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BHIC-132: History of India from c.300 to 1206

BHIC-132: History of India from c.300 to 1206

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: BHIC-132/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BHIC-132

Assignment Name: History of India from C. 300 C.E. to 1206

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 the various sources for the reconstruction of the social history of the period from 700 to 1200 CE.

Ans) In Indian history, the time frame from roughly 700 to 1200 CE is referred to as "early mediaeval." It clearly marks some departures from the pre-600 CE period and the introduction of mediaeval components, and as a result, holds a middle ground between the two. However, this time is neither ancient nor mediaeval in character. Beginning with the fall of the Gupta Empire in northern India, the early mediaeval period ends with the introduction of political Islam to India. Historians disagree on the characteristics of early mediaeval society, economics, and governance. Certain political and economic changes give the context for societal transformations. It might be argued that widespread land transfers throughout the subcontinent were the main driver of all political, economic, and sociocultural developments.


Sanskrit was released from the shackles of sanctity and developed as a literary and political language. Emerging vernacular languages began to challenge Sanskrit's dominance in literary production by the end of the period. There were numerous literary works created. Religious writings, poetry, plays, philosophical works, technical treatises on math, grammar, medicine, music, architecture, lexicography, and other subjects were among them. The growth of regional states also sparked the creation of a number of regal biographies, including Harshacharita by Banabhatta, Ramacharita by Sandhyakaranandin, Navasahasankacharita by Padmagupta, Vikramankadevacharita by Bilhana, Kumarapalacharita by Hemachandra, and Prithvirajavijaya and Prithvirajaraso by Chand Bard Rajatatrangini, the first known historical chronicle in India regarding the dynasties and rulers of Kashmir, was also written by Kalhana. Throughout the early mediaeval era, Puranas were still being written and collected.


Some previous Puranas were updated, and some Upapuranas were written, along with the Bhagavata, Brahmavaivarta, and Kalika Puranas. Several Dharmasutras, including Chaturvimshatimata, Lakshmidhara's Krityakalpataru, and Devanabhatta's Smritichandrika, were also assembled. A legal treatise by the name of Vyavaharamatrika and a summary by the name of Dayabhaga were also written by Jimutavahana. Commentaries on Smritis and Mimansa texts offered new interpretations in line with time and place, taking the era's shifting social climate into account. Other languages, besides Sanskrit, also saw the blossoming of literature. Maharashtrian Prakrit was used to write several Jaina scriptures. Additionally, one can find evidence of Apabhramsha's impact in Jaina writings. Tamil was used to write the hagiographies of the Alvarand Naynamnar saints in south India. Several South Indian royal families, notably the Rashtrakutas, Hoyasals, and Chalukyas, supported literature, including several Kannada compositions.


The stories of Chinese and Arab travellers are also a valuable source of information for the time. China's Xuan-Zang and Yijing travelled to India, while wealthy records on India were left by Arab travellers including Sulaiman, Al-Masudi, Abu Zaid, Al-Biduri, Ibn Haukal, Al Biruni, Muhammad Ufi, and Ibn Batuta. In addition to the substantial body of literary sources, inscriptions from the time period are a significant source of data for the reconstruction of social history. The most extensive source of epigraphical historical information during the time is found in land donations made to temples, priests, and authorities. The scant numismatic and archaeological evidence has not yet demonstrated its value for the time.


Q2) Evaluate the formation and expansion of the Rashtrakuta Empire.

Ans) In the early Middle Ages, various Rashtrakuta branches ruled over various regions of India. Mananka established the Rashtrakutas' earliest known governing family in Malkhed, which was represented by the Paalidhvaja banner and the Garuda-lanchhana. In the Madhya Pradesh district of Betul, a different Rashtrakuta family held power. The Garuda-sealed Antroli-Chharoli inscription, which dates from 757 CE, names four generations: Karka I, his son Dhruva, his son Govinda, and his son Karka II. They are all members of the Malkhed line, a tangential branch that ruled the Lata area in Gujarat. The Rashtrakuta line of the imperial dynasty was founded by Dantidurga. He appears to be Karka II's era. It is impossible to determine with precision how closely related these monarchs were to the Malkhed line, however Karka I of the charter from 757 CE may have been the same person as Dantidurga's paternal grandfather. Dantidurga established the kingdom and established his capital at Manyakheta or Malkhed close to modern-day Sholapur.


