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BHIC-107: History of India – IV (c. 1206 – 1550)

BHIC-107: History of India – IV (c. 1206 – 1550)

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: BHIC-107/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BHIC-107

Assignment Name: History of India IV (c. 1206-1550)

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


There are three Sections in the Assignment. You have to answer all questions in the Sections.



Answer the following in about 500 words each. 20x2


Q1) Discuss briefly the Mongol policy of the Delhi Sultans.

Ans) Iltutmish followed the policy of ‘aloofness.’ The Delhi Sultans had to face the Mongol threat as early as 1221 CE when, after destroying the Khwarizmi empire, Chenghiz Khan reached the Indian frontiers in pursuit of the crown-prince Jalaluddin Mangbarni. The latter seeing no alternative, crossed the Indus and entered the cis-Indus region. Iltutmish had to take note of the Mongols who were knocking at the Indian frontier, but equally prime was the presence of Mangbarni in the cis-Indus region.


The Sultan feared a possible alliance of Qubacha and the Khokhars with Mangbarni. But Qubacha and Mangbami locked their horns for political ascendancy, and meanwhile bonds of friendship developed between Mangbarni and the Khokhars through a matrimonial alliance. This strengthened the position of Mangbarni in the northwest. Ata Malik Juwaini in his Tarikh-i Jahan Gusha decisively opines that Iltutmish smelt danger from Mangbarni who might ‘gain an ascendancy over him and involve him in ruin.’ Besides, Iltutmish was also aware of the weaknesses of the Sultanate. These factors compelled Iltutmish to follow the policy of ‘aloofness.’


Chenghiz Khan is reported to have sent his envoy to Iltutmish’s court. It is difficult to say anything about the Sultan’s response, but so long as Chenghiz Khan was alive, Iltutmish did not adopt an expansionist policy in the northwest region. An understanding of non-aggression against each other might have possibly been arrived at. Iltutmish shrewdly avoided any political alliance with the Khwarizm Prince. The latter sent his envoy Ain-ul Mulk to Iltutmish’s court requesting for asylum which Iltutmish denied by saying that the climate was not congenial for his stay.


At any rate, between 1240-66, the Mongols for the first time embarked upon the policy of annexation of India and ‘the golden phase of mutual non-aggression’ with Delhi ended. During this phase, the Sultanate remained under serious Mongol threat. The main reason was the change in the situation in Central Asia. The Mongol Khan of Transoxiana found it difficult to face the might of the Persian Khanate and, thus, was left with no alternative except to try his luck in India.

During Allaudin Khilji’s reign, the Mongol incursions extended further, and they attempted to ravage Delhi for the first time in CE 1299 under Qutlugh Khwaja. Since then, Delhi became a regular target of the Mongols. For the second time, Qutlugh Khwaja in CE 1303 attacked Delhi when Alauddin Khalji was busy in his Chittor campaign. The attack was so severe that the Mongols inflicted large-scale destruction and so long as the Mongols besieged Delhi, Alauddin could not enter the city.


Constant Mongol attacks pressed Alauddin to think of a permanent solution. He recruited a huge standing army and strengthened the frontier forts. As a result, the Mongols were repulsed in 1306 and 1308. Another reason for the Mongol reversal was the death of Dawa Khan in 1306, followed by civil war in the Mongol Khanate. It weakened the Mongols greatly, and they ceased to remain a power to reckon with. This situation helped the Delhi Sultans to extend their frontier as far as the Salt Range. The last significant Mongol invasion was under the leadership of Tarmashirin during the reign of Sultan Muhammad Tughlaq.


Thus, the Delhi Sultans succeeded in tackling the Mongol problem and succeeded in keeping their kingdom intact. It shows the strength of the Sultanate. Besides, the Mongol destruction of Central and West Asia resulted in large-scale migration of scholars, mystics, artisans, and others to Delhi, which transformed it into a great town of Islamic culture area.


Q2) Explain ritual kingship in the context of Vijayanagara empire. Mention the role and functions of the Brahmanas in the Vijayanagara empire.

Ans) The Viiaynagar empire had a significant impact on the political, social, and economic life of the world.


