History of India From C. 300 C.E TO 1206
BHIC 132 Free Solved Assignment
BHIC 132 Free Solved Assignment July 2021 & Jan 2022
1 Discuss the achievement of Gupta period in the field of art and literature.
Ans: Achievement of Gupta period in the field of art
The Gupta period is called the Golden Age of ancient India. This may not be true in the economic field because several towns in north India declined during this period.
However, the Guptas possessed a large quantity of gold, whatever its source, and they issued the largest number of gold coins. Princes and the rich could divert a part of their income to support those who were engaged in art and literature.
Both Sam udragupta and Chandragupta II were patrons of art and literature. Samudragupta is represented on his coins playing the lute (vina), and Chandragupta II is credited with maintaining in his court nine luminaries.
In ancient India, art was largely inspired by religion. Survivals of non- religious art from ancient India are few. BHIC 132 Free Solved Assignment
Buddhism gave great impetus to art in Maurya and post-Maurya times and led to the creation of massive stone pillars, the hewing of beautiful caves, and the raising of high stupas or relic towers.
The stupas appeared as dome-like structures on round bases, principally of stone. Innumerable images of the Buddha were sculptured.
During the Gupta period a life-size copper image of the Buddha of more than 6 feet was made. It was discovered at Sultanganj near Bhagalpur, and is now displayed in Birmingham.
During the Gupta period beautiful images of the Buddha were fashioned at Sarnath and Mathura, but the finest specimens of Buddhist art in Gupta times are the Ajanta paintings.
Achievement of Gupta period in the field of literature:
India witnessed a great advancement in the field of literature under the Gupta monarchs. They themselves were highly cultured and consequently they did all that could be done for patronising literature and art.
Safiskrit once again became popular. The Guptas made Sanskrit as their court language and wrote all their documents and inscriptions in the same language.
Even the Buddhist writers preferred Sanskrit to Pali for writing their literary works. All this encouragement gave a great impetus to Sanskrit learning and a highly developed Sanskrit literature excellent in its style and rich in its contents began to be written.’
Kalidasa was the greatest Sanskrit poet and dramatist that India has ever produced. Visakhadutta, the renowned author of Mudra Rakshasa, was another great poet and dramatist of the Gupta period. BHIC 132 Free Solved Assignment
In this play, taking Kautilya as the hero, he describes the fall of the Nanda dynasty in some details.
His great work is ‘Devichandra Gupta’ in which he deals with the early life of Chandragupta II and his relations with his elder brother Ramgupta.
Sudraka was another great author of the Gupta period. In his great work ‘Mrichhkatikam’ he describes vividely the love affair of a rich Brahman Chrudatta with a young woman of noble birth.
It was during the gupta period that the great ‘Panchtantra’ a storehouse of wonderful stories, was written.
This work has now been translated into many languages of the world. Similarly the Puranas, the Mahabharata and the Manusmriti were recast in their present form in the Gupta period.
In short, we can say that in the Gupta period a great variety of literature, excellent in its style and rich in its contents, was written.
The Gupta age is very important in the history of religious literature. Most of the Puranas were recast. The Ramayana and the Mahabharata were also rewritten.
2 Explain the various theories for the origin of the Rajputs.
The word Rajputs derived from Sanskrit word Rajaputra, which means son of a king. Rajputs rose to prominence during the 6th to 12th centuries in north Indian history also known as Rajputs era. BHIC 132 Free Solved Assignment
There are several major subdivisions of Rajputs, known as vansh or vamsha. The Rajput are generally considered to be divided into three primary vansh:
i. Suryavanshi or Raghuvanshies (the clans of the Solar dynasty), descended through Rama.
ii. Chandravanshi or Somavanshies (the clans of the lunar dynasty), descended through Krishna.
iii. Agnivanshi (the clans of the fire dynasty), descended from Agnipala.
