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Most Important Onliners Questions

  • Babur, the first Mughal emperor (1526-1530), succeeded to the throne of Ferghana in 1494 when he was only 12 years old.

  • In 1526 he defeated the Sultan of Delhi, Ibrahim Lodi, at Panipat and captured Delhi and Agra.

  • The most famous Mauryan ruler was Ashoka. He was the first ruler who tried to take his message to the people through inscriptions.

  • Most of Ashoka’s inscriptions were in Prakrit and were written in the Brahmi script.

  • Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti, the celebrated Sufi saint (see also Chapter 8) who settled there in the twelfth century, attracted devotees from all creeds. Near Ajmer is a lake, Pushkar, which has attracted pilgrims from ancient times.

  • The Delhi Sultans built many cities in the area such as Dehli-i Kuhna, Siri and Jahanpanah that we now know as Delhi.

  • Mongol attacks on the Delhi Sultanate increased during the reign of Alauddin Khalji and in the early years of Muhammad Tughluq’s rule. This forced the two rulers to mobilise a large standing army in Delhi which posed a huge administrative challenge.

  • Kalinga is the ancient name of coastal Orissa. Ashoka fought a war to conquer Kalinga. However, he was so horrified when he saw the violence and bloodshed that he decided not to fight any more wars.

  • He is the only king in the history of the world who gave up conquest after winning a war.

  • Ashoka’s dhamma did not involve worship of a god, or performance of a sacrifice.

  • Ajmer (Rajasthan) was the capital of the Chauhan kings in the twelfth century and later became the suba headquarters under the Mughals. It provides an excellent example of religious coexistence.

  • Hampi is located in the Krishna-Tungabhadra basin, which formed the nucleus of the Vijayanagara Empire, founded in 1336.

  • He felt that just as a father tries to teach his children, he had a duty to instruct his subjects.

  • The architecture of Hampi was distinctive. The buildings in the royal complex had splendid arches, domes and pillared halls with niches for holding sculptures.

  • He was also inspired by the teachings of the Buddha.


  • In one of the earliest sessions of the Constituent Assembly, R. V. Dhulekar, a Congressman from the United Provinces, made an aggressive plea that Hindi be used as the language of constitution-making.

  • He appointed officials known as ‘dhamma mahamatta’ who went from place to place teaching people about dhamma due to problems like People in the empire followed different religions, and this sometimes led to conflict. Animals were sacrificed. Slaves and servants were ill treated. Besides, there were quarrels in families and with neighborhood.

  • Ashoka got his messages inscribed on rocks and pillars, instructing his officials to read his message to those who could not read it themselves.

  • Ashoka also sent messengers to spread ideas about dhamma to other lands, such as Syria, Egypt, Greece and Sri Lanka.

  • On 12 September 1947, Dhulekar’s speech on the language of the nation once again sparked off a huge storm.

  • By now the Language Committee of the Constituent Assembly had produced its report and had thought of a compromise formula to resolve the deadlock between those who advocated Hindi as the national language and those who opposed it.

  • It had decided, but not yet formally declared, that Hindi in the Devanagari script would be the official language, but the transition to Hindi would be gradual.

  • For the first fifteen years, English would continue to be used for all official purposes.

  • Each province was to be allowed to choose one of the regional languages for official work within the province.

  • By referring to Hindi as the official rather that the national language, the Language Committee of the Constituent Assembly hoped to placate ruffled emotions and arrive at a solution that would be acceptable to all.

  • He built roads, dug wells, and built rest houses. Besides, he arranged for medical treatment for both human beings and animals.

  • Techniques of making silk were first invented in China around 7000 years ago. China who went to distant lands on foot, horseback, and on camels, carried silk with them. The paths they followed came to be known as the Silk Route.

  • Sometimes, Chinese rulers sent gifts of silk to rulers in Iran and west Asia, and from there, the knowledge of silk spread further west.

  • About 2000 years ago, wearing silk became the fashion amongst rulers and rich people in Rome. It was very expensive, as it had to be brought all the way from China, along dangerous roads, through mountains and deserts.


  • People living along the route often demanded payments for allowing traders to pass through.

  • Surat in Gujarat was the emporium of western trade during the Mughal period along with Cambay (present day Khambat) and somewhat later, Ahmedabad.

  • Surat has also been called the gate to Mecca because many pilgrim ships set sail from here.

  • The town of Masulipatnam or Machlipatnam (literally, fish port town) lay on the delta of the Krishna river. In the seventeenth century it was a centre of intense activity.

  • The Qutb Shahi rulers of Golconda imposed royal monopolies on the sale of textiles, spices and other items to prevent the trade passing completely into the hands of the various East India Companies.

  • In 1686-1687 Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb annexed Golconda. This caused the European Companies to look for alternatives.

  • As the Company traders moved to Bombay, Calcutta (present-day Kolkata) and Madras (present- day Chennai), Masulipatnam lost both its merchants and prosperity and declined in the course of the eighteenth century, being today nothing more than a dilapidated little town.

  • The English, Dutch and French formed East India Companies in order to expand their commercial activities in the east. Initially great Indian traders like Mulla Abdul Ghafur and Virji Vora who owned a large number of ships competed with them.

  • Raja Man Singh, Akbar’s famous general, attacked and defeated the Cheros in 1591. A large amount of booty was taken from them, but they were not entirely subdued.

  • Under Aurangzeb, Mughal forces captured many Chero fortresses and subjugated the tribe. The Mundas and Santals were among the other important tribes that lived in this region and also in Orissa and Bengal.

  • On 27 August 1947, B. Pocker Bahadur from Madras made a powerful plea for continuing separate electorates.

  • Minorities exist in all lands, argued Bahadur; they could not be wished away, they could not be “erased out of existence”. The need was to create a political framework in which minorities could live in harmony with others, and the differences between communities could be minimised. This was possible only if minorites were well represented within the political system, their voices heard.

  • A Communist member, Somnath Lahiri saw the dark hand of British imperialism hanging over the deliberations of the Constituent Assembly.

  • He thus urged the members and Indians in general, to fully free themselves from the influences of imperial rule.

  • Lahiri exhorted his colleagues to realise that the Constituent Assembly was British-made and was “working the British plans as the British should like it to be worked out”.


  • A number of Acts were passed (1909, 1919 and 1935), gradually enlarging the space for Indian participation in provincial governments.

  • The executive was made partly responsible to the provincial legislature in 1919, and almost entirely so under the Government of India Act of 1935.

  • When elections were held in 1937, under the 1935 Act, the Congress came to power in eight out of the 11 provinces.

  • On 13 December 1946, Jawaharlal Nehru introduced the “Objectives Resolution” in the Constituent Assembly.

  • It was a momentous resolution that outlined the defining ideals of the Constitution of Independent India, and provided the framework within which the work of constitution-making was to proceed.

  • It proclaimed India to be an “Independent Sovereign Republic”, guaranteed its citizens justice, equality and freedom, and assured that “adequate safeguards shall be provided for minorities, backward and tribal areas, and Depressed and Other Backward Classes … ”

  • Three were representatives of the Congress, namely, Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabh Bhai Patel and Rajendra Prasad.

  • It was Nehru who moved the crucial “Objectives Resolution”, as well as the resolution proposing that the National Flag of India be a “horizontal tricolour of saffron, white and dark green in equal proportion”, with a wheel in navy blue at the centre.

  • Patel, on the other hand, worked mostly behind the scenes, playing a key role in the drafting of several reports, and working to reconcile opposing points of view.

  • Rajendra Prasad’s role was as President of the Assembly, where he had to steer the discussion along constructive lines while making sure all members had a chance to speak.

  • Besides this Congress trio was the lawyer and economist B.R. Ambedkar.

  • During the period of British rule, Ambedkar had been a political opponent of the Congress; but, on the advice of Mahatma Gandhi, he was asked at Independence to join the Union Cabinet as law minister.

  • In this capacity, he served as Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constitution.

  • Serving with him were two other lawyers, K.M. Munshi from Gujarat and Alladi Krishnaswamy Aiyar from Madras, both of whom gave crucial inputs in the drafting of the Constitution.

  • One was B. N. Rau, Constitutional Advisor to the Government of India, who prepared a series of background papers based on a close study of the political systems obtaining in other countries.

  • The other was the Chief Draughtsman, S. N. Mukherjee, who had the ability to put complex proposals in clear legal language.


  • Ambedkar himself had the responsibility of guiding the Draft Constitution through the Assembly.

  • This took three years in all, with the printed record of the discussions taking up eleven bulky volumes.

  • The members of the Constituent Assembly were not elected on the basis of universal franchise.

  • In the winter of 1945-46 provincial elections were held in India.

  • The Provincial Legislatures then chose the representatives to the Constituent Assembly.

  • The Constituent Assembly that came into being was dominated by one party: the Congress.

  • The Congress swept the general seats in the provincial elections, and the Muslim League captured most of the reserved Muslim seats.

  • But the League chose to boycott the Constituent Assembly, pressing its demand for Pakistan with a separate constitution.

  • The Socialists too were initially unwilling to join, for they believed the Constituent Assembly was a creation of the British, and therefore incapable of being truly autonomous.

  • In effect, therefore, 82 per cent of the members of the Constituent Assembly were also members of the Congress.

  • Scholars suggest that separate electorates for Muslims, created by the colonial government in 1909 and expanded in 1919, crucially shaped the nature of communal politics.

  • The Lucknow Pact of December 1916 was an understanding between the Congress and the Muslim League (controlled by the UP­based “Young Party”) whereby the Congress accepted separate electorates.

  • The pact provided a joint political platform for the Moderates, Extremists and the Muslim League.

  • Jinnah’s two­nation theory sowed the seeds of communalism which refers to a politics that seeks to unify one community around a religious identity in hostile opposition to another community.

  • It seeks to define this community identity as fundamental and fixed.

  • The Muslim League: Initially floated in Dhaka in 1906, the Muslim League was quickly taken over by the U.P.-based Muslim elite.

  • The party began to make demands for autonomy for the Muslim-majority areas of the subcontinent and/or Pakistan in the 1940s.

  • As it happened, Mahatma Gandhi was not present at the festivities in the capital on 15 August 1947.

  • He was in Calcutta, but he did not attend any function or hoist a flag there either. Gandhiji marked the day with a 24-hour fast.

  • Mahatma Gandhi, was assassinated at the Birla House (now Gandhi Smriti) in New Delhi on 30 January 1948.


  • After the failure of the Cripps Mission, Mahatma Gandhi decided to launch his third major movement against British rule.

  • This was the “Quit India” campaign, which began in August 1942.

  • Although Gandhiji was jailed at once, younger activists organised strikes and acts of sabotage all over the country.

  • Particularly active in the underground resistance were socialist members of the Congress, such as Jayaprakash Narayan.

  • In several districts, such as Satara in the west and Medinipur in the east, “independent” governments were proclaimed.

  • The British responded with much force, yet it took more than a year to suppress the rebellion.

  • “Quit India” was genuinely a mass movement, bringing into its ambit hundreds of thousands of ordinary Indians.

  • The Conference in London was inconclusive, so Gandhiji returned to India and resumed civil disobedience.

  • The new Viceroy, Lord Willingdon, was deeply unsympathetic to the Indian leader.

  • In 1935, however, a new Government of India Act promised some form of representative government. Two years later, in an election held on the basis of a restricted franchise, the Congress won a comprehensive victory.

  • Now eight out of 11 provinces had a Congress “Prime Minister”, working under the supervision of a British Governor.

  • The offer was refused. In protest, the Congress ministries resigned in October 1939.

  • Through 1940 and 1941, the Congress organised a series of individual satyagrahas to pressure the rulers to promise freedom once the war had ended.

  • Meanwhile, in March 1940, the Muslim League passed a resolution demanding a measure of autonomy for the Muslim-majority areas of the subcontinent.

  • The Salt March was notable for at least three reasons-

  • First, it was this event that first brought Mahatma Gandhi to world attention.

  • Second, it was the first nationalist activity in which women participated in large numbers.

  • The socialist activist Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay had persuaded Gandhiji not to restrict the protests to men alone.

  • Third, and perhaps most significant, it was the Salt March which forced upon the British the realisation that their Raj would not last forever, and that they would have to devolve some power to the Indians.



  • To that end, the British government convened a series of “Round Table Conferences” in London.

  • The first meeting was held in November 1930, but without the pre-eminent political leader in India, thus rendering it an exercise in futility.

  • Gandhiji was released from jail in January 1931 and the following month had several long meetings with the Viceroy.

  • These culminated in what was called the “Gandhi­Irwin Pact’, by the terms of which civil disobedience would be called off, all prisoners released, and salt manufacture allowed along the coast.

  • The pact was criticised by radical nationalists, for Gandhiji was unable to obtain from the Viceroy a commitment to political independence for Indians; he could obtain merely an assurance of talks towards that possible end.

  • A second Round Table Conference was held in London in the latter part of 1931. Here, Gandhiji represented the Congress.

  • In 1928 there was an all-India campaign in opposition to the all-White Simon Commission, sent from England to enquire into conditions in the colony.

  • Gandhiji did not himself participate in this movement, although he gave it his blessings, as he also did to a peasant satyagraha in Bardoli in the same year.

  • In the end of December 1929, the Congress held its annual session in the city of Lahore.

  • The meeting was significant for two things: the election of Jawaharlal Nehru as President, signifying the passing of the baton of leadership to the younger generation.

  • And the proclamation of commitment to “Purna Swaraj”, or complete independence.

  • On 26 January 1930, “Independence Day” was observed, with the national flag being hoisted in different venues, and patriotic songs being sung.

  • Gandhiji himself issued precise instructions as to how the day should be observed.

  • Mahatma Gandhi was to spend much of 1917 in Champaran, seeking to obtain for the peasants security of tenure as well as the freedom to cultivate the crops of their choice.

  • The following year, 1918, Gandhiji was involved in two campaigns in his home state of Gujarat. First, he intervened in a labour dispute in Ahmedabad, demanding better working conditions for the textile mill workers.

  • Then he joined peasants in Kheda in asking the state for the remission of taxes following the failure of their harvest.

  • During the Great War of 1914-18, the British had instituted censorship of the press and permitted detention without trial.

  • Now, on the recommendation of a committee chaired by Sir Sidney Rowlatt, these tough measures were continued.


  • In response, Gandhiji called for a countrywide campaign against the “Rowlatt Act”.

  • The protests were particularly intense in the Punjab, Gandhiji was detained while proceeding to the Punjab.

  • The situation in the province grew progressively more tense, reaching a bloody climax in Amritsar in April 1919, when Dyer ordered his troops to open fire on a nationalist meeting known as the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

  • It was the Rowlatt satyagraha that made Gandhiji a truly national leader.

  • Emboldened by its success, Gandhiji called for a campaign of “non­cooperation” with British rule.

  • Indians who wished colonialism to end were asked to stop attending schools, colleges and law courts, and not pay taxes.

  • In sum, they were asked to adhere to a “renunciation of (all) voluntary association with the (British) Government.

  • If noncooperation was effectively carried out, said Gandhiji, India would win swaraj within a year.

  • To further broaden the struggle he had joined hands with the Khilafat Movement that sought to restore the Caliphate, a symbol of Pan-Islamism which had recently been abolished by the Turkish ruler Kemal Attaturk.

  • The Khilafat Movement, (1919-1920) was a movement of Indian Muslims, led by Muhammad Ali and Shaukat Ali, that demanded the following.

  • The Turkish Sultan or Khalifa must retain control over the Muslim sacred places in the erstwhile Ottoman empire.

  • The jazirat-ul-Arab (Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Palestine) must remain under Muslim sovereignty

  • The Khalifa must be left with sufficient territory to enable him to defend the Islamic faith.

  • The Congress supported the movement and Mahatma Gandhi sought to conjoin it to the Non-cooperation Movement.

  • In 1798, Lord Wellesley became the Governor General. He built a massive palace, Government House,

  • After Wellesley’s departure the work of town planning was carried on by the Lottery Committee (1817) with the help of the government.

  • The Lottery Committee was so named because funds for town improvement were raised through public lotteries.

  • In the early decades of the 19thc raising funds for the city was still thought to be the responsibility of public minded citizens and not exclusively that of the government.

  • The Lottery Committee commissioned a new map of the city so as to get a comprehensive picture of Calcutta.


  • Among the Committee’s major activities was road building in the Indian part of the city and clearing the river bank of “encroachments”.

  • In its drive to make the Indian areas of Calcutta cleaner, the committee removed many huts and displaced the labouring poor, who were now pushed to the outskirts of Calcutta.

  • The threat of epidemics gave a further impetus to town planning in the next few decades.

  • The European commercial Companies had set up base in different places early during the Mughal era

  • The Portuguese in Panaji in 1510, the Dutch in Masulipatnam in 1605, the British in Madras in 1639 and the French in Pondicherry in 1673.

  • Forces of international trade, mercantilism and capitalism now came to define the nature of society.

  • Ionic was one of the three orders (organisational systems) of Ancient Greek architecture, the other two being Doric, and Corinthian.

  • One feature that distinguished each order was the style of the capital at the head of the columns.

  • These forms were re-adapted in the Renaissance and Neo-classical forms of architecture

  • Simla (present­day Shimla) was founded during the course of the Gurkha War (1815­16); the Anglo­Maratha War of 1818 led to British interest in Mount Abu; and Darjeeling was wrested from the rulers of Sikkim in 1835.

  • The Company had first set up its trading activities in the well-established port of Surat on the west coast.

  • In the towns of South India such as Madurai and Kanchipuram the principal focus was the temple.

  • In the 1770s the British embarked on a brutal policy of extermination, hunting the Paharias down and killing them.

  • Then, by the 1780s, Augustus Cleveland, the Collector of Bhagalpur, proposed a policy of pacification.

  • Paharia chiefs were given an annual allowance and made responsible for the proper conduct of their men.

  • They were expected to maintain order in their localities and discipline their own people.

  • Many Paharia chiefs refused the allowances. Those who accepted, most often lost authority within the community.

  • As the pacification campaigns continued, the Paharias withdrew deep into the mountains, insulating themselves from hostile forces, and carrying on a war with outsiders.

  • The Santhals were given land and persuaded to settle in the foothills of Rajmahal. By 1832 a large area of land was demarcated as Damin-i-Koh.

  • This was declared to be the land of the Santhals. They were to live within it, practise plough agriculture, and become settled peasants.


  • The land grant to the Santhals stipulated that at least one-tenth of the area was to be cleared and cultivated within the first ten years.

  • It was after the Santhal Revolt (1855-56) that the Santhal Pargana was created, carving out 5,500 square miles from the districts of Bhagalpur and Birbhum.

  • Peasants in various parts of India rose in revolt against moneylenders and grain dealers. One such revolt occurred in 1875 in the Deccan.


Important Term

 Indentured labour : A  form  of  labour  widely  used  in  the  plantations  from  the  mid-nineteenth  century. Labourers worked on the basis of contracts that did not specify any rights of labourers but gave immense power to employers. Employers could bring criminal charges against labourers and punish and jail them for non-fulfilment of contracts.


Important Terms:

 Syncretic  – Characterised  by syncretism;  aims to bring together  different  beliefs  and practices, seeing their essential unity rather than their difference.

Concentration camp – A prison where people are detained without due process of law.  The word evokes an image of a place of torture and brutal treatment


Rulers and Builders

The figure below shows the first balcony of the Qutb Minar. Qutbuddin Aybak had this constructed around 1199.

  • The pattern created under the balcony by the small arches and geometrical designs is noticeable.

  • The two bands of inscriptions under the balcony are in Arabic.

  • The surface of the minar is curved and angular.

  • Placing an inscription on such a surface required great precision.

  • Only the most skilled craftsperson could perform this task.

  • Remember that very few buildings were made of stone or brick 800 years ago. What would have been the impact of a building like the Qutb Minar on observers in the thirteenth century?

  • Between the eighth and the eighteenth centuries kings and their officers built two kinds of structures:

  1. Forts, palaces, garden residences and tombs – safe, protected and grandiose places of rest in this world and



  1. Structures meant for public activity including temples, mosques, tanks, wells, caravanserais and bazaars.

  • Kings were expected to care for their subjects, and by making structures for their use and comfort, rulers hoped to win their praise.

  • Construction activity was also carried out by others, including merchants. They built temples, mosques and wells.

  • However, domestic architecture – large mansions (havelis) of merchants – has survived only from the eighteenth century.

  • Temples and mosques were beautifully constructed because they were places of worship. They were also meant to demonstrate the power, wealth and devotion of the patron.

  • In the Rajarajeshvara temple an inscription mentions that it was built by King Rajarajadeva for the worship of his god, Rajarajeshvaram. It is noticeable how the names of the ruler and the god are very similar.

  • The king took the god’s name because it was auspicious and he wanted to appear like a god. Through the rituals of worship in the temple one god (Rajarajadeva) honoured another (Rajarajeshvaram).

  • The largest temples were all constructed by kings. The other, lesser deities in the temple were gods and goddesses of the allies and subordinates of the ruler.

  • The temple was a miniature model of the world ruled by the king and his allies. As they worshipped their deities together in the royal temples, it seemed as if they brought the just rule of the gods on earth.

  • Muslim Sultans and Padshahs did not claim to be incarnations of god but Persian court chronicles described the Sultan as the “Shadow of God”.

  • An inscription in the Quwwat al-Islam mosque explained that:

  • God chose Alauddin as a king because he had the qualities of Moses and Solomon, the great lawgivers of the past.

  • The greatest lawgiver and architect was God Himself.

  • He created the world out of chaos and introduced order and symmetry.

  • As each new dynasty came to power, kings wanted to emphasize their moral right to be rulers. Constructing places of worship provided rulers with the chance to proclaim their close relationship with God, especially important in an age of rapid political change.

  • Rulers also offered patronage to the learned and pious, and tried to transform their capitals and cities into great cultural centres that brought fame to their rule and their realm.

  • It was widely believed that the rule of a just king would be an age of plenty when the heavens would not withhold rain. At the same time, making precious water available by constructing tanks and reservoirs was highly praised.

  • Sultan Iltutmish won universal respect for constructing a large reservoir just outside Dehli-i- Kuhna. It was called the Hauz-i-Sultani or the “King’s Reservoir”.

  • Rulers often constructed tanks and reservoirs – big and small – for use by ordinary people. Sometimes these tanks and reservoirs were part of a temple, mosque or a gurdwara (a place of worship and congregation for Sikhs).

  • Under the Mughals, architecture became more complex. Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, and especially Shah Jahan were personally interested in literature, art and architecture.

  • In his autobiography, Babur described his interest in planning and laying out formal gardens, placed within rectangular walled enclosures and divided into four quarters by artificial channels. These gardens were called chahar bagh, four gardens, because of their symmetrical division into quarters.

  • Beginning with Akbar, some of the most beautiful chahar baghs were constructed by Jahangir and Shah Jahan in Kashmir, Agra and Delhi.



  • There were several important architectural innovations during Akbar’s reign. For inspiration, Akbar’s architects turned to the tombs of his Central Asian ancestor, Timur.

  • The central towering dome and the tall gateway (pishtaq) became important aspects of Mughal architecture, first visible in Humayun’s tomb. The tomb was placed in the centre of a huge formal chahar bagh and built in the tradition known as “eight paradises” or hasht bihisht – a central hall surrounded by eight rooms. The building was constructed with red sandstone, edged with white marble.

  • It was during Shah Jahan’s reign that the different elements of Mughal architecture were fused together in a grand harmonious synthesis. His reign witnessed a huge amount of construction activity especially in Agra and Delhi.

  • The ceremonial halls of public and private audience (diwan-i khas or aam) were carefully planned. Placed within a large courtyard, these courts were also described as chihil sutun or forty-pillared halls.

  • Shah Jahan’s audience halls were specially constructed to resemble a mosque. The pedestal on which his throne was placed was frequently described as the qibla, the direction faced by Muslims at prayer, since everybody faced that direction when court was in session.

  • The idea of the king as a representative of God on earth was suggested by these architectural features.

  • The connection between royal justice and the imperial court was emphasised by Shah Jahan in his newly constructed court in the Red Fort at Delhi.

  • Behind the emperor’s throne were a series of pietra dura inlays that depicted the legendary Greek god Orpheus playing the lute. It was believed that Orpheus’s music could calm ferocious beasts until they coexisted together peaceably.

  • The construction of Shah Jahan’s audience hall aimed to communicate that the king’s justice would treat the high and the low as equals creating a world where all could live together in harmony.

  • In the early years of his reign, Shah Jahan’s capital was at Agra, a city where the nobility had constructed their homes on the banks of the river Yamuna. These were set in the midst of formal gardens constructed in the chahar bagh format.

  • The chahar bagh garden also had a variation that historians describe as the “riverfront garden”. In this the dwelling was not located in the middle of the chahar bagh but at its edge, close to the bank of the river.

  • Shah Jahan adapted the river-front garden in the layout of the Taj Mahal, the grandest architectural accomplishment of his reign. Here the white marble mausoleum was placed on a terrace by the edge of the river and the garden was to its south. Shah Jahan developed this architectural form as a means to control the access that nobles had to the river.

  • In the new city of Shahjahanabad that Shah Jahan constructed in Delhi, the imperial palace commanded the river-front. Only specially favoured nobles – like his eldest son Dara Shukoh – were given access to the river.



  • All others had to construct their homes in the city away from the River Yamuna.

  • As construction activity increased between the eighth and eighteenth centuries there was also a considerable sharing of ideas across regions: the traditions of one region were adopted by another.

  • In Vijayanagara, for example, the elephant stables of the rulers were strongly influenced by the style of architecture found in the adjoining Sultanates of Bijapur and Golconda.

  • In Vrindavan, near Mathura, temples were constructed in architectural styles that were very similar to the Mughal palaces in Fatehpur Sikri.

  • The creation of large empires that brought different regions under their rule helped in this cross- fertilisation of artistic forms and architectural styles.

  • Mughal rulers were particularly skilled in adapting regional architectural styles in the construction of their own buildings.

  • In Bengal, for example, the local rulers had developed a roof that was designed to resemble a thatched hut. The Mughals liked this “Bangla dome” so much that they used it in their architecture.

  • Raja Man Singh, Akbar’s famous general, attacked and defeated the Cheros in 1591. A large amount of booty was taken from them, but they were not entirely subdued.

  • Under Aurangzeb, Mughal forces captured many Chero fortresses and subjugated the tribe. The Mundas and Santals were among the other important tribes that lived in this region and also in Orissa and Bengal.

  • The Maharashtra highlands and Karnataka were home to Kolis, Berads and numerous others. Kolis also lived in many areas of Gujarat.

  • Further south there were large tribal populations of Koragas, Vetars, Maravars and many others.

  • The large tribe of Bhils was spread across western and central India. By the late sixteenth century, many of them had become settled agriculturists and some even zamindars.

  • Many Bhil clans, nevertheless, remained hunter gatherers. The Gonds were found in great numbers across the present-day states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.



Philosophy and Bhakti


  • He was one of the most influential philosophers of India, was born in Kerala in the eighth century.

  • He was an advocate of Advaita or the doctrine of the oneness of the individual soul and the Supreme God which is the Ultimate Reality.

  • He taught that Brahman, the only or Ultimate Reality, was formless and without any attributes.

  • He considered the world around us to be an illusion or maya, and preached renunciation of the world and adoption of the path of knowledge to understand the true nature of Brahman and attain salvation.



  • Born in Tamil Nadu in the eleventh century, he was deeply influenced by the Alvars.

  • According to him the best means of attaining salvation was through intense devotion to Vishnu. Vishnu in His grace helps the devotee to attain the bliss of union with Him.

  • He propounded the doctrine of Vishishtadvaita or qualified oneness in that the soul even when united with the Supreme God remained distinct.

  • Ramanuja’s doctrine greatly inspired the new strand of bhakti which developed in north India subsequently.




  • Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah, the founder of Hyderabad state, was one of the most powerful members at the court of the Mughal Emperor Farrukh Siyar.

  • As the Mughal governor of the Deccan provinces, Asaf Jah already had full control over its political and financial administration.

  • Taking advantage of the turmoil in the Deccan and the competition amongst the court nobility, he gathered power in his hands and became the actual ruler of that region.

  • Asaf Jah brought skilled soldiers and administrators from northern India who welcomed the new opportunities in the south. He appointed mansabdars and granted jagirs.

  • Although he was still a servant of the Mughal emperor, he ruled quite independently without seeking any direction from Delhi or facing any interference.

  • The Mughal emperor merely confirmed the decisions already taken by the Nizam.

  • The state of Hyderabad was constantly engaged in a struggle against the Marathas to the west and with independent Telugu warrior chiefs (nayakas) of the plateau.

  • The ambitions of the Nizam to control the rich textile-producing areas of the Coromandel coast in the east were checked by the British who were becoming increasingly powerful in that region.




  • Burhan-ul-Mulk Sa‘adat Khan was appointed subadar of Awadh in 1722 and founded a state which was one of the most important to emerge out of the break- up of the Mughal Empire.

  • Awadh was a prosperous region, controlling the rich alluvial Ganga plain and the main trade route between north India and Bengal.

  • Burhan-ul-Mulk also held the combined offices of subadari, diwani and faujdari. In other words, he was responsible for managing the political, financial and military affairs of the province of Awadh.

  • Burhan-ul-Mulk tried to decrease Mughal influence in the Awadh region by reducing the number of office holders (jagirdars) appointed by the Mughals.

  • He also reduced the size of jagirs, and appointed his own loyal servants to vacant positions.

  • The accounts of jagirdars were checked to prevent cheating and the revenues of all districts were reassessed by officials appointed by the Nawab’s court.

  • He seized a number of Rajput zamindaris and the agriculturally fertile lands of the Afghans of Rohilkhand.

  • The state depended on local bankers and mahajans for loans. It sold the right to collect tax to the highest bidders. These “revenue farmers” (ijaradars) agreed to pay the state a fixed sum of money.

  • Local bankers guaranteed the payment of this contracted amount to the state. In turn, the revenue-farmers were given considerable freedom in the assessment and collection of taxes.

  • These developments allowed new social groups, like moneylenders and bankers, to influence the management of the state’s revenue system, something which had not occurred in the past.




  • Bengal gradually broke away from Mughal control under Murshid Quli Khan who was appointed as the naib, deputy to the governor of the province.

  • Although never a formal subadar, Murshid Quli Khan very quickly seized all the power that went with that office.

  • Like the rulers of Hyderabad and Awadh he also commanded the revenue administration of the state.

  • In an effort to reduce Mughal influence in Bengal he transferred all Mughal jagirdars to Orissa and ordered a major reassessment of the revenues of Bengal.

  • Revenue was collected in cash with great strictness from all zamindars. As a result, many zamindars had to borrow money from bankers and moneylenders. Those unable to pay were forced to sell their lands to larger zamindars.

  • The formation of a regional state in eighteenth century Bengal therefore led to considerable change amongst the zamindars.

  • The close connection between the state and bankers – noticeable in Hyderabad and Awadh as well – was evident in Bengal under the rule of Alivardi Khan (r. 1740- 1756).

  • During his reign the banking house of Jagat Seth became extremely prosperous.

  • If we take a bird’s eye view, we can detect three common features amongst these states:

  1. Though many of the larger states were established by erstwhile Mughal nobles they were highly suspicious of some of the administrative systems that they had inherited, in particular the jagirdari system.

  2. Their method of tax collection differed. Rather than relying upon the officers of the state, all three regimes contracted with revenue-farmers for the collection of revenue. The practice of ijaradari, thoroughly disapproved of by the Mughals, spread all over India in the eighteenth century. Their impact on the countryside differed considerably.

  3. Their emerging relationship with rich bankers and merchants. These people lent money to revenue farmers, received land as security and collected taxes from these lands through their own agents. Throughout India the richest merchants and bankers were gaining a stake in the new political order.


  • The Maratha kingdom was another powerful regional kingdom to arise out of a sustained opposition to Mughal rule.

  • Shivaji (1627-1680) carved out a stable kingdom with the support of powerful warrior families (deshmukhs).

  • Groups of highly mobile, peasant pastoralists (kunbis) provided the backbone of the Maratha army. Shivaji used these forces to challenge the Mughals in the peninsula.

  • After Shivaji’s death, effective power in the Maratha state was wielded by a family of Chitpavan Brahmanas who served Shivaji’s successors as Peshwa (or principal minister).

  • Poona became the capital of the Maratha kingdom. Under the Peshwas, the Marathas developed a very successful military organisation.

  • Their success lay in bypassing the fortified areas of the Mughals, by raiding cities and by engaging Mughal armies in areas where their supply lines and reinforcements could be easily disturbed.

  • Between 1720 and 1761, the Maratha empire expanded. It gradually chipped away at the authority of the Mughal Empire. Malwa and Gujarat were seized from the Mughals by the 1720s.

  • By the 1730s, the Maratha king was recognised as the overlord of the entire Deccan peninsula. He possessed the right to levy chauth and sardeshmukhi in the entire region.

  • After raiding Delhi in 1737 the frontiers of Maratha domination expanded rapidly: into Rajasthan and the Punjab in the north; into Bengal and Orissa in the east; and into Karnataka and the Tamil and Telugu countries in the south. These were not formally included in the Maratha empire, but were made to pay tribute as a way of accepting Maratha sovereignty.

  • Expansion brought enormous resources, but it came at a price. These military campaigns also made other rulers hostile towards the Marathas. As a result, they were not inclined to support the Marathas during the third battle of Panipat in 1761.

  • Alongside endless military campaigns, the Marathas developed an effective administrative system as well.

  • Once conquest had been completed and Maratha rule was secure, revenue demands were gradually introduced taking local conditions into account. Agriculture was encouraged and trade revived.

  • This allowed Maratha chiefs (sardars) like Sindhia of Gwalior, Gaekwad of Baroda and Bhonsle of Nagpur the resources to raise powerful armies.

  • Maratha campaigns into Malwa in the 1720s did not challenge the growth and prosperity of the cities in the region. Ujjain expanded under Sindhia’s patronage and Indore under Holkar’s.

  • By all accounts these cities were large and prosperous and functioned as important commercial and cultural centres. New trade routes emerged within the areas controlled by the Marathas.

  • The silk produced in the Chanderi region now found a new outlet in Poona, the Maratha capital.

  • Burhanpur which had earlier participated in the trade between Agra and Surat now expanded its hinterland to include Poona and Nagpur in the south and Lucknow and Allahabad in the east.

  • Al-Biruni’s Kitab-ul-Hind, written in Arabic, is a voluminous text, divided into 80 chapters on subjects such as religion and philosophy, festivals, astronomy, alchemy, manners and customs, social life, weights and measures, iconography, laws and metrology.

  • Generally (though not always), Al-Biruni adopted a distinctive structure in each chapter, beginning with a question, following this up with a description based on Sanskritic traditions, and concluding with a comparison with other cultures.

  • Al-Biruni, who wrote in Arabic, probably intended his work for peoples living along the frontiers of the subcontinent.

  • He was familiar with translations and adaptations of Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit texts into Arabic – these ranged from fables to works on astronomy and medicine.



Ibn Batuta’s Rihla

  • An early globe-trotter Ibn Battuta’s book of travels, called Rihla, written in Arabic, provides extremely rich and interesting details about the social and cultural life in the subcontinent in the fourteenth century.

  • Ibn Battuta received literary and scholastic education when he was quite young. He considered experience gained through travels to be a more important source of knowledge than books.

  • Before he set off for India in 1332-33, he had made pilgrimage trips to Mecca, and had already travelled extensively in Syria, Iraq, Persia, Yemen, Oman and a few trading ports on the coast of East Africa.

  • He had heard about Muhammad bin Tughlaq, the Sultan of Delhi, and lured by his reputation as a generous patron of arts and letters, set off for Delhi, passing through Multan and Uch. The Sultan was impressed by his scholarship, and appointed him the qazi or judge of Delhi.

  • He was ordered in 1342 to proceed to China as the Sultan’s envoy to the Mongol ruler. With the new assignment, Ibn Battuta proceeded to the Malabar coast through central India. He travelled extensively in China, going as far as Beijing, but did not stay for long, deciding to return home in 1347.

  • Ibn Battuta meticulously recorded his observations about new cultures, peoples, beliefs, values, etc. Travelling was also more insecure: Ibn Battuta was attacked by bands of robbers several times. In fact he preferred travelling in a caravan along with companions, but this did not deter highway robbers.

  • His account is often compared with that of Marco Polo, who visited China (and also India) from his home base in Venice in the late thirteenth century.




Ibn Battuta and Indian cities

  • Ibn Battuta found cities in the subcontinent densely populated and prosperous, except for the occasional disruptions caused by wars and invasions.

  • Most cities had crowded streets and bright and colourful markets that were stacked with a wide variety of goods.

  • Ibn Battuta described Delhi as a vast city, with a great population, the largest in India. Daulatabad (in Maharashtra) was no less, and easily rivalled Delhi in size.

  • The bazaars were not only places of economic transactions, but also the hub of social and cultural activities. Most bazaars had a mosque and a temple, and in some of them at least, spaces were marked for public performances by dancers, musicians and singers.

  • While Ibn Battuta was not particularly concerned with explaining the prosperity of towns, historians have used his account to suggest that towns derived a significant portion of their wealth through the appropriation of surplus from villages.

  • Ibn Battuta found Indian agriculture very productive because of the fertility of the soil, which allowed farmers to cultivate two crops a year.

  • He also noted that the subcontinent was well integrated with inter-Asian networks of trade and commerce, with Indian manufactures being in great demand in both West Asia and Southeast Asia, fetching huge profits for artisans and merchants.

  • Indian textiles, particularly cotton cloth, fine muslins, silks, brocade and satin, were in great demand. Ibn Battuta informs us that certain varieties of fine muslin were so expensive that they could be worn only by the nobles and the very rich


  • The Ain-i Akbari was the culmination of a large historical, administrative project of classification undertaken by Abu’l Fazl at the order of Emperor Akbar. It was completed in 1598, the forty- second regnal year of the emperor, after having gone through five revisions.

  • The Ain was part of a larger project of history writing commissioned by Akbar. This history, known as the Akbar Nama, comprised three books. The first two provided a historical narrative.

  • The Ain-i Akbari, the third book, was organised as a compendium of imperial regulations and a gazetteer of the empire.

  • The Ain gives detailed accounts of the organisation of the court, administration and army, the sources of revenue and the physical layout of the provinces of Akbar’s empire and the literary, cultural and religious traditions of the people.

  • Along with a description of the various departments of Akbar’s government and elaborate descriptions of the various provinces (subas) of the empire, the Ain gives us intricate quantitative information of those provinces.

  • The Ain is therefore a mine of information for us about the Mughal Empire during Akbar’s reign. The Ain is made up of five books (daftars), of which the first three books describe the administration.

  1. The first book, called manzil-abadi, concerns the imperial household and its maintenance.

  2. The second book, sipah-abadi, covers the military and civil administration and the establishment of servants.

  3. The third book, mulk-abadi, is the one which deals with the fiscal side of the empire and provides rich quantitative information on revenue rates, followed by the “Account of the Twelve Provinces”.

  • After setting out details at the suba level, the Ain goes on to give a detailed picture of the sarkars below the suba. This it does in the form of tables, which have eight columns giving the following information: 1. Parganat/mahal;

  1. Qila (forts);

  2. Arazi and zamin-i paimuda (measured area);

  3. Naqdi, revenue assessed in cash;

  4. Suyurghal, grants of revenue in charity;

  5. Zamindars;

  6. Columns 7 and 8 contain details of the castes of these zamindars, and their troops including their horsemen (sawar), foot-soldiers (piyada) and elephants (fil).

  • The fourth and fifth books (daftars) deal with the religious, literary and cultural traditions of the people of India and also contain a collection of Akbar’s “auspicious sayings”.



  • Although the Ain was officially sponsored to record detailed information to facilitate Emperor Akbar govern his empire, it was much more than a reproduction of official papers. That the manuscript was revised five times by the author would suggest a high degree of caution on the part of Abu’l Fazl and a search for authenticity.

  • Historians who have carefully studied the Ain point out that it is not without its problems. Numerous errors in totalling have been detected. These are ascribed to simple slips of arithmetic or of transcription by Abu’l Fazl’s assistants.

  • The name Mughal derives from Mongol. Though today the term evokes the grandeur of an empire, it was not the name the rulers of the dynasty chose for themselves. They referred to themselves as Timurids, as descendants of the Turkish ruler Timur on the paternal side.

  • Babur, the first Mughal ruler, was related to Ghenghiz Khan from his mother’s side. He spoke Turkish and referred derisively to the Mongols as barbaric hordes.

  • During the sixteenth century, Europeans used the term Mughal to describe the Indian rulers of this branch of the family. Over the past centuries the word has been frequently used – even the name Mowgli, the young hero of Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, is derived from it.

  • The founder of the empire, Zahiruddin Babur, was driven from his Central Asian homeland, Farghana, by the warring Uzbeks. He first established himself at Kabul and then in 1526 pushed further into the Indian subcontinent in search of territories and resources to satisfy the needs of the members of his clan.

  • His successor, Nasiruddin Humayun (1530-40, 1555-56) expanded the frontiers of the empire, but lost it to the Afghan leader Sher Shah Sur, who drove him into exile. Humayun took refuge in the court of the Safavid ruler of Iran.

  • Many consider Jalaluddin Akbar (1556-1605) the greatest of all the Mughal emperors. Akbar succeeded in extending the frontiers of the empire to the Hindukush mountains, and checked the expansionist designs of the Uzbeks of Turan (Central Asia) and the Safavids of Iran.

  • Akbar had three fairly able successors in Jahangir (1605-27), Shah Jahan (1628-58) and Aurangzeb (1658-1707), much as their characters varied. Under them the territorial expansion continued, though at a much reduced pace.



  • The political system devised by the Mughals was based on a combination of military power and conscious policy to accommodate the different traditions they encountered in the subcontinent.

  • After 1707, following the death of Aurangzeb, the power of the dynasty diminished. In place of the vast apparatus of empire controlled from Delhi, Agra or Lahore – the different capital cities – regional powers acquired greater autonomy.

  • Mughal court chronicles were written in Persian. Under the Sultans of Delhi it flourished as a language of the court and of literary writings, alongside north Indian languages, especially Hindavi and its regional variants.

  • As the Mughals were Chaghtai Turks by origin, Turkish was their mother tongue. Their first ruler Babur wrote poetry and his memoirs in this language.

  • It was Akbar who consciously set out to make Persian the leading language of the Mughal court. Cultural and intellectual contacts with Iran, as well as a regular stream of Iranian and Central Asian migrants seeking positions at the Mughal court, might have motivated the emperor to adopt the language.

  • Persian was elevated to a language of empire, conferring power and prestige on those who had a command of it. Further, it became the language of administration at all levels so that accountants, clerks and other functionaries also learnt it.

The Akbar Nama and the Badshah Nama

  • Among the important illustrated Mughal chronicles the Akbar Nama and Badshah Nama (The Chronicle of a King) are the most well known. Each manuscript contained an average of 150 full- or double-page paintings of battles, sieges, hunts, building construction, court scenes, etc.



Akbar Nama

  • The author of the Akbar Nama, Abu’l Fazl grew up in the Mughal capital of Agra. He was widely read in Arabic, Persian, Greek philosophy and Sufism. Akbar found Abu’l Fazl ideally suited as an adviser and a spokesperson for his policies. One major objective of the emperor was to free the state from the control of religious orthodoxy.

  • Beginning in 1589, Abu’l Fazl worked on the Akbar Nama for thirteen years, repeatedly revising the draft.

  • The chronicle is based on a range of sources, including actual records of events (waqai), official documents and oral testimonies of knowledgeable persons.

  • The Akbar Nama is divided into three books of which the first two are chronicles. The third book is the Ain-i Akbari. The first volume contains the history of mankind from Adam to one celestial cycle of Akbar’s life (30 years). The second volume closes in the forty-sixth regnal year (1601) of Akbar.

  • The Akbar Nama was written to provide a detailed description of Akbar’s reign. In the Ain-i Akbari the Mughal Empire is presented as having a diverse population consisting of Hindus, Jainas, Buddhists and Muslims and a composite culture.

  • Abu’l Fazl wrote in a language that was ornate and which attached importance to diction and rhythm, as texts were often read aloud.

  • This Indo-Persian style was patronised at court, and there were a large number of writers who wanted to write like Abu’l Fazl.



Badshah Nama

  • A pupil of Abu’l Fazl, Abdul Hamid Lahori is known as the author of the Badshah Nama. Emperor Shah Jahan, hearing of his talents, commissioned him to write a history of his reign modelled on the Akbar Nama.


  • The Badshah Nama is this official history in three volumes (daftars) of ten lunar years each. These volumes were later revised by Sadullah Khan, Shah Jahan’s wazir.

  • During the colonial period, British administrators began to study Indian history and to create an archive of knowledge about the subcontinent to help them better understand the people and the cultures of the empire they sought to rule.

  • The Asiatic Society of Bengal, founded by Sir William Jones in 1784, undertook the editing, printing and translation of many Indian manuscripts. Edited versions of the Akbar Nama and Badshah Nama were first published by the Asiatic Society in the nineteenth century.

  • In the early twentieth century the Akbar Nama was translated into English by Henry Beveridge after years of hard labour. Only excerpts of the Badshah Nama have been translated into English to date; the text in its entirety still awaits translation.




















Stone Age

  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), under the Ministry of Culture, is a premier organization for the archaeological researchers and protection of the heritage of the nation. It was founded in 1861 by Alexander Cunningham who also became its first Director General. In 1871, the Archaeological Survey was established as a separate department, and Cunningham was appointed as its first Director General. In 1902, during the tenure of Lord Curzon, it was centralized as Archaeological Survey of India and John Marshall was appointed as its first Director General.

  • National Human Museum, which was renamed as Indira Gandhi National Human Museum is located in Bhopal (MP). It is an autonomous organization under the Department of Culture.

  • According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, Robert Bruce Foote was a British geologist and archaeologist. He is considered as the father of Indian pre-history. He was associated with the Geological Survey and documented the antiquities of the Stone Age.

  • A large number of implements made of bones and horns have been found from the Mesolithic site, Mahadaha (located in Pratapgarh district of U.P.). The book entitled ‘Puratattva Vimarsh’ written by Dr. Jai Narayan Pandey describes various pointed objects and ornaments made of bones which have been reported from Sarai Nahar Rai, Damdama and Mahadama.

  • Present archaeological system of the three main ages-stone, bronze and iron-was developed by the Danish archaeologist Christian Jurgensen Thomson in 1820.

  • According to the excavated evidence, the domestication of animals began in the Mesolithic period. The earliest evidences of domestication of animals in India have been found at Adamgarh (Hoshangabad, M.P.) and Bagor (Bhilwara, Rajasthan).

  • Damdama is a Mesolithic site in Pratapgarh district Uttar Pradesh. In Damdama, 41 human graves were found. Out of these graves, 4 are a double burial. In these double burial, 2 burials include (male-female), 1 burial include 2 female bodies and 4th burial include 2 male and 1 female body. One triple burial grave is also found here. A grave with four human skeletons have been found at Sarai Nahar Rai.

  • According to the latest research, the earliest evidence of agriculture in Indian sub-continent has been reported from the Lahuradeva site in Sant Kabir Nagar district, Uttar Pradesh. The evidence of human activity and beginning of rice cultivation at this site date back to around 9000 to 8000 B.C. Significantly before this research, the earlier evidence of wheat was found at Mehrgarh (located in Balochistan, Pakistan) belonging to around 7000 B.C. and earliest evidence of rice is known to be near the bank of the river Belan, district Allahabad, from where rice bran was found dating back to 6500 B.C.

  • Grains were first ever produced in Neolithic Age. It was the time when people were introduced to agriculture. Koldihwa and Mehrgarh were the two Neolithic villages from where clear evidence of rice and wheat have been found.

  • In India, the first evidence of man was found in western Narmada region of Madhya Pradesh. It was discovered in 1982.

  • The earliest evidence of settled life has been found from Mehrgarh located in the ‘Kachi Plains’ of Balochistan (700 B.C.). Kile Gul Mohammad and Kalibangan have been dated 4000 B.C. and 3500 B.C. respectively. Dholavira is Harappan site.

  • Barley is widely accepted as the first cereal to have been cultivated by humans around 8000 B.C. Rice and wheat is considered to have been cultivated later. However, the excavation carried out at Lahuradewa (Sant Kabirnagar, UP) between 2001 and 2006 reported the evidence of human activity and beginning of rice cultivation 9000-8000 B.C. Besides, Mehargarh (Baluchistan, now in Pakistan) which is a Neolithic settlement attributes 7000 B.C., also has the evidence of rice cultivation.

  • Copper Age is also known as Chalcolithic Age. The age in which instruments of copper were used in addition to stone, is called as Copper Age.



  • The megaliths usually refer to the burials made up of large stones in graveyards away from the habitation area. A large fraction of these are assumed to be associated with burial or post-burial rituals including memorials for those whose remains may or may not be available. Few type of these are; Chamber tomb, Dolmens, Stone alignment, Stone circle (cromlech), Pit-circles, etc.

  • The cultural remains from Stone Age to Harappan Civilization have been obtained from Mehargarh located in Balochistan (Pakistan).

  • The ‘Ash mounds’ have been found from a Neolithic site Sangama Kallu located in Vellari district near Mysore in Karnataka. They have also been found in Piklihal. These ash mounds are the burnt relics of seasonal camps of Neolithic herdsmen community.

  • Navdatoli has revealed excellent evidence of both round and rectangular residential structure which are located near Indore. The former measure about 3m in diameter and the latter 2m x 2.2m. The roofs were probably made of hay, branches and leaves and were supported on massive wooden posts, 22cm in diameter, raised at regular intervals around the huts. The open spaces between the posts were provided with mud-plastered bamboo screens. The house floors were made up of silt clay and river gravel, with the surface coated with lime. The huts were provided with one or two-mouthed ‘chulhas’ as well as storage jars and other earthen vessels. This site was excavated by Mr. H.D. Sankalia, Professor Deccan College, Pune. This site was the most extensive excavated rural Chalcolithic site of Indian sub-continent, which is determined to be between 1600 B.C. and 1300 B.C.

  • The rock shelters of Bhimbetka are located 45 km west from Bhopal. UNESCO has included the shell pictures of Bhimbetka in the list of its world heritage. These caves exhibit the earliest traces of human life on the Indian sub continent and include the picture of elephant, sambhar, deer etc.

  • Nearly 500 pictures were found from Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh.

  • The people of Jorwe culture lived in large rectangular houses with wattle and daub walls and thatched roof. They believed in life after death and therefore interred the dead inside the houses under the floor. Children were buried in two urns that were joined mouth-to-mouth and set horizontally in the pit, while adults were placed in a supine position with the head towards the north (north to south). These sites are found in Daimabad, Inamgaon, Chandauli, Nevasa etc.

  • The best example of pre-historic paintings are the rock-shelters and caves of Bhimbetka, located in Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh. The rock shelters of Bhimbetka are in the foothills of the Vindhyan mountains on the southern edge of the central Indian plateau. The rock-cut paintings of Ajanta and Bagh are related to post Mauryan period while Amravati, which is famous for its cairn architecture is considered to be built in Shunga’s period or Satavahana’s period.



  • The Burzahom site is a pre-historic settlement in the village of the name in Kashmir valley. Both human and animal skeletons were found here with trepanning (bored hole) marks. In many pits, bones of dogs and antlered deer were found along with human skeletons. The skeletons of humans were found in the burial pits in sitting position along with bones of animals. The first excavation at the Burzahom site was carried out by Helmut de Terra and Dr. Thomous Paterson in the year 1935.

  • Ochre-Coloured Pottery (known to archaeologists as OCP) as the name implies, its main distinguishing feature was its ochre colour, which gives it a first appearance of being badly fired. Other characteristics are its porous character and the fact that it is invariably worn out at the edges. Most of its evidence is mainly found from Atranjikhera and Hastinapur.

  • According to ‘Puratatva Vimarsh’ by J.N. Pandey 17 human skeletons were obtained from rock shelter 1 of Lekhahiya in the Vindhya region. Some of these were in relatively pristine condition while most others were warped. According to John R. Lucas of Oregon University, USA, remainanats of 27 human skeletons were found in Lekhahiya.

Indus Valley Civilization and Culture

  • Harappan is an archaeological site, related to Indus Valley Civilization. Since, the first archaeological evidence of this civilization was obtained from Harappan, Indus Valley Civilization is also known as Harappa Civilization. Along with ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, it was one of the three ancient civilizations of the world.

  • Human Society is unique due to its cultural heritage. Culture determines human perceptions and lifestyle.

  • Copper and bronze were used to make tools, weapons, ornaments and vessels. Gold and silver were used to make ornaments and vessels. Perhaps the most striking finds are those of beads, weights, and blades.

  • Kalibangan, Ropar, and Lothal are related to Indus Valley Civilization but Pataliputra adjacent to modern day Patna, was a major city during Mahajanpad period.




  • The city of Dholavira was located on Khadir Beyt in the Rann of Kutch, where there was fresh water and fertile soil.

  • Dholavira was divided into three parts (Unlike some of the other Harappan cities, which were divided into two parts,) and each part was surrounded with massive stone walls, with entrances through gateways.

  • There was also a large open area in the settlement, where public ceremonies could be held.

  • Other finds include large letters of the Harappan script that were carved out of white stone and perhaps inlaid in wood.

  • This is a unique find as generally Harappan writing has been found on small objects such as seals.

  • The Indus Valley people probably worshipped Mother Goddess (Shakti) in addition to male and female deities, wearing numerous ornaments and a fan-shaped headdress.

  • Many of the things that were produced were probably the work of specialists. A specialist is a person who is trained to do only one kind of work, for example, cutting stone, or polishing beads, or carving seals. Look at the illustration (page 36) and see how well the face is carved and how carefully the beard is shown. This must have been the work of an expert crafts person.

  • With the recent discovery of two mounds, Rakhigarhi in Haryana is the second largest site (after Mohenjodaro), while Doholavira is the second largest site of Indus Valley Civilization in India.

  • A Harappan city was a very busy place. There were people who planned the construction of special buildings in the city. These were probably the rulers. It is likely that the rulers sent people to distant lands to get metal, precious stones, and other things that they wanted.

  • And there were scribes, people who knew how to write, who helped prepare the seals, and perhaps wrote on other materials that have not survived. Besides, there were men and women, crafts persons, making all kinds of things-either in their own homes, or in special workshops. People were travelling to distant lands or returning with raw materials and, perhaps, stories.

  • Marshall identified the figure which he found during excavation as an early form of the Hindu God Shiva (or Rudra) or Pashupati (lord of animals) from the excavation of Harappa. The Pashupati seal in which the three faced male God is shown sitting in a yogic posture, surrounded by a rhino and a buffalo on the right, an elephant and a tiger on the left, make the historian conclude that the people of those days worshipped Lord Shiva or cylindrical stones show that the people worshipped Lingam, the symbol of Lord Shiva.

  • Sir John Marshal was the Director-General of the Archaeological Survey of India from 1902 to 1928. He appointed Mr. R.B. Dayaram Sahni, who carried out excavation in the Larkana district of Sindh province and Montgomery district of Punjab on the right side of Ravi River. Mr. Sahni discovered the ruins of Harappa in 1921. Mr. Rakhal Das Banerjee dug out the ruins of the pre-historic city of Mohenjodaro in 1922.

