Friday, 20 July 2012

CBSE Class 7 - Our Pasts-II - Ch2 - New Kings and Kingdoms

New Kings and Kingdoms

Q1: Locate the Gurjara-Pratiharas, Rashtrakutas, Palas, Cholas and Chahamanas (Chauhans) etc. Can you identify the present-day states over which they exercised control?


DynastyPresent Day States
Gurjara-Pratihara       Western Uttar Pradesh, Northern Madhya Pradesh
East Rajasthan, Parts of Gujarat, Delhi, Haryana
ParmarsParts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh
ChandelasEastern Uttar Pradesh
RashtrakutasMaharashtra, Central Madhya Pardesh, Parts of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka
PalasBengal, Parts of Bihar, North East part of India
KalingaOrissa and parts of Bihar
CholasTamilnadu and some parts of Andhra Pradesh

Q2: Who were known as Samantas?

Answer: Big landlords or warrior chiefs who were subordinates to a king are called samantas.

Q3:Who were Rashtrakutas?

Answer: They were subordinate to the Chalukyas of Karnataka. Later they became independent started their own dynasty.

Q4: Do you think being born as a Kshatriya was important in order to become a ruler during this period? Give examples.

Answer: No. It was not important to be a Kshatriya in order to become a ruler in that period. 
For example:
  1. Dantidurga, a Rashtrakuta chief, overthrew his Chalukya overlord and performed a ritual
    called hiranya-garbha to establish his kingdom.
  2. Kadamba Mayurasharman and the Gurjara-Pratihara Harichandra were Brahmanas who gave up their traditional professions and took to arms, successfully establishing kingdoms in Karnataka and Rajasthan respectively.
Q5: Name the famous caves having a wall carving of Vishnu as Narasimha, the man-lion done during  Rashtrakutas period.

Answer: Ellora caves.

Q6: What is vetti and kadamai?

Answer:  These terms are taxes during Chola period. Vetti was the most common tax which means forced labour. Kadamai refers to land revenue.

Q7(pg 18): As compared to taxes of Chola period, are any such taxes collected today?

Answer: No not all type of such taxes are collected today. E.g. At present we have taxes like land revenue but there are no taxes on using a ladder or thatching the house.

Q8(pg 18): In what ways was this form of administration different from the present-day system?

Answer: In that period, kings and their subordinates (samantas) collected various types of taxes and revues from peasants, cattle-keepers, artisans. Sometimes they were forced to do labour work at Kings premises. Even part of their produce was collected as revenue. The revenue collected was used by the kings and his subordinates for their personal use, for construction of temples and forts and to fight wars.

In present day system, it is the democratic government which does administration. We have a revenue collection system according to our constitution. Revenue collected is spent on public welfare.

Q9: What are Prashastis?

Answer: Prashastis contain details that may not be literally true. But they tell us how rulers wanted to depict themselves – as valiant, victorious warriors, for example. These were composed by learned Brahmanas, who occasionally helped in the administration.

Q10: In prashastis, rulers made tall claims about their victories. Why do you think they made these claims?

Answer: These tall claims made by the rulers were not actually true. Rules wanted to show themselves as great warriors and often described themselves as equal to god.

Q11: How prashasti written by Kalhana is different from pashastis writtent by other brahamans?

Answer: In general prashastis were written in praise of kings and were not accurate information about the king. It usually had boastful praise about kings describing him as a great warrior and valiant. Kalhana composed a long Sanskrit poem containing the history of kings who ruled over Kashmir. Unlike the writers of prashastis, he was often critical about rulers and their policies.

Q12(NCERT): Match the following

Gurjara-Pratiharas      Western Deccan
PalasGujarat and Rajasthan
CholasTamil Nadu


Gurjara-Pratiharas      Gujarat and Rajasthan
RashtrakutasWestern Deccan
CholasTamil Nadu

Q13: Who were the parties involved in the “tripartite struggle”?

Answer: The Gujara-Pratiharas, Rashtrakuta and Palas dynasties were involved in the 'tripartite struggle'

Q14: What was Tripartite Struggle?

Answer: For centuries, rulers belonging to the Gurjara-Pratihara, Rashtrakuta and Pala dynasties fought for control over Kanauj. Because there were three “parties” in this long drawn conflict, historians often describe it as the “tripartite struggle”.

