Topic outline

    • Tracing Changes through A thousand Years

      Q33. Write a short note on foreign travellers who visited India during Medieval Period.

      Ans. Foreign travellers who visited India during Medieval Period

                             i.        Ibn Batuta- He came from Morocco in the 14th century AD wrote about the reign on Mohammad-bin-Tughlaq.

                            ii.        Nicole Conti – He came from Venice and gave an account of the kingdom of Vijaynagar and its war with Bahmani kings.

                           iii.        Abdur Razzaq – He came from Persia and visited the kingdom of Vijaynagar.

                           iv.        William Hawkins – He came from England and visited the court of Jahangir. His narrative describes the magnificence of the Mughal court.

                           v.        Al-Beruni – He came from Central Asia in the 11th century AD and wrote Tahqiq-i-Hind giving a wealth of information on the culture and economy of medieval India.

      Q34. How were the affairs of jatis regulated?

      Ans. Affairs of jatis were regulated in the following ways:

                             i.        As society became more differentiated, people were grouped into jatis or sub-castes and ranked on the basis of their backgrounds and their occupations.

                            ii.        Ranks were not fixed permanently, and varied according to the power, influence and resources controlled by members of the jati. The status of the same jati could vary from area to area.

                           iii.        Jatis framed their own rules and regulations to manage the conduct of their members. These regulations were enforced by an assembly of elders, described in some areas as the jati panchayat. But jatis were also required to follow the rules of their villages.

                           iv.        Several villages were governed by a chieftain. Together they were only one small unit of a state.


      Q35. What are the Literary Sources of History of Medieval India?

      Ans. Literary Sources of History of Medieval India are:

                             i.        Biography – It is an account of someone's life written by someone else. Some important biographies of medieval period are Prithviraj Raso by Chandbardai, Akbarnama by Abu Fazal.

                            ii.        Autobiography – It is a self-written account of the life of oneself.Important autobiography of medieval period are Futuhat-I-Firoz by Firozshah Tughlaq, Baburnama by Babur and Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri by Jahangir.

                           iii.        Travelogue – It is written account about the places visited by or experiences of a traveller. Example: Al-beruni wrote Tahqiq-i-hind, Ibn Batuta wrote Rihla.

                           iv.        Chronicle – It is a factual written account of important or historical events in the order of their occurrence. Example: Rajtarangini by Kalhan, Tughluqnama by Amir Khusrau.

      Q36. In what ways has the meaning of the term “Hindustan” changed over the centuries?

      Ans. Meaning of the term ‘Hindustan’ changed over the centuries.

                            i.        In the thirteenth century by Minhaj-i-Siraj, a chronicler who wrote in Persian, he meant the areas of Punjab, Haryana and the lands between the Ganga and Yamuna. He used the term in a political sense for lands that were a part of the dominions of the Delhi Sultan. The areas included in this term shifted with the extent of the Sultanate but the term never included south India.

                           ii.        In fourteenth-century poet Amir Khusrau used the word “Hind”.

                          iii.        In the early sixteenth century while using this term meant the geography, the fauna and the culture of the inhabitants of the subcontinent.

                          iv.        While the idea of a geographical and cultural entity like “India” did exist, the term “Hindustan” did not carry the political and national meanings which we associate with it today.


      Q37. Compare the map made by Al-Idris and that of French cartographer.

      Ans. Map made by Al-Idris (Map 1)

                            i.        Map 1 was made by the Arab geographer Al-Idrisi.

                           ii.        It was made in 1154 CE (Christian era).

                          iii.        In this map south India is where we would expect to find north India and Sri Lanka is the island at the top.

                          iv.        The names of places are marked in Arabic and there are some popular places of Uttar Pradesh like Kanauj (spelt as Qanauj).

      Map made by French cartographer (Map 2)

                              i.        Map 2 was made by a French cartographer.

                             ii.        It was made in the 1720s, i.e. 600 years after Map 1.

                            iii.        This map seems more familiar to us and the coastal areas in particular are surprisingly detailed.

                           iv.        It was used by the European sailors and merchants on their voyages.

      Q38. How do historians divide the past into periods? Do they face any problems in doing so?

      Ans. Historians look to economic and social factors to characterise the major elements of different moments of the past.

      Problem faced by historians in dividing the past into periods

                            i.        These thousand years of Indian history witnessed considerable change. After all, the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries were quite different from the eighth or the eleventh. Therefore, describing the entire period as one historical unit is not without its problems.

                           ii.        Moreover, the “medieval” period is often contrasted with the “modern” period. “Modernity” carries with it a sense of material progress and intellectual advancement. This seems to suggest that the medieval period was lacking in any change whatsoever. But of course we know this was not the case.

                           iii.        During these thousand years the societies of the subcontinent were transformed often and economies in several regions reached a level of prosperity that attracted the interest of European trading companies.


    • Download to practice offline.