  • Geographically Indus Valley Civilization was spread from Jhelum-River to Hindon River, a tributary of Yamuna river in South (Alamgirpur). It consists of rivers like Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej and Jhelum, but Ganga river does not belong to this.



  • Alexander Cunningham, who headed the Archaeological Survey of India, visited this site in 1853 and 1856. Cunningham made a few small excavations at the site and reported some discoveries of ancient pottery, stone tools and a stone seal but did recognize its significance. Later, John Marshall sent Rakhal Das Banerjee and Daya Ram Sahni to begin in the further excavation of this Harappan site.

  • In 1921, Dayaram Sahni surveyed Harappa. In 1926, M.S. Vats was associated with the survey of Harappa. Mohenjodaro was discovered in 1922 by Rakhal Das Banerjee. In addition to him, some other scholars like K.N. Dixit, Ernest Mackay, Aurel Steen. A. Ghosh, J.P. Joshi also contributed in the discovery of this civilization.

  • Harappa Civilization, the most ancient civilization in India is famous for its town planning Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age Civilization. The knowledge of iron was known much later after bronze during Vedic Period around 1000 B.C. The first punch marked coin came into existence in India in 6 B.C. Gold coins were introduced by Indo-Greek rulers during 2 B.C.

  • Copper was the metal which was used firstly by humans though there is variation in the period around the globe as far as the use of copper is concerned.

  • An ivory scale in Harappa context was found at Lothal. Lothal is a place associated with Indus Valley Civilization currently in Gujarat.

  • Harappa, Mohenjodaro, Ropar, Lothal and Kalibangan are the main sites of Indus Valley Civilization. In this civilization, most of the cities were designed in a grid pattern. Proper drainage system was aligned along the roads, which was covered with big stones and bricks. The forms of art were found from various sites of this civilization seals, pottery, gold ornaments and necklaces.

  • Banawali is an archaeological site belonging to Indus Valley Civilization period in Fatehabad district, Haryana. Banawali is located in the Valley of Ghaggar and its tributaries.




  • The city of Lothal stood beside a tributary of the Sabarmati, in Gujarat, close to the Gulf of Khambat.

  • It was situated near areas where raw materials such as semi-precious stones were easily available.

  • This was an important centre for making objects out of stone, shell and metal. There was also a store house in the city.

  • Many seals and sealing’s (the impression of seals on clay) were found in this storehouse.

  • A building that was found here was probably a workshop for making beads: pieces of stone, half made beads, tools for bead making, and finished beads have all been found here.

  • Dholavira, which is the second largest site of Harappan Civilization in India (after Rakhigarhi) is located in Rann of Kutch (Gujarat). R.S. Bisht and his colleagues excavated it in 1992. Dholavira is one of the most prominent archaeological sites of Harappa, which gives us important information about great bath and reservoir which was of 7 metres depth and 79 metres long.

  • Dholavira is a Harappan site located in Kutch district of Gujarat. The town was built in a rectangular shape. It was divided into three parts – fort, central town and lower town.

  • Sonauli is an archaeological site located in Baraut Tehsil, Baghpat district, Uttar Pradesh, where 125 graves belonging to Indus Valley Civilization were found. These graves oriented in a North-South direction and most are identified as primary human burials. Some of the burials are found with animal bones and gold, copper and bangles.

  • Cotton was first cultivated in India for clothing. In 1922, Rakhal Das Banerjee took interest in the site of Mohenjodaro for excavation. Evidence of earliest cotton cultivation was found by excavation in India. From India, it reached to Greece where it was called as “Hindon”. The cotton cultivation in India started in 3000 B.C. while it was cultivated in Egypt in 2500 B.C.

  • From Dholavira, a huge reservoir is found, whose size is about 80.4 m´12 m and 7.5 metres deep, having a huge capacity to store water. People of Dholavira were familiar with the advanced water management system. From the earliest evidence, people used to store water in this reservoir by making dams.

  • Indus Valley Civilization is considered to be a secular civilization with no trace of theocratic or organized religion. Cotton textiles were produced during the Harappan period as shown by artefact evidence.



  • People of Harappa civilization were known to horses, but no evidences were found on seals. A great majority of seals found in Indus Valley civilization carry short inscriptions with pictures of the one horned bull (most common), the buffalo, the tiger, the rhinoceros, the goat and the elephant.

  • No temple of or place of worship has been found after excavation from Indus Valley Civilization till date. The only religious source from this civilization is statues made of mud and stone and seals which were found here. By this it is known that female deities, Shiva or Pashupati and animals like snake, elephant were worshipped. Worship of plant and trees, or inanimate stone or other objects in the form of ‘Linga’ or ‘Yoni’ symbols was famous during that period.

  • From excavations at Kalibangan, a series of ‘fire altars’ on mud-brick platforms were discovered. A triangular terracota cake found at Kalibangan had a carving of a horned deity on one side and an animal (goat) being dragged by a rope by a human on the other. This shows the way to emergence of a sacrificial tradition in the entire era.

  • Mohenjodaro is an archaeological site in the province of Sindh, Pakistan (excavated by R.D. Banerjee in 1922). From this site various sculptures, seals, pottery, gold and jewellery have been found. But the most famous among them is the humped bull seal.

  • Ancient Egyptian Civilization flourished along the banks of the river Nile for almost 3000 years. Nile River is known as ‘lifeline of the Egypt’. The Nile is a major north-flowing river in north-eastern Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. Indus Valley Civilization (India) and Mesopotamia are the contemporary of Egyptian Civilization.

  • In Indian literature, Vedas are most ancient scriptures which are four in numbers namely Rig Veda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda. Rig Veda is most important and oldest among all these.

  • People of Sumerian Civilization were the first to develop the art of writing in a proper system. Their primary script was very simple and primitive. Cuneigorm script of Sumeria is generally known as one of the earliest system of writing.



  • Historical period is determined with respect to the available written literature. The period before which knowledge of the art of writing was not available is called early historical age. In Indian history the period between 2500 B.C. and 600 B.C. is considered as early historical age. Indus Civilization is early historical civilization although writing was known during this period but it is still to be deciphered. Indus Valley Civilization was an ancient civilization in the Indian subcontinent. The zenith of its development was between 2600 and 1900 B.C. The first city to be discovered by excavation was Harappa and therefore it is also known as ‘Harappan Civilization’.

  • Indus Valley Civilization was an earliest known urban civilization of Indian subcontinent whereas Aryan Civilization was rural civilization.

  • The first artefact uncovered in Harappa was a unique stone seal carved with a unicorn and an inscription. Similar seals with different animal symbols and writings have been found throughout the region. Although the writing has not yet been deciphered, evidence found during the early archaeological excavations are the major source to know about the Harappan culture.

  • The knowledge of script and town planning of Indus Valley Civilization was more developed than that of Pre-Aryans. Different archaeological pieces of evidence of pottery have been found in the Valley settlements of Mehargarh from the Indus Valley Civilization. Pottery found during excavations proves that Indus Valley Civilization existed before Aryan Civilization. The red potteries painted with black-figures were the specialty of Harappan Civilization whereas the gray painted potteries were used by Aryans.

  • The site of Indus Valley Civilization was excavated in 1920 and objects such as tools, weapons, ornaments of archaeological or historical interest is the only source to know about this civilizations as the Indus scripts are still 

  • The culture of Indus Valley Civilization was different from the Vedic culture in many ways. The Indus Valley Civilization was urban the Vedic culture was rural. The script of Indus Valley Civilization was of depictive expressions. The people of Indus Valley Civilization did not know the use of Iron whereas the people of Vedic Civilization used iron weapons extensively.



End of this civilization

  • Around 3900 years ago we find the beginning of a major change. People stopped living in many of the cities.

  • Different scholars suggest different reasons of end of the civilization, some says due to rivers dried up and some says due to deforestation this could have happened because fuel was required for baking bricks, and for smelting copper ores. Besides, grazing by large herds of cattle, sheep and goat may have destroyed the green cover. In some areas there were floods. But none of these reasons can explain the end of all the cities. Flooding, or a river drying up would have had an effect in only some areas.

  • It appears as if the rulers lost control. In any case, the effects of the change are quite clear.

  • Sites in Sind and west Punjab (present-day Pakistan) were abandoned, while many people moved into newer, smaller settlements to the east and the south.


  • About the origin of the Harappan civilization, many scholars have presented different thoughts. E.J.H. Mackay has considered that the origin of the Harappa civilization was due to the migration of people from Sumer (Southern Mesopotamia), while historian D.H. Gordon and Martin Wheeler considered that the Harappan civilization was the result of migration of idea of civilization from Western Asia. In this context, Amalananda Ghosh has considered that pre-Harappan culture matured to Harappan civilization. M.F. Rafique Mughal has considered that the development of Harappan civilization occured in the region of Ravi river at Harappa. He refutes the old belief that Harappan civilization was inspired by Mesopotamia civilization.

  • Harappans were known to silver. The evidence of their proper use are found from Mohan Jodaro and Harappa. These people used to get silver from mines of Javar and Ajmer of Rajasthan. Other sources of silver were Afghanistan and Iran for Harappa and Mohenjodaro.

  • The pictures of elephant, rhinoceros, tiger, deer, sheep, etc. are depicted on the seals and terracotta arts of Harappan culture. But cow was not depicted on the seals and terracotta art of the Harappan Cultures.

  • The Harappan pottery is bright or dark red and uniformly sturdy and well baked. It consists of wheel made wares, both plain and painted. The pain ware is usually of red clay with or without a fine red slip. The painted pottery was of red and black colours. Several methods were used by people for the decoration of pottery. Polychrome pottery was rare and mainly comprised small vases decorated with geometric patterns, mostly in red, black and green and less frequently in white and yellow. The colour-scheme adopted for painting was light black, chocolate or light red over a buff of greenish-buff background.



  • The archaeological remains of the Harappan port-town of Lothal are located along the Bhogava river, a tributary of Sabarmati, in the Gulf of Cambay. Kalibangan town is located on the bank of Ghaggar river (Sarasvati River) in Hanumangarh district, Rajasthan, Kalibangan has given the evidence of the earliest ploughed agricultural field ever revealed through excavation. An inscription comprising ten large sized signs of the Harappan scripts were found from Dholavira of Harappan script. Banawali is located in Fatehabad district of Haryana from where a terracotta replica of a plough was found.

  • Village River

Harappa              –        Ravi

Kalibangan         –        Ghaggar

Lothal                 –        Bhogava

Ropar                 –        Sutlej

Hastinapur –        Ganga River

Nagarajuna Konda-     Krishna River

Paithan               –        Godavari River

  • Rakhigarhi village is situated in Hisar district of Haryana, along with the bank of Ghaggar –Hakra River. This site was discovered by Surajbhan in 1969.

  • Town Planning was the unique feature of the Indus Valley Civilization. The cities and towns were well planned. Harappa and Mohenjodaro were two major cities of Indus Valley Civilization. Since Harappa site was discovered first, that is why it is known as Harappa Civilization Kalibangan in Rajasthan has given the first evidence (2800 B.C.) of the ploughed agricultural field and evidence of business have been found from Lothal.

  • Hampi is located in the Krishna-Tungabhadra basin, which formed the nucleus of the Vijayanagara Empire, founded in 1336.

  • The Great Bath is one of the well-known structures among the ruins of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization at Mohenjodaro in Sindh, Pakistan. The foundation of Great Bath is extended for 55 metres east-west and 33 metres north-south. The Great Bath measures 11.8 metres ´04 metres and has a maximum depth of 2.43 metres.

  • Harappa Site            –        Place

Manda                         –        Jammu-Kashmir

Daimabad                    –        Maharashtra

Kalibangan                  –        Rajasthan

Rakhigarhi                  –        Haryana

  • Kalibangan is located in Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan. It was excavated by A. Ghosh in 1951. The excavations revealed that the western mound was a fortified enclosure with rectangular salient and towns.

  • No mortar or cementing agent was used in the construction of these walls and the technique followed was to wedge them together by interlocking.

  • Rangpur is located in Saurashtra region of western India, on the coast of Arabian sea in Gujarat state. On the basis of large vegitative remains, it can be said that these people used to cultivate Rice, Bajra and Millet.

  • Lothal is the only place of Indus Valley Civilization from where the evidence of ports were found, which is located exactly in the east of the city.

  • Dadheri was a pre-historic excavation site of Govindgarh, District Ludhiana (Punjab). Dadheri is known for its painted grey ware culture, which is supposed to be associated with the arrival of the Aryans.

  • Lothal is situated near the village of Saragwala in the Dholka Taluka in Ahmedabad district of Gujarat. It is situated 2 Km. from Saragwala village North on the bank of Bhogava river. It was discovered by S.R. Rao in 1954. Harappa and Mohenjodaro are situated in Pakistan.

  • The architecture of Hampi was distinctive. The buildings in the royal complex had splendid arches, domes and pillared halls with niches for holding sculptures.







Vedic Age

  • The distinction between Sabha and Samiti cannot be made out which precision, but it is clear that ‘Sabha’ and ‘Samiti’ are clearly mentioned at least four times in the Atharva Veda as the two daughters of Prajapati.

  • ‘Ayurveda’ that is ‘Science of Life’ appeared first in Atharvaveda. Ayurveda is an Upaveda of Atharva Veda. It is also considered as Upanga of Atharvaveda. It describes the thoughts and superstitions of common people. It comprises of various contents such as disease prevention, coordination, loyalty, marriage and love poetry.




  • One of the oldest books of the world is Vedas.

  • There are four of them – the Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda.

  • The oldest Veda is the Rigveda, composed about 3500 years ago. The Rigveda includes more than a thousand hymns, called sukta or “well-said”.

  • These hymns are in praise of various gods and goddesses. Three gods are especially important: Agni, the god of fire; Indra, a warrior god; and Soma, a plant from which a special drink was prepared.

  • These hymns were composed by sages (rishis). Priests taught students to recite and memorise each syllable, word, and sentence, bit by bit, with great care.

  • Most of the hymns were composed, taught and learnt by men.

  • A few were composed by women.

  • The Rigveda is in old or Vedic Sanskrit.

  • The Rigveda was recited and heard rather than read. It was written down several centuries after it was first composed, and printed less than 200 years ago.


  • In the Rig Veda, maximum number of hymns are devoted to the God ‘Indra’. He was the Storm-God and referred as the Sky-God and the God of War. The Vedas describes Indra as the God who wields the thunderbolt.

  • The most of interesting aspect of Rig Vedic religion was its polytheistic character in which a number of Gods were worshipped. The Rig Vedic Aryans worshipped nature with intense feeling and endowed it with animated soul.  Vedic Gods were mainly classified into three groups –

  1. God of sky – Varuna, Mitra, Surya, Vishnu, etc.

  2. God of space – Indra, Rudra etc.

  3. God of earth – Agni, Brihaspati, Soma etc.

  • ‘Indra’ has been described as the most powerful deity in the Rig Veda. ‘Indra’ is the most important divinity in the Rig Veda and is called Purandara (Lord of cities). Very large number of Rig Veda hymns (as maximum as 250 hymns) are devoted to him followed by ‘Agni’ (200 hymns).

  • 800 B.C. to 600 B.C. is related to Brahmana era. Often period during 7 B.C. to 3 B.C. is called as Sutra Period.

  • The Gayatri Mantra was first written in Sanskrit in the Rig Veda by the Brahmarshi Vishwamitra. Its meaning is “May the Almighty God illuminate our intellect to lead us along the righteous path”.

  • Shrimad Bhagavad Gita was originally written in Sanskrit language to often referred in short as Gita. There are 700 verses in this Hindu scripture and this is the part of the epic Mahabharat.

  • Mahabharat originally has only 8800 slokas and its original name was ‘Jaya or Jayasamhita. Mahabharat today has 100000 Shlokas and is believed to be written by Sage Veda Vyasa.

  • Purunas have five characteristics like Sarga, Pratisarga, Vansa, Manvantara and Vanshanucharita. Among these, Sarga and Pratisarga are the natural creation and renovation (cosmogony). Vansa means the history of Sage and God. Manvantara is meant for the period of different Manus and Vanshanucharit means Genealogy of kings.

  • Aryan, is a term meaning ‘noble’ which was used as a self designation by Indo-Iranian people. The word was used by the people of the Vedic period in India as an ethic label for themselves as well as to refer noble class. Scholars point out that even in ancient times, the idea of being an ‘Aryan’ was religious, cultural and linguistic, not racial.



  • In Indian literature, Vedas are most ancient scriptures which are four in numbers namely Rig Veda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda. Rig Veda is most important and oldest among all these.

  • Rig Veda, Yajurveda and Samaveda are called Vedatrayi or simply Trayi.

  • The ‘Varnas’ have been  known from Rig Veda since a hymn in the Rig Veda  portrays the Brahmin (Priest), the Kshatriya (noble), the Vaishya (commoner) and the Shudra (servant) issued forth at creation from the mouth, arms, thighs and the feet of the primeval person (Purusha). Although the literal meaning of the word Varna is colour or class (in Sanskriti).

Archeologist study of Vedas

  • Some of the hymns in the Rigveda are in the form of dialogues. This is part of one such hymn, a dialogue between a sage named Vishvamitra, and two rivers, (Beas and Sutlej) that were worshipped as goddesses.

  • There are many prayers in the Rigveda for cattle, children (especially sons), and horses.

  • Horses were yoked to chariots that were used in battles, which were fought to capture cattle. Battles were also fought for land, which was important for pasture, and for growing hardy crops that ripened quickly, such as barley.

  • Some battles were fought for water, and to capture people.

  • Some of the wealth that was obtained was kept by the leaders, some was given to the priests and the rest was distributed amongst the people.

  • Some wealth was used for the performance of yajnas or sacrifices in which offerings were made into the fire. These were meant for gods and goddesses.

  • Offerings could include ghee, grain, and in some cases, animals.

  • Most men took part in these wars.

  • There was no regular army, but there were assemblies where people met and discussed matters of war and peace.  

  • They also chose leaders, who were often brave and skilful warriors.

  • There are two groups who are described in terms of their work-the priests, sometimes called brahmins, who performed various rituals and the rajas.

  • These rajas were not like the ones you will be learning about later. They did not have capital cities, palaces or armies, nor did they collect taxes.

  • Sons did not automatically succeed fathers as rajas.

  • Two words were used to describe the people or the community as a whole. One was the word jana, which we still use in Hindi and other languages. The other was vish. The word vaishya comes from vish.

  • The people who composed the hymns described themselves as Aryans and called their opponents Dasas or Dasyus.

  • These were people who did not perform sacrifices, and probably spoke different languages.

  • Later, the term dasa (and the feminine dasi) came to mean slave.

  • Slaves were women and men who were often captured in war. They were treated as the property of their owners, who could make them do whatever work they wanted.

  • The Rigveda  was  being  composed  in  the  north-west  of  the  subcontinent,  there  were  other developments elsewhere.



  • The earliest description of charms and spells can be found in Atharvaveda.

  • Atharvaveda –        Medicine

  • Rig Veda –        God Grace

  • Yajurveda          –        Sacrifice process

  • Samaveda          –        Music

  • The Rig Veda is an ancient collection of Vedic Sanskrit It consists of  thousands  of  such hymns  of  different  seers, each hymn averaging around ten verses. It is one of the four canonicals sacred texts (Shruti) of Hinduism known as ‘Vedas’.

  • Rig Veda consists of hymns and mantras which have 1028 hymns. Yajurveda contains the description of stotras and rituals. The Samaveda consists of many hymns which are taken from Rig Veda are indeed lyrical and musical. The Atharvaveda contains a lot of knowledge of the physical world and spirituality.

  • Rig Veda –        Aitariya

  • Samaveda          –        Panchvisha

  • Atharvaveda –        Gopatha

  • Yajurveda –        Shatpatha

    • The Gopatha Brahmana is the only Brahamana, a genre of the prose texts describing the Vedic rituals, Associatedwith the The text is associated with both the Shaunaka and the Paippalada recensions of the Atharvaveda.



  • The Savaveda is shortest among all the four Vedas. It is closely connected with the Rig Veda. It has taken many verses, from the Rig Veda. The Samaveda is an independent collection, compiled inclusively for ritual application and all of its verses are all meant to be chanted in ceremonies. Samaveda Samhita consists of totoal 1810 verses. Amongst these except 75 verses, all of them are compiled in Rig Veda.

  • There are total sixteen Sanskars that have been described. Three are performed before birth, twelve during life and one after death. It seems that Upnayan Sanskar is the most important and commonly performed, besides of course of the wedding ceremony and ritual after death. The sixteen Sanskaras are as follows –

  1. Garbhadhana (Conception),

  2. Punsavana (Foetus protection),

  3. Simantonnayana (Satisfying the cravings of the pregnant mother),

  4. Jatakarma (Child-birth),

  5. Namakaran (Naming the child),

  6. Nishkramana (Taking the child outdoors for the first time),

  7. Annaprasana (Giving solid food),

  8. Mundan (Hair cutting),

  9. Karnavedha (Ear piercing),

  10. Upanayana (Sacred thread ceremony),

  11. Vadaramba (Study of Vedas),

  12. Samavartana (Marriage),

  13. Vanaprastha (Preparation for renunciation),

  14. Vivaha (Marriage),

  15. Sannyasa (Renunciation) and

  16. Antyesthi (Cremation).

  • Rig Veda is the oldest Veda. It comprises of 10 Mandals. The 9th Mandal of Rig Veda comprises 114 mantras dedicated to ‘Soma’.

  • In the context of ancient Indian society, Vansha, Gotra and Kula are the words associated with the family system but the word Kosa is related to the treasury.

  • Cattle breeding was the most important economic activity of the Rigvedic people. Prayers were offered to increase the number of cattle. It was medium of exchange. Cow is considered as a deity in some suktas of Rig Veda.

  • Satyakama Jabala is a boy, and later a Vedic sage, who first appears in chapter IV of ancient Hindu text, the Chhandogya Upanishad challenged the stigma of an unmarried mother.

  • The words “Satyameva Jayate” is a Sanskrit word taken from the ‘Mundakopanishad not from Mandukopanishad. The meaning of the word is “truth alone triumphs.” It was adopted as the national motto of India. It is inscribed in the script at the base of the national emblem. On January 26, 1950, it was adopted by the Government of India.




  • These are stone boulders are known as megaliths (literally big stones).

  • These were carefully arranged by people, and were used to mark burial sites.

  • The practice of  erecting  megaliths  began  about  3000  years  ago,  and  was  prevalent throughout the Deccan, south India, in the north-east and Kashmir.

  • Some megaliths can  be  seen  on  the  surface,  other  megalithic  burials  are  often underground.

  • Archaeologists find a circle of stone boulders or a single large stone standing on the ground. These are the only indications that there are burials beneath.

  • All these burials have some common features. The dead were buried with distinctive pots, which are called Black and Red Ware.

  • Also found are tools and weapons of iron and sometimes, skeletons of horses, horse equipment and ornaments of stone and gold.


  • The statement “Tamsoma Jyotirgamaya” is originally mentioned in Brihadaranyaka Upanishada. This statement means – “lead us from darkness to light or lead us from ignorance to truth”.

  • Atranjikhera is a prehistoric and historic excavated archaeological site on the bank of Kali River, a tributary of Ganga This site was first identified by Sir Alexander Cunningham in 1862 but excavated by R.C. Gaur in 1962. The earliest evidence of iron use in the region date back to 1150 B.C.

  • The Upanishad literature is not a religious scripture but represents a philosophy for all times and for all. The philosophy of Upanishads does not oppose any school of thought, religion or interpretation of the scriptures, but its method for explaining its concepts is unique. Upanishad means pupils sit near the teacher to learn from him about the secret doctrine.

  • The Upanishads state that some Kshatriya kings who were great scholars and philosophers also imparted knowledge to Brahmins. Some of them were – King Janak of Videha, King Pravahanjabali of Panchal, King Asvapati of Kekaya and King Ajatshatru of Kashi. Asvapati was a Kshatriya king. He was well known as a learned teacher of the age. The Kekaya kingdom was situated on the bank of river Beas, east of Gandhara kingdom. King Asvapati ruled Kekaya when Janak was the king of Videha.

  • The word salvation or Moksha is not used in Vedas, It was firstly discussed in Upanishads. Morsha means “liberation’. The continuous cycle of life and death is not the actual aim of the human soul. According to the Upanishads, the core of our self is not the body or the mind but the Atman (Soul).

  • Each of the Vedas are divided into four parts (or the sections). The correct order of them are Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads. Samhitas and Brahmanas form the Karma-Kanda segment of the Vedas.  Aranyakas and Upanishads from the Gyan-Kanda segment of the Vedas. They explicitly focus on philosophy and spiritually.



  • Kathopanishad is the story of the conversation between Yama, Lord of death and Nachiketa, the young 12 years old boy, who left home in search of the meaning of death and beyond. This forms the subject matter of one of the Upanishads called Katha Upanishad or Kathopanishad.

  • Sindhu River was the most important river during the Vedic period; that is why it was mentioned most of the times in the Rig Veda. Sindhu River due to its economic importance was called as “Hirayani” and its place of terminating referred as ‘Pravat’ which means ‘Arabian Sea.’ Saraswati River was the most pious river of Rigvedic Aryans and called as “Naditama”.

  • Rivers and their modern names –

Kubha                –        Kabul

Parushni             –        Ravi

Sadaneera           –        Gandak

Shutudri             –        Sutlej

  • Vedic River Askini is identified with present-day river named as Chenab, also popularly known as Chandrabhaga. The river Chenab originates from Tandi in Lahul Spiti where two rivulets namely Chandra and Bhaga meet to form this river.

  • The name of Mahanadi during the period of Mahabharat was ‘Chitrotpala’. In the Bhishma festival of Mahabharat, the Chitropala river is praised as Punayadayini and Sin Vashinini. Indian people drank of Chitrotpala. This fact is proved by the following Verse of Mahabharat –

“चित्रोत्पला चिन्त्ररथां मंजुलां वाहिनी तथा। मंदाकिनीं वैतरणी कोषां चापि महानदीम्।।”

The Mahanadi has been called Chtirotpala Ganga in the Mahoba copper plate of Someshwar Dev.

  • According to ancient Hindu scriptures, during Vedic period, the ‘Hindu’ tradition recognized four stages or ashramas in human life namely Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa.

  • Dharma and Rita in the Vedic period appear as early as the Rig Veda. Usually, Dharma signifies cosmic ordinance often in connection with the sense of natural or divine law. ‘Rita’ as such is closely related to universal harmony in which all things in the world have a proper place and function. So the term ‘Rita’ means an impersonal law, while Dharma characterizes those personal actions that engender or maintain the cosmic order.

  • Brihaspati also known as Deva- guru (teacher or priest of  Gods), is the guru of the Devas (Gods).

  • Bogaz-Koi inscription (Asia Minor, Turkey) is important because there is mention of four Vedic Gods, namely Indra, Varuna, Mitra and Nasatyas.

  • Many hymns of the Rig Veda were composed b women and they were called Brahmavadini. The prominent amongst them were Lopamudra, Vishwawara , Sikta, Nivavari and Ghosa. Lopamudra was the wife of Agastya Rishi/sage.

  • During Vedic period, the gold necklace was called as ‘Nishka’ which later transformed the way for the gold coins.



  • Bogaz-Koi inscription which mentions four Vedic Gods namely Indra, Varuna, Mitra, and Nasatyas, is the 14th century B.C. inscription. It is important in Indian history because inscription of 14th century B.C. was discovered here.

  • Bal Gangadhar Tilak in his book ‘The Arctic Home in the Vedas’ propounded the theory that North Pole (Arctic region) was the original home of Aryans, but this theory of Tilak of not acceptable to historians.

  • As a Rigvedic term, gotra simply means “cow shelter” or “herd of cows”. The specific meaning “family, lineage kim” (as it were “herd within an enclosure”) is relatively more recent, first recorded around post vedic period.

  • The Shatpath Brahmana is a prose text describing Vedic rituals, history and mythology associated with the Yajurveda. In context to Ancient Indian Vedic lilerature, Shatpath Brahmana has been placed just after the Rig Veda. It also describes social subjects including Vedic rituals. ‘Purusha Medha’ has been mentioned in Shatpath Brahamana.

  • The religion of early Vedic Aryans was mainly related to worship of the nature and performing of Yajnas. The Aryans in the early Vedic period described life as many objects of nature. Worship of different forces of nature formed a part of their religious belief. They believed that some divine power works behind the objects of nature such as fire, water, wind etc.

  • It is believed that Saraswati was the scene of the activities of the famous Vedic tribes- the Bharatas, the Porus, and the Kurus. The  Shatpatha Brahamana narrates the story of King Videgha Madhava (a king of Videha) accompanied by his priest Rishi Gautama Rahugana, carrying the sacred fire to east preserving thereby the tradition that the Kosalas and the Videhas received from their 

  • Sacrifice or Yajna was the central feature of Rigvedic religion. Domestics sacrifice was the general role. Community sacrifice offered by kings were grand festivals. It was believed that Gods were pleased by Yajna or sacrifice.



  • There is an ancient story mentioned in the Rig Veda called the Dasharajanya or ‘War of 10 kings’ longs before Ramayana. There lived a descendant of India’s eponymous king Bharat, named Sudas. The greatest achievement of Sudas was his thumping victory of a confederacy of ten kings.

  • The word ‘Yava’ mentioned in Rig Veda is used for the food grain barley.

  • Most popular and prevalent system of governance during the Vedic era was descended monarchy. Although some examples of election by the people were also found but the general interest of the public was towards monarchy.

  • Saraswati River was considered as most pious and respected river during the Rigvedic period. In the Rig Veda, Saraswati is referred as ‘Matetama, ‘Devitama’ and “Naditama” means best of all mothers, best of all Goddesses and the best of all rivers respectively.

  • During the Vedic era, the two institutions namely ‘Sabha’ and the ‘Samiti’ has been mentioned as the controlling powers upon the autocracy of the king. The ‘Sabha’ was the assembly of the learned and elite ones, while the ‘Samiti’ was the assembly of the common people in the state.

  • Pancha-Jana suggested five specific tribes whose eponymous ancestors were the founders of the clans, namely Yadu, Turvasa, Druhya, Anu and 

  • In ancient time, the Aryans were known as nomadic hunters. They were dependent on hunting for their livelihood and agriculture had no importance in their life. The evidence of permanent shelter were formed only during post Vedic period for Aryans.

  • Several tribal or the clan based assemblies such as the Sabha, Samiti, Vidhata and Gana are mentioned in the Rigveda. Among them Sabha was associated with judicial function. Sabha is mentioned eight times in Rigveda. Sabha and Samiti are mentioned as two daughters of Prajapati in Atharvaveda.




  • Gautam Buddha, also known as Siddhartha (Childhood name), was born in 563 B.C. in Shakya Kshatriya family in Lumbini near Kapilavastu (Nepal). His father’s name was Shuddhodana who was the chief of the Shakya clan. His mother was Mayadevi who was from the ‘Koliyan clan’. At the age of 29, he left his home on his horse “Kantaka” accompanied by Channa and this was called as “Mahabhinishkramana”.  He died at the age of 80 year in 483 B.C. at Kushinagar (first capital city of Malla Kingdom) which was called “Mahaparinirvana”.

  • Parth and Gudakesh were the names of Arjuna of Mahabharat.

  • The fourth council held during the reign of Kanishka divided Buddhism into two sects namely Hinayana and Mahayana. In Mahayana, Gautama Buddha was treated as God and they started worshipping Buddha through idols.

  • In India, the Gandhara art flourished during the Kushana rule. Particularly Kanishka, the greatest of the Kushanas was great patron of art and architecture. It was during his reign that Gandhara school of art flourished. Both sitting and standing posture of Buddha’s statues were carved out in the Mathura school. The Kushana art of Gandhara is mainly known for the wealth of sculptures recovered from the numerous Buddhist stupas and monasteries.

  • In India, Gautama Buddha was worshipped first through idols by the Mahayana sect of Buddhism.

  • In Bhumiparsha Mudra, Buddha is seen seated with his right-hand as a pendant over the right knee reaching towards the ground with the palm inward while touching the lotus throne. In the meantime, the left hand can be seen with the palm upright in his lap. This gesture represent the moment of the Buddha’s awakening as he claims the earth as the witness of his enlightenment just before he realized enlightenment. It is believed that the demon Mara tried to frighten him with the armies of demons which represent the defeat of Mara and his demonic army by Buddha.

  • The Bhumisparsha Mudra of Gautama Buddha at Sarnath belongs to Gupta period. This mudra represents steadfastness. The “Dhyani Buddha Akshobhya” also is associated with the earth witness mudra because he was immovable in keeping a vow never to feel anger or disgust at others. The mudra also symbolizes the union of skilful means (upaya), symbolized by the right hand touching the earth and wisdom (prajna), symbolized by the left hand on the lap in a meditation position.

  • Rajgir is a pilgrimage centre for Buddhists, Hindus, and Jains and is famous for its hot water springs. Lion Capital of Ashoka is in Sarnath not in Rajgir. The remains of ancient dockyard are found from Lothal, Gujarat, Mahatma Buddha delivered his first sermon at Sarnath. Nalanda was a great seat of Buddhist learning.

  • “Padmapani” or “Lotus-Bearer” is one of the most common epithets of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of infinite compassion. This superbly modelled sculpture stands in a tribhanga or tri-bent pose. A Bodhisattva is a living being (sattva) who aspires to enlightenment (bodhi) and carries out altruistic practices. The Bodhisattva ideal is central to the Mahayana Buddhist tradition as the individual who seeks enlightenment both for himself or herself and for others.

  • During the Buddhist period, some of the most important centres of learning in India were Nalanda, Vikramshila and Vallabhi. These centres of learning were not only popular among the different Janapadas, from where students came for learning but also attracted students from abroad i.e. China, Japan, Tibet and other countries of South  East Asia. Some of the educational centres like Taxila and Nalanda enjoyed the status of Universities.

  • Nagarajuna was an eminent personality in the court of Kanishka. Hiuen Tsang called him as one of the world’s four great guiding powers. In book “Madyamik Karika” he has discussed the theory of relatively. He is also known as the Indian Einstein.’ According to Chinese mythology Nagarjuna travelled to china and preached Buddhism.

  • Vallabhi, one of the most important centres of Buddhist learning was situated in Gujarat. It is also known as Vallabhipura, and was the capital of ancient Maitraka dynasty.



Buddha’s life:

  • Siddhartha, also known as Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, was born about 2500 years ago.

  • The Buddha belonged to a small gana known as the Sakya gana, and was a kshatriya.

  • When he was a young man, he left the comforts of his home in search of knowledge.

  • He wandered for several years, meeting and holding discussions with other thinkers.

  • He finally decided to find his own path to realisation, and meditated for days on end under a peepal tree at Bodh Gaya in Bihar, where he attained enlightenment.

  • After that, he was known as the Buddha or the Wise One.

  • He then went to Sarnath, near Varanasi, where he taught for the first time.

  • He spent the rest of his life travelling on foot, going from place to place, teaching people, till he passed away at Kusinara.

  • The Chaitya is the largest and most evolved cave temples of Hinayana phase of Buddhism, situated at Karle in Pune district of Maharashtra.



Buddha’s teachings:

  • The Buddha taught that life is full of suffering and unhappiness. This is caused because we have cravings and desires (which often cannot be fulfilled). Sometimes, even if we get what we want, we are not satisfied, and want even more (or want other things).

  • The Buddha described this as thirst or tanha. He taught that this constant craving could be removed by following moderation in everything.

  • He also taught people to be kind, and to respect the lives of others, including animals. He believed that the results of our actions (called karma), whether good or bad, affect us both in this life and the next.

  • The Buddha taught in the language of the ordinary people, Prakrit, so that everybody could understand his message.


  • Nalanda was a large Buddhist monastery in the ancient kingdom of Magadha (modern day Bihar) in India. Historians often characterised Nalanda as a University. Nalanda flourished under Gupta Empire and was famous for Buddhist religious philosophy.

  • Nalanda University was the world’s first International University founded in the 450 B.C. during the reign of the Kumar Gupta. The great archaeologist Alexander Cunningham identified this site as Nalanda University in 1915-16.

  • Sautrantika and Sammitiya were the sects of Buddhism, not Jainism. Sarvastivada literally means “Doctrine that all exist”. Sarvastivadin described a complex system in which past present and future phenomena are all held to have some form of their own existence. Like all Buddhist, the Sarvastivadins consider everything empirical to be impermanent but they maintain that the dharma factors are eternally existing realities. Impermanence, also called Anitya, is one of essential doctrines and part of three marks of existence in Buddhism. This doctrine was presented by Buddha himself. The doctrine asserts that all of conditioned existence, without exception, is “transient, evanescent, inconstant”. This impermanence is a source of Dukkha (sufferings).

  • The avoidance of extremities of penance and enjoyment was prohibited in Buddhism, not in Jainism. While denial of the efficiency of rituals, indifference to the authority of Vedas and non-injury to animals are prohibited by both religions.

  • After attaining enlightenment, to preach his thoughts, Gautama Buddha arrived at Rishipattan (Sarnath), where he delivered his sermon to five Brahmans. It is also known as Dharmachakra Pravartana. The sermon was related to sufferings, the cause of suffering and its solution. The concept of eight-fold path forms the theme of ‘Dharma Chakra Pravartana Sutta’ which means sermon of the turning of the wheel of law. He gave ‘Noble Eightfold Path’ and ‘Four Noble Truths’ which were accepted as basic categories by all Buddhist sects.

The four noble truths in chronological order are as follows-

  1. There is suffering

  2. There is the cause of suffering

  3. There is a cessation of Suffering

  4. There is a path leading to the cessation of suffering.

  • Buddhism and Hunduism Believe in the concept of Karma, which states that our past actions affect our present and future life. One could do evil in this life and be reborn as a worm in the next life. Similarly, afflictions in this life are often explained away as the effects of Karma of a previous life (or from misdeeds earlier in this life). Both of them believe in the philosophy of Karma and rebirth.

  • Buddhism started declining in India in the early medieval times because Buddha was by that time considered as one of the incarnations of Vishnu and thus became a part of Vaishnavism. The Kings of the Gupta dynasty were not opposed to Buddhism even though they supported Brahmanical faith.

  • Although Buddhism had accepted the caste system up to some extent but they challenged the social rank of Brahmins who were at the top during the period. In Buddhism, some of the castes are placed as low.

  • A Chaitya-Griha Buddhist cave is a meeting or assembly chamber which is often used for prayer, while viharas are the shelter accommodations of the monks during the rainy season.



  • The main reason for the spread of Buddhism was its simplicity. Its eight-fold path known as ‘Arya-Satya’ and concept of non-violence were simple and understandable by the common people. Buddha spread his message in the simple language or the language of common people. Buddhism did not believe in cast-distinctions. The non-Brahmins particularly Dalits were attracted by the simplicity of Buddhism. They also followed the missionary concept.

  • There is no placed named Guntuphalli in Andhra Pradesh. ‘Guntupalle’ named two places are there in two different districts (West Godavari and Krishna) of Andhra Pradesh. There are rock-cut chaityagrihas and Viharas in Guntupalle village of West Godavari district. There are evidences of construction of Chaitya and Viharas from 2-4 century BC to 5-6 century AD. Chaitya and Vihara of eastern Deccan are generally constructed using bricks. The evidences of Buddhist  architecture built using bricks is found in large number from Nagarjuna, Konda, Bejwada, Moli, Ghantshala, Amravati and Chejali etc. There are two such places – Guntupalle and Shankaram, in eastern Deccan where early chaitya and Viharas were constructed by cutting rocks.

  • In the medieval period, Vajrayana sect of Buddhism was most prominent. Vajrayana mostly flourished in the 8th The principles of Vajrayana is found in Manjushri Moolkalp and Guhyasamaja.

  • From the Mauryan dynaty emperor Ashoka’s Rummindei Pillar inscription, it is known that Lumbini is the birth place of Gautam Buddha. According to this inscription King Ashoka came here (Lumbini) after 20 years of his coronation and worshiped the place where Shakya Muni was born. In addition to that, he also exempted Lumbini from tax as it was the birthplace of Gautam Buddha

  • Mahatma Buddha delivered his first sermon on the site of Deer Park at Sarnath. Later he moved towards Kosala, Kapilavastu, Vaishali and Rajgriha to propagate the teachings of Buddism. The king of Kosala Prasenjit with his entire family adopted discipleship of Buddha. During his campaign, he reached ‘Pava’, the capital of Mallas. At Pava, Buddha stayed in the mango grove of Chund, the black-smith. There Chund provided him a large amount of Sukaramaddava, which resulted sickness with the flow of blood and violent deadly pains, but Buddha reached Kusinara (Capital of Rebublic of Malla). Here he abandoned his body in 483 BC at the age of 180 years. It is also known as Mahaparinirvan.

  • Gautama Buddha in his last years went to his disciple named Chund at Pava, where he got food poisoning after eating pork given by Chund. Then he went to Kushinagar (capital city and the Mallas Kingdom) where he gave his last enlightenment to “Subhaddha” and finally attained the “Mahaparinirvan” at Kushinagar.



  • Subhadda, a wandering ascetic to clear up certain doubts hurried to speak Buddha in his last days where Ananda refused as he did not want to disturb Buddha in his last moments. But later Buddha invited Subhadda to question him. Subhadda was convinced by the answer of Buddha and requested ordination. He was then ordained by Anand and was the last person to be converted by Buddha.

  • Mahaparinirvana temple is situated in Kushinagar district of Uttar Pradesh. It is very famous because of its 6mt long reclining state of Buddha. The image was unearthed during the excavation of 1876. Carved from Chunar sandstone, the statue represents the dying Buddha reclining on his right side.

  • Buddha resided in Vaishali during the last rainy season of his life. Actually, Buddha reached Beluva which was in the suburb of Vaishali to spend his time during rainy season at the age of eighty years his two disciples, one of them popularly known as “Ananda”.

  • Buddism considers desire as the cause of all the pain. The State of Nirvana in Buddhism is considered as a state which is free from desire, pain pleasure, etc. The literal meaning of the word Nirvana is ‘blown out’ and it can be seen as the state of extinction of the flame of desire.

  • Alara Kalama was one of the best and well known religious teacher. Ascetic Buddha went to study under him. He stayed and learnt many things, including meditation. He worked hard and eventually equalled his teacher in learning. Finally, Alara Kalama could not teach Buddha anymore, and he said, “You are the same as I am now. There is no difference between us. Stay here and take my place and teach my students with me.” Alara Kalama was an Acharya of Samkhya philosophy and was renowned for his spiritual strength.

  • After his enlightenment in Bodhgaya, Buddha went to Sarnath, where he delivered his first sermon which is known in Pali as the ‘Dharmachakkraparvarthana’ or Dharma Chakra Pravartan.” Sarnath is one of the four holy places related with the life of Buddha. Other three important places related to Buddhism are Lumbini (birthplace of Buddha) Bodhgaya (the place of enlightenment of Buddha) and Kushinagar (place of death popularly known as Mahaparinirvana in Buddhism).

  • Most of the disciples of Gautama Buddha were from Kosala region. He delivered his maximum sermons at Shravasti, the capital of Kosala.



  • Mahatama Buddha visited Kaushambi during the reign of “King Udayana”. It was his 9th resting place. Under the influence of Pindola Bharadwaj, Udayan turned to Buddhism and donated Ghoshit Ram Vihar to Bhikshu Sangh.

  • ‘Satparni Cave’ is situated in the Nalanda district of Bihar and located in the form of three shallow fissures in a cliff near the top of one of Rajgir (Rajgriha) Mountains, Vaibhara hills.

  • The Fourth Buddhist Council was held at Kundalvana, Kashmir under the patronage of Kushan King Kanishka and the president of this council was Vasumitra, with Ashvashosa as his deputy. This council distinctly divided the Buddhism into two sects namely Mahayana and Hinayana.

  • The first Buddhist Council was held soon after the Mahaparinirvana of the Buddha, under the patronage of King Ajatshatru with the Mahakasapa presided at Rajgriha, in the Saptaparni Cave. The idea was to preserve Buddha’s teachings (Sutta) and rules for disciples (Vinaya). Ananda, one of the great disciples of Buddha recited Suttas and Upali; another disciple recited Vinaya. Abhidhamma Pitaka was also included.

  • The second Buddhist Council was convened 100 or 110 years after the Mahaparinirvana (death) of Buddha at Vaishali.

  • The third Buddhist Council was convened during the region of Ashoka at Pataliputra, and the fourth Buddhist Council was held at Kundalavana, Kashmir during the region of Kanishka and it was chaired and co-chaired by Vasumitra and Ashvaghosa respectively.

  • First preaching event of Buddha’s life is represented by the wheel with deer in Indian art. Buddha delivered his first preaching in Mrigadava Sarnath.

  • Birth          –        Lotus

First Sermon      –        Dharma Chakra

Enlightenment   –        Bodhi Tree

Great-Departure –        Horse

  • For full six years, Gautama sought a due solution to the sufferings, ultimately he got enlightenment at the age of 35 years at Bodhgaya under Pipal tree on a Purnima night, hence called “Buddha”. Mahabodhi temple was built at this site.

  • At present, the ‘Bodhi’ Vriksha’ at the Mahabodhi temple is not the real one, where Mahatma Buddha got the enlightenment. According to the Hiuen Tsang, a Chinese traveller, king Shashank destroyed the original tree. After this, two more trees were planted and destroyed. The present tree which we see, was planted by the orders of Alexander Cunningham and called the fourth generation tree. It is a heritage site and only fallen leaves of this tree are allowed to touch and pick. According to another fact, this tree was planted twice by King Ashoka, once by Pushyamitra Sunga, second by Purva Verman and ultimately planted by Cunningham. So in t his way, this should be the 6th generation tree.

  • Guatama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born in 563 BC in Lumbini (Now in Nepal) in Shakya Kshatriya clan of Kapilavastu. He believed in the theory of Karma. Buddha discarded Vedas and Vedic rituals. Instead he believed noble deeds and acts in place of Vedic rituals. He has given four noble truths often known as Arya Satya –

  1. Life means suffering

  2. The origin of suffering is attachment

  3. The cessation of suffering is attainable

  4. There is a path to the cessation of suffering

  • The Buddhist sacred place, Bodhgaya where Buddha got enlightenment, is situated on the bank of river Niranjana.

  • The teachings of Mahatma Buddha is mainly based on the purity and holiness of conduct.

  • Mahatma Buddha believed in the doctrine of “Karma”. He used to believe in the c



  • Devadatta, the cousin of Mahatma Buddha, in his early days, was a follower of Buddha and a good monk as well. But later he tried to become the leader of Sangha in place of Buddha, but did not succeed. From the beginning, he was thinking to become the leader of Sangha.

  • On the request of his disciple “Ananda”, Gautam Buddha allowed the entry of women as Bhikshuni into Buddhist Sangha at Vaishali. The first women who was admitted into the Buddhist Sangha was Mahaprajapati Gautami.

  • Gautam Buddha did not appoint any successor and asked his followers to work towards liberation. The teachings of Buddha existed only in oral traditions. The Sangha held a number of Buddhist councils to reach consensus on matters of Buddhist doctrines and practices.

  • Tripitaka is the most important holy book of Buddhism. It has been divided in to three parts namely –

  1. sutta Pitaka– consists of sermons and teachings of Buddha,

  2. Vinay Pitaka – the collection of the rules governing the Sangha and monks and

  3. Abhidhamma Pitaka– which deals with the philosophy of Buddhism.

  • The concept of ‘eight-fold’ path forms the theme of Dharma Chakra Pravartana Sutta. Buddha has given the eight-fold path to be away from miseries of life and attain Nirvana.

  • Sutta Pitaka which is also called Sutra Pitaka in Sanskrit is an extensive body of text constituting the basic doctrinal section of the Buddhist canon. Sutra Pitaka is the book of discourses, dealing with the ethical principles of Buddha’s teachings.

  • One of the parts of Sutra Pitaka known as Digha Nikaya, is a collection of 34 long Suttas including doctrinal expositions, legends and moral rules.



  • Ashokaram monastery was situated at Pataliputra during the region of Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC. It was one of the world’s largest city. Pataliputra reached the pinnacle of prosperity when it was the capital of the great Mauryan Emperors Chandragupta Mauryan and Ashoka, the Great.

  • The Vishwa Shanti Stupa or the World Peace Pagoda (height 400 metres) situated on the hills of Rajgir in Bihar is the highest Vishwa Shanti Stupa in the world. The altitude and latitude of the Vishwa Shanti Stupa at Vaishali is 38 metre (125 feet) and 36 metre (118 feet) respectively and the diameter of the dome is 20 meter (65 feet).

  • The Giant Buddha Statue in Bodh Gaya, Bihar is 25 m (82 ft) high in meditation pose or dhyan mudra seated on a lotus in open air. It took seven year to complete and is a mixture of sand stone blocks and red granite. This statue was built with the help of Daijokyo sect of Japan.

  • Impermanence also called as Anitya, is one of the essential doctrines and a part of three marks of existence in Buddhism. The doctrine asserts that all of the conditioned existence, without exception, is transient, evanescent and inconstant. All temporal things, whether material or mental are compounded objects in a continuous change of condition subject to decline and destruction.

  • The word stupa has been used for the first time in Rig Veda. In Rig Veda texts, stupa means “tree stem.” Rig Veda refers to a stupa raised by the king Varuna above the forest in a place having no foundation. Anything that is raised on the ground like heap/pile might have been known as Stupa.

  • Gautama Buddha, also known as Siddhartha, Gautama, Shakyamuni or simply the Buddha, was a sage on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. Buddha is also prominently known as the ‘Light of Asia’ or the Light Beam. Edwin Arnold wrote a book “Light of Asia” based on the life of Buddha.

  • “Light of Asia” subtitled The Great Renunciation is a book by Sir Edwin Arnold. The first edition of the book was published in July 1879. This book is based upon the contents of “Lalit Vistara’.

  • The fundamental difference between Hinayana and Mahayana sects of Buddhism is regarding treating Buddha as God. Hinayana believes in Buddha as a great man whereas Mahayana started worshiping Buddha through idols, treating him as God.

  • The Gandharan Buddha image was inspired by Hellenistic realism, tempered by Persian, Scythian and Parthian models. The main subject of this art is based on the life of Buddha. The images consist of Dharma Chakra posture, Meditation posture, Abhaya posture and Varada postures of Gautama Buddha.



  • Upanishad literally means ‘approaching and sitting near’ and the texts contain conversations between teachers and students. Often, ideas were presented through simple dialogues.

  • Most Upanishadic thinkers were men, especially brahmins and rajas.

  • Around the time that the Buddha was preaching and perhaps a little earlier, other thinkers also tried to find answers to difficult questions. Some of them wanted to know about life after death, others wanted to know why sacrifices should be performed.

  • Many of these thinkers felt that there was something permanent in the universe that would last even after death.

  • They described this as the atman or the individual soul and the brahman or the universal soul. They believed that ultimately, both the atman and the brahman were one.

  • Many of their ideas were recorded in the Upanishads. These were part of the later Vedic texts.


Jain Religion

Life of Mahavir

  • The most famous thinker of the Jainas, Vardhamana Mahavira, also spread his message around this time, i.e. 2500 years ago. He was a kshatriya prince of the Lichchhavis, a group that was part of the Vajji sangha.At the age of thirty, he left home and went to live in a forest. For twelve years he led a hard and lonely life, at the end of which he attained enlightenment.

  • First Tirthankara Rishabhdev or Aadinath is known as the originator of Jain religion. Mahavira Swami was 24th Tirthankar of Jain religion, who propagated the Jain philosophy during 6th Century B.C.

  • Lord Parshvanath preceded Lord Mahavira by 250 years. He was born in Varanasi, was the son of King Aswasena and Queen Vama of Varanasi. He attained liberation on the Summit of Mount Sammed Shikaji or Sammeta (Parasnath Hills).



  • Mahavira Swami was born in Kundagram (Kundalpur) near Vaishali in approx 599 BC. His mother Trishala was the sister of Chetak, the head of Lichchhavi republic, and father Siddhartha was the head of Gyatrik Kshtriya. Nandivardhan was his elder brother.

  • Like all Indian religions, Jainism believes that each object even a particle has a soul. They also uphold the universal law of Karma. According to his law, every action- thought, word or deed – produces an effect which in turn serves as the cause of another action and so on. This chain of cause and effect is known as Karma. It follows that the state of the soul at any given time is due to the Karma accumulated over countless ages. Karma not only encompasses the casualty of transmigration but is also conceived as extremely subtle matter which infiltrates the soul obscuring its natural, transparent and pure qualities. Based on its karma, a soul undergoes transmigration and reincarnates in various states of existence like heaven or hell, or as humans or animals.

  • Makkhali Gosala was disciple of Mahavira  in the early period, later he left the discipleship of Mahavira due to the difference of opinion with him and founded and independent creed “Ajivaka”. It existed in approx 1002 B.C. The belief of the sect is known as ‘Niyatiwad’ according to which every matter in the world is being controlled and operated by destiny (fate).

  • Samadhi Maran, Sallekhana, Sanyasna Maran is the last vow prescribed by Jain ethical code of conduct. The vow of Samadhi Maran is observed by Jain ascetics and lay votaries at the end of their life by gradually reducing the intake of food and liquid. It is allowed when normal life is not possible due to old age, incurable disease, or when a person is nearing his end.




  • He taught a simple doctrine: men and women who wished to know the truth must leave their homes.

  • They must follow very strictly the rules of ahimsa, which means not hurting or killing living beings. “All beings,” said Mahavira “long to live. To all things life is dear.”

  • Ordinary people could understand the teachings of Mahavira and his followers, they used Prakrit.

  • There were several forms of Prakrit, used in different parts of the country, and named after the regions in which they were used. For example, the Prakrit spoken in Magadha was known as Magadhi.

  • Followers of Mahavira, who were known as Jainas, had to lead very simple lives, begging for food. They had to be absolutely honest, and were especially asked not to steal. Also, they had to observe celibacy. And men had to give up everything, including their clothes.

  • Jainism was supported mainly by traders.

  • Farmers, who had to kill insects to protect their crops, found it more difficult to follow the rules. Over hundreds of years, Jainism spread to different parts of north India, and to Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

  • The teachings of Mahavira and his followers were transmitted orally for several centuries. They were written down in the form in which they are presently available at a place called Valabhi, in Gujarat, about 1500 years ago.

  • During 225-325 B.C. Ikshvaku dynasty ruled over southern India. Though Ikshvakus of southern India followed a Vedic religion but also supported Buddhist religion. Bengal emerged as the prominent nucleus of Buddhism during Pala dynasty. It was due to the support of Pala reign behind Buddhist.

  • The act of cutting the mountains caves and developing them residence were fully developed during the period of Ashoka and his grandson Dasaratha. Residence were made for Ajivaka followers after cutting the hills of Barbar and Nagarjuni. Cave of Sudama and Karn Chaupad during Ashoka Era were omnifamous in the caves of Barabar.

