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MEDIEVAL INDIA FOR PRELIMS

This material is only for revision process


These bullets will give you an insight about the different periods of
History
The art and culture section is excluded from this portion as it will be
covered separately
Summary of NIOS (Ancient+ Medieval + Modern India +Indian Culture)
will be made soon.
That material will save a lot of time for preparation and will give you the
rare trivia and useful information needed for Prelims

The Early Medieval history

So many things have occurred in the South Indian peninsula over the years.
The Deccan plateau, the region north and south of Krishna-Tungabhadra
region is historically important.
The Rashtrakutas were a prominent dynasty that ruled India around 8th to the
close of 10thcentury.
These Rashtrakutas were overthrown by the Chalukyas who established their
independent kingdom.
Some of the important dynasties of the region were The Rashtrakutas, the
Chalukyas of Kalyani, the Pallavas of Kanchi and the Cholas of the Thanjavur.

The Cholas

The 2nd and 13th Rock edict of Asoka refers to them as friendly power in South
India.
Together with the Chras and the Pndyas, the Cholas formed the three main
Tamil dynasties of Iron Age India, who were collectively known as the Three
Crowned Kings.
Then in history, another great Cholas are coming. The famous dynasty
sometimes known as the medieval Cholas.

The great empire of the Chola was founded by Vijayalaya. Began his rule
around 850 AD. He was previously under the Pallava kings.
He was led by his son Aditya I. He overthrew the Pallava ruler
Aparajitavarman.
Later on Parantaka I came to the throne.
After Parantaka I many others succeeded them like Gandaraditya, Sundara
Chola, Karikala and Uttama Chola.
Rajaraja Chola (AD 985-1014) was the son of Sundara Chola. Succeeded the
throne and was a great ruler.
He had the titles Mummadi Choladev, Jayangonda, Martanda etc.
Rajaraja Chola was militarily very powerful and made Cholas very powerful.
He conquered Kalinga and the Old islands of the sea which can be Laccadives
and Maladives.
He constructed the famous Brihadeshwara Temple, the Shiva temple at
Thanjavur. It is also called Rajarajeshvara.
Rajendra I Gangaikonda (AD 1014-44) was the son of Rajaraja I.
He brought the Chola empire to its glory .He annexed the whole of Sri Lanka.

He regained the power over Kerala and Pandyan kings.


He founded the capital Gangaikonda Cholapuram. Made a huge temple there
with brilliant granite sculptures.

THE OTHER ASPECTS OF CHOLAS


This time was characterized by the rise of Bhakti Movement.
Lord Shiva was worshipped as symbol of fertility.
The Brihadeshvara Temple of Thanjavur is a classic example of Dravidian
Style of temple.
Many wonderful bronze figurines were crafted during this period. The
Nataraja statue is very famous.

The Local Self Government was very famous.


The Assemblies were of 3types. There was UR, SABHA/MAHASHABHA & THE
NAGARAM.
Ur was the common one. The Sabha was exclusively dominated by the

Brahmanas.
The Nagaram had Merchants assembly.
The system of canals was very renowned in this time.
The empire was divided into Mandalams- Kottams- Nadus(district)Kurrams (Village).
Tiger was their emblem.
They had fine and strong navy.
Mahabalipuram, Kaveripattanam and Korkai are the important ports.
Land tax constituted the single largest source of income of the Chola state
It was generally assessed at one-third of the produce
Trade with foreign countries was an important feature of the Cholas
mercantile activities
There were gigantic trade guilds that traded with Java and Sumatra
Kalanju was the currency prevalent in the Chola kingdom

The Nattar was the dominant peasant community, and the cultivators were
the subordinate client group of the nattars

THE ADMINISTRATION OF CHOLAS


The king was the head of the administration
It was hereditary monarchy
The rule of primogeniture generally prevailedThe king gave verbal orders
(Tiruvakya-kelvi)
Officers like Olainayamak (Chief Secretary) and Vidaiyadhikari (despatch
clerk)were prominent
The army consisted of infantry, cavalry and elephants which formed the three
limbs of the great army
The Velaikkarars were the most dependable troops in the royal service

