Chapter 10 Traders, Kings and Pilgrims
Match the following:
Lords of the Dakshinapatha
Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas
Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas
Lords of the Dakshinapatha
Why did kings want to control the Silk Route?
Kings wanted to control the Silk Route because they could benefit from taxes, tributes and gifts that were brought by traders and the pdople along the route.
What kinds of evidence do historians use to find out about trade and trade routes?
The historians use the following evidences to find out about trade and trade routes:
1. Archaeologists have collected information about the Northern Black Polished Ware. They have provided information about bowls and plates which were found from several sites throughout the subcontinent. They guess that traders might have been carried from the place where they were made, to other places.
2. Historians find evidence of trade in Sangam poems (or literary works). Here is one example which describes the goods brought into Puhar an important port on the east coast:
- Swift prancing horses by sea in ships
- bales of black pepper in carts
- gems and gold born in the Himalayas
- sandalwood born in the western hills
- the pearls of the southern seas
- corals from the eastern occeans
- the yield of the Ganga and the crops from the Kaveri
- foodstuffs from Sri Lanka
- pottery from Myanmar and other rare and rich imports.
3. Using different historical sources the historians tell us that south India was famous for gold, spices, especially pepper, and precious stones. Pepper was particularly valued in the Roman empire, so much so that it was known as black gold. So, Indian traders carried many of these goods in ships, across the sea, and in caravans, to Rome. Many Roman gold coins have been found in south India. These coins are considered great proofs of trade relations between ancient India and Roman empire.
4. Traders explored several sea routes along the coasts. Other routes passed across the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, where sailors took advantage of the monsoon winds to cross the seas more quickly. So, if they desired to reach the western coast of the subcontinent from East Africa or Arabia, they chose to sail with the south west monsoon.
What were the main features of Bhakti?
- Bhakti is generally understood as a person’s devotion to his or her chosen deity.
- The idea of Bhakti is present in the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred book of the Hindus.
- In the Bhagavad Gita (which is included in the Mahabharata), Krishna the God, asks Arjuna, his devotee and friend, to abandon all dharmas and take refuge in him, as only he can set Arjuna free from every evil.
- Those who followed the system of Bhakti emphasized devotion and individual worship of a single god or goddess, rather than the performance of elaborate sacrifices.
- Deities who were worshipped through Bhakti included Shiva, Vishnu and goddesses such as Durga. This form of worship became an important feature of Hinduism.
Discuss the reasons why the Chinese pilgrims came to India?
The Chinese pilgrims (Fa-Xian, Xuan Zang and I-Qing) came to India to visit places associated with the life and teachings of the Buddha as well as famous monasteries. They had in Buddhist religious books also. They carried some books back with them.
Why do you think ordinary people were attracted to Bhakti?
- I think that ordinary people were attracted to Bhakti because Bhakt-saint used the language of people, which they could understand easily.
- The saints emphasized the worship of certain deities, which became a central feature of later Hinduism, gained in importance.
- These deities included Shiva, Vishnu and goddesses such as Durga. Bhakti is generally understood as a person’s devotion to his or her chosen deity.
- Anybody, whether rich or poor, belonging to the so called ‘high’ or ‘low’ castes, man or woman, could follow the path of Bhakti.
- They stressed on simple ways for Moksha or salvation, the last aim of life.
List five things that you buy from the market. Which of these are made in the city/village in which you live and which are brought by traders from other areas?
List of things that we buy from the market:
(a) Things made in our city
- The pots and pans of shiny steel.
- Bright plastic baskets.
- Cloth printed with brilliant floral designs.
- Clockwork or electronic toys.
- Radio and Television sets.
(b) Things made in our village
- Clay pots made by our village potter.
- Leather shoes and Chappals manufactured by our village shoemaker.
- Wooden toys and articles manufactured by our village carpenter.
- Iron and metal tools and articles made by our village blacksmith.
- Ring and other ornaments made by our village goldsmith.
(c) Things brought by our traders
- Swift prancing horses by sea in ships.
- Bales of black pepper in carts.
- Gems and gold from the southern India.
- Sandalwood collected from the forests of Karnataka.
- The pears of the southern seas.
There are several major pilgrimages performed by people in India today. Find out about anyone of them and write a short description.
[Hint: Who can go on the pilgrimage—men, women or children? How long does it take? How do people travel? What do they take with them? What do they do when they reach the holy place? Do they bring anything back with them?]
Self Study or Self Exercise.