  • Barabar caves were located at a distance of 30 Km. from Gaya. There caves were hewed out from rocks for monks of live in. There are four caves on the Barabar hill out of which inscription of Ashoka are found on the walls of three caves. These caves were used by ascetics from the Ajivika sect (founded by Makkhali Gosala). There rock-cut caves are related to Mauryan period (322-185 BC). Inscriptions on these caves date back to third century BC.





  • Buddha and Mahavir felt that those who left their home could only get true knowledge.

  • They arranged for them to stay together in the sangha, an association of those who left their homes.

  • The rules made for the Buddhist sangha were written down in a book called the Vinaya Pitaka. From this we know that there were separate branches for men and women. All men could join the sangha. However, children had to take the permission of their parents and slaves that of their masters. Those who worked for the king had to take his permission and debtors that of creditors. Women had to take their husbands’ permission.

  • Men and women who joined the sangha led simple lives. They meditated for most of the time, and went to cities and villages to beg for food during fixed hours. That is why they were known as bhikkhus (the Prakrit word for beggar) and bhikkhunis.

  • They taught others, and helped one another. They also held meetings to settle any quarrels that took place within the sangha.

  • Those who joined  the  sangha  included  brahmins,  kshatriyas,  merchants,  labourers,  barbers, courtesans and slaves.

  • Many of them wrote down the teachings of the Buddha. Some of them also composed beautiful poems, describing their life in the sangha.



  • Shravanabelagola is city located in the state of Karnataka. The statue of Gommateshvara Bahubali at Shravanabelagola is one of the most important tirthas in Jainism, but the last tirthankar of Jainism was Mahavir Swami. The Tawang Monastery is the largest Monastery in India, located in the Tawang town of Arunachal Pradesh. The Khajuraho group of monuments was built during the rule of the Rajput Chandela dyanasty. Hoyseleswara Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva.

  • Prabhasgiri is as Jain pilgrimage site located in Kaushambi, U.P. The site Prabhasgiri to 6th Jain Tirthankar, Padmaprabhu.

  • Mahavira Swami was born in Kundagrama near Vaishali in 599 BC. His father Siddhartha was the chief of Gyatrik Kshatriya which was an important part of Vajji Clan. He attained Nirvana at the age of (approx) 72 years in 527 BC in Pavapuri, located near Rajgriha (Rajgir).

  • The word ‘Kaivalya’ is used for ‘Complete knowledge’ in Jain religion. Mahavira Swami obtained Kaivalya (complete knowledge) under a tree of ‘Sal’ on the bank of Rijupalika river near Jrimbhik village, after the rough austerity and practice of 12 years. Therefore he is called ‘Kevlin’.

  • The term Tirthankara is related to Jain Religion. It is known that there were 24 Tirthankara in Jain religion, who propagated Jain philosophy from time to time. These are –

  1. Rishabhdev

  2. Ajitnath

  3. Sambhavnath

  4. Abhinandan nath

  5. Sumatinath

  6. Padmaprabhu

  7. Suparshvanath

  8. Chandraprabhu

  9. Suvidhinath

  10. Shitalanathy

  11. Shreyanshnath

  12. Vasupujya

  13. Vimalnath

  14. Anantnath


  1. Dharmnath

  2. Shantinath

  3. Kunthunath

  4. Arahnath

  5. Mallinath

  6. Munisuvrata

  7. Neminatha

  8. Arishtnemi

  9. Parshvanath

  10. Mahavira Swami

  • Tirthankara Cognizance

Adinatha                     Bull

Mallinatha                   Water Jar

Parshavanatha             Snake

Sambhavanatha           Horse


  • Both Jaina and Buddhist monks went from place to place throughout the year, teaching people.

  • For permanent shelter monasteries were built.

  • These were known as viharas. The earliest viharas were made of wood, and then of brick.

  • Some were stay even in caves that were dug out in hills, especially in western India very often, the land on which the vihara was built was donated by a rich merchant or a landowner, or the king.

  • The local people came with gifts of food, clothing and medicines for the monks and nuns. In return, they taught the people.

  • Over the centuries, Buddhism spread to many parts of the subcontinent and beyond.


  • Three means are said to be important for ‘Moksha’ in Jain philosophy; Right faith, Right action and Right knowledge. These three are named as ‘Triratna’ in Jain religion. Freedom from the bondage and effect of evil omens is called Sanvar Tattva to make the spirit free from the bondage of all. The Karma, good or bad, is the Nirjara element.

  • As per Jain belief universal law is the essential and real form of the universe. The universe and all its substances are eternal (everlasting). All substances gradually change. Previous forms give way to new ones without losing their inherent qualities. Jains believe that the universe is without beginning or end.  The universe did not begin and end at any time. There is no need of some almighty to create or manage the affairs of the universe. The universe runs on itself according to its cosmic laws (laws of nature).

  • In Jain philosophy, the persons (e.g. monks) are very keen to uplift their souls and hence they sacrifice all worldly enjoyments and adopt five great “Vratas (vows) –

  1. Mahavratas;

  2. Ahimsa

  3. Satya

  4. Brahmacharya

  5. Asteya and Aparigraha



These Mahavrata’s are difficult to follow by general human beings, So they follow Anuvratas i.e. Ahimsa Anuvrat, Satya Anuvrat, Brahmacharya Anuvrata, Asteya Anuvrata, and Aparigraha Anuvrata.

  • Mahavira Swami was the 24th Tirthankara of Jain religion. He denied the unmanliness of Vedas and opposed related social-cultural traditions and humbugs. By leaving the exclusive belief of selfists and atheists, he accepted the middle path known as ‘Anekantavad’ or ‘Syadvad’. Syadvad is also known as the name of Saptabhangi Naya, which means knowledge is relative.

  • Jainism is also known as the religion of Ahimsa (non-violence). Ahimsa supersedes all concepts, ideologies, rules, customs and practices. Ahimsa, Anekantvad and Aparihgraha are the cardinal principles of Jainism.

  • Yapaniya was a sect of Jain religion; which is believed to have originated from Digambaras. However, they also used to follow certain Shwetambar opinions. The Yapaniyas worshipped nude images of the Tirthankaras in their temples.

  • The Fourteen Purvas is the ancient Jain scripture, which was preached by all Tirthankaras. Whatever Sri Gautam Swami, the prime student of Lord Mahavir got from him, compiled it into 12 parts called as Dwadas (twelve) Angas. There was also knowledge from the tradition of Pre-Lord Mahavir, which is from Lord Parshvanath’s tradition and even before him. Those were called as “Purvas”. The word “Purva’ itself means ‘before’. In our texts, 14 Purvas are mentioned. These 14 Purvas are described in the 12th Anga of Jinvani which is called ‘Dristivad’ Anga.

  • The Therigatha is a Buddhist scripture consisting of 73 poems – 522 stanzas in all-in which the early nuns (bhikshunis) recount their struggles and accomplishments along the road to spiritual attainment. Their stories are told with often heart-breaking honesty and beauty, revealing the deeply human side of these extraordinary women and thus serve as inspiring reminders of our potential to follow in their footsteps.

  • All the initial religious Jain literature has been written in the specific branch of Prakrit language. Its twelve Angas are in ‘Ardha-Magadhi’. These holy books were finally compiled in the sixth century at Vallabhi near Gujarat. Today the Jain literature has been translated into almost every language.

  • About 160 years after Lord Mahavira’s departure, when Bhadrabahuswami was the head of the religious order and Nand dynasty was ruling over Magadha, Pataliputra the capital city became the centre of learning and knowledge. At that time there occurred a severe famine that seems to have raged for 12 long years. During that period of shortage and scarcity, it was hard for Jain monks to observe the code of conduct laid down by the Lord. Bhadrabahuswami, therefore, decided to migrate to South along with many followers. For those who stayed behind, it was hard to remember accurately whatever they learnt. Venerable Sthulabhadra and most of those who stayed in the north used to cover their bodies with plain, white cloth; while those who had migrated with Bhadrabahuswami were mostly unclad. The latter took pride in their being true unclad followers of the Lord and in due course came to be known as Digamabaras which means skyclad. Those on the other side came to be known as Shwetambaras on account of white cloth that they wore.



  • Among the early visitors to Mahavira during his wandering was Jamali, his son-in-law. Jamali met Mahavira while the later was in Kshatriya- Kundagram, the village where Mahavira was born. He took the vow together with five hundred of the warrior caste. Jamali was the first disciple of Lord Mahavira.

  • Mahavira was born in 540 BC (widely accepted view) in a village named Kundagram near Vaishali in Bihar. Mahavira’s original name was Vardhamana. His father Siddhartha was the head of the Gyatrika Kshatriya clan under Vajji of Vaishali and his mother Trishla was the sister of Chetaka, the king of Lichchhavi. Mahavira was also related to Bimbisara, the ruler of Magadha who married Chellana, the daughter of Chetaka. Lord Gautama Buddha’s mother Maya, Suddhodana’s wife, was a Koliyan princess. Parshvanatha was born to King Asvasena and Queen Vama of Varanasi.


Ashramas: Four ashramas were recognised:

  1. brahmacharya,

  2. grihastha,

  3. vanaprastha and

  4. samnyasa.

  5. Brahmacharya: Brahmin, kshatriya and vaishya men were expected to lead simple lives and study the Vedas during the early years of their life

  6. Grihastha: They had to marry and live as householders.

  7. Vanaprastha: They had to live in the forest and meditate.

  8. Samnyasins: They had to give up everything and become samnyasins.


  • The system of ashramas allowed men to spend some part of their lives in meditation.

  • Generally, women were not allowed to study the Vedas, and they had to follow the ashramas chosen by their husbands.

‘Shiva, Bhagavata Religion’

  • According to the Cosmogony related beliefs of ancient India, the four epochs are as follows –

  1. Krita

  2. Treta

  3. Dvapara




  • Shiva sect named Mattamayura in ancient India was found in the inscriptions of Chedi Dynasty.

  • The Kumbha Mela is held on the bank of Godavari River at the interval of every twelve years. It is also held on the bank of Ganga at Haridwar, on the confluence place of the Ganga and Yamuna at Prayag, on the bank of River Kshipra (Shipra) at Ujjain. The last Kumbh Mela at Nasik was held in 2015, and the next will be held in 2027.

  • Kamdeva is the Hindu god of human love or desire. Rati is the wife of Kamdeva. Other names used in reference to Kamadeva are Ananga (incorporeal), Kandarpa (inflamer even of a god), Madana (intoxicating), Manmatha (Chunar of hearts) etc.

  • Medina is a city located in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia. It is the second sanctum city of Islam Religion after Mecca.

  • Vatican city is sovereign country located in Italy with a total area of 44 hectares which is also the smallest (both in Population and Area) independent country of the world. It is ruled by the Bishap of Rome who is also called as Pope. It is also known as the capital of Roman Catholic Church.

  • Pavapuri is the holiest place of Jains located 38 Km. from Rajgir and 90 Km. from Patna. The founder of Jainism, ‘Mahavir Swami’ died at Pavapuri in 527 century BC.

  • Varanasi is the holiest place for Hindus located in the left bank of Ganga River. This is an important centre for education and culture since ancient times.

  • Poigai, Pudam and Thirumagai were Alvar Saints, while Tirugyan was not an Alvar saint.

  • Ardhanarishvara is a composite androgynous from of the Hindu God Shiva and his consort Parvati. Ardhanarishvara is depicted as half male and half female, split the middle. The right half is usually the male Shiva, illustrating his traditional attributes. Ardhanarishvara represents the synthesis of masculine and feminine energies of the universe and illustrates how shakti, the female principle of God, is inseparable from Shiva, the male principle of God.

  • The Bhagavata or Vaishnava religion reached its peak in the reign of Gupta kings. Gupta kings were the follower of Vaishnava religion, and they made it a regligion of the State. Most of the Gupta rulers hold the title of ‘Parambhagavata’. Garuda, the most (Vahama) of lord Vishnu was the state symbol of Guptas.

  • Traditionally, the originator of Bhagavata religion was Vrishni descendent (Satvat), Lord Krishna who is also known as Vasudeva. He was basically from Mathura. He has been described as the son of Devaki and the disciple of Ghor Angirasa in the Chandogya Upanishad.

  • In the medieval period, the devotional spirit was mainly spread in South India, especially in Tamil regions. There were two major sects behind the development of devotional spirit in the Tamil regions. The devotees worshiping God Vishnu were called Alvara and the devotees worshiping God Shiva were called Nayanara. They told that the personal love and dedication towards God is the only way to Moksha and opposed the caste system and its rigidity.



  • Under the Bhagavata religion, the initial form of Vaishanavism is shown in the worship of Lord Krishna, the son of Devaki. The initial name of Krishna was prevalent in the Panini age. The worshippers of Vasudev were known as Vasudevak (Bhagavata) in that age. According to Indian belief, Lord Krishna is considered as a supreme personality and has been worshipped since ancient ages.

  • According to the Indian cultural traditions, Balram, the brother of Krishna is showed as holding plough in his arms. He is also known by the name of Haldhar.

  • The Navadha Bhakti has been recognised for acquiring Moksha in the Bhagavata cult.

  • The Garuda Pillar of Vidisha (Besanagar) is the first stone monument related to Bhagavata religion. This shows that the Yamuna ambassador of Takshila (Taxila) accepted the Bhagavata religion and worshipped it after its establishment. Heliodorus is stated as ‘Bhagavata’ and Vasudeva is stated as ‘Devadevas’ (God of Gods) in the article inscribed on it.

  • Lord Vishnu took the form of Varaha to kill the king of Giants, Hiranyakashyap and released the Earth from his clutch. In the pictures of the Purana, God Varaha has been shown balancing the earth on his teeth and arising from the sea. In this incarnation, the head of Varaha is on the human body having four arms holding Shankha, Chakra, Gada and Padma in his hands like God Vishnu fighting with demon Hiranyaksha. This is the third incarnation in the order of incarnations.

  • In the context of 6th BC, Astika sect belonged to those who believed in the authenticity of Vedas and Nastika sect was of those who did not believe in the authenticity of Vedas.

  • Naimisharanya in Sitapur district of U.P. is considered to be the residence of 60000 hermits. Here, Sut Goswami narrated the entire Mahabharata in front  of  Saunak and other hermits, when he was accomplishing the Yagya. Before it, Vaisampayana narrated the story of Mahabharata for King Janamejaya.

  • Jnana, Karma and Bhakti have the equal importance in Gita. Lord Krishna predicted the importance of all three in the following in Gita –

ये तु सर्वाणि कर्माणि मयि संयस्य मत्पराः।

अनन्येनैव योगेन मां ध्यायन्त उपासने।।

तेषामाहं समुध्दर्ता मृत्युसंसार सागरात्।

भवामि नचिरात्पार्थ मय्यावेशचेतसाम्।।

  • In Advaita Vedanta, Shankracharya had accepted the Brahma as the only truth. Both Vedanta and Vishistadvaita Vedanta gives supremacy to Bhakti (devotion toward God). Mimamsa has only propounded the Karma.

  • The Rathyatra is celebrated every year at Puri, Orissa on Shukla Paksha of Ashadha month with all due respect to Lord Jagannath (Krishna), Balram (Balbhadra) and Subhadra.

  • Upanishad, Brahmasutra and Bhagavad Gita are said to be the ‘Prasthantrayi’ or Vedanta because these are the major epics of Vedanta. Among them, the Upanishad is the Prime Prasthan and the remaining two are known to be based on it. Shankaracharya is the oldest among all of Vedanta Acharyas who established his Vedanta cults by writing the gloss on ‘Brahmasutra’.



6th Century B.C. : Political Condition

  • Aahat coins or Punch marked coins were the earliest extant coins in India made up of silver. The marks on them were made by the stamp, so they are called as Aahat coins or Punch marked coins. These coins were found between sixth century B.C. and the Mauryan period.

  • The Pali scriptures reveal that Pradyot was the king of Avanti. Udayana was the king of Vatsa Mahajanapada. Prasenjit was of Kosal and Ajatshatru was the king of Magadha.

  • Hathigumpha inscription indicates the Kalinga victory of Nanda’s King Mahapadmananda. According to this, Nanda king took away the statue of King Jinsen and built a canal in Kalinga.

  • The ruler of Magadha, Ajatshatru (492-460 BC) killed his father Bimbisara, the founder of Haryanka dynasty and sat on the throne. He was also killed by his son Udayin (different from the king Udayan of Vatsa) for the same reason.

  • According to Puranas, king of Magadha, Sisunaga annexed Avanti (Malwa) in his empire by defeating Pradyota.

  • The sequence of these dynasties are as follows:-

Haryanka dynasty           –         544 BC – 412 BC

Nanda dynasty                –         344 BC – 323 BC

Mauryan dynasty            –         323 BC – 184 BC

Sunga dynasty                 –         184 BC – 75 BC

  • Nanda dynasty of Magadha was founded after ending Shishunaga dynasty. There were 9 kings in Nanda dynasty –

  1. Ugrasen, called Mahapadma in Puranas

  2. Panduk

  3. Pandugati

  4. Bhootpal

  5. Rastrapal

  6. Govishanak

  7. Dashasiddhak

  8. Kaivart

  9. Dhanananda

  • During last years of Nanda dynasty, people became turbulent because of extortion and imposing heavy taxes on small items. By taking advantage of this, Chandragupta Maurya with the help of Chanakya, killed Dhanananda and establihsed Maurya Empire.

  • Ujjain, located in Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh is considered as the ancient historical town of India. This was one of the two capitals of Avanti which was one among the 16 Mahajanapadas. It is also known as Avantika.

  • The ancient city, which is mentioned in the Mahabharata and Mahabhashya is Viratnagar (Bairat). Viratnagar was founded by King Virat. It was capital of Matsya Kingdom. Its history is found in both Mahabharata and Mahabhasgya.



  • Patliputra was founded by Udayin, who was the successor of Ajatshatru. He built a fort at the confluence of Son and Ganga River. He shifted the capital of Magadha Empire from Rajgriha to Pataliputra. It was also the capital of Sisunaga dynasty, Nanda dynasty, and Maurya dynasty. Here Maurya Emperor Ashok organised the 3rd Buddhist Council (250 B.C.), which was presided over by Moggaliputta Tissa. The first Jain convention was held here too. Megasthenese in his book named Indica, has described the prosperity and the ruling system in the period of Chandragupta Maurya. Pataliputra became the prime centre for Buddhists during the Gupta period. But the importance of this city started declining during later Gupta Period.

  • Kashi was the most powerful city in the early 6th century B.C. It was one of the richest and most prosperous Mahajanapada among others. Kashi had the long rivalry with Kosala, Anga and Magadha. They always struggled for the supremacy.


  • The evidence of the existence of lots of republics is found during Buddha period. They were as follows –

  1. Shakya of Kapilavastu

  2. Bhagga of Sumsumagiri

  3. Buli of Alakappa

  4. Kalam of Kesaputta

  5. Koliya of Ramgama

  6. Malla of Kusinara

  7. Malla of Pava

  8. Moriya of Pippalivan

  9. Lichchhavi of Vaishali and

  10. Videha of Mithila

  • The legend of Udayan- Vasavadatta is related to Ujjain. Great poet Bhaas has described this story in his drama ‘Svapnavasvadatta’, the love story of Vatsa king Udayan and Vasvadatta, the daughter of Avanti King Pradyot. The story is during the time when Udayan was imprisoned in Ujjayini.

  • Lichchhavi dynasty of Vaishali established the first republic in the world. Vaishali took its name from king Vishal of the Mahabharata era. Vaishali is a great Buddhist pilgrimage and also the birth place of Lord Mahavira.

  • The first Magadha empire flourished in 6th century B.C. The actual founder of this empire was king Bimbisara (approximately 544-492 century B.C.). He was related to Haryanka dynasty.

  • King Chetak was the emperor of Lichchhavi republic. His daughter Chelana was married to Magadha King Bimbisara. Lichchhavi was one of the clans of union of Vajji.



  • Panini is known for his Sanskrit grammer. He was born in Pushkalavati, Gandhara. The Ashtadhayi is one of the earliest known grammers of Sanskrit. The Ashtadhayi consist of 4000 sutras or rules distributed among (eight chapter) which are each sub divided in to four section of padas. Panini mentioned as many as 22 different Janapadas but also mentions 3 most important provinces viz. Magadha, Kosala and Vatsa.

  • The 16 Mahajanapadas of 6th Century B.C. were described in Buddhist text ‘Anguttara Nikaya’. They were as follows –

  1. Anga

  2. Magadha

  3. Kashi

  4. Kosala

  5. Vajji

  6. Malla

  7. Chedi

  8. Vatsa

  9. Kuru

  10. Panchal

  11. Matsya

  12. Surasen

  13. Asmaka

  14. Avanti

  15. Gandhara

  16. Kamboj

  • The list of 16 Mahajanapadas is also found in Jain text Bhagavati Sutra.

  • The capital of Northern Panchala was Ahichhatra and Kampilya was the capital of southern Panchala. Hasitnapura and Indraprastha were the capital of Kuru while Mathura was the capital of Sursena.

  • Champa (Campa) was the capital of Anga It cover the modern districts of Munger and Bhagalpur in Bihar. It was later annexed to Magadha by Bimbisara.  Magadha was located on its west.

  • In sixth Century BC, Chedi Mahajanapada was located in modern Bundelkhand and its adjacent parts. Its capital was ‘Sothivati’ which is known as ‘Suktimati’ of Mahabharata.

  • Alexander Cunningham had identified the ancient Shravasti at Sahet-Mahet (today’s Shravasti) placed near Gonda in Uttar-Pradesh in 1861. It is known by excavations that the configuration of Shravasti was in crescentic form.

  • According to the Buddhist text ‘Anguttara Nikaya’ and Jain text ‘Bhagavati Sutra’, the Assaka or Ashmaka was located in between Godavari and Narmada River during the 6th century whose capital was Paithan/Potan or Potali (Ancient name Prathisthan).

  • The town Kalpi is situated in the Jalaun district of Uttar Pradesh on the bank or river Yamuna. Dauring ancient period, it was famous as ‘Kalpriya’, which was later known as Kalpi. It was built during 4 century B.C. by King Vasudeva.

  • The last ruler of Karnata Dynasty was Harisimha Dev. He was a great patron of art literature. He was the pro founder of Panji system.


  • The famous historical physician Jivaka, contemporary of Lord Buddha was related to the court of Bimbisara. Bimbisara had sent Jivaka to the state of Avanti’s king chandapradyota for medicinal service. Bimbisara is said to be the first and most powerful emperor of Haryanka dyanasty who was also the real founder of Magadha empire.

  • The location of 16 Mahajanapadas of the 6th century B.C. are found in Buddhist text “Anguttara Nikaya” and Jain text “Bhagavati Sutra”. The correctly matched list of Mahajanapadas and their Capitals is as follows:

Kuru                      –         Indraprastha

Panchal                  –         Ahichhatra

Kosala                   –         Saket

Vatsa                     –         Kaushambi

  • After Shishunaga dynasty, the Nanda dynasty started ruling Magadha. Mahapadmananda or Ugrasen was the founder of Nanda dynasty. He was also called as Sarvakshatrantaka and Aparoparashurama in Puranas.



Greek Invasion

  • There were eight inheritors of Mahapadmananda found in Puranas and Buddhist texts. Dhanananda was the last ruler of this dynasty who was also the contemporary of Alexander. Greek writers referred him as Agramese. Xenophon describes him as a wealthy person. Bhadrashal was his commander.

  • Ashwaka was a frontier republic at the time of the invasion of Alexander, whose capital was Massaga. According to Greek writers, the women had taken up arms against Alexander when a large number of men were killed in the war against him. This description described that Alexander had killed all the women of this town.

  • The first three reasons given behind the success of Alexander in India are correct. Hemachandra Rai Chaudhary had mentioned 20 independent powers of that time. It means there was no central authority in India at that time. Undoubtedly his (Alexander) army was superior. Many Indian traitor kings like Ambhi supported him. Being good administrator was not reason behind his victory over India.

  • After demolishing the Harkhamani empire in 327 BC, Alexander started his Indian campaign with a huge army. After two years, he returned to Greek from Paatal in 325 BC. But he was not defeated by Chandragupta Maurya.

  • The realm of Puru (Porus) was located between Jhelum and Chenab River. Alexander defeated him on the bank of Jhelum River, but he was impressed by his courage and became his friend and returned his state and also gifted him some more areas.

  • Mudrarakshasa authored by Vishakhdutta provides the various information about Chandragupta Maurya. Dhundiraja had written a commentary on Mudrarakshasa. In this drama, Chandragupta is described as the son of Nandraja. This book depicts Chandragupta as “Vrishal” and “Kulheen”. Besides Mudrarakshasa, two other works are also named after Vishakhadutta- Devichandraguptam and Abhisari Kavanchitaktaken or Abhisarika- bandhitkam (unfounded).

  • Deimachus had not came to India with Alexander. According to Strabo, Seleucid emperor Antiyokus sent his ambassador in court of Bimbisara named as Deimachus.



Maurya Dynasty

  • Chandragupta Maurya is considered as one of the greatest emperors of India. He was the first emperor who brought together the small fragmented kingdoms of the country and combined them into a single large empire. He expanded his empire to the edge of what is now known as Iran, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. He was the one who first unified India politically.

  • Ashokan visited Lumbini in the 20th year of his coronation. To mark the birthplace of Buddha, the pillar at Rummindei was erected along with some sacred stone structure. He condoned religious tax of Lumbini as it was the birthplace of Buddha and reduced the rate of land revenue from 1/6 to 1/8.

  • Ashokan stone pillars are not the part of architectural structures, but these are distinct sculptures.

  • Bhabru inscription proves Ashoka as Buddhist. In the same inscription, he referred himself as “Piyadasi Raja” Magadha, i.e. the king of Magadha.

  • In the 12th major rock edict of Ashoka, there is the declaration of religious long animity and growth of the essence of all communities.

  • Kalsi is located in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand. It is famous for Ashokan rock edict.

  • The rock edict second and thirteen of Ashoka tells us about the Sangam Kingdom of Chola, Pandya, Satiyaputta and Kerelaputta.

  • Kalinga war and the victory over Kalinga was the greatest event of Ashoka’s reign. The 13th rock edict provides the clear evidence of Kalinga war. It describes King Piyadassi (Ashoka) conquered Kalinga, eight years after his coronation i.e. in 261 B.C., he described deep remorse for having conquered Kalinga of this edict.

  • 13th inscription of  Ashoka provides information that he had cordial relation with five Yavana kings namely –

  1. Antioch (Antiochus II Theos – the ruler of Syria)

  2. Turmaya or Turamaya (Ptolemy II Philadelphus – The ruler of Egypt)

  3. Antakini or Anikini (Antigonus Gonatas- The ruler of Macedonia)

  4. Mag, Makamaas or Megaras (The ruler of Cyrene)

  5. Alik Sundar or Aliero Sentro (Alexander Epirus or the king of Epirus)

  • The earliest epigraphic record of land grants on the basis of religion in India is found in the inscription of Satavahana. Mauryan emperors did not grant any land on religious basis. There is no inscription found about peasant revolt against land grants.

  • Municipal administration of Pataliputra town is described in Magesthenese’s ‘Indica’. According to this book, Pataliputra was governed by a 30 member municipal council. It was divided into six main committee which had five members each. The 6th board was responsible for the collection of sales tax. This board made sure that every citizen must pay one-tenth of their earning as sales taxes to the government. The culprits were punished with death sentence.

  • Megasthenese was a Greek historian who came to India in the fourth century B.C. as a representative or ambassador of Seleucus He lived in the court of Chandragupta Maurya for five years. He has written about contemporary India and also about Chandragupta’s reign in his book entitled “Indica”.

  • The description of the administration of Pataliputra is found in Megasthenese ‘Indica’. Megasthenese mentioned six committees of five members each to look after the administration of Pataliputra. He called the town officials as ‘Astynomoi’.



  • Megasthenese divided Mauryan society in seven categories which are as follows:

  1. Philosophers

  2. Farmers

  3. Herdsmen

  4. Artisans

  5. Military (Soldier)

  6. Overseers or Spies

  • Megasthenese does not describe slavery in India. According to him, no one could marry beyond his caste, and no one could occupy different profession from his category.

  • Mauryan emperors played a major role in the development of culture, art and literature. Chandragupta’s empire spread over from Iran in north-west to present north Karnataka in the south. According to historian Smith, Hindukush mountains was the strategic frontier of India. There were five provinces described in inscriptions of Ashoka i.e.

  1. Uttarapath

  2. Avantiratha

  3. Kalinga

  4. Dakshinapath

  5. Prachyapatha

  • “Bhaga” and “Bali” were the sources of revenue in ancient India. According to Arthashatra, King was the owner of the land. He had a share in produce from the land. This tax was known as “Bhaga” whereas “Bali” was also a source of revenue.

  • Sitadhyaksha was the head of agricultural land in Mauryan empire, and he also dealt with land revenue levitation while Agronomoi were known as district officers. Shulkadhyaksha used to collect various trade and service tax and Akradhyaksha controlled mines.

  • The maintenance of crown land was done by Sitadhyaksha in Mauryan period. Revenue collected through this tax was known as ‘Sita’.

  • Revenue collection was regulated by Samaharta in Mauryan ministerial council. Antapal looked after border forts while the Pradeshtha was administrator of commissionaries.

  • Mauryan officer Pautavadhyaksha was in charge of weights and measures while Panyadhyaksha was the in charge of the Commerce Department, Sitadhyaksha was the head of the Agriculture Department and Sunadhyaksha was the chief of the slaughterhouse.



  • ‘Pankodakasannirodhe’ was the penalty in Mauryan administration for throwing dirt or causing mud and water to collect on the roads.

  • Nalanda – Nalanda was an important centre of Buddhist education. Firstly, Buddha temples were established here in Gupta period. The excavation of Nalanda proves that the University, which was situated here spread one mile in length and half miles in breadth.

  • Taxila – Taxila was a major centre of learning for Hindus and Buddhist who came here from all over the world to get education. It was situated few miles west of present Islamabad. Ujjain was the conventional capital of Chandragupta II (Vikramaditya).

  • The Arthashastra mentions two type of courts: Dharmamahamatra which is analogous with modern civil courts and Kantakshodhana, analogous to modern criminal courts.

  • Megasthenese came to the court of Chandragupta Maurya, Fa-Hien visited India during Chandra Gupta II “Vikramaditya”, Hieun-Tsang visited the court of Harshavardhana while I-Tsang a Chinese traveller came to India in 7th century A.D.

  • Arthashastra allows divorce to a wife deserted by her husband. Divorce was prevalent in the Mauryan period. Wife had right to divorce on the basis of long abroad stay of her husband and being physically handicapped. Similarly, husband had also right to leave his wife for being barren or adulteress.

  • It is mentioned clearly in 38th part of Manusmriti that a widower, whose wife is dead, could remarry but a widow whose husband is dead, had no permission of remarriage.

  • Justin and other Greek authors stated Chandragupta Maurya as “Sandrocottus”. Greek authors mentioned Bindusara as Amitrachates (Amitraghat) while Ashoka was mentioned as Priyadarhi in his inscriptions. Vishnugupta is the another name of Chanakya, the prime minister of Chandtragupta Maurya.

  • William Jones was the first scholar who recognised Sandrokottos as Chandra Gupta Maurya. Aerian and Plutark also described him as Androkottus.

  • Justin, a Greek writer, described the meeting of Sandrokottos and Alexander the Great.

  • Kautilya had an unforgettable contribution in the establishment of Mauryan dynasty. He was well known as ‘Vishnugupta’ and ‘Chanakya’. When Chandragupta Maurya had the responsibility of united Indian empire as emperor, Kautilya served as prime minister, advisor and chief priest. He was the pioneer scholar of political science and also known for his famous book “Arthashastra”. This is one of the oldest-book which is based on the political condition of India.

  • According to Saptang Theory of State, Mitra (Ally) is the seventh part of the state; Ally is like the ear of the state. Allies of King assist him in peace and war. In this context, Kautilya differentiates between idealistic and fake allies. Natural is better than artificial. Any king, whose friend is greedy, prurient and coward, ruin is inevitable.

  • Sage Chanak gave his son the name Chanakya. The ancient Arthashastra has been traditionally attributed to Chanakya by a number of scholars. Arthashastra identifies its author by the name of Kautilya, except for one verse that refers to him by the name of Vishnugupta.

  • Arthashastra renders wide range of information about Mauryan dynasty. This is the unique saga of political policies.

  • Arthashastra is the unique book of political science which is compared with “Prince” of Machiavelli, the great Italian thinker.



  • Arthashastra by Kautilya is the treatise on polity during Mauryan monarch/kingdom. The Saptang theory of state was firstly introduced in it, which includes the seven elements of the states, these are –

  1. The King (Swami)

  2. Minister (Amatya)

  3. Territory (Janpada)

  4. Fort (Durg)

  5. Treasury (Kosa)

  6. Army (Bala)

  7. Allies (Mitra)

  • According to Strebo, Syrian king Antiochus-I sent his ambassador Deimachus to the court of Bindusara. He replaced Megasthenes.

  • The archaeological remains of Mauryan period has been discovered in Bulandibagh and Kumhrar near Patna (Ancient Pataliputra). The excavation was carried out by D.B. Spooner. The remains of the city wall from Bulandibagh and the remains of palace from Kumhrar have been found during the excavation.

  • The unification of India had taken proper shape in the leadership of Chandragupta Maurya. Early victories of Chandragupta Maurya stretched his boundaries from Beas to Indus River. Inscription of Rudradaman proved his sovereignty over Western India. The unified Mauryan empire extended from Bengal and Assam in the east to modern day Afghanistan in the west, to Kashmir and Nepal in the north and the Deccan plateau in the south.

  • The description of the construction of irrigation dam by Mauryan provincial governor “Pushyagupta” was found from the Junagarh rock inscription of Rudradaman which clearly proves that this western part of India was one the part of Mauryan empire.

  • The founder of the Mauryan dynasty, Chandragupta Maurya conquered the Deccan plateau. Jain and Tamil sources inscriptions found at various sites of southern India proved that Chandragupta Maurya expanded his empire into Deccan trap. Inscriptions of Ashoka were also found from many sites of southern part of India, but he conquered the Kalinga only. In this situation, Chandragupta should be given the credit of Deccan Victory of Bindusara is doubtful and history never remembered him as a victor.



  • Chandragupta Maurya defeated the invader army of Seleucus in 305 BC. Seleucus was the governor of the eastern Macedonia empire.

  • Sri Lanka was not the part of Ashoka’s territory. The second inscription of Ashoka clarifies that Chola, Pandayas, Sattiyaputta, Keralaputta and Tamraparni (Sri Lanka) were not the part of Mauryan reign. That’s why they were called as edge states.

  • There are 14 major rock edicts of Ashoka. Major Rock Edict II, describes the presence of Pandyas, Sattiyaputta, Keralaputta and Tamraparni kingdom of South India.

  • Ashoka built the first hospital and herbal garden in India. He founded hospitals, public gardens, and gardens for the growing of medicinal herbs. He also organized digging of wells and planting of a tree for shades and created a ministry for the care of the aborigines and subject races of India.

  • Ashoka announced the logical and practical ‘Dhamma Niti’ to be follow by his pupils easily. Ashoka’s ‘Dhamma’ is based on ethical principles which were not related to any community but declared for the welfare of the humanity.

  • The coronation of Ashoka was held in 269 B.C. He was named as “Devanampriya” Devanampriyadarshi” in his inscription which means beloved of Gods or handsome by looks. This indicates his belief in Hindu religion.

  • According to Sinhalese folklore – “Dipavamsa” and “Mahavamsa”, the third Buddhist Council was held in “Pataliputra” during the reign of Ashoka. The chair person of this Buddhist Council was Moggaliputta Tissa, the famous Buddhist mendicant.

  • Some of the names of officials were found from the edicts of Ashoka, which are mentioned below –

YUKTA – These is the district officials who used to collect revenue.

RAJJUKA – Rajjuka is a category of officials in the rural area which worked as surveyors.

PRADESHIKA – It was top official of the division. It can be compared with the current divisional commissioner. They used to perform the judicial work also.

  • Ashoka and his grandson Dasaratha were the followers of Buddhism. Dasaratha also adopted the title “Devanama” as his grandfather Ashoka.

  • Sarnath Pillar was constructed by Ashoka. On the top of this pillar, the shape of the lion is built which is the symbol of power. This replica is taken by the Indian government as its national sign. These pillars are the best example of Mauryan architecture. All columns of Mauryan era are constructed from sandstones of Chunar.

  • Kaushambi –        Ghositarama Monastery

Kushinagar                  –        Ramabhar Stupa

Sarnath                        –        Dhamek Stupa

Shravasti                     –        Sahet-Mahet

  • After accepting the Buddhist religion, Ashoka stopped hunting and started pilgrimage trips. First, he visited Bodhgaya. The sequence of his religions trip is – Gaya, Kushinagar, Lumbini, Kapilavastu, Sarnath and Shravasti.



  • Ashokan inscriptions describe the history of Ashoka properly. The inscription can be divided into 3 classes;

  1. Rock inscription/petrograph

  2. Column inscription

  3. Cave inscription


  • Rock inscription is the group of 14 various inscriptions which were found at eight different places –

  1. Shahbazgarhi

  2. Mansehra

  3. Kalsi

  4. Gimar

  5. Dhauli

  6. Jaugada

  7. Yerraguddi and Sopara

  • Most of the inscription of Ashoka are written in Prakrit language and Brahmi script, only two inscriptions, Shahbajgarhi and Mansehra’s are in Kharoshti script. One ruined inscription, written in Aramaic script, found from Taxila. Shar-i-Kuna (Kandhar Inscription) is in the bilingual (Greek Aramaic) script while one Aramaic script of Ashokan incription was obtained from Laughman.

  • Kharoshti, Brahmi, Aramaic and Greek (Syrian) scripts are used in inscriptions of Ashoka. The major inscriptions of Ashoka found from Indian are in Brahmi script while others found from the north east boundary or else are written in others scripts. Shahbazgarhi edicts of Ashok is in Kharosthi script while edict of Kalsi, Girnar and Meerut are in Brahmi script.

  • Ancient historical inscriptions found in India belongs to Ashoka. Most of them are in Brahmi scripts, and some are in Kharosthi, Aramaic, Greek and Prakrit Script.

  • The Brahmi script was first deciphered by letter inscribed on stone tablets. Sir James Prinsep was the first philologist who accomplished the task of reading the script of Ashokan inscription.

  • Pre-Ashokan Brahmi script was found at Anuradhapuram, Sri Lanka. Pipraha, Sohgoura, Mahasthan are the sites from where evidence of such script has been found.

  • In 1837, James Prinsep became the first scholar who deciphered Ashoka’s inscription (Brahmi script). The edicts in Brahmi script mentioned a King Devanampiya Piyadassi which Prinsep initially assumed was a Sri Lankan King. Later, the fact was revealed that according to Singhali hearsay, Deepvamsa and Mahavamsa sobriquet was used for Ashoka. At last in 1915, Maski inscription (Karnataka) finalised the name of ‘Ashoka’.

  • Kharosthi script was written from right to left in ancient India. It is mainly the script of north-west India. The study of Kharoshthi paleography began with the decipherment of the script which was accomplished through the efforts of Masson, Prinsep, Lassen, Norris, and Cunningham.

  • Ashokan history is mainly known by his inscription. More than 40 edicts of Ashoka are acquired/procured. The personal name of Ashoka is mentioned in Gurjara, Maski, Nettur and Udgolam edicts.



Post-Mauryan Period

  • Ashvaghosha was the poet laureate of Kanishka, whose major compositions were Saundaranand, Buddhacharita and Sariputraprakaran. Vasumitra was also a dependent poet of Kanishka, who headed the IVth Buddha Sangeeti. While Kalidas was related to Gupta period and Kamban was of the 12th

  • Chaitra is the first month of Indian national calendar. The dates of national calendar match with Gregorian calendar prominently. Generally, Chaitra starts from 22nd while from 21st March in a leap year.

  • Parsva, Vasumitra, Ashvaghosha, Nagarjuna, Charaka and Mathara were the scholars in the Court of Kanishka. Charaka is known as the court Physician of Kanishka. However, Maharshi Patanjali belonged to Shunga period and was the author of Mahabhasya.

  • Rabtak inscriptions were found in the year 1993 from Rabtak near Surkh Kotal, Afghanistan. They were written in Greek script and Bactrian language and belonged to the ruler of Kushan dynasty, Kanishka. There are four names of cities inscribed on it namely- Saket, Kaushambi, Pataliputra and Champa. The name of Shravasti was not inscribed on it.

  • Satvahan dynasty was the most powerful after Mauryas in South. According to Puranas, Sindhuk, Simuka or Shiprak established the Satvahan dynasty after the  assassination of Kanva king Susharma.

  • Taxila University was the junction where students of different countries met each other and exchanged their knowledge. Kaultilya, Chandragupta Maurya and Ayurvedacharya Charak, King Prasenjit of Kosala, Ayurvedacharya Jivak of Bimbisara, Vasubandhu, Chanakya, etc. studied at Taxila University.

  • According to Chinese texts, Kanishka requested to marry Princes Han, but was denied. In retaliation, they marched of Pan Chao in 86 A.D. with a force of 70, 000 but were defeated by a smaller Chinese force.

  • The last ruler of the Shunga emperors was Devabhuti. He was killed by his minister (Vasudeva Kanva). The Shunga dynasty was then replaced by the subsequent Kanvas. They were also Brahmin like Shunga.

  • Gautamiputra Satakarni was a patron of Brahmanism. He did not permit intercaste marriage among the people of the established ‘Four Varnas’ and stopped crossbreeding. That is why he is called as the protector of Varna System.

  • The Gandhara School of art was developed during the Kushana period. It was based on Gandhara and Mathura style. They were provided adequate encouragement and protection from Kanishka. Gandhara art was influenced by Greek art.



  • Strato- II issued the lead coins. The tenure of this Indo-Greek ruler is considered from 25 BC to 10 AD.

  • The Junagarh inscription of Rudradaman has been found at Girnar hills in Gujarat. Rudradaman’s inscription written in Brahmi script was the earliest ever inscription written in perfect Sanskrit language. The earliest specimen of “Kavya” style is found in this inscription.

  • The Satvahan coins are an extremely unique indication. They issued punch mark coins and produced coins in Lead, Copper, Bronze and Silver.

  • Gandhara sculptures invariably used green schist as the medium. Their sculptures were invariably influenced by Greek sculpture.

  • Concerning the invaders in ancient India, the correct chronological order is Greeks (326 B.C.; Alexander)- Sakas (Ceythians- 1st century BC)- Kushanas (1st Century AD).

  • Satavahana dynasty is believed to be King Simuka. He dethroned the Kanva king Susarman around 60 BC. Simuka conquered the region around Vidisa and his brother Krishna extended his kingdom in Nasik region. The son of Krishna and successor Satakarni was the first to hold the title of ‘Satakarni’. We get the important information about his governance through the inscriptions of ‘Nanaghat’.

  • Persian ruler, Darius-I (522-486 BC) was the first ruler who invaded some parts of India. According to Herodotus, Darius conquered the lands surroundings the Indus river and to the desert of Rajaputana and parts of Punjab.


  • There are 30 Satavahana rulers mentioned in Puranas out of which 19 are in Matsya Purana:

  1. Purnothsanga

  2. Skandastambi

  3. Satkarni (II)

  4. Lambodara

  5. Apilaka

  6. Meghasvati

  7. Svati

  8. Skandasvati

  9. Mrigendra

  10. Kuntalasvati

  11. Svatikarna

  12. Pulomavi (I)

  13. Gaur Krishna

  14. Hala

  15. Mandalaka

  16. Purindrasen

  17. Sundara Satakarni

  18. Cakora Satakarni

  19. Shivasvati

  • The Junagarh inscription written in Sankrit dated 150 AD credits Rudradaman-I for supporting the cultural arts and Sanskrit literature and reconstructing the dam built by the Mauryas. In fact, he repaired the embankments of the lake Sudarshan, which was constructed by the Mauryas for checking floods. The Junagadh rock also contains inscriptions of Ashoka (with fourteen edicts of Ashoka), Rudradaman-I and Skandagupta.

  • In the Nasik inscription of Gautami Balashri, her son Gautamiputra Shatakarni is called “Ekabrahmana” which is interpreted by some as “unrivaled Brahmana” thus indicating a Brahman origin.

  • Kalinga’s king Kharvel was best known king of the Mahameghavahana dynasty (which is also termed as ‘Chedi Dynasty’ by some scholars).

  • The rock edict of Rudradaman-I at Junagadh (Gujarat), inscribed in 170 A.D. tells about the Sudarshana Lake, which was built originally by the great Mauryan Emperor Chandra Gupta. It was Rudradaman-I, who renovated Sudarshan lake without using forced labour.

  • Gold coins were issued by Indo-Greek kings in northern and north-western Indian while Kushan ruler made it more popular and steady. Kushan rulers had circulated both gold and copper coins vastly.

  • The date of Buddha inscription of Sarnath which belongs to Kanishka is dated 81 AD. This inscription was established after three years of Kanishka’s coronation. The main capital of his empire was located at Purusapura in Gandhara, with two major capitals at Kapisa and Mathura.

  • Buddha is depicted on the coins of Kushan ruler-Kanishka.

  • Although Indo-Greek rulers made gold coins popular, Vima Kadphises was the first Kushan ruler who issued gold coins.

  • The date of Kanishka’s coronation is very controversial. Considering this problem, two international conventions were held in London in 1913 and 1960. In second convention, a common consent was made for 78 AD. This is also known as the beginning of Saka Samvat.

  • Kushan emperor Vima Kadphises, who was the father of Kanisha-I had introduced gold coins for regular use in India. He is known as the first king, who introduced gold coins, while Kujul Kadphises circulated copper coins.

  • According to Jain texts, the successor of Vikramaditya (57 B.C.) was defeated by Saka in 135 Vikram Samvat. To celebrate this Victory, Saka started a new calendar called Saka Samvat. Hence is begins from 135-57=78 Century. Most of the historians believe that the Kushan ruler Kanishka was its originator.

  • There are several varieties of Yaudheya copper coins depicting a standing figure of six-headed God Kartikeya along with peacock on the right, found during the reign of the Kushan ruler. The evidence of Yaudheya coins are found from the Puranas, Ashtadhyayi, etc.



Gupta and Post-Gupta Period

  • Gupta dynasty ruled during 275-550 AD. This dynasty was established by King Srigupta around 275 AD, but the first powerful ruler of Gupta dynasty was Chandragupta I who ruled during 319-335 AD. He has held the title of ‘Maharajadhiraj’ (in contradiction to his predecessors) to show his importance.

  • Vikrama Samvat began in 58 BC, and Shak Samvat began in 78 AD. Though, Gupta dynasty was founded by Srigupta, however, the reign of Chandragupta I is considered as beginning of Gupta empire. Although, Muhammad Bin Qasim annexed Sindh region in the early 8th century, but the period of Muslim rule in India began in 1192 AD after the victory of Gori in the battle of Tarain.

  • Detailed information regarding Harsha is received from Harshacharita, written by Banabhatta who was court poet of Harsha. Some information regarding him is also available from Rajatrangini written by Kalhana. There is no information about Harsha in the books written by Kalidas and Harisena.

  • Eminent author Banabhatta composed the text “Harshacharita”. This is the major source of Vardhan dynasty. It is a fable in which the author presented the description of his contemporary ruler and biographies of their ancestors.

  • Chinese sources revealed that Harsha and Rajyashri ruled together over Kannauj. Harsha shifted his capital to Kannauj from Thaneshwar to help his sister Rajyashri in the proper administration of Kannauj. Kannau was a suitable place to rule over the extensive empire of Harsha.

  • Emperor Harsha’s southward march was stopped on the Narmada river by Pulakesin-II, a Chalukyan ruler who defeated Harsha. This incident is mentioned in Aihole inscription of Pulkeshin II and description of Hiuen Tsang.

  • Harshavardhana (606-647 AD) ascended the throne of Thaneshwar and Kannauj on the death of his brother Rajyavardhana. He consolidated his kingdom in Northern India. In 620 AD, he invaded Chalukya kingdom in the Deccan which was then ruled by Pulkeshin-II but the Chalukya resistance proved tough and he was defeated by Pulkeshin-II.



  • Harsha held a massive council of various religions and sets in Kannauj to prove the excellence of Mahayana over other religions. According to Chinese evidence, rulers of 20 countries along with their eminent brahmins, shramads, countries, etc. arrived there. This meet was presided over by Hiuen Tsang. A function used to be held at Sangam region of Prayag in every fifth year of Harsha’s rule, which is stated as “Mahamoksha council”. Hiuen Tsang himself attended the 6th function which was attended by 18 rulers of various countries.

  • Banabhatta, the poet, was born in the village Prithikuta, on the bank of Son River in Aurangabad district (Present Bihar). The name of his father and mother was Chitrabhanu and Rajdevi respectively.

  • King of Vakataka, Pravarsena-I had performed four Ashwamedhas. He also performed many Vedic oblations. Pravarsena-II, another ruler of the same dynasty, was interested in literature, who wrote ‘Setubandha’.

  • Chandragupta-II (Vikramaditya) was the first ruler to hold the title of ‘Parambhagavata’. According to Mehrauli inscription the king was devoted to Vishnu and set up the pillar (Vishnuflag) as a standard of that God on a hill called Vishnugupta.

  • Historian A.V. Smith in his composition ‘Early History of India’ called Samudragupta (335-375 AD) of Gupta dynasty as ‘Napoleon of India’ for his military conquests.

  • The Ashoka pillar inscription of Allahabad is associated with Samudragupta (335-375 AD). It is considered to be the most important historical document of the classical Gupta age in excellent Sanskrit written by Harisena. It is also known as ‘Prayag Prashasti’. The inscription is a panegyric (tribute) praising Samudragupta and lists the political and military achievements of his reign including his expeditions to the south. Built by Ashoka, originally it was situated in Kaushambi, which was later established in Allahabad by Akbar. The name of Jahangir and Birbal is also mentioned there.

  • Another name of Gupta ruler Chandragupta-II ‘Vikramaditya’ is found as Devagupta. Its evidence has been obtained from Sanchi and Vakataka inscriptions. Apart from the mentioned names, he is also known as Devaraja and Devashri.

  • Prayag Prashasti is the name given to  Allahabad pillar. It is an Ashokan Pillar but has 4 different inscriptions:

  • Ashokan inscription in Brahmi script.

  • Queen edict regarding charitable deed of Ashoka’s wife, Karuvaki.

  • Samudragupta inscription written by Harisena in Sankrit language and Brahmi script

  • Jahangir inscription in Persian.

  • The first invasion of Hunas took place during the reign of Skandagupta (455) and Hunas were defeated badly by him. This invasion was just like a raid and no instant impact occurred on India, but this invasion intensified the decline of Gupta empire. Hunas annexed many regions of the north-west in the transition period of 5th -6th centuries after the death of Skandagupta.

  • In this book “A Political Histories of the Imperial Guptas” Tej Ram Sharma described about Ashwamedha Yajna which was done by Samudragupta. After this ritual he assumed the title of ‘Prithivyama Pratiratha’ which means that a man who has no rival on the earth (The first brave man on the Earth).



  • Mehrauli Iron Pillar inscription acquired from Mehrauli in Delhi is located near Qutubminar at present. It describes a king named “Chandra” which is assumed as Chandragupta II of Gupta clan. According to recognition, the Mehrauli iron pillar was situated at Vishnugiri near Udaigiri hills during the period of Chandragupta II around 410 AD. Chandragupta II was the devotee of Lord Vishnu. He constructed this iron pillar in respect of Lord Vishnu. Emblem bearer of Lord Vishnu ‘Garuda’ was engraved on the apex of the pillar.

  • Bhitari Pillar inscription is found from the place named as Bhitari in Saidpur tehsil of district Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh. The description of war between Skandagupta and Hunas is mentioned in Bhitari Pillar inscription. It is noteworthy that the first Indian invasion of Hunas took place during the reign of Skandagupta (455 AD) in which Hunas were badly defeated by Skandagupta.

  • When the Huna invasion ended the Roman empire in 3rd century A.D., the Indian merchants relied more and more on the South East Asian trade.

  • The decline of Gupta Empire was not due to the Arab invasion. Arabs invaded India during the medieval era, much later after the downfall of Gupta dynasty.

  • The Tamralipti port in Bengal was a prominent port during Gupta period from where trade was conducted with south-east Asia, China, Lanka, Java, Sumatra as well as northern India. Western coast had an important port of Behrigukach (Bhadoch) from where Gupta rulers used to trade with western countries.

  • Gupta Ruler Chandragupta-II ‘Vikramaditya’ was known as the ‘Saka Conqueror’ as he alleviated Saka power by defeating last Saka king Rudrasimha-III in the first decade of the 5th He adopted the title of ‘Sakari’ after this victory. He launched silver coins on this occasion.

  • Tamralipti was a major port of North India trade. At present Tamluk of Midnapur in modern West Bengal is known as Tamralipti which is located on the western bank of Roop Narayan river 33 miles south-west from Calcutta.

  • Extreme elevation of Indian Ayurveda and medical science is reflected in Sushruta and Charak. Ethics, work efficiency, and knowledge of a medico and work efficiency is mentioned significantly in ‘Sushruta Samhita’ of Gupta period.

  • Guilds were very important in the economy of ancient India. These organisations were established by merchants for the proper regulation of their trade. Guilds had the judicial power of their members and also had the power to ensure the salary, rules of job, standards and prices. Every guild had its head without any intervention by the kingdom. It was also important for governing the local bodies.

  • Dhanvantari was one the Navratnas of Chandragupta II. He was a master in Ayurveda. Charaka and Susruta were also great scholars of Ayurveda. Charaka was the physician of Kanishka who wrote ‘Charaka Samhita’ while Bhskracharya was a great astronomer and mathematician. He composed ‘Siddhanta Shiromani’ and ‘Lilawati’ based on astronomy and mathematics.

  • Hiuen Tsang stayed in India for almost 15 years and visited almost every province of the country. According to Hiuen Tsang, the roads and River-Routes were not completely immune from robbery. He himself was robbed many times during his voyages and travels.



  • According to Hiuen Tsang, punishment for crime was harsh during that time. Ordeals by fire, water and poison were used to determine the innocence or guilt of a person. From the records of Hiuen Tsang, this fact is highlighted that tax was levied on trade routes, banks of rivers, products and goods etc. by which the state collected ample amount of money.

  • The arrival of Hiuen-Tsang was the most important event of Harsha’s period. His desire was to visit the places related to Mahatma Buddha and study Buddhist texts, which was available in India. He departed for India in 629 AD from Changan, the capital of Tang Ruler. He wrote a book on his tour to India named ‘Hsi-Yu-Chi’.

  • Hiuen-Tsang was contemporary of Taai-Sunga- Taai-Sunga had banned the foreign tours in West for his citizens but Hiuen-Tsang came to India by silk-route in 627 After 13 years of his migration, when he went back to China, the emperor welcomed him and appointed him as his spiritual advisor. On emperor’s request, he composed his experiences in “A Record of the Western Regions”.

  • In Gupta and later Gupta period, the word ‘Kausheya’ was used to denote silk.

  • Nalanda University attracted scholars and students from Tibet, China, Greece and Persia. It was ransacked and destroyed by the army of Bakhtiya Khilji at the end of the twelfth century (1193). It can be seen as the coup de grace (final blow) to the decline of Buddhism in India.

