Kings and Kingdoms
Q36. Who were responsible to collect the revenue from the people?
functionaries for collecting revenue were generally recruited from influential
families, and positions were often hereditary. This was true about the army as
well. In many cases, close relatives of the king held these positions.
Q37. Who performed ritual called hiranya garbha and why?
the mid-eighth century, Dantidurga, a Rashtrakuta chief, overthrew his Chalukya
overlord and performed a ritual called hiranya-garbha (literally, the golden
womb). When this ritual was performed with the help of Brahmanas, it was
thought to lead to the “rebirth” of the sacrificer as a Kshatriya, even if he
was not one by birth.
Q38. Write a short note on brahmadeya.
means land gifted to Brahmanas. Each brahmadeya was looked after by an assembly
or sabha of prominent Brahmana landholders. These assemblies worked very efficiently.
Their decisions were recorded in detail in inscriptions, often on the stone walls
Q39. How the committee members for sabha elected?
The sabha had separate committees to look after irrigation works, gardens,
temples, etc. Names of those eligible to be members of these committees were
written on small tickets of palm leaf and kept in an earthenware pot, from
which a young boy was asked to pick the tickets, one by one for each committee.
Q40. Who was Kalhana? What was he famous for?
a great poet who composed a long Sanskrit poem containing the history of kings
who ruled over Kashmir. He used a variety of sources, including inscriptions,
documents, eyewitness accounts and earlier histories, to write his account.
Unlike the writers of prashastis, he was often critical about rulers and their
Q41. How did the Rashtrakutas become powerful?
Rashtrakutas were subordinate to the Chalukyas of Karnataka. In the mid-eighth
century, Dantidurga, a Rashtrakuta chief, overthrew his Chalukya overlord and
performed a ritual called hiranya-garbha (literally, the golden womb). When this
ritual was performed with the help of Brahmanas, it was thought to lead to the
“rebirth” of the sacrificer as a Kshatriya, even if he was not one by birth.
Q42. When they attacked one another’s kingdoms, they often chose
to target temples. Give reason.
also tried to demonstrate their power and resources by building large temples.
So, when they attacked one another’s kingdoms, they often chose to target
temples, which were sometimes extremely rich. One of the best
known of such rulers is Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, Afghanistan. He
raided the subcontinent almost every year – his targets were wealthy temples,
including that of Somnath, Gujarat.
Q43. What were the activities associated with Chola temples?
Chola temples often became the nuclei of settlements which grew around them.
These were centres of craft production. Temples were also endowed with land by rulers
as well as by others. The produce of this land went to maintain
all the specialists who worked at the temple and very often lived near it –
priests, garland makers, cooks, sweepers, musicians, dancers, etc. In other
words, temples were not only places of worship; they were the hub of economic,
social and cultural life as well.
Q44. Write a short note on Tang dynasty.
China, an empire was established under the Tang dynasty, which remained in
power for about 300 years (from the seventh to the tenth centuries). Its
capital, Xi’an, was one of the largest cities in the world, visited by Turks,
Iranians, Indians, Japanese and Koreans. The Tang empire was administered by a
bureaucracy recruited through an examination, which was open to all who wished
to appear for it. This system of selecting officials remained in place, with
some changes, till 1911.