They were the bodyguards of the monarch, who defended him with their lives
and were ready to immolate themselves on the kings funeral
The whole empire was divided into mandalams or provinces
The villages were mainly of three types
The first type constituted of an intercaste population where the land was held
by all classes of people and paid taxes to the king in the form of land revenue.
(Popular one)
The second was the Brahmadeya or agrahara villages which was granted to the
Brahmins and was entirely inhabited by them
They were exempted from tax and were prosperous
The third type of village was the Devadana, which were villages granted to god
The revenues from these villages were donated to a temple
The Devadana type of villages gained more popularity as the temples became
important

UR, SABHA & NAGARAM

The ur was a general assembly of the village


The ur consisted of all the tax-paying residents of an ordinary village
The Alunganattar was the executive committee and the ruling group of the ur
The ur open to all male adults but was dominated by the older members
The sabha was apparently an exclusively Brahmin assembly of the brahmadeya
villages
The sabha had more complex machinery, which functioned largely through its
committees called the variyams
The sabha possessed proprietary rights over communal lands

It also controlled private lands of the villages


It reclaimed forest and waste land
It aided in the assessment of the produce and land revenue

HOW ABOUT THE ELECTIONS?


Election to the executive body and other committees of the ur and sabha
appears to have been conducted by draw of lots from among those who were
eligible
The nagaram was an assembly of merchants and were found more commonly
in the trading centers

The Rashtrakutas

They were feudatories of Chalukyas of Badami.


It was founded by Dantivarman/Dantidurga. He defeated the Chalukyan king
Kirtivarman.
His uncle Krishna I led the other conquests and defeated the Chalukyas of
Badami, Gangas of Mysore etc.
Then there were Govinda II and Dhruva who ruled the dynasty.
He was again succeeded by Govinda III. He fought against North Indian Kings
and the Pala king Dharmapala and Chakrayudha.
He was succeeded by his son Amoghavarsha/Sarva. He patronized literature
and arts.
After them came Indra III and Krishna III. Indra III defeats the Prathihara King
Mahipala.
The Rashtrakutas were of Kannada origin and Kannada language was their
mother tongue
Dantidurga was the founder of the Rashtrakuta dynasty
He defeated the Gurjaras and captured Malwa
His successor Krishna I was also a great conqueror. He defeated the Gangas
and the eastern Chalukyas of Vengi. He built the magnificent rock-cut
monolithic Kailasa temple at Ellora

Amoghavarsha I was a follower of Jainism. Jinasena was his chief preceptor


He was also a patron of letters and he himself wrote the famous Kannada work,
Kavirajamarga
He had also built the Rashtrakuta capital, the city of Malkhed or Manyakheda
The Rashtrakuta Empire was divided into several provinces called rashtras
under the control of rashtrapatis
They were further divided into vishayas or districts governed by vishayapatis
The next subdivision was bhukti consisting of 50 to 70 villages under the
control of bhogapatis
The Hindu sects of Vaishnavism and Saivism flourished during the period of
Rashtrakutas
Almost one third of the population of the Deccan were Jains
There were some prosperous Buddhist settlements at places like Kanheri,
Sholapur and Dharwar
There was harmony among various religions
There was a college at Salatogi, situated in modern Bijapur district
An inscription gives details of this educational centre
It was run by the income from the endowments made by the rich as well as by
all the villagers on occasions of functions and festivals
The Rashtrakutas widely patronized the Sanskrit literature
There were many scholars in the Rashtrakuta court. Trivikrama wrote
Nalachampu and the Kavirahasya was composed by Halayudha during the
reign of Krishna III
Amogavarsha I, who was a Jain patronized many Jain scholars

His teacher Jinasena composed Parsvabhudaya, a biography of Parsva in verses


Another scholar Gunabhadra wrote the Adipurana, the life stories of various
Jain saints
Sakatayana wrote the grammer work called Amogavritti
The great mathematician of this period, Viracharya was the author of
Ganitasaram
The Kannada literature saw its beginning during the period of the
Rashtrakutas
Amogavarshas Kavirajamarga was the first poetic work in Kannada language
Pampa was the greatest of the Kannada poets. His famous work was
Vikramasenavijaya
Ponna was another famous Kannada poet and he wrote Santipurana

OTHER ASPECTS OF RASHTRAKUTAS


The man of Letters Jinasena who wrote Adipurana lived under the patronage
of Amoghavarsha.
There were Mahaviracharya who wrote Ganitasara Samghraha.
Saktayan wrote Amoghavritti.
The Arab traveler Al Masudi came during the Rashrakuta period and was
impressed by Indra III.