The genuine architect of a long-lasting empire was Dantidurga, a powerful and capable leader. The Ellora inscription from 742 CE, the earliest record of his reign, mentions the names Prithvivallabha and Khagavaloka for him. After the Arab invasion, Lata and Malava were in a troubled state, and Dantidurga used this as an advantage to seize control of the regions. Additionally, Dantidurga assaulted Kanchi, the Pallavas' capital, and formed a partnership with Nandivarman Pallavamalla, to whom he wed his daughter Reva. The mercenary king Dantidurga invaded the vast Chalukyan empire's periphery, took control of those areas, and then launched an attack on the centre of the empire, where he easily vanquished Kirtivarman. According to the Samangadh inscription from 754 CE, Dantidurga deposed Kirtivarman II, the last Chalukya monarch of Badami, and ascended to full imperial rank. Up until Dantidurga's dominion, Kirtivarman ruled in a less glorious manner. Dantidurga claims to have ruled over four lakh villages, however this likely only represents little more than half of the Badami Chalukyan kingdom.

After assuming the throne, Dhruva mercilessly punished those kings who supported Govinda II during the late civil war. During his lifetime, he made Govinda III, his youngest but most capable son, emperor. One of the best Rashtrakuta kings was Govinda III. After defeating Nagabhatta of Kanauj and annexing Malawa, Kosala, Kalinga, Vengi, Dahala, and Odraka in the north, Govinda III once more turned his attention to the south. Govinda's lone son Maharaja Sarva, also known as Amoghavarsha-I, succeeded him as the next Rashtrakuta king and, like his father, established himself as one of the best. Although Amoghavarsha ruled for 68 years, he valued digvijaya above battle because of his temperament in the areas of religion, literature, and construction.


In a line of outstanding kings, Krishna III was the last. He was engaged in conflict with the Eastern Chalukyas of Vengi and the Paramaras of Malava. He also carried out one of the earliest but most significant military conquests over the Chola monarch of Tanjore, who had replaced the Pallavas of Kanchi, according to the Karhad plates, which were published from the king's camp at Melpadi in the North Arcot province. Parantaka I was overthrown by Krishna III, who then seized the northern portion of the Chola empire and divided the Chola monarchy among his aides. After his passing, all of his enemies banded together against his successor, his half-brother Khottiga, in late 966 or very early 967 CE. The Paramara monarchs attacked, pillaged, and burned the Rashtrakuta capital Manyakheta in 972 CE, forcing the emperor to flee. Khottiga was succeeded by Tailla II, a Chalukya, who had deposed Khottiga.



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


Q1) Describe the Chola administration in detail.

Ans) Several people were in charge of administration under the Chola empire. Even though a council of ministers is not explicitly shown, Uddan-kottam seems to have fulfilled this role. Both upward and downward mobility are present in the administrative structure. According to conventional historiography, Perundanan and Sirutaram were higher and lower grade officials, respectively. Senapatis gave the middle position the name Sirudanattup Perundaram. Nyayattar belonged to both categories. The data does not always support these categorization, historians have highlighted. Officials received distributions of land rights as payment. Both a monetary and in-kind tax applied to land. Officials were referred to as holders of lands. The land can potentially be sold or further sub-assigned by them.


Common communal ownership and acknowledgment of villagers' traditional rights. The village was the lowest level of government. They joined forces to form a Nadu. A Valanadu was composed of several Nadus. Taniyur was a unique town or neighbourhood. Over Valanadu was Mandalam, which resembled a province. Karumigal and panimpkal were the names for officers and staff, respectively. In anbil plates, a Brahmana Manya Sachiva is mentioned. He received some land from the king. Especially when it came to presents for temples, the king gave verbal orders. The instruction was conveyed by a letter written by Anatti, who had been chosen by the queen. Following the procedure, a record was made in front of the Nattukkon, Nadukilavan, and Urudaiyan local magnates. When the process was finished, a record was created in front of the local magnates after the local bodies had been informed.


Q2) Write a note on the post-Gupta economy.

Ans) Peasants, artisans, and merchants were tied to their local communities, and there were limitations on their freedom of movement, which led to an environment where the development of a closed economy was inevitable.


