New Kings and Kingdoms
Text Book Page No. 16
Locate the Gurjara – Pratiharas, Rashtrakutas, Palas, Cholas and Chahamanas (Chauhans). Can you identify the present-day states over which they exercised control?
The following table shows the present- day states over which they exercised control:
|1.||Gurjara-Pratiharas||Western Uttar Pradesh, North Madhya Pradesh|
|2.||Rashtrakutas||Maharashtra, Central Madhya Pradesh, Northern Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka|
|3.||Palas||Bengal and North East of India|
|5.||Chahamanas(Chauhans)||Eastern Rajasthan, Delhi,Haryana, Punjab|
Text Book Page No. 17
Do you think being born as a Kshatriya was important in order to become a ruler during this period?
No, it was not important to be born as a Kshatriya in order to become a ruler during this period. This is because any lower caste person could over throw rulers and become king by performing rituals with the help of Brahmanas.
For example, Dantidurga, a Rashtrakuta chief became king by killing Chalukya ruler and by performing ritual.
Text Book Page No. 18
Are any such taxes (as Vetti, Kadamai etc.) collected today?
Only a few of such taxes are collected today. For example, land revenue.
In what ways was this form of administration different from the present- day system?
In the present-day administrative system, there are no such kings who claim high sounding titles and share power with Samantas, peasants, traders and Brahmanas. Today, we live in a democratic, republic administrative system in which the ruler is elected by the general people who is the first servant of public.
Text Book Page No. 19
See if you can find some of the areas mentioned in the inscription on Map 1. Other rulers made similar claims as well. Why do you think they made these claims?
The other rulers, who made such claims, also wanted to be presented as valiant, victorious warriors.
Text Book Page No. 20
List all the possible sources of irrigation mentioned in the inscription, and discuss how these might have been used.
(1) The possible sources of irrigation mentioned in the inscription are—waterland, wells, canals, ditches, rivers, silt-laden land, tanks, fishponds, and deep lakes.
(2) These irrigation sources might have been used to water small and large tracts of land as per their suitability of providing amount of water to that track of land.
Text Book Page No. 21
Look at Map 1 and suggest reasons why these rulers wanted to control Kanauj and the Ganga valley
- Kanauj lied on the banks of river Ganga. It was the most fertile land as the irrigation water was readily available from river Ganga.
- It also enjoyed the most central position in the subcontinent.
- Also, control of river waters resulted in the navigation which was most essential for inland and international trades.
Look at Map 1 again and discuss why the Chaha-manas may have wanted to expand their territories.
(1) The dynasty of Chahamanas enjoyed the central position in the subcontinent. It, therefore may have wanted to expand its territories in all the directions
(2) It also must have enjoyed enormous resources needed for the expansion of territories, as their domain lied in the fertile land irrigated by the waters of Yamuna and Ganga rivers.
(3) Therefore, it must have been the wealthiest of all the neighbouring dynasties. And a wealthy king can only think of wedging a war against its neighbours.
Text Book Page No. 22
How did the Cholas rise to power?
- Vijayalaya, a Chola chief from Uraiyur, captured the Kaveri delta from a Samanta (subordinate) of Pallava king.
- He gradually conquered neighbouring regions, and thus established Chola kingdom by defeating Pallava and Pandya kings.
- The Chola kingdom was consolidated under Rajaraja I and his son Rajendra I.
Text Book Page No. 25
How Was the administration organised?
The Chola administration was organised in the village councils and Nadu, groups of peasant villages. Nadu worked under the supervision of Central Chola government, which was controlled by Chola kings.
Text Book Page No. 27
Do you think women participated in these assemblies? In your view are lotteries useful in choosing members of committees?
No, I don’t think women participated in these assemblies. Lottery system is often’use in choosing members of committees. But in my view, elections are the best way to do so.
Were there any Brahmanas in this hamlet?
No, there were no Brahmanas in this hamlet.
Describe all the activities that were taking place in the village.
These activities were as under :
- Little chickens were moving around.
- Dark children, who wore black iron bracelets, were prancing about.