The Chalukyas
The Rashtrakutas were overthrown by Tailapa or Taila who founded another
dynasty called the Chalukya dynasty which had the capital at Kalyani
(Karnataka)
There are many Chalukyan dynasties.

MAIN CHALUKYAS
Chalukyas of Badami/Vatapi. They are known as early western Chalukyas.
Chalukyas of Vengi. They are known as Eastern Chalukyas.
The Chalukyas of Kalyani. They are known as Western Chalukyas.
The Chalukyas of Gujarat.
The Chalukyas began with a base in northern Mysore at Vatapi or Badami and
the adjacent Aihole, from where they moved northward and annexed the
former kingdom of the Vakatakas
Pulakesin I (550-566) was the real fouder of the Chalukya dynasty of Badami.
He made Badami or Vatapi as his capital. He adopted the title Vallabheshvara
and performed the ashvamedha
He was succeeded by Kirtivarman I
With the expeditions of Pulakesin II, the Chalukyas became the paramount
power in the Deccan

The army of Pulakesin II checked the forces of Harshavardhana on the banks of


the Narmada
The Pallava King Narasimhavarman I (A.D. 630-668) occupied the Chalukya
capital at Vatapi in about 642 A.D., when Pulakesin II was probably killed in
fight against the Pallavas
One of the paintings in Ajanta represents Pulakesin II receiving the ambassador from Iran
Hiuen Tsang, the Chinese pilgrim visited the kingdom of Pulakesin in about
641 A.D
Vikramaditya I plundered the Pallava capital, Kanchi, thus avenging his fathers
defeat and death at the hands of the Pallavas

The other Dynasties


The Senas of Bengal were supposed to be the original inhabitants of
Dhakshinapatha.
The last ruler of Pala dynasty called Madanapala was defeated by the founder
of Sena dynasty called Vijayasena.
Ballalasena and Lakshmana Sena are notable kings in the Sena dynasty.
The Pratihara dynasty was founded by Nagabhatt II. They fought continuous
battles and got the glory under the king Bhoja I/ Mihirabhoja.
Mihirabhoja adopted the title Adivaraha .
The Pratihara dynasty was called as Gurjara Pratihara.

Rajputs were also very known family. They have emerged from the Agnikula.
The 4 agnikula clans are Pratiharas, Chauhans, Solankis and Paramaras.
The Chandela dynasty was centered in the region of Bundelkhand. It was
founded by Nanuka. Dhanga was the famous king.
The Pallava dynasty was very famous. The term Pallava meant Creeper and is
a Sanskrit one for Tamil called Tondai.
Their capital was at Kanchi. Dandi was the court poet of Narasimha Varman II.
Vaishnavism and Shaivism became very popular during the Pallava period.
Majority of the kings were Shaivites except Simhavishnu and Nandivarman
who were Vaishnavites.
The Kailashnatha temples, the temples of Mahabalipuram are classic examples
of Pallava temples.

The Arab conquest of Sind


The Khalifa of Baghdad wanted his governor Hajjaj to invade Sindh.
The ships carrying some valuable materials/gifts were travelling from Ceylon
to Baghdad. This ship was attacked by the pirates. This angered the Arabs.

Mohammad Bin Qasim invaded Sindh in 712 AD and killed the Hindu king
Dahir in the Battle of Rowar.
Islam was spreading in different parts of India.

The Turkish invasion (1000-1025 AD)

A man called Mahmud of Ghazni attacked India. He wanted to plunder wealth


from India.

He attacked India 17 times. He defeated Anandapal of Hindu Shahi dynasty in


the Battle of Waihind.
He attacked different temples of India. He completely destroyed the
Somnathpur temple.
He destroyed the temple of Thaneshwar and burnt the temple of Mathura.

FACTS RELATED TO MAHMUD OF GHAZNI


The poet Firdausi wrote the SHAHNAMA (Book of Kings)
Alberuni was a person related to Mahmud and he wrote the Tarikh-ul-hind.
He took the wealth of India to Ghazni and wanted to make it one of the
prosperous cities in the world.

