Chapter 2 New Kings And Kingdoms

1. Match the following:
Gwjara-Pratiharas    –      Western Deccan
Rashtrakutas             –       Bengal
Palos                           –     Gujarat and Rajasthan
Cholas                         –        Tamil Nadu
Gurj ara-Pratiharas        –   Gujarat and Rajasthan
Rashtrakutas                   –   Western Deccan
Palas                                 –    Bengal
Cholas                               –   Tamil Nadu

2. Who were the parties involved in the ‘tripartite struggle’?
Answer: The parties involved in the tripartite struggle were Gurjar-Pratihara, Rashtrakuta, and Pala dynasties.

3. What were the qualifications necessary to become a member of a committee of the sabha in the Chola Empire?
The working of a sabha according to the Uttaramerur inscription is given below:

  1.  All those who wish to become members of the sabha should be owners of the land from which land, revenue is collected.
  2. They should have their own homes.
  3. They should be between 35 and 70 years of age.
  4. They should have knowledge of the Vedas.
  5. They should be well-versed in administrative matters and honest in all dealings.
  6. If anyone has been a member of any committee in the last three years, he cannot become a member of another committee.
  7. Anyone who has not submitted his accounts, as well as those of his relatives, cannot contest the elections.

4. What were the two major cities under the control of the Chahamanas?
Delhi and Ajmer were the two cities under control of the Chahamanas.

5. How did the Rashtrakutas become powerful?
Rashtrakutas became powerful in the following manner:

  1. Rashtrakutas were subordinates to the Chalukyas of Karnataka.
  2. In the mid-eighth century Dantidurga, a Rashtrakuta chief, overthrew his Chalukyan overlord.
  3. He performed a ritual called Hiranya-garbha with the help of Brahmanas.
  4. This ritual was, then, considered to lead the rebirth of the sacrificer as Kshatriya, even if he was not Kshatriya by birth.

6. What did the new dynasties do to gain acceptance?
Answer:  The new dynasties gained power and wealth. Thereafter they declared themselves to be maha-samantas or mahamandaleshwara. Many of such kings adopted high sounding titles like maharaja-adhiraja or tribhuvana-chakravartin. They also deputed learned brahmanas to depict them as valiant, victorious warriors. Their activities were recorded in Prashastis. They tried to demonstrate their power and resources by building large temples.

7. What kind of irrigation works were developed in the Tamil Nadu?
Large scale cultivation was developed in Tamil Nadu and in many cases artificial irrigation became necessary. A variety of methods were used:

  • Wells were dug
  • Huge tanks were constructed to collect rainwater
  • Canals were constructed

All this work required planning, organizing labour and resources. Decisions were taken collectively on the usage of water. New rulers and people took an active interest in these activities.

8. What were the activities associated with Chola temples?
Splendid temples and bronze sculptures of the Cholas:

  1. Rajaraja and Rajendra built big temples of Thanjavur and Gangaikondacholapuram.
  2. They are architectural and sculptural marvels.
  3. Chola temples often became the centre of settlements around them.
  4. These were centres of craft production.
  5. Temples were also endowed with land by both rulers and others.
  6. The produce of this land went to maintain all the specialists who worked at the temple and very often lived near it.
  7. They included priests, garland makers, cooks, sweepers, musicians, dancers, etc.
  8. In other words, temples were not only places of worship; but also the hub of economic, social and cultural life.
  9. Amongst the crafts associated with temples, the making of bronze images was the most important.
  10. Chola bronze images are amongst the finest in the world.
  11. Most images were of deities, sometimes images were made of devotees also.

9. Look at Map 1 once more and find out whether there were any kingdoms in the state in which you live.
Answer:  The answer may vary as per the students’ state where they live. So the students should answer this question on the basis of their individual study of the Map.

10. Contrast the ‘elections’ in Uttaramerur with present day panchayat election?
Answer:  The system of election in Uttaramerur was quite different from that of the present day panchayat elections. In the Uttaramerur election, the names of the persons eligible to be members of the committees were written on small tickets of palm leaves. The tickets were put into an earthenware pot. Thereafter a young boy was asked to take out the tickets, one by one for each committee. But the present day panchayat members are elected through a general election.

