasteries.


Four major kingdoms in the 6 th Century BC


Situated on the banks of Yamuna. Capital was Kausambi near Allahabad. Popular ruler was

Udayana. After his death, Vatsa was annexed to the Avanti Kingdom.


Capital of Avanti was Ujjain. Most important ruler was Pradyota. He married Vasavadatta,

daughter of Udayana. He patronized Buddhism. After his death, kingdom was taken over by the

rulers of Magadha.


Ayodhya was the capital of Kosala. King Prasenjit was famous ruler. Matimonial alliance with

Magadha. His sister was married to Bimbisara and Kasi was given to her as dowry. Subsequently

there was conflict with Ajatasatru. After the end of the conflict, Prasenjit married the daughter

of Bimbisara. After his death, Kosala became part of Magadha.

Bimbisara. After his death, Kosala became part of Magadha. Magadha Magadha was the most powerful and


Magadha was the most powerful and prosperous. Iron ore in the hills near Rajgir and Copper

and Iron deposits near Gaya. Rajagriha was the capital of Magadha. During the reign of

Bimbisara and Ajatasathru, its prosperity reached zenith.

Bimbisara (546-494 BC)

He belonged to Haryanka dynasty. 1

Got Kasi as dowry. Then he married Chellana, princess of Licchavi family of Vaisali. 3 rd was

Khema of Madra in central Punjab. Bimbisara was contemporary of both Mahavira and Buddha.


matrimonial alliance with Kosaladevi, sister of Prasenajit.

Ajatasatru(494-462 BC)

His reign was remarkable for his military conquests. He fought against Kosala and Vaisali. He

fortified Pataliputra to serve as a convenient base of operations against Vaisali.

Initially he was a follower of Jainism and then he embraced Buddhism. He was instrumental in

convening the 1

His successor was Udayin. He laid the foundation of Pataliputra situated near the banks of

Ganges and Son. His successors were weak and later Magadha was captured by Saisunaga.

Thus Haryanka dynasty came to an end.


Buddhist council in Rajagriha.



Saisunaga defeated the king of Avanti which was made part of Magadhan empire. His successor

was Kakavarman or Kalasoka. During his reign 2 nd Buddhist council was held at Vaisali. Kalasoka

was killed by the founder of Nanda dynasty.


The fame of Magadha reached new heights under Nanda dynasty. Mahapadma Nanda was as

powerful ruler. He uprooted Kshatriya dynasties of North and assumed the title ekarat. The

Hathigumpha inscription of Kharavela of Kalinga refers to the conquest of Kalinga by Nandas.

The last Nanda ruler was Dhana Nanda. He used oppressive ways to collect the taxes. Taking

advantage, Chandragupta Maurya and Kautilya initiated a popular movement against him. It

was during this time that Alexander invaded India.

Persian invasion

this time that Alexander invaded India. Persian invasion Cyrus the great was the greatest conqueror of

Cyrus the great was the greatest conqueror of the Achaemenian Empire. He captured the

Gandhara region.

Darius I, the grandson of Cyrus, conquered the Indus Valley in 518 BC and annexed Punjab and


Effects of Persian invasion:

Kharoshti script became popular in NW India.

Greek Invasion:

Alexander’s invasion (327-325 BC)

Alexander ascended throne after the death of his father, Philip. He conquered Persia by

defeating Darius III. He came to India through Hindukush Mountains. Famous battle of

Hydaspes(Jhelum) with Porus. He died in Babylon in 323 BC.



Literary Sources:

Kautilya’s Arthashastra: The book was written in Sanskrit. Kautilya was contemporary of

Chandragupta Maurya. Also called as “Indian Machiavelli”. Contains 3 parts, 1

king and his council and the departments of the Govt. The 2 nd with civil and criminal law and the


deals about the

final one with diplomacy and the war. Most important literary source for Mauryas.

Visakadatta’s Mudrarakshasa: It is a drama written in Sanskrit. Although written during Gupta

period, it describes how Chandragupta overthrew the Nandas.

Megasthene’s Indica: He was the Greek Ambassador in the court of Chandragupta Maurya.

Archaeological Sources:

Edicts of Asoka: The inscriptions were first deciphered by James Princep in 1838. There were

mainly written in Pali and in some places, Prakrit and Brahmi were used. In the NW India, the

Asokan Inscriptions were found in Kharoshti Script. There were 14 Major Rock Edicts. The two

Kalinga Edicts are found in the newly conquered territory. These edicts of Asoka deal with his

Dhamma and also instructions given to his officials. The 13

Dhamma and also instructions given to his officials. The 13 th Rock Edict gives detail about


Rock Edict gives detail about his

war with Kalinga. The Pillar Edict VII gives summary of his efforts to promote Dhamma within

his kingdom.


Chandragupta Maurya(322-298 BC)

He was the founder of the Mauryan Empire. At the age of 25, he captured Pataliputra from the

last ruler of Nanda dynasty, Dhana Nanda. In 305 BC, he defeated Selukas Niketar, who was

Alexander’s General controlling the north western India. A treaty was signed. By this treaty, he

ceded the trans Indus territories namely Aria, Arakosia and Gedrosia to the Mauryan Empire.

He also gave his daughter in marriage to the King. Megasthenes was sent to Mauryan court as

Greek Ambassador. He embraced Jainism towards the end of his life and stepped down from his

throne in favour of his son Bindusara. He starved himself to death in Sravana Belgola.

Bindusara (298-273 BC)

Bindusara was called by the Greeks as “Amitragatha” meaning slayer of enemies. He is said to

have conquered up to Mysore. Sangam literature also confirms this. He received Deimachus as


ambassador from the Syrian King Antiochus I. Bindusara supported Ajivikas. He appointed his

son Asoka as the Governor of Ujjian.

Asoka the Great (273-232 BC)

Most important event was winning Kalinga war in 261 BC. It was described in Rock edit XIII.

After the war he embraced Buddhism under the influence of Buddhist monk, Upagupta. He sent

a mission to Sri Lanka under his son Mahendra and daughter Sanghamitra who planted there

the branch of the original Bodhi tree. He convened the 3 rd Buddhist Council at Pataliputra in 240

BC. It was presided over by Moggaliputta Tissa.

Later Mauryas:

Asoka’s death in 232 BC was followed by the division of Mauryan empire into two parts. The

western part was ruled by Kunala, his son, and the eastern part by Dasaratha, one of the

grandsons of Asoka. The last Mauryan king was Brihatratha, who was assassinated by

Pushyamitra Sangha.

Brihatratha , who was assassinated by Pushyamitra Sangha. Mauryan Administration: Mauryan Empire was a monarchy. But

Mauryan Administration:

Mauryan Empire was a monarchy. But Kautillya also advocated for council of ministers. It

consisted of Purohita, Mahamantri, Senapati and Yuvaraja. There were civil servants called

Amatyas to look after day to day administration.

Samharta, the chief of revenue department, was in charge of collection of taxes. Taking of

census was regular during Mauryan period. Four provinces of the empire were Taxila, Ujjain,

Suvarnagiri and Kalinga. The district administration was under the control of Rajukas, whose

positions are similar to collectors. He was assisted by Yuktas. Village administration was in the

hands of Gramani and his superior officer was Gopa.



The founder of the Sunga dynasty was Pushyamitra Sunga, who was the commander in chief

under the Mauryas. The Greeks advanced up to Pataliputra and occupied it for some time.

However, he succeeded in regaining the lost territories. He was a staunch follower of


Brahmanism. Buddhist sources refer to him as a persecutor of Buddhism. But he patronised

Buddhist arts.

After his death, his son Agnimitra became the ruler. The last Sunga ruler was Devabhuti, who

was murdered by his minister Vasudeva Kanva, the founder of Kanva dynasty. The Kanva

dynasty ruled for 45 years and after their fall, the history of Magadha was blank until the

establishment of Gupta Dynasty.


In the Deccan, the Satavahanas established their independent rule after the decline of the

Mauryas. They were also known as the Andhras. The puranas and the inscriptions remain

important sources for the history of Satavahanas. The Nasik and the Nanagarh inscriptions

throw much light on the reign of Gautamiputra Satakarni.

Simuka(Founder)Krishna(extended kingdom to Nashik)Sri Satakarni(Conquered western

Malwa and Berar)

The 17

written in Prakrit.


King was Hala who was famous for his book, Gathasaptasati, also called SattaSai

famous for his book, Gathasaptasati, also called SattaSai Greatest ruler was Gautamiputra Satakarni. His achievements

Greatest ruler was Gautamiputra Satakarni. His achievements in Nasik inscription by his mother

Gautami Balasri. He patronized Brahmanism.

Gautamiputra SatakarniVasishtaputra Pulamayi

The last great ruler was Yajna Sri Satakarni.

Economic Conditions:

The silver coins were called Karshapanas. The greatest port was Kalyani on the west Deccan.

Gandakasela and Ganjam on the east coast were also important.


Bactrians: Demetrius Greek Ruler of Bactria invaded Punjab and Afghanistan and occupied

them. His two commanders were Appolodotus and Menander. Appolodotus conquered the

Sindh and marched up to Ujjain. Menander made attempts to capture Pataliputra, but was

stopped by Vasumitra, the grandson of Pushyamitra Sunga.