Major Suryavanshi clans are Amethiya, Bais, Chattar, Gaur, Kachwaha, Minhas, Pakhral, Patial, Pundir, Naru, Rathore, Sisodias.
Major Chandravanshi clans are Bachhal, Bhati, Bhangalia, Chandelas, Chudasama, Jadauns, Jadeja, Jarral, Katoch, Pahore, Raijada, Soam, Tomaras.
Major Agnivanshi clans are Bhaal, Chauhan, Dodiya, Chavda, Mori, Naga, Paramaras, Solankis.
Various theories for the origin of the Rajputs:
The historians have propounded a number of theories regarding their origin. Main principle theories of their origin are: BHIC 132 Free Solved Assignment
- Foreign Origin Theory: As per this theory, Rajputs are are descendants of the races like Sakas, Kushanas, Hunas etc. This argument was supported as the Rajputs are also fire worshipers just like the Sakas and Hunas whose main deity was also fire.
Cunningham described them as the descendants of the Kushanas. The Rajputs according to Tod, are of Scythian origin.
The term Scythian refers to the Huns and other associated tribes who entered in India during fifth and sixth centuries A.M.T. Jackson described that one race called Khajara lived in Arminia in the 4th century.
When the Hunas attacked India, Khajaras also entered India and both of them settled here by the later part of the sixth century.
These Khajaras were called Gurjaras by the Indians. In the 10th century, Gujarat was referred to as Gurjara.
Some scholars believed that the Gurjaras entered India through Afghanistan and settled themselves in different parts of India.
- Kashtriya Theory of Origin:
The foreign theory were not acceptable to Gauri Shankar Ojha, Ved Vyas, and Vaidya. In 1926 Gauri Shankar Ojha a Rajastani historian points out that Rajputs rulers of Mewar, Jaipur and Bikaner are pure Aryans and are descendants of the Suryavanshi and Chandravanshi dynasties of the Kshatriyas.
They supported their viewpoint through various arguments.
- Mixed Origin Theory:
Historians like V.A. Smith, Dr. DP Chatterjee concluded that some Rajputs are descendants of foreign races such as Hunas, Sakas, Kushanas, etc while others are descendants of local Kshatriya clans. BHIC 132 Free Solved Assignment
They could fight better in battlefields with their sword and with the time they transformed their name and started calling themselves Rajputs.
- Agnikula Theory:
This theory is from the book ‘Prthiviraj Raso’ written by Chandbardai in which he written that the Rajputs originated from a sacrificial fire-place burnt on the Mount Abu Mountains.
This was done to protect Brahmins after Parshuram killed all Kashtriyas, there was no Kahstriyas present on the earth to protect them.
Thus, the Brahmins burnt holy fire and performed yajna for forty days. Ultimately, god provided them with the Rajputs for their security purpose.
Out of that Yajna fire four heroes were born and the descendants of these heroes w ere the four Rajput families Pratiharas, Chauhans, Solankis and Paramaras.
3 Evaluate the main feature of Pallavas art and temple architecture.
Ans Main feature of Pallavas art and temple architecture
The glory of the Pallavas still remains in their contribution to the art and architecture. They were the pioneers of South Indian art and architecture.
They had introduced the stone architecture in the Tamil country. Their contributions are still extant because granite was used for building temples and carving sculptures.
We can broadly classify the Pallava architecture as:
Rock-cut temples: We call the Pallava rock-cut temples as Mahendravarman style. He carved temples out of the rocks and thus they were known as rock cut temples.
It was really an innovation in the sphere of art because he did not use any other building materials. BHIC 132 Free Solved Assignment
Monolithic Rathas: The monolithic rathas and sculptural mandapas constitute the Mamalla style of architecture.
The Pallava king, Narasimhavarman I was known as Mamalla. He had converted the port of Mamallapuram as a beautiful city of art and architecture.
Structural Temples: So far, we have studied about the rock-cut temples and sculptural mandapas. From the reign of Rajasimha, the construction of structural temples had started.