The names of the total members are printed with a symbol allotted to them on a paper called ballot paper. The voter put a stamp over their choice and drops it in a ballot box. Votes are counted and the winners’ name is declared by the Returning Officer. Every procedure is organized by a statutory body.

11. Compare the temple shown in this chapter with any present-day temple in your neighbourhood, highlighting any similarities and differences that you notice.
Answer:  Attempt yourself.

12. Find out more about taxes that are collected at present. Are these in cash, kind, or labour services?
Taxes collected at present.

  • Land tax
  • Income tax
  • Wealth tax
  • Sale tax
  • Property tax
  • Excise tax
  • VAT (value-added tax)
  • Service tax
  • Education cess {tax)
  • Tax on electricity
  • Water tax

These taxes are generally in cash

 Very Short Answer Type Questions

1. Who was Dantidurga?
Answer: Dantidurga was a Rashtrakuta chief who turned out to be a kshatriya after performing a ritual known as hiranya-garbha.

2. What was called ‘rent’?
Answer:  Resources obtained from the producers were called ‘rent’.

3. Who paid revenue?
Answer:  The traders paid revenue

4. What were ‘prashastis’?
Answer:  Prashastis were the details depicting the rule and personality of the rulers

5. Who were the writers of Prashastis?
Answer:  The learned brahmanas were the writers of the Prashastis.

6. Who was Kalhana?
Answer: Kalhana was a great Sanskrit poet from Kashmir.

7. What was ‘tripartite struggle’?             [V. Imp.]
Answer:  The tripartite sruggle was a long drawn conflict among the rulers of Gurjara- Pratihara, Rashtrakuta and Pala dynasties for control over Kanauj.

8. Who wrote Kitab al-Hind?
Answer:  A great Arab poet al-Baruni wrote Kitab al-Hind

9. Who was Prithviraja in ?
Answer: Prithviraja III was afamous Chauhan ruler of Delhi and surrounding regions during 1168-1192.

10. Who destroyed the temple of Somnath?
Answer: Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, a ruler of Afghanistan, destroyed the temple of Somnath.

11 Why are the temples of Thanjavur and Gangaikonda-cholapuram famous for?[V. Imp.]
Answer:  These temples are famous for their architectural and sculptural marvels.

12. What was called as ‘ur’?
Answer:  The settlements of peaseants were called as ‘ur’.

13. What were called ‘nadu’?
Answer: The larger units of the groups of ‘ur’ were called ‘nadu’.

14. What was known as ‘brahmadeya’?
Answer: The land gifted to Brahmanas was called as ‘brahmadeya’.

15. Define ‘nagarams’.
Answer:  ‘Nagarams’ were the associationa of traders

16. What was ‘sabha’?
Answer:  An assembly of prominent Brahmanas that looked after brahmadeya was called ‘sabha’.

Short Answer Type Questions

1. Trace out the emergence of the new class of rulers.  [V. Imp.]
Answer: During the seventh century a new class of rulers emerged. They were the subordinates or samantas under the influence of big landlords or warriors. Later they themselves gained power and wealth and declared themselves to be maha- samantas, maha-mandaleshvara (the great lord of a circle or region)

2. Who was Dantidurga? How did he became a kshatriya?
Answer: Dantidurga was a Rashtrakuta chief in Deccan. Initially, Rashtrakutas were subordinate to the Chalukyas of Karnataka. Dantidurga, in the mid-eighth century, overthrew his Chalukya overlord and performed a ritual known as ‘hiranya-garbha’. It was thought to lead to the rebirth of the sacrificer as a kshatriya, even if he was not one by birth.

3. How was the financial position controlled in these states?    [V. Imp.]
Answer:  These states were closely associated with peasants, traders, and Brahmanas. The resources were obtained from peasants, cattle-keepers, and artisans who were the producers. They were compelled to surrender part of what they produced. The traders had to pay revenue. The functionaries for collecting revenue were generally from influential families or from the close relatives of the kings.