MOHAMMAD OF GHORI EPISODE

Mohammad of Ghori came after Mahmud of Ghazni and waged many battles in
India.
He attacked India between 1175- 1206 AD.
Mohammad of Ghori was defeated in the Battle of Tarain in 1191 AD. The
Indian ruler Prithviraj Chauhan defeated him.
In 1192 AD, Mohammad Ghori defeated Prithviraj Chauhan in the 2ndBattle of
Tarain.
In 1193, in the Battle of Chandwar, Ghori defeated the king Jayachandra.
After he left India, the territories were handed over to the other Generals.
The most notable general was Qutb-ud-din Aibak who later started a new
empire called the Slave Dynasty.

THE SLAVE DYNASTY

After the death of Ghori, the general Qutb-ud-din Aibak was in Lahore. Ghori
had given him the Vice regal powers in India.
There was a series struggle for the throne. It was between the Ghoris generals
who were all slaves.
They were Nasiruddin Qabachha, Tajuddin Yildiz and Qutb-ud-din Aibak.
So Qutb-ud-din Aibak took the control of India and established his empire in
India.
In 1206, the foundation of the empire was laid and started the Delhi Sultanate.
It was the first ruling dynasty of the sultanate.

They were also called as Yamini and Ilbari Turk dynasty. Sometimes called as
the Mameluqs/Mameluq dynasty.
Mameluq means Slaves born of free parents.

THE DIFFERENT DYNASTIES OF


DELHI SULTANATE
The ILBRI
The KHALJIS
The TUGHLAQS
The SAYYIDS
The LODIS

-----------

1206-1290
1290-1320
1320- 1413
1414- 1451
1451- 1526

All the kings in the dynasty are not slaves. Aibak, Iltutmish and Balban were slaves
during their early life.

Qutb-ud-din Aibak (1206-10)


Turk of the Aibak tribe means Lord of the moon in Turkish.
Lahore and later Delhi were his capitals. His main intention was to control the
empire from different forces.
There was no time for fresh conquests. He initiated the work of Qutb Minar.

One day while playing CHAUGAN, he fell from the horse and died.
He had a title called LAK-BAKSH. It was because of his kind and generous
attitude and behavior.
The foundation of Qutb Minar was laid and named after the Sufi saint Qutb-uddin Bhaktiyar Kaki.
He was succeeded by his incapable son Aram Shah. He was later succeeded by
Iltutmish.

Iltutmish (1210-1236)

His real name was Shamsuddin Iltutmish. When Aibak died, he was the
governor of Badaun.
Delhi was his capital. He had to continuously fight with Tajuddin Yildiz and
Nasiruddin Qabachha to keep the empire under control.

He also saved the Sultanate from the Mongol Invasion.


He received the Deed of Investiture from the Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad. His
status of Sultan was recognized officially.
It was during his period, a powerful group of ruling nobles called Turkani-iChwahalgai or Chalisa (The group of forty) formed.
The whole of his empire was divided into big and small lands called IQTAS. It
was also given as salary to the officers.
Iltutmish introduced the two coins of the Sultanate called Silver Tanka and
copper Jittal.
He wanted his daughter, Razia to be the next ruler as he was not confident
about his other sons.
After his death, some Turkish nobles made his son Ruknuddin Firoz as the
emperor. He was later dethroned by Razia.

SULTANA RAZIA (1206-1240)

She is the first and last Muslim ruler of medieval India.


She had asked the people to depose her if she could not fulfill the expectations
of the people.
She began to avoid purdah and started to wear Male attire and started
presenting herself as a king like one. She used to travel on the back of an
elephant whenever she wanted to meet the public.

The nobles slowly started to go against her. Her actions in many field angered
the nobles.
She could rule only for three and a half years.
She raised and promoted an Abyssinian man called Lallaluddin Yakut as the
master of stables.
Kabir Khan of Lahore revolted against her and she herself marched to crush
him.
In another case, the governor of Bhatinda also revolted. She was defeated in
this and was married by Altonia.
The nobles were very angry with such moves and decided to put Bahram
Shah, the son of Iltutmish on the throne of Delhi.
On the way back to Delhi, Razias forces were defeated by the Bahrams army.
The army left her and was later murdered by the robbers.
Bahram Shah was succeeded by Alauddin Masud Shah. And next, the line was
occupied by the powerful Balban.

