Changes through A thousand Years
Q33. Write a short note on foreign travellers who visited India
during Medieval Period.
Foreign travellers who visited India during
He came from Morocco in the 14th century AD wrote about the reign on
Nicole Conti –
He came from Venice and gave an account of the kingdom of Vijaynagar and its
war with Bahmani kings.
Abdur Razzaq –
He came from Persia and visited the kingdom of Vijaynagar.
William Hawkins –
He came from England and visited the court of Jahangir. His narrative describes
the magnificence of the Mughal court.
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
Q34. How were the affairs of jatis regulated?
Affairs of jatis were regulated in the following ways:
As society became more differentiated,
people were grouped into jatis or sub-castes and ranked on the basis of their
backgrounds and their occupations.
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.
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.
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?
Sources of History of Medieval India are:
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.
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.
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.
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?
Meaning of the term ‘Hindustan’ changed over the centuries.
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.
In fourteenth-century poet Amir Khusrau
used the word “Hind”.
In the early sixteenth century while using
this term meant the geography, the fauna and the culture of the inhabitants of
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
Map made by Al-Idris (Map 1)
Map 1 was made by the Arab geographer
It was made in 1154 CE (Christian era).
In this map south India is where we would
expect to find north India and Sri Lanka is the island at the top.
The names of places are marked in Arabic
and there are some popular places of Uttar Pradesh like Kanauj (spelt as
made by French cartographer (Map 2)
Map 2 was made by a French cartographer.
It was made in the 1720s, i.e. 600 years
after Map 1.
This map seems more familiar to us and the
coastal areas in particular are surprisingly detailed.
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?
Historians look to economic and social factors to characterise the major
elements of different moments of the past.
faced by historians in dividing the past into periods
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
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.
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