  • Gujarat, Bengal, Deccan and Tamil Nadu were famous for the textile manufacturing industry. Textile industry was a prime industry of Gupta period. Major centres for international trade were Tamralipti, Bhrigukach, Arikamedu, Kaveripattnam, Muziris, Prathisthan, Sopara, Barberikam during Gupta Period.

  • The ancient age is notable in context of scientific developments. Many surgical instruments were used in 1st century AD, but the transplant of human internal organs was not possible till then. Development in maths is notable in Gupta period. Sine, Cosine, inverse sine were known in 5th century AD. These are mentioned in ‘Surya Siddhartha’ and ‘Aryabhatiya’. Brahmagupta described cyclic quadrilateral in 700 AD.

  • Chandragupta-I was the first Gupta ruler who issued the coins. There is no evidence available for issuance of coins by Ghatokacha and Srigupta, the early rulers of Gupta dynasty. Samudragupta also issued various types of coins but this tenure was after Chandragupta-I.



  • The Nine Gems of Chandragupta II were –

  1. Kalidas (Poet)

  2. Dhanvantari (Physician)

  3. Varahmihir (Astronomer)

  4. Amar Singh (Lexicographer)

  5. Shanku (Architect)

  6. Kshapanak (Astrologer)

  7. Varauchi (Grammarian)

  8. Vetal Bhatta (Magician)

  9. Ghatkarpar (Diplomat)

  • In Sanskrit plays, written during Gupta period, women and Sudra spoke in Prakrit language while upper varnas (class) person used Sanskrit to speak.

  • The first evidence of ‘Satipratha’ has been found from the inscription of Eran. This inscrption belongs to 510 AD in which practice of Satipratha has been mentioned for a lady who was the wife of war commander named ‘Gopraj’.

  • Gold coins issued by Gupta rulers were known as Dinar. According to Fahien, people used Dinar for daily business.



  • Gupta Samvat was started by Chandragupta-I during 319 AD.

  • The silver coins issued by the Gupta ruler was known as “Rupaka”. The Gupta coins have been found from Bihar, Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Orissa. Bhartpur in Rajasthan is the place from where a maximum number of coins have been found.

  • Ashoka –        Priyadarsin

  • Samudragupta          –        Parakramank

  • Chandragupta-II –        Vikramaditya

  • Skandgupta –        Kramaditya

  • Except for Vedic age, the situation of women was never good in ancient India. In the age of Gupta, Maurya and Chola, the evidence of inferior situation of women bas been found. Thus situation of women with men cannot be compared in any age.

  • During Gupta period, towns declined gradually. All the towns which were prosperous in the valley, most of them had declined in that age. A major city, Pataliputra became village when Hiuen-Tsang came to India. Mathura, Sonpur, Sohgma-all major cities provided the evidence of a decline in this age. So, we can say that the gradual decline of towns is an important feature of Gupta period.

  • A person who used to cultivate on the official land of the ruler they had to pay a part of crop-products as tax in Gupta period which was sixth portion of the production. Land revenue is known as ‘Udrang’ and “Bhag” in Gupta inscriptions.

  • In every religious text, the land revenue rate is 1/6th of the produce.

  • The Gupta Empire granted tax-free agrarian land to religious functionaries i.e. Brahmins.

  • Mihirkula was a central Asian Huna origin who was one of the most important Hephthalite emperor. The Gwalior inscription showed his territory which included Gwalior. Mihirkula suffered a defeat by the Aulikara king Yasodharman of Malwa in 528 A.D.

  • Non-cultivated landare called ‘Aprahat’. It is a term of the revenue system in Gupta period.

  • Chinese traveller ‘Sungyun’ came to India in 518 AD. He collected texts of Buddha’s preaching in his three years of travel.

  • In ancient India, the irrigation tax was known as ‘Bidakbhag’ or ‘Udakbhag’. Hiranya was the cash tax in Mauryan period. The land tax was called Udrang in Gupta inscriptions. ‘Uparnika’ was the tax of farmers living on the land.

  • Warangal was famous for iron equipments. ‘Agaria’ people lived there are and iron making was the traditional occupation for them.

  • According to Dr. K.P. Jayaswal, Visakhadatta and Chandragupta were contemporary. His play “Mudrarakshasa’ describes the actions of contemporary Maruya. He described the presence of ‘Durabhisandhi’ in the court of Chandragupta Maurya.

  • Amir Khusro was the poet laureate of Alauddin Khilji. Kalidas was the poet of laureate of Chandragupta II and one of the “Navaratna’ of his court. Harisena was the loyal secretary of Samudragupta and Banabhatta was the poet laureate of Harshavardhana.

  • Harish was the compiler of Prayag Prashasti and secretary of Samudragupta while Banabhatta was the poet laureate of Harsha.



  • Chinese pilgrim Sung Yun came to India in 518 AD and collected texts of Buddha’s preaching in his three years of travel.

  • Badrinath, Dwarika, Puri, and Rameshwaram are the “Chardham” while Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath are the little Chardham located in Uttarakhand. The four monasteries established by Adi Shankrachartya are – Kedarnath (North), Sringeri (South), Puri (East) and Dwarka (West).

  • During Post Gupta period, business centre was shifted to Kannauj from Ujjain. During Gupta period, the importance of Ujjain was increased as Chandragupta-II made it second capital. During post Gupta period, Harsha made Kannauj as capital in place of Thaneshwar. As Kannauj made situated on the bank of Ganga and Jamuna, it was the place of business importance and became the centre of attraction for three powers (Palas, Pratiharas and Rashtrakutas).

  • Tormad was the leader of the second Huna invasion on India.

  • There was monarchy in Gupta empire. They believed in their supernatural origin (opposite to Mauryas). They extended the tradition of the land donation. Though, it was not centralised, but the federal system was followed.

  • The game of chess originated in India during Gupta period, known as “Chaturanga”. It reached to Iran and then Europe from India.

  • “Mrichchhakatika” or “the day cart” written by Sudraka deals with the love story of a rich merchant with the daughter of a courtesan. It also provides information about some shudra officers in Ujjaini.

  • The Sankhya School is a part of six orthodox schools of Indian philosophy. Sankhya philosophy accepts the theory of rebirth or transmigration of the soul. Nescience is the cause of sorrow and self-enlightenment by knowledge is the solution of liberation from them. Sankhya held that it is the self-knowledge that leads to liberation and not any exterior influence or agent.

  • Sankhya Darshan is one of the most ancient philosophical schools of India. Maharshi Kapila is known as the ‘Acharya’ of Sankhya Darshan. He composed ‘Sankhya Sutra’ and Tatvasamas.

  • Maharshi Patanjali is known as the founder of ‘Yoga Darshan’. Although, the history of Yoga in Indian tradition is very old. The description about yoga is found in Upanishad, Mahabharata, Bhagwat Geeta, Jain and Buddha texts. However, Maharshi Patanjali explained it as a compact philosophical theory. So it is called as “Patanjali Darshan”.

  • Charvakas emphasised materialistic ideology in the school of Indian philosophy. The ideal of this school of philosophy is to live well as long as you live. “Live well even by borrowing, for, once cremated, there is not return.”



  • Ashtanga Yog means “eight-limbed yoga” as outlined by the sage Patanjali in the Yog Sutras. It consists of eight spiritual practices. Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharna, Dhyana and Samadi.

  • ‘Nyaya Darshan’ was propagated by Gautama who is also known as ‘Akshapada.’ The word ‘Nyaya’ means decision or logic. Nyaya Darshan recognizes the existence of 16 substances or elements. The original text of Nyaya Darshan is ‘Nyayasutra’ which is the masterpiece of Gautama. Maharshi Kapila propagated “Sankhya Darshan’ while Jaimini propagated ‘Poorva Mimansa’.

  • Patanjali (the author of Mahabhashya) was contemporary to Pushyamitra Shunga (185-149 BC).

  • The foundation of Navya-Nyaya school was the result of revolutionary work of Mithila based scholar Gangesha Upadhyay. Five great members of this school were Pakshadhara Mishra of Mithila, Vasudeva Sarvabhauma (16th century), his disciple Raghunatha Shiromani (both from Bengal) Jagdeesh and Gadadhara Bhattacharya.

  • The theory of Karma is related to “Mimansa” philosophy. It is also known as Karma Mimansa, Poorva Mimansa or Dharma Mimansa. The acharya of Mimansa, Kumari Bhatta is considered as the link between Poorva Mimansa and Vedanta.

  • According to Advaita Vedanta, the Mukti (liberation) can be obtained by knowledge. It centers around knowledge and believe correct understanding, provide knowledge of the identify of Atman (Soul) and Brahman which results in Mukti (liberation).

  • “Mimansa” philosophy accepts that Vedas contain the eternal truth. Poorva Mimansa tells about “Karmakanda” while Uttar Mimansa tells about “Gyankand”.

  • The thesis of Vedanta philosophy has an enormous impact on Hindu thought and culture. Sankaracharya (8th century) Ramanuja (11th century) and Madhava (13th century) were the giant scholars of Vedantic School, who gave varying interpretations of Vedanta philosophy.

  • Hindu philosophy refers to a group of drashans (philosophies, worldview, teachings) that emerged in ancient India. The main stream Hindu philosophy includes six systems (saarsana) Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimansa, and Vedanta.

  • Maharshi Kanad was the founder of Vaisheshika School of Indian philosophy. He propounded atom they and called as the founder of Indian Atomism. According to this theory material subjects are made up of atoms. The Vaisheshika thus marked the beginning of physics in India. Kanad was first to prove that atom is the smallest unit of any matter. Atom cannot be seen through naked eyes and cannot be further divided. The Vaisheshika School gives importance to the discussion of material elements or dravya. Earth, water, fire, air and sky, when combined give rise to new objects.

  • The principal exponent of the Advaita Vedanta interpretation was Adi Shankara in the 8th century, who systematized the works of preceding philosophers.

  • Saka era was started by Kanishka in 78 AD. If Chalukya inscriptions is dated in the year 556, then it is equivalent to 556+78=634 A.D.

  • Vikrama era was started by King Vikramaditya in 58 B.C. on the occasion of his victory over Shaka. The Shaka era was started by Kanishka in 78 A.D. The Gupta era was started by Chandragupta-I in 319-320 A.D. and Kali era is assumed to have started in 310 B.C.

  • According to Puranas, Chandravansh (or Somvansha) was one of the three prime dynasties (two other Suryavansha and Agnivansha) of Kshatriya Varna. The prime place of Chandravansha’s ruler was Prayag but after a natural calamity, Dwapar Yug Chandravanshi King Samvaram established his capital in Pratishthanpur (at present Jhunsi, Allahabad).



Architecture in Ancient India

  • Rashtrakuta kings also patronized followers of the Shaiva, Vaishnava and Shaka faiths but they were inclined towards Jainism since many of the scholars who flourished in their courts and wrote in Sankrit, Kannada and a few in Apabhranmsa and in Prakrit were jains. King Amoshavarsha-I was the disciple of the Jain Acharya Jinasena and wrote his religious writing in Prashnottara Rantamalika.

  • Brick-built Temple –        Bhitargaon

Dashavatara Temple            –        Deogarh

Shiva Temple                       –        Bhumara

Vishnu Temple                    –        Eran

  • Khajuraho temple evidences the excellence of Chandela architecture. These temples are located in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh which were built between 950 to 1050 A.D. Kandariya Mahadev temple is the best among these temples.

  • The caves of Ajanta and Ellora are located in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. The Kailasa temple of Ellora is the finest example of rock cut art, which was built by Rashtrakutas.

  • Bhimbetka rock shelters are the oldest surviving rock-cut caves in India. Ashoka in his 12th year after his coronation donated a cave to the Ajivikas in the Barabar Hills. Barabar Hill consists of four caves named Karan Chaupar, Lomas Rishi caves, Sudama and Vishva Zopari. Ellora caves were made for different faiths. In these caves, 12 belong to Buddhist, 17 belong to Hindus and 5 belong to Jains.

  • The paintings of Bodhisattva Padampani is one of the most famous art structure in cave I of Ajanta. Padampani in Sanskrit literally translate into “one who holds the lotus”. The Bodhisattva Padmapani sits among a crowd of devotees, both princesses and commoners with long dark hair handing down below a jewelled crown, he stands holding his attribute, a blue lotus flower in his right hand.

  • The evidence of mural painting in Ajanta and Lepakshi temple is clearly visible but it is not evident in Sanchi Stupa. The nucleus of Sanchi Stupa was a simple hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of the Buddha. It was crowned by the Chhatra, a parsol-like structure symbolising high rank, which was intended to honour and shelter the relics. In the first century BC, four elaborately carved ‘torans’ (ornamental gateways) and a balustrade encircling the entire structure were added. Since torans cannot be accepted as a part of Stupa.

  • Ajanta caves are the finest surviving examples of Indian art, particularly the paintings which are the masterpieces of Buddhist religious art, with the figures of Buddha and depictions of the Jataka stories, the paintings concentrate on those Jataka stories, which show the previous life of Buddha as a king. Technically, the arts of Ajanta is the finest surviving example of India art. The cave consists of several arts, such as flowers, trees and animals. The painting concentrates on the previous life of Buddha as a king.

  • Khajuraho is a group of Hindu and Jain temples in Mahdya Pradesh. Most of these were built between 950 to 1050 A.D. by Chandela dynasty. According to historical records, there were 85 temples built at the site of Khajuraho in which only30 exist till date.

  • Teli Temple of Gwalior presens a perfect fusion of the Nrothern and Sourthern architectural styles of India. The Shikhar (pinnacle) of the Temple is Dravidian in style, whereas the ornamentation is done in the Nagara style.

  • Matangesvara Temple of Khajuraho is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple was built during King Dhanga’s empire between 950 to 1050 AD. These temples were constructed in Nagara architecture.

  • The Kanheri caves constitute a group of rock-cut monuments that are located to the north of Borivali on the western outskirts of Mumbai. The Kanheri caves demonstrate Buddhist influence on the art and culture of India built during 8th-9th century AD.

  • Dashavatar Temple is located in Jhansi, built during Gupta period.

  • Khajuraho temples, Bhimbetka rock shelters and Sanchi stupa ar listed among the UNESCO world heritage site in India. Mandu fort is not listed in the world heritage site.

  • Mahabaipuram is located on the hill lock town, overlooking the Coromandel coast of bay of Bengal in Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu. It is also called “Mahadapas” Rock Cut Caves. It was established during 7th to the 10th century of Pallava dynasty. Whereas Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra including 30 Rock cut caves were built in 2nd century B.C.

  • Hampi –        Karnataka

Nagarjunakonda          –        Andhra Pradesh

Shishupalgarh             –        Odisha

Arikamedu                  –        Puducherry

  • The Sun Temple of Modhera is in Gujarat. It was built in 1026 AD by King Bhimadeva of Solanki dynasty.



  • Konark Sun Temple is a 13th Century Sun Temple in Odisha, India, built by King Narasimbadeva-I of Eastern Ganga Dynasty. It was conceived as a huge solar chariot with twelve pairs of exquisitely ornamental wheels dragged by seven rearing horses. The monument was also called as Black Pagoda by European sailors. In contrast, the Jagannath Temple in Puri was called the White Pagoda.

  • Arasvali temple is one of the prominent sun temple of 7th century in Arasavalli village of Andhra Pradesh. It is believed that the temple was built by King Devendra verma, ruler of the Kalinga Dynasty. Omkareshwar temple is situated in the Khandawa district of Madhya Pradesh. It is on an Island called Mandhata or Shivpuri in the Narmada river. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga Shrines of Shiva. Narmada, son and Johila river emerge from Amarkantak. Amarkantak is a pilgrim town in Anuppur, Madhya Pradesh. Sri Jwaleshwar, Madadev temple is located 8 km away from Amarkantak on Shahdol road. It is dedicated to Shiva.

  • Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Kampuchea (Now Cambodia) built by Khmer King Suryavarman-II in the beginning of 12th Century in his capital Yashodhara pura (Present Angakor). Devoted to Lord Vishnu, it is the largest group of Hindu temples built in Dravidian style of architecture.

  • Lingaraj Temple is one of the most popular temples of Odisha. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva who is also known as Lingaraj. Lingaraj temple is approximately 180 ft. in height and enshrines a huge statue of Lord Shiva. This temple is made up of Nagara architecture and is one of the finest example of Nagara architecture.

  • The famous of Borobudur is located at the centre of the Island of Indonesia, at Java. This is a world heritage site by UNESCO.

  • Angkor Wat temple was built between (1113-1150 AD) Suryavarmana-II also ruled here during the said period. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Angkor Wat Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

  • Jain Temple of Abu is one of the finest Jain temple known the world over for its extraordinary architecture and marvellous marble stone carvings. This temple was built by Vimalshah who was the feud of the then Chalukya ruler of Gujarat, Bheemdev-I.

  • Gandhar Art –        Kushanas

Junagarh Rock inscription   –        Rudradaman I

Milinapanho                         –        Menadner

Taxila inscriptions               –        Patika

  • Naimisharaya is located in Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh. It is believed that Sage Dadhichi gladly gave up his bones to Devas here. The bone of Sage Dadhchi was used to make the weapon Vajra. This weapon was then used by Lord Indra to defeat the Asuras to reclaim as the king of Devloka.

  • A temple that has a central shrine surrounded by four subsidiary shrines is called Panchayatana. The origin of the name are the Sanskrit words Pancha (five) and ayatana (containing).



The example of Pachayatana Temple are –

  1. Kandariya Madadev temple – Khajuraho

  2. Brahmeshwar Temple, Lingaraja Temple – Bhuvneshwar

  3. Dashavatara Temple – Deogarh (UP).

  • The Palitana temple of Jainism is located on Shatrunjaya hill near the city of Palitana in Bhavnagar district, Gujarat.

  • Elepthanta (an Island 10 kilometres to the east of the city of Mumbai) caves are believed to be built by the Rashtrakuta dynasty. This island is located on a arm of the Arabian Sea, consists of two groups of caves-the first is a large group of five Hindu caves, the second one includes a smaller group of two Buddhist caves. The Hindu caves contain rock cut stone sculptures, representing the Shaiva Hindu sect, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Trimurti of Elephanta showing the three faces of Shiva is akin to the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh (Shiva), which was the royal insignia of the Rashtrakutas.

  • Ellora caves, locally known as ‘Verul Leni’ is located 25 km away from Aurangabad in Maharashtra. In total, there are nearly 10 caves in the hill out of which 35 caves are famous and visited by many tourists. Among them 1 to 12 belongs to Buddhist, caves 13 to 29 are devoted to Hindu and caves 30 to 34 belongs to Jain. Its ancient name is Elapura.

  • Kailasa tmple of Ellora is an example of rock cut architecture. Rashtrakuta ruler Krishna-I built this temple in Dravidian style.

  • Kailasa (cave 16 of Ellora) is a remarkable example of Dravidian architecture on account of its striking proportion, elaborate workmanship, architecture content and sculpture ornamentation of rock-cut architecture. The temple was built between 757-783 CE when Krishna I ruled the Rashtrakuta dynasty. It is designed to recall Mount Kailasa, the home of Lord Shiva.

  • Narasimhan Varman-I (630-668 AD) was one of the most famous Pallava kings and Mamallan style was developed during his tenure. Narsimha was a good wrestler, and he was also called “Mamallan”. The city of Mamallapuram was named after him. Seven Ratha Temple was built by Narsimha Varman-I which is adorned with seven rock-cut pagodas.

  • Gopuram is a monumental tower, usually, ornate at the entrance of any temple especially in southern India. This forms a prominent feature of Hindu temples of the Dravidian style. The gopuram’s origin can be traced back to early structures of the Tamil Kings Pallavas and by the twelfth century under the Pandya rulers. These always became a dominant feature of a temple’s outer appearance, eventually overshadowing the inner sanctuary which became hidden from the view by the gopuram’s enormous size.

  • Drapadi Rath is the smallest rath in monolithic temples or rath constructed in Mamallya style in Pallava There is no ornamentation found. It is pinned over lions and elephanta like sculptures.

  • Elephanta –        Cave

Shravanbelgola  –        Statue

Khajuraho          –        Temple

Sanchi                –        Stupa

  • Bhimbetka –        Madhya Pradesh

Shore Temple    –        Tamil Nadu

Hampi                –        Karnataka

Manas                –        Assam

  • Nalanda –        University

Sarnath               –        Pillar of Ashoka

Konark               –        Sun Temple

  • The Dilwara Jain temples are located at Mount Abu, Rajasthan.

  • Takshashila was established during 6th or 7th century BC. It was a town and an important archaeological site in Rawalpindi district of Punjab, Pakistan. Takshashila is situated about 32 km north-west of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. It is situated between the rivers Jhelum and Indus.

  • The Virupaksha temple is located at Hampi, 350 km from Bengaluru in the state of Karnataka. This temple is devoted to Lord Shiva, who is known as Virupaksha here.

  • Sonagiri is located 15 km away from Datia (MP). Songiri is a sacred place popular among Digamber Jain devotees and ascetic saints to practice for self-discipline, austerity and to  attain Nirvana. This is the unique place known as Laghu Sammed Shikhar covering the area of 132 acres of two hills. There are 77 beautiful Jain temples with sky-high spires.  Temple No. 57 is main among them which is related to Lord Chandraprabhu.

  • The ancient rock-cut in western India are located at Nasik, Ellora and Ajanta. In total there are 100 caves in the hill range, out of which 34 caves are famous and related to Buddhist, Hindu and Jains. Nasik caves are also known as Pandavleni caves or Panduleni, representing Buddhists devotional practices.



South India (Chola, Chalukya, Pallava and Sangam Period)

  • The history of Chola falls naturally into four periods: the early Cholas of Sangam literature, the interregnum between fall of Sangam Chola and the rise of Medieval Chola under Vijayalaya (848 A.D.) in the 9th Century and finally Chalukya Chola dynasty of Koluthunga Chola from the third quarter of 11th Its foundation was laid by Vijayalaya in 9th Century AD.

  • Brihadeeshwara temple is an excellent piece of Dravidian style temple of Chola-Style, which was constructed in the reign of Rajaraja-I. It is considered as the biggest and tallest temple of India. Its giant sanctum covers 500’ x 250’ erea. There are two idols of ‘Dwarpals’ around the main shrine. Gigantic ‘Nandi’ (carved out of single rock) is situated in the exterior of sacrarium which is believed to be the tallest Nandi idol of India.

  • The territories of Chola Dynasty stretched from south to north namely the banks of Tungabhadra river to Krishna river. The border lines of Cholas included Coromandel coast and some areas of Deccan like – Uraiyur Kaveripattinam, Thanjavur etc.

  • Vengi River was the lifeline of the state of Pandya. The River originates in Kandan Manikanur near Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Pandya state was located in the south of Kaveri. It comprise the districts of modern Madura and some regions of Travancore also. Its capital was Madura. The region of Vengi river was famous for its fertility.

  • According to the Sangam text the terms Kon, K o and Mannan, were attributed to the King.

  • Chera was state of South India located in the present day state of Kerala and to a lesser extent, parts of Tamil Nadu. The capital of the state of Chera was Vanchi.

  • Pandya king of South India sent as ambassador to the kingdom of Rome in 26 BC Pandya dynasty had the longest duration of reign in South Indian region (almost 200 BC to 1378 BC). Their capital was Madurai.

  • Meenakshi temple is situated at Madurai. Madurai was the capital of Pandyas. During Sangam era, 1st and 3rd Sangam were organised here, which wave presided over by Acharya Agastya and Nakkirar respectively.

  • Matwalin was a Chinese traveller who has given an account of the relationship between China and India during the reign of Chalukyas.

  • The capital of Kadamba rulers was Vanavasi. Kadamb dynasty was founded by Mayurasharman. Kadamb state was annexed by Pulakesin-II. It is notable that Tanjore was the capital of Cholas; Kanchi of Pallavas and Badami of Chalukyas.

  • A special feature of the Chola dynasty was autonomy of village administration which was a speciality of them. The Chola village administration was very systematic and well developed. In fact, the autonomous administration was implementation in the village only during Chola era.

  • A working committee which supervised the activities of Chola era Villages was known as Variyam. Thotta Variyam looked after Horticulture Board while Samvatsara Variyam was annual committee; Eri Variyam was in charge of tanks (Lakes) and water supply and Pan Vairyam was related to gold/finance committee.



  • Chola dynasty was established by Parantak-I in Southern India. He defeated Madura King and assumed the title of “Madurai-Kond”. Rajaraja-I defeated Cheras naval army in Kandalloor and then Rajaraja-I and his son Rajendra-I sent and expedition against Sailendra empire of South East Asia and conquered some of the areas as they were facing difficulty in a trade with China.

  • Cholas artists were accomplished in carving art. They framed numerous portraits of stones and metals. Bronze sculptures were prepared vastly than stone sculpture. Most elegant idols of Nataraja (Shiva) are found in large numbers. They are included in best sculptures of the world. These idols are four handed.

  • A detailed description of working system of executive committee of Gram Sabha (village assembly) in  Chola village administration has been archived from Uttaramerur inscription, which states that every village had its own committee called ‘Sabha’ which are usually independent from  Central command and independently administered the village administration.

  • The Dakshinamurti idol of Shiva depicts him as a mentor (Guru, Teacher). Shiva is considered in this form as providing knowledge to his devotees. Dakshinamurti Idol is installed facing south description.

  • Rajendra Chola-I was a Chola emperor, who is considered as one of the greatest rulers and military generals of India. He succeeded his father, Rajaraja Chola-I in 1014 CE. Rajendra-I annexed the whole of Srilanka and adopted the title of Gangaikonda after him. Cholapuram is identified with modern Ganga Kondapuram in Tiruchirapalli district of Tamil Nadu. Chola navy was the strongest in the area and they converted the Bay of Bengal into Chola Lake.

  • The Chola sent goodwill mission of 72 traders to China in the reign of Chola king Kulottunga-I in 1077.

  • Chola Kings maintained massive consolidated troops with a proficient naval power wing. The Chola navy played a vital role in the expansion of Chola Empire including the conquests of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) islands and naval raids on Srivijaya, Sinhala and Maldives.

  • Generally Chola emperors used to elect their ‘Yuvraj’ during their tenure, who become the heir of Empire after them.

  • Chola Gangam ponneri was an artificial lake constructed by Chola king Rajendra Chola-I during 1020 A.D. in the memory of his victory over rulers of Ganga river basin including Bengal Kings and Kalinga Dynasty.

  • Cholas became dominant south Indian dynasty around the 8th The golden era of Chola empire started with the accession of Rajarja-I to the throne. Rajaraja-I was the first Chola king who created Naval Army.

  • Term –        Description

Eripatti    –        Land, revenue from which was set apart from the maintenance of

village tank

Taniyurs  –        A very large village would be ad ministered as a single unit is called           


         Ghatikas  –        Colleges generally attached to the temples.

  • Rararaja-I invaded Sri Lanka in 993 AD, and destroyed Anuradhapura, the 1400 year old capital of Sinhalas. Rajaraja-I captured only the northern part of Sri Lanka while southern part remained independent. His son Rajendra-I captured the southern Island and hence whole of Sri Lanka.

  • Tagara was a significant trade centre which was located between Kalyan and Vengi.

  • Vijayabahu, the Ceylon king proclaimed independent Sinhala Island during the period of Kulottunga-I but Kulottunga did not show an incivility and married his daughter with Sinhala prince Virapperumal.

  • Pulkesin-II was most capable and powerful ruler of Chalukyas, who ruled over 609 to 642 AD. Aihole inscription provides saga of his achievements.

  • Women were appointed to high designations in Chalukya administration. Vijaya Bhattarika, the Queen of Chandraditya (brother of Vijayaditya-I), issued two copper plates by her name. She as an excellent poetess too. Vijayaditya granted a village to a scholar Brahmin on the recommendation of his younger sister Kumkumdevi. Vijayaditya Bhattarika ran the administration efficiently.

  • At present, the ancient city of Vatapi in Bijapur district (Karnataka) is known as Badami. It was the capital of Chalukyas during the 6-7th Pulkesin-I was the real founder of Vatapi’s Chalukya dynasty.



  • Tolkappiyam is not only the residual text of 2nd Sangama era but also most ancient available text of Tamil literature. Author Tolkappiyar was one among the 12 disciples of Saint Agastya. It is a treatise on grammar and poetry. It has been written in formula style.

  • Aihole inscription is an authentic source to know Pulkeshin-II history. It is engraved in Sankrit and southern Brahmi language and was written by Ravikirti. At the end of commendation, the author claimed that he had gained fame like Kalidasa and Bharavi by writing this. Thus, the name of poet Kalidasa is mentioned in the Aihole inscription.

  • The author of Tamil Literature Silappadikaram was Ilango Adigal, grandson of Chola King Karikal. The epic narrates the tragic and poignant story of Kannagi and her husband, Kovalan.

  • Amphorae Jar is an ancient jar with long and narrow neck and two handles on both side. This jar was used in ancient Rome as a container for wine or oil.

  • Thirukural –        Philosophy

Tolkappiyam      –        Grammar

Silapadikaram    –        Love Story

Manimekalai      –        Merchant Story

  • Origin and elevation of Chola, Cheras and Pandyas are mentioned in Sangam Literature. Kadamb or any other dynasty is not mentioned in Sangam literature.

  • Arikamedu is an archaeological site in southern India at Pondicherry. An intaglio was found here which was craved with the picture of a man. It was identified as Augustus Caesar. Beads and Gems were also found. Hence it was concluded that these antiquities belonged to the Roman Empire. Dubreuil called Arikamedu “a true Roman city”. In Periplus, it was called as Poduke.

  • Kural is considered as the Bible and Laghuveda of Tamil literature. It is also known as ‘Muppal’. It was written by the famous poet Tiruvalluvar. According to hearsay, Thiruvalluvar was the advent of Brahma.

  • Tamil text ‘Kural’ is consider as Laghuveda and was authored by Thiruvalluvar.

  • Ramavataram or Tamil Ramayanam was authored by Kamban in the 12th

  • Dashavatara Temple is located at Deogarh in Lalitpur district, Uttar Pradesh. It belongs to Gupta era. Khajuraho proclaims elegant art culture of Chandellas. There are 30 temples which are related to Vishnu, Shiva and J ain deities. The most famous temple is Kandariya Mahadeva. Chalukyas had their capital at Badami (Karnataka) and Panamalai is related to Pallava.

  • Various trade union existed in South Indian townships like Manigramam, Nandesi, Valanjiya, etc. The purpose of these unions was to encourage trade and business.

  • Siddhas are tradced back to Sangam period (500 B.C.-300 B.C.), but the word Siddha is not found in Sangam literature. It is closely linked with origin and development of Shaivism, Siddhanta philosophy, Tantras Science and Technology in South India. Siddhas means refined monotheistic and condemned idolatry. Lingayat of Kannada region challenged the idea of caste attributed by certain groups of Brahmin. They also questioned the theory or rebirth. They encouraged remarriage of widows and disapproved pre-puberty marriage.

  • The battle of Takkolam was a military engagement between Rajaditya, son of the Chola king Parantaka-I and a confederacy of western Gangas, Monas and Vaidunbas led Rashtrakuta King Krishna-III at The battle fought in 949 AD resulted in the defeat of Cholas and the death of Rajaditya in the battlefield.



  • Chola Empire was devastated by Malik Kafur, commander of Allauddin Khalji during his Deccan campaigns. Its description is found in Khusro’s Khazain-ul-Futuh.

  • Uraiyur was very significant town during Sangam Era, located on the bank of Cauvery river in Tiruchirappalli (Tamil Nadu). It was known as Koli and Varanam and was the major centre of cotton. It is mentioned in “Periplus of the Erythraen Sea”.

  • Sangam is defined as “Conference of Poets” or Forum of Scholars. Literature written by scholars during this conference is mentioned as “Sangam Literature”. Three Sangams were held under the patronage of Pandya kings in the south.






Saint Agastya



Saint Agastya







Ancient Literature and Litterateur

  • The Greek author Herodotus is often known as the ‘Father of History’. His famous book ‘Historica’ describes the Indo-Persian relations during the 5th

  • Mudrarakshasa written by Vishakhadatta is a drama in Sanskrit. Although written during the Gupta period, it describes how Chandragupta with the assistance of Kautilya overthrew the Nandas. It also gives a picture of the socio-economic condition under the Mauryas.

  • Sanskrit literature reached its apogee in the Gupta period. This era is known for equal writing of prose and poetry. Amarakosh by Amar Singh, Kamasutra by Vatsyayana, Meghaduta by Kalidasa and Mudrarakshasa by Vishakhadatta are among the classic literature composed during this period.  These all four literacy works had been completed in Gupta period.

  • The famous authors and their books:

Surdas                        –        Sursagar, Sur Saravali, Sahitya-Lahiri

Dandin (Dandi) –        Dashkumarcharitam

Tulsidas                     –        Ramcharit Manas, Vinay Patrika, Kavitavali

Kalidas                       –        Abhigyan Shakuntalam, Kumarsambhavam,

Malavikagnimitram, Meghaduta.

  • Writer Books

Panini                          Ashtadhyayi

Vatsyayan                   Kamasutra

Chanakya                    Arthashastra

Kalhana                       Rajatrangini

Bharavi                       Kiratarjuniya

Harsha                         Nagananda

Kalidas                        Malavikagnimitra

Rajasekhra                  Karpuramanjari

  • Kalhana, a Kashmiri, was the author of Rajatarangini (River of kings) which as account of the history of Kashmir.



  • Naishadhiyacharita is a story of Nala and Damayanti in the Mahabharata written by Sriharsha; Kiratarjuniyam is an epic poem describing combat between Arjuna and Lord Shiva. It expands upon a minor episode in the “Vana Parva” (Forest Book) in the Mahabharata; Magha wrote Sisupalavadha which is based on the Mahabharata in which Sisupala insulted Lord Krishna who beheaded him in the ensuing duel and Dashmukhacharitam was written by Dandi and is related to adventures of 10 princes.

  • The Mudrarakshasa is a historical drama in Sanskrit by Vishakhadatta. Varahamihira was renowned Indian Astronomer. Brihat Jataka, Brihat Samhita and Panch Siddhantika are some of his leading literary works. Charaka was the famous court physician of Kanishka. He is known for his composition Charaka Samhita. Brahmagupta was an Indian mathematician.

  • The Panchasiddhantika of Varahmihira is based on Greek astronomy.

  • The Milindapanho is silent about the trade routes of ancient India.

  • King                   Court Poet

Chandra Gupta II        –        Kalidasa (Kumarasambhava, Raghuvansham,


Samudra Gupta           –        Harisena

Harshavardhana          –        Banabhatta

Allauddin Khalji         –        Amir Khusraw

  • Jai Singh (1128-1154) was the contemporary Kashmir ruler of Kalhana, the author of “Rajatrangini”. K alhana completed his pioneer creation “Rajatarangini” in the reign of Jai Singh. Rajatrangini is a collection of 8 Taranga and 8000 verses. Conventional ancient history of Kashmir is narrated in first three Tarangas.

  • Rajatarangini, a metrical historical chronicle of the north-western Indian subcontinent, particularly the kings of Kashmir, was written in Sanskrit by Kashmiri Brahmin Kalhana in the 12th Jonaraja continued the narration down to the reign of Sultan Zainul Abedin and called it, like Kalhana, Rajatarangini (Rajavali). After the death of Jonaraja in 1459, his pupil Srivara continued the history of Kashmir called it Jaina-Rajatrangini and brought it down from 1459 to 1486 A.D. When Srivara died, Prajyabhatta composed his Rajavalipataka, which covered the period from 1486 to 1512 A.D. But being defective in chronology Prajyabhatta’s work is of very little importance.

  • “Zero” was discovered by an anonymous Indian. Arabians learnt if from Indian and spread it over Europe. It was found that the Arabs firstly used zero in 873 A.D.

  • “The Natural History” is the creation of “Pliny the Elder” a Roman author.



  • Bhaskracharya also known as Bhaskara-II represent a significant contribution to mathematical and astronomical knowledge in the 12th There are six well-known works of Bhaskracharya. They are –

  1. Lilavathi- Mathematics,

  2. Bijaganita- Algebra

  3. Siddhantasiromani – first part mathematical astronomy and second part sphere,

  4. Vasanabhasya

  5. Karanakutuhala

  6. Vivarana

  • Manusmriti also known as Manav Dharma Shastra is mainly related to the social system. It is the earliest metrical work on Brahminical Dharma in Hinduism. According to Hindu mythology, the Manusmriti is the word of Brahma, and it is classified as the most authoritative statement on Dharma. The scripture consists of 2690 verses, divided into 12 chapters. It is presumed that the actual human author of this compilation used the eponym “Manu” which has led the text to be associated by Hindus with the first human being and the first king in the Indian tradition. Manu is also considered to be the originator of law in India.

  • Aryabhatta an Indian mathematician discovered decimal place.

  • Sarvavarma –        Katantra

Shudraka                     –        Mrichchhakatikam

Vigyaneshwara           –        Mitakshara

Kalhana                       –        Rajatarangini

  • Ashtanga Samgraha –        Medical

Das rupak                    –        Play

Lilavati                        –        Maths

Mahabhasya                –        Grammar

  • Geet Govind is an epic poem, written in Sanskrit by Jayadev in the eleventh or twelfth century. Jayadev was the royal poet in the court of King Lakshman Sen of Bengal. It is organized into twelve chapters. Each chapter is further subdivided into twenty-four divisions called Prabandhas. The prabandhas contain couplets grouped into eights, called Ashtapadis.

  • Panchatantra is a collection of Indian animal fables which has had extensive circulation both in the country of its origin and throughout the world. It has been translated into 15 Indian and 40 foreign languages. It was compiled in Sanskrit (Hindu) and Pali (Buddhist). The compilation attributed to Pandit Vishnu Sharma. In Mughal era, it was translated by Abul Fazl under the name of Anwar-i-Suhaili.



Pre-Medieval Period

  • Ruler of Ajmer, Prithviraj-III, was commonly known as Prithviraj Chauhan, who defeated Mohammad Ghori in 1st battle of Tarain in 1191 CE, but faced defeat in the 2nd battle of Tarain, in 1192 AD.

  • The Pala king Devpala was Buddhist. He was also known as “Param Saugat” as per the texts. He donated five villages on the request of Java king Balputradev of Sailendra Dynasty for developing a Buddhist Vihar in Nalanda.

  • Queen of Govind Chandra Gahadvala, Kumardevi was Buddhist. She constructed Chakra Jain Vihar in Sarnath.

  • Araghatta is a Persian wheel which was a mechanical water lifting device usually operated by animals like bullocks, buffaloes or camels, used in irrigation of land. It is mentioned in the Panchatantra and Rajatrangini.

  • Bhojshala temple is located in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh and was established by Parmar King Bhoj in 1035 as Sanskrit school. The presiding deity of Bhojshala temple is Goddess Saraswati. Now Bhojshala is situated in premises of Kamal Maula Mosque.

  • Famous Place Region

Bodhgaya           –        Gaya District

Khajuraho          –        Bundelkhand

Shirdi                 –        Ahmednagar

Nasik (Nashik)   –        Maharashtra

Tirupati              –        Rayalaseema

  • The popular book “Samarangana Sutradhara” written by Parmara king Bhoj was based on artificial scientific equipments. “Saraswati Kanthabharan” “Siddhanta Sangraha”. “Yoga Sutra Vitti” Rajamartand” , “Vidya Vinod”, “Yukta Kalptaru” and “Karucharya” are some of his masterpieces.

  • King Bhoj was a Parmara Ruler. The early power centre of Parmars was Ujjain. Later, the capital was transferred to Dhara. After death of King Bhoj, Scholars said –

“Adya Dhara Nira Dhara, Niralamba Saraswati,    Pandita Khandita sarve Bhoj Raje Divangate”.

  • “Gaudavaho” was authored by Vakpati, who was court poet of the king of Kannauj, Yashovarman.

  • Parmar dynasty was founded in the first half of 10th century AD by a person named Upendra or Krishnaraj. City named Dhara was the capital of Parmar dynasty.

  • Gangeyadev was a ruler of the Kalachuri dynasty. He adopted the title of Vikramaditya. He started issuing gold coins after its extinction in pre medieval period. Upendra, Munj and Udayaditya were rulers of Parmar dynasty.



  • Hammir Epic reports “Chauhans” as Suryavanshi. According to Hammir epic, Chauhans were a scion of ancestors “Chahman”, the son of Sun. They were one of the four fire clan. Vasudeva and Guvak are mentioned as initial kings of this dynasty.

  • Aalha-Udal were related to Mahoba. They were commandant of Chandel Paramdev (1165-1203 CE) who died during the battle with Prithviraj Chauhan. Description of Chandel and Chauhan’s terrific struggle is provided in “Prithviraj Raso” and “Parmal Raso” by Chandrabardai and “Aalha-Khand” by Jagnik.

  • Jejakabhukti was the ancient name of Bundelkhand. This region was named over Jay Singh or Jeja, grandson of Nannuk (founder Chandel King).

  • Dhangdev, also known as Dhanga, was a king of the Chandel dynasty of Jayakbhukti. Two magnificent temples of Khajuraho-Vishwanath and Parshwanath were built in his rule. He built Kandariya Mahadev temple in 999 AD. Dhanga attained Moksha by abandoning his body in waters of Ganga and Yamuna at Sangam, Prayag.

  • Pundravardhan Bhukti was located in the region of North Bengal in ancient times. Its territory was expanded to northern Bihar during the era of Pala, Chandra and Sena dynasty.

  • Sharangdev wrote Hammir Raso.

  • According to Tibetan historian Lama Taranath, Gopala, the founder of the Pala dynasty was born near ‘Pundravardhana’ and he was elected the king of Bengal in 750 AD.

  • Anangpal Tomar Rajput (Tomar dynasty), originally feudatories of the Gurjar-Pratiharas, founded the city of Dhillika (modern Delhi) in 736 AD.


  • Dharmapala was an enthusiastic Buddhist. He was called “Param Saugat” in his inscription. He constructed famous Buddhist monasteries at Vikramshila and Somapuri (Paharpur). Renowned Buddhist commentator, Haribhadra was also a part of his court. According to Taranath, Dharmapala founded 50 religious schools, but he had no religious intolerance and bigotry as a king.

  • Vikramashila University was established by Pala ruler Dharmapala in the 8th century at Bhagalpur in Bihar. Vikramashila’s curriculum taught formalized Vedic learning including Vedic texts, rituals and the Vedangas such as reasoning, medicine, law astronomy and city planning. Santipa, Jetari, Ratnavajra, Jnana Srimitra, Naropa and Atisa were the great scholars at that time. Most prominent among them was Atish Dipankar who wrote around 200 texts. Bakhtiyar Khalji devasted this university in 1203 AD.

  • In 736 AD, Danti Durga laid the foundation of Rashtrakuta Empire. His original name was Dantivarman. His capital was Manyakheta. It is said that Danti Durga had performed Hirayangarbha oblation in Ujjayini.

  • Rashtrakuta king Amoghvarsa-I was born in 800 AD in Shribhavan near Narmada river in a military camp during the time when his father Govind-II was returning after successful campaigns of North India.

  • The famous jurists of early medieval India were Hemadri, Vigyaneshwar and Jimutavahana. Vigyaneshwar wrote “Mitakshara” and Jimutavahan wrote “Dayabhaga”. Rajashekhara was courtier scholar of Gujjar-Pratihara king Mahendrapala-I and his son Mahipala. He compiled texts like Karpurmanjari, Kavyamimansa, Bridhshal Bhanjika, Bal Ramayana, Bhuvankosh, Hasvilas etc.

  • The greatest Pratihara king was Mihirbhoj (836-885 AD). Dharmapala was prominent king Pala dynasty (780-815 AD). Mahendrapala (885-910 AD) was Pratihara monarch while Harsha Vardhana was king of Pushybhuti dynasty (606-647 AD).

  • An eminent Jain scholar Hemchandra (1089-1172) got fame during the period of Solanki king Jaysimha Siddharaj. However, he adorned, the court of his successor Kumarpala (1143-1173) as an advisor.

  • Lakshmansen (1178-1206) was the fourth king of Sen Dynasty; reigned 28 years. He initiated a new samvat called “Laxman Samvat”.







Muslim Invasion of India

  • Hazrat Muhammad was born in approximately 570 A.D. in the Arabian city of Mecca. He is known as the “Holy Prophet” to Mulims. He died in 632 A.D.

  • Most of the scholars feel that the name “Hindu” was developed by invaders who could not pronounce the name of the Indus River. As mentioned in Rig-Veda, Bharata is defined as “Sapta Sindhu”. Iranians termed this county as Hindustan and Grreks called it “India”. About the Indian people word “Hindu” was first used by Arabians.

  • Coins issued by Ghori has an image of Goddess Lakshmi while on the opposite side of the coin, Kalma was inscribed in Arabic.

  • Soon after the victories of Ghori, Aqta system was established in North India. In 1991 A.D., Muhammad Sam of Ghori (Muhammad Ghori) appointed Qutb-ud-din-Aybak, as Hansi. He played an important role in the second battle of Tarain. Pleased with his works, Ghori appointed him the administrator of North Indian territories conquered by them as representative of Ghori till 1206. During this period, Aybak also expanded Turkish power in northern India.

  • The first Muslim invader in India was Muhammad-Bin-Qasim. In the beginning of the 8th century under the leadership of Bin-Qasim, a part of India was attacked but this invasion did not yield any impact. The empire of Arabs couldn’t spread towards the east of Sindhu and Multan and it gradually declined. In the words of Dr. Stenley Lenpool “AlthoughArabs Conquered Sindhu but it remained historical and the event of emergence of Islam only. This was an ineffective victory”. Their incomplete task was done by Turks.

  • King Dahir of Sindh fought the battle with Muhammad-Bin-Qasim, the first Muslim invader who defeated Dahir in this battle. He arrived at the coast of Sindh in 712 A.D. (Now in Pakistan) and was successful in defeating and killing Dahir.

Note: There is a dispute about the exact date of first Muslim invasion in India. According to B.D. Mahajan, this date is 711 A.D. but according to Harish Chandra Verma, this date is 712 A.D.

  • The very first Muslim invasion on India in Sindh in the year 712 A.D. by the Arabs in the leadership of Mohammad-Bin-Qasim. He displaced Raja Dahir who ruled Sindh from his capital Deval (near modern Karachi). Arabs even unsuccessfully tried to attack Malwa. After this invasion, which was limited to Sindh, for 300 years, kings like Raja Bhoj and other Gurjara kings thwarted further Muslim attacks.

  • Muhammad-Bin-Qasim was an Arab ruler born around 695 A.D. He was the nephew and son-in-law of Iraq’s King Al-Hajjaj. At the age of seventeen, he was sent by Caliph-al-Walid to lead an army to Sindh (India).

  • Trukish conquer Mahmud of Ghazni succeeded his father in 998 A.D. and established a huge empire in Central Asia with it’s capital at Ghazni now south Kabul (Afghanistan). For 17 times he attacked India during 1000 A.D. to 1027 A.D. He was a ruthless raider and plunderer of wealth. In these invasions, his aim was not to establish any permanent Muslim rule in India but to take away the huge wealth of the country.



  • Mahmud of Ghazni was just a plunderer who mounted at least 17 raids in India. But in his kingdom in Afghanistan, he had shown love for art and culture. He patronized three persons:

  1. Firdausi (Persian Poet, known as Homer of the East) who wrote Shahnama.

  2. Alberuni (a brilliant scholar from Central Asia) who wrote Tahqiq-I-Hind.

  3. Utbi (court historian), who wrote Kitab-ud-Yamni.

  • The Chandela dynasty is famous in India history for the King Vidyadhar, who repulsed the attacks of Mahmud Ghaznavi during 1019-20 A.D. From the ninth century to the 13th Century, the Chandelas ruled over Central India. Their first capital city was Khajuraho, which was later shifted to Mahoba.

  • Alberuni was born in AD 973 in the territory of Khwarizm, now called Khiva, in Central Asia. He was not a secular writer because Alberuni never gave nay sympathic reference to the contemporary event of Smanath temple raid by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1026.

  • During 11th century A.D. Al-Biruni, the father of Indian Historical writing accompanied Mahmud of Ghazni to India and stayed here for many years. Alberuni translated Patanjali’s Yoga-Sutra into Arabic (called Kitab Patanjal) but Tahqiq-I-Hind (Reality of Hindustan) was his most important work in which he gave a socio-cultural description of India.

  • Al-Biruni was the first Muslim who studied Puranas. He was not only a historian but he also took a keen interest in the wide level of subjects e.g. Astronomy, Geography, Medicine, Mathematics, Reasoning, Religion and Theology. Due to his interests, he was attracted towards gaining knowledge of the religious culture of the then India. He studied Sanskrit and used many references in his creation mainly from the works of Brahmagupta, Balabhadra and Varahmihira.

  • The coins of Mahmud Ghazni struck in India with Arabic and Sanskrit legends on observe and reserve respectively. A dhiram struck at Lahore carried a sharda script and a rendering in Colloquial Sanskrit of Islamic Kalima.

  • Shihabuddin Muhammad Ghori, the ruler of Central Asia, conquered north India in 1192 A.D. The first attack of Muhammdad Ghori took place in 1175 A.D., on Multan and up to 1205 A.D., he continuously repeated the attacks on India to save his earlier conquered parts and to expand his territory. He attacked Multan and Uch in 1175-76 D. and Gujarat in 1178 A.D. In 1191 A.D., he fought the battle of Tarain with Prithviraj Chauhan but he was defeated. In the Second battle of Tarain (1192 A.D.), Prithviraj was defeated by Ghori and in this way, a central Muslim political system was established which lasted for many years.

  • The first battle of Muhammad Ghori was against a Hindu ruler Raja Bhimdev-II of Gurarat who was member of Solanki Dynasty. Raja Bhimdev-II was a young man and real agent was his mother, Naikidevi and she inflicted a major of defeat to Muhammad Ghori and hence Ghori never tried to attack India from Gujarat side.



  • The second battle of Tarain was fought between Muhammad Ghori and Rajput army of Pritviraj Chauhan. The battle took place in 1192 AD near Tarain. In his battle, Prithviraj Chauhan was defeated by Muhammad Ghori. After this battle, the Muslim power was strongly enrooted in northern India, which may be regarded as a turning point in India history.

  • Muhammad Ghori defeated the king of Kannauj, Jai Chand Gaharwar in the battle of Chandawar during 1194 A.D. This battle was fought in Chandawar (Modern Firozabad), on the bank of Yamuna River close to Agra.

  • During 1000 A.D. to 1026 A.D. Mahmud Ghaznavi attacked India for 17 times. Muhammad Ghori’s first attack occurred in 1175 A.D. and then he attacked again and again to expand his empire till 1205 A.D. The fear of Genghis (Changiz) Khan’s attack developed after the death of Khwarizm Shah in 1221 A.D., when his son and successor to the throne, Jalaluddin Mangbarni rushed towards the Delhi sultanate during the reign of Sultan Nasiruddin. A Mongol general Taimur attacked India in 1398 A.D.

  • The battle of Chandawar (1193-1194) was fought between Muhammad Ghori and Jaichand of Kannauj of Gaharwar dynasty. It took place at Chandawar (modern Firozabad, on the Jamuna river close to Agra).



Delhi Sultanate: Slave Dynasty

  • Slave dynasty was the first of five unrelated dynasties to rule over India’s Delhi Sultanate from 1206 to 1290. Qutbuddin Aibak ascended the throne of Delhi in 1206 and with him started a new line of successive kings in Delhi known as the Slave Dynasty in the history of the Delhi Sultanate. Qutbuddin Aibak and all his successors were slaves to their respective predecessors.

  • The first ruler of Slave Dynasty (or named as Gulam Dynasty) was Qutbuddin Aibak who ruled from 1206 to 1210 A .D. He establihsed his capital at two places, first at Lahore and then shifted it to Delhi. Qutbuddin Aibak was born in Turkistan. Though he was ugly in appearance, he was intelligent and impressive in behaviour. He was taken as a prisoner and sold to the Qazi of Nishapur named Fakhruddin as a slave in his childhood. He was taken care and provided with proper education and military training by the kind hearted Qazi but soon after the death of Qazi, his sons sold Aibak to Muhammad Ghori. He was well versed in Islamic theology, horse riding and swordsmanship. Owing to his skill and qualities, he soon attracted the attention of his master and was appointed commander of a troop. Shortly afterwards battle; he was promoted to the post of Amir-i-Akhur, the master of the royal stable. When Ghori invaded India, Aibak came with his master and provided him his active support during battles. The successors of his master by and large depended of his military skill. Ghori was immensely pleased with him, and he appointed him his governor of the Indian empire. In 1206 A.D., on his way to Ghazni, Ghori died. His empire was inherited by his slaves, as he had no son to succeed him. Aibak, who was a viceroy of his Indian empire was invited by the Amirs of Lahore to assume the powers. He bestowed the title of Malik and Subedar on Aibak. Muhammad Ghori had no male successor to inherit his empire, hence nephew, Ghiyasuddin Mahmud ascended the throne of Ghori after his death in 1206 A.D.

  • Delhi became an important city only in the twelfth century. Delhi first became the capital of a kingdom under the Tomara Rajputs, who were defeated in the middle of the twelfth century by the Chauhans (also referred to as Chahamanas) of Ajmer. It was under the Tomaras and Chauhans that Delhi became an important commercial centre.

  • The transformation of Delhi into a capital that controlled vast areas of the subcontinent started with the foundation of the Delhi Sultanate in the beginning of the thirteenth century. There were five dynasties that together made the Delhi Sultanate.

  • The authors of tawarikh were learned men: secretaries, administrators, poets and courtiers, who both recounted events and advised rulers on governance, emphasising the importance of just rule. They lived in cities (mainly Delhi) and hardly ever in villages, often wrote their histories for Sultans in the hope of rich rewards and advised rulers on the need to preserve an “ideal” social order based on birthright and gender distinctions.Their ideas were not shared by everybody.



  • In 1236 Sultan Iltutmish’s daughter, Raziyya, became Sultan. The chronicler of the age, Minhaj-i Siraj, recognised that she was more able and qualified than all her brothers. But he was not comfortable at having a queen as ruler. Nor were the nobles happy at her attempts to rule independently. She was removed from the throne in 1240.

  • Although inscriptions, coins and architecture provide a lot of information, especially valuable are “histories”, tarikh (singular) / tawarikh (plural), written in Persian, the language of administration under the Delhi Sultans.

  • Sultan Qutbuddin Aibak also called “Lakh Baksh Sultan” was the first Muslim emperor of India who ruled from his capital in Delhi. He patronized scholars such as Hasan Nizami and Fakh-i-Mudabbir, both of whom dedicated their works to Aibak. Under Aibak, India became for the first time the place of Muslim rulers, who previously had raided and plundered from Afghanistan. Though, his tenure as a ruler with the revolts of nobles like Taj-ud-din Ildiz, Nasir-ud-din Qubachah and a few Hindu chiefs, yet he established a firm administrative system. He started the construction of Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque at Delhi and Adhai Din ka Jhopra (Ajmer). He also laid the foundation of the Qutb Minar, which was completed by his successor Iltutmish. He was known as Lakh baksh for his generosity.