Menander known as Milinda. His capital was Sakala(Sialkot). Buddhist monk, Nagasena

compiled the work Milindapanho(In Pali) called as Questions of Milinda.


Greek Ambassador Heliodorus became a Vaishnavite and erected the Garuda Pillar at Besnagar.


The Sakas or the Scythians attacked Bactria and Parthia and captured them from the Greek


Founder of the Saka rule in India : Maues(1 st BC). His son was Azes I, who was considered to be

the founder of Vikrama Era.


The Kushanas were a branch of Yuchi tribe, whose original home was Central Asia. They made

their home in Gandhara region. The founder of Kushanas was Kujula Kadphises or Kadphises I.

He occupied Kabul Valley and issued coins in his name. His son Wima Kadphises or Kadphises II

conquered as far as Mathura. He was a devotee of Lord Shiva.

Kanishka (78-120 AD)

Kanishka was the most important ruler of the Kushana dynasty. He was the founder of the Saka

era which starts from 78 AD. His capital was Purushupura or Peshawar. Mathura was an

His capital was Purushupura or Peshawar . Mathura was an important city in his empire. Kanishka

important city in his empire.

Kanishka embraced Buddhism in the early part of his reign. His coins exhibit the image of not

only Buddha but also Greek and Hindu gods. In the age of Kanishka, the Mahayana Buddhism

came into vogue.

Asvagosha was the author of Buddhacharitha. The famous physician of ancient India Charaka

was also patronized by him.

Gandhara Art: The home of the Gandhara art is the territory in and around Peshawar. The real

patrons of this school of art were Sakas and Kushanas, particularly Kanishka.

Mathura School of Art: It flourished in the 1


century AD.

Successors of Kanishka and end of Kushanas:

KanishkaHuvishka. Last important ruler was Vasudeva.


According to Tamil legends, there existed 3 Sangams (Academy of Tamil Poets) popularly called

Muchchangam. 1


Sangam was held at Madurai. 2


Sangam was held at Kapadapuram, but all


the literary works had perished except Tolkappiyam. 3 rd Sangam at Madurai was founded by


The corpus of Sangam literature includes Tolkappiyam, Ettutogai, Pattuppattu,

Pathinenkilkannakku and the two epcis- Silappathigaram and Manimegalai.

Tolkappiyam authored by Tolkappiyar is the earliest of the literatures.

Ettutogai(Eight Anthologies)

Pattuppattu(10 Idylls) Pathinenikilkannakku(18 works dealing with ethics and morals)

The most important among them is Tirukkural authored by Thiruvalluvar. Silappathikaram

written by Elango Adikal and Manimegalai written by Sittali Sattanar also provides valuable

information on Sangam polity and society.

Political History

The Tamil country was ruled by 3 dynasties namely the Cheras, Cholas and the Pandyas.


dynasties namely the Cheras, Cholas and the Pandyas. Cheras They ruled over modern parts of Kerala.

They ruled over modern parts of Kerala. Their capital was Vanji and important seaports were

Tondi and Musuri. They had the Palmyra flowers as their garland. The Pugular inscription of the

1 st

century AD refers to the 3 generation of Chera rulers. Padiruppattu also provides information

on Chera kings. Perum Sorry Udhiyan Cheralathan, Imayavaramban Nedum Cheralathan and

Cheran Senguttuvan were the famous rulers.

Senguttuvan belonged to the 2

of Silappathikaram. His expedition to Himalayas was remarkable. He defeated many north

Indian monarchs. He introduced the Pattini cult or the worship of Kannagi as the ideal wife in

Tamil Nadu. He was contemporary of Gajabhagu II of Srilanka.


century AD. His younger brother was Elango Adikal, the author


The Chola kingdom extended from modern Tiruchi district to the south of AP. Their capital was

first at Uraiyur and then shifted to Puhar. Karikala was a famous king of the Sangam Cholas.

Pattinappalai portrays his early life and military conquest. In the battle of Venni, he defeated

the mighty confederacy of Cheras, Pandyas and 11 minor chieftains. Vahaipparandalai was

another important battle.



They ruled over the present day southern Tamil Nadu. Their capital was Madurai. The earliest

kings were Nediyon, Palyagasalai Mudukudumi Peruvaludhi and Mudathirumaran. They were

two Neduncheliyans. The 1 st one was called Aryappadai Kadantha Neduncheliyan. He was

responsible for execution of Kovalam for which Kannagi burnt Madurai. The other was called

Talaiyalanganattu Cheruvenra(He who won the battle at Talaiyalanganam)

Maduraikkanji written by Mangudi Maruthanar describes socio-economic conditions of the

pandyas. The last famous Pandyan was Uggira Peruvaludhi. They declined due to the invasion of


Royal emblem of Pandyas: Carp

Royal emblem of Cheras: Bow

Royal emblem of Cholas: Tiger

Sangam Society

Tolkappiyam refers to the 5 fold divisions of the lands

1. Kurinji Hilly tracks- Chief deity was Murugan Chief occupation was hunting and honey

was Murugan – Chief occupation was hunting and honey collection. 2. Mullai – Pastoral- Chief deity


2. Mullai Pastoral- Chief deity Mayon(Vishnu) Chief occupation cattle rearing and dairy

3. Marudam Agricultural-Chief deity Indra Chief occupation agriculture

4. Neydal Coastal Chief deity Varunan- Fishing and Salt manufacturing

5. Palai Desert Chief deity Korravi robbery

Tolkappiyam also refers to four castes namely Arasar, Anthanar, Vanigar and Vellalar.


Ruling Class


Sangam polity and religion


Trade and Commerce



Position of women

Women poets like Avvaiyar, Nachchellaiyar and Kakkaipadiniyar flourished during Sangam

period. Karpu or chaste life was considered the highest virtue of women. Love marriage was

common practice. Sati was also prevalent.



The port of Puhar became an emporium of foreign trace, as big ships came here. Other ports

were Tondi, Musiri, Korkai, Arikkamedu and Marakkanam.


Sources of information: Literary, epigraphical and numismatic sources. Puranas and

contemporary works like Devichandragupta and Mudhrakshasam written by Visakadatta

provides information regarding the rise of Gupta Empire. Chinese traveller Fahien, who visited

during reign of Chandragupta II also left valuable resources.

Inscriptions : Mehrauli Iron Pillar inscription (Chandragupta I) and the Allahabad Pillar

inscription (Samudrgupta). Allahabad inscriptions is written in classical Sanskrit, using the

Nagari script. It consists of 33 lines composed by Harisena. It describes Samudragupta’s

accession, his military campaigns, his relationship with other rulers and his poetic side.

Chandragupta I (320-330 AD)

rulers and his poetic side. Chandragupta I (320-330 AD) The founder of Gupta dynasty was Sri

The founder of Gupta dynasty was Sri Gupta. He was succeeded by Ghatotkacha. They were

called Maharajas. The next ruler was Chandragupta I and he was the first to be called

Maharajadhiraja. He married a Licchavi princess, Kumaradevi. The Mehrauli inscriptions

mentions his conquests. He is considered to be the father of Gupta era.

Samudragupta (330-380 AD)

Allahabad pillar inscriptions mention about him. Dakshinapatha expedition: Against South

Indian rulers. He issues gold coins with the legend, restorer of the Asvamedha. He was called

Indian Napoleon. He was also called Kaviraja. His poet was Harisena. He was also the patron

of the great Buddhist scholar Vasubandhu.

Chandragupta II (380-415 AD)

Samudragupta was succeeded by Chandragupta Vikramaditya. His greatest military

achievement was his war against the Saka satraps of western Indian. Rudrasimha III the last

ruler of Saka satarap was defeated and killed. He assumed the title of Sakari, meaning the

destroyer of Sakas. He also called himself Vikramaditya. Ujjain soon became important to them.

Fahien’s visit


Fahien visited during the reign of Chandragupta II. His primary interest was religion. Because of

the high level of cultural progress that happened during this time, it was called golden age.

Successors of Chandragupta II

Chandragupta IIKumaragupta. He laid the foundation of Nalanda University. At the end of his

reign, Pushyamitras defeated the Guptas. A branch of Huns from Central Asia made attempts to

cross the Hindukush and invade India. But it was his successor Skandagupta who really faced

Hun Invasion. He fought successfully against the Huns and saved his empire.

Most of the Gupta kings were Vaishnavites. The great Jain council of Valabhi was held during

this period. Both the Nagaras and Dravidian styles of arts evolved during Gupta age. Delhi Iron

Pillar is also from Gupta period. Their paintings can be seen at Bagh caves near Gwalior.

The court of Chandragupta II was adorned by navratnas. Kalidasa is also among them. Sudraka

was also a poet of that time and his book Mricchakatika is rich in humour and pathos.

Panchathanthra stories were composed by Vishnu Sharma during Gupta period. The Buddhist

author Amarasimha compiled Amarakosa.

Aryabhata wrote Aryabhatiya in AD 499. He first declared that earth was spherical in shape.