These temple structures were built with the use of granite slabs. Hence, they are known as structural temples.
Fine Arts: The Pallava kings had also patronized fine arts. The Kudumianmalai and Thirumayam music inscriptions show their interest in music.
Yaazhi, Mridhangam and Murasu were some of the musical instruments of the Pallava period. Both Mahendravarman I and Narasimhavarman I had remained experts in music.
The temple sculptures of the Pallava period reveal that the art of dance was popular in those days.
The paintings at Chittannavasal illustrate the nature of Pallava painting Mahendravarman it was known as Chittirakkarapuli. BHIC 132 Free Solved Assignment
4 Describe the extent and administration of Harshvardhana Empire.
Ans: Extent and administration of Harshvardhana Empire
After the downfall of the Gupta Empire in the middle of the sixth century, North India was split into several independent kingdoms.
The Huns had established their supremacy over the Punjab and parts of central India. The northern and western regions of India passed into the hands of a dozen or more feudatory states.
Prabhakar Vardhan, the ruler of Sthanvisvara, who belonged to the Pushyabhuti family, extended his control over neighboring states.
Prabhakar Vardhan was the first king of the Vardhana dynasty with his capital at Thaneswar. After Prabhakar Vardhan’s death in 606 CE, his eldest son, Rajya Vardhan, ascended the throne.
Harsha Vardhana was Rajya Vardhan’s younger brother. Though quite a young man when he came to power, Harsha proved himself a great conqueror and an able administrator.
After his accession, Harsha united the two kingdoms of Thanesar and Kannauj and transferred his capital from Thanesar to Kannauj Harsha defeated Shashanka, the ruler of Bengal.
He also brought Bengal, Bihar and Orissa under his control. He conquered Dhruvasena of Gujarat and gave his own daughter in marriage to him.
He also conquered Ganjam, a part of the modern Orissa State. Harsha’s ambition of extending his power to the Deccan and Southern India were stopped by Pulakeshi II, the Chalukya king of Vatapi in Northern Karnataka.
Pulakeshi defeated Harsha’s army on the banks of the river Narmada in 620 AD. A truce was agreed upon and the river Narmada was marked as the southern boundary of Harsha’s kingdom. BHIC 132 Free Solved Assignment
5 Examine the Important of land in the early medieval period.
Ans:Important of land in the early medieval period
The early medieval period of Indian history may be seen as a transitional period wherein changes in almost all institutions and spheres of society viz. political, social, cultural as well as economy took place.
In political sphere, due to the continuation as well as acceleration of land grants, the emergence of petty landed estates, the fragmentation or decentralization of political authority and the growth of lord-vassal relationship may be noticed as emerging new trends.
In economic sphere, the decline of trade and commerce, decay of urban centres, paucity and irregular slow circulation of metallic money,
the growing agrarian character of society and emergence of self-sufficient economy were the salient features of economy.
In social sphere, the modification of var a system, proliferation of castes into hundreds of number and their rigidity were the most striking developments of this period.
And if someone looks in terms of class context, the formation of two major classes, those of the landed aristocracy and a large body of subjected peasants may be noticed.
In this phenomenon, the declining status of former Vaiyas and the rise of shudras was a further development in early medieval India.
In it the most striking development was the transformation of the servile shudras into peasantry who thus got transferred into producers on massive scale.
Among other developments, the growing regional identities in art, script, language and in religious sphere the construction of temples, the theory of incarnation, visit to holy places, concepts of puja, bhakti and tantra, etc. were significant developments.
6 Cholas adminstration
Ans:Cholas adminstration: The Chola Empire was divided into nine provinces, called “Mandalams” which was further divided into a number of districts, or zillas, known as “Valanadus”. BHIC 132 Free Solved Assignment
Each Valanadu was divided into a number of villages, called Nadus. Larger towns were known as Taniyurs.