However some useful hints for students’ help are given below:,
India is a secular country. We find here the followers of almost all major religions of the world including Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Parsi etc.
Major Pilgrims performed by the people in India are:
- Visit to shrine or Temple or Dargah on foot or by bus, or by train or by aeroplane and even using ponies or horses or walking on foot, for example visit to Kailash Mansarover, to Shiv Ling ahead from Pahalgaon (J.K.), to Vaishnodevi shrine, to Ajmer-Pushkar or Dargah of Chisti, etc.
- To participate in Rathyatra (Puri in Orissa).
- Visit to Tirupati or Minakshi temple or Char Dham.
- Hajj (performed by Muslims only).
- Visit to Golden Temple, Hazur Sahib or other historical Gurudawara Sahibs by Sikhs, Hindus and others.
MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS
Choose the correct option to complete the statements given below:
(i) Puhar was an important port on the
(a) West coast
(b) East coast
(c) Malabar coast
(d) None of the above.
(ii) The most fertile river valley was
(b) the Yamuna
(d) None of the above.
(iii) The capital of the Pandyas was
(iv) The Satavahanas became an Important dynasty In
(a) Northern India
(b) Eastern India
(c) Southern India
(d) Western India
(v) The rulers who ruled over central Asia and north-west India around 2000 years ago were
(a) – (b), (iii) – (a), (iii) – (a), (iv) – (d), (v) – (c).
FILL IN THE BLANKS
Fill in the blanks with appropriate words to complete each sentence.
- Gold, ……… and ……….. were in abundance in South India.
- Gautamiputra Shri Satakami and other Satavahana rulers were known as lords of the …………
- The famous Kushana ruler ………….. organized a Buddhist council.
- The older form of Buddhism was known as ……………..
- Buddha’s attainment of enlightenment was shown by sculptures of the ………………………tree.
- Anyone could follow the path of………………
- Xuan Zang, a Chinese Buddhist pilgrim took the………………… route to return to China.
- …….. was the most famous Buddhist monastery.
- The two major centres of power of the Kushanas were ……………….. and ………….
- The images of deities were placed within special homes or places known as
- spices, precious stones
- Peshawar, Mathura
State whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F).
- FaXran started his journey back home from Nalanda.
- Pepper, a very important spice grown in South India was known as black gold in the Roman Empire.
- Muvendar is a Bengali word meaning three chiefs.
- Puhar or Kaveripaltinam was the port of the Pandyas.
- The statues of Buddha were made in Mathura and Taxila.
- Bodhisattvas were persons who had attained enlightenment.
Match the items in column A correctly with those given in column B.Column B
Ans. (i)—(b), (ii)—(d), (iii)—(a), (iv)—(e), (v)—(c).
VERY SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
1. Where can evidence of trade be found?
Ans: Evidence of trade can be found in the Sangam poems.
2. What was South India famous for? [Imp.]
Ans: It was famous for items like gold and precious stones and spices like pepper. Q. 3. How can you say that Rome had a flourishing trade with south India?Ans. Many Roman gold coins have been found in south India.
4. Name the three ruling families of south India
Ans: The Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas.
5. How did the chiefs use the tribute that they collected from neighbouring areas?
Ans: They kept some of the wealth for their use and distributed the rest amongst their supporters.
6. Who were the supporters of the chiefs?
Ans: Their family members, soldiers and poets.
7. Name the items that the chiefs gave to the poets as a reward.
Ans: Precious stones, gold, horses, elephants, chariots and fine cloth.
8. Why do you think Gautamiputra Shri Satakami wanted to control the coasts?
Ans: He wanted to do this to become more efficient and powerful
9. What qualities of silk make it a highly valued fabric?
Ans: Silk has rich, glossy colour and smooth texture.
10. How is making silk a complicated process? [V. Imp.]
Ans: Raw silk is extracted from the cocoons of silkworms, spun into thread, and then woven into cloth.
11. Who were the earliest rulers of the subcontinent to issue gold coins?
Ans: The Kushanas were the earliest rulers to issue gold coins
12. Who was Kanishka? Mention one of his achievements. [V. Imp.]
Ans: Kanishka was the famous ruler of the Kushana dynasty. He organized a Buddhist council where scholars used to discuss important issues,
13. Who were Bodhisattvas?
Ans: They were holy persons who had attained enlightenment.