Ritual Kingship

It is frequently highlighted that the Vijaynagara state's primary element and defining characteristic was its strong commitment to dharma. The Vijaynagara kings frequently had to battle Hindu tyrants, such as the Gajapatis of Odisha. Muslim commanders were in charge of the Vijaynagara army's most strategically located contingents. King Deva Raya II employed Muslim archers, and these Muslim contingents were crucial to Vijaynagara's success against its Hindu adversaries.


The Vijaynagara kings adopted the title of digvijayans as a result of their successful military exploits. As far as the Vijaynagara monarchs exercised control over a territory outside of their primary sphere of influence through their overlords, their kingship was symbolic. To win the people's devotion, this symbolism was made explicit through the employment of religion as a tool. For instance, the mahanavami celebration serves as the best illustration of ritual kingship.


Political Role of the Brahmans

The role of the Brahmans as political and secular personnel rather than ritual leaders was a distinctive characteristic of the Vijaynagara state. Brahmans made up the majority of the durga dannaiks. The idea that strongholds were important during this time and were governed by Brahmans, particularly those with Telugu ancestry, is supported by literary sources. The bulk of educated Brahmans during this time wanted to work for the government as administrators and accountants because it provided them promising employment opportunities.


The whole Brahman population worked in the Imperial Secretariat. These Brahmans belonged to the Telugu Niyogis subcaste, which set them apart from other Brahmans. They did not practise religion in a particularly traditional manner. In addition, they served as prospective legitimizers. The Sangama brothers' ministers were the Brahman Vidyaranya and his family; by re-accepting the brothers into the Hindu fold, they gave the Sangama brothers' authority legitimacy. In the Vijaynagara army, the Brahmans also had a significant leadership role as generals.


Relationship between Kings, Sects and Temples

The Vijaynagara monarch enlisted the aid of Tamil-born Vaishnava sect leaders in order to establish effective authority over the remote Tamil province. It was vital for the rulers, who were foreigners in the Tamil peninsula, to establish contacts with the primary Tamil religious organisation, the temples, in order to legitimise their dominance in this area.


Four claims can be used to describe the relationship between rulers, sects, and temples:

  1. Temples were necessary to support kingship.

  2. Kings and temples were joined together by sectarian leaders.

  3. The king was in charge of resolving issues involving temples, despite the fact that local sectarian groups handled the everyday supervision of the temples.

  4. The king's involvement in the aforementioned situation was administrative rather than legislative.

In south India, a great number of temples emerged between 1350 and 1650. Under the Vijaynagara dynasty, a specific kind of agrarian economy developed through grants or endowments of material resources to the temples. The Saivas who ruled the early Sangama kingdom added to the Sri Virupaksha temple in Vijaynagara. The Saluvas were essentially Vaishnavas who supported the temples of Siva and Vishnu. The Krishnaswami Temple was built by Krishnadeva Raya, who also funded Siva temples. The Vaishnava temples also received gifts from the Aravidu kings.



Answer the following questions in about 250 words each. 10x3


Q1) Analyse Turkan-i Chihilgani. Discuss the role played by Turkan-i Chihilgani as kingmakers after the death of Iltutmish.

Ans) The Turk-I-Chihalgani was founded by Iltutmish to rule the Delhi Sultanate. However, it made Iltumish's successors seem bad. Balban eventually had to destroy this deep state. Iltutmish had to assemble an elite cadre of officers whom he would assign to significant military-administrative roles in order to organise the administration of the infant Delhi Sultanate. In contrast to Muizzi and Qutbi nobility who had not made peace with Iltutmish's Sultanate, they were intended to remain faithful to him and streamline the iqta system, perfect the central administration, manage the countryside of strategic garrisons, etc. As a result, he established the "Turk-e-Chihalgani."


Ziauddin Barani left a wise account of this time in his writings. Due to the presence of qualified nobles and bureaucrats throughout Iltutmish's reign, the court of Iltutmish gained a little more stability. However, his Chihalgani gained the upper hand following his death. Those emirs who didn't follow orders were gradually eliminated by the Chihalgani, which began to function as a deep state. Additionally, every new Sultan had to placate them and defend their interests in order to avoid being overthrown just as easily.