Varahamihira composed Pancha Sidhantika ,the five astronomical systems. He also wrote

Sidhantika ,the five astronomical systems. He also wrote Brihadsamhita and Brihadjataka in Sanskrit. In the field

Brihadsamhita and Brihadjataka in Sanskrit. In the field of medicine, Vagbhata (author of

Ashtangasamagraha) lived during this period.


The decline of the Gupta empire was followed by a period of political disorder. It was only in the

7 th

century AD that Harshavardhana succeeded in establishing a large kingdom in north India.

Harshacharita written by Bana and the travel accounts of Hieun Tsang are great sources.

Besides these two, the drams written by Harsha, namely Ratnavali, Nagananda and

Priyadarsika also provide good information. Madhuben plate inscription and the Sonpat

inscriptions are also good sources. The Banskhera inscription contains the signature of Harsha.

Early Life of Harsha

The founder of the family was Pushyabhuti. They were the feudatories of the Guptas. They

called themselves Vardhanas. After Hun invasions, they became independent. The first

important king of Pushyabhuti dynasty was Prabhakaravardhana. His capital was Thaneswar,


north of Delhi. After his death, his elder son Rajyavardhana came to throne. But he was

treacherously murdered by Sasanka. Harsha now succeeded his brother.

Harsha’s military conquest

In his 1 st expedition, he drove out Sasanka from Kanauj. He made Kanauj his new capital. His

most important military campaign was against Western Chalukya ruler Pulakesin II. The

inscriptions of Hiuen Tsang and inscriptions of Pulakesin II describe this. The Aihole inscription of

Pulakesin II mentions the defeat of Harsha by him, who after this, assumed the title of


Harsha and Buddhism

In his earlier life, he was a Saiva but later he became Hinayana Buddhist. Hiuen Tsang

converted him to Mahayana sect. He prohibited animal food in his kingdom.

Kanauj Assembly

Harsha organised a religious assembly at Kanauj to honour Hiuen Tsang . Violence broke out

there and there were acts of arson. There was also an attempt on the life of Harsha. Soon, it

was brought under control.

on the life of Harsha. Soon, it was brought under control. Allahabad Conference aka Prayag conference

Allahabad Conference aka Prayag conference

The archive of Harsha was known as Nilopitu. The trade and commerce had declined during

Harsha’s period. In short, there was a sharp economic decline as compared to the economy of

the Gupta period. Bana also wrote Kadambari. Other literary figures were Matanga Divakara

and Barthrihari, who was the poet, philosopher and grammarian.

Hinayana University of Valabhi and the Mahayana University of Nalanda: Nalanda means

“giver of knowledge”. Founded by Kumaragupta I.



After the decline of the Sangam Age, the Kalabhra rule lasted for about 250 years. There after

the Pallavas established their kingdom in Tondaimandalam with it capital at Kanchipuram.


When Tondaimandalam was conquered by the Satavahanas, the Pallavas became their

feudatories. After their fall in 3 rd century AD, the Pallavas became independent. They issued

their early inscriptions in Prakrit and Sanskrit and also patronised Brahmanism.

Political history:

The early Pallava rulers from 250 AD to 350 AD issued their charters in Prakrit. Important

among them were Sivaskandavarman and Vijayaskandavarman. The second line of rulers from

350 AD to 550 AD issued their charters in Sanskrit. The important ruler was Vishnugopa who

was defeated by Samudra gupta during his South India Expedition. The 3

AD to their fall in 9 th century issued in both Sanskrit and Tamil. Simhavishnu was the first ruler in

this line. He destroyed the Kalabhras and finally established kingdom. Other rulers of this line


line rulers from 575

were Mahendravarman I, Narasimhavarman I and Narasimhavarman II.

Mahendravarman I (600-630 AD)

The long drawn Pallava-Chalukya conflict began during his period. Pulakesin II marched against

Pallavas and captured the northern part. Although inscriptions mentions about his victory, he

was not able to recover the lost territory. He was follower of Jainism, converted to Saivism by

Thirunavukkarasar alias Appar. He was great builder of cave temples. He was the author of

Sanskrit work Mattavilasa Prahasanam. His title Chitrakarapuli reveals his talent in painting.

. His title Chitrakarapuli reveals his talent in painting. Narasimhavarman I (630-668AD) He was known as

Narasimhavarman I (630-668AD)

He was known as Mamalla meaning great wrestler. His victory over Pulakesin II in the Battle of

Manimangalam near Kanchi is mentioned in Kuram copper plates. His army destroyed the

capital city of Vatapi and he assumed the title Vatapikonda. Another achievement was naval

expedition to Srilanka and he restored the throne to his friend and prince Manavarma. During

his reign Hieun Tsang visited the Pallava capital of Kanchipuram. He was the founder of


Narasimhavarman II or Rajasimha( 695-722 AD)

The Shore temple at Mamallapuram and the Kailasanatha temple at Kanchipuram were built in

this period. The famous Sanskrit scholar Dandin is said to have adorned his court. He sent

embassies to China. He was succeeded by Parameswaravarman II and Nandivarman II. The

chola king Aditya I defeated the last Pallava king Aparajita and seized the Kanchi region.

Administration of Pallavas

State was divided into Kottams. He provided Land grants to the temple known as Devadhana

and also to Brahmanas called Brahmadeya. A large number of irrigations tanks were built.



Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas

Chalukyas (543-755 AD)

Pulakesin I was the founder of Chalukya dynasty. The capital was Vatapi or Badami. The most

important ruler was Pulakesin II. Aihole inscription provides details. He defeated Harsha on the

banks of Narmada. He got defeated by Narasimhavarman I near Kanchu. Hiuen Tsang visited his

kingdom. His successor was Vikramaditya. He plundered the pallava capital. Kirtivarman II was

the last rulers of Chalukyas. He was defeated by Dantidurga, the founder of Rashtrakuta


The administration was highly centralized. Strong navy power. Pulakesin II had 100 ships in

navy. Ravikirti, the court poet of Pulakesin II composed the Aihole inscription. Their cave temples

exist in Ajanta, Ellore and Nasikt. The best specimens of their paintings in Badami cave temple

and in Ajanta Caves.

Rashtrakutas (755-975 AD)

cave temple and in Ajanta Caves. Rashtrakutas (755-975 AD) They were of Kannada origin. Dantidurga was

They were of Kannada origin. Dantidurga was the founder. He defeated Gurjaras and captures

Malwa from them. He defeated Chalukya king, Kirtivarman II. Krishna I was his successor. He

built the Kailasa temple at Ellora. Next important king was Govinda III. His successor

Amoghavarsha I ruled for 64 years. He was follower of Jainism. Jinasena was his chief preceptor.

He also wrote Kavirajamarga. Among his successors, Krishna III was famous for expeditions.

After his death, the power of Rashtrakutas declined.


The founder of Imperial Cholas was Vijayalaya. Their capital was Tanjore.

Rajaraja I(985-1014 AD)

It was under Rajaraja I and his son Rajendra I that Chola power reached its zenith. His military

conquests were

1. The defeat of Chera rulers Bhaskararavivarman in the naval battle of Kandalursalai and

the destruction of Chera navy.


2. The defeat of the Pandyan ruler, Amarabhujanga

3. The invasion of Srilanka which was entrusted to his son Rajendra I. As SriLankan king

Mahindra V fled away, the country was annexed. The capital was shifted from

Anuradhapura to Polanaruva.

4. Naval expedition against Maldives.

He built the famous Rajarajeswara temple or Brihadeswara temple of Tanjare in 1010 AD. Also

established Buddhist monastery at Nagapattinam.

Rajendra I (1012-1044 AD)

1. Defeated Mahindra V, the king of Srilanka again to gain complete supremacy over


2. He defeated Jayasimha III, the western Chalukya king

3. Defeated many north Indian kings. To commemorate this campaign, he built

Gangaikondacholapuram and constructed the famous Rajesvaram temple in that city.

4. He assumed many titles like Mudikondan, Gangaikondan etc.

Rajendra III was the last Chola King who was defeated by Jatavarman Sundarapandya II. The

King who was defeated by Jatavarman Sundarapandya II. The Chola country was absorbed into the Pandya

Chola country was absorbed into the Pandya empire.


Arab Conquest of Sindh (712 AD)

Hijra year 622 AD. Migration of Mohammed to Medina. In 712 AD, Muhammad bin Qasmin

conquered Sind.

Mahmud of Ghazni (997 -1030 AD)

He is supposed to have made 17 raids into India. Firdausi was the poet laureate in the court of

Mahmud. He was the author of Shah Namah. Alberuni stayed in his court and wrote the famous


Muhammad Ghori

He became independent after the death of Mahmud of Ghazni.

The Battle of Tarain (1191-1192)


Realising their grave situations, the Hindu princes of North India formed a group under Prithviraj

Chauhan. He rose to the occasion and defeated Ghori in the battle of Tarain near Delhi in 1191.

In the 2 nd battle of Tarain, Prithviraj was defeated and killed. It was a major disaster for Rajputs.

The first muslim kingdom was thus firmly established in India at Ajmer. After his victory,

Muhammad Ghori returned to Ghazni leaving behind his favourite General Qutb-ud-din Aibak to

make further conquests. After the battle of Chandawar, Kanauj was occupied by Muslims.