Decline of Trade

The Gupta era saw the beginning of the commercial downturn, which intensified by the middle of the 6th century CE. After the first few centuries of the Common Era, the flow of Roman coinage into India came to an end. For Indian traders, the rise of the Arabs and the Persians as rivals in commerce was not promising. Important commodities in the Indo-Byzantine commerce included silk and spices. Foreign commerce was not the only area of trade decline. Due to the deterioration of connections between coastal towns and inland towns, as well as between towns and villages, long-distance internal trade also suffered.


Paucity of Coins

The lack of coins in the post-Gupta era is evidence of the decline in business. After the sixth century, gold coins that were so prevalent throughout the Kushana and Gupta eras were no longer in use. Attention is also drawn by the lack of copper and silver coins. The later Gupta coins' gold content was only half as high as that of the Kushana coins. The coins of Harshavardhana are too few, and neither the Rashtrakutas nor the Palas, who took control of Bengal and the Deccan in the eighth century, minted any coinage.


Decline of Towns

Trade slowdown, a lack of coins, the loss of coin moulds, and commercial seals all signify a downturn in the economy. Beginning in the middle of the third or fourth century, the pre-Kushana and Kushana settlements in northern India as well as those connected to the Satavahanas in the Deccan started to deteriorate. The same was true of southern India as it was of northern India, Malwa, and the Deccan. Contemporary literature and inscriptions also reflect the deterioration of towns and cities. Inscriptions and seals from the third to the sixth centuries make mention of the role that artisans, craftsmen, and merchants played in town life.


Q3) Explain the various theories of the Rise of Rajputs.

Ans) The Sanskrit phrase Rajaputra, which meaning king's son, is where the word "Rajputs" originates. The Rajput era, commonly known as the sixth through the twelfth centuries of north Indian history, saw the rise of the Rajputs. Rajputs can be divided into a number of distinct groups called vansh or vamsha. Three main vansh are typically used to categorise Rajput people:


Foreign Origin Theory

According to this hypothesis, Rajputs are descended from several races, including Sakas, Kushanas, Hunas, etc. This claim was backed by the fact that Rajputs worship fire, just like Sakas and Hunas, whose primary deity was fire. They were referred to as the Kushanas' offspring by Cunningham. Tod claims that the Rajputs are descended from the Scythians. The Huns and other related tribes that arrived in India between the fifth and sixth centuries are referred to as Scythian.


Kashtriya Theory of Origin

Gauri Shankar Ojha, Ved Vyas, and Vaidya did not agree with the foreign theory. The Rajput kings of Mewar, Jaipur, and Bikaner are pure Aryans who are descended from the Suryavanshi and Chandravanshi dynasties of the Kshatriyas, according to Rajasthani historian Gauri Shankar Ojha, who makes this observation in 1926.


Mixed Origin Theory

Historians like V.A. Smith and Dr. DP Chatterjee came to the conclusion that while some Rajputs are descended from regional Kshatriya clans, others are related to alien races like the Hunas, Sakas, and Kushanas. With time, they changed their name and began referring to themselves as Rajputs because they could fight more effectively on battlefields with their sword.


Agnikula Theory

This notion is based on Chandbardai's book "Prthiviraj Raso," in which he claims that the Rajputs descended from a sacrificial hearth that burned atop the Mount Abu Mountains. After Parshuram killed every Kashtriya, there were no Kashtriyas left on the planet to defend Brahmins, therefore this was done. The Brahmins engaged in yajna for forty days while burning holy fire.





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


Q1) Pallava art and temple architecture) Pallava art and architecture can be considered as an early stage of the Dravidian period, which peaked under the Chola Dynasty. The first South Indian temples composed of stone and mortar were built during the Pallava dynasty, based on earlier brick and timber prototypes. The Pallava kings were generous patrons of the built environment and the arts. The Pallavas created the Dravidian architectural style. During the Pallava era, temple architecture also evolved, going from Rock-cut temples to Free-standing temples.