Balban, who had previously exited the Chihalgani, recognised the threat they posed. He consequently exiled or killed the majority of them. But in doing so, he also eliminated the Sultanate's true authority. As a result, the Turk-i-Chihalgani helped the Sultanate become more stable while also eroding the power of the Sultans.


It is impossible to dispute Balban's role in the demise of Turkish dominance in India. Without a question, his consolidation programme insured the survival of the Delhi sultanate and prepared the ground for its subsequent growth under the Khaljis, but his treatment of the Turkish nobles debilitated it and shorted its existence.


Q2) Discuss the currency system of the Delhi Sultans.

Ans) The establishment of the Delhi Sultanate was marked by a considerable growth of money economy which accelerated particularly in the first half of the 14th century. Since the growth of money economy in simple words means larger use of currency in transactions, a large-scale minting of gold, silver and copper coins that followed the foundation of the Delhi Sultanate was an attendant process of the monetization of Indian economy.


The period prior to the foundation of the Delhi Sultanate was marked by the scarcity of coinage particularly of pure silver. The early Ghorid conquerors found mints uttering coins of copper with very small silver contents. Except an increase in the number of coins stamped, no changes were introduced in the beginning. The coins continued to bear the image of goddess Lakshmi or bull-and-horseman, etc. Only the name of the new ruler in a corrupt form got inscribed over it in Nagari script. These coins were called Dehliwal.


Iltutmish is credited for standardizing the coinage of the Delhi Sultanate. The currency system established by him in its essentials survived the Delhi Sultanate. He introduced gold and silver tankas and a copper jital that was reckoned at 1/48th of a tanka in North India and 1/50th in the Deccan after the conquest of Devagiri. A firm ratio of 1:10 between gold and silver appears to have been established.


For studying the currency system, we not only have the testimony of the chronicles but also the physical evidence available in the form of surviving coins. The Sultanate mints generally uttered coins in three metals: gold, silver, and billon. The main coins were tanka and jital, but some smaller currencies were also in circulation. Barani mentions dangs and dirams in use at the capital Delhi.


The equation between these currencies in the north has been worked out as:

1 silver tanka = 48 jital = 192 dangs = 480 dirhams


The gold and silver remitted from Bengal was the main source of coinage during the 13th century. The seizure of treasure hoards in northern India and later in the Deccan was the other major source of silver and gold for coinage. The Sultanate mints should not only have coined government money but also stamped bullion and foreign coins brought by the private merchants.


Q3) Write a brief note on the growth of sufi movement in India.

Ans) Al-Hujwiri was the earliest sufi of eminence to have settled in India. His tomb is in Lahore. He was the author of Kashf-ul Mahjub, a famous Persian treatise on sufism. However, various sufi orders were introduced in India only after the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate i.e., in the beginning of the 13th century. India not only provided a new pasture ground for the propagation of sufi ideas but also became the new home of the sufis who along with many other refugees fled from those parts of the Islamic world which had been conquered by the Mongols in the 13th century.


During the 13th and 14th centuries, khanqahs sprang up in various parts of India. The sufis introduced various orders in India from the Islamic world, built up their own organizations and established themselves in their respective areas of influence. By the middle of the 14th century, the entire country from Multan to Bengal and from Punjab to Deogiri had come under the sphere of their activity.


According to the observation of an early 14th century traveller, there were two thousand sufi hospices and khanqahs in Delhi and its neighbourhood. Sufism in India originally stemmed from the sufi thought and practice as it developed in various parts of the Islamic world, especially in Iran and Central Asia. However, its subsequent development was influenced more by Indian environment than by non-Indian variants of Sufism. Once the sufi orders took root in different parts of India, they followed their own phases of growth, stagnation, and revival. These were determined largely by indigenous circumstances, though the influence of developments in Sufism outside India cannot altogether be discounted.