The Nadu shouldered administrative activities like collection of taxes, dispensing justice, settling disputes, keeping land records, etc.
A Sabha had separate committees looking after functions like irrigation, gardens, temples, etc. Under the supervision of the Chola government, rich peasants of the Vellala caste controlled the affairs of the Nadus.
The Chola kings often gave land grants or Brahmadeya to Brahmins.
An assembly or Sabha of prominent Brahmin landholders looked after each Brahmadeya, while associations of traders, known as Nagarams, looked after the administration in towns.
7 The Pallava-Pandya conflicts
Ans:The Pallava-Pandya conflicts
Conflicts and alliances were outcomes of the political ambition of the rulers to acquire more and more resources for the efficient functioning of their respective governments.
The Chalukyas of Vatapi and the Pallavas of Kanchi were frequently at war with one another. The Pallava monarch Mahendravarman I had expanded the territory of the Pallava dynasty towards the north up to the river Krishna.
The Vishnukundins became the neighbouring kingdom located to the north of the Pallavas. Pulakesin II defeated the Vishnukundins and the territory of the Vishnukundins became the part of Chalukyan dynasty. BHIC 132 Free Solved Assignment
The Chalukyan king made his brother Kubja Vishnuvardhana the viceroy of this conquered territory.
Later, Vishnuvardhana founded the eastern Chalukyan dynasty or the Chalukyan kingdom of Vengi.
8 Bhakti movement in South India
Ans:Bhakti movement in South India:
The Bhakti Movement was essentially founded in South India and later spread to the North during the late medieval period.
This Movement itself is a historical-spiritual phenomenon that crystallized in South India during Late Antiquity.
It was spearheaded by devotional mystics (later revered as Hindu saints) who extolled devotion and love to God as the chief means of spiritual perfection.
The Bhakti movement in South India was spearheaded by the sixty-three Nayanars (Shaivite devotees) and the twelve Alvars (Vaishnavaite devotees), who disregarded the austerities preached by Jainism and Buddhism but instead preached personal devotion to God as a means of salvation. BHIC 132 Free Solved Assignment
These saints, some of whom were also women, spoke and wrote in local languages like Tamil and Telugu and travelled widely to spread their message of love and devotion to everyone, irrespective of caste, colour and creed.
9 Some exceptional role: Women in polities or administration
Ans:Some exceptional role of Women in polities or administration
Not only Sanskrit literature got gendered, every entity got gendered – the earth, the realm, all were assigned feminine character.
Political domain remained essentially masculine, but women worked in different capacities which marked a specific feature of gender relations in the early medieval period.
Whereas Brahmanical literature favoured male and denied women public roles of authority, Rajtarangini revealed the best examples of female rulership of early medieval period.
The text not only highlights the women sovereign rulers but also of women’s agency behind the throne. BHIC 132 Free Solved Assignment
The texts provides the reign of three female rulers of Kashmir (Yashovati, Sugandha and Didda of Gonda, Utpala and Yashakara dynasties respectively) in opposition to 104 male rulers.
The text also justifies the female rulership in terms of divine sanction, popular demands and regency of a minor male heir to throne.
All the religions that existed in the sub-continent at that time developed a Tantric form. This goes to show the special ability of Tantrism to seep into and become a part of mainstream religion.
So, it cannot really be called a parallel tradition. It created new religious systems like Shaktism under Hinduism and Vajrayana under Buddhism.
Mother goddess cults also found favour owing to the Tantric emphasis on fertility.
Connections are often drawn between tribal rites and rituals and Tantrism, particularly those relating to mother goddess cults. BHIC 132 Free Solved Assignment
The origin of Tantrism is often traced to these. Some historians trace Tantric rituals to Ajivika practice that later got embedded in the Pashupata sect.
Despite these murky origins, the first strands of Tantrism began around 500 CE and the first texts called the Tantras were composed around 800 CE.
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