Q15(NCERT pg21): Why the rulers wanted to control Kanauj and the Ganga valley?

Answer: Kanauj(near modern Kanpur) was rich fertile plain between the Ganges and Yamuna rivers. Kanauj was already established business hub. It had been capital city and a political center. These were the reasons rulers wanted to control Kanauj and the Ganga valley,

Q16(NCERT): What were the two major cities under the control of the Chahamanas?

Answer: Delhi and Ajmer

Q17: How did the Rashtrakutas become powerful?

Answer: Initially the Rashtrakutas were subordinates to the Chalukyas of Karnataka. In the mid 8th century, Dantidurga, a Rashtrakuta chief, overthrew his Chalukya overlord and performed a ritual called hiranyagarbha and became ruler.

Q18: What is meant by Hiranya-garbha?
What was the purpose behind performing Hiranya-garbha ritual?

Answer: Hiranyagarbha (literally, the golden womb) war a ritual performed by the non-kshatriyas to become a Kshatriya and a ruler. It was thought to lead to the rebirth of the sacrificer as a Kshatriya even if he is not one by birth.

Q19: Why were temples often raided when kingdoms were attacked?

Answer: The rulers tried to demonstrate their power and resources by building large temples. Temples had become rich and had been a hub of social, cultural and economic activties. Therefore, when kingdoms were attacked, temples were raided to plunder money and rich valuables.

Q20: What term was used for land grants given to Brahmanas in Chola period? How these land grants were recorded?

Answer: Land grants received by Brahmanas were called Brahmadeya. These were recorded on copper plates It was written partly in Sanskrit and partly in Tamil. The ring holding the plates together was secured with the royal seal, to indicate that this is an authentic document.

Q21: Write a short note on Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni

  • Sultan Mahmud was ruler of Ghazni. He ruled from 997 to 1030 AD.
  • He extended control over parts of Central Asia, Iran and the north-western part of the subcontinent.
  • He attacked Indian subcontinent seventeen times and plundered wealth from rich temple including Somnath, Gujarat.
  • Much of the wealth Mahmud carried away was used to create a splendid capital city at Ghazni.
  • He was also interested in finding about the people he conquered. He brought his scholar Al-Biruni, to study about India. Al-Biruni wrote a book about India called Kitab-al Hind. 
Q22: Why the Chahamanas may have wanted to expand their territories? Who was the famous Chauhan ruler who defeated Sultan Ghori?

Answer: Chahamanas, or Chauhans dynasty ruled over the region around Delhi and Ajmer in 12th century. Being centrally located, they attempted to expand their control to the west and the east, where they were opposed by the Chalukyas of Gujarat and the Gahadavalas of western Uttar Pradesh.
The best-known Chahamana ruler was Prithviraja III (1168-1192), who defeated an Afghan ruler named Sultan Muhammad Ghori in 1191, but lost to him the very next year, in 1192.

Q23: How did the Cholas rise to power?

Answer: A minor chiefly family known as the Muttaraiyar held power in the Kaveri delta. They were subordinate to the Pallava kings of Kanchipuram. Vijayalaya, who belonged to the ancient chiefly family of the Cholas from Uraiyur, captured the delta from the Muttaraiyar in the middle of the ninth
century. The successors of Vijayalaya conquered neighbouring regions and the kingdom grew in size and power. Rajaraja I and Rajendra I were the most powerful Chola leaders.

Thanjavur Temple
Q24: Who built the town of Thanjavur and its famous goddess temple?

Answer: Vijayalaya built the town of Thanjavur and a temple for goddess Nishumbhasudini there.

Q25: Name the territories annexed by Chola kings to expand their kingdom.

  • The Pandyan and the Pallava territories in south India
  • Ganga valley
  • Sri Lanka, Lakshdweep, Countries of Southeast Asia (e.g. Sumatra).
Q26: Name the two big temples built by Chola kings.

Answer: The big temples of Thanjavur and 'Gangaikonda cholapuram', built by Rajaraja and Rajendra, are architectural and sculptural marvels.

Q27: How did the city and temple get name its name 'Gangaikonda cholapuram'?

Answer: After defeating Pala kings, Chola king Rajendra I brought Ganga water from Ganga valley to sanctify tank of his royal temple. The temple and the city got its name as 'Gangaikonda cholapuram' i.e. the city of the Chola that seized the River Ganga.