Answer the following questions in about 100 words each. 6x5


Q1) Persian Chroniclers of the Sultanate Period

Ans) Firuz Tughlaq restored the Shamsi, and Alai tanks built in Delhi by his forebears. He constructed dams for water storage all around Delhi. Afif names band-i Wazirabad, band-i Malja, band-i Shukr Khan, band-i Salaura, band-i Mahipalpur, and band-i Fath Khan. These structures were noted in passing in a 1919 survey of Delhi's monuments. These buildings were investigated in 1967 by the University of Tokyo's Mission for Indian History and Archaeology. Canals were described by Shams Siraj Afif and Yahya Sihrindi. Crops for the rabi season thrived on this field after canal water was used to irrigate it. Using the river connecting the Sutlej to Safedon, Akbar rediscovered the Shihab Nahr. Two further canals, one from close to Dipalpur to Jahbaz and the other from Kahkhar to Harni Khera by the side of the river Sirsa, are credited to Firuz Shah by Sihrindi.


Q2) Role of Amiran-i Sadah in making the Deccan independent of the Tughlaq Rule

Ans) The amiran-i sadah's efforts to free the Deccan from Tughlaq control are instructive in this context. These nobly born officers served as both military leaders and tax collectors. In their realm, they were in constant contact with the locals. Muhammad Tughlaq blamed the tremendous power exercised by these amirs for a series of southern rebellions, and as a response, he set out on a programme of repressing them, which ultimately sounded the death knell for Tughlaq control in the Deccan. Occurred during this time and how they influenced the establishment of a new dynasty and kingdom.


Q3) Medieval Assam

Ans) From the mouth of the Brahmaputra in the east to the mouth of the Karatoya in the west, and from the Mishmi Hills in the north to the Patkai Bum in the northeast, mediaeval Assam included a vast swath of the Indian subcontinent. Burma's eastern limit was parallel to the direction the state's name was written. Several different tribal polities, including those of the Chutiyas, Tai-Ahoms, Koch, Dimasa, Tripuri, Manipuri, Khasis, and Jaintias, emerged and flourished in Assam between the 13th and 15th centuries. At last, the Chutiyas and the Ahoms rose to prominence as the dominant ethnic groups. On top of that, there was also the kingdom of Kamata-Kamrup. This section provides background information on the origins of the Ahom people and the Kamata-Kamrup empire.


Q4) Military Technology during the Sultanate Period



It is now widely accepted that India did not have iron-stirrup. In addition, there is no word for a stirrup in Sanskrit. The "large toe stirrup" and "suspension hooks" may have been employed in India, but the "stirrup proper" was a Muslim invention. Around the sixth century CE, this stirrup was first employed in China; throughout the following century, it spread to Persia and other Islamic nations. The word "rikab" is used in a Persian source that discusses conflict during the reign of Iltutmish.



While some experts on mediaeval India consider the stirrup to be a contributing cause to the numerous military victories the Turks had in India, the horseshoe has traditionally been viewed as the inferior cousin. Horse domestication was insufficient. A few pieces of equipment were introduced with the intention of controlling the horse for riding, including the stirrup and saddles with pommels and cantles.


Gunpowder and Firearms

Many years ago, certain researchers both European and Indian were eager to demonstrate the existence of firearms and gunpowder in ancient India. The Sukraniti became the main centre of focus and support among the Sanskrit sources.


Q5) Slaves and Karkhanas during the Sultanate Period



Slaves were a significant aspect of urban areas in relation to the royal household. In addition to poverty, famine, and kidnapping, the slaves of the royal household were primarily taken as prisoners of war or captured rebels from the mawas lands. Qutbuddin Aibak seized 20,000 slaves during his Gujarat campaign in 1197 alone, and 50,000 during his Kalinjar campaign in 1202-1203. Even Balban's raids on Ranthambhor and Malik Kafur's expeditions in the Deccan were aimed at assembling massive numbers of slaves.



Karkhanas, which generally fell into the categories of factories and storehouses, served as the means of providing for the necessities of the royal household. As a karkhana, even the royal library was regarded. There were 36 Karkhanas in the time of Firuz Tughlaq. There were two different kinds of karkhanas: ratibi and ghair-ratibi. Ratibi Karkhanas were those that sold perishable products such food, fodder, stables, kitchens, and shamakhana. Its head was fixed.

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