The Pallavas made important contributions to Indian art and architecture. Actually, it was the Pallavas who established the Dravidian architectural style in southern India. There was a gradual transition from cave temples to monolithic Rathas and then to structural temples. Five different architectural designs may be observed in Mamallapuram collectively referred to as the Pancha Pandava Rathas or the Five Rathas. The Kailasanatha temple represents the pinnacle of Pallava architecture. The Pallavas also made contributions to the growth of sculpture. The paintings in the Sittannavasal caves date to the Pallava period.


Q2) Chalukyas of Badami

Ans) Simhavishnu, the Pallavan ruler, was busy enlarging his realms at the same time as the Chalukyas of Badami, with Badami as their capital, began to rule over North Karnataka. The founder, Pulakesin I, established his expansionist operations after fortifying a hill close to Badami as a stronghold. Kirtivarman I quickly invaded and annexed to their expanding territory the Kadambas of Banavasi to the south and the Mauryas of Konkan to the west.


Chalukya realm was substantially expanded by Pulakesin II. The Alupas of the west coast and the Ganga kings of South Karnataka were subordinate. As a result, the region where Kannada is spoken was united. The Latas, Malwas, and Gurjaras were conquered by the army when it invaded Malwa and southern Gujarat in the north. Of the Narmada, the Chalukyan king overcame his northern opponent Harsha of Kanauj, who had designs on annexing the Deccan. The defeat of Harsha by Pulakesin II is described in the Aihole inscription of Ravikirti. After succeeding, Pulakesin II took the name Parameshvara.


Q3) Property Rights of Women

Ans) In the absence of male heirs, Brahmanical law allowed women to inherit property. Women's right to family property reduces state seizure. Jimutavahana's Dayabhaga and Vijnaneshvara's Mitakshara recognised widows' inheritance rights. But not in India. In 1150 CE, King Kumarapala of Gujarat wrote that widows might inherit their husbands' land. Rajaditya Chola II of Achchalpuram, Tamil Nadu, talks of a local sabha allowing a widow to inherit her husband's farms and other property. Early mediaeval women's stridhana rights expanded. Medieval commentaries and digests expand sridhana. Mitakshara considers it women's property.


Definitions vary among literature. Dayabhaga and Smritichandrika acknowledged stridhana's restricted scope. Initially, stridhana focused on movable assets. Women didn't have absolute property rights to sell, mortgage, or give. Women possessed solely. Immovable property was family-owned. Men controlled land and other resources through family, fief, and governmental systems, but women had minimal control. Brahmanical normative laws also undermine women's rights. Invisible was gender equality. Both men and women in Kashmir bucked customary roles by donating and building.


Q4) Bhakti Movement

Ans) Bhakti Movement is one of the largest and most pervasive religious movements in the Indian subcontinent, the Bhakti movement is essential to understanding the development of Indian religion. The Vaishnava Alvars and Shaiva Nayanars of modern-day Tamil Nadu founded it. The number of non-Brahmins and women in the South's Bhagavata movements was first quite low, although this eventually altered. The advent of early mediaeval kingdoms like the Pallavas, Cholas, Pandyas, and Cheras, which supported it, coincided with these early movements. Different viewpoints on god and the connection between him and his devotees were present in the Bhakti movement. Bhakti entailed adoration of a unique god. God's love and devotion are depicted in terms of various relationships. For the Warkaris, the bond between a child and its parents, particularly the mother, is envisioned. Sometimes a devotee's acts are motivated by their estrangement from God or the pain of that separation. The longing of the soul for god is seen as a loving relationship in the Vaishnavite and Shaivite religions. Folk songs about divorce were able to be incorporated thanks to the idea of viraha.


Q5) Sculpture

Ans) The Gupta sculpture exhibits great levels of expertise and masterful execution. The primary contribution of this period was the creation of ideal pictures, both Buddhist and Brahmanical. The visitor gets the impression that the sculptor used a chisel to turn the stone into works of everlasting beauty and grace. It is arguable that the image-making activity of this era is characterised by a firm, intelligent, and full comprehension and grasp of fundamental principles and genuine purposes of sculpture, a highly developed idea of beauty, and expertise in steady hands. Several sculptures of numerous Brahmanical deities, including Vishnu, Shiva, Kartikeya, Ganesha, Surya, etc., as well as Buddhist and Jaina figures, including the Buddha, Bodhisattva, Tirthankara, etc., are known to have been created during this time.

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