4. Write a note on ‘Prashastis’.
Answer:  Prashastis, often written by learned Brahmanas, were details of the functioning of a king. They may not be literally true. They tell us how rulers wanted to depict themselves—as valiant, victorious warriors etc. Brahmanas were rewarded by grants of land which were recorded on copper plates.

5. Who was Kalhana? Why was he famous for?
Answer:  Kalhana was a great Sanskrit poet who wrote a long Sanskrit poem depicting the ruler of Kashmir. He used a variety of sources, including inscriptions, documents, eyewitness accounts. He was different from the writers of Prashastis for he was often critical about rulers and their policies.

6. Why were the temples first targets of the conquerors?      [V. Imp.]
Answer:  It was the trend to demonstrate power and resources by building large temples. The rulers often invested a lot in the decoration and maintenance of the temples. So the foreign conquerors made them target first. The most prominent example of it was the temple 6f Somnath in Gujarat looted several times by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazani who came from Afghanistan. Much of the wealth he carried away was used to create a splendid capital city at Ghazani.

7. Who was Prithvirqja III? Who defeated him?
Answer:  Prithviraja III (1168-1192) was a Chahamanas, later known as Chauhan ruler. He ruled over the regions around Delhi and Ajmer. He defeated Sultan Muhammad Ghori, an Afghan conqueror in 1191. But only one year after it in 1192 he was defeated by Ghori. It was the end of his rule and life both.

8. What was the role of temples during Chola kingdom? [V. Imp.]
Answer:  The Chola rulers like Rajaraja and Rajendra built two great temples of Thanjavur and Ganaikonda-cholapuram respectively. Temples were the nuclei of settlements during this period. They were the centres of craft production and also controlled the financial aspects related to them. Hence they were not only the religious centres but also the hub of economic, social, and cultural life as well.

9 Describe the irrigation system of the Chola kingdom.    [Imp.]
Answer: The irrigation system during the Chola ruler was much improved. A variety of methods were applied to it. Many wells were dug; huge tanks were also constructed to collect water. The kings themselves took interest in organizing labour and resources and extensive planning.

10. What was the system of election of committee members for Sabha?
Answer:  The Sabha had separate committees to manage the works of irrigation and other works of gardens, temples, etc. The members of each committee were elected through a strict process. Names of eligible candidates were written on small tickets of palm leaf. The tickets were put into an earthenware pot. A young boy was asked to take out the tickets one by one for each committee.

Long Answer Type Questions

1. Write a note on Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni  [Imp.]
Answer:  Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni was a ruler of Afghanistan from 997 to 1030. He was an ambitious king and so made all efforts to extend his control over far off regions. He extended his control over parts of Central Asia, Iran, and the north­western part of the subcontinent. Almost every year he raided the subcontinent targeting wealthy temples. The temple of Somnath in Gujarat was the worst victim of his raids. Much of the wealth he carried away was used to create a splendid capital city at Ghazni. Ghazni was fond of knowing more about the people he conquered. He entrusted a scholar named al-Biruni to write an account of the subcontinent. The al- Biruni’s account, an Arabic work titled as Kitab al-Hind, is still an important source for historians.

2. How did the Cholas rise to power? Trace out the role of Rajaraja I in this rise.[V. Imp.]
Answer:  Cholas belonged to a minor chiefly family known as Muttaraiyar that held power in the Kaveri delta. They worked as subordinate to the Pallava kings of Kanchipuram. Vijayalaya, a member of the ancient chiefly family of the Cholas from Uraiyur, captured the delta from the Muttaraiyar in the middle of the ninth century. ‘Hie town of Thanjavur and the temple for goddess Nishmbhasudini are some of his great creations. Vijayalaya’s successors conquered neighboring regions and the kingdom grew in size and power.

The Pandyan and the Pallava territories to the south and north were made part of this kingdom.Rajaraja I was the most powerful Chola ruler. He became king in 985 and expanded control over most of these areas. He was well known for the reorganization of the administration of his empire. His son Rajendra I continued his policies an even raided the Ganga valley, Sri Lanka and contries of Southeast Asia, developing a navy for these expeditions. The big temples of Thanjavur and Gangaikonda-cholapuram built by them are architectural marvels.