BALBAN (1266-86)

With his kingship, the rulers of the Iltutmish family ended.


Balban was a leading Turkish noble and married his daughter to the Sultan.
Sultan gave him the titles like Ilaib-i-mamlakat (Regent) and Ulugh Khan
(Premier Khan).
Consolidation and Expansion were his core principles. His entire focus was
given to consolidation and saving the empire from different threats.
The size of the army was increased and more incentives were given to the
army. Regular military drills were organized. He actively controlled and
resisted the Mongol invasion

The Iqtas were given in lieu of salaries.


He separated the Military department (Diwan-i-Arz) from the Finance
department (Diwan-i-Wizarat).
He was the first Sultan to discuss about the views of Kingship.
He derived his Kingship from the Sassanid Persia.
He brought the concept of Shadow of God (Zil-i-illahi). He believed that he
ruled on the basis of Divine Sanction and was not answerable to any of them.
His court was modeled on Iranian model and inspired the Sassanid model.
Balban before becoming the king was an active member of Forty.
He had a tough time against the governor of Bengal called Tughril. Even after
two failed attempts, Balban had to reach there and settle the accounts. It was a
big strain for him during his old age.
His heir, Muhammad was killed against the Mongols and this incident made
Balban very weak.
He was succeeded by his grandson Kaiqubad who was very pleasure seeking
man. The administration became very weak. Jalaluddin Firoz Khalji killed him
and took over. With this the Ilbari dynasty ended.

THE KHILJI DYNASTY (1290-1320)


They came through a big revolution, sometimes called the Khilji revolution.
Jalaluddin Khlijis (1290-96) entry was a big revolution and ended the Ilbari
Dynasty.
He wanted to keep intact his kingdom and even followed a conciliatory policy
with the Mongols.
He married one of his daughters to the Mongol leader Uligh Khan.
During his time, there was a campaign against the Yadava Kingdom in the
Deccan. Devagiri, the capital of the Yadavas was invaded by Ali Gurshap.
Ali Gurshap is no one else but Sultan Alauddin Khilji. After the invasion, Ali
Gurshap invited the Sultan to Kara to receive the booty and other wealth as
present.
When the Sultan came, he was brutally murdered by Ali Gurshap.
There Ali Gurshap proclaimed himself the Sultan and took the name Alauddin
Khilji.

ALAUDDIN KHILJI (1296-1316)

Ali Gurshap became the Sultan and he reached back to Delhi and killed the
family of Jalaluddin Khilji. The son of the former Sultan, Arkali Khan was also
eliminated.
He made it sure he removed all the Jalali nobles and Balbani nobles are out
from the empire.
He wanted the Consolidation and Expansion to go together.
Anhilwad was attacked and the King Kama with his daughter ran away.
Alauddin married the chief queen Kamala Devi with full honour.

During the raid and attack of the Cambay region, the commander of Alauddin
called Nusrat Khan got a slave who later on became the military general. He
was Malik Kafur (Hazardinari).
He even became the Malik Naib of Alauddin.
He captures Chittoor and named it Khizraabad after his son Khizr Khan.
Between 1307-1312, Malik Kafur attacked the Deccan territories and fought
with the Kakatiyas, Hoysalas, Pandyas etc. The Pandyas refused to accept the
Sultanate.
Mongols attacked during the time of Alauddin. The border areas were now
guarded well.
He followed some steps to keep his empire strong and free from internal
rebellions.

SOME OF THE STEPS(ORDINANCES) TAKEN BY THE SULTAN

Prevention of wealth distribution among the nobles. Grants of lands were revoked.
Good spy system was organized.
Sale and use of Alcohol and related materials were banned in Delhi.
Parties, marriages between the Noble families needed the permission from the
Sultan.

MARKET REFORMS OF ALAUDDIN KHILJI


The basic objective was to maintain a large army.
Prices of many commodities were reduced.
It was also for the Welfare of the people.
The prices of many commodities were fixed.
Different markets were launched for different things. Separate markets for
Grains, manufactured goods, general goods, market for horses, cattles,
slaves etc.
There was a controller of market. Merchants should get registered.
Sultan got daily reports of the market.
Strict punishment for cheating and underweight.
Subsidy was given.
Rationing during the famines.

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