14. Name the countries where the worship of Bodhisattvas became popular.
Ans: Central Asia, China, Korea and Japan
15. Name some Chinese Buddhist pilgrims.
Ans: Fa Xran, Xuan Zang and I-Qing.
16. Mention the important feature of later Hinduism. [V. Imp.]
Ans: The worship of deities like Shiva, Vishnu, and Goddess Durga became popular
17. What was given much importance under the system of Bhakti? [V. Imp.]
Ans: The devotion and individual worship of a god or goddess were given much importance under the system of Bhakti.
SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
1. Who was Gautamiputra Shri Satakami? How do we come to know about him?[Imp.]
Ans: Gautamiputra Shri Satakami was the famous ruler of the Satavahana dynasty. We come to know about him from an inscription composed by his mother. According to this inscription he and other Satavahana rulers were known as lords of the dakshinapatha, which was used as a name for the entire southern region. He sent his army to the eastern, western, and southern coasts
2. How did the knowledge of silk spread far and wide? [V. Imp.]
Ans: China was the first country where silk took its birth. Although the country kept the-methods of making silk a closely guarded secret for a long time, people of other regions ultimately came to know about them.
- Some people from China went to distant lands on foot, horseback, and camels and with them they carried silk.
- Sometimes, Chinese rulers sent gifts or silk to rulers in Iran and West Asia. From there the knowledge of silk spread further west.
3. Why was silk so expensive? [Imp.]
Ans: Silk had to be brought from China. It was a long journey and the traders had to cross dangerous roads through mountains and deserts. People living along the route often demanded payments from the traders for giving them permission to pass through.
4. Write a brief note on the Chinese Buddhist pilgrims.
Ans: Fa Xran, Xuan Zang and I-Qing were the famous Chinese Buddhist pilgrims who came to India to visit places associated with the life of the Buddha. They also visited famous monasteries. These pilgrims left an account of their journey. They mentioned the dangers that they had to face on their way to monasteries that they visited. They also mentioned the books that they carried with them. These pilgrims also carried with them the statues of the Buddha.
5. What was the Bhakti system of belief? [V. Imp.]
Ans: According to the Bhakti system of belief, if a devotee worships the chosen deity with a pure heart, the deity will appear in the form in which he/she may desire. Therefore, the deity could be thought of as a human being, lion, tree or any other form. Once this idea gained acceptance, artists made beautiful images of these deities.
LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
1. What do you mean by Silk Route? What was its significance? [V. Imp.]
Ans: The route through which the traders carried silk with them is known as silk Route. Silk was first invented in China and the methods of its making were kept a high secret for several years. But the traders ultimately spread the knowledge of silk far and wide. Everyone got attracted to it because of its fine texture. Wearing silk became a fashion amongst rulers and rich people in Rome.
In India too, the rulers tried is control the Silk Route. This was because they could benefit from taxes, tributes and gifts that were brought by traders travelling along the route. The Kushanas were the best-known rulers who controlled the Silk Route. During their rule, a branch of the Silk Route extended from Central Asia down to the seaports at the mouth of the river Indus, from where silk was shipped westwards to the Roman Empire.
2. How did Buddhism grow during Kushana dynasty? [Imp.]
Ans: Kanishka was the most reputed Kushana ruler. During his region, Buddhism spread to a great extent. He organised a Buddhist council where scholars used to gather to discuss major issues. Ashvaghosha was a renowned poet in his court. He wrote the biography of the Buddha. Mahayana Buddhism emerged as a new form. This had two special features. Earlier, Buddha’s presence was shown in sculpture by using certain signs.
Now statues of Buddha were made. Mathura and Taxila became prominent places where several statues of Buddha were made. The second distinct feature was a belief in Bodhisattvas, who were sacred people and had attained enlightenment. The worship of Bodhisattvas gained popularity in Central, Asia, China, and later to Korea and Japan. Buddhism also spread to western and southern India. It also spread south-eastwards to Sri Lanka, Myanmar. Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia including Indonesia.
3. What was the Bhakti movement? Why did it become more popular? [V. Imp.]
Ans: Bhakti movement was a new way of worship. Bhakti means devotion to a particular deity. During the post-Vedic era some deities like Shiva, Vishnu, and Durga became popular among the devotees. This inclination towards deities came to be known as the Bhakti movement. It became popular because in this, there was no discrimination among the worshippers or devotees. There was no difference whether one was rich or poor, high or low, man or woman. Everyone was allowed to worship the deities of his/ her own choice. Bhakti movement discarded the performance of elaborated sacrifices.