- Babies of female labourers were sleeping in the shades of marudu (Arjuna) trees.-
- Pulaiya women were singing as they were husking paddy.
Why do you think temple inscriptions ignore these activities?
The temple inscriptions ignored these activities because :
- These activities were of low caste or outcaste people.
- Brahmanas, always wanted to praise their partons through temple inscription, and they always showed down the low caste people.
Text Book Page No. 28
In what ways was this system different from those prevalent in the Indian subcontinent?
People were not recuited through examination in the administrative system of Indian subcontinent. The Samantas, associations of peasants, traders and artisans were generally given administrative responsibilities in Indian subcontinent.
You are present in an election for a sabha. Describe what you see and hear.
(1) In a sabha election, there are various voices which are put down when the nominations for the election are announced.
(2) The paper is distributed for the names of candidates to be written on it.
(3) A young boy is called upon and asked to take out one slip from the box, in which all slips, with the names of candidates were put in.
(4) The name of the selected candidate is announced and everyone congratulates him.
Exercise Questions and Answers
Match the following :
|Gurjara – Pratiharas||Gujarat and Rajastan|
Who were the parties involved in the “tripartite struggle”?
The Gurjara-Pratiharas, Rashtrakuta and Palas dynasties were involved in the “tripartite struggle” over the occupation of city of Kanauj in Ganga valley.
What were the qualifications necessary to become a member of a committee of the sabha in the Chola Empire?
According to the Uttaramerur inscription, the following qualifications were necessary to become a member of a committee of the sabha in Chola Empire :
- A person should own land from which revenue was collected.
- He should have been their own home.
- He needed between 35 and 70 years of age.
- He should have been knowledge of Vedas.
- He required to be well-versed in the administrative matters and honest.
- If anyone had been a member of any committee in the last three years, he could not have become a member of another committee.
- Anyone who had not submitted his accounts, and those of his relatives, could not have contested the elections.
What were the two major cities under the control of the Chahamanas?
The Chahamanas controlled – Indraprastha and Kanauj.
How did the Rashtrakuta become powerful?
- In the mid-8th century, Dantidurga, a Rashtrakuta chief, killed his Chalukyan king.
- He also performed hiranya-garbha ritual, after which he was thought to have taken “rebirth” as a Kshatriya.
- Thus, he established the Rashtrakuta dynasty in Deccan.
What did the new dynasties do to gain acceptance? ‘
The new dynasties performed holy rituals with the help of Brahmanas in order to gain acceptance. For example, hiranya-garbha ritual performed by low caste Dantidurga, the Rashtrakuta chief.
What kind of irrigation works were developed in the Tamil region?
The following kinds of irrigation works were developed in the Tamil region :
- In the delta regions canals were constructed to carry water to the fields.
- In some areas, wells were dug.
- In other places, huge tanks were constructed to collect rainwater.
What were the activities associated with the Chola temples?
The following activities were associated with the Chola temples :
- Temples were nuclei of settlements which grew around them.
- The temples were centres of craft production.
- The produce of the land owned by temple (granted to temple by kings) went into maintaining—priests, garland makers, cooks, sweepers, musicians, dancers, etc.
- Temples were the places of social, economic, cultural and religious activities.
- Bronze images were also made in Chola temples.
Look at Map 1 once more and find out whether there were any kingdoms in the state in which you live.
Students, do themselves.
[Hint: Almost all the subcontinent was ruled by one kingdom or another. Therefore, every present-day stale must have had a kingdom in the past.]
Contrast the “elections” in Uttaramerur with present-day panchayat elections.
The present-day panchayat elections do not use the lottery system to elect the members of panchayat as was done in the Chola Empire.
Compare the temple shown in this chapter with any present-day temple in your neighbourhood, highlighting any similarities and differences that you notice.
The present-day temples do not have such intricate outer structure, except a few as shown in this chapter. Only Akshdhar Dham temple could match such outer walls as that of the temple at Gangaikondacholapuram.
Find out more about taxes that are collected at present. Are these in cash, kind, or labour services?
Some of the important present-day taxes are income tax, service tax, house tax, etc. All the present-day taxes are collected in cash.