Q28: How did Chola temples become the nuclei of settlements?

Answer: Chola temples became the nuclei of settlements which grew around them.
Chola Bronze Image of Natraja at New York Museum
  1. These were centres of craft production. Amongst the crafts associated with
    temples, bronze images and paintings were distinctive and world famous.
  2. 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
  3. Temples were not only places of worship, they were the hub of economic, social and cultural life as well.
Q29: What type of Chola art is world famous?

Answer: Chola bronze images are considered amongst the finest in the world.

Q30: How did River Kaveri bring prosperity to Chola kingdom?

Answer: The river Kaveri branches off into several small channels before emptying into the Bay of Bengal. These channels overflow frequently, depositing fertile soil on their banks. Water from the
channels also provides the necessary moisture for agriculture, particularly the cultivation of rice. It promoted agriculture development during Chola period.

Q31: What kind of irrigation works were developed in the Tamil region?
How did agriculture developed in Chola kingdom?

Answer:  Although agriculture had developed earlier in other parts of Tamil Nadu, it was only
from the fifth or sixth century that this area was opened up for large-scale cultivation.
  1. Forests were cleared in some regions; land was levelled in other areas.
  2. In the delta region embankments were built to prevent flooding.
  3. Canals were constructed to carry water to the fields. 
  4. In many areas two crops were grown in a year.
  5. For irrigation, wells were dug and in other places huge tanks were constructed to collect rainwater.
Q32: Was caste system prevalent in Chola empire? Give details.

Answer: Following instances indicate that caste system was prevalent in Chola kingdom:
  1. Rich peasants of the Vellala caste had considerable control under Chola govenment.
  2. Brahmanas often received land grants or brahmadeya. As a result, a large number of
    Brahmana settlements emerged in the Kaveri valley.
  3. People of Pulaiyas (considered outcast by Brahamanas and Vellala caste) used to live on the outskirts of village in small hamlet. They were not allowed to partcipate in Village administrative activities.

Q33: Describe the administration of Chola empire.

  1. The Cholas set up a highly efficient system of administration.
  2. The empire was divided into provinces called Mandalams. The Mandalams were further divided into Districts called Nadu. Each Nadu consists of  a group of Villages called Urs.
  3. The village council and the Nadu performed several administrative functions including dispensing justice and collecting taxes.
  4. In towns, associations of traders known as nagarams also occasionally performed administrative functions in towns.
Q34: What was sabha in Chola empire? How its members were chosen?

  1. Land grants given to Brahamans called brahamadeya. These land grants wre looked after by an assembly (Sabha) of prominent Brahmana land holders which worked very efficiently. 
  2. Their decisions were recorded in detail in inscriptions, often on the stone walls of temples.
  3. The sabha had separate committees to look after irrigation works, gardens, temples, etc
  4. The members of the village assembly were elected by lottery system called Kudavolai System. The names of the eligible persons were written on palm leaves and put into a pot. A boywas asked to pick up names from the pot. The chosen persons were declared elected.
Q35: Who can become the member of the village assembly under Chola kingdom?

Answer:  Brahamans who had received land grants and people of Vellala caste has considerable control of village assembly or sabha. Following was the criterion to become member of the sabha:
  1. All those who wish to become members of the sabha should be owners of land from which land revenue is collected.
  2. They should have their own homes.
  3. They should be between 35 and 70 years of age.
  4. They should have knowledge of the Vedas. They should be well-versed in administrative matters and honest.
  5. If anyone has been a member of any committee in the last three years, he cannot become a member of another committee.
  6. Anyone who has not submitted his accounts, as well as those of his relatives, cannot contest the elections.


  1. Thanks a lot!!!!!!

  2. very useful needed for all lessons in all subjects

  3. What did the new dynasties do to gain acceptance?

  4. difference between today's and Chola kingdoms administration

  5. This site is very useful needed notes for all lessons in all subject. Very nice and commendable job.

  6. Thanks for these notes
    But i did not get the answer to " what was the outcome of tripartite struggle@

    1. The outcome of the tripartite struggle was to control the kaveri river

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  13. i want only of land grants define and define ur and nagram

  14. Thank you.. helped me lot in my studies

  15. Thank you.. helped me lot in my studies

  16. I don't because I am searching for a ouestion that is why was kanch important for

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