  • In 1210, Qutbuddin Aibak died in an accident while he was playing Chaugan (polo). He was burried in Lahore near the Anarkali Bazar. He was the founder of Slave Dynasty in India.

  • Iltutmish (1210-1236 A.D.) was the founder of the Delhi Sultanate. Before this, Aibak ruled form Lahore. Iltutmish was the first real Turkish Sultan of Delhi. He is said to have introduced first Arabic silver and copper currency which were two basic coins of (175 gm) the Sultanate period. It response to the lack of silver, Iltutmish introduced a new bimetallic coinage system in northern India considering of an 11 grams silver Tanka and the billion Jital with 0.25 grams of silver. The Dehliwala and the devalued to be on par with the Jital. In 1229, Iltutmish got recognition as the Muslim Sultan of India by the Khalifa of Baghdad, Iltutmish, after assumed the title of ‘Amir-ul –Momminy’ or ‘Commander of the faithful’ and had the name of Khalifa inscribed on his coins. This was a great achievement of his life.

  • In the early thirteenth century the control of the Delhi Sultans rarely went beyond heavily fortified towns occupied by garrisons. The Sultans seldom controlled the hinterland of the cities and were therefore dependent upon trade, tribute or plunder for supplies.

  • The state was also challenged by Mongol invasions from Afghanistan and by governors who rebelled at any sign of the Sultan’s weakness. The Sultanate barely survived these challenges.



  • The first set of campaigns along the “internal frontier” of the Sultanate aimed at consolidating the hinterlands of the garrison towns.

  1. During these campaigns forests were cleared in the Ganga-Yamuna doab and hunter gatherers and pastoralists expelled from their habitat.

  2. These lands were given to peasants and agriculture was encouraged.

  3. New fortresses and towns were established to protect trade routes and to promote regional trade.

  • Iltutmish was the first Sultan of Delhi who received the investiture of Khalifa. In 1229 A.D. the Khalifa of Baghdad, Mustansir Billah, bestowed on Iltutmish the titles of “Sultan-i- Azam” or the Sultan The Great. Thus in this way, he successful in keeping the throne of  Delhi safe from the danger of Mongol invasion as well as from the attacks of both Yeldoz and  He broke up the Rajput powers in the north and established his supremacy over them. The made his rule hereditary, issued coins with his name and made Delhi a beautiful capital. He is said to have introduce first Arabic silver and copper currency which were two basic coins of (175 gm) the Sultanate period. Iltutmish belonged to the tribe of Ilbari in the Eurasian Steppe Turkestan. In 1206, Iltutmish was first  appointed governor of Badaun in  recognition of his services during the campaign of Muhammad of Ghur against the Khokhars in 1205-06. Amirali Ismail invited Iltutmish for the coronation in Delhi with the approved of Turkish nobles after the death of Aibak. Iltutmish declared himself Sultan in 1210 A.D.

  • Iltutmish is called ‘Slave of a Slave’ because Qutbuddin Aibak was the slave of Mohd. Ghori who become Sultan after the death of Ghori and Iltutmish was a slave of Qutbuddin Aibak who later married the daughter of Qutbuddin Aybak and becomes Sultan after Qutbuddin Aibak.  So he is called ‘A Slave of A Slave’.

  • Iltutmish shifted his capital from Lahore to Delhi. He was the first Sultan of the Saltanate to shift his capital.



  • Razia Sultan, who reigned from 1236 to 1240 A.D. had the unique distinction of being the only woman to occupy the throne of Delhi. She was the first ruler. The Turkish nobles were reluctant to accept a woman as their ruler, especially when she challenged their power. They conspired against her in 1239 A.D. when she was trying to curb a rebellion against her by the turkish governor of Lahore.  The Turkish nobles took advantage of her absence at Delhi and dethroned her. After crushing the rebellion in Delhi, Razia began to address issues of governance that had taken a backseat during the six- month rule by her brother.  Thus, she succeeded her father Iltutmish to the Sultanate of Delhi and proved herself as a talented, wise, brave, excellent administrator and a great warrior.

  • Genghis Khan was a Mongolian ruler who played a significant in Mongolian imperial expansion. The original name of Genghis Khan was Temujin (or Temuchin).

  • In 1225 A.D., Iltutmish defeated Hisamuddin Awaz in mountains of Rajmahal near Teliliyagarhi and annexed Bihar Shareef and Baadh. Awaz had accepted the subordination of Iltutmish. Iltutmish had appointed Malik-Jani as the new Subedar of Bihar.

  • Balban has called himself the “Helper of a Caliph” in his inscription on the walls of the Mosque at Garhmuketeshwar.

  • Sultans of Slave Dynasty of Delhi Sultanate ruled from 1206 AD to 1290 AD. Khilji dynasty ruled from 1290 AD to 1320 AD. Tughlaq dynasty ruled from 1320 AD to 1414 AD. Sayyid dynasty ruled from 1414 A D to 1450 AD and Lodi dynasty ruled from 1451 AD to 1526 AD.

  • The actual name of Balban was Baha-ud-din. Nasiruddin Mehmood had given him the title ‘Ulugh Khan’. He assumed the title “Jille Allah’. His tenure was form 1266 to 1286 century. Balban is famous for his reign theory. His royal principle of nature and essence was inspired by Persian reign. Balban described the king as “Niyamate Khudai” (representative of God).  After attaining the power, he abolished the “Turkan-e-Chahalgani”, established by Iltutmish.  The only revolt in the period of Balban was done   by Subedar of Bihar, Tughril Khan in 1279 century, which was quelled by Balban and the rebels were hanged. The system of Iqtadari was introduced by Iltutmish.

  • Balban made some rules and regulations for his court and strictly enforced them. Iranian kings were his ideal in this field and introduced many of their traditions in his court. He introduced the rituals of Sizdah (greeting lying on the ground) and Paibos (kiss the feet of the king). He also introduced the rituals to celebrated the Persian festival “Navroz”.

  • The full name of Balban was Ghiyasuddin Balban. He was the ninth Sultan of the Mamluk dynasty of Delhi. Ghiyasuddin was the Wazeer and heir of the last Shamsi Sultan, Nasiruddin. He reduced the power of the treacherous nobility and heightened the stature of the Sultan. In spite of having only a few military achievements, he was the most powerful ruler of the Sultanate between Shamsudding Iltutmish and Allauddin Khalji. He reached on the post of Amir-e-Shikar during Razia period. He also got the post of Amir-e-Akhur as he helped Mongols in the rebellion against Razia. Like Iltutmish, he also was an Ilbari Truk. Balban married his daughter with Sultan Nasirddin, on this eve he was given the title of Ulugh Khan and the post of Nayab-e-Mamlikat. Balban sat on the throne of Delhi in 1266 A.D.                                                                                         

  • Muhammad Ghori and Aybak didn’t ever think of conquering Bihar and Bengal. This task was accomplished by their ordinary slave Ekhtiyar Uddin Muhammad-Bin-Bakhtiyar Khalji. By 1202 A.D., he conquered Bihar and destroyed Vikramshila Nalanda and captured the capital Udantpur. He attacked Bengal in 1204-05 A.D., where its ruler Lakshman Sen fled away without fighting in the battlefield. Turkish army entered the capital Nadiya and resorted to massive robbery. In the absence of the King, the city surrendered. Lakshman Sen had taken refuge in South Bengal and ruled there for some period. Bakhtiya Khalzi did not try to conquer the whole of the Bengal. Bakhtiyar Khalzi made his capital Lakhnauti.

  • By the end of Muhammad Tughluq’s reign, 150 years after somewhat humble beginnings, the armies of the Delhi Sultanate had marched across a large part of the subcontinent.

  1. They had defeated rival armies and seized cities.

  2. The Sultanate collected taxes from the peasantry and dispensed justice in its realm.



Khalji Dynasty

  • Alauddin Khalji was an ambitious emperor. He assumed the title of “Sikander-e-Sani” (Alexander the Great) and made it imprinted on his coins. He had the ambition to win the entire world and also to introduce a new religion as well. But he abandoned the idea on the advice of his faithful friend and the Kotwal “Alla-ul-Mulk”.

  • The “Public Distribution System” was introduced by Alauddin Khalji during Sultanate period.

  • Ghazi Malik was the first ruler of Tughluq dynasty among the commanders of Alauddin. He founded the Tughluq dynasty. His mother was a Hindu Jat lady and father was a Qaraunah Turk, the slave of Balban. Ghiyasuddin Tughluq was the chief commander of mandy major campaign in the reign of Alauddin. He was appointed as the governor of Depalpur. He chased and defeated Mongols 29 times, so he was famous as “Malik-ul-Ghazi”. He ascended the throne of Khusru Shah on September 8, 1320, A.D. He was  assassinating

  • The consolidation of a kingdom as vast as the Delhi Sultanate needed reliable governors and administrators.

  • Zafar Khan, the famous army-commander of Alauddin Khalji, died while fighting against Mongols. He was an excellent and courageous commander of his time. Mongols were so impressed by the brave of Zafar Khan and the persistence of Indian army that they backed down by 30 miles. The original name of Zafar Khan was Malik Yusuf Hizbaruddin.

  • The story of Padmini is based on the poetic book “Padmavat” written by Malik Muhammad Jayasi in 1540 century. According to this, Padmini was the wife of King Ratan Singh. Amir Khusru had mentioned the love-story of Suleman and Queen Shaiba in his text compared Allauddin with Suleman and Padmini with Shaiba. Probably assuming this, Malik Muhammad Jayasi composed Padmavati and the story of Rama Ratan Singh and Queen Padmavati.

  • K.S. Lal has written that “the greed of wealth and lust of pride encouraged Alauddin Khalji to attack the states of South”. The purpose of attacking these states was wealth and victory. There was no intention of interference in their internal policy. He did not want the possession of southern states.



  • Rather than appointing aristocrats and landed chieftains as governors, the early Delhi Sultans, especially Iltutmish, favoured their special slaves purchased for military service, called bandagan in Persian.

  • Ramchandra Dev was the ruler of Devagiri at the time of Alauddin Khalji’s invasion. In 1296 A.D., the king of Devagiri, Ramchandra Dev after the successful invasion of Alauddin Khalji promised him to the income of Ellichpur every year but during 1305-1306 AD, he did not send the tax to Delhi. Due to which Alauddin sent an army under the leadership of Malik Kafur to attack Devagiri in 1307. King Ramchandra Dev was defeated and surrendered. Malik Kafur looted Devagiri and took Ramchandra Dev including his relatives to Delhi. Alauddin behaved well with Ramchandra Dev and gave him the  title of “ Rai  Rayan” and sent him back to his state giving 1 lakh golden “Tankas” and “Navsari” district. Malik Kafur had also led a campaign against Shankar Dev, the son of Ramchandra in 1312 century.

  • The slaves were carefully trained to man some of the most important political offices in the kingdom. Since they were totally dependent upon their master, the Sultan could trust and rely upon them.

  • In 1303, the first attempt by Allauddin to conquer Warangal ended in a disaster as the army of Kakatiya dynasty defeated him. The Kakatiya king, Prataprudra, raised a well equipped army and Allauddin’s army which was led by Fakhruddin Juna and Malik Chhaju was defeated by the Kakatiya army.

  • The main purpose of Alauddin behind the system of revenue and taxes system was to established a powerful and autocratic state. He snatched all the lands from all those people who got the land as “Mailk” (Property given by the state, as prizes, Indarat, pesnsion) and Wakf (land received in charity). Therefore, Khalisa land developed on a large scale.

  • The Khaljis and Tughluqs continued to use bandagan and also raised people of humble birth, who were often their clients, to high political positions. They were appointed as generals and governors. However, this also introduced an element of political instability.

  • Slaves and clients were loyal to their masters and patrons, but not to their heirs. New Sultans had their own servants. As a result the accession of a new monarch often saw conflict between the old and the new nobility.

  • The patronage of these humble people by the Delhi Sultans also shocked many elites and theauthors of Persian tawarikh criticised the Delhi Sultans for appointing the “low and base-born” to high offices.



  • The duty of the muqtis was to lead military campaigns and maintain law and order in their iqtas. In exchange for their military services, the muqtis collected the revenues of their assignments as salary. They also paid their soldiers from these revenues.

  • Control over muqtis was most effective if their office was not inheritable and if they were assigned iqtas for a short period of time before being shifted. These harsh conditions of service were rigorously imposed during the reigns of Alauddin Khalji and Muhammad Tughluq.

  • Alauddin Khalji fixed the land revenue (Kharaj) to one-half of the He was the first Indian king to impose a tax on the actual income of the land. He was the first ruler who started charging taxes by measuring the land. He fixed the revenue by measuring the land. Alauddin also levied the house and grazing taxes. It is also described that Muhammad-Bin-Tughlaq had also charged the 50% land revenue.

  • The two types of taxes implemented by Alauddin Khalji were “Ghari Tax” which was implemented on houses and “Grazing Tax” on milk-giving animals.

  • Accountants were appointed by the state to check the amount of revenue collected by the muqtis. Care was taken that the muqti collected only the taxes prescribed by the state and that he kept the required number of soldiers.



  • Under Alauddin Khalji the state brought the assessment and collection of land revenue under its own control.

  1. The rights of the local chieftains to levy taxes were cancelled and they were also forced to pay taxes.

  2. The Sultan’s administrators measured the land and kept careful accounts.

  3. Some of the old chieftains and landlords served the Sultanate as revenue collectors and assessors.

  4. There were three types of taxes –

  5. On cultivation called kharaj and amounting to about 50 per cent of the peasant’s produce,

  6. On cattle and

  7. On houses.




Tughluq Dynasty

  • Ghazi Malik was the first ruler of Tughluq dynasty among the commanders of Alauddin. He founded the Tughluq dynasty. His mother was a Hindu Jat lady and father was a Qaraunah Turk, the slave of Balban. Ghiyasuddin Tughluq was the chief commander of many major campaigns in the reign of Alauddin. He was appointed as the governor of He chased and defeated Mongols 29 times, so he was famous as “Malik-ul-Ghazi”. He ascended the throne of Khusru Shah on September 8, 1320, A.D. He was also called by the name of Ghazi Beigh Gughluq or Ghazi Tughluq. That’s why his descendants were also called “Tughluq”.

  • The Sultans of Slave dynasty ruled from 1206-1290 A .D. Khalji dynasty ruled from 1290 to 1320 A.D. The ruler of Lodi dynasty ruled from 1450 to 1526 A.D. The ruler of Tughluq dynasty ruled from 1320 to 1414 A.D.

  • It is important to remember that large parts of the subcontinent remained outside the control of the Delhi Sultans. It was difficult to control distant provinces like Bengal from Delhi and soon after annexing southern India, the entire region became independent.

  • Muhammad-Bin-Tughluq (1325-1351) was the most learned ruler among all the Sultans of Delhi Sultanate. He was well versed in astronomy, mathematics and medical science and other genres.

  • Even in the Gangetic plain there were forested areas that Sultanate forces could not penetrate. Local chieftains established their rule in these regions. Sometimes rulers like Alauddin Khalji and Muhammad Tughluq could force their control in these areas but only for a short duration.

  • Muhammad-Bin Tughluq had shifted his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad (Devgiri). It was one of the most significant experiments of Muhammad-Bin-Tughluq. Various factors are identified for this capital transfer.  According to Barani, Devgiri probably was at the centre of his empire. According to Ibn Battuta, the people of Delhi used to write undeferential letters to Sultan. To make them punish, he decided to make Devgiri his capital. Like this, Muhammad Tughluq was the first Sultan of Delhi who tried to establish the administrative and cultural unity of northern and southern India. Probably this was the main reason behind making Devgiri his capital. According to Dr. A.K. Nizami, Sultan Qutbuddin Aibak had changed the name of Devgiri to Kutubabad and Muhammad Tughluq to Daulatabad. Devgiri is also known as Quwwat-al-Islam.

  • Muhammad-Bin-Tughluq had established a new department “Diwani-i-Amir-i-Kohi” for the development of agriculture. A land of 60 square miles was selected for that purpose. The agrarian reforms had taken place on land, and various crops were cultivated with alteration according to crop rotation.

  • The invasion of Timur (1398) destroyed both Delhi Sultanate as well as the Tughluq dynasty. Tughluq dynasty came to an end with the death of Nasiruddin Mahmud in 1412 AD after that Daulat Khan became the new Sultan of Delhi in 1413 AD. However Khizr Khan defeated him who was the Governor of Lahore, appointed by Timur. He founded Sayyid dynasty in 1414 AD.

  • Ain-ul-Mulk Multani serve under Alauddin Khilji, Muhammad bin Tughlaq, and Firoz Tughlaq. In 1305, Allaudin Khilji sent Ain-ul-Mulk Multani to Central India, where he conquested Malwa. In his last days he was busy in conquesting of South.



  • The invasion of Timur in India took place in the year 1398 A.D. during the reign of Nasiruddin Tughlaq (1394-1412). Timur himself mentioned the purposes of invasion of India clearly. Timur’s objective of attacking India was to fight and destroy the Kafirs and plunder wealth. In January 1399, Timur returned visiting Firozabad, Meerut, Haridwar, Kangda and Jammu. Before leaving India, he appointed Khizr Khan as governor of Multan, Depalpur and Lahore.

  • Firoz Shah Tughlaq was fond of slaves. The number of his slaves reached up to one lakh and eighty thousand. He established a separated department (Diwan-e-Bandgan) to take care of them. He kept full attention about their education. Each slave was paid 10 to 100 Tankas and sometimes, they also got states. This hobby of Firoz proved detrimental to the state.

  • Balban established an army department “Diwan-e-Arz” to counter Mongols. He made Imad-ul-Mulk his commander who was very honest and hardworking. Bal ban had excluded him from financial control of Wazir so that he would not feel the lack of funds. The credit of good arrangement of Balban’s army goes to Imad-ul-Mulk. The branding system of horses was introduced by Alauddin. Firoz Tughlaq, the cousin brother of Muhammad-Bin-Tughlaq, sat on the throne after him (1351-1388 Century). Firoz Shah Tughlaq had established a separate department “Diwan-e-Bandgan” of slaves. Firoz Shah Tughlaq was fond of slaves.



Lodi Dynasty

  • Lodi Dynasty (1451-1526) was the last ruling family of the Delhi Sultanate of India. The dynasty was of Afghan Origin. Babur killed Ibrahim Lodi in the first Battle of Panipat (1526) which ended the Lodi dynasty.

  • Bahlol Lodi was the founder of Lodi dynasty. The correct chronological order of the Afghan rulers to the throne of Delhi is Bahlol Khan Lodi (1451-1489 AD), Sikandar Shah (1489-1517 A.D.), Ibrahim Lodi (1517-1526 AD)

  • Nizam Khan, the third son of Bahlol Lodi, ascended to the throne with the title of Sikandar Lodi on 17 July, 1489. Shikander Lodi was the greatest among three Lodi sovereigns.  Sikandar Lodi is especially remembered for founding the city of Agra in 1504 with the purpose to control over the rulers of Rajasthan. His administration was noted for its efficiency.  Roads were made safe and irrigational facilities were provided for the benefit of the peasantry. He had a knowledge of Persian poetry. He was known to be a kind and generous ruler who cared for his subjects.

  • The battle of Khatoli was fought between Maharana Sanga and Ibrahim Lodi in 1518. Ibrahim Lodi was defeated badly by Maharana Sang.

  • The sovereignty of Lodi dynasty was established persistently till the coronation of Sikandar Lodi. He took interest in land revenue. He ordered his nobles to present the details of their expenditure and cases of embezzlement to be severely punished. He introduced “Gaj-e-Sikandari for measurement of land which was later used by Sher Shah Suri and Akbar. Several duties were abolished by him.



Vijayanagara Empire

  • The Vijayanagara Empire was founded by Harihara and Bukka in 1336. This dynasty is known as Sangama Dynasty after their father’s name. Harihara and Bukka were the ministers in the court of Kampili. Muhammad Tughlaq invaded Kampili and arrested Harihara and Bukka. Both were forced to convert to Islam. Later, both were sent to the south to control a revolt. They could not succeed, but under the influence of Saint Vidyaranya, they again reverted to Hinduism for establishing Vijayanagara Dynasty. They were inspired by their spiritual teacher Vidyaranya and Sayan, a noted commentator of Veda. 



  • Four Dynasties ruled under this Empire.

  1. Sangama dynasty (1336-1485)

  2. Saluva dynasty (1485-1505 )

  3. Tuluva dynasty (1505-1570)

  4. Aravidu dynasty (1570-1650)

These dynasties ruled around three hundred years. The capitals of Vijayanagara were Anegundi, Vijayangara, Vinukonda and Chandragiri respectively.

  • Harihara-I founded a new city on the southern bank of a tributary to river Krishna and undertook to rule his new kingdom as the agent of a deity to whom all the land, south of the river Krishna was supposed to belong. He was the founder of Vijayanagara Kingdom. He was the eldest son of Bhava Sangama, who was the founder of Sangama dynasty. He built a fort on the west side of Karnataka. Bukka was the successor of Harihara-I.

  • Harihara-I sent two armies under the leadership of Kumar Savanna and Kumar Kampan to conquer Madurai in 1352-53 A.D. Kumar Kampan Udayar annexed Madurai to Vijayanagara empire.  Ganga Devi, the wife of Kumar Kampan, described the chronicle victories of her husband in her book Madhura Vijayam.

  • After the death of Bukka in 1377 AD, his son, Harihara-II (1377-1404 AD) ascended to the throne. He assumed the title of “Maharajadhiraja” and conquered the region of Canara, Mysore, Kanchi, Trichanapali and collected tax from the king of Sri Lanka. He clashed with Bahamani kingdom. In 1377 AD, Sultan Mujahid invaded his kingdom but did not succeed. His major achievement was winning the Belgaum and Goa from Bahamani. He was the devotee of Virupaksha form of Lord Shiva.

  • The battle of Golconda was fought between the king of Vijayanagara, Krishnadevraya and Sultan of Golconda, Quli Qutb Shah. Sultan Quli Qutb Shah founded the Qutb Shahi Dynasty in Golconda. Quli Qutb Shah Extended his rule by capturing forts at Warangal, Kondaveedu during the period when Krishnadevarya was busy fighting with the rulers of Orissa. Quli’s campaign against Krishnadevarya continued, but finally, he was defeated by him.

  • Nicolo Conti or Niccolo dei Conti was an Italian traveller who visited India during the time of Deva Raya-I. He visited the state of Cambay in the northwest and Vijayanagar (now in Hampi).

  • Shri Krishna Deva Raya was a great builder. The Hazara Rama Temple, the Vittalswami temple at the capital city, is attributed to him. He built a new city called Nagalapuram to honour his mother.

  • Nannaya,  Tikkan and Yerrapragnada also known as the Kavi Trayam means the trinity of poets or the three great  This trinity translated the Mahabharata from Sanskrit into Telugu during the period of 11th to 14th century.



  • The famous Hazara temple of Vijayanagara was built during the reign of Krishnadeva Raya.

  • Persian ambassador Abdur Razzaq visited Vijayanagara during the reign of Devaraya-II (1422-46 AD). Devaraya-II belonged to Sangama dynasty.

  • The Vitthal temple was built by the king of Tuluva Dynasty Krishnadevaraya (1509-29 AD). One of the notable features of the Vitthal temple are its musical pillars. This temple is situated in Hampi. Hampi was the ancient capital of Vijayanagara Empire.

  • The ruins of Hampi (situated in northern Karnataka) represented the ancient capital of Vijayanagara Empire. The Virupaksha temple, located in Hampi, was built during Vijayanagara period. Hampi is a UNESCO world heritage site.

  • Historian Baruni refused to consider the state in India under Delhi sultans as truly Islamic because the majority of the population did not follow Islam.

  • Land revenue was the main source of income. The land was divided into four categories for purposes of assessment namely wetland, dry lands, orchards and woods. The tax rate varied depending upon the quality of land, crop, soil, method or irrigation, etc.

  • The battle of Talikota (26 January, 1565), a watershed battle, was fought between the  Vijayanagara Empire and the  Deccan Sultanates, resulted in a defeat of Vijayanagara and ended in weakening one of the greatest Indian empires originating from southern India before the Maratha    Talikota is situated in north Karnataka near Bijapur city.

  • Tirumala, the brother of Ramaraya, dethroned Sadasiava Raya and captured the power in 1570 AD. Thus the rule of Aravidu dynasty started. After Tirumala, his eldest son Sriranga-I became king. Venkata-II became the king after Ranga-I, who made Chandragiri as his capital. He was one among the greatest kings of Vijayanagara. He was a contemporary of King Wodeyar who laid the foundation of Mysore State in 1612 A.D.



Delhi Sultanate: Administration

  • Most of the rulers and sultans of Sultanate age were from Turkish class. Sultan was the chief of the central authority. Thus, persons appointed on powerful designations were referred as “Amir” in Sultanate age. Their impact emerged strongly when Sultan was unworthy, weak or infant.

  • Diwan-i-Bandgan was established by Firoz Shah Tughlaq. This department dealt with slaves. New department Diwan-i-Mustakhiraj was established by Alauddin Khalji to abolish corruption and loot from revenue system. Muhammad-Bin-Tughlaq created department “Diwan-i-Amir Kohi’s for agrarian development. Diwan-i-Arz (Military Department) was developed by Balban.

  • Rulers who established new administrative department mentioned are as follow:

Diwan-i-Mushtakkharaj               –        Alauddin Khalji (Revenue Department)

Diwan-i-Amir Kohi                      –                Muhammad Tughlaq (Agriculture 


Diwan-i-Khairat                            –        Firoz Tughlaq (Department of Charity)

Diwan-iRiyasat                             –        Alauddin Khalji (Market Control Department)

  • Wizarat was an institution which was recognized by the Islamic constitution. Non-Arabic institutions were being repealed, and nomenclature used for Minister of Council under emperor was used as Wizarat. The idea in adopting Wizarat as an institution was inspired from Persia by Abbasi Caliphs. Abbas Fazal-Bin-Ahmad was first Wazir in the reign of Mahmud Gaznavi who was accomplished in conducting the administration. The prime minister of state was known as Wazir. He headed the finance department called the Diwan-i-Wizarat and had the power not only to supervise the income and expenditure of the state but other departments as well. Tughlaq era was the golden period of Indian Muslim Wizarat.

  • In Islamic traditions, Khums refers to the historically required religious delegation of Muslim army to pay one-fifth of the spoils of war, the booty collected from non-believers after a military campaign. This tax was paid to the caliph or sultan, representing the state of Islam.



  • Departments and their activities:

Diwan-i-Arz                –        Dealt with Military department

Diwan-i-Risalat –        Dealt with religious issues/matters

Diwan-i-Insha    –        Dealt with State correspondence

Diwan-i-Wizarat         –        Dealt with financial matters.

  • Iltutmish introduced “Iqta” system in India. In the Islamic empire of the Caliph, land granted to army officials for limited periods in lieu of a regular wage. The  Iqta system was established in the 9th century A.D. to relieve the state treasury when insufficient tax revenue and little booty from campaigns made it difficult for the government to play salaries.

  • During the Sultanate period, it was Chaudhary who played an important role in the traditional social structure. If we delineate traditional social structure, it will at its top the Sultan followed by Sultan’s governors, a village headman who happened to be Chaudhary. At the time of revolt, Sultanate started eliminating the influence of Rais and sought the help of Chaudhary to collect revenue. Hence Chaudhary was the main revenue collector for villages during Sultanate period.

  • During the Sultanate period, the excess amount paid to the exchequer by Iqtadar was called “Fawazil”.

  • On time coins of Alauddin Masud Shah (1242-1246 A.D.), the name of the best Caliph of Baghdad appeared for the first time. The last Caliph of Bagdad was Al-Mustasim. He holded this position from 1242-58 A.D. The name of Caliph Mustanasir was mentioned on the coins of Iltutmish (served from 1226 to 1242 A.D.).

  • Iltutmish was the first to issue regular currency and declare Delhi as the capital empire. He started the silver “Tanka” and the copper “Jital”, the basic coins made up of silver and copper in the Sultanate period. Shashgani was also a silver coin. The ratio of tanka and Jital was 1:48.

  • The Hadis (or Hadith) is the collection of biographic reports about the sayings, customs and doing of Muhammad and his companions. They also reflect on what Muhammad enjoined and tolerated in his presence or forbade.



  • Zawabits were related to state laws in the administrative vocabulary of the Sultanate period.

  • The two main currency of the Sultanate period is Jital and Tanka. Iltutmish was the first Turkish ruler who started the pure Arabian coins. He gave great contribution in the currency system of Delhi Sultanate, as he was the first ruler, who started the famous coins of silver (Tanka) and copper (Jital).

  • Firoz Tughlaq determined taxation according to Quran rules. He permitted four Quran approved taxing:

  1. Kharaj

  2. Jizya

  3. Khums

  4. Zakat

He levied irrigation tax “Sharb” at 10% rate of the production by recommendations of religious scholars. Firoz abolished 24 grievous taxes of his time.



  • The Mongols under Genghis Khan invaded Transoxiana in north-east Iran in 1219 and the Delhi Sultanate faced their onslaught soon after.

  • Mongol attacks on the Delhi Sultanate increased during the reign of Alauddin Khalji and in the early years of Muhammad Tughluq’s rule. This forced the two rulers to mobilise a large standing army in Delhi which posed a huge administrative challenge.

  • In the list of Muhammad Tughluq’s failures we sometimes forget that for the first time in the history of the Sultanate, a Delhi Sultan planned a campaign to capture Mongol territory. Unlike Alauddin’s defensive measures, Muhammad Tughluq’s measures were conceived as a part of a military offensive against the Mongols.



Delhi Sultanate: Art and Architecture

  • The “Alai Darwaza is the main gate from the southern side of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque in the Qutb Minar complex. It has a domed entrance which is constructed using red sandstone and is adorned with white marbel. It was built in 1311 AD by Turkish craftsmen. The Alai Darwaza is one of the first building in India in Islamic architectural style.

  • Tomb of Balban is located in the southeast of Qila-e-Raipithora. It was here that first true arch made its appearance in India.

  • The Tomb of Ghiyasuddin Balban is located in Mehrauli, New Delhi. It was built in 1287 AD in rubble masonry. The tomb is a building of historical importance in the development of Indo-Islamic architecture.

  • Qutbuddin Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi, commenced the construction of Qutb Minar in 1193, but could complete only its basement. His successor, Iltutmish, added three more storeys and, in 1368 Firoz Shah Tughlaq constructed the fourth and fifth story. Qutb Minar has been named after Qutbuddin Aibak, the emperor who commissioned its construction in the name of Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki, the famous Sufi saint. Sultan Alauddin Khalji did not contribute in building the Qutb Minar.

  • The Alai Darwaza is a magnificent gateway built by Ala-du-din Khalji of the Delhi Sultanate in 1311, having exquisite inlaid marble decoration and latticed stone screens. It was a part of Alauddin Khalji’s extension of Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque. The three doorways on the east, west and south are lofty pointed arches, in the shape a horse shoe, which rise above the flanking side bays. The recessed corner arches of the attractive horseshoe forms, supporting a simple spherical dome on top of the square chamber, are an especially happy solution to the perpetual problem of supporting a good dome.

  • Qutb Minar –        (Qutbuddin Aibak and Iltutmish) 1206-1236 AD

Tughluqabad               –                (GhiyasuddinTughlaq) 1320-1325 AD

Lodi Garden                –        (Lodi dynasty) 1451-1526 AD

Fatehpur Sikri             –        (Akbar) 1556-1605 AD

  • Site          Architecture

Delhi         –                 Quwwat-ul-Islam

Jaunpur     –                 Atala Masjid

Malwa       –                 Jahaz Mahal

Gulberga   –                 Jama Masjid

  • Kirti Stambh was built by Rana Kumbha after his victory over Malwa. Kirti stambh was built by Jaita while the panegyrist of Kirti stambh were Abhi and Mahesh.

  • Architecture Style                   Associated Dynasty

“Lotus bud” fringe on the underside of the arch                   Khaljis

Emergence of octagonal tomb                                          Tughluqs

Use of Bodegoi in the Pillar                                             Vijayanagara

Massive entrance gate with inclined walls                       Sharqis



Delhi Sultanate: Literature

  • Kitab-ul-Hind was written by Al-Biruni. His real name was Abu Rehan. In 1018-19 he accomplished the invading army of Mahmud Ghazni to the Indo-Gangetic valleys as a freelance observer. He studied India as a scientific and described the religious, literacy and socio-political condition of India.

  • Abul Hasan Yaminuddin Khusru was known as Amir Khusru. He was born at Patiyali in district Etah (now named as Kasganj, Kashmiramnagar) in 1253 A.D. Khusru called himself “Tutu-e-Hind” (Parrot of India). He started composting poemsat an early age of eight. His first Masnavi on the historical subject was Quran-us-Sadin. Miftah-ul-Futuh, Khazain-ul-Futuh, An Ishqia, Nuh Siphr and Tughluq Nama were the major creations of Amir Khusru. Tughlaq Nama is the last historical Masnavi of Amir Khusru.

  • Amir Khusru learnt various Indian dialects especially Hindi which he loved most. He was the first Muslim who admitted that he is an Indian. He stated himself “I am Hindustani Turk who speaks Hindi. He played a pioneering role in the development of Khari Boli.

  • Amir Khusru was initially associated with the eldest son of Balban, Mahmud. Mahmud died in a war against Mongols, and they captured Amir Khusru. But somehow Amir Khusru managed to escape and associate with the Court of Balban. Amir Khusru was affiliated to the courts of various emperors, i.e., Balban, Kaiqubad, Jalaluddin Khlji, Alauddin Khalji, Mubarakshah, Ghiyasuddin Tughluq and Muhammad-Bin-Tughluq. He was the disciple of Sufi Saint Nizamuddin Auliya. Miftah-ul-Futuh, Khazain-ul-Futuh (Tarukhi-i-Alai), Ashika, Noor-Siphr and Tughluq Nama are some of the masterpieces by him.

  • One of the promoters of Khari Boli Hindi, Amir Khusru was a poet, historian, and musician. He was nicknamed as “Tutu-e-hind.”

  • Sultan Bijapur Ibrahim Adil Shah-II wrote the hindi song collection “Kitab-i-Nauras”. He established the city called Nauraspur and made it his capital. Amir Khusru was the originator of the early form of musical style in India known as “Qawwali”.

  • Amir Khusru is considered as the father of new Persian poetry style “Sabak-e-Hindi” or Hindustani style. He termed himself “Tuti-e-Hind”. He used to say that “Na Tafze Hindi Astru Aaj Farsi Kam” which means that the words of Hindi are not less than those of Persian.

  • The text “Tabaqat-i-Nasiri” written by Minhaz-us-Siraj was dedicated to Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud. The text is divided into 23 volumes and was translated by Raverty in the English language. The text describes the victory of Mahumud Ghori over India.

  • The Persian literature flourished with the arrival of Muslim conquerors in India. Here, it was presented in a new innovative form. The Persian Language was honoured as an official language after the establishment of Delhi Sultanate.



  • Tarikh-i-Hind –        Al-Buruni

Tarikh-i-Delhi             –        Khusru

Rihla                           –        Ibn Battuta

Tabqat-i-Nasiri           –        Minhaz-us-Shiraj

  • Indian music motivated the Muslim society for being passionate towards music. Consequently, Amir Khusru emerged as a great musician in Sultanate period. He invented ‘Sitar’ with a combination of Tamboora and Indian Veena. He combined some Indian and Persian melodies elegantly and introduced some new melody styles like Iman, Zilf and Sajgari etc.

  • Ziyauddin Barani –        Tarikh-i-Firozshahi

Hasan Nizami                      –        Taj-ul-Maasir

Minhaj-us-Siraj                   –        Tabqat-i-Nasiri

Yahia-bin-Ahmad                –        Tarikh-i-Mubarkshahi

  • Rana Kumbha was a patron of music, literature and art. Rana Kumbha erected a victory tower named as Kirthistambha as a mark of victory over Mahmud Khalji in 1440 AD. He wrote texts on music like Sangeet Raj, Sangeet Mimansa, Sangeet Ratnakar, etc.

  • Emperor Firoz Shah Tughlaq had written his memoirs as “Futuhat-e-Firuz Shahi”. By writing this book, the sultan wanted to prove himself as ideal Muslim ruler.




Delhi Sultanate: Miscellaneous

  • The game of Polo was introduced in India by Turks. It is a known fact that Qutbuddin Aibak was fond of Polo (Chaugan). He died in 1210 while playing this game.

  • Alauddin Khilji established the department “Diwan-i-Riyasat” for looking after the financial matters. Firoz Tughluq built up 5 Canals. Balban introduced Nauroz festival in the court of Delhi. British Ambassador Thomas Roe came to India during the period of Jahangir.

  • Al-Biruni (1000 A.D.) – Al-Biruni was a resident of Khiva (ancient Khwarizm). He was in the court of the last emperor of Khiva dynasty as a scholar and diplomat before Mahmud Ghazni’s victory of India. He came to India with Mahmud Ghazni during his invasion over India.

  • Ibn Battuta (1333-1347): He was Moroccan traveller. He came to India during Sultanate period in the regime of Muhammad-Bin-Tughlaq (1325-1351 AD). Muhammad Tughlaq appointed him as “Qazi” of Delhi. Later, he sent him China as an ambassador in 1342. He composed travelling experiences in his book “Rihla”.

  • Niccolao Manucci (1653-1708 A.D.): He was a Italian Traveller. He reached India from his hometown Venice while travelling Turkey and Asia. He had given his services to Prince Dara Shukoh as a cannoneer. Later he opted medical profession. Manucci is famous for his work “Storia do Magor”.

  • During Sultanate period high positioned or designed religious and judicial authorities honourables (Ulema) were collectively known as Dastar-Bandan, because they dressed with an official turban.

  • Ruler Period

Raziyya Sultan            –        1236-1240

Alauddin Khalji          –        1296-1316

Sher Shah                    –        1540-1545

Akbar                          –        1556-1605

  • Chand Bibi was a Muslim woman warrior from medieval India. She acted as a Regent of Bijapur (1580-90) and Regent of Ahmednagar (1596-99). She was a daughter of Hussain Nizam Shah-I of Ahmednagar.

  • The earlier reference of the use of the magnetic compass in the Indian seas was given by Sadruddin Muhammad “Aufi”. The name of his books were Lubab-u-Ulbab and Jawami-ul-Hikyat. It is Jawami-ul-Hikayat in which the reference of magnetic compass was given by him.

  • Vijayanagara ruler Krishnadevaraya composed Amuktamalyada in the Telugu language. Mattavilasa-prahasana was written by Mahendravarma. Bhoj composed Samaranganasutradhar while Someshwar wrote Manasollasa.



  • During the period of Hindu-Muslim conflict, Rajputs performed a distinct form of Sati known as Jauhar as a direct response to the onslaught they experienced. It was done because of Muslim invasions. Hindu feared to become the “booty for the captor” and committed Jauhar and Sati to avoid rape, torture and other ignominies.

  • Hemchandra Suri was a great scholar and follower of Jainism. He was introduced to the Siddharaj Jai Singh and soon rose to prominence in the Solanki royal court. Later, Jai Singh built Mandap in Abu mountain and established the statues of Jain Thirthankars.

  • Battle of Plassey – On June  23, 1757, in the Battle of Plassey, the forces of the East India Company under Robert  Clive defeated the army of Siraj-ud-daulah, the then Nawab  or Bengal. Mir Jafar, Rai Durlabh and Yar Latif Khan headed the Nawab’s army. Mir Jafar was bribed by Robert Clive and was the cause of Nawab’s defeat.

  • Kalinga War – Ashoka led a huge army against Kalinga in 261 B.C. The freedom loving people of Kalinga offered stiff resistance to the Mauryan army. The 13th rock edict of Ashoka throws light on his war. At least 1 million Kalingans were killed while another 50 thousand were taken prisoners. Almost equal number of Magadha soldiers were also killed.

  • Battle of Haldighati – The Battle of Haldighati was fought in Haldighati, Rajasthan in June 1576 between Maharana Pratap and the forces of Akbar in which Akbar came out as winner.

  • Second Battle of Tarain – The Second Battle of Tarain was fought between Ghurid army of Muhammad Ghori and Rajput army of Prithviraj Chauhan. The battle took place in 1192 A.D. near Tarain. In this battle, Prithivraj Chauhan was defeated by Muhammad Ghori.

  • Books Writer

Haqaiq-i-Hindi                     Abdul Wahid Bilgrami

Tahdhibul Akhlaq                Ibn Miskawayh

Kunzal Tijar                         Bailaq-al-Qabayaki

Jawamiul Hikayat                Sadruddin Muhammad “Aufi”

  • In the 16th century, Sher Shah Suri built a major road running from Sonargaon (Bengal) to Lahore (Pakistan). It was also known as “Sadak-i-Azam” and it served as an administrative link to the remote provinces of his vast empire. Muhammad Tughlaq issued token currency. The system of Ain-i-Dahshala was related to Akbar land revenue system. Chahalghani nobles or Turkan-i-Chahalghani was formed by Iltutmish.

  • Jahaj Mahal is a popular monumental building in Mandu. It was built during the rule of Sultan Ghiyasuddin Khalji.

  • India peasants did not cultivate maize during the 13th and 14th Ibn Battuta stated that usually they cultivated rice, wheat, sugarcane and cotton thrice in a year. During this period, various spices were being sown in southern India.

Alauddin Khalji’s administration

Muhammad Tughlaq’s administration

Delhi was attacked twice, in 1299/1300 and 1302- 03. As a defensive measure, Alauddin Khalji raised a large standing army

The Sultanate was attacked in the early years of Muhammad Tughluq’s reign. The Mongol army was defeated. Muhammad Tughluq was confident about the strength of his army and his resources to plan an attack on Transoxiana. He therefore raised a large standing army

Alauddin constructed a new garrison town named Siri for his soldiers

Rather than constructing a new garrison town, the oldest of the four cities of Delhi (Dehli-i Kuhna) was emptied of its residents and the soldiers garrisoned there. The residents of the old city were sent to the new capital of Daulatabad in the south.

The soldiers had to be fed. This was done through the produce collected as tax from lands between the Ganga and Yamuna. Tax was fixed at 50 per cent of the peasant’s yield.

Produce from the same area was collected as tax to feed the army. But to meet the need of the large number of soldiers the Sultan levied additional taxes. This coincided with famine in the area

The soldiers had to be paid. Alauddin chose to pay his soldiers salaries in cash rather than iqtas. The soldiers would buy their supplies from merchants in Delhi and it was thus feared that merchants would raise their prices. To stop this, Alauddin controlled the prices of goods in Delhi. Prices were carefully surveyed by officers, and merchants who did not sell at the prescribed rates were punished.

Muhammad Tughluq also paid his soldiers cash salaries. But instead of controlling prices, he used a “token” currency, somewhat like present-day paper currency, but made out of cheap metals, not gold and silver. People in the fourteenth century did not trust these coins. They were very smart: they saved their gold and silver coins and paid all their taxes to the state with this token currency. This cheap currency could also be counterfeited easily.

Alauddin’s administrative measures were quite successful and chroniclers praised his reign for its cheap prices and efficient supplies of goods in the market. He successfully withstood the threat of Mongol invasions.

Muhammad Tughluq’s administrative measures were a failure. His campaign into Kashmir was a disaster. He then gave up his plans to invade Transoxiana and disbanded his large army. Meanwhile, his administrative measures created complications. The shifting of people to Daulatabad was resented. The raising of taxes and famine in the Ganga-Yamuna belt led to widespread rebellion. And finally, the “token” currency had to be recalled.



Provincial Dynasty of North India and Deccan Province

  • Firuz Shah Tughluq had established 300 new cities. Fatehabad, Hisar, Firozpur, Hisar and Jaunpur was established by the Sultan of Delhi Firuz Shah  Tughluq in 1359 and named in the memory of his cousin Muhammad-Bin-Tughluq, whose name was Jauna Khan. Firuz Shah Tughluq appointed Malik Sarwar, a eunuch who was notorious for having been the lover of Firuz Shah Tughluq’s daughter, as the governor of the region. The Sultanate was in disarray because of factional fighting for power and in 1394 Malik Sarwar declared independence. He and his adopted son Mubarak Shah founded the Sharqi dynasty (dynasty of the East). Jaunpur was independent for 85 years. But in 1479 A.D., Bahlol Lodi defeated its last emperor Hussain Shah and was able to reconquer Jaunpur in 1479.

  • Shahi Khan Zain-ul-Abidin, the brother of Ali Shah, became the ruler of Kashmir in 1420. He was the greatest king of Kashmir. He earned name for his policy of religious tolerance and public welfare activities. He removed Jizya and banned the cow slaughter. Maharashtra, Dashavatara and Raj-Tarangini were translated into the Persian language during his period. He was compared with Akbar due to religious tolerance. The scriptures “Jain Prakash” and “Jain-Vilas” were compiled during his rule. Also, he constructed artificial Island of Zaina Lanka in the middle of Wular Lake.

  • Jaunpur attained its greatest height under Sharqi Dynasty ruler, Ibrahim Shah (1402-1436). He constructed some monuments in a new regional style of architecture known as the Sharqi architecture. Jaunpur was also known as the Shiraz of India during this period. Most notable examples of Sharqi style of architecture in Jaunpur are the Atala Masjid, Lal Darwaza Masjid, and Jama Masjid.

  • Jaunpur city was founded in 14th century by Sultan Feroz Shah Tughluq and named in memory of h is cousin, Muhammad bin Tughluq, whose real name was Jauna Khan. In 1394, Malik Sarvar established the independent Jaunpur state. Hussain Shah was the last ruler of Jaunpur state defeated by Bahlol Lodi. Jaunpur is historically known as “Sheerz-e-Hind”.

  • Sikandar Butshikhan built Jama Masjid in Kashmir which was expanded by Zain-ul-Abidin. The characteristics of Jama Masjid includes turret, similarly with Buddhist pagodas and Persian style.

  • Muni Sunder Suri, Natha, and Tilla Bhatt were the scholars in the court of Kumbha but Muni Jin Vijay Suri was in the court of Mughal emperor Akbar.

  • The medieval Indian states such as Champaka and Kuluta were related to current Himachal Pradesh. Durgara was situated in Jammu. Champaka, Durgara and Kulta were related to Rajputs which were part of the Punjab.

  • Bahamani Kingdom was founded by Alauddin Hasan in 14th century A.D. (1347 A.D.). It occupied North Deccan region near the river Krishna.

  • Bahamani empire was founded by Alauddin Hasan Bahman Shah (Jafar Khan) who was also known as Hasan Gangu in 1347. He declared Gulberga as the capital of his empire and named as Ahsanabad. He divided his empire into four regions Gulberga, Daulatabad, Berar and Bidar. Gulberga was the most significant district of the state. He annexed southern Hindu rulers and started a new system of providing powers and Jagirs to his followers. He abolished Jizya on the Hindus.

  • Gujari Mahal was constructed by Raja Man Singh Tomar in 15th It is a unique piece of architecture. It was inspired by the architectural style of Akbar period.

  • Palaiyakkarar or Polygar was the feudal title for a class of territorial administrative and Military governors appointed by the Nayak rulers of South India during 16th to 18th

  • The Capital of the Hoysala dynasty was Dwarasamudra which is currently in Halebid.

  • Gol Gumbad, built by Adil Shah of Bijapur, is said to be the largest dome in the world.



Bhakti and Sufi Movement

  • The Bhakti movement is a Hindu religious movement in which the main spiritual practice is loving devotion among the Shaiva Nayanars and the Vaishnava Alvars. The Bhkti movement originated in ancient Dravida region and began to spread to the north during the late medieval ages when North India was under Islamic rule. The Bhakti movement was started in the 8th century by the great philosopher Shankaracharya.

  • The seventh to ninth centuries saw the emergence of new religious movements, led by the Nayanars (saints devoted to Shiva) and Alvars (saints devoted to Vishnu) who came from all castes including those considered “untouchable” like the Pulaiyar and the Panars.

  • The history of Bhakti movement started with the great philosopher Shankaracharya who propounded the philosophy of Adivaita to eliminae the influence of Buddhism during the 8th The Bhakti movement was reborn in the 15th-16th century when Kabir, Tulsi, Nanak, Sur and Mirabai encouraged the movement.

  • They drew upon the ideals of love and heroism as found in the Sangam literature (the earliest example of Tamil literature, composed during the early centuries of the Common Era) and blended them with the values of bhakti.

  • Between the tenth and twelfth centuries the Chola and Pandya kings built elaborate temples around many of the shrines visited by the saint-poets, strengthening the links between the bhakti tradition and temple worship. This was also the time when their poems were compiled.

  • The Nayanars and Alvars went from place to place composing exquisite poems in praise of the deities enshrined in the villages they visited, and set them to music

  • Buddha and Mirabai had a common philosophy which states that the world is full of sorrow. Sorrow is first among the Four Arya Truths of Buddhism.

  • Ramananda was born in Prayagraj (Allahabad). He was the first great saint of North India. Raidas was born in Varanasi. Tulsidas was born in Chitrakut and Kumbhandas in Mathura.

  • Sakhi, Sabad, Ramaini are the compositions of Kabir while the collection of dialogues between Kabir and Dharamdas is titled as ‘Amarmul.’

  • Buddha and Mirabai had common philosophy which states that the world is full of sorrow. Sorrow is first among the Four Arya Truths of Buddhism.

  • The emergence of Sufi Saints in medieval India helped to spread harmony in the society. They used to do compound activities like meditation and hard breathe-regulation. They took the help of holy songs and music to spread unity and harmony in the society and to arouse a state of spiritual ecstasy in their audience.

  • Ramanujacharya was the earliest propagator of Bhakti movment. The philosophy of Sri Ramanujacharya is known in Sanskrit as Vishistadvaita.

  • Chishti order is a Sunni Sufi order within the mystic Sufi tradition of Islam. Moinuddin Chisti introduced the Chisti order in Lahore and Qutubddin Bakhtiyar Kaki was asaint of Chisti order from Delhi; Sheikh Nizamuddin Auliya was a saint of Chisti order in India sub- continent.




Mughal Dynasty: Babur

  • Alam Khan was the uncle of Ibrahim Lodi who invited Babur to invade India. During the 4th Indian campaign of Babur, the relationship between Ibrahim Lodi and Daulat Khan became bad. Ibrahim Lodi ordered Daulat Khan to visit his capital, but Daulat Khan violatated his orders and sent his son Dilawar Khan to Babur with a message to help him to dethrone Ibrahim Lode and enthrone Alam Khan in place of him. It was a golded opportunity for Babur as he already received the invitation of Rana Sanga, the king of Mewar. He was quite assured that the opportunity to win India has come.

  • It is believed that Baburi mosque in Ayodhya was built by Mir Baki. He was the commandant of Babur.

  • The Full name of Babur was Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur. He was born on February 14, 1483 to Umar Shaikh Mirza and Qutlugh Niagar Khanum at Ferghana. After the death of his father, he ascended the throne of Ferghana (now in Uzbekistan) in 1495, at the minor age of 12 years. He declared himself the ruler on April 27, 1526 and founded Mughal empire in India.

  • The Mughal rulers campaigned constantly against rulers who refused to accept their authority. But as the Mughals became powerful many other rulers also joined them voluntarily.


  • The First Battle of Panipat, on 21 April 1526, was fought between the invading forces of Babur and the Lodi Kingdom. It took place in north India and marked the beginning of the Mughal Empire. This was one of the earliest battles involving gunpowder firearms and field artillery in the Indian subcontinent which were introduced by Mughals in this battle.

  • Ibrahi, Lodi became Sultan of Delhi in 1517 A.D after the death of his father. He was defeated and Killed by Babur on 21st April, 1526 A.D in the Battle of Panipat.

  • The Rajputs are a good example of this. Many of them married their daughters into Mughal families and received high positions. But many resisted as well.

  • The Third Battle of Panipat took place on 14 January 1761 at Panipat, about 60 miles north of Delhi, between a northern expeditionary force of the Maratha Empire and invading forces of the King of Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Abdali, supported by two Indian allies—the Rohilla Najib-ud-daulah Afghans of the Doab, and Shuja-ud-Daula, the Nawab of Militarily, the battle pitted the artillery and cavalry of the Marathas against the heavy cavalry and mounted artillery of the Afghans and Rohillas led by Abdali and Najib-ud-Daulah, both ethnic Afghans. The battle is considered one of the largest and most eventful fought in the 18th century, and has perhaps the largest number of fatalities in a single day reported in a classic formation battle between two armies.



  • The Sisodiya Rajputs refused to accept Mughal authority for a long time. Once defeated, however, they were honourably treated by the Mughals, given their lands (watan) back as assignments (watan jagir).

  • Babur declared ‘Jehad’ in the battle of The battle of Khanwa on march 17, 1527, was fought between Babur and Rana sanga. Babur defeated Rana Sanga in this battle.

  • The careful balance between defeating but not humiliating their opponents enabled the Mughals to extend their influence over many kings and chieftains. But it was difficult to keep this balance all the time.


  • As the empire expanded to encompass different regions the Mughals recruited diverse bodies of people.

  • From a small nucleus of Turkish nobles (Turanis) they expanded to include Iranians, Indian Muslims, Afghans, Rajputs, Marathas and other groups. Those who joined Mughal service were enrolled as mansabdars.

  • The term mansabdar refers to an individual who holds a mansab, meaning a position or rank. It was a grading system used by the Mughals to fix (1) rank, (2) salary and (3) military responsibilities.

  • Rank and salary were determined by a numerical value called zat. The higher the zat, the more prestigious was the noble’s position in court and the larger his salary.

  • The mansabdar’s military responsibilities required him to maintain a specified number of sawar or Cavalry men.

  • The mansabdar brought his cavalrymen for review, got them registered, their horses branded and then received money to pay them as salary.

  • Mansabdars received their salaries as revenue assignments called jagirs which were somewhat like iqtas.

  • But unlike muqtis, most mansabdars did not actually reside in or administer their jagirs. They only had rights to the revenue of their assignments which was collected for them by their servants while the mansabdars themselves served in some other part of the country.

  • In Akbar’s reign these jagirs were carefully assessed so that their revenues were roughly equal to the salary of the mansabdar.

  • By Aurangzeb’s reign this was no longer the case and the actual revenue collected was often less than the granted sum. There was also a huge increase in the number of mansabdars, which meant a long wait before they received a jagir.

  • These and other factors created a shortage in the number of jagirs. As a result, many jagirdars tried to extract as much revenue as possible while they had a jagir.

  • Aurangzeb was unable to control these developments in the last years of his reign and the peasantry therefore suffered tremendously.



Humayun and Sher Shah

  • Kamran, Askari and Hindal were the sons of Babur as well as the brothers of Humayun. Humayun was the eldest son of Babur, born in Kabul in 1508. His mother, Maham Begum was related with Shia community.

  • The correct order of battles fought by Humayun is as follows:

Devara, Chausa, Kanauj and Sirhind. Humayun defeated Afghan rebels on the banks of Gomati at Dohairya in 1532 A.D. Humayun was defeated by Sher Shah in the Battle of Chausa on 26 June 1539, in which a water fetcher named Nizam saved his life. This victory against Humayn increased the prestige and power of Sher Shah. He read “Khutba” by his name occupying the title of Sher Shah and engraved this on the coins.