The Muslim invasion had ultimately resulted in the establishment of Delhi Sultanate. Five

different dynasties ruled under Delhi sultanate- the Slave, Khilji, Tughlq, Sayyids and Lodis.

Slave Dynasty (1206-1290 AD)

Also called Mamluk dynasty. Mamluk meaning Quranic term for slave. There were 3 dynasties

during this period.

1. Qutbi Dynasty founded by Qutubuddin Aibak

2. First Ilbari dynasty founded by Iltumish

Qutubuddin Aibak 2. First Ilbari dynasty founded by Iltumish 3. Second Ilbari dynasty founded by Balban

3. Second Ilbari dynasty founded by Balban

Qutubuddin Aibak (1206-1210) was slave of Muhammad Ghori who made him the Governor of

his Indian possessions. After Ghori’s death, Aibak declared his independence. He was the

founder of slave dynasty. He made Lahore his capital. Muslim writers call him Aibak Lakh Baksh

because he gave liberal donations to them. He died while playing Polo. He was succeeded by his

son Aram Baksh, who was later replaced by Iltumish.

Iltumish (1211-1236) was a slave to Aibak, but later became his son in law. He defeated Aram

Baksh(son of AIbak) to become Sultan. He shifted his capital from Lahore to Delhi. In the mean

time , Temujin(Chengiz Khan), the leader of the Mongols, started invading Central Asia. He

received the Mansur, the letter of recognition, from the Abbasid Caliph in 1229 by which he

became the legal sovereign ruler of India. Later he nominated his daughter Razia as his

successor. Apart from completing Qutub Minar, he also built a mosque at Ajmer. He introduced

Arabic coinage in India and issued silver tanka. It remained the basis of the modern rupee. He

created new class of 40 powerful military leaders called forty.

Raziya (1236-1240)


She appointed an Abyssinian slave Yakuth as Master of the Royal Horses. Her actions aroused

resentment among the Turkish nobles. Turkish nobles put Balban on the throne. He was a son of



The advent of Khilji dynasty marked the zenith of Muslim imperialism in India. The founder was

Jalaluddin Khilji. He was generous and lenient. He replaced Malik Chajju, the Governor of Kara

with his son in law, Alauddin Khilji. But Alauddin treacherously murdered his father in law and

usurped the throne of Delhi.

Alauddin Khilji (1296-1316)

He framed regulations to control the nobles. According to him, the general prosperity of the

nobles, inter marriage between noble families, inefficient spy systems and drinking of liquor

were the basic reasons for revolt.

Reforms of Alauddin Khilji:

the basic reasons for revolt. Reforms of Alauddin Khilji: He introduced the system of dagh (branding

He introduced the system of dagh (branding of horses) and prepared huliya (descriptive list of

soldiers). The introduction of paying salaries in cash to the soldiers led to price regulations

popularly called as Market reforms. He established four separate markets in Delhi- grain, cloth,

sugar, etc, horses, cattles, slaves and miscellaneous commodities. Each market was under the

control of Shahna-i-Mandi. Regulations were issued to fix the price of all commodities.

Apart from market reforms, he took important steps in the land revenue administration. He was

the first sultan of Delhi who ordered for the measurement of land. His land revenue reforms

provided a basis for the future reforms of Sher shah and Akbar.

Military campaigns

Rajput women committed jauhar against Alauddin’s invasion of Ranthampur. He fought against

Mongols, Gujarat, Mewar and the Deccan. Rani Padmini of Chittor also performed Jauhar

against his attack. This episode is graphically mentioned in the book Padmavath by Jayasi.

His greatest achievement was conquest of Deccan. It was ruled by Yadavas of Devagiri,

Kakatiyas of Warangal, Hoysalas of Dwarasamudra and the Pandyas of Madurai. He sent Malik

Kafur for conquest.


Although he was illiterate, he patronized poets like Amir Khusrau and Amir Hasan. He also

constructed Alai Darwaza.

Mubarak Shah and Khusru Shah were the successors. Ghazi Malik, killed them and ascended the

throne of Delhi under the title of Ghiyasuddin Tughlak in 1320


Founder of the dynasty is Ghiyasuddin Tughlak. He laid the foundation of Tughlakabad.

Muhammad bin Tughlak (1325-1351)

Ulugh Khan killed his father and ascended the throne with the title Muhammad bin Tughlak in

1325. He had many ambitious schemes and performed novel experiments. But they ended in

miserable failures because they were all far ahead of their time. So he was called a “wise fool”.

His contemporary writers were Isami, Barani and Ibn Batutah. He was the only sultan who was

really educated.

Transfer of capital

He wanted to make Devagiri his 2


capital for better control of South India. The city was

renamed as Daulatabad. Ulemas and Sufis resisted, but Sultan’s ruthless orders caused great

hardships. Many people died and he abandoned his plan.

Token currency

He issued Token currency, which were copper coins issued at par with Silver Tankas. Forgery

started on a large scale. Finally the circulation was stopped.

Taxation in Doab

The failure of above experiments wasted enormous money. So he increased the revenue of

farmers of Doab. There was also a famine. People fled from the villages, but he took harsh

measures and punished them.

Agricultural reforms


He launched a scheme by which Takkavi loans for cultivation were given to farmers. A separate

dept. for agriculture was created. Model farm under the state was created. The experiment was

further continued by Firoz Tughlak.

Firoz Tughlak (1351-1388)

He was chosen as the sultan by nobles. He led two expeditions to Bengal but they were not


Administrative reforms

He pleased the nobles and assured hereditary succession to their properties. Thus the iqta

system was revived. Jiziya was imposed on non Muslims. He was the first sultan to impose

irrigation tax. But he also built canals and wells. 200 Km canal from Sutlej to Hansi was also

built. Many new towns were built in his reign eg Firozabad (Firoz shah Kotla). Since he treated

Hindus as 2

the number of slaves by capturing defeated soldiers.


grade citizens, he was precursor of Sikander Lodi and Aurangazeb. He increased

After his death in 1388, the struggle for power once again started. During Timur’s invasion in

for power once again started. During Timur’s invasion in 1398, there was no opposition. His invasion

1398, there was no opposition. His invasion delivered a death blow to Tughlak dynasty.

THE SAYYEDS (1414-1451)

Timur appointed Khizr Khan as Governor of Multan. He captured Delhi and founded Sayyed

dynasty. He was succeeded by his son, Mubarak Shah. Alam Shah was the weakest of the

princes. He handed over the throne to Buhlul Lodi and retired to Badaun.

THE LODIS (1451-1526)

The Lodis were Afghans. Buhlul Lodi was the first Afghan rulers while his predecessors were all

Turkish. He was succeeded by his son, Sikander Lodi in 1489. He was the greatest of the three

Lodi sovereigns. He was a bigot and destroyed many Hindu temples .He was succeeded by

Ibrahim Lodi who was arrogant. Daulat Khan Lodi, the governor of Punjab was also insulted.

Greatly displeased, he invited Babur to invade India. Babur marched against Delhi and killed

Ibrahim Lodi in the 1


Battle of Panipat (1526)




Four dynasties-Sangama, Saluva, Tuluva and Aravidu- ruled Vijayanagar from AD 1336 to

1672. The sources are literary, archaeological and numismatics. Krishnadevaraya’s

Amukthamalyada, Gangadevi’s Maduravijayam and Allasani Peddanna’s Manucharitham are

some of the literature of this period. The copper plate inscriptions such as the Srirangam copper

plates of Devaraya II provide much informations.

Political history:

Vijayanagar was founded in 1336 by Harihara and Bukka of Sangama dynasty. They originally

served under Kakatiyas of Warangal. They founded the city on the banks of Tungabhadra river.

The decline of Hoysalas enabled them to expand their newly found kingom. By 1346 they bought

the whole Hoysalas under their control. The struggle between Vijayanagar and Sultanate of

Madurai lasted for 4 decades. Kumarakampana’s expedition to Madurai is described in the

Maduravijayam. He destroyed the Sultans and as a result, Vijayanagar comprised the whole of

South India up to Rameswaram.

comprised the whole of South India up to Rameswaram. The greatest ruler of Sangama dynasty was

The greatest ruler of Sangama dynasty was Deva Raya II. After his death, Sangama dynasty

became weak. The next dynasty, Saluva dynasty founded by Saluva Narasimha reigned only for

a brief period.

Krishna Deva Raya (1509-1530)

The Tuluva dynasty was founded by Vira Narasimha. The greatest of the Vijayanagar ruler,

Krishna Deva Raya belonged to Tuluva dynasty. He possessed great military ability. By the time

he became king, Bahmani was replaced by Deccan Sultanates. They were defeated in the battle

of Diwani by Krishna Deva Raya. He also defeated Sultan of Bijapur, Ismail Adil Shah and

captured Raichur. He also defeated Gajapathi ruler Prataparudra and conquered the Telengana.

He maintained friendly relation with Portuguese. Albuquerque sent his ambassadors to Krishna

Deva Raya. He was also known as Andhra Bhoja. 8 eminent scholars called Ashtadiggajas were

at his royal court. Allasani Peddanna was the greatest and he was called Andhrakavita

Pitamaga. His works includes Manucharitam and Harikathasaram. Pingali Suranna and Tenali

Ramakrishna were other scholars. Krishnadeva Raya authored a Telugu work,

Amukthamalyadha and Sanskrit works, Jambavati Kalyanam and Ushaparinayam.

During the reign of Rama Raya, the forces of Bijapur, Ahmadnagar, Golkonda and Bidar

defeated him in the Battle of Talaikotta in 1565 also known as Rakasa Thangadi. Rama Raya


was executed. Vijayanagar kingdom existed another 100 years under Aravidu dynasty. The last

ruler of Vijayanagar kingdom was Sri Ranga III.

Foreign traveller: Nicolo Konti . Chief gold coin was Varaha. The chief contributions of

Vijayanagara architecture was tall Raya Gopurams. They were found in Hampi.


The founder was Alauddin Bahman Shah also known as Hasan Gangu in 1347. Its capital was

Gulbarga. Ahmad Wali Shah shifted capital to Bidar. Muhammad Shah III was the most

important rulers. It was because of his minister Mahmud Gawan. After his execution by King,

the decline of Bahmani kingdom started. By 1526, the kingdom has disintegrated into

Ahmadnagar, Bijapur, Berar, Golkonda and Bidar- known as Deccan Sultanates.


Babur (1526-1530)

as Deccan Sultanates. THE MUGHAL EMPIRE Babur (1526-1530) He was the founder of Mughal Empire in

He was the founder of Mughal Empire in India. His real name was Zahiruddin Muhammad. He

was related to Timur from his father’s side and Chengiz Khan through his mother. He succeeded

his father as ruler of Farghana. He soon got defeated by his relative and lost his kingdom. He

launched four expeditions against India from 1519 and 1523.

Military conquests

At that time there were 5 prominent Muslim rulers the Sultans of Delhi, Gujarat, Malwa,

Bengal and the Deccan- and the two prominent Hindu rulers- Rana Sangha of Mewar and

Vijayanagar Empire. He occupied Lahore by defeating its governor, Daulat Khan Lodi. On 21 st

April 1526, the 1

killed. Babur’s success was due to his cavalry and artillery. He occupied Delhi and sent his son

Humayun to seize Agra. He proclaimed himself Emperor of Hindustan. Rana Sangha of Mewar

was defeated in the Battle of Khanua (near Agra) in 1527. He assumed the title Ghazi. In 1528,

he captured Chanderi from Medini Rai. Next year, he defeated Afghans in the Battle of Gogra in



Battle of Panipat took place between Ibrahim Lodi and Babur. Lodi was

He was a great scholar in Arabic and Persian languages. Turki was his mother tongue. He wrote

his memoirs, Tuzuk-i-Baburi in Turkish.


HUMAYUN (1530-1540)

Humayun means fortune, but he remains the most unfortunate of Mughal kings. In the Battle of

Kanauj also known as the Battle of Bilgram in 1540, he was defeated by Sher Khan/Sher Shah.

After losing his kingdom, he was in exile for 15 years.

In 1555, Humayun recovered the Mughal Throne. He died due to his fall from the staircase of



Sher Shah Sur (1540-1545)

The founder of the Sur dynasty was Sher Shah, whose original name was Farid. His conquests

include Punjab, Malwa, Sind, Multan and Bundelkhand.


He was a brilliant administrator. The king was assisted by four important ministers. The empire

was divided into 47 sarkars. The Sarkars were divided into Parganas. The land revenue

The Sarkars were divided into Parganas. The land revenue administration was well organized under him. Land

administration was well organized under him. Land survey was done carefully. He introduced

new silver coins called “Dam” and they were in circulation till 1835. He laid 4 important


1. Sonargaon to Sind

2. Agra to Burhampur

3. Jodhpur to Chittor

4. Lahore to Multan.

He also branded horses like Alauddin Khilji. He was also tolerant to other religions. He built the

Purana Qila near Delhi. He also built Mausoleum at Sasaram. Malik Muhammad Jayasi wrote

the famous Hindi work Padmavat during his reign. After his death, his successors rule till 1555.

AKBAR (1556-1605)

He succeeded the throne after Humayun’s death. But his position was dangerous because Delhi

was seized by the Afghans, under Hemu. In the 2


battle of Panipat in 1556, Hemu was almost


victorious, but an arrow pierced his eye and he become unconscious. His army fled and fortune

favoured Akbar.

During the 1 st five years, Bairam Khan acted as his regent. Later he was removed by Akbar and

sent to Mecca. On his way, he was killed by an Afghan.

Relations with Rajput

He married Rajput princess, the daughter of Raja Bharamal. It was a turning point for Rajputs

and they served the Mughals for four generations. Raja Bhagwan Das and Raja Man Singh were

given senior positions. But the Ranas of Mewar continued to defy. In the Battle of Haldighati in

1576, Rana Pratap Singh was severely defeated by the Mughal Army led by Man Singh.

Religious Policy

After marrying Jodh Bai of Amber, he abolished the pilgrim tax and in 1562, he abolished Jiziya.

In 1575 he ordered for the construction of Ibadat Khana at his new capital Fatehpur Sikri. In

1579, he issued the Infallibility Decree by which he asserted his religious powers. In 1582, he

promulgated a new religion called Din Ilahi or Divine Faith. It fizzled out after his death. Even

during his life time, it had only 15 followers including Birbal.

his life time, it had only 15 followers including Birbal. Land Revenue Administration He made some

Land Revenue Administration

He made some experiments in this field with the help of Todar Mal. The system was called as

Zabti or Bandobast system. It was known as Dahsala system which was completed in 1580. The

land was divided into four categories Polaj(cultivated every year), Parauti(once in 2 years),

Chachar(once in 3or 4 years) and Banjar(once in 5 or more years).

Mansabdari System

Akbar introduced Mansabdari system. Under this, every officer was assigned a rank (mansab).

The lowest was 10 and the highest was 5000 for nobles. Princes of royal blood received even

higher ranks. Ranks were divided into Zat and Sawar. Zat means personal and it fixed ones

personal status. Sawar indicated the number of cavalry men of a person who was required to

maintain. It was not hereditary. All appointments and dismissals were made by the emperor.

JAHANGIR (1605-1627)

After Akbar’s death, Prince Salim succeeded with the title Jahangir (Conqueror of World). His

rule witnessed many rebellions. His son Khusrau revolted but was defeated and imprisoned. One

of his supporters, Guru Arjun, the 5


Sikh Guru was beheaded. In 1611, Jahangir married Nur


Jahan. Her father Itimaduddaula was given the post of Chief Diwan. His brother Asaf Khan was

appointed as Khan-i-Samman. In 1612, Asaf Khan’s daughter, Arjumand Banu Begum (Mumtaz

Begum), married Jahangir’s 3 rd son, prince Khurram(Shah Jahan)

It was believed that Nur Jahan formed a group of junta and this led to two factions in the

Mughal court. This led Shah Jahan into rebellion against his father in 1622, since he felt that

Jahangir was under control of Nur Jahan. However this view is not supported by historians.

SHAH JAHAN (1627-1658)

Shah Jahan rose in revolt against his father who ordered him to go to Kandahar. After Jahangir’s

death in 1627, Shah Jahan reached Agra with the support of Nobles. Nur Jahan was given a

pension and lived a retired life.

He launched a prolonged campaign in the North West frontier to recover Kandahar and other

ancestral lands. It went from 1639 to 1647. Finally Shah Jahan realized the futility and

abandoned fighting. His Deccan policy was more successful. He defeated the forces of Ahmed

Nagar and captured it. Both Bijapur and Golkonda signed treaties with him. He carved 4 Mughal

provinces in the Deccan- Khandesh, Berar, Telungana and Daulatabad. They were put under the

control of his son Aurangazeb.

They were put under the control of his son Aurangazeb. War of Succession His last years

War of Succession

His last years were clouded by a bitter war of succession among his four sons Dara Shikoh

(crown prince), Shuja (Governor of Bengal), Aurangazeb (Governor of Deccan) and Murad Baksh

(Governor of Malwa and Gujarat). Aurangazeb emerged victorious in his struggle. Shah Jahan

was put under strict vigil. Shah Jahan died in 1666 and was buried near his wife’s grave.

AURANGAZEB (1658-1707)

He was one of the ablest of the Mughal Kings. He assumed the title Alamgir (World Conqueror).

Deccan Policy

The Deccan policy of the Mughals started from the reign of Akbar, who conquered Khandesh

and Berar. During Shah Jahan’s reign, Aurangazeb, as governor of Deccan, followed an

aggressive Deccan policy. During the initial years, he concentrated on the North West province,

because of which Sivaji was able to carve an independent Maratha kingdom. To contain their

spread, Aurangazeb decided to invade Bijapur and Golkonda. He defeated Sikandar Shah of

Bijapur and annexed his kingdom. Then he eliminated Kutb Shahi dynasty of Golkonda. In fact,

the destruction of Deccan kingdoms was a political blunder on his part. The barrier between


Mughals and the Marathas were removed and there ensued a direct confrontation between

them. These campaigns exhausted the Mughal treasury.

Religious Policy

He was a staunch and orthodox Muslim in his life. His idea was to transform India into an

Islamic state. Drinking and other drugs were prohibited. He forbade music in the court. He

discontinued the practice of Jharokhadarshan. He also prohibited the celebration of Dasarah

and astronomers and astrologers were dismissed from the service. He banned the construction

of Hindu temples and began destroying Hindu temples. He reimposed Jiziya and pilgrim tax in

1679. He was also not tolerant of other Muslim Sects. His invasion against the Deccan Sultanate

was partly due to his hatred of Shia faith. He executed the 9

resulted in rebellions. Thus Aurangazeb was responsible for the decline of Mughal Empire.


Sikh guru Teg Bahadur. All of this


Art and Architecture

Mughal Gardens: Nishat Bagh in Kashmir, Shalimar Bagh at Lahore and Pinjore Garden in


Shalimar Bagh at Lahore and Pinjore Garden in Punjab. Sher Shah: The Sasaram Mausoleum in Bihar

Sher Shah: The Sasaram Mausoleum in Bihar and Purana Qila near Delhi.

Akbar: Agra fort in Red sand stone, Forts in Lahore and Allahabad, Humayun’s tomb (massive

dome of marble), Palace cum fort at Fatehpur Sikri. Buland Darwaza was built to commemorate

Akbar’s victory over Gujarat. Other buildings are Jodh Bai’s palace and Panch Mahal in

Fatehpur Sikri

Jahangir: Akbar’s tomb in Sikandra near Agra.

Nur Jahan: Tomb of Itimaddaulah at Agra. It was built wholly of white marble with floral

designs. This type of decoration was called pietra dura.

The fort building reached its zenith during the reign of Shah Jahan.

Shah Jahan: Red Fort, Diwan-i-Am and Diwan-i-Khas, Jama Masjid, Moti Masjid in Agra and Taj


Paintings and Music


The foundation of the Mughal painting was laid by Humayun while he was staying in Persia. He

brought two painters- Mir Sayyid Ali and Abdal Samad to India. They became famous during

Akbar’s reign.

Language and Literature

By the time of Akbar’s reign, Persian language became wide spread in the country. Abul Fazl

was a great scholar and historian of his period.

Abul Fazl : Ain-i-Akbari and Akbar Nama

His brother Abul Faizi was the leading poet of his time. He translated Mahabharata into

Persian. Jahangir’s autobiography was Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri. Shah Jahan also patronized many

writers like Abdul Hamid Lahori, author of Padshah Nama and Inayat Khan who wrote Shah

Jahan Nama. His son Dara Shikoh translated Gita and Upanishads into the Persian Language.


Gita and Upanishads into the Persian Language. THE MARATHAS Shivaji (1627-1680): His life and conquests He

Shivaji (1627-1680): His life and conquests

He was born at Shivner in 1627. His father was Shahji Bhonsle and mother Jija Bai. He inherited

the jagir of Poona from his father in 1637. After the death of his guardian, Dadaji Kondadev, in

1647, he assumed full charge of his jagir. He attacked Bijapur and captured number of hill forts

in the Konkan region. Aurangazeb was anxiously watching the rise of Maratha power under

Shivaji. He sent the Mughal Governor of Deccan, Shaista Khan against Shivaji. Shivaji was

defeated and lost Poona. But Shivaji once again made a bold attack on Shaista Khan’s camp at

Poona in 1663, killed his son and wounded him. In 1664, Shivaji attacked Surat , the chief port of

Surat, and plundered it.

This time Aurangazeb sent Raja Jai Singh of Amber to fight against Shivaji. Jai Singh was able to

reoccupy the Purander fort where Shivaji was staying. Shivaji negotiated with Jai Singh and the

treaty was called Treaty of Purander(1665). According to the treaty, Shivaji had to surrender 23

out of 35 forts he held.

He visited Agra in 1666, but he was imprisoned there. He escaped from there and started

military preparations against Mughals. He plundered Surat again in 1670 and regained all the

lost forts. In 1674 he crowned himself at Raigarh and assumed the title Chatrapathi. He died in


Shivaji’s Administration


He was assisted by a council of ministers called Ashtapradhan.

1. Peshwa: Finance and General Administration. Later he became PM

2. Sar-i-Naubat of Senapati: Military Commander

3. Amatya: Accountant General

4. Waqenavis: Intelligence, Posts and Household affairs

5. Sachiv: Correspondence

6. Sumanta: Master of ceremonies

7. Nyayadish: Justice

8. Panditrao: Charities and religious administration

Revenue system was similar to that of Malik Amber of Ahmadnagar. Lands were measured

using rods called kathi. Chauth and Sardeshmukhi were the taxes collected not in the Maratha

kingdom but in the neighbouring territories of the Mughal empire of Deccan sultanates.

Chauth: 1/4 th of the land revenue paid to the Marathas to avoid Maratha raid

Sardeshmukhi: Additional levy of 10% on those lands which Marathas claimed hereditary rights.

Successors of Shivaji

Marathas claimed hereditary rights. Successors of Shivaji After death of Shivaji, there was a war of

After death of Shivaji, there was a war of succession between Shambaji and Rajaram. Shambaji

was victorious, but was later executed by the Mughals. Rajaram succeeded, but the Mughals

made him flee to the Ginjee fort. He died at Satara. He was succeeded by his minor son Shivaji II

with his mother Tara Bai as regent. The next ruler was Shahu in whose reign the Peshwas rose

to power.

THE PESHWAS(1713-1818)

Balaji Viswanath (1713-1720)

He begin his career as a revenue officer and finally became Peshwa in 1713. He finally made

Shahu as the Maratha ruler. In 1719, Balaji got certain rights from the then Mughal ruler,

Farukh Siyar. 1

Sardeshmikhi from the 6 mughal provinces of the Deccan.


he got recognized as Martha King, 2


he got rights to collect Chauth and


Balaji Rao I (1720-1740)

He was the eldest son of Balaji Viswanath. The Maratha power reached its zenith under him. He

initiated the system of confederacy among the Maratha chiefs. Under this each chief was

assigned a territory which he could administer autonomously. As a result, many Maratha

families established their authority in different parts of India. They were the Gaekwad of

Baroda, The Bhonsle of Nagpur, The Holkars at Indore, the Scindias at Gwalior and the Peshwas

at Poona.

Balaji Baji Rao (1740-1761)

The Maratha King Shahu died in 1749 without an issue. His successor Ramraja was imprisoned

by Balaji Baji Rao at Satara. So the full control came under the Peshwas. In 1752, Peshwas

entered into an agreement with Mughals , in which they gave assurance that they would protect

Mughal empire from enemies for which the Chauth of the NW provinces and the total revenue

of Agra and Ajmer would be collected by the Marathas.

Thus when Ahmad Shah Abdali invaded India, it became the responsibility of the Marathas to

protect India. They fought bravely but were defeated in the 3

Baji Rao also died on hearing the sad news of defeat. The confederacy weakened due to internal


battle of Panipat in 1761. Balaji

due to internal rd battle of Panipat in 1761. Balaji conflicts. The important causes of the

conflicts. The important causes of the downfall of Marathas were lack of unity among them and

the superiority of the British army.


The commercial contacts between India and Europe were very old via the land route through

Oxus valley or Syria or Egypt. But the new sea route via the Cape of Good Hope was discovered

by Vasco Da Gama in 1498. They entered India as traders but indulged in the politics of India

and finally established their colonies.

The Portuguese

On 17 May 1498, Vasco Da Gama reached the port of Calicut and he was received by Zamorin

of Calicut. He returned next year. Pedro Alvarez Cabral arrived in 1500 and Gama made a

second trip in 1502. They established trading stations Calicut, Cannanore and Cochin.


Francis de Almeida was the 1 st governor of Portuguese in India. In 1509, Albuquerque was

made the governor of Portuguese territories in India. In 1501 he captured Goa from Bijapur.

Thereafter Goa became the capital of Portuguese in India. Albuquerque also captured Malacca

and Ceylon. He also built a fort at Calicut. He died in 1515 leaving the Portuguese as the

strongest naval power in India. His successors established Portuguese settlements at Daman,

Salsette and Bombay on the west coast and at San Thome near Madras and Hugli in Bengal on

the east coast. However their power declined by the end of 16 th century. They lost all their

possessions in India except Goa and Daman and Diu in the next century.

The Dutch

The Dutch East India Company was established in 1602. They established their settlements at

Masulipattinam, Pulicat, Surat, Karaikal, Nagapattinam, Chinsura and Kasimbazar. In the 17 th

century, they won over the Portuguese and emerged the most dominant power in European

trade in the east. Pulicat was their main centre and later it was replaced by Nagapattinam. In

century, the English began to emerge as a big colonial power. The Anglo

the middle of the 17

Dutch rivalry lasted for about 7 decades during which the Dutch lost their settlements to British

one by one.


the Dutch lost their settlements to British one by one. th The English The English East

The English

The English East India Company was established in 1600 and the charter was issued by Queen

Elizabeth of England. Captain Hawkins arrived at the royal court of Jahangir in 1609 to seek

permission to establish English trading centre at Surat. But it was refused by the Mughal

Emperor due to Portuguese pressure. Later in 1612, Jahangir issued a farman to the English and

they established a trading factory at Surat in 1613.

Sir Thomas Roe came to India as ambassador of James I, the King of England to the Mughal

court in 1615. By 1619, they had the factories at Agra, Ahmadabad, Baroda and Broach. The

English East India Company acquired Bombay from Charles II, the then King of England. In 1639,

Francis Day founded the city of Madras, where the Fort St. George was built. In 1690, an

English factory was established at a place called Sutanuti by Job Charnock. Later it developed in

the city of Calcutta where Fort William was built. Thus Bombay, Madras and Calcutta became

the tree presidency towns of the English settlements.

The French

The French East India Company was formed in 1664 by Colbert, a Minister under Louis XIV. The

1 st

factory was established in Surat by Francis Caron. Later, Maracara set up factory at


Masulipattinam. Francois Martin founded Pondicherry in 1673. Other French factories were at

Chandranagore, Mahe and Karaikal. Francois Martin was the 1 st governor of Pondicherry, the

head quarters of French possessions in India.

The Danes

Denmark also established trade settlements in India. Their settlement at Tranquebar was

founded in 1620. Another one was Serampore in Bengal. Serampore was their HQ. They sold all

their settlements in India to British in 1845.

Anglo French Rivalry

In the beginning of 18 th century, the English and the French were competing with each other to

establish their supremacy in India. The Anglo-French rivalry in India was manifest in the Carnatic

region and in Bengal.

The Carnatic Wars

The downfall of the Mughal Empire led to the independence of Deccan under Nizam-ul-Mulk. In

1740, the Austrian War of Succession broke out in Europe in which France and England were in

the opposite camps. They came into conflict in India also. The French Governor of Pondicherry,

conflict in India also. The French Governor of Pondicherry, Dupleix opened attack on the English in

Dupleix opened attack on the English in 1746 and thus began the 1 st Carnatic War (1746-1748).

The English sought help from the Nawab of Carnatic, Anwar Uddin. But the French concluded a

treaty with his rival Chanda Sahib. The English crushed French in the Battle of Adyar, near

Madras. In the mean time, the Treaty of Aix-la-Chappelle was concluded in 1748 to end Austrian

war. Thus the 1


Carnatic war came to an end.

1 st

Carnatic War 1746-1748. English defeats French in Battle of Adyar.

Dupleix supported the cause of Muzafar Jang, who wanted to become the Nizam of Hyderabad

and Chanda Sahib, an aspirant for the throne of Arcot. The troops of these three defeated,

Anwar Uddin, who was with the British side in the 1

in 1749. After this, Muzafar Jung became Nizam and Chanda Sahib, the Nawab of Arcot.

Muhammad Ali, the son of Anwar Uddin, escaped to Tiruchirappali. The English sent troops to

support him. In the mean time, British Commander Robert Clive captured Arcot and Chanda

Sahib was beheaded in Tanjore. He also defeated French in Kaveripakkam. Mean while Dupleix


war, and killed him in the Battle of Ambur

was replaced by Godeheu was the French Governor. The war came to an end by the Treaty of

Pondicherry in 1754.

The outbreak of Seven Years War (1756-1763) in Europe led to the Third Carnatic War (1758-

1763. Count de Lally was the commander of the French troops. The British General Sir Eyre

Coote defeated him at Wandiwash in 1760. In the next year, Pondicherry was captured and


destroyed by British troops. The Seven Years War came to an end by the Treaty of Paris in 1763.

Thus the Third Carnatic war also ended. The French agreed to confine its activities in

Pondicherry, Karaikkal, Mahe and Yenam.

Establishment of British power in India

The English ascendancy in Bengal proved to be the basis for expansion of English rule in India.

The conflict between the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud-Daula and the English led to the Battle of

Plassey on 23 rd June 1757. Robert Clive, the Commander of the British troops emerged

victorious. The easy English victory was due to the treachery of Mir Jafar, the commander of

Nawab’s army. The victory of the British in the Battle of Plassey marked the foundation of

British rule in India.

In 1764, the English once again defeated the combined forces of Nawab of Oudh, the Mughal

Emperor, and the Nawab of Bengal in the Battle of Buxar. In 1765, Robert Clive was appointed

as the Governor of Bengal. In the same year, Treaty of Allahabad was concluded by which

Mughal Emperor granted the Diwani rights to the East India Company. Thus the English rule was

thoroughly established.

Company. Thus the English rule was thoroughly established. INDIA UNDER THE ENGLISH EAST INDIA COMPANY Warren


Warren Hastings (1772-1785)

English East India Company established in 1600 as per the Royal Charter issued by Queen

Elizabeth I. Captain Hawkins was sent to Jahangir’s court to secure permission for a factory. Sir

Thomas Roe also obtained trading rights. English established business centres at Agra,

Ahmedabad and Broach.

In 1639 Francis Day established the city of Madras and constructed Fort St.George

In 1668, Company obtainded Bombay on lease from King Charles II.

In 1690, Job Charnock, purchased three villages named Sutanuti, Govindpur and Kalikatta which

became Calcutta. The fort was named Fort Williams. Thus Bombay, Madras and Calcutta was


Reforms of Warren Hastings


When he assumed the office, the administration was in utter chaos. The financial position has

also become worse. So he introduced various reforms

1. Abolition of the Dual System

The dual system introduced by Robert Clive was abolished. He also reduced allowances

given to Nawab and Mughal emperor.

2. Revenue Reforms

After the abolition of Dual system, the responsibility of collecting revenue fell on Company

shoulders. For that, a Board of Revenue was established at Calcutta. Collectors were

appointed. The treasury was removed from Murshidabad to Calcutta and Accountant

General was appointed. Calcutta thus became the capital of Bengal in 1772.

3. Reorganisation of the Judicial System

The judicial system at his time was a store house of abuses. The Nawab, who was the

administrator of justice, misused his powers. Often, his judgements were careless. The

zamindars who were judges at lower levels were also corrupt.

zamindars who were judges at lower levels were also corrupt. Under Warren Hastings, each district was

Under Warren Hastings, each district was provided with a civil court under the Collector and

a criminal court under the Indian Judge. To hear appeals from the civil courts, two appellate

courts, one for civil and another for criminal was established in Calcutta. The highest civil

court of appeal was called Sadar Diwani Adalat, which was to be presided over by Governor

and two judges. The highest appellate criminal court was called Sadar Nizamat Adalat,

which was to function under an Indian Judge appointed by Governor in council.

4. Trade regulations and other reforms

He abolished the system of dastaks, or free passes and regulated the internal trade. He

reduced the number of custom houses and enforced a uniform tariff of 2.5 % for Indian and

non Indian goods. Private trade by company servants was within strict limits. He also

introduced a system of pre-paid postage system in India. A bank was started in Calcutta. He

improved the police and dacoits were severely dealt with.

The Regulating Act of 1773

It was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain intended to overhaul the management of

East India Company’s rule in India. It did not prove to be a long term solution. Pitt’s India Act

was there subsequently enacted in 1784.


Provisions of the Act

1. The term of office of the members of Court of Directors was extended from 1 year to 4

years. 1/4 th of them were to retire every year and the retiring Directors were not eligible

for re-elections.

2. A council of 4 members was appointed to assist the Governor General. The govt. Was to

be conducted in accordance with the decision of majority.

3. The Regulating act made the presidencies of Bombay and Madras as subordinate to the

Presidency of Calcutta.

4. The Governor of Bengal was designated as the Governor of the Presidency of Fort

William and he was to serve as Governor General of India

5. Provision for establishing Supreme Court at Calcutta consisting of Chief Justice and 3

judges. In 1774, the Supreme Court was established in Calcutta

6. The Act prevented the servants of the company from receiving any gifts in cash or kind

Expansionist policy of Warren Hastings

His administration witnessed the Rohilla war, the 1

Mysore war


Anglo-Maratha war and the 2 nd Anglo

1 Mysore war st Anglo-Maratha war and the 2 n d Anglo The Rohilla War (1774)

The Rohilla War (1774)

Rohilkand was a small kingdom situated between Oudh and the Marathas. Nawab of Oudh with

the help of British troops to invade Rohilkand. Warren Hastings was severely criticized for his


First Anglo Maratha War (1775-1782)

After the death of Madhavrao Peshwa, his brother Narayanrao became the Peshwa. However

Ragunathrao, his uncle, assassinated him and assumed the title of Peshwa. Some Maratha

chiefs, led by Nana Phadnavis wanted to make infant son of Madhavrao, the Peshwa.

Ragunathrao sought help from British at Bombay and signed the Treaty of Surat on March

1775. According to the treaty, he ceded the territories of Salsette and Bassein to the British,

along with parts of revenues from Surat and Bharuch. In return, British promised to help him.

Ragunath, later fall back from his promise. In 1776, Hastings sent Colonel Upton to settle the

issue. He cancelled the Treaty of Surat and conceded the Treaty of Purander with Nana Phadvis.

According to the new treaty, Madhavrao II was accepted as the new Peshwa and British

retained Salsette along with heavy war indemnity.


Hastings scrapped the Treaty of Purander and sanctioned operations against Marathas. In 1781,

Hastings sent Captain Popham who defeated the Maratha chief, Mahadaji Scindia and captured

Gwalior. In 1782, the Treaty of Salbai was signed between Warren Hastings and Mahadaji

Scindia. Accordingly, Salsette and Bassein was given to the British. Ragunathrao was pensioned

off and Madhav Rao II was accepted as the Peshwa.

Treaty of Salbai provided the British 20 years of peace with the Marathas. It also enabled the

British to exert pressure on Mysore with the help of Marathas in recovering their territories from

Haider Ali.

The Second Anglo-Mysore War (1780-1784)

In the First Anglo-Mysore War (1767-1769), Haider Ali was victorious and a defensive treaty was

signed between him and the British. The main causes of the 2


Mysore war were

1. The British failed to fulfil the terms of the defensive treaty with Haider when he was

attacked by the Marathas in 1771.

2. There was hostility between English and the French (an ally of Haider) during the

American War of Independence.

(an ally of Haider) during the American War of Independence. 3. British captured Mahe, a French

3. British captured Mahe, a French settlement within Haider’s territories

4. Haider Ali formed a grand alliance with Nizam of Hyderabad and Marathas against


The war began when British led their forces through Haider’s territories without his permission

to capture Guntur. Haider defeated Colonel Baillie and captured Arcot in 1870. Hastings, by a

clever stroke of diplomacy, made peace with Nizam, won the friend ship of Bhonsle and came to

understanding with Scindia. Thus Haider was left with no alliance. He was defeated by Sir Eyre

Mysore war came to an end by the Treaty of

Mangalore in 1783. Accordingly all conquests were mutually restored and prisoners were

Coote at Porto Novo in March 1781. The 2



Pitt’s India Act, 1784

The Regulating Act failed in its objective. In 1784, Pitt the Younger (PM of England) introduced

the India Bill in the British Parliament.

1. A Board of Control consisting of 6 members were created. They were appointed by the



2. The Court of Directors was retained without any alteration.

3. The Act reduced the number of the members of the Governor-General’s council from 4 to

3 including the Commander-in-Chief.

It introduced a contradiction in the functions of the Company. The Court of Directors controlled

its commercial functions, whereas the Board of Control maintained its political affairs. In fact,

the Board represented the King, and the Directors symbolised the Company.

Impeachment of Warren Hastings in 1787 by Edmund Burke

Lord Cornwallis (1786-1793)

He was a close friend of Prime Minister Pitt and of Dundas, the most influential member of the

Board of control. He was also a remarkable soldier in the American war of Independence. The

Parliament amended Pitt’s India Act in 1786 so as to enable him to overrule the decision of the

majority of his council, if necessary. His appointment was significant. A new tradition of

choosing a person from an aristocratic family for the post of Governor-General was initiated.

Tipu Sultan and the 3


Mysore War (1790-1792)
Mysore War (1790-1792)


Mysore War were

The Treaty of Mangalore (1784) exhibited the military strength of Mysore and increased Tipu’s

strength. He also wanted to wreak vengeance on the Nizam and the Marathas for their

betrayal. The chief causes for the 3

1. Tipu strengthened his position by undertaking various internal reforms. This worried

British, Marathas and the Nizams.

2. Tipu made attempts to seek the help of France and Turkey by sending envoys there.

3. He also expanded his territories at the cost of his neighbour, particularly the Raja of

Travancore, who was an ally of the British.

4. In 1789, the British concluded a tripartite alliance with the Nizams and Marathas against


War broke out in May 1790 between English and Tipu. It was fought in 3 phases. The 1 st phase

commenced when Medows, the Governor of Madras, initially directed the campaign to invade

Mysore but Tipu halted their movement. In the 2

in December 1790. Marching from Vellore, he captured Bangalore in March 1791, but

phase began when timely aid from Marathas helped

Cornwallis to resume the campaign. This time the English forces occupied Srirangapattinam in

Feb 1792. Tipu Sultan concluded the Treaty of Srirangapattinam with the British.

Cornwallis was forced to retreat. The 3


phase Cornwallis himself assumed command



Treaty of Srirangapattinam 1792

1. Tipu had to give up half of his dominions.

2. He had to pay war indemnity of 3 Crore rupees and surrender two of his sons as hostage.

3. Both sides agreed to release POW.

Administrative reforms of Cornwallis

1. His greatest initiative was the purification of the civil service by employing honest and

capable persons.

2. Cornwallis abolished the vicious system of paying small salaries to servants of

Companies and allowing them to earn enormous perquisites.

3. He inaugurated the policy of making appointments mainly on merit thereby laying the

foundation of the Indian Civil Services.

4. He abolished number of surplus posts.

5. He separated three branches of service, namely commercial, judicial and revenue.

of service, namely commercial, judicial and revenue. Judicial Reforms 1. Both Sadar Diwani Adalat and Sadar

Judicial Reforms

1. Both Sadar Diwani Adalat and Sadar Nizamat Adalat were presided by the Governor-

General and his council.

2. There were 4 provincial courts of appeal at Calcutta, Dacca, Murshidabad and Patna,

each under 3 European judges assisted by Indian advisers.

3. Every district was provided with a court. Cornwallis had taken away the judicial powers

from Collectors. As a result, District Judges were appointed.

4. Indian judges or Munsiffs were appointed to all the courts at the bottom level.

5. He hated barbarous punishments and abolished mutilation and trial by ordeal.

Police Reforms

1. The District Judge controlled the police.

2. Each district was divided into thanas or police circles. It was placed under daroga.

Other Reforms

1. He reformed the Board of Trade which managed the commercial investments of the


2. He eradicated numerous abused and corrupt practices. Fair treatment was given to

Indian workers and weavers.


Permanent Settlement 1793

It was an agreement between East India Company and Bengali landlords. Under this act, the

landholders and Zamindars were admitted as the absolute owners of the land. They were

allowed to hold their proprietary right at a rate that never changed. Earlier zamindars had

officials for collecting revenue on behalf of the Mughal emperor and his represenatative of

Diwan in Bengal. The Diwan would supervise them so that there is no less or excessive pressure

for earning revenue. East India Company was able to win over Diwani or the right to rule Bengal

following the victory of Battle of Buxar in 1764. Thus they had the responsibility but lacked the

trained administrator having local knowledge. As a result the Landlords and Zamindar had to

deposit the revenue to the corrupt officials of the company.

The Permanent Settlement Act brought the improvement of the lands by the landowners as they

took care of drainage and irrigation. As the land revenue of the Zamindars got fixed, they could

securely invest the rest of the money to increase their income without the fear of tax. The

earning of the Company was also assured.










Earning revenue could be made certain

1. 2. 3. Earning revenue could be made certain Ensuring a minimum amount of revenue. The

Ensuring a minimum amount of revenue.

The system needs less supervision, so officials could be engaged in other spheres.

Forging and alliance between Zamindar class and British rulers

The Govt. Tax demand was inflexible and the East India Company refused to make any

adjustment during drought, flood or other calamity.

The Zamindars who fell into arrears, had their land auctioned. Many of such lands were

purchased by Company officials. This led to two possibilities- one to manipulate the

system to bring the sale of land they wanted specifically and the other was that the

officials could be bribed in order to get possession of particular land.

Thus this Act led to commercialization of the land, which did not exist before.

The Marquess of Wellesley (1798-1805)

The appointment of Richard Colley Wellesley as Governor-General marks an epoch in the history

of British India. He was a great imperialist and called himself Bengal Tiger. He came to launch a


policy to make the “British Empire in India” to “British empire of India”. The system that he

adopted to achieve his object is known as Subsidiary Alliance.

The Subsidiary System

The predecessors of Wellesley concluded alliances with Indian Princes like Nawab of Oudh and

the Nizam of Hyderabad. They received subsidies from the Indian rulers for the maintenance of

British troops. Wellesley enlarged and consolidated the already existing system. However, his

originality was revealed in its application.

Main features

1. Any Indian ruler who entered into the subsidiary alliance with the British had to maintain

British troops in his territory. In turn, the British troop would protect the state against

any invasion.

2. The protected state should cut of its connection with other European powers and even

other Indian states.

3. The ruler of the state should keep a British Resident in his court and disband his own


4. The paramount power should not interfere in the internal affairs of the protected state.

interfere in the internal affairs of the protected state. Benefits to the British Wellesley’s Subsidiary System

Benefits to the British

Wellesley’s Subsidiary System is regarded as one of the master pieces of British imperialism. It

increased the military strength of the Company in India at the expense of the protected state.

Thus Wellesley’s diplomacy made the British the paramount power in India.

Defects of the Subsidiary System

1. It led to the introduction of anarchy because of the unemployment of thousands of

soldiers sent away by the Indian princes. They formed band like pindaris.

2. It had a demoralizing effect on the princes of protected states. They started to neglect

their administrative responsibilities because they were protected against external

danger and internal revolt.

3. Because of the heavy cost, it adversely affected their economy.

Enforcement of the Subsidiary System

1. Hyderabad was the 1