  • On 17 May, 1540 Humayun was defeated by Sher Shah again in the Battle of Kanauj (Bilgram) and Humayun fled from one place to the other after this war. Humayun occupied Delhi again in the Battle of Sirhind on 22 June, 1555.

  • Farid Khan who later became Sher Shah Duri, got his education from Jaunpur. He left his home in 1494 and came to Jaunpur for studies which was famous as “ Siraj of East during that time”.

  • Humayun invaded Chunar fort for the first time in 1532. Humayun besieged this fort for four months after that Sher Khan accepted his supremacy.

  • Sher Shah Suri died in 1545              during the siege of the Kalinjar fort of Rajputs.

  • Sher Shah Suri extremely impressed by chivalry and courage of Rajputs during the battle of


  • In 1529, Sher Khan assumed the title of “Hazrat-e-Ala” after defeating the ruler of Bengal, Nusrat Shah. He assumed the royal title of “Sher Shah” after defeating Humayun in the Battle of Chausa on June 26, 1539 and ordered to read Khutba by his name and the coins to be minted his name.

  • Sher Shah Suri had significant role in medieval India. He is considered antecedent of Akbar as administrator imperialist.

  1. Revenue reforms – Sher Shah believed that for the stability of empire, it is essential to satisfy the peasants and make them happy. He introduced numerous reforms in land revenue administration. His land revenue collection was based on Rayatwari and was settled directly with cultivators. He adopted an improved and systematic method of measuring the land and assessing its revenue.

  2. Administrative Reforms: Sher Shah managed his father’s manor as manager and obtained the essential knowledge of administration. He had a proper knowledge of military composition, administration and financial system of Mughals. He was the head of the central government. His administration was completely centralised. He divided the whole kingdom into 47 governments. He arranged a different system for Bengal province. He divided the province into 19 governments and appointed a military official as Shiqandar to control. A non-military official Amir-i-Bengal was also appointed for assistance. This arrangement was made for the abolishment of revolt threat.

  3. Military Reforms – Sher Shah introduced many reforms in military of Alauddin Khalji. He recruited and paid the soldiers directly and every soldier had his chehra (face) recorded and his horse branded with an imperial sign, to stop fraud.

  4. Currency System Reforms: The reign of Sher Shah was an era an experiment in the history of coins. V.A. Smith rightly observes “it is the basis of the existing British currency”. He introduced pure gold, silver and copper coins in place of the between coins. His silver rupee coins weighed 180 grains and coppers Daam weighed 380 grains. Thus credit of these reforms goes to Sher Shah Suri.

  • Sher Shah was a medieval ruler who introduced the system of “patta” and “Qabuliya” to help the peasants. The peasants were given “patta” by the central authority in which the share of the government was clearly mentioned. The peasans accpeted it through “Qabuliyat”.

  • The Tomb of Sher is an imposing brick structure partly veneered with stone standing in the middle of a fine square tank measuring about 305 mts. and rising above a large stone terrace. This tomb is located at Sasaram of Shahabad in Bihar. It is regarded as one of the noblest specimens of Afghan architecture in India.

  • Purana Qila is one of the oldest forts in Delhi. Its current form was built by Sher Shah Suri, the founder of the Sur Empire. Sher Shah raised the citadel of Purana Qila with an extensive area sprawling around it.

  • Sher Shah Suri died on May 13, 1545 during the siege of the Kalinjar fort of Rajputs. When all the tactics to subdue this fort failed, them he ordered the walls of the fort to be blown up with gunpowder. He was seriously wounded as a result of the explosion.

  • The short reign of Sher Shah is a revolutionary erqa in the history of Indian architecture. Qila-i-Kumbha, built in 1545, is famous for its elegant architectural qualities in historical monuments of northern India.




  • Akbar was enthroned (coronated) at Kalanaur after getting the information of Humayun’s death, who died in a fatal accident by failing the stairs of Din-e-Pannah library.

  • Rao Chandrasen of Marwar fought against the Mughal army at Madrajun in 1565 A.D., but the fled away to Siwana as he was surrounded from all side. Rao annexed Sojat in 1579. Akbar again sieged him, but he fled away on hills and died on 11 January, 1581. Similar to Maha Rana Pratap,  Rao Chandrasen continued his struggle for independence against Mughals and did not surrender.

  • Akbar decided to invade Gondwana and sent a cavalry of 50000 with heavy artillery. The king of Gondwana, Vir Narayan was an infant and his mother Durgavati ruled over the kingdom of Gondwana. She fought with bravery but was defeated in the battle between Garh and Mandla (modern Jabalpur).

  • Daud Khan succeeded his father Suleman Kararani in 1572 after his death. Daud Khan invaded Patna Mughal fort after declaring himself an independent ruler. Akbar ordered Munim Khan to suppress this revolt and occupy Bihar. Munim Khan defeated Daud Khan in a battle and annexed Bihar in 1574.  Daud fled away to Bengal after his defeat. On 12 March, 1576 Todarmal, Muzaffar Khan and Hussain Quli Khan jointly defeated Daud. Thus Akbar merged Bengal and Bihar in his empire in 1576.

  • Abul Fazl is the medieval writer who refers to the discovery of America.

  • The Indian ruler, contemporary of Queen Elizabeth-I of England, was Akbar. It is notable that on the occasion of the establishment of East India Company in 1600, Elizabeth was the Empress of England. India had the region of Akbar during that period (1556-1605). The tenure of Elizabeth-I was 1533 to 1603.

  • Akbar abolished Jizya in 1564. The construction of Ibadat Khana occurred in 1575 whose main purpose was to facilitate philosophical and theological discussions. The declaration of Mazaharana was held in 1579 which was prepared by Shaikh Mubarak, the father of Abul Fazl. Akbar founded Din-i-Illahi in 1582 for religious harmony.

  • Ralph Fitch (1585) was the first English merchant who visited Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. He observed various places of India. by travelling and presented precious narrative about Indian trade points  and township centres of the 16th

  • Hari Vijay Suri was the Jain monk who stayed for a few years in the court of Akbar and was honoured with the title of Jagadguru. In 1582, Emperor Akbar invited Hari Vijay Suri to explain the principles of Jainism. Akbar was so much influenced by the ideology of non-violence preached by Jain sage that he become vegetarian and prohibited slaughter of animals and birds. Another Jain scholar who resided in Mughal court was Chandra Suri bestowed with the title of “Yug Pradhan” by Akbar.

  • Raja Bharmal was the first to have a matrimonial alliance with Akbar. He proposed Akbar to marry his daughter. Akbar married his daughter Harkha Bai in great Festivity.

  • Akbar supported Chisti sect expressing his faith in He sought the company of the religious divine saints with whom he conversed with inborn zeal and humanity. He frequently visited the Mausoleum of Khawaja Mainuddin Chisti at Ajmer and the shrine of contemporary Sufi Sage Shaikh Salim Chisti at Sikri.

  • Zabti system was introduced for land revenue in the reign of Akbar which was based on schedules of Dustur-ul-Amal and zabti Khasre for land survey and land revenue



  • Dahsala was a land revenue system of Akbar’s reign which was also

  • known as Bandobast

  • The Mahabharata was translated into the Persian language on order of Akbar, by Faizi and Abdul Qadir-Badayuni which was named as Razmnama (book of wars).

  • The first matrimonial alliance with the Rajputs was established by Akbar with Kuchhwha Rajput. He went on a pilgrimage to the Mausoleum of Shaikh Muinuddin Chisti at Ajmer in January 1562. His route laid through the Rajput State of Amber. Its ruler Raja Bihari Mal (Bharmal), with a view of safeguarding his position, offered his submission to Akbar at Sanganer and voluntarily proposed his daughter Princess Harkhabai (Jodha) marriage with the young monarch.


  • The broad features of administration were laid down by Akbar and were elaborately discussed by Abul Fazl in his book, the Akbar Nama, in particular in its last volume, the Ain-i Akbari.

  • Abul Fazl explained that the empire was divided into provinces called subas, governed by a subadar who carried out both political and military functions.

  • Each province also had a financial officer or diwan.

  • For the maintenance of peace and order in his province, the subadar was supported by other officers such as the military paymaster (bakhshi), the minister in charge of religious and charitable patronage (sadr), military commanders (faujdars) and the town police commander (kotwal).

  • Akbar’s nobles commanded large armies and had access to large amounts of revenue. While they were loyal the empire functioned efficiently but by the end of the seventeenth century many nobles had built independent networks of their own. Their loyalties to the empire were weakened by their own self-interest.

  • While Akbar was at Fatehpur Sikri during the 1570s he started discussions on religion with the ulama, Brahmanas, Jesuit priests who were Roman Catholics, and Zoroastrians. These discussions took place in the ibadat khana.

  • He was interested in the religion and social customs of different people. Akbar’s interaction with people of different faiths made him realise that religious scholars who emphasised ritual and dogma were often bigots. Their teachings created divisions and disharmony amongst his subjects. This eventually led Akbar to the idea of sulh-i kul or “universal peace”.

  • This idea of tolerance did not discriminate between people of different religions in his realm. Instead it focused on a system of ethics – honesty, justice, peace – that was universally applicable.

  • Abul Fazl helped Akbar in framing a vision of governance around this idea of sulh-i kul. This principle of governance was followed by Jahangir and Shah Jahan as well.




  • “Do-aspa and Sih-aspa” system was introduced by Jahangir. Under the provision of this system, Mansabdars had to maintain an excess number of soldiers without increment in rank (zat).

  • Do-aspa – In this system, Mansabdars had to maintain double horses in comparison to their “Sarwar” rank.

  • Sih-aspa – In this system, Mansbdars had to maintain a triple member of horses in comparison to their “Sawar” rank.

  • William Hawkins was the first English ambassador of British King James-I to visit the court of Jahangir, who was sent by East India Company in 1608. He stayed in royal court for 3 years. Jahangir had provided him mansab of 400. Sir Thomas Roe was the leader of the second delegation to visit the court of Jahangir.

  • The Mughal Emperor Akbar introduced Mansabdari system in the 11th year of h is reign. Mansabdari had three scale gradation:

  1. Umra (500 zat and below)

  2. Amir (between 500-250 zat)

  3. Amir-i-Azam (2500 zat and above)

  • It was the reign of Jahangir in which the “Treaty of Chittor” was signed between Mughal and Rana of Mewar in 1615. Rana accepted the allegiance of Mughal emperor and Jahangir returned Mewar and Chhittorgarh to Rana which was annexed by Mughals during the tenure of Akbar.

  • Hawkins was the first English ambassador of British King James-I to visit the court of Jahangir, was sent by East India company in 1608. Jahangir was so much impressed by Hawkins that he gave him the title of “English Khan” and also made him marry a lady of Armenia.

  • Sir Thomas Roe visited India in the reign of Jahangir as a British ambassador. Two reprsentatives of England King James-I, Captain Hawkins (1608-1611) and Sir Thomas Roe (1615-1619) narrated a clear picture of Jahangir’s rule. They were sent to Mughal Court to acquire favourable facilities for the trade of British with India.

  • Sir Thomas Roe arrived Surat on 18 September, 1615 as Ambassador of British King James-I. He attended the court of Jahangir in Ajmer in 1616. He got the opportunity to visit Mandu, Ahmedabad and Ajmer with the emperor. He also went for hunting with the emperor. He stayed for one year in Agra.

  • Thomas Roe met Jahangir in 1616 at Ajmer. He stayed in India till 1619. In 1619, he returned England with the decree of Jahangir that the British would be welcomed in Mughal court with great zeal.

  • The mausoleums of Mughal emperors Babur and Jahangir are located in Kabul and Shahdara (Lahore) respectively. Both of them are located in Afghanistan and Pakistan respectively.

  • Jahangir was buried in a tomb garden at Shahdara, outside India. Jahangir died in 1627 and was buried in Shahdara, Lahore. His son, Shah Jahan, ordered a mausoleum tobe built as a permanent memorial.

  • The Mughal painting reached its zenith under the reign of Jahangir. Earlier, the paintings were concerned with the contents of manuscripts, but Jahangir freed it from this bondage. Farrukh Beg, Daulat Mansoor, Abul Hasan, etc. were such painter who had inscribed their name in a golden word in the history of Mughal painting with their talent. Ustad Mansoor and Abul Hasan was an excellent   painter of Jahangir’s reign. Emperor Jahangir bestowed both Nadir-ul-Asra (Ustad Mansoor) and Nadi-ul-Zaman (Abul Hassan). Ustad Mansoor was specialized in depicting plants and animal while Abul Hasan was a portrait artist.



  • The coronation of Jahangir took place on 3 November, 1605 AD. A week after the death of Akbar he assumed the title of “Nuruddin Muhammad Jahangir Badshah Gazi”. He provided high designations to his associates in his court in which the murder of Abul Fazl, Raja Vir Singh Bundela was also rewarded. Jahangir started his reign with liberalism forwarding the customs and traditions of his father Akbar and issued the orders which demonstrated concern for the welfare of the people.

  • Jahangir’s eldest son Khusru revolted against Jahangir just after coronation and was suppressed in 1606. The revolt of Shahzada Khursu was dismissed by the Mughal army under Mahabt Khan in 1623. In 1626, Mahabat Khan revolted against Jahangir.

  • Jahangir was an outstanding author as well as a critic. He wrote his autobiography in Persian language and named it Tujuk-i-Jahangiri. Jahangir had recorded his merits as well as demerits in his autobiography. This memoir has been divided into three parts. The first part is the preface which was written by Muhammad Hadi after the death of Jahangir in which the early life of Jahangir is mentioned. The second part was an original piece of text which was narrated by Jahangir. The third part of the text was written by Muhammad Hadi. Babur wrote his autobiography “Tujuk-i-Baburi” in the Turkish language.

  • The Tomb of Shaikh Nizamuddin Auliya is in Delhi. He died in 1325 and was buried at Ghiyasuddin (Delhi).



  • Tomb of Itmad-ul-Daula was built by Noorjahan at Agra between 1622-1628 after the death of his father. This elegant monument is located on the left bank of river Yamuna. The main mausoleum is built with white marble. Itmad-ud-Daula has a special place in the chronicles of both history as well as architecture. The monument is priceless because this is the first tomb in India that is entirely made up of marble. In spite of marble and inlay work, it was for the first time when a new style of ornamentation, Pietradura, was used.

  • Jama Masjid (Sambhal)          –         Babur

Din Panah (Delhi)                                  –         Humayun

Completion of Akbar’s Mausoleum      –         Jahangir

Jahangir Mahal                                      –         Akbar

  • Nur Jahan was a cultured, educated, intelligent dominating lady and ambitious wife of Mughal emperor Jahangir. Nur Jahan’s Junta consisted group of five herself, her mother Asmat Begum, her father Ghiyas Beg Itmad-ud-Daula, her brother Asaf Khan and Prince Khurram (Son-in-law of her brother Asaf Khan). Prince Khurram (known as Shah Jahan) had been allied with Nur Jahan though most of his father’s reign, but when she swung her support to her son in law Shaharyar, he left her Junta and rebelled.



Shah Jahan

  • Qandahar was the cause of dispute between Shah of Iran and the Mughal rulers of Qandahar because it became a prestigious issue for Persians and Mughals. The expansion of colonialism of both the dynasties were mostly depended on suzeraintly of Qandahar.

  • Kavindracharya had led a delegation of Banaras pandits before the Mughal Emperor to seek the abolition of pilgrim tax on Banaras and Allahabad. Kavindacharya was a dependent poet of Shah Jahan and had the perfect combination of Awadhi and Brij in his language.

  • Poet Kalim became a member of the court of Shah Jahan in 1628, who in the meantime became emperor. Kalim was given the title of Malek-al-so ara (Poet laureate), previously bestowed on another two great exponents of the Indian style: Taleb of Amol and Qadsi of Mashad.

  • The loss of Qandahar was strategically a big blow to the Mughal empire. The loss of Qandahar exposed the Mughal Kingdom to outside attacks. Finally, Qandahar slipped out from the hands of the Mughals during the period of Shah Jahan.

  • Arjumand Bano Begum, the daughter of Asaf Khan, was married with Prince Khurram, the son of Mughal Emperor Jahangir. Later on, Arjumand Bano Begum was known as Mumtaz Mahal.

  • The motive behind Shah Jahan’s Balkh and Badakshan campaitn was not to conquer Samarqand and Ferghana, the Mughal homeland but to remove the Persian representative and secure a friendly ruler in Balkh and Badakshan which bordered Kabul. This would help him in controlling the rebel Afghan tribes living near Gahnzi and Khyber. So it is became a buffer state between Mughal and Persians.

  • Aurangzeb was the governor of Deccan during 1636-44 in the reign of Shah Jahan, and he was re-appointed at this designation in 1652 again.

  • Shah was the Mughal emperor who abolished the Persian (1636-37) court custom of Sijda which was begun by Balban.

  • The Kohinoor Diamond, one of the famous diamonds in the world, was discovered in the mines of Golconda. Mir Jumla was a minister of Sultan of Golconda, Abdullah Qutub Shah (1626-1672) who became angry with Mir Jumla for accepting the Mansab of King Shah Jahan and seized all his property. Later, Shah Jahan sent Aurangzeb to attack Golconda, and the matter was resolved, and the treaty was signed between them, Later, Mir Jumla was called back to Agra and given the title of “Muzzam Khan”. Around 1656, Mir Jumla, the Persian noble and a reputed diamond dealer, visited the court of Shah Jahan and presented the Kohinnor diamond to the Mughal emperor.

  • A.L. Srivastava wrote in his book “Mughalkaleen Bharat” that the regime of Shah Jahan is the golden period in the medieval history of India. However, it is true only on the basis of art and especially architecture. J.N. Sarkar and V.A. Smith are not in favour to accept this fact, but R.S. Sharma also accepted this fact.

  • The Upanishads were translated into the Persian language during the reign of Shah Jahan by his son Dara Shikoh as “Sir-i-Akbar”. 52 Upanishads were translated in this book. Lenpool named him “Little Akbar” due to his tolerance and generosity. Majma-ul-Bahrain is original creation of Dara Shikoh. Shah Jahan gave him the title of “ Shah Buland Iqbal”.

  • In 1648, Shah Jahan transferred his capital from Agra to Delhi and laid the foundation of Shahjahanabad on his name. Red fort is an important monument of Shah Jahan. It is an irregular octagon with two long sides on the west and east and with two main gates, one on the west and the other on the south, called Lahori and Delhi gates respectively. It is unique in architecture and glory.

  • Monument          Builders

Alai Darwaza, Delhi                              –         Alauddin Khalji

Buland Darwaza, Fatehpur Sikri           –         Akbar

Moti Masjid, Agra                                 –         Shah Jahan

Moti Masjid, Delhi                                –         Aurangzeb



  • Jama Mosque of Delhi was built up by Shah Jahan. He left behind a great legacy of structures constructed during his reign. Buildings constructed by Shah Jahan are –

  • Diwani-i-Aam

  • Diwan-i-Khas

  • Shish Mahal

  • Moti Mosque

  • Khas Mahal

  • Musamman Burj

  • Nagina Mosque

  • Jama Mosque

  • Taj Mahal

  • Red Fort




  • The coronation of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb occurred twice. His first coronation was held on 31 July, 1658 in Delhi and second was held on 15 June, 1659 on the success of Devrai battle.

  • Battle of Dharmat (Madhya Pradesh) was fought between Aurangzeb and Dara Shikoh for Shah Jahan’s thorne. Dara Shikoh was supported by Raja Jaswant Singh, and Aurangzeb was supported by Prince Murad. On 15th April, 1658 Aurangzeb became victories.

  • Aurangzeb sent Raja Jai Singh of Amber to fight against Shivaji. He made elaborated preparations and succeeded in besieging the Purander Fort where Shivaji lodged his family and treasure. Shivaji opened negotiations with Jai Singh and the Treaty of Purander was signed in 1665.

  • Aurangzeb was a remarkable man. Among the great Mughals, he possessed extraordinary personal qualities. He maintained high moral standards and was far from vices, pleasures and extravagance. Some recommended him “Shahi Darvesh” and some Muslims accepted him as “Zinda Peer”.

  • Peter Mundi, the British traveller came to India during the reign of Shah Jahan. William Hawkins and Thomas Roe came to India during Jahangir’s reign whereas Antonio Monserrate came to India during Akbar’s reign.

  • Before the war of succession, Aurangzeb had signed a treaty with Bijapur by orders of Shah Jahan, according to which Bijapur had agreed to pay 1.5 of rupees and cede Bidar, Kalyani and Purander, Besides all forts in the Nizam Shahi Konkan but Bijapur did not follow the terms and conditions of the treaty. Mirza Raja Jai Singh was appointed to lead a 44,000 strong army against Shivaji to invade Bijapur. After ravaging the Maratha king Shivaji’s region and capturing the fort of Purander, he forced Shivaji to sign the Traty of Purander. Raja Jai Singh died in Burhanpur on 28 August, 1667 under mysterious circumstances. After the death of Raja Jai Singh, Aurangzeb appointed Mughal governor Diler Khan in 1676. Diler Khan compelled Sultan Adil Shah to surrender before Aurangzeb and Bijapur was annexed by Mughals in 1686 finally.

  • The Mughal army had the largest number of Hindu Generals during the reign of Aurangzeb. There were 33% Hindu commanders in Aurangzeb’s court in which most of the members were Marathas. This ratio was 16% in Akbar’s reign and 24% during Shah Jahan’s reign.

  • Akbar had declared the abolishment of Jizya during his reign but Auranjzeb re- imposed it on non-Muslims in 1679. The Hindus were categorised in three classes to pay the tax:

  1. Whose income was less than 200 Dirham per annum, had to pay  12  Dirham per annum as tax.

  2. Whose income was less than 10000 Dirham per annum, had to pay 24 Dirham per annum as tax.

  3. Whose income was more than 10000 Dirham per annum, had to pay 48 Dirham per annum as tax.

  • Women, slaves, children under 14 years, beggars and unemployed persons were exempted from it. The subordinate Hindu kings and Brahmins were compelled to pay this tax. About reviving Jizya, Europian traveller wrote that his motive was to increase his treasure but it seems to be partially true.

  • Moti Masjid inside the Red Fort in Delhi was built by Aurangzeb.

  • Aurangzeb constructed “Bibi Ka Maqbara” which is an architectural wonder with intricate designs, carved motifs, imposing structures and beautifully landscaped Mughal style garden. It is known as “Tomb of Bibi”. It is called “The Mini Taj” or second “Taj Mahal”. It is also known as Rabia-ud-Daurani.

  • Samarth Ramdas was the great saint Maharashtra. He was born in 1606 and died in 1682. He was the contemporary to the Mughal King Aurangzeb. Guru Ramdas, the fourth Sikh guru, was contemporary to Akbar.

  • Aurangzeb bestowed the title of “Sahibat-uz-Zamani” to Jahan Ara. Jahan Ara was the eldest daughter of Emperor Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. She was also the elder sister of her father’s successor and sixth Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

  • Mehrunnisa was the daughter of Aurangzeb while Jahan Ara, Roshan Ara, and  Gauhar Ara were the daughters of Shah Jahan.


Mughal Administration

  • Akbar divided the empire into units for the convenience of administration. The Mughal revenue administration is also remarkable. There were 12 provinces or Subas (subsequently raised to 18 and finally to 20 in Auranzeb’s time). These were further divided into Sarkars (districts) and Puranas (sub-districts). Several villages made up a Paragana. Every Sarkar had a chief officer like-Faujdar, Amalguzar, Qazi, Kotwal, Bitiqhi and Khajandar.

  • Niccolao Manucci (1653-1708 A.D.) was appointed as a doctor in the Mughal army. He was an Italian traveller. He joined the army of Dara Shikoh as an artilleryman. He opted profession of medico after the death of Dara Shikoh in 1659.

  • Ahadis levied on in Akbar standing army of a few thousand, were equipped with several horses and had a reputation for being excellent arches. These gentlemen at-Arms were single men having no following of mounted retainers. Akbar’s ahadis were under the authority of emperor.

  • During the Meghal period, the head of the military was called Mir Bakshi, who was appointed from the leading nobles of the court. Mir Bakshi was in charge of intelligence gathering and also made recommendations to the emperor for military appointments and promotions.

  • During Mughal period, duty of Mir Bakshi was to supervise land revenue officials in addition to the salary of military department. Sir Jadunath Sarkar called Mir Bakshi as Pay Master.

  • Muhtasib, the censor of public morals acted as police cum Judge in the observance of the canon law by the Muslims.

  • The main features of Mansabdari system were –

  1. The king himself appointed the mansabdars. He could enhance the mansab, lower it or remove it.

  2. A mansabdar could be asked to perform any civil or military service.

  3. There were 33 categories of the mansabdars. The lowest mansabdar commanded 10 soldiers and the highest 10000 soldiers.

  4. A mansabdar was paid salary in cash.

  5. The salary due to the soldiers was added to the personal salary of the mansabdar.

  6. The mansabdari system was not hereditary.

  7. In addition to meeting his personal expenses, the mansabdar had to maintain out of his salary a stipulated quota of horses, elephants camels, mules and carts.

  • The central feature of the agrarian system under the Mughals was the alienation from the peasant of his surplus produce (produce over and above the subsistence level) in the form of land revenue which was the main source of state’s income.

  • In 1605, Portuguese introduced tobacco in India. Soon it became popular among the common man. The Mughal emperor Jahangir noticed the harmful effect of tobacco and issued an order to ban it in 1617 AD.



  • The meaning of word “Bantai” During the medieval period was a system of calculating revenue in which real field was distributed between state and peasants. Sher Shah Suri opted 3 systems for calculating revenue –

  1. Nasq/Muktai/Kankut

  2. Nakadi or Jabti

  3. Galla Bakshi or Bantai


Bantai was of 3 types –

  1. Khet Bantai

  2. Lank Bantai

  3. Raasi Bantai

  • Akbar issued the coins with figures of Ram and Sita and Devnagari legend “Ram Siya”. He introduced the coins with decorative floral motifs dotted borders, quatrefoil, and other types. His coins were both round and square with a unique “mihrab” (lozenge) shaped highlighting numismatics calligraphy at its best.



Mughal Music and Paintings

  • The foundation of Mughal painting was laid by Humayun during the years of his exile in Persia and Afghanistan. He met two distinguished pupils Khwaja Abdus Samad and Mir Sayyid. In 1555, he regained his throne only for seven months. It was from these artists that Humayun and his son Akbar took lessons in drawing. An advanced atelier was set up in the palace.

  • Abdul Hasan, Ustad Mansur, Farrukh Beg, Bishan Das, Aqa Riza, Muhammad Nadir, Muhammad Murad, Manohar, Govardhan were the main artists of Jahangir period. Mir Sayyid Ali and Abdus Samad laid the foundation of the Mughal painting during the period of Humayun.

  • “Todi” Raga is used to sung early in the morning. Todi is a Hindustani classical Raga which gave its name to the Todi throat, one of the modes of Hindustani classical music. It was sung by the ministerial in the emperor’s court.

  • The “Pahari School” , “Rajput School”, “Mughal School” and “Kangra School” are different styles of medieval painting. The paintings in different hill states of north-western Himalayan region are said to be the hill paintings. It comprises the era of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu Kashmir and area of Tehri and Garhwal of Uttrakhand.

  • Swami Haridas was a spiritual poet and classical musician credited with a large body of devotional compositions, especially in the Dhrupad style. He was also the founder of Haridas school of mysticism, still found today in North India. His followers built 5 worship training centers (ashrams). These are –

  1. Sri Banke Bihariji

  2. Nidhivan

  3. Temple of Gorelal

  4. Sri Rasik Bihari

  5. Thatti Khana

  • “Kishan Garh” school was famous for paintings. It is a part of Ajmer, Rajasthan. Its style of painting is known for beautiful depiction of courtesan known as Bani Thani. Sawant Singh, a great scholar and patron of art and learning who ascended to the throne in 1748, was the real inspiration behind the famous Kishan Garh school of painting.

  • Akbar was fond of Music. He was a learned musician. He studied Hindu vocalization under Lala Kalawant, who taught him “every breathing and sound that appertains to the Hindi language”.

  • Maham Anaga built “Khairul Manzil mosque in 1561 AD in Mughal architecture. Later, it served as a Madarsa and now stands opposite to Puranas Qila, Delhi. Today, it is also known as “Madarsa-e-Begum.

  • Tansen is considered as one of the greatest composer-musicians in Indian classical music. He lived during the period of the great Mughal Indian king Akbar and was one of the nine jewels of his court. He first served as a court musician of the King Ramchandra of Rewa and then Emperor Akbar respectively. His tomb is located in Gwalior near the tomb of Saint Hazrat Ghaus whose teachings influenced him to convert into Islam.



Mughal Literature

  • Gulbadan Begum was the daughter of Babur. She was born in 1523 AD and died in 1603 AD. She wrote many historical descriptions in her book ‘Humayun Nama’. Akbar had a great respect for her. Gulbadan Begum was that she had written the history of Babur and Humayun on the orders of Akbar. She described the battle between Humayun and Kamran in her book.

  • Hitopadesha is a collection of Sanskrit fables in prose and verse written in the 12 century A.D. It was translated into Persian by Tajul Mali. Emperor Akbar commended the work of translating the Hitopdesh into the Persian language by his minister named “Mufarrih-ul-Qulub’ or Tajul Mali.

  • Hasan Nizami          –        Tazul Maasir

Khwandamir               –        Humayun Nama

Muhammad Kazim     –        Alamgir Nama

Bhim Sen                    –        Nushka-i-Dilkhusha

Chandrabhan Barahman      Char Chaman

Muitamad Khan          –        Iqbal Nama Jahangiri

  • The successful administration policy of, tolerance and balanced attitude of Akbar provided such an opportunity for Hindi, to grow that his reign is called the golden era of Hindi poetry. Both Hindu and Muslims had equal rights on Hindi. Akbar Rahim Khan-i-Khanan was a master in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Sanskrit, Hindi and Rajasthani languages. “Rahim Satsai” is his famous collection of couplets.

  • “Ramchandrika” and “Rasik-Priya” was written by Keshavdas (1555-1617). He was a Sanskrit scholar and Hindi poet, best known for his “Rasik Priya” a pioneering work of the Ritikaal of Hindi literature.

  • Akbar was a protector of many languages. He established the  “translation department” for translating the works of languages like  Sanskrit, Arabic, Turkey, Greek and also many other languages.

  • The Persian language was the official and administrative language of Mughals. While Urdu was the language of the princely courts as Delhi and Lucknow.

  • Akbar Nama was written during 1590 to 1596 by Abul Fazl, one of the nine gems of Akbar’s court. Some of the books described that it took more than 7 years (12 or 13 years) to complete Akbar Nama.



Mughal Period: Miscellaneous

  • Sir William Hawkins was a representative of the English East India Company. Hawkins visited Agra to negotiate a consent for a factory from Jahangir in 1609. He was an expert in the Persian Language. Sir Thomas Roe came in 1615 during the reign of Jahangir   not Akbar’s reign as Akbar5 died in 1605. Tavernier was a 17th century French gem merchant and traveller. He visited the court of the great Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. He toured India six times in between 1638-1663. Manucci was an Italian writer and traveller. He worked in the Mughal courts during the reign of Aurangzeb. He was an expert in gunnery department.

  • Person Period

Hawkins             –        1608-1611

Thomas Roe       –        1615-1619

Manucci             –        1653-1708

Ralph Fitch        –        1585-1586

  • The third battle of Panipat was fought between Ahmad Shah Abdali and Maratha in 1761. Qutbuddin Aibak was the first ruler of the Delhi Sultanate and also the founder of the Slave dynasty. Shah Jahan did not fight the war of succession while it was fought among his sons (Shah Shuja, Dara Shikoh, and Aurangzeb) and Jahangir was a lover of beauty and

  • The battle of Karnal (Jan 25, 1739) was fought between the forces of Nadir Shah, an Iranian adventure and Muhammad Shah, the Mughal emperor of India, at Karnal, north of Delhi in which Mughal suffered a decisive defeat. Nadir Shah massacred the populace. The first battle of Panipat was fought between Babur and Ibrahim Lodi on 21 April, 1526 in which Babur was victorious and laid the foundation of the Mughal Sultanate. The second battle of Panipat was fought between Hemu and Akbar on 5 Nevember, 1556 in which Hemu was defeated. The third battle of Panipat was fought between Ahmad Shah Abdali and Marathas on 14 January 1761 in which Marathas were badly defeated.

  • War Year

Second Battle of Tarain       –        1192

Death of Aurangzeb             –        1707

Third Battle of Panipat        –        1761

Death of Akbar                    –        1605



  • The second battle of Tarain was fought between Muhammad Ghori and Prithviraj Chauhan in 1192. Due to illness, Aurangzeb died on 3rd March 1707, in The third battle of Panpat was fought between Ahmad Shah Abdali and Marathas in 1761. Akbar died on 25 October 1605.

  • Hemu was a Hindu emperor of North India. Hemu rose to become chief of the army and Prime Minister of Adil Shah. He won 22 consecutive battles against Afghan rulers across North India and Mughal forces of Akbar and Humayun. Hemu acceded the throne of Delhi on 7 October 1556 after defeating Mughal forces and assumed the title of “Vikramaditya” and established Hindu rule after 350 years of Turkic and Mughal rule. He was called “The last sun of Indian glory”.

  • Battle of Haldighati          –        Akbar (against Rana Pratap)

Battle of Bilgram                          –         Humayun (against Sher Shah)

Revolt of Khusru                          –        Jahangir

Battle of Khanwa                          –        Babur (against Rana Sanga)

  • Banjaras during the medieval period of Indian history were traders. They used to move from one place to another, sometimes with thousand of oxen, laden with food grain, salt, ghee and other daily stuff. They were specialized in Caravan trading and also in textile embroidery etc.

  • The battle of Khanwa was fought between Rana Sanga and Babur on 17 March, 1527 consolidated the new Mughal dynasty in India by this victory.

  • The battle of Ghaghra was fought between Babur and Mahmud Lodi on 5 May, 1529. Lodi was defeated by Babur. This was the last battle of Babur.

  • The battle of Chausa took place between Mughal emperor Humayun and Sher Shah Suri on 26 June, 1539. Humayun was defeated in this battle. The title “Sultan Adil” is an official title adopted by Sher Shah Suri on the victory in this battle.



  • The battle of Samugarh was fought on 29 May 1658 between Aurangzeb and Murad Baksh with his elder brother Dara Shikoh on 29 May, 1658. In this war, Dara Shikoh was badly defeated.

  • Buildings                   Rulers

Qutb Minar                 Iltutmish

Gol Gumbad               Muhammad Adil Shah

Buland Darwaza          Akbar

Moti Masjid                Aurangze

  • Accession of Akbar                                       –         1556

Grant of Charter to East India Company       –         1600

Death of Shivaji                                              –         1680

Nadir Shah’s capture of Delhi                        –         1739


  • The real name of Tansen was Ramtanu Pandey. After the conversion into Islam, he has named Ata Lai Khan.

  • “Iqta” was allotted by Delhi Sultans, Jagir was allotted by Mughal rulers, Amaram grant was made by Vijayanagara rulers and Mokasa land was granted by Maratha rulers.

  • Fatehpur Sikri (City of Victory) was founded as the capital of Mughal Empire by Akbar in 1571. Various complexes of Mughal architecture in Fatehpur Sikri are Jama Masjid, Buland Darwazah, Punch Mahal, Tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti etc. Jama Masjid of Fatehpur Sikri is also known as “Shah-i-Fatehpur” or “Shah-i-Sikri”. Fatehpur Sikri was listed among the world heritage sites by UNESCO in the year 1986.






Sikh Sect

  • Guru Nanak died on September 22, 1539 at the age of 70. He appointed Bhai Lehna as his successor who later known as Guru Angad.

  • Akbar donated the land of 500 bighas to fourth Sikh Guru Ramdas which had a natural pond. Amristsar was established on the land which was granted by Akbar to Guru Ramdas and his wife, Bibi Bhani. Firstly, the city was named as Ramdaspur. Later, it came to be known as ‘Amritsar’ on the name of the natural pond present there.

  • Fifthe Sikh Guru Arjun Dev compiled the holy book of Sikhism “Adi Granth” in 1604. He was hanged to death by Jahangir for aiding to Prince Khusru. Guru Amardas divided religious empire into 22 branches called Manjis and apponted a local Sikh preacher at each place. Dal Khalsa was established by Kapur Singh.

  • Prince Khusrau revolted in 1606. He escaped to Punjab where he got the blessing and some financial help from Guru Arjun  Jahangir got displeased with Guru Arjun Dev. He fined Guru Arjun Dev with 2.5 Lakh rupees. After rejection, Guru Arjun Dev was imprisoned and awarded death by torture and suffered the first great martyrdom. He was the 5th Guru Sikhs. He constructed Harmandir Sahib in the lake of Amritsar. He established two cities named Taran Taran and Kartarpur. He practiced the custom of “Mand” in which 10th part of the income was compulsory given to Guru by every Sikh.

  • Adi Granth or Guru Granth Sahib was compiled by Arjun Dev, 5th Sikh Guru (1581-1606). It contains preachings of five Sikh Gururs, 18 Hindu devotees, Kabir, Baba Farid, Namdev and Raidas. The first line of Adi Granth was written by Bengali Vaishnav poet Jaydev and the last line was written by Guru Teh Bahadur.

  • Guru Arjun Dev and Guru Tegh Bahadur were given death sentence by the rulers of their times Jahangir and Aurangzeb respectively.

  • Guru Arjun Dev (1581-1606) – He was the 5th Sikh Guru. After the revolt against Jahangir, his rebellious son Prince Khusrau fled from Agra to Afghanistan where Khusrau met Guru Arjun Dev in Taran Taran city. Guru gave him support and shelter due to which Jahangir got angry with Guru Arjun Dev. Jahangir accused him conspiracy and gave him death sentence in 1606. Guru Arjun Dev established Taran Taran and Kartarpur towns. His major work compilation of Guru Granth Sahib. He started to run “Mand” system in which 10th part of the income was donated to Guru by every Sikh.

  • Guru Tegh Bahadur (1664-1675) – Revered as the ninth Nanak, he was the ninth of ten Gurus of the Sikh religion. According to the records written by his son Guru Gobind Singh, the Guru had resisted persecution, adopted and promised to protect Kashmir Hindus. The Guru was summoned to Delhi by Aurangzeb on a protest but when he arrived he has offered “to abandon his faith and convert to Islam”. Guru Tegh Bahadur refused, he and his associates were arrested. He was executed on November 11, 1675 before the public in Chandni Chowk, Delhi.

  • The famous Sikh Gurudwara is located in Hem Kund (Chamoli, Uttrakhand).

  • Guru Gobind Singh was the tenth and the last Sikh Guru. He was born in 1666 in Patna, in the east India province of Bihar. He introduced “Khalsa Panth” and consolidated Sikh community as a warrior.

  • The 10th Sikh Guru and last prophet Guru Gobind Singh was assassinated in Nanded (Maharashtra) by an Afghan Aristocrat. Nanded Gurudwara is situated at his mausoleum there.

  • The last king of Sikh kingdom was Dilip Singh. In second Anglo-Sikh war (1849), English annexed Punjab and provided pension to Dilip Singh and was sent to Britain.



Maratha State and Confederacy

  • Shivaji defeated the Mughals in Salher battle in 1659. He was born on 20th April, 1627 in Shivner Fort. He assumed the little of “Chhatrapati” after the coronation in 1674. He died at the age of 53 in 1680.

  • Shivaji was enthroned in 1674 with the title of “Chhatrapati” and made Raigarh his capital. Vishveshwar (Ganga Bhatt), the famous contemporary scholar of Banares (Banaras), enthroned and declared him Kshatriya.

  • Shivaji Bhonsle also known as Chhatrapati Shivaji was crowned as the Chhattrapati in 1674 at Raigarh. The coronation ceremony was performed by Vishweshwar also called Ganga Bhatta of Varanasi.

  • In 1659, Bijapur sultan sent his experienced and trusted commander Afzal Khan for suppression of Shivaji, but the diplomat and clever Shivaji killed him.

  • The “Modi Script” was employed in the documents of Marathas especially in keeping the revenue and administrator record.

  • Ahmad Shah Abdali entered Delhi in January 1757 and looted Delhi, Mathura, and Agra. Before returning to his motherland, he appointed Alamgir-II as the Emperor, Imadulmulk as Prime Minister and Rohilla leader, Najib-ud-Daula as his chief agent and Mir Bakshi of the empire.

  • The immediate reason for the third battle of Panipat was that Ahmad Shah Abdali’s desire to average Marathas as they expelled his viceroy Timur Shah from Lahore.

  • Shahu appointed Balaji Bajirao as Peshwa after the death of Bajirao in 1740. Now the designation of Peshwa became patrimonial. By the Sangola a agreement of 1750, the Maratha king became a “do nothing king” and the Mayor of Palace, and the Peshwa emerged as the real and effective head of Maratha Confederacy.

  • After the death of Rajaram, his minor son Shivaji-II became king and widow Tarabai became his regent. Tarabai was a brave lady. She led the struggle with Mughals and took the fort of Singhgarh, Raigarh and Satara from Mughals.

  • Rajaram led Marathas as a representative of Shahu from 1689 to 1700. After the death of Rajaram, his widow Tarabai struggled with Mughals on behalf of his son Shivaji-II. At the time of Aurangzeb’s death, the Maratha leadership was in the hands of Tarabai.

  • Balaji Vishwanath reigned from 1713 to 1720. Shahu appointed the elder son of Balaji Vishwanath Bajirao-I as Peshwa whose tenure was from 1720 to 1740. Balaji Bajirao reigned from 1740 to 1761 after the death of Bajirao. Madhavrao’s tenure was from 1761 to 1772.




Disintegration of the Mughal Empire

  • After the death of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, his sixty-three years old son Muazzam (Shah Alam) ascended the throne under the name of Bahadur Shah (first) in 1707. He ruled the duration of 1707-1712.

  • Jahandar Shah was the first Mughal emperor who proved to be unfit for governance. He ascended the throne with the help of contemporary, powerful Amir Zulfiqar Khan. He was defeated by his nephew, Farrukh Siyar and assassinated on 11 Feb, 1713. People called him “lewd Moron”.

  • Muhammad Shah (1719-48) spend his most of time in watching animal fight. People called him “Rangeela” due to his obsession towards wine and beauty and apathy towards administration. A group of eunuchs and ladies dominated in Mughal Darbar during the regime of Muhammad Shah.

  • Farrukh Siyar issued a decree in which he granted duty-free trading facilities to the Britishers in Bengal in 1717. It was mentioned in the contract that the East India Company can trade without duty (charge) after paying the annual tax of 3000.

  • Shah Alam-II tenure was from 1759 to 1806. His real name was Ali Gauhar. He becomes the victim of conspiracies held in the royal court. He reached Delhi with the help of Marathas in 1772. During his tenure only, English captured Delhi in 1803.

  • Muhammad Shah (1719-1748) was the last Mughal emperor to sit on Mayur Singhasan/ Takht-i-Taus during his reign. Nadir Shah attacked India in 1739 and defeated Mughals in Karnal Battle. The contemporary historian Anand Ram Mukhlis wrote “Nadir Shah took sixty thousand rupees, many thousands gold coins, gold of one crore rupee, jewels of fifty crores, Kohinoor and peacock throne with him to Iran.

  • Jai Singh-II constructed an astronomical observatory Jantar-Mantar in Delhi. Rajput King of Amber’s Kachhwha, Jai Singh had interest in Astronomy. He established observatories in Ujjain, Mathura, Varanasi, Jaipur also besides Delhi.

  • Bahadur Shah Zafar received one lakh rupees per month as a pension, fifteen lakh rupees as rental expenses for his other estates and one thousand for regular expenses. 

  • The first Nawab of Awadh was Saadat Khan. Turanis established Hyderabad and Iranis establish Awadh. In 1722, Saadat Khan was appointed as the governor of Awadh where he governed through his heir nephew Safdarjung and played high polities in Awadh royal court. After his death, Safdarjung refused to give nominal loyalty to the Mughal emperor.

  • Swami-Jai Singh (1681-1743 A.D.) of Amber was a great Rajput king of the 18th He established “Jaipur” city and made it the centre of scientific and art. He was a great astronomer. He constructed well-equipped observatories in Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain, Mathura and Varansi. He prepared a set of chart named jiz Muhammad Shahi for ease in astronomical observation journals. He translated Euclid’s “Geometry” in Sanskrit. He organized two Ashwamedh sacrifices during his reign.



Modern History of India




Arrival of European Companies

  • Vasco Da Gama arrived on western coast port of Calicut on May 20, 1498 A.D. He discovered a new sea route to India and he was welcomed by Zamorin, the then king of Calicut. The voyage of Vasco da Gama opened the new trade dimensions of the Indo-Portuguese alliance. Vasco da Gama earned 60 times profit in Europe by black pepper trade from India which encouraged other Portuguese traders. The Portuguese merchants established their commercial firms in India at the ports of Calicut, Goa, Daman, Dieu and Hooghly. Francisco de Almeida came to India in 1505 as the first Portuguese Viceroy and Albuquerque came to India in 1509 after him as a new Viceroy. He annexed Goa in 1510 from Bijapur ruler Adilshah. The Portuguese maintained Goa as the epicenter of their culture and entity.

  • The Portuguese sailor Vasco da Gama discovered the Indian route. The Spanish voyager Christopher Columbus discovered America. The British Captain Cook ensued Australia while Holland voyager Tasman explored Van Deman’s land (Now Tasmania) and New Zealand.

  • The real founder of Portuguese in India was Albuquerque (1509-15). He established. Portuguese state as a powerful regional power in India. The annexation of Goa from the Sultan of Bijapur in 1510 was the first significant achievement of Albuquerque. The victory of Goa consolidated the Portuguese monopoly at the southern-western naval coast and established regional Portuguese state in India. He encouraged Portuguese to marry Indian women for enhancement of Portuguese presence in India and the formation of permanent colonies.

  • A wide territory came under Napoleon’s control and introduced many of the reforms that he had already introduced in France.

  • Although Napoleon had destroyed democracy in France, but in the administrative field he had incorporated  revolutionary  principles  in  order  to  make  the  whole  system  more rational and efficient.

  • The first Portuguese was constructed by Alfonsso-la-Albuquerque (who was not the Viceroy at that time) in Cochin, 1503. Francisco de Almeida constructed the Portuguese fortress in Cannanore and Anjidiv in 1506.

  • The Portuguese obtained permission to establish their factories in Satgaon and Chatgaon by the then ruler of Bengal, Ghiyasuddin Mahmud Shah. After that Portuguese colonies were set up in whole Bengal. Chatgaon, known as the great port of Portuguese maritime was used by them but in the 16th century Satgaon declined and was replaced by Hooghly. Dutch built a fort named Fort Gustavas in Chinsurah. Serampore was a major centre of Danes.

  • The Portuguese were the first Europeans to come to medieval India for trade. The first Portuguese and European voyager Vasco da Gama reached the coast of Calicut in 1498 after a long voyage with the help of Gujarat route guide Abdul Majeed. The sequence of arrival of European trade powers in India is as follows: Portuguese, Dutch, English and French. Portuguese came to India in 1498 and returned in 1961 (longest period).



  • Businessmen and  small-scale  producers  of goods,  in particular,  began  to realize  that uniform  laws,  standardized  weights  and  measures,  and  a  common  national  currency would facilitate the movement and exchange of goods and capital from one region to another.

  • The first European power to occupy Pondicherry and to exert power in India was the Portuguese. Dutch were the second European power to occupy Pondicherry. The Britishers also occupied Pondicherry in 1793 but handed it over to France in 1814 under Treaty of Paris.

  • The Portuguese used Hooghly as a base for piracy in the Bay of Bengal. In 1631-32, Qasim Khan who was the Governor of Bengal during Shah Jahan’s reign finally subdued and imprisoned thousands of Portuguese.

  • Pondicherry –        French

Goa                             –        Portuguese

Tranquebar                  –        Danish (Dane)

Sadras                         –        Dutch

  • Sequence of Europeans who came to Pre-independence India as traders is:

  1. Portuguese – 1498 A.D. (1st factory was established in Cochin in 1503 A.D.)

  2. Dutch – 1602 (1st Factory was established in Masulipattanam in 1605 A.D.)

  3. English – 1600 A.D. (1st Factory was established in 1608 in Surat)

  4. French – 1664 A.D. (1st factory was established in 1668 in Surat)

  • Company          Establishment Year

  1. Estado da India (Portuguese Company)               –        1498

  2. Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie

 (Dutch East India Company)                                  –        1602

  1. The Governor and company of merchants

of London  trading into the East  Indies

(English East India Company)                                 –        1600

  1. Danes East India Company               –        1616

  2. Compagnie Des Indies Orientales               –        1664

  • During the British rule, the state of Bihar was famous for the production of opium.

  • Dupleix initiated the tactics which was later adopted by English to conquer India. For the first time, it was Dupleix, who deployed the European army to the Indian courts at the expenses of Indian kings. He intervened in India politics for European advantage.

  • The Civil  Code  of  1804  –  usually  known  as  the  Napoleonic  Code  –  removed  all privileges  based on birth, established  equality before the law and secured the right to property. This code was extended to regions under French control.

  • The first Dutch company in Bengal was set up in Pipali (1627). A few days later, the Dutch moved towards Balasore from Pipali, but the trade of Dutch started properly in Bengal in 1635 when they established their company in Chinsurah. Till the end of 17th century, the Dutch companies were established at Kasim Bazar, Patna, Malda, Balasore, etc.

  • First Carnatic War –        Ended by  Treaty of Aix La Chapelle

Third Carnatic War              –        Ended by Treaty of Paris

Second Carnatic War           –        Inconclusice War

First Mysore War                 –        Britishers lost

  • The British Governor of Bombay, John Child, cordoned off Mughal ports of Bombay and Western coastal areas in 1688 and tried to capture Mecca pilgrims. As a result of which Aurangzeb ordered to expel him from India. He was forced to negotiate for peace and bent to his knees before the Mughal Emperor.

  • Bombay was received as a dowry gift by the Portuguese Crown to the British when H.M. Charles II, the King of England married Catherine of Braganza, the Princess of Portugal in 1661. Charles II gave Bombay to British East India Company on 10-pound annual rent in 1668.

  • In the year 1613, the English East India Company was given permission to set up a factory (trading post) in Surat.

  • Trading centers established by Dutch in India were –

Nagapattinam              –        1658 AD

Chinsura                     –        1653 AD

Machilipatnam            –        1605 AD

Surat                            –        1616 AD

Bharuch                      –        1619 AD

Agra                            –        1619 AD

Kochin                        –        1663 AD

Ahmedabad                 –        1619 AD

Patna                           –        1638 AD

  • The Chief of Kasim Bazar factory, Job Charnock had selected Sutanuti instead of Hooghly for the establishment of British trade centre and finally he founded Kolkata in the form of English colonies.

  • The “Blue Water” policy is attributed to Francisco de Almeida, the first Viceroy of Portuguese possessions in India. According to it, “The Portuguese should be the sole trade power in Arabian sea and Indian Ocean.”

  • The Dutch defeated the Portuguese and built Fort Williams in Modern Kochi in 1663. Kochi was included as the British colonial region in 1814.



East India Company and Nawab of Bengal

  • Lord Robert Clive was the founder of the British empire in India who consolidated British supremacy by defeating Nawab of Bengal Sirajuddaula in the battle of Plassey (23 June, 1757).

  • Robert Clive was the Governor of India twice from 1757-1760 and then 1765-1767. He forced Nawab of Bengal Shujauddaulah to sign the Treaty of Allahabad. He established “Predatory State” in Bengal successfully. Indeed, he was a statesman in a mask of a soldier. William Pitt stated that he was “heaven-born general”.

  • Palasi (modern name- Plassey) battlefield is located on the banks of the Bhagirathi river in Nadia district of West Bengal. On 23 June, 1757 the troops of the British East India Company led by Robert Clive defeated Nawab of Bengal Sirajud Daulah, in the historic battle of Plassey.

  • The battle of Buxar was fought on 22 October 1764 between the forces under the command of the British East India Company led by Hector Munro and the combined army of Mir Qasim the Nawab of Bengal, Mughal King Shah Alam-II and Nawab of Awadh.

  • On 22nd October, 1764 British army defeated allied forces of Nawab of Bengal Mir Qasim, Nawab of Oudh Shuja-ud-Daula and Mughal emperor Shah Alam-II. British army‘s command was in the hands of Major Hector Munro in the Battle of Buxar. The battle of Buxar assured the result of Plassey battle and established British supremacy on Banaras and Allahabad across the Ganges. The battle of Buxar made the way for British and proved that there is no strong competitor before British. The battle of Buxar completed what Plassey had begun. According to Sir James Stephen. “The battle of Buxar deserves more credit than the battle of Plassey as the origin of British power in India”. If the results of both significant battles are analyzed, it can be said that battle of Plassey was won by treachery, but the battle of Buxar showed the supremacy of English armies and military skills. Plassey made the English only the controller of Bengal while Buxar raised the political prestige of the company throughout India.

  • Major Hector Munro inflicted a crushing defeat on the allied army of Mir Qasim, Shujauddaula and Shah Alam-II at Buxar on 2nd October, 1764. Now there was no power left to demolish British empire. Thus, the battle of Buxar is regarded as the first decisive military success of English East India Company in India.

  • Battle of Ambur (August, 1749) – The combined armies of Muzaffar Jung, Chanda Sahib and the French defeated and Killed Anwar-ud-din at the Battle of Ambur near Bellore in August, 1749. Muzaffar Jung became the Subedar of Deccan. Duplex was appointed Governor of all the Mughal territories south of the river Krishna. The Nizam surrendered some districts in the northern circars to the French. A French army under Bussy was stationed in Hyderabad.

  • Battle of Plassey (June, 1757) – Fought between Nawab of Bengal Sirauddaula and the British army. Bengal was in control of British after Plassey. Mir Jafar was to be placed on the throne by Robert Clive. In exchange, Mir Jafar ceded to the British an area of south of Calcutta known as 24 Paragna for their services and gifted 234000 pounds to Clive as personal gift reward.

  • Battle of Wandiwash (January, 1760) – It occurred between French and British. French were defeated by British. Sir Eyre coote was the leader of British army while French troops were led by Count de Lally.

  • Battle of Buxar (October, 1764) – Fought between allied forces of Mir Qasim, Shujauddaula, Shah Alam  II and the British. British led Hector Munro defeated badly the allied force.

  • Battle of Khurda – was fought by Marathas against Nizam in which Nizam was defeated.

  • Diwani of Sylht was obtained by British in 1765 and Scott tried to link Sylht with Jaintia and Garo’s hilly areas by road routes after Burma war. Khasi tribe revolted under the leadership of Tirath Singh.

  • As per the second Treaty of Allahabad (August 1765), the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II was taken under the company’s protection and was to reside at Allahabad. He was assigned Allahabad and Kada ceded by the Nawab of Oudh. The Emperor issued an order dated 12th August, 1765 granting Company the Diwani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa in return the company had to made an annual payment of  Rs 26 Lakhs to him and provide Rs 53 Lakhs for the expenses of the Nizamat. During this time Robert Clive was governor of Bengal. The emperor’s order legalized the political authority of company in Bengal and British rule expanded all over India including Delhi.  Successors of Shah Alam II i.e. Akbar II (1806-37) and Bahadurshah II (1837-57) became pensioners of East India Company.



Regional States: Punjab and Mysore

  • Ranjit Singh was born on 2nd November, 1780 in the home of Maha Singh, chief of Shukerchakia Misl. On 25th April 1809 treaty of Amritsar took place between Maharaja Ranjit Singh and British. The terms of the treaty prevented Singh from any further territorial expansion south of the Sutluj but on the other hand as Cunningham said, Ranjit Singh occupied authority to spread kingdom in West. He annexed Multan (1818), Kashmir (1819) and Peshawar (1834).

  • Zamanshah invaded Punjab in 1798. While returning, his tanks had fallen in Chinab river. Ranjit Singh returned them safely to Lahore. Hence, Zamanshah permitted him to occupy Lahore. In July, 1799, he seized Lahore and declared capital. He captured Amritsar from Bhangi Misl in 1805.After that he established Lahore as the political capital of Punjab and Amritsar as the cultural capital of Punjab.

  • Khadag Singh ascended the throne after the death of Ranjit Singh in 1839. He was an addict of opium. Consequently, a period of turbulence and anarchy inseparable from a series of disputed successions started. Two factions Dogra Brothers (Dhyan Singh, Gulab Singh, and Suchet Singh) and Sandhanwalia Sardars (Chait Sintgh, Atar Singh, Lahna Singh and nephew Ajeet Singh) emerged for succession and created chaos in Punjab.

  • Maharaja Duleep Singh was the last king of Sikh empire. He reigned from 1834 to 1849.

  • Former king of Punjab, Maharaja Duleep Singh died in Paris (France) on 23 October, 1893.

  • Lord Dalhousie appointed a sect of triumvirs (Board of Three) to manage affairs in Punjab after its annexation on 29 March, 1849 in which Henry Lawrence was named as President; John Lawrence and Charles Grenville Mansel included as members of the council. H.M. Eliot and Robert Montgomery was not concerned with this council.

  • Tipu Sultan established embassies in Egypt, France and Turkey on modern lines.

  • First Anglo-Mysore War (1767-69) was fought between British and Haider Ali. He fought bravely and captured Mangalore in 1768 reached Madras in 1769 were English in helplessness had to sign the “Treaty of Madras” in April 1769 on the conditions of Haider Ali.

  • Siege of Arcot was done in 1780 by Haider Ali. After that, a British Army led by Hector Munro was defeated at Pollilur. Haider Ali was defeated at Portonova, Pollilur, and Sellingpur between June 1781 to September 1781.



  • Third Anglo-Mysore War (1790-92) ended with Treaty of Srirangapatna (1792). It was signed by Tipu Sultan and Cornwalis. According to the treaty, half of the territories of Tipu were snatched away from him and divided among Marathas, British, and Nizam. Tipu had to pay Rs 3.30 crore as war indermnity to British as his two sons were kept hostage.

  • Begum Samru constructed most prominent Church at Sardhana near Meerut. European Walter Joseph Reinhardt Silbertal was the husband of Begum Samru who offered military service to many states. Begum Samru became empress of Sardhana after the death of her husband.

  • The fourth and final war was fought between British and Mysore in 1799 which ended the glorious history of Mysore, Srirangapatna was captured and Tipu was killed in its defence. Wellesley and Stuart had led British Army during the war, Wellesley was raised to the title of “Marquess” for the victory of Mysore by Lord Society of lreland. British restored control of Mysore to the Wodeyars and annexed Kanara, Coimbatore and Srirangaptna.

  • First Anglo-Mysore War occurred in 1767-1769 and ended with Treaty of Madras on 4 April, 1769. British Governor was Vere 1st during the war.

  • Second Anglo-Mysore War was fought in 1780-1784 and ended with the Treaty of Mangalore. Warren Hastings was British Governor General during the war.

  • Third Anglo-Mysore War occurred in 1790-92 under commands of Lord Cornawallis and ended with Treaty of Srirangapatna. Tipur requested support from Turkey, Kustuntunia and France but his effort was worthless.

  • 4th Anglo-Mysore War was fought in 1799, led by General Lord Wellesley. On 4 May 1799, British annexed Srirangapatna Fort and Tipu got martyrdom in the battle. A family member of Tipu was imprisoned in Vellore.


Governor/Governor General/Viceroy

  • Under Regulating Act, 1773 the British parliament provided the system of colonialist government in Bengal. The government consisted of a chairman and four members. The Chairman was known as Governor-General. Warren Hastings was appointed as the first Governor-General of Bengal.

  • Charter Act of 1833 was an attempt by the British government to centralize the Indian administration. The Governor-General of Bengal was made Governor-General of India by this Act. Lord William Bentinck was appointed as the first Governor-General of India.

  • Lord Warren Hastings was the Governor-General of Bengal at the time of the establishment of Asiatic Society on 15 January, 1784 in Calcutta.

  • The policy of “Security Cell” is related to Warren Hastings and Wellesley. Warren Hastings fought with Mysore and Marathas to achieves status equivalent to other Indian states. During this time the company tried to form buffer state (also known as Ring Fence) with an aim to protect its state from Afghans and Marathas. Thus, they agreed to protect Awadh on the condition that the Nawab of Awadh will bear the expenses. The main aim of Wellesley was to enforce Indian states to rely on his army power. The British plicies towards Indian states were –

  1. Company’s struggle for equality from Indian estates. (1740-1765 AD)

  2. “Security Cell” or the policy of siege. (1765-1813 AD)

  3. Subordinate Separation policy. (1813-1857 AD)

  4. Subordinate union policy. ( 1858-1935 AD)

  5. The policy of equal union. (1935-1947 AD)

  • Warren Hastings was prosecuted from 1788 to 1795 for impeachment for unjust and arbitrary functions, but British parliament dropped all the charges against him after considering his service. It was said that Warren Hastings had done all this for the benefit of the empire.

  • Lord Cornwallis introduced criminal and judicial regulations that to a significant degree still underpin the Indian Judicial system. Cornwallis gave limited judicial powers to the company’s revenue collectors, who already served as civil magistrates. In 1790 the company took over the administration of justice from Nawab and Cornwallis introduced a system of circuit courts with a superior court that met in Calcutta and had the power of review over circuit court decision.



  • The court of directors took the decision in 1772 to abolish the dual government system in the tenure of Warren Hastings and ordered council of Calcutta and its chiefs to serve as Diwan and officiate the administration of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa. Warren Hastings dismissed both the deputy Divans Muhammad Raza Khan and Raja Shitab Roy.

  • The subsidiary alliance system was introduced in India by Lord Wellesley. The main principles of a subsidiary alliance were –

  1. An Indian ruler entering into a subsidiary alliance with British had to accept British his territory and also agree to pay for their maintenance.

  2. The ruler would accept a British resident in his state.

  3. An Indian ruler who entered into a subsidiary alliance would not enter into any further alliance with any other power.

  4. The ruler would not employ any Europeans other than British.

  5. In case of a conflict with any other state, he would agree the resolution decided by the British.

  6. The ruler would acknowledge East India Company as the paramount power in India.

  7. In return for the ruler accepting its conditions, the company undertook to protect the state from external dangers and disorders.

  8. If the Indian ruler failed to make the payments required by the alliance, then part of its territory was to be taken away as a penalty.

  • The Nizam of Hyderabad was the first enter into such alliance. The Nawab of Awadh was next to accept the alliance, Maratha ruler Bajirao II also accepted a subsidiary alliance. Several states like Hyderabad (1798), Tanjore and Mysore (1799), Awadh (1801), Bhonsle (1803), Sindhiya (1804), Indore (1817) adopted this system.

  • The Treaty of Bassein (Now called Vasai) was a pact signed on December 31, 1802 between the English East India Company and Bajirao II, the Maratha Peshwa of Pune (Poona) in India after the Battle of Poona. In this treaty, Bajirao-II was restored as Peshwa in Pune with around 60 thousand English forces were permanently stationed with the Peshwa to protect him for which 26 lakh was to be paid to East India Company.

  • The doctrine of Subsidiary Alliance System was introduced by Lord Wellesley. British Governor General of India from 1798-1805. He also adopted a policy of non-intervention in the princely state but later adopted the policy of Subsidiary Alliance. The Nizam of Hyderabad was the first to enter into such an alliance.

  • Lord Wellesley used the subsidiary alliance to being Indian states within the ambit of the British political power. This helped to establish the sovereignty of the British Empire.

  • Lord Wellesley moved to India in 1797, which was the darkest period of British. The front made of European powers against France had been disbanded. Napoleon had conquered Egypt and Syria and was seriously thinking about attacking India. In that condition, Lord Wellesley used subsidiary alliance in India, which helped to establish the sovereignty of the British and the fear of Napoleun was averted.

  • Vellore Mutiny (1806) was protest against interference in the social and religious practices of Sepoys. The sepoys unfurled the flag of ruler of Mysore. This revolt occur during the regime of governor general Sir George Barlow. He was governor general of India from 1805 to 1807 A D.

  • The Anglo-Nepal (1814-16) War took place during the reign of Lord Hastings which came to an end by the Treaty of Sugauli in 1816.



  • Sir Thomas Munro was governor of Madras during 1820-1827 A.D. He is credited as the father of Ryotwari System in India in which the taxes of agriculture land were directly collected from the ryots (owner of the land).

  • The Meaning of Sati is “Holy and Virtuous woman”. In Hindu rituals the marriage is considered as Sanskar which means “relation of spirits”. The Brahmins of the 18th century used to believe that if a woman becomes Sati, seven generations of his husband will achieve the heaven. It was quite famous among highly reputed Brahmins, Kshatriya and Rajputs. Few conscious rulers of India also tried to abolish this system, Akbar was one of them. Marathas fully abolished this system in the state. Portuguese and French also tried to abolish this system in Goa and Chandranagar respectively. It was Raja Ram Mohan Roy who started his campaign against Sati practice. The Bengal Sati Regulation, or Regulation XVII (17), A.D. 1829 of the Bengal Code was a legal act promulgated in British India under East India Company rule by the then Governor-General Lord William Bentinck which banned the practice of  Sati system.

  • “Hill Assembly Plan” was set up for the development of Adivasi by Cleveland. He placed the entire range of hills inhabited by Pahairyas under a uniform administration of Hill assembly under hereditary hill chiefs, called sardars. The assembly met twice a year and had wide powers including that of inflicting or rescinding capital punishment. Surdas were entrusted the duty of reporting all crimes and law and order problems in the villages under their control to the authorities.

  • The export of slaves from Bengal was banned in 1789 A.D. In 1811 and 1823 A.D. several laws were made regarding slaves. In Charter Act, 1833 the Governor was asked to make a law to abolish slavery at the earliest. In 1843 Slavery was declared illegal in all parts of India. Under Indian Penal Code slavery was declared as a crime in 1860 A.D.

  • Lord Dalhousie efficiently made the plan and accused Nawab of Awadh, Wajid Ali Shah for maladministration and merged his state in British Empire on February 12, 1856. He sent his officer to inquire the ground reality who sent him a detailed report regarding maladministration. He sent that report to London to obtain the permission to merge the Awadh.  Lord Dalhousie (1848-56) merged Satara in 1848, Jaitpur and Sambhalpur in 1849, Bhagat in 1850, Udaipur in 1852, Jhansi in 1853, Karauli in 1855 and Nagpur in 1854 under the principles of Doctrine of Lapse.

  • Lord Ellenhorough –        Annexation of  Sindh  in British state in August, 1843

Lord Dalhousie           –        Annexation of Awadh charging maladministration in


Lord Wellesley           –        Fourth Anglo-Mysore war (1799)

Lord Hastings             –        Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817-18)

  • The 1st Census in British India started in 1872 during the tenure of Lord Mayo (1869-72), but the regular census began in 1881 during the tenure of Lord Rippon.

  • Lord Mayo was murdered by a convicted prisoner in Andaman and Nicobar Island when he was out for a walk. He was the first Governor-General killed, during his tenure.

  • Lord Lytton was appointed Viceroy in 1876 by Conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. He preferred to follow the “Forward Policy” and replaced “Masterly inactive” policy.

  • The title of “Rai Bahadur” and “Khan Bahadur” were began to conferred to Indian during the period of viceroy Lytton. Vernacular Press Act (1878) was passed during his regime.



  • The Ilbert Bill was a bill introduced in 1883 for British India by Viceroy Ripon that proposed an amendment to existing laws in the country to allow Indian Judges and Magistrates the Jurisdiction to try British offenders in criminal cases at the district level, something that was not allowed before. The introduction of the bill led to intense opposition in Britain and from British settlers in India that ultimately played on racial tensions.

  • Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was loyal to British and he felt that the development of Muslims was only possible under the colonial rule. So, he did not believe in the drain theory of Dada Bhai Naoroji.

  • Dadabhai Naoroji was the first Indian nationalist who after deep research and analysis proved that the Britain was exploiting India economically and every year a definite amount of money had been transferred to England. He introduced his “Drain Theory” based on this analysis.

  • Dadabhai Naoroji with W.C. Bannerji established “London India Society” in 1865 whose main purpose was to expose Indian plight. He was the first Indian who was elected to British House of Commons on the ticket of Leberal Party. He directly highlighted Indian economic predicaments and propounded “Wealth Drain Theory” firstly in his brief essay “Poverty and Unbritish Rule in India”.



Revolution of 1857

  • The Company decided to use new Enfield Rifle instead of old Brown Bess gun in December, 1856. The training for the use of this rifle was organized in Dum Dum, Ambala, and Sialkot. Te rifle needed an extraordinary kind of loading of a cartridge in the magazine and hence the soldiers while in the ensuing fight, had to bite off the outer covering of the cartridge while loading it down into the rifl’s muzzle. The cartridge was rumoured to have been greased with animal fat (Pig fat and Cow fat). Army Commanders refused rumours without and cross checking, but the soldiers were of the view that this was in intended act of the British with the aim of besmirch their religion. This became the immediate cause first Independence Struggle of India in 1857.

  • Soldiers denied to use cartridge of animal of fat in Barrackpore 29 March, 1857 and Mangal Pandey murdered his adjutant. British dissolved 34thI. Regiment and punished the culprits.

  • The first War of Independence was started from Meerut. Sepoys refused to use the new rifle cartridge and revolted openly. They left Meerut and Meerut to Delhi. General Hewitt had not tried to stop this rebellion. General Vilobi resisted, but he was defeated. Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was declared as Emperor of India. The success of Delhi revolt sensitized North and Western parts of India and revolt spread over to the areas of Oodh, Rohillkhand, Western Bihar etc.

  • Bakht Khan was a Pashtun related to the family of Rohilla Chief Najib-ul-daula. Bakht Khan arrived in Delhi on 1 July 1857 which improve the leadership position of Bahadur Shah Zafar. Bakht Khan’s superior abilities quickly became evident and emperor gave him actual authority and title of “Saheb-e-Alam Bahadur.



  • The Indian Rebellion of 1857 had a diverse political, economic, military, religious and social causes. The Sepoys, a generic term used for native Indian soldiers of Bengal Army had their list of grievances against the British East India company administration. The spark that led to the mutiny was the issue of new gunpowder cartridge for enfield rifle in February 1857. There was widespread belief that the cartridge contain cow or pig fat. This insulted both the Hindu and Muslim religious practices. Underlying grievances like taxation and land annexation by East India Company were ignited by the sepoy mutineers and within weeks dozens of units of Indian army joined peasant army in widespread rebellion. The old aristocracy, both Muslim and Hindu, who were seeing their power being steadily eroded by the East India Company, also rebelled against British rule.

  • Symbol of 1857 Independence war were Chapatis and red Lotus. A class of historians considers that this mutiny was a wide and well-planned conspiracy. They mentioned the reach of Chapatis and Red Lotus in remote villages of North India and prophets, hermit and play of Madaris to prove that fact.

  • Rani Laxmibai was the widow of last Maratha king Raja Gangadhar Rao. Dalhousie annexed Jhansi by his “Doctrine of Lapse” in 1853. The revolt started in the leadership of Rani Laxmibai on 4 June, 1857. Rani departed for Gwalior after the decline of Jhansi. She achieved Martyrdom on 18 June, 1858 after a long battle. Hugh Rose said on the death of Rani “Sleeping beauty is the only man among all Indian rebel leader”.

  • Rani Laxmibai, originally known as Manikarnika, was born on 19 Nov, 1835 in Golghar, Varanasi. His father Moropant went to the court of King Gangadhar Rao. Laxmibai was only 13 years old at that time. She was married to Maharaja Gangadhar Rao of Jhansi at the age of 14.

  • The revolt was started on 4 June, 1857 in Oudh (Lucknow). The mutiny was led by Begum Hazrat Mahal. She crowned her minor son Brijis Qadir as royal heir and took charge of the affairs of the state of Oudh. Later British General Campbell reannexed Lucknow with the help of Gorkha regiment on 21 March, 1858.

  • Maulvi Liyaqat Ali was a Muslim religious leader from Allahabad, in Uttar Pradesh. He was one of the leaders of the revolt against the British in 1857. One of the most prominent leaders of the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny, Maulvi Liyaqat Ali belonged to Village Mahgaon in Pargana Chail of District Allahabad. He was a religious teacher, an upright, pious Muslim and a man of great courage and bravery. Maulvi captured Khusru Bagh and declared the Independence of India. Khusru Bagh became the headquarters of the sepoys under Maulvi Liyaqat Ali who took charge as the Governor of liberated Allahabad. Later this mutiny was suppressed by General Neil.



  • Ramchandra Pandurang, known as Tatya Tope was an able leader of the great uprising of 1857. He was a personal adherent of Nana Saheb of Kanpur. He progressed with the Gwalior contingent after the British reoccupation of Kanpur and forced General Windham to retreat from Kanpur. Later on, he came to the rescue of Rani Laxmi Bai. However, he was defeated by General Napier’s troops and was executed by the British Government at Shivpuri on 18th April 1859. One of the greatest heroes of the Great Uprising of 1857, Tatya Tope was born in 1814 at Yevla in Maharashtra. He was the only child of Pandurang and his wife, Rukhmabai. having been brought up in Bithoor, he came into contact with Nana Saheb Peshwa. He was a great admirer of Nana Saheb and was ready to sacrifice his life for him. Tatya Topes was the only person who witnessed the rebellion since the Kanpur revolt till his end of 18th April 1859. Tatya Tope was the Commander-in-chief of the rebel army of Shivarajpur. He defended Kanpur gallantly and captured Kalpi. His able leadership led to the victory of Indian forces at Kanpur. He won some battles against the British. His guerilla tactics frightened the British Generals. The British army was directed in searching him while he was wandering in jungles. Tatya kept himself busy in organizing the forces during this period. He along with Rani Laxmi Bai seized Gwalior, but later he was defeated by Sir Collin Campbell. The British army surrounded him from all sides. He managed to escape and fled to the jungle. For a couple of months, he was wandering in jungles facing unimaginable difficulties and hardships. During this critical juncture of his life, a traitor namely Mansingh informed the British about the place, where he was hiding. He was captured on 7 April, 1859 and tried in the court. He admitted boldly “What he did, was for his own motherland and he has no regrets”. He was hanged and ultimately the first war of Indian independence came to an end.

  • Azimullah Khan was an advisor of Nana Saheb. He worked as secretary of Nana Saheb. He is also known as “Krantidoot”.

  • The mutiny of 1857 at Patna was led by Zamindar Kunwar Singh. He lost his Zamindari due to British policies, as a result, he participated in 1857 revolt.

  • Kunwar Singh was one of the most important freedom fighters in the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. Kunwar Singh was born in Jagdishpur in the Shahabad (now in Bhojpur District) of Bihar. He belonged to Arrah in Bihar during the mutiny. When the people of all parts of India rose against British authority in 1857, Babu Kunwar Singh was nearly eighty years old.

  • Diwan Maniram Dutta was an Assamese nobleman who started revolt in 1857 with the announcement of last King’s Grandson Dandapeshwar Singh as king in Assam. Later Maniram was hanged by British for conspiring against them.

  • The centre of 1857 revolt was Jagdishpur in Bihar where Zamindar Kunwar Singh led and established his own government by deposing British government. Bihar revolt was suppressed by Commissioner of Patna William Taylor and Major Vincent Eyer.

  • Shahadat Khan had struggled against Britishers in revolt of 1857.

  • Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah was the bitterest enemy of Britisheres. He led 1857 revolt in Faizabad. He was basically from Arkat (Tamil Nadu) but later he resided in Faizabad. The British considered him a worthy enemy and a great warrior in following words “as a man of great abilities of undaunted courage, of stern determination and by far the best soldiers among the rebels”. The British government announced a reward of Rs. 50000 for his arrest.

  • Thakur Kushal Singh of Auwa defeated the joint army of British and Jodhpur during the revolt of 1857.

  • Mirza Galib was a poet who witnessed the revolt of 1857.

  • Famous Urdu Poet Mirza Ghalib was born on December 27, 1796 in Agra and died in Delhi on February 15, 1869.



  • Many, like the Scindia of Gwalior, the Nizam of Hyderabad and Holker of Indore gave active support to the British during the 1857 revolt. Many educated and westernized Indians also did not support the revolt of 1857. That time, Lord Canning said, “If Scindia joins the rebels, I will pack off tomorrow.” European Historian greatly praised Singh Dinkar Rao, the Minister of Gwalior.

  • Chittor was the territory which was not affected by the Revolt of 1857. Jhansi, Jagdishpur and Lucknow were the prominent places of the revolt of 1857. These centre were led by Rani Laxmibai, Kunwar Singh, and Begum Hazrat Mahal respectively.

  • The educated middle class did not participate in the revolt of 1857, which was one of the major reasons for the failure of 1857 mutiny. Educated Indian wanted to change India as a progressive state and the fact embedded in their mind that Britishers would make this progressive possible. But later on, they came to know about the cruel strategy of British behind this.

  • The revolt of 1857 was led by Rani Laxmibai in Jhansi, Begum Hazrat Mahal in Lucknow, Azimullah Khan in Kanpur and Fatehpur and Maulavi Ahmedullah Shah in Faizabad.

  • The revolt of 1857 failed due to lack of common strategy and central organization. This was one of the major reason of the failure of the revolt in 1857. All the groups participated in this revolt for their interests. There was no feeling of nationalism behind the mutiny and lack of clear vision.

  • Lieutenant General Sir John Bennet Hearsey was commanding officer during the revolt of 1857 in Barrackpore.

  • Governor General Tenure

Lord Cornawallis (1st Tenure)      1786-93

(Second Tenure)                           1805

Lord Wellesley                             1798-1805

Lord William Bentinck                 1828-1833

Lord Canning                                1856-1862

  • General John Nicholson died in September, 1857 during the acquisition of Delhi by British. Sir Henery Lawrence, Major Havelock, and General Neil died in Lucknow while protecting English residency.

  • D. Savarkar stated in his book “The Indian War of Independence of 1857” that it was a well-planned revolt against British. He called the revolt as the first war of Independence.

  • The official historian of Indian Freedom struggle was S.N. Sen whose book titled “Eighteen Fifty Seven” was published in 1957.

  • Peel Commission is associated with the army reorganization after the suppression of the Revolt of 1857 which divided the regiments of the army on the basis of caste, community, and religion. The commission recommended a 1:2 ratio of British to Indian soldiers in Bengal, 1:3 ratio in Madras and Bombay.

  • Indian Government appointed R.C. Majumdar to write the history of revolt of 1857. But due to some differences he refused, and published his own book “The Sepoy Mutiny and the Rebellion of 1857” independently in 1957. R.C. Majumdar, however, considersthe revolt of 1857 as neither the first, nor national nor a war of independence as large part of the country remained unaffected and many section of the people took no part in the upsurge.

  • Asbab-E-Bhaghawath-E-Hind, written by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was published in 1859 in which the cause of the revolt of 1857 had been discussed.



Educational Development in Modern India

  • In 1781, Warren Hastings founded Madras “Aliya” at Calcutta. Its first head (Najin) was Mulla Mujjuddin. Arabic, Persian, and Muslim laws were taught in this Madarsa and its graduates assisted as an interpreter in British rule.

  • Britishers showed no interest in the advancement of learning in the early phase of their rule in India. Some of the Britishers in their personal endeavor and for political gain showed some interest in spreading education. Warren Hastings, Governor-General of Bengal showed a keen interest in spreading oriental education. Sir William Jones, then Justice of Calcutta High Court, established Asiatic Society at Calcutta (1784 A.D.). Here they started research on oriental education and culture and the British civilians were taught Indian languages, laws, customs, religion, geography, etc. By endeavor of Wilkins Jones, Colebrook and William Carey this oriental education got a foothold. In the year 1791, Jonathan Duncan established the Sanskrit College Varanasi (Banaras).

  • Revolt                   Place

Kuki Revolt (1917-19)        –        Manipur and Tripura

Kuka Revolt (1840-72)       –        Punjab

Pabna Revolt (1873-76)      –        Bengal

Birsa Munda (1899-1900)   –        Bihar (today’s Jharkhand)

  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy was one of the greatest initial promoters of modern education. He had established famous Hindu College in Calcutta with the cooperation of David Hare and Alexander Duff in 1817. Mayo College was established in Ajmer in 1875; Muslim Anglo-Oriental in Aligarh in 1875 and Delhi College was founded in 1824.

  • In the 1853 renewal of the Charter Act, it was realized that a systematic pattern of education was necessary for India. As a result, the Wood’s Despatch was issued with Sir Charles Wood as the President of the Board of Control of Education. The main objective of the Dispatch was to impart western knowledge to the Indian people and also to develop their intellect and moral charter.

  1. An education department to be set up in every province.

  2. Universities on the model of the London University to be established in big cities such as Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras.

  3. At least one Government school be opened in every district.

  4. Affiliated private schools should be given a grant.

  5. The Indian natives should be given training in their mother tongue also.

  6. The provision was made for a systematic method of education from primary level to the university level.

  7. The Government should support education for women.

  • Sadler Commission was related to education. In 1917, the Government of India appointed a commission to study and report on the problems of Calcutta University. Dr. M.E. Sadler, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, was appointed its Chairman. The commission included two Indian members, namely Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee and Dr. Zia-ud-din Ahmad. The Sadler Commission held the view that the improvement of secondary education was a necessary condition for the improvement of University education. It strongly criticized the University between colleges and universities. Although the Commission reported on the conditions of Calcutta University, its recommendations and remarks were more or less applicable to other Indian universities also.



  • Hunter Commission was founded under. W. Hunter in 1882 for reviewing the educational development after 1854. This Commission recommended for primary education development.  It was organized by Lord Ripon.  The Commission recommended for vocational training in secondary education and brought out inadequate facilities available for female education in the country. The recommendations were partially implemented.

  • William Bentinck appointed a committee headed by Lord Macaulay to make recommendations for the promotion of education in India. In this report, Macaulay emphasized the promotion of European literature and science through English medium to the people of India. This recommendation was whole heartedly accepted by William Bentinck. The Government Resolution in 1835 made English as the official and literacy language of India.

  • “Downward Filtration” theory was related to educational upliftment during India’s colonial period. The filtration theory in education meant coming down of education or knowledge from top to bottom, i.e., from the higher class people to the lower classes or the general people. Lord Macaulay explained his point of view by stating that the purpose of the company was only to educate the elite group which would educate the general public later-thus fulfilling the goal or educating the masses in general.

  • Magna Carta of India education system which was laid down on the Dispatch of Charleswood, 1854, established three Universities at Calcutta, Madras and Bombay respectively on the model of London University in the year 1857.

  • Dhondv Keshav Karve was an Indian Social reformer noted for supporting the cause of widow remarriage and women’s education. He founded widow remarriage association. In 1899 he opened a Widow Home in Poona with the object of giving high-caste widows an interest in life by providing them jobs and making them self supporting. He set up an Indian Women’s University at Bombay in 1916. He awarded India’s highest honour, the Bharat Ratna in 1958.

  • Madan-Mohan Malviya (1861-1946) was an Indian educationist and politician notable for his role in the Indian independence movement. He is known for vigorously advocating for religious education in the Indian Universities. He founded Banaras Hindu University at Varanasi in 1916. Malviya was the Vice Chancellor of B.H.U. from 1919 to 1938. He published “Hindustan”, “The India Union”, “Abhyudaya”, “Maryada” and “Kisan”.

  • Deccan Education Society was established in 1880. It was formed by Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Gopal Ganesh Agarkar with Vman Shivram Apte and Mahadev Ballal Namjoshi.

  • Lord Hardinge then Viceroy laid the foundation stone of Banaras Hindu University on 4th February, 1916 on the occasion of Basant Panchami.



Development of Press in Modern India

  • Bengal Gazette was an English newspaper published from Kolkata (then Calcutta), India. It was the first major newspaper in India, started in 1780. It was published for two years. Founded by James Augusts Hicky. The beginning of modern Indian press occurred in 1766 with the publication of a paper by Bolts.

  • Many newspapers were published during 1766-1789. In 1799 Lord Wellesley brought the censorship of Press Act, 1799 Lord Hastings cancelled the Act in 1818.

  • The first Indian to go to jail in the performance of his duty as a journalist was bal Gangadhar Tilak. In 1882, he was punished for 4 months imprisonment as he strongly criticized the then Maharaj of Kolhapur. In 1897, he was rigorously imprisoned for 18 months for provoking Chapekar brothers to murder two English men through his writing.

  • Tarak Nath Das started to issue newspaper “Free India” in America.

  • Lord Lytton (1876-1880) passed the Vernacular Press Act in 1878. By this Act, the Magistrates of the districts were empowered without the prior permission of the Government to call upon a publisher of any kind to enter into a bond, undertaking not to publish anything which might “rouse”  feelings of disaffection against the 

  • A. Dange –        The Socialist

Muzaffar Ahmad        –        Navyug

Gulam Hussain           –        Inqilab

  1. Singarvelu –        Labour Kisan Gazette

  • “Commonweal” was an English newspaper published in Madras. Annie Besant was the editor of this newspaper.

  • Person Newspaper

Annie Besant             New India

Mahatma Gandhi       Young India

Bal Gangadhar Tilak Maratha and Kesari

Bipin Chandra Pal     New India

Arvind Ghosh            Vande Mataram

Muhammad Ali          Comrade

B.R. Ambedkar          Mook Nayak

Abul Kalam Azad      Al-Hilal

Feroz Shah Mehta      Bombay Chronicle

  • Lala Lajpat Roy launched an Urdu daily “Vande Matram” and an English weekly “The People” from Lahore. He earlier published “Young India” in United States of America.

  • Abdul Kalam Azad started publishing an Urdu weekly “Al-Hilal” in 1912. In 1914 it was banned under Press Act.

  • Newspaper Founder

Dainik Aaj                  Shive Prasad Gupta

The Leader                  Madan Mohan Malviya

The National               Jawahar Lal Nehru

The Pioneer                 George Allen

  • The first issue of a weekly paper “Harijan” started by Gandhi was published on February 11, 1933 from Yerwala Cental Jail, Pune in Maharashtra.

  • Newspaper and their respective languages –

Bharat Mitra               –        Hindi

Rastra Mata                 –        Marathi

Prajamitra                   –        Gujarati

Nayak                          –        Bengali



  • The first Peasant Movement in Rajasthan took place in a large estate of Bizaliya in the state of Mewar (Udaipur). Different types of Lagans imposed on farmers resulted in the movement against these Lagans. It was headed by Sadhu Sitaram Das in 1913 and Vijay Singh Pathik in 1915 AD. Vijay Singh Pathik propagated the movement through “Pratap” published by Gangesh Shankar Vidyarathi and made it the subject of discussion of India.

  • Ramkrishna Pillai was the editor of “Swadesh Vahini” or “Swadeshabhimani”. He born in 1878 in Nair family in Neyattinkara in then Travancore state.

  • The king of Darbhanga Kameshwar Singh founded “The Indian Nation” published from Patna in 1931 A.D.

  • Indian Opinion was a journal published by Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa in 1903. Manuskh Lal was the first editor of this paper who was the Secretary of Natal Congress. This journal was published in Gujarati, Tamil, Hindi and English.

  • Bengali daily “Som Prakash” was published by Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar in 1859. This newspaper supported the welfare of farmers during Indigo movement.

Social and Religious Movement

  • 19th Century religious and social reforms movement has a special place in the modern history of India. The movement mostly affected the intellectual and the middle class people. Poor ordinary classes were almost out of these movements. Intellectuals, urban upper castes, and liberal princes were mostly affected by this movement.

  • Educated Hindu middle class was primarily affected by western culture. The new western educated class was highly affected by rationalism, scientism, and humanism. Reformers in Indian society and religion sought to improve the society and Hindu religion inspired by the enlightenment and denied superstition, pilgrimage and idolatry etc.

  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy was the first Indian who started a movement against prevailing evils in the Indian society. Due to his innovative ideas, the nineteenth century of India saw the emergence of the Renaissance. Raja Ram Mohan Roy  was also known as “Father of the  Indian Renaissance”, “Paigambar of Indian Nationalism”, “Bridge between past and future”, “Father of Modern India”, “First Modern Man”, and “Yugadoot”.

  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy founded Brahmo Sabha on August 20, 1828, which was later called Brahmo Samaj. This society denied idolatry and preached universal worship. It was a community of people who believed in the unity of God and lived apart from idolatry. There was no place for social customs and rituals in this new religion. Bramho samaj emphasized humanity without considering colour and character of the people.

  • In 1814, Raja Ram Mohan Roy founded Atmiya Sabha to propagate monotheistic Hindu religion. It tried to initiate social and religious reforms in the society. Raja Ram Mohan Roy also founded the Brahmo Sabha, an important socio-religious reform movement in Bengal in 1828, later known as “Brahmo Samaj”. Devendranath Tagore founded “Tatvabodhini Sabha” in 1839 to propagate the ideas of Raja Ram Mohan Roy. “Atmiya Sanha” was the first society founded by Raja Ram Mohan Roy.

  • The tiele “Raja” was awarded to Ram Mohan Roy by the then Mughal emperor Akbar-II in 1830. Ram Mohan Roy traveled to the United Kingdom as an ambassador of the Mughal emperor to plead for his pension and allowances. Raja Ram Mohan Roy passed away on September 27, 1833, at Stapleton near Bristol due to meningitis.



  • Brahmo Samaj was founded by Raja Ram Mohan Roy in 1828. The principles of Brahmo Samaj were as follows-

  1. Belief in Monotheism and to free Hinduism from evils.

  2. Opposing idolatry and the dominance of priests.

  3. Improving situation of women.

  • Swami Dayanand Saraswati popularized the doctrine that the Vedas Samaj.

  • In 1893, Swami Vivekanand went to Chicago, where he delivered his famous speech in “World Parliament of Religious”. In his speech, Vivekanand gave a short introduction of Hinduism and spoke on “The meaning of the Hindu religion”.

  • The Tarkeswar Movement of 1924 in Calcutta (Bengal) was against the corrupt priest (Mahant) of Tarkeswar Shiva temple. A serious allegation of misuse of temple fund and adulterous relationship with the wife of a Government employee were imputed on the priest.

  • Brahmo Samaj, Ramakrishna, and Arya Samaj, all of them, helped in social reforms, development of education on development of patriotism.

  • Deoband Movement started in 1866 A.D., located at Deoband Shahranpur district in U.P. (United Province) with an avowed objective to overthrow the British rule in Indian sub-continent and restore Islamic rule.

  • “Dar-ul-Ulum” was established at Deoband in 1866 by Maulana Hussain Ahmad and others, with the aim to improve the moral and spiritual conditions of Muslims.

  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy –        Purest form of Hinduism is contained in


  • Keshav Chandra Sen –        That Brahmovad should be made the religion of

                                                               the world

  • Dayanand Saraswati          –        Identified Hinduism with religion instituted in 


  • Ramakrishna Paramhansa –  Emphasized that there are several ways to reach

                                                               the God.

  • Dayanand Saraswati, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar and Raja Ram Mohan Roy made tireless efforts for socio-religious reforms in India during British rule.

  • Gopal Krishna Gokhale founded “Servants of India Society” in 1905 with the objective to prepare propagation for service of India and to promote true interest of Indian people in constitutional ways. This society had given birth to many social servants such as V. Srinivas Shstri, G.K. Devdhar, N.M. Joshi, Pandit   Hridayalnath Kunzuru etc. M.C. Shitalvaad, B.N. Rao, and Alladi Krishna Swami Ayer were some of the main distinguished members of this society.



Political Institution Established before Congress

  • The first political organization established in India was known as Zamindari Association or Landholders Society (1838) in Calcutta. It was the first political organization which introduced organized efforts and constitutional remedies for complaints. Its main purpose was to secure interests of landlords. The founder members were Dwaraka Nath Tagore and h is associate landlords.

  • Poona Sarvjanik was founded by M.G. Ranade and G.V. Joshi in 1870. Govind Ranade presided the Sabha prodigiously. It was Indian association that submitted a petition to the House of Commons demanding Indias direct representation in the British Parliament in 1875.

  • Surendra Nath Banerjee was selected for Indian civil services exam in 1809, but he was disqualified on technical grounds. He was reappointed after the judgment of the court. But very soon he was dismissed from the job on baseless grounds. He was the founder member of “Indian Association” and “Indian National Conference”.

  • Firoz Shah Mehta was one of the founder members of the Bombay Presidency Association formed in 1885. He became president of the Association and encouraged Indians to obtain western education and embrace its culture to uplift India.

  • Surendra Banerjee was the first Indian to resist political reforms. He founded Indian Association in Calcutta, in 1876. He also edited magazine “Bengali” for the dissemination of mass consciousness. He was elected as President of Congress.

  • Organization –        Founder

Land Holder’s Society-       Dwarkanath Tagore

British India Society   –        William Adams

Indian Society             –        Anand Mohan Bose

Indian Association      –        S.N. Banerji







Indian League

Shishir Kumar  Ghosh


To promote nationalism and political education in India.

Indian Association

Anand Mohan Bose and Surendra Nath Bannerjee

26  July, 1876

To include everyone not only middle class people.

Indian National Libera

Surendra Nath Bannerjee


Espousing liberal, pro-British point of view in politics

United India Patriotic Association

Sir Syyed  Ahmad Khan


To develop close relationship between the Muslim Community and Britishy Government.




Indian National Congress

  • Allan Octavian Hume (A.O. Hume) was a retired British officer of Indian Civil Services. In 1884, he established the Indian National Union. After visiting Kolkata, Mumbai and Madras, Hume took the initiative to organize the first Indian National Union to meet in Poona. Its objective was to obtain a share in Government for educated Indians, to create a platform for civil and political dialogue between educated Indians in British Raj. The first meeting was scheduled to be held in Poona, but due to an outbreak of Cholera, it was shifted to Tejpal Sanskrit Vidyalaya in Bombay. The first session of Indian National Union was held on 28 December, 1885. In this session on the advice of Dadabhai Naroji the organization was renamed as “Indian National Congress”.

  • The British Indian Association was established on 28 October 1851 in Calcutta. The founder members of this association were Rajendra Mishra, Radhakant Dev (President), Devendranath Tagore (Vice- President), Harish Chandra Mukherjee, etc. The Bombay Presidency Association was founded by Firoz Shah Mehta, Badruddin Tyabji, K.T. Telang etc. Central Mohammadan National Association was established by Sayyad Amir Ali and Servants of India Society was established by Gopal Krishna Gokhale in 1905.

  • The Indian National Congress was established during the tenure of Viceroy Lord Dufferin (1884-1888). He had ridiculed Congress as representing only a short-sighted minority of the people.

  • The second session of the Indian National Congress was held in Calcutta in 1886, presided over by Dadabhai Naoroji. At this session, Indian National Conference was merged with Indian National Congress. Besides this session Dadabhai Naoroji also presided over the session of Lahore and Kolkata in 1893 and 1906 respectively.

  • “British Committee of India” was established in London in July, 1889 with the purpose to gain support for Indian National Congress under the presidency of William Digby. It was a committee of Indian National Congress. This committee released weekly magazine “India” to convey Indian issues to British.

  • “Home Rule League” in 1916 and became the first female President of Congress in 1919 and 1928 and established the “Swaraj Party” in 1923. Tilak was born in a Chitpavan Brahmin family of Maharashtra. He edited newspaper “Kesari” and “Maratha”, and gave famous slogan “Swaraj is my birthright” but was never elected as President of Congress.

  • The First European to be elected as President of the Indian National Congress was George Yule. He presided over the 4th session of INC, 1888.



  • 32nd session of Indian National Congress was held on 26-29 December, 1917 in Calcutta in which Annie Besant was elected as first woman President of Indian National Congress.

  • Lala Lajpat Rai, popularly known as “Sher-e-Punjab” (Lion of the Punjab) presided over Indian National Congress in s special session of Calcutta 1920. He was the author of “Unhappy India”. Annie Besant was a prominent Anglo-Irish nationalist lady. She became a prominent leader of Theosophical Society during 1907-1933. She constituted “Home Rule League” in 1916 and became the first female President of Indian National Congress in 1917. Moti Lal Nehru became President of Congress in 1919 and 1928 and established the “Swaraj Party” in 1923. Tilak was born in a Chitpavan Brahmin family of Maharashtra. He edited newspaper “Kesari” and “Maratha”, and gave famous slogan “Swaraj is my birthright” but was never elected as President of Congress.

  • Sarojini Naidu was an eminent poetess and nationalist leader. She became the first Indian women President of Congress in the 40th annual session of INC held at Kanpur in 1925. She was as loyal and trustful colleague of Gandhiji. She went many times to jail. She was the first Indian woman who became the Governor of Uttar Pradesh in 1947-48.

  • Abul Kalam Azad presided over the special session of the Indian National Congress held at Delhi in 1923. He was the youngest to become the president of the Indian National Congress. He was the president of Indian National Congress continuously for 6 years (1940-46) which is longest period by any person before independence. Jawaharlal Nehru was president of INC at Lahore session in 1929. Ananda Mohan Bose in 1898 (Madras) and Bhupendra Nath Bose in 1914 (Madras) became the president of INC.

  • The first session of the Indian National Congress was held in Bombay, not in Calcutta. Although, first it was scheduled to be held in Poona, but due to an outbreak of Cholera, it was held in Bombay.

  • The second session was held in 1886 at Kolkata under the president ship of Dadabhai Naoroji. Indian National Congress session and the Muslim League session both were held in Lucknow in 1916. Consequently, the pact was signed between Congress and Muslim League which is known as “Lucknow Pact”. In this session extremist who was expelled from the Congress party for 9 years were reintroduced to Congress. Ambika Charan Mazumdar served as the President in Lucknow Session, 1916.

  • In 1912, Indian National Congress held its 27th session at Bankipur (Patna) under t he Presidency of R.N. Mudholkar. In this session A.O. Hume was called as the father of the Indian National Congress.

  • Tilak proclaimed vigorously “Swaraj is my birth right, I shall have it” in the Lucknow session of INC, 1916. Extremists joined Congress again in this session and “Lucknow Pact” was signed by the efforts of Tilak and Annie Besant. It is famous as “Congress-League Agreement” also.

  • The first lady president of Indian National Congress was Annie Besant, who presided over the 1917 Calcutta session. A.O. Hume was the founder of Indian National Congress, but he was never the President of Congress. He was appointed as secretary of INC. C.R. Das presided over the 1922 Gaya session. C.R. Das was nominated as president for 1921 Ahmedabad session, but as he was then in prison, so Hakim Ajmal Khan presided over, and Das acted as president from prison-Alfred Webb was the president of 1894 Madras session of

  • The last session of Indian National Congress attended by Bal Gangadhar Tilak was Amritsar Session, 1919. He had mellowed sufficiently to oppose Gandhi’s policy of boycotting the elections to the legislative councils established as part of the reforms that followed from the Montagu-Chelmsford Report to Parliament in 1918. Instead, Tilak advised the delegates to follow his policy of “representative cooperation” in carrying out the reforms, which introduced a certain degree of Indian participation in regional Government.

  • Abul Kalam Azad was the president of Indian National Congress for six consecutive years from 1940-45 during the Quit India Movement. He also became the youngest person to serve as president in 1923 at the age of 35 in Delhi special session.

  • “Jana Gana Mana” is the national anthem of India. Written in Bengali, it is the first of five stanzas of a Brahmo hymn composed and scored by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. It was first sung during Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress on 27 December, 1911. “Jana Gana Mana” was officially adopted by the Constituent Assembly as the Indian National Anthem on 24 January, 1950. 27 December 2011 marked the completion of 100 years of Jana Gana Mana since it was sung for the first time. The original poem written by Rabindranath Tagore was translated into Hindi by Abid Ali.

  • B. Kripalani was the President of Indian National Congress at the time of Independence. Acharya (scholar) Jiwantram Bhagwandas Kripalani was a Gandhian Socialist, environmentalist, mystic and freedom fighter, noted for his incorruptibility and determination. Kripalani joined the All India Congress Committee and became its general secretary in 1928-29.



President of INC

Session Year


Motilal Nehru



Sarojini Naidu



Dr. Rajendra Prasad



Abul Kalam Azad




  • For writing the Constitution of Congress, Gandhi wanted cooperation of Tilak and Das but as they were overloaded with work and they were not available to serve the purpose, their Junior N.C. Kelkar and I.S. Sen replaced them and helped Gandhi to write the  Constitution of Congress.

  • Vijay Raghav Chariar presided Indian National Congress in 1920 at Nagpur session, where Gandhiji’s advocacy of “Poona Swaraj” though Non-cooperation was debated and accepted.

  • Mahatma Gandhi suggested the winding up the Indian National Congress after India got independence.



Moderate Groups and Extremists Groups in Congress

  • The methods employed by the two groups (Moderates and Extremists) of Congress were different in their tempo and approach. Congress split into two different groups at Surat Session of Congress in 1907. While the moderates had infinite faith in the efficacy of Constitutional agitation and in appealing to the British sense of justice and fair play, in holding annual conference, making speeches, passing elaborate resolutions and sending deputations to England. The Extremists had no faith in the benevolence of British public or Parliament nor were they convinced of the efficacy of merely holding conferences. Extremists had faith in the concept of passive resistance.

  • In 1904, Dadabhai Naoroji demanded “Swaraj”, Self-Government for India and continuously emphasized on the Government for Indian and continuously emphasized on the grant of Self Rule in India. His first time expressed publicly in his presidential address in 1906 to demand “Swaraj” (Self Rule).

  • Surat split (1907), refers to the split in the Congress party into two groups; Moderates and Extremists. Moderates believed in the policy of settlement of minor issue with Government by deliberation, strike, and boycotts to force their demands. The moderate opposed the resolutions of Swaraj, Swadeshi and boycott of foreign goods but extremist were not in favour of these. Hence, the different of opinion between moderates and extremist finally reached to split in the Congress at the Surat Session (1907).

  • Gopal Krishna Gokhale was a prominent social reformer of India who founded an organization to work for the relief of underprivileged. He led the moderate nationalists in the early years of the Indian Independence Movement. As an influential and respected member of the Indian National Congress, the leading Nationalist organization in the pre-independent India, Gokhale advocated moderate and Constitutional methods of agitation and gradual reform. He participated for the first time in 1888 Congress Session at Allahabad. He was elected to Bombay constitution Council and later for Imperial Legislative Council.

  • Neo-Nationalist group of Lal, Bal, Pal was disillusioned by initial moderate policies of Congress. Bal Gangadhar Tilak was a pioneer of this new ideology. He was extremist.



Revolutionary Movement in India

  • D. Savarkar had set up an association called “Mitra Mela” which in 1904 war merged into the society called “Abhinav Bharat” after Mazzini’s “Young Italy” in Nasik. Savarkar views were published in his book entitled “The Indian War of Independence”.

  • During his college education in Pune, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar founded the “Abhinav Bharat Society”. Savarkar wrote the book “The Indian War of Independence” in 1902. He analyzed the circumstances of 1857 uprising and assailed British rule in India as unjust and oppressive. It was via this book that Savarkar became one of the first writers to allude the uprising as India’s “First War for Independence”. In order to inspire Indian nationalist, he wrote the biography of Mazzini. Savarkar was arrested and was deported to India from England through the ship. He made a plan to escape by ship and told his friend to keep track of the ship. He escaped and jumped into the sea from the sailing ship but was re-arrested as the alarm was raised.

  • Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh was founded by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar on 27 September 1925 at Nagpur. It was founded as a social Organisation to provide training and to unite the Hindu community. The headquarter is situated in Nagpur.

  • Barindra Ghosh was a younger brother of Sri Aurobindo Ghosh. Barindra was influenced by Aurobindo and joined revolutionary movement. In the year 1905, he wrote an article in a book “Bhawani Mandir” about the detailed description for the formation of a centre for organizing revolutionary works and is credited for spreading revolutionary ideas in Bengal along with Bhupendra Nath Dutt.  Their activities led to the formation of Anushilan Samiti, a revolutionary organization.

  • A revolutionary group had been reorganizing the Yugantar Party under the leadership of Jatindranath (1879-1915). He is also known as “Bagha Jatin”.

  • Anushilan Samiti was established in 1907 in Kolkata under the leadership of Pramathnath Mitra, a barrister and a patron of revolutionary movements. Jatindra Nath Mukherjee, Bhupendra Nath Datta (Swami Vivekanand’s brother) and Barindra Ghosh were the other nationalist leaders associated with it. In 1908 its second office was opened in Dhaka.

  • Chapekar Brother’s killed the president of Plague Committee Mr. Rand and his associate Lt. Ayrest on June 22nd, 1897. It was believed among the British circles that Tilak’s speeches had incited the killers to kill Mr. Rand and that the Puna Brahmins had conspired with him to overthrow the British Government. Therefore B.G. Tilak was sentenced for 18 months imprisonment. Tilak’s punishment generated protest among the masses and he became well-known revolutionary figure, and public honoured him the title of “Lokmanya”



  • Pulin Bihari Das, who constructed the National School in Dhaka with the objective to develop a revolutionary army, also planned and conducted Barrah Dacoity at the Barrah Zamindar’s residence in the district of Dhaka in East Bengal in the year 1908.

  • In the Alipore Conspiracy Case in 1908, 34 persons included Aurobindo Ghosh and his brother Barindra Ghosh were arrested in charge of possessing illegal arms and bombs, etc. In this case, 15 persons were sentenced but Aurobindo Ghosh was defeated and released by Chittaranjan Das successfully. C R Das was an important personality in Bengal during the time of the non-cooperation movement from 1919 to 1922.

  • Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki went to Muzaffarpur Bihar to assassinate Kingsford, Calcutta Presidency Magistrate. Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki watched the usual movements of Kingsford and prepared a plan to kill him. On the evening of April 30, 1908, the duo waited in front of the gate of European club for the carriage of Kingsford to come. When a vehicle came out the gate, they threw bombs and blew up the carriage. Unfortunately, the vehicle was not carrying Kingsford and instead two innocent British ladies-Mrs. and Miss Kennedy (the wife and daughter of barrister Prince Kennedy) were killed. The revolutionary due fled Prafulla committed suicide when cornered by police at the Samastipur Railway station. Khudiram was later arrested and hanged.



  • Two Bengali school girls Shanti Ghosh and Suniti Chaudhary murdered a district magistrate by firing in December, 1931. Bina Das fired at the English Governor while receiving her degree at the convocation in January, 1932.

  • Bipin Chandra Pal was related with extremists. He proved that our civilization and culture is much better western civilization. He was one among the famous trio of Lala Lajpt Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak Himself, short termed as “Lal-Bal-Pal”.

  • The principle of “Passive Resistance” was propounded by Aurobindo Ghosh in his book “Vande Mataram”. He was of the view that Britishers must immediately leave India. Indians must continue to protest until they leave India.

  • Kakori event happened on 9th August 1925. In this event, 29 revolutionaries were arrested. Among these freedom fighters Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqullah Khan, Roshan Singh and Rajendra Prasad Lahiri, etc. were maliciously prosecuted and death sentence was awarded to them. Ram Prasad Bismil was hanged in Gorakhpur Jail, Rajendra Lahiri was hanged in Gonda and Roshan Singh at Allahabad and Ashfaqullah was hanged in Faizabad.

  • Subhash Chandra Bose resigned from the Presidentship of Congress and founded “Forward Bloc” on 3rd May 1939. In 1928, Hindustan Socialist Republican Association was established by Chandra Shekhar Azad at Feroz Shah Kotla Ground, Delhi. Bhagat Singh was one of the founder members of the organization.

  • Jatin Das –        Hunger Strike

Chandrashekhar Azad          –        During encounter

Bhagat Singh                       –        Hanged

Kalpana Datt                        –        During life imprisonment

  • Yogesh Chandra Chatterjee was one of the founder members of Hindustan Republican Association. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in Kakori Case. He wrote in his book “In search of Freedom” that Pandit Motilal Nehru under Leadership of Govind Ballabh Pant formed the Kakori Case Defence Committee.

  • D. Savarkar was the founder of Abhinav Bharat Society, and Anushilan Samiti was another revolutionary organization founded by Shishir Kumar Ghosh and Sri Aurobindo Ghosh. Lala Hardayal founded Gadar Party in San Francisco, and Motilal Nehru, and C R Das formed Swaraj Party.

  • Abhinav Bharat          –        D. Savarkar

Mitra Mela                           –        V.D. Savarkar

Indian Republican Army     –        S. Sen

Hindustan Republican Association       –        S.N. Sanyal

  • When Socialist ideology spread in India during the third decade of 29th century, Government took steps for suppression. Socialist leaders were put in Jail. Shripad Amrit Dange, Muzaffar Ahmad, Shaukat Usmani and Nalini Gupta were put into jail on false accusations of involvement in Kanpur conspiracy.

  • First Lahore Conspiracy case occurred in 1915 after the Ghadar Movement and second Lahore Conspiracy occurred in 1931 in the case of Bhagat Singh and others. Kanpur Conspiracy case in 1924, Kakori conspiracy in 1925 and Meerut conspiracy case occurred in 1929.



Revolutionary Activities Outside India

  • In February 1905 at London, Shyamji Krishna Verma established the Indian Home Rule Society, which is also known as “India House”. “The aim of this society was to establish self-rule by intimidating the British Government. From here a Newspaper “Sociologist” was started. Shyamji departed from London for Paris due to over activeness of Governments machinery and later to Geneva.

  • In 1913 at San Francisco, Sohan Singh Bhakna founded “Hindustan Association of the Pacific Coast” organization. This organization published a paper “Gadar, ‘that is why this organization was later known as Gadar Party. Lala Hardayal was also one of its founder members and torchbearer. Other members of “Gadar Pary” were Raja Mahendra Pratap, Abdul Rahman, Madam Bhikaji Kama, Bhai Parmanand, Kartar Singh Sarabha and Pandit Kashiram.

  • The Ghadar Party was an organization founded by the Punjabi Indians in the United States and Canada in 1913 with the aim of securing India’s independence from British rule.

  • Bhikaji Kama was an Indian freedom fighter and political activist. She was born to an extremely wealthy Parsi business family. She led the revolutionary movement from America and Europe for India’s freedom. At the International Socialist Congress held at Stuttgart (Germany) in 1907, she unfurled the first version on the Indian National Flag. She designed this flag. She struggled with her full strength for Indian freedom and worked for it at least 30 years residing in Paris. In 1935 she returned to Mumbai at the age of 74 and the same year, she died. She was popularly known as “Mother of Indian Revolution”.

  • During the World-War-I Raja Mahendra Pratap established the first provisional Government of India at Kabul in Afghanistan in 1915. In this Government Raja himself became President, and his associated Maulavi Barkatullah worked as Prime Minister. Germany and Russia gave recognition to this  

  • Madam Bhikaji Kama was born on 24th September, 1861. Her parents were Parsi. Sorabji Patel was her father. She was married to Rustan K.R. Cama. He was as advocated and social activist. Madam Cama worked as personal secretary of Dada Bhai Naoroji, the great leader of the Indian National Movement.

  • Rash Bihari Bose was an immigrant Indian living in Japan. On 28-30th March 1942, Bose convened a conference in Tokyo (Japan) to discuss political issues with Indians. Bose decided to established the Indian Independence League. It was structured during the Bangkok   Convention which took place between 14th June to 23rd June, 1942 where Subhash Chandra Bose was invited. During this Conference, Ras Bihari Bose established Indian Independence League.

  • Madan Lal Dhingra and Udham Singh were sentenced  death on the charges of killing British officers. It is notable that Madan Lal Dhingra on 1st July, 1909 killed political secretary of State for India, Curzon Wyllie and Cowsji Lalkaka, by firing gunshots upon them. For this assassination he was hanged, Udham Singh got the death sentence for the killing of Mechael O ‘Dwyer in London in March, 1940, who was indirectly responsible for Jaliawala Bagh Massacre.



Partition of Bengal (1905) and the Indigenous Movement

  • Lord Curzon announced the partition of Bengal on July 19, 1905. As a result Swadeshi Movement was announced in Townhall, Kolkata on August 7, 1905, and “Boycott Proposal” was passed. The boycott of British goods was adopted as a national policy in this meeting.

  • A ceremonial welcome was organized on the arrival of King George V and Queen Mary at the Delhi Darbar in 1911, where they were presented to an assembled audience of Indian dignitaries and princes as the Emperor and Empress of India on 12 December, 1911. During Delhi Darbar on December 12, 1911, the King abolished the division of Bengal and George declared the transfer of the Indian Capital from Calcutta to Delhi. As declared, Bengal was reorganized as the new province, Orissa and Bihar were separated from Bengal. Assam became a new constituent State of India. The district of Sylhet of Assam was also combined with it.

  • On 20 July, 1905, Curzon issued an order to divide Bengal one of the main objects of the partition of Bengal was to divide the unity among the people of Bengal. Lord Curzon divided the territories of Bengal in such a way that the western part formed the Hindu majority area and the eastern part formed the Muslim majority area. The partition of Bengal finally took place on 16 October, 1905. On 7 August 1905, one of the first mass protests was organized on Calcutta’s Town Hall also known as Anti-partition Movement.

  • Surendranath Banerjee led the agitation against the partition of Bengal (1905).

  • The partition of Bengal was announced on July 19, 1905, by the then Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon (1899-1905) and came into effect on October 16, 1905. Later on, the decision of partition of Bengal was suspended during Delhi Darbar.

  • Tagore’s political acuman exhibited a marked ambivalence. On the one hand, he denounced European imperialism, occasionally voicing full support for Indian nationalist. On the other hand, he also shumed the Swadeshi movement, denouncing it in his acrid September, 1925 essay “The Cult of the Chakra” (an allusion to elements of Gandhism and the Non-cooperation Movement). In addition he viewed British control of India as a “Political symptom of our social disease.” Urging Indians to accept blind revolution but of steady and purposeful education.

  • Sir Andrew Henderson Leith Fraser, was an Indian Civil Services who served as Lieutenant Governor of Bengal Between 1903 and 1908. Sir Andrew Fraser was very actively involved in framing the Bengal partition.

  • Krishna Kumar Mitra was an Indian freedom fighter, journalist, and leader of Brahmo Samaj. He was an active leader and was against the partition of Bengal (1905 to 1911). On 13 July, 1905, he founded a Nationalist Bengali weekly Magazine titled “Sanjibani” and worked as its editor. As a journalist, he boldly advocated for the freedom of the press. In his opinion, manufacturing of British things should be abolished. He called for boycott of foreign goods, government officials and organizations by breaking all connections, people should mourn etc. His ideas were supported by a gathering in Bagerhut (District-Khulna) on 16 July, 1905.

  • First Indian artist to gain international recognition, Abanindranath Tagore was the principal artist and founder of Indian Society of Oriental Art. His grandfather and his elder brother Gaganendranath Tagore were also artists. He was a major exponent of Swadeshi values in Indian art and inspired the new life in Indian School of Art.

  • During Swadeshi Movement, the actual day of partition, October 16, 1905, was declared a day of mourning throughout Bengal and the hearts in the houses were kept unlimited People tied rakhis on each other wrists as a symbol of broth-erhood. In Calcutta, most of the offices were kept closed, and a strike was observed in some jute mills and railway workshops. The streets were reverberated with Vande Mataram which became the overnight National Song of Bengal and later, the theme Song of the National Movement.



  • The Swadeshi Movement influenced only some specific Muslims of the society. For the first time woman took part in any movement actively. They came outside their houses, demonstrated in the rally and sat to protest. But this movement did not influence the farmers of Bengal. Barisal was an exception of it. This movement affected only high and middle-class people of the society. Swadeshi Movement was not only limited to Bengal but also leaders like Lala Lajpat  Rai, Tilak, and Arvindo Ghosh actively participated and they started to spread it all over the country.

  • “The Partition of Bengal, said Lord Curzon, was a readjustment of administrative boundaries.” The argument advocated for the partition was that it would improve the administration of the two provinces. The main motive was to strike at the roots of Bengali Nationalism which was growing in solidarity form. At that time Bengal was considered to be “the nerve-centre” of Indian Nationalism. Curzon decided to ruin the new spirit by dividing the politically advanced communities into separate provinces.

  • Gopal Krishna Gokhale was born on May 9, 1866, in Kolhapur (Maharashtra). At the age of 18, he graduated from Elphinston College in 1884 and was appointed a professor of Economics and History at Ferguson College in Poona. Gokhale became a member of the Indian National Congress in 1889, as protege of social reformer Mahadev Govind Ranade. Along with other contemporary leaders like Bal Gangadhar  Tilak, Dada Bhai Naoroji, Bipin  Chandra Pal, Lala Lajpat Rai and many more. He was a member of Deccan Education Society. Gokhale fought for decades to obtain greater political representation and power over public affairs for common Indian. He first joined Congress in 1888 at the Allahabad session. Gokhale became a member of the Bombay Legislative Council and then the Imperial Legislative Council. Gandhiji often referred to Gokhale as “Mahatma”.  He was the political mentor of Gandhiji.



Congress: Banaras, Calcutta and Surat Session

  • Banaras Session of INC in 1905 was presided over by Gopal Krishna Gokhale. He founded Servants of India Society in 1905.

  • In 1906, the Congress was in real danger of splitting into two groups. The extremists were more popular than the moderates. Before this session, the extremists would have taken over Congress had they elected a leader among them. But it was not done. The moderates were politically intelligent. In 1906, the session at Calcutta was presided over by Dadabhai Naoroji. The moderates had chosen Naoroji to preside the Congress. Naoroji, “the Grand old man of India’, was respected by the moderates and extremists alike. In this session, the Congress adopted Swaraj as the goal of Indian people. Moderates toned down the resolution in a compromised state and made it self-Government meant obtaining the self-governing British colonies. Thus the whole meaning of Swaraj of the extremists was changed, and Congress was not bound to split.

  • At the Calcutta Congress session, ‘Swaraj’ was uttered as the goal of the Indian people in December, 1906. In his presidential address, Naoroji declared that the goal of the Indian National Congress “Self-Government or Swaraj was same as of United Kingdom’.

  • Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s (1856-1920) popular statement was ‘Swaraj is my birthright and I will have it’. Although, the word ‘Swaraj’ was first used by ‘Dayanand Saraswati’.

  • Dadabhai Naoroji was elected as a member of British Parliament on the ticket of Liberal Party.

  • Dadabhai Naoroji, the grand old man of India, was the first Indian to became a Member of British Parliament in United Kingdom’s House of Commons from 1892 to 1895.

  • The Indian National Congress was formed in 1885 and was divided into two fractions in 1907, namely extremists- Garam Dal led by Lala Lajpat Rai and moderates ‘Naram Dal’ led by Ras Bihari Ghosh. Ras Bihari Bose succeeded to become its President.

  • Surat Split is mainly known for separation of Congress party men into moderates and extremists at the Surat Session of Congress on 26th December, 1907. The extremists were led by Lokmanya Tilak, Lajpat Rai, and Bipin Chandra Pal and the moderates were led by  Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Ferozeshah Mehta and Surendranath Bannerjee. The divided Congress reunited in the crucial Lucknow session of Congress in 1916, with Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Gopal Krishna Gokhale adorning the state together once again.

  • The main reason for Surat split (1907) in the Indian National Congress was Extremist’s lack of faith in the capacity of moderates to negotiate with British Government. The extremist wanted to extend the Swadeshi and Boycott Movement, but moderates were not in favour of extending the movement.

  • The Indian National Congress split two groups, the extremists and the moderates in the Surat session in 1907, held on the banks of Tapti river. The extremists were led by Lokmanya Tilak, Lajpat Rai, and Bipin Chandra Pal and the moderates were led by Gopal Krishna Gokhale. Bal Gangadhar Tilak had led extremists (Garam Dal) in Surats split.



Formation of Muslim League (1906)

  • Agha Khan was a founding member and first President of the all India Muslim League. His goal was the advancement of Muslim agenda and protection of Muslim rights in India. In 1906, the meeting was organized during the Dhaka session which is known as All India Muhammadan Educational Conference. The founding meeting was hosted by Nawab Khwaja Salimullah and attended by three thousand delegates of which 56 were temporary member. Nawab Waqar-ul-Mulk and Nawab Muhasan-ul- Mulk both were jointly appointed as the secretary of the Muhammadan Educational Conference. Lucknow was the headquarter of Muslim League, and Agha Khan was its first President.

Founder members were –

  1. Salimullah Khan

  2. Agha Khan

  3. Muhsin-ul- Mulk

  • The Muslim League was founded in 1906 at Dhaka (Bangladesh) to safeguard the rights of Indian Muslims. The first session of All India Muslim League was held at Karachi on 29 December 1907 and was presided over by Adamji Peer Bhai. In 1908, it was held in Amritsar.

  • The All India Muslim League formed in 1906 supported the Bengal partition. They demanded separate electorate in the leadership of Agha Khan.

  • Shimla Deputation organized by the Indian Muslim leader Agha Khan met the General Viceroy Lord Minto at Shimla on 1 October, 1906. The aim of the deputation was to win the sympathy of the British Rule on matters relating to their interest. Therefore to safeguard their interests, the Muslim leaders drew up a plan of separate electorate of their community.

  • The headquarter of Muslim League was established at Lucknow. A London branch of the All India Muslim League was established in 1908 under the presidency of Amer Ali to put pressure on British Governor for Muslim cause.



Morley-Minto Reforms

  • In 1905, Lord Minto was appointed as Viceroy of India in place of Lord Curzon and John Morley was appointed as Secretary of India. The reforms introduced by them is known as Morley-Minto reforms. The Indian Councils Act, 1909, commonly known as the Morley-Minto Reforms was an Act of the Parliament of the Kingdom that brought about a limited increase in the involvement of Indians in the governance of British India. The major dispute regarding this bill was separate electorate for Muslim in India.

  • The main fault of the Indian Council Act, 1909(Morley-Minto was a system of communal representation for Muslims by accepting the concept of “separate electorate”. According to this system, Muslim members were to be elected only by Muslim electorates, not by general electorate in Councils. Indeed it meant that Muslim community was considered as absolutely separate class from India. Antiquated National integrity vanished in only one storm. Gandhi Stated:- “Morley-Minto Reforms has destroyed everything”.

  • The Minto-Morley reforms are known to envisage a separate electorate for Muslims, and this had a long lasting impact on Indian polity. This was for the first time that Muslim community was reorganized as a completely separate section of the Indian National and this  triggered “A Cancer” in India called  “Hindu-Muslim  Disharmony “ which later culminated in the Partition of India and  Separate constituencies were marked for the Muslims, and only Muslim community members were given the right to elect their representatives.  The principles of communal representation which was accepted under the Morley-Minto Reforms was retained and was pushed further by the Government of India Act, 1919.


Delhi Durbar and Change of Capital

  • During the British Rule, until 1911, Calcutta (now Kolkata) was the capital of India. King George V, the king of England visited India to attend Delhi Durbar in 1911 and announced the transfer of capital from Calcutta to Delhi on December 12, 1911. The capital of India shifted from Calcutta to Delhi during the tenure of Lord Hardinge on 1 April, 1912.

  • Delhi became an important city only in the twelfth century. Delhi first became the capital of a kingdom under the Tomara Rajputs, who were defeated in the middle of the twelfth century by the Chauhans (also referred to as Chahamanas) of Ajmer. It was under the Tomaras and Chauhans that Delhi became an important commercial centre.

  • The Delhi Sultans built many cities in the area such as Dehli-i Kuhna, Siri and Jahanpanah that we now know as Delhi.

  • The Delhi Conspiracy case, also known as the Delhi-Lahore Conspiracy, refers to a conspiracy in 1912 to assassinate the then Viceroy of India, Lord Hardinge, on the occasion of  transferring the capital of British India from Calcutta to  New Delhi. Hatched by the India revolutionary underground in Bengal and Punjab and headed by Rash Bihari Bose, the conspiracy culminated in t he attempted assassinated on 23 December, 1912 when a homemade bomb was thrown into the Viceroy’s Howdah when the ceremonial procession moved through the Chandni Chowk suburb of Delhi.

  • In 1236 Sultan Iltutmish’s daughter, Raziyya, became Sultan. The chronicler of the age, Minhaj-i Siraj, recognised that she was more able and qualified than all her brothers. But he was not comfortable at having a queen as ruler. Nor were the nobles happy at her attempts to rule independently. She was removed from the throne in 1240.

  • In December, 1911, the imperial court was organized for greeting on arrival of British King George V and Queen Mary to India. British emperor proclaimed cancellation of Bengal partition in Delhi Durbar as well as separated Bihar and Orissa from Bengal. In 1912, Bihar, and Orissa were separated from Bengal organized in administrative units.



Lucknow Session of Congress (The Lucknow Pact)

  • An important step towards achieving Hindu-Muslim unity was the Lucknow Pact, 1916. Anti-British feelings were generated among the Muslims following a war between Britain and Turkey, which opened the way for Congress and Muslim League unity. Bothe the Congress and the Muslim League held sessions at Lucknow in 1916. This meeting had settled the details of an agreement on the composition of the legislatures and the quantum of representation to be allowed to the two communities. The agreement was confirmed by the annual sessions of the Congress, and the League held at Lucknow on 29 and 31 December, 1916 respectively. The Congress accepted the separate electorates and both organizations jointly demanded dominion status for the country.

  • Ambika Charan Majumdar was the President of Lucknow session of Congress in 1916.

  • The famous Lucknow Pact was signed in December 1916. On behalf of the Muslim League, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari, Syed Wazir Hasan and Raja of Muhammadabad and on half of the Congress, Ambika Charan Majumdar, Surendra Nath Banerjee presided a joint meeting and the famous pact was signed by the leaders of Congress and Muslim League. bal Gangadhar Tilak played the main role in achieving unity between the Congress and Muslim League because he realized that political success was possible only with the unity of Hindu and 



Home Rule League Movement

  • During the first World War, Mrs. Annie Besant and Tilak decided to put new life in the National Movement in the country. Tilak decided to use the term “Home Rule” in place of Swaraj as the goal of his Movement.  Tilak started Home Rule League on 28th April, 1916 with its headquarter at Poona. A similar Home Rule League was founded by Annie Besant on 15th September, 1916 with its headquarter at Adyar near Madras.

  • In 1916, two Home Rule Movements were launched in the country-one under the leadership of Bal Gangadhar Tilak and the other under Annie Besant. Tilak set up the Home League at the Bombay Provincial Conference held at Belgaum in April, 1916. In n early 1915, Annie Besant launched a campaign demanding self-governance and in September 1916, she started the Home Rule League as an independent political organization.

  • Annie Besant, a theosophist, settled in India and worked for its liberation. She was inspired by the Irish Home Rule Movement and formed the Home Rule League in India in September, 1916, at Adyar in Madras. She already explained her views about this movement in Commonweal (a weekly journal) in 1914. Annie Besant started this Movement to demand self-governance at all levels of administration. Her Home Rule League became active throughout India. She was arrested along with her co-workers and released after widespread agitation against the action of Government.

  • The Lucknow Session of Congress in December 1916 presented the Home Rule Leagues with the long awaited opportunity for demanding their strength. Tilak’s Home Rule League established a tradition to which Congress was pinned for many years.

  • It is true that Home Rule Movement was a symbol of starting a new phase of Freedom Movement in India because it put to perfect picture of the self-governance before the Nation. The object of this Home Rule League was to attain Home-Rule or Self-Governance within the British Empire by all Constitutional means and to educate and organize public opinion in the Country towards the attainment of the same. Bothe Tilak and Besant toured all over the country and carried out the message of the Home Rule among the masses. Thus, the Home Rule Movement became a powerful Movement during the First World War. The Movement aimed that self-Government to be granted to India within the British dominions during the war. It was within Constitution limits.

  • There were two Home Rule Movements launched in the Country in 1916, first under the leadership of Bal Gangadhar Tilak in April 1916 and second under the leadership of Annie Besant in September, the same year. In 1918 both league were merged.

  • The concept of the foundation of Home Rule League was first introduced by Mrs. Annie Besant. Self-Governance Movement began with the publication of the weekly review magazine Commonweal on January 2, 1914. The Movement was started by B.G. Tilak in Poona in April, 1916 and Annie Besant and S. Subramania Iyer at Adyar near Madras in September, 1916. Tilak’s League worked in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Central Province and Berar and Annie Besant’s League in the rest of India. The objective of the Movement was self-governance for India in the British Empire. Tilak linked up the question of Swaraj with the demand for the formation of linguistic states and education in the vernacular languages. He gave the slogan “Swaraj is my birthright, and I shall have it”. The Maratha and Kesari of Tilak and Annie Besant’s New India, Commonweal and Young India became the organs of the Home Rule Movement. Both Home Rule League were complementary with each other, so there was no dispute between Tilak and Annie Besant.

  • Annie Besant (1847-1923) was a proponent of Fabian movement.

  • Even though Annie Besant was associated with the Theosophical Society, she was not its founder. It was founded by Madame Blavatsky and Henry Olcott.



Gandhi and his Early Movements

  • Before the advent of Mahatma Gandhi, the Italian-Abyssinian War, 1898 (In which the Colonial power of Italy was defeated), Boxer Movement (1899-1901) in China and Victory of Japan in the Russia-Japanese War were the International events that influenced the course of the National Movements in India but the Victory the course of the National Movement in India but the Victory of Japan over Russia in 1905, influenced most. After defeating Russia in 1905, Japan proved itself as a dominant country through military approach over a powerful country of Europe. Thus, the delusions were resolved that the white people are invincible.

  • In 1894 Gandhiji founded “Natal Indian Congress” in South Africa and during this long Movement in South Africa he got imprisonment several times. He founded the “Tolstoy Farm” with his associates and started living there. He published a magazine “Indian Opinion” in South Africa and founded “Phoenix Farm” in December 1904.

  • According to Gandhi’s philosophy “Truth” stands for “reality”. He described Truth as existence, consciousness and bliss (sat, sit and ananda ). He said ‘Ahimsa’ or ‘Non-violence’ is the means; Truth is the end. They are so intertwined that it is impossible to separate them.

  • Event          Year

Champaran Satyagraha        –        1917

Ahmedabad Mill Strike       –        February-March, 1918

Kheda Satyagraha                –        22 March, 1918

Non-cooperation movement         1920-1922

  • Struggle done by Gandhi is South Africa was termed as “Inactive resistance” but later Gandhi chose the word “Satyagraha” in place of inactive resistance. Satyagraha was the term, which was used most during the freedom struggle. But Gandhi differentiated between satyagraha and inactive resistance. As per him, inactive resistance is a political tool whereas Satyagraha is a moral power. He differentiated Inactive Resistance and Satyagraha by comparing it with north and South pole.

  • Satyagraha is a term comprising two words; Satya or truth, and Agrah or insistence. Hence, in its loose English interpretation, Satyagraha means insistence on truth. The Champaran Satyagraha of 1917 was Mahatma Gandhi’s first successful Satyagraha.

  • Gandhi’s boycott of British made products was effective as British considered India as a major market for manufactured goods. A boycott of British goods lead to advance the market of Indian made goods like crafts and homemade items.

  • Mahatma Gandhi told destruction is the best method of dealing with the foreign cloths. Gandhi related this destruction with self-respect on Nation.

  • The nephew of Mahatma Gandhi, Magan Lal Gandhi first used the term “Sada Graha” during a competition for which he was rewarded. Satyagraha means truth and rigidity. Later on, Gandhi improvised the word as “Satyagraha”. Hence it is clear that the word “Satyagraha” was used firstly by Gandhi.

  • Gandhi purchased some land near Phoenix station and established the Phoenix settlement in mid-1904. It is reopened on 27 February, 2000. It was first Ashram established by Gandhiji.

  • For Gandhi, politics meant social welfare and public welfare. The most important suggestion about politics from Gandhiji was ‘decentralization of power’. For him decentralization meant to encourage the village Panchayats to control their local administration.

  • Gopal Krishna Gokhale (9 May, 1866-19 Februay, 1915) was one of the early social and political leaders during the Indian Independence Movement against the British Empire in India. Gokhale was famously a mentor of Mahatma Gandhi in his formative years. In 1912, Gokhale visited South Africa at Gandhi’s invitation. As a young barrister, Gandhi returned form h is struggles against the Empire in South Africa and received personal guidance from Gokhale, including knowledge and  understanding of India and the issues confronting common Indians. By 1920, Gandhi emerged as the leader of the Indian Independence Movement. In his autobiography, Gandhi calls Gokhale as his mentor and guide.

  • Mahatma Gandhi attended the Calcutta session of Indian National Congress in the Year 1901 for the first time. During this session, his resolution about South Africa was passed. This session was presided over by Sir Dinshan Adulji Wacha. It is noteworthy that during his stay in South Africa, Gandhiji came to India in 1901 and established his law office in Bombay.



  • In January, 1915 Mahatma Gandhi returned from South Africa and people warmly welcomed him. The struggles and success in South Africa made him very popular in India. In India, he came in contact with Gopal Krishna Gokhale and accepted him as his political mentor. He linked himself to India’s active politics under the influence of Gopal Krishna Gokhale.

  • According to Gandhiji, the cruelest form of violence is the persistence of poverty.

  • Gandhiji told “Self-Control” as the best mean for family planning .

  • During his stay in South Africa, Gandhi read the book of John Ruskin “Unto the Last”. Gandhi mentioned in his autobiography that book transformed the life of Mahatma Gandhi. According to Gandhi, the message of this book was “The good of the individual is contained in the good of all”. By that fact, Gandhiji had rendered the concept of “Welfare of all”.

  • Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on 2nd October, 1869 at Porbandar in Gujarat. His primary education was completed in Rajkot. Mahatma Gandhi was married to Kasturba at the age of 13. He studied law at the Inner Temple, London. He was most influenced by the book “Unto the Last” written by John Ruskin.

  • Gandhi led Kheda Satyagraha (1918), Civil Disobedience Movement (1930) and Quit India Movement (1942). While Bardoli Satyagraha (1928) was led b Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel.

  • The prefix “Mahatma” was added with the name of Gandhi during Champaran Satyagraha by Rabindranath Tagore.

  • Pyare Lal was the secretary of Mahatma Gandhi during Noakhali period. His sister Dr. Susheela Naiyar was personal doctor of Mahatma Gandhi. Pyare Lal also played a significant role in Dandi March.

  • Subhash Chandra Bose was the first person to call Mahatma Gandhi “Father of Nation”. On 6th July, 1944, Bose addressed to Gandhi on Azad Hind Radio from Rangoon and said; “India’s last war of Independence has begun….Father of our nation, In this holy war of India’s liberation, we ask for your blessings and good wishes’.

  • The National leader of Champaran Indigo Movement was Mahatma Gandhi.

  • G. Ranga opposed the Champaran Satyagraha of Mahatma Gandhi. While Rabindranath Tagore gave him the title of “Mahatma” during Champaran Satyagraha.

  • Champaran Satyagraha was limited to Champaran only. The first Movement started by Gandhi at National level was Rowlatt Satyagraha (1919).

  • Raj Kumar Shukla, an indigo cultivator, persuaded and invited Mahatma Gandhi to Champaran in relation with indigo cultivation. Gandhi arrived in Champaran on 10th April 1917 with eminent lawyers Brajkishore, Rajendra Prasad, Anugrah Narayan Sinha, Acharya Kripalani and other.

  • The time period of events –

Kheda Satyagraha                         –        1918

Civil Disobedience Movement     –        1930

Non-Cooperation Movement        –        1920

Champaran Satyagraha                 –        1917

  • In 193, Gandhiji established his law firm in Johannesburg and lived there till 1910. Gandhi applied the principle of Trusteeship.

  • Ahmedabad Satyagraha launched in 1918 was an agitation which had been going on between the labours and the owners of a cotton textile mill for an increase of pay. Gandhiji went on “Fat unto death” to strength the worker’s strike.


Peasant Movement and Kisan Sabha

  • Feudal exploitation of the peasantry was common in Mewar (Modern Rajasthan) in the later half of the nineteenth century. This led to Bijolia Movement in 1905. It was the first Peasant Movement of India. The leadership of the Movement was initially provided by Sitaram Das in 1913 and later in 1915 by Vijay Singh Pathik.

  • The activists of Home Rule League Movement were very active in Awadh. Mainly due to the efforts of the Home Rule activists, Kisan Sabhas were organzed in U.P. The Kisan Sabha was set up in February, 1918 by Gauri Shankar Mishra and Indra Narayan Dwivedi. Madan Mohan Malaviya supported their efforts. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru was not associated with the formation of U.P. Kisan Sabha.

  • Bihar Kisan Sabha was founded by Swami Sahajananda Saraswati. All India Kisan Congress was founded at Lucknow in April, 1936 with Swami Sahajananda Saraswati s the President and N.G. Ranga as the general secretary. Later it was renamed All India Kisan Sabha. Khudai Khidmatgar or Lalkurti Organization played an active role in Civil Disobedience Movement in North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) in the leadership of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan. Swami Ramananda was related with Hyderabad and Abdul Hamid Khan with Southern Assam.

  • During the decade of 1930, Swami Sahajanand was closely associated with Kisan Sabha Movement.

  • The grassroot leadership of Eka Movement was Madari Pasi and o ther low-caste leaders and many small Zamindars. Towards the end of 1921, peasant discontent resurfaced in some northern districts of the United Provinces- Hardoi, Bahraich, Sitapur. The issues involved were –

  1. High rents –        50 percent higher than the recorded rates;

  2. Oppression of Thikedars in charge revenue collection;

  3. The practice of share-rents.

  • The meetings of the Eka or the Unity Movement involved a symbolic religious ritual in which the assembled peasants vowed that they would –

  1. Pay only the recorded rent but would pay it on time;

  2. Not leave when evicted;

  3. Refuse to do forced labour;

  4. No help to the criminals;

  5. Abide by Panchayat decisions.

By March 1922, however, severe repression on the part of the authorities succeeded in bringing the Eka Movement to its end.



  • All India Kisan Congress was founded in Lucknow in April, 1936 with Swami Sahajananda Saraswati as the President and N.G. Ranga as the general secretary. Later it was renamed All India Kisan Sabha. A Kisan manifesto was issued and started a periodical session under Indulal Yagnik. The All India Kisan Sabha organized a Bihar Kisan day on October 18, 1937, against repression done on Satyagrahis. The Bihar Kisan Sabha was founded by Swami Sahajanand Saraswati. The All India Kisan Sabha and the Congress held their second session in Faizpur in 1936. The Congress manifesto (especially the agrarian policy) for the 1937 provincial elections was strongly influenced by the All India Kisan Sabha’s agenda.

  • The Bardoli taluka in Surat district had witnessed intense politicization after the joining of Gandhi at the National level. The Gandhian Movement and Satyagraha got huge success in Bardoli in 1928. The followers of Mahatma Gandhi like Mehta brothers were running the sustained campaign since 1922. Vallabhbhai Patel led the Peasant Movement here to 1928, which became famous by the name of Bardoli Satyagraha. Due to the success of this Movement, the women of Bardoli gave him the title of “Sardar”. The Bhartiya Kisan Vidyalaya was founded by N.G. In 1937, Fazlul Haq founded Bengal Praja Party (Krishak Prja Party). After the 1937 elections, he formed a governance with Muslim League in Bengal. The Bakashat agitation of Bihar is related with Swami Shradhanand Saraswati.

  • Vinoba Bhave was one of the great spiritual leaders & reformers of Modern India, whose work & personal example moved the hearts of countless Indians. He was the first person to be elected for Individual Satyagraha in 1940. After getting Independence, he started Bhoodan Movement whose main objective was to distribute land to landless farmers.

  • Vinoba Bhave orgnized Sarvodaya Samaj to bring about non-violent social transformation through land reforms with the willing cooperation of landlords. Large landlords were persuaded to gift at least one-sixth of their land. On 18th April, 1951, the first donation of land took place in a village called Pochampalli in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh by a Zamindar Ramachandra Reddy who agreed to donate his 100 acres land but it most successful in Orissa.

  • The Kisan Movement at Bardoli was successful in the leadership of Vallabhbhai Patel. On behalf of women of Bardoli, Mahatma Gandhi gave him the title of “Sardar”.

  • The Tebhaga Peasant Movement was initiated in Bengal in 1946 by the Bengal Provincial Kisan Sabha to implement the recommendation of Flood commission, which asked for sharecroppers to give one-third of their harvest to the landowner instead of the one-half, which they were paying at that time. In its response, the Bargadari Act was passed which provided that sharecroppers pay only one-third of their harvest to the landlords. The Movement mostly affected the districts of Northern-Bengal.



Trade Union and Communist Party

  • The Labour Union, formed in 1918 by B.P. Wadia, was the first Modern trade union Organization of India. It principally comprised textile workers of the Buckingham and Carnatic Mills. Soon after that two unions were formed in Bombay, one in Calcutta (the India Seamen’s Union) and four in Madras.

  • The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) was founded in Bombay on October 31, 1920 by N.M. Joshi with Lala Lajpat Rai as first President, Joseph Baptisa as Vice President and Diwan Chaman Lal Bajaj as General Secretary. The motive behind its formation was the establishment of International took place Union in 1919. The first partition of this Organization took place in 1929 in its Nagpur Session. Jawaharlal Nehru was President during its partition.

  • The Ahmedabad Textile Labour Association was founded by Mahatma Gandhi in 1918.

  • Narayan Meghaji Lokhande (1848-1897) was the pioneer of the labour movement in India. He is remembered not only for ameliorating the working conditions of textile mill hands in the 19th century but also for his courageous initiatives on caste and communal issues. The government of India issued postage stamp with his photograph in 2005.

  • Jawaharlal Nehru presided over the All India Trade Union Congress held at Nagpur in 1929. The Nagpur session of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) in 1929 displayed the trial of strength of between the leftists and the rightists (or the moderates or reformists). The moderate section under the leadership of N.M. Joshi, V.V. Giri and B.  Shiva Rao set up a separate organization and named “Indian Trade Union Federation”.

  • Revolutionary Communist Party of India (RCPI) is a political party in India. The party was founded by Saumyandranath Tagore in 1934, breaking away from the Communist Party of India (CPI). During the period 1934-1938, the name of the party was communist League. The name RCPI was taken at the third part Congress in 1938.

  • N. Roy founded the Radical Democratic Party in 1940. Ajit Roy and Indrasen founded Indian Bolshevik Leninist Party in 1941. Somendranath Tagore founded Revolutionary Socialist Party in 1942. “Bandi Jeevan” is a masterpiece writing of Shachindranath Sanyal.

  • The Communist International was founded in 1919 by Vladimir Ilich Lenin and Russian party (Bolshevik). M.N. Roy visited Moscow on the invitation of Vladimir Lenin and became a member of Communist International. He was the first Indian to be the member of Communist International.

  • The militant phase of Trade Union Movement in India is considered from 1926 to 1939. M.N. Roy, Muzaffar Ahmad, Shripad Amrit Dange, Shaukat Usmani, etc. were the main leaders during it’s militant phase.



Rowlatt Act And Jallianwala Bagh Massacres (1919)

  • During the viceroyalty of Lord Chelmsford, a sedition committee was appointed by the Government in 1917 with Justice Rowlatt, which made certain recommendation to curb sedition activity in India. The Rowlatt Act, 1919, gave unbridled powers to the Government to arrest and imprison suspects without trial. The Act caused a wave of anger among all sections of the society. A well-known description of the bill at that was: No Daleel, No Vakil, No appeal which means no plea, No lawyer, No appeal.

The Rowlatt Act

  • Gandhiji in 1919  decided  to  launch  a  nationwide  satyagraha  against  the proposed Rowlatt Act (1919).

  • The Act gave the government enormous powers to repress political activities, and allowed detention of political prisoners without trial for two years.

  • Rallies were organised in various cities, workers went on strike in railway workshops, and shops closed down. Alarmed by the popular upsurge, and scared that lines of communication such as the railways and telegraph would be disrupted, the   British   administration   decided   to   clamp   down   on nationalists.

  • On 10 April,  the  police  in  Amritsar  fired  upon  a  peaceful  procession, provoking  widespread  attacks  on banks,  post offices and railway stations. Martial law was imposed and General Dyer took command.

  • On 13 April the infamous Jallianwalla Bagh incident took place. On that day a large crowd gathered in the enclosed ground of Jallianwalla Bagh.

  • While the Rowlatt satyagraha had been a widespread movement, it was still limited mostly to cities and towns. Mahatma Gandhi now felt the need to launch a more broad-based movement in India.




  • Rowlatt Act also known as Black Act (termed by Gandhiji) was a legislative Act passed by Imperial Legislative Council in 1919. The Act allowed British Government to arrest any Indian without any trial or warrant. The Act was based on Sedition Committee. In Rowlatt Satyagraha, Gandhiji tried to utilize the Home Rule League. Simon Commission reached India on January 03, 1928 which resulted in strikes in major cities and towns and it was welcomed with the popular slogan “Go Back Simon”.

  • Lord Chelmsford (1916-1921) was the Viceroy of India when the Rowlatt Act was passed.

  • In February, 1919, the Imperial Legislative Council of British India passed the Rowlatt Act. The Imperial Legislative Council passed this law so they could try certain cases without a jury decision and detain people without fair and proper trial. Mostly the Indian public disliked this Act because it aimed to limit the individual liberty.

  • The Anarchical and Revolutionary Crime Act was popularly known as Rowlatt Act. The Act was passed on the recommendations of a Committee under the chairmanship of Justice Sidney Rowlatt.

  • Rowlatt Act enacted in March, 1919. In protest to this Act Gandhi had organized a country-wide strike on April 6, 1919. General Dyer orchestrated the brutal killing on April 13, 1919 at Jallianwala Bagh. Non-Cooperation Movement took place in 1920, Communal Award in 1932 and Simon Commission came to India in 1928.

  • Jallianwala Bagh Massacre or Amritsar massacre was an important incident in the history of Indian Freedom Movement during the British rule. On April 13, 1919 the infamous Jallianwala Bagh incident took place. On that day a large crowd  gathered in the enclosed ground of Jallianwala Bagh to protest against the Government’s new repressive measures and to protest against the arrest of two famous leaders of Punjab Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlu and Dr. Satyapal. Others had come to attend the annual Baisakhi fair. Being outside from the city, many villagers were unaware of the martial law that had been imposed. Dyer entered the area, blocked the exit points, and opened fire on the crowd, killing thousands of people.

  • After the incident of Jallianwala Bagh (April 13, 1919), Rabindranath Tagore returned his honour of “Knighthood’ to India Government on May 30, 1919. In a letter to the Governor General, he wrote: “…The time has come then badges of Honour make out shame glaring in their incongruous context of humiliation and I for my part wish to stand shorn of all special distinctions by the side of those of my countrymen who, for their so-called insignificance, are liable to suffer degradations not fit for human beings…..”

  • In 1915, Rabindra Nath Tagore was granted a knighthood by British Crown which he renounced after the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre, protesting the mistreatment of Indians by the British. It was an act of solidarity that had a moral and political undertone.

  • Saifuddin Kitchlu and Dr. Satyapal were popular leaders who were arrested by Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar on April 9, 1919. Jallianwala Bagh massacre took place on 13 April, 1919 and the Amritsar Session of the Congress was held in December, 1919.

  • David Lloyd George was the Prime Minister of England when the Montangue-Chelmsford act was passed in 1919. He was Prime Minister of England from 1916 to 1922.

  • On 13 March, 1940, at Caxton Hall in London, Udham Singh, an Indian Independence activist from Sunam who had witnessed the events in Amritsar and was himself wounded, shot and killed Michael O’Dwyer, the British Lieutenant Governor of Punjab at the time of the massacre, who had approved Dwyer’s action and was believed to be the main planner.

  • The task of drafting Congress Inquiry Committee report on Jallianwala bagh Massacre was entrusted to Mahatma Gandhi.




Non-Cooperation Movement

  • On September 4th, 1920, Congress met in Calcutta in a special session in which Gandhi proposed the Non-cooperation resolution which was opposed by C.R. In December, 1920 at annual Congress Session in Nagpur, it was thoroughly discussed and endorsed by all.  During Nagpur session it was C.R. Das who himself proposed the Non-cooperation resolution.

  • The Champaran Movement for indigo cultivators in 1917 was the first Movement started by Mahatma Gandhi in Champaran district of Bihar. The Non-cooperation Movement (Asahyog Andolan) was the major event in the Indian  struggle for freedom after the First War of Independence in 1857. This Movement started in 1920 and lasted through 1922.  This Movement is considered as first Mass Movement led by Gandhiji. The Salt Satyagraha started on March 12, 1930. On 8th August, 1942, Mahatma Gandhi launched the  Quit India Movement for freedom from the British rule in Mumbai (then Bombay).

  • A special session of the Congress was held under the leadership of Lala Lajpat Rai in Calcutta on September 4, 1920 to decide upon the momentous issue of Non-Cooperation. Discussions were held on the Khilafat question, the Government’s failure to protect the innocent people of the Punjab and punish the British officers. The leaders decided that the only way to vidicate the national honour was to establish Swaraj through the policy of Non-Cooperation. The resolution of the Calcutta Congress was ratified at the regular session held in Nagpur in December, 1920.

  • Gandhiji proposed  that  the  movement  should  unfold  in    It should begin with the surrender of titles that the government awarded, and a boycott of civil services, army, police, courts and legislative councils, schools, and foreign goods.  Then, in case the government used repression, a full civil disobedience campaign  would be launched.  Through  the summer  of 1920 Mahatma  Gandhi  and  Shaukat  Ali toured  extensively,  mobilising  popular support for the movement.


  • Mahatma Gandhi suspended the non – cooperation Movement in 1922, after the boiling incident of Chora Chori the suspension of this moment was strongly opposed by R Das and Motilal Nehru. Leaders like Motilal Nehru and Chitranjan Das formed a separate group within the Congress known as the Swaraj Party on 1st January 1923. The swarajist wanted to contest .The council election and wreck government for within. Elections to legislative councils were held in November 1923.

  • The Swaraj Party gained impressive Central Legislative Council Motilal Nehru became the leader of the party wear as in Bengal the party was headed by Chitranjan Das. Parties primary goal was to contest the elections to the New Central Legislative Assembly in 1923 and once in office, disrupt official policy and diesel The Empire by anti- government edit the council Chambers. Swaraj Party did several significant things in the Legislative Council. The setting up of responsible government in India with the necessary changes in the Government of India Act of 1919.

  • 31 December, 1929 –           Lahore Session of Indian National Congress

  • 23 March, 1931                                –           Execution of Bhagat Singh and Rajguru

  • 1 August, 1920 –           Commencement of Non-Cooperation Movement

  • April, 1919 –           Rowlatt Satyagrah

  • Non-Cooperation Movement started in 1920 under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and was suspended in 1922 after the Chauri-Chaura incident. The Civil Disobedience Movement was started in 1930.

  • The famous slogan Swaraj should be for common people not for class was given by CR He wanted “Swaraj for the messes, not for the classes.” To him “Swaraj is government by the people and for the people.”


  • At the end of the World War I, what is government formulated a scheme of reforms which was known as the Montague Chelmsford Reforms. It was embodied in the Government of India Act While the Congress at its session held in Bombay in 1918 president ship of Hasan Imam condemned proposal as disappointing and unsatisfactory the moderates found them to be acceptable and found what is known as the Indian National liberal Federation. The liberal leaders disassociated themselves from the Congress and declared that the Reform was as a great constitutional advance event without any modification and extended it support to the government to make them a success.

  • Vithal Bhai Patel was the first Indian speaker in the central Legislative Assembly who becomes its president in He was also the co- founder of Swaraj Party. He was elected to Central Legislative Assembly in 1923 and 1925. He was appointed as assembly president or speaker.

  • At the Congress session at Nagpur in December 1920, a compromise was worked out and the Non-Cooperation programme was adopted.

  • The Non-Cooperation-Khilafat Movement began in January 1921. Various social groups participated in this movement, each with its own specific aspiration. All of them responded to the call of Swaraj.


  • On 5 February, 1922, the theory residents of Chauri-Chaura village gathered in front of the police station to protest against the arrest of their leader, while campaigning against the sale of liquor. However, the police opened fire on the villagers, which angered them to such an extent that they set the police station of fire killing twenty-two policemen. Gandhi worried about the increasing use violence, immediately withdrew the Movement. The working committee of the Congress met in February, 1922 and decided to withdraw the Movement and urged the party workers to get involved in constructive works, such as popularizing Khadi, establishing National schools and working towards Hindu-Muslims unity.


Formation of  Swaraj Party (1923)

  • Suspension of the Non-Cooperation Movement led to a split within Congress in the Gaya session of the Congress in December, 1922. Leadhers like Motilal Nehru and Chittaranjan Das formed a separate group within the Congress known as the Swaraj Party on 1 January, 1923. The Swarajists wanted to contest the Council elections and wreck the Government from within. Elections to Legislative Councils were held in November, 1923. In this, the Swaraj Party gained impressive successes. In the Central Legislative Council, Motilal Nehru became the leader of the Party whereas in Bengal the Party was headed by C.R. Das. The party’s primary goal was to contest the elections to the new Central Legislative Assembly in 1923 and once in office, disrupt official policy and derail the empire by antigovernment agitation within the council chambers. The Swaraj Party did several significant things in responsible Government in India with the necessary changes in the Government of India Act of 1919.

  • Swaraj Party was formed by the leaders like Motilal Nehru and Chittaranjan Das in 1923 after the failure of the Non-Cooperation Movement.

  • Rajagopalachari was not the member of Swaraj Party. After the Non-Cooperation Movement, the Congress was divided into two groups- the pro-changers and the no-changers. The pro-changers wanted to enter the legislatures. They were led by C.R. Das, Motilal Nehru and Vithalbhai Patel. The no-changers wanted to boycott the legislatures. They were led by Vallabhbhai Patel, C Rajagopalachari, and Rajendra Prasad. The pro-changers formed the Swaraj Party in AD 1923. Srinivas Iyengar and N.C. Kelkar were other important leader of Swaraj Party. The biggest achievement for Swaraj Party was that Vithal Bhai Patel’ was elected as Central Legislative Assembly Speaker

  • In the November, 1923 elections the Swarajists had managed to win out of 141 elected seats and a clear majority in the provincial assemblies of central provinces and in legislatures had joined hand with the liberals and the independence like Jinnah and Malviya.


Simon Commission (1927)

  • Montagu Chelmsford Act, 1919 provided for a constitutional Commission to review its Simon Commission was appointed in November, 1927 by the British conservative government under Stanley Baldwin to report on the working of the Indian Constitution established by the government of India Act of 1919. The commission consisted of seven members under the chairman sir John Simon. The commission did not consist of any Indian member, so Indian opposed and boycotted the commission calling it as white Commission.’ Simon Commission reached Bombay on February 3, 1928.

  • The chairman of Simon Commission, Simon belongs to liberal party while Clement Attlee was the member of labour party.

  • Indians kept out of the Simon Commission on the suggestion of Lord Simon Commission reached India in 1928. None of the members of this Commission was Indian.

  • Lala Lajpat Rai also known as “Punjab Kesari” was one of the main political leaders of Punjab who Let freedom movement against British

  • In response to the Simon Commission the Nehru report was prepared, which demanded a Dominion status for Motilal Nehru was the chairman of all party committee to prepare this report. Jawaharlal Nehru was the secretary of this committee. To Muslims including 9 other people were the members of this committee.

  • Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhash Chandra Bose jointly founded ‘Independence for India League’ in 1928 with the purpose to articulate for complete Independence ahead of Dominion state. Independence League played an important role to unite progressive power against the British

  • The Nehru report was drafted by committee headed by Motilal Nehru and the subject was constitutional arrangement in

  • The 14 points proposed to protest Nehru report was proposed by Mohammad Ali Jinnah on March 28, 1829 as constitutional reforms plant to safeguard the political rights of Muslims in a self governing India.

  • Youth and extremist Nationalist oppose the Nehru report in the leadership of Jawaharlal They demanded to adopt complete Independence as the immediate goal. As a result Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhash Chandra Bose founded.” Independence for India league”.



Lahore Session of Congress, Proposal of Complete Independence (1929)

  • Maulana Hasrat mohani in Ahmedabad session of 1921 proposed that the Swaraj should be defined as complete Independence, from all foreign control and should be consider  the goal of  the   C.R. Das was elected as the President of Congress’s Ahmedabad Session of 1921 but the session was presided over by Hakeem Ajmal Khan.

  • Chittaranjan Das was elected as the President of Congress’s Ahmedabad session of 1921 but the session was presided over by hakim Ajmal Khan as R Das was in jail.

  • The Lahore session 1929 of Congress was presided over by Jawaharlal Nehru, and the proposal of complete Independence was passed in the It was decided that the January 26 of every year will be celebrated as “Complete Independence Day.”

  • The poorna Swaraj Resolution was prepared and presented by Jawaharlal Nehru at Lahore session of Indian National During his presidential speech, he said that today we have only one target, target of Independence. The Nehru report was rejected in this session which only sought for Dominion status for India.

  • Mahatma Gandhi started his famous Dandi March accompained by 78 of his trusted volunteers from Sabarmati Ashram on March 12,

  • The match was over 240 miles, from Gandhi’s Ashram in Sabarmati to the Gujarat’s coastal town of The volunteer worked for 24 days, about 10 miles a day.

  • The khalifat movement was mainly started by Maulana Ahmed Ali and Shaukat Ali, with some other Muslim leaders such as Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari. Hasrat mohani, maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, and Dr.

  • The khalifat movement 1919 to 1920 was a pan Islamic, political protest campaign launched by Muslim in British India on the position of Mohammad Ali and his brother Maulana Shaukat Ali with other Muslim leaders joined to form ‘all India khalifat committee.’

  • Mahatma Gandhi initiated the civil disobedience movement by taking a handful of salt at Dandi on April 6, Subhash Chandra Bose compare the movement with the movement initiated by Napoleon from Alba to Paris.


  • As a symbol of civil disobedience movement initiated by Mahatma Gandhi, the salt law was violated on 6th April Demand in front of Viceroy Irwin including the abolition of salt tax and government Monopoly on salt.

  • Under hais Salt Satyagraha, Mahatma Gandhi reached Dandi In the domestic and foreign journalists, he said ” I want world sympathy in this Battle of right against might.”

  • After violating the salt law at sea coast of dandi, Gandhi decided to start civil disobedience movement. Salt was a major point of the movement because the English government has banned the selling of the salt and also impose a text on it, which highly affected the

  • ‘khudai khidmatgar’ known as ‘Red shirt’ was a volunteer organisation founded by Khan Abdul Gaffar  Khan in  North West  frontier        


  • The resolutions proposed by Indian National Congress on December 31, 1929 consisted following points –

  1. There is no benefit from Round Table Conference.

  2. The plan of Dominion status of India has been abolished.

  3. The word “Swaraj’ menas Complete Independence.

  4. All India Congress whenever it considers appropriate can start Civil-Disobedience Movement.

  • Abolition of Untouchability was not mentioned in the proposal. The Round Table Conference can be considered as India’s foreign policy as the British Government only had the right to make foreign policy of India. It was primarily passed in Congress session of 1921 that there must be a foreign policy for India.

  • Mahatma Gandhi started his famous Dandi March accompanied by 78 of his trusted volunteers from Sabarmati Ashram on March 12, 1930. The march was over 240 miles, from Gandhi’s ashram in Sabarmati to the Gujarat’s coastal town of Dandi. The volunteers walked for 2 4 days, about 10 miles a day. On April 6, 1930 he reached Dandi and violated the salt law, manufacturing salt by boiling sea water. This marked the beginning of the Civil Disobedience Movement. This Movement spread all over India under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. A leader like C. Rajagopalachari took up Salt March in Tamil Nadu from Tiruchengode ashram to Vedaranyam of Trichrapalli.


Civil Disobedience Movement

  • The Lahore Session of Indian National Congress in 1929 authorized the Congress Working Committee to start Civil Disobedience Movement. Mahatma Gandhi was assigned to lead the Movement in the second meeting of Congress Working Committee held in February, 1930 at Sabarmati Ashram.

  • Some of these were of general interest; others were specific demands of different classes, from industrialists to peasants.

  • The most stirring of all was the demand to abolish the salt tax. Salt was something consumed by the rich and the poor alike, and it was one of the most essential items of food. The tax on salt and the government monopoly over its production, Mahatma Gandhi declared, revealed the most oppressive face of British rule.

  • Mahatma Gandhi started his famous salt march accompanied by 78 of his trusted volunteers. The march was over 240 miles, from Gandhiji’s ashram in Sabarmati to the Gujarati coastal town of Dandi. The volunteers walked for 24 days, about 10 miles a day.

  • Mahatma Gandhi with his 78 volunteers started Dandi March from Sabarmati Ashram on March 12, 1930, to violate the Salt law at sea coast of Dandi (Gujarat). The number of the names of few satyagrahi with their respective states are as follows-  Gujarat-31, Maharashtra-13, U.P.-8, Kachh-6, Kerala-4, Punjab-3, Rajasthan-3, Bombay-2 (Dadubhai and Hiralal Mahimtura), Sindh-1 (Anand Hingorani), Nepal-1 (Mahaveer), Tamil Nadu-1 (Tapan Nayar), Andhra-1 (Subramanyam), Utkal-1 (Motibasdas), Karnataka-1 (Mahadev Martand), Bihar-1 (Girivadhari Chaudhary), Bengal-1 (Durgesh Chandra Das).

  • This movement was different from the Non-Cooperation Movement as people were now asked not only to refuse cooperation with the British, as they had done in 1921- 22, but also to break colonial laws.

  • As the  movement  spread,  foreign  cloth  was  boycotted,  and  liquor  shops  were picketed. Peasants refused to pay revenue and chaukidari taxes, village officials resigned, and in many places forest people violated forest laws – going into Reserved Forests to collect wood and graze cattle.

  • Mahatma Gandhi found in salt a powerful symbol that could unite the nation. On 31 January 1930, he sent a letter to Viceroy Irwin stating eleven demands.

  • A frightened government responded with a policy of brutal repression. Peaceful satyagrahis were  attacked,  women  and  children  were  beaten,  and  about  100,000 people were arrested.

  • Mahatma Gandhi once again decided to call off the movement and entered into a pact with Irwin on 5 March   By this  Gandhi-Irwin  Pact,  Gandhiji  consented  to participate in a Round Table Conference (the Congress had boycotted the first Round Table  Conference)  in London  and the government  agreed  to release  the political prisoners.

  • In December 1931, Gandhiji went to London for the conference, but the negotiations broke down and he returned disappointed.

  • Womens participated on a large scale in civil Disobedience movement. Though Gandhi visualised a supportive role for women, but they started getting impatient and demanded more active role. Gandhiji chose women for higher role in picketing of liquor and foreign cloth shops because of their inherent capacity for non violence. Kasturba Gandhi started salt Satyagraha leading 37 women volunteers form Sabarmati Ashram. Sarojini Naidu led the raid on Dharsana Salt works. Kamla Devi led procession of 15000 to raid the Wadala salt works. It is believed that women participated maximum in the salt Satyagraha.

  • The massacre of Jallianwala Bagh in 1919 in which thousands of people were killed in the firing of General Dwyer was called “Preventive Murder” by Montague.



Khilafat Movement

  • The Khilafat Movement was mainly started by Maulana Muhammad Ali and Shaukat Ali, with some other Muslim leaders such as Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari. Raees-ul-Muhajireen, Barrister Jan Muhammad Junejo, Hasrat Mohani, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Dr. Hakim Ajmal Khan joined hands and created an All India Khilafat Committee, at Lucknow. Haji Shariatullah was an eminent Islamic reformer of the Indian sub-continent in British India. He is known for founding the Faraizi Movement.

  • Villages were called upon to supply soldiers, and the forced recruitment in rural areas caused widespread anger. Then in 1918-19 and 1920-21, crops failed in many parts of India, resulting in acute shortages of food. This was accompanied by an influenza epidemic.

  • The Khilafat Movement (1919-1922) was a pan-Islamic, political protest campaign launched by Muslim in British India on the position of Caliph. Mohammad Ali and his brother Maulana Shaukat Ali with other Muslim leaders joined to form “All India Khilafat Committee”.

  • Events          –        Date

Dandi March                                 –        March 12, 1930

Quit India Movement                   –        August, 1942

Arrival of Simon Commission     –        February 3, 1928

Gandhi-Irwin Pact                        –        March 5, 1931

  • Under his Salt Satyagraha, Mahatma Gandhi reached Dandi village on April 6, 1930. While addressing the domestic and foreign journalists, he said: “I want world sympathy in this battle of Right against Might”.

  • The women of Bihar such as Prabhavati Devi, Rajvanshi Devi, Sunita Devi and Radhika Devi contributed in Freedom Movement. Prabhawati was a freedom fighter from Patna.

  • The war created a new economic and political situation. It led to a huge increase in defence expenditure which was financed by war loans and increasing taxes: customs duties were raised and income tax introduced.

  • Gandhi gave importance to the constructive programmers after the failure of Civil Services Disobedience Movement. In October, 1934 Gandhi decided to move away of the active politics to give his full time to “Harijanotthan”. In September, 1932 Mahatma Gandhi founded All India Anti-Untouchability League for the welfare of Harijans and also published the weekly magazine “Harijan”.

  • Agitation against Chaukidari Tax in Begusarai was a part of Civil Disobedience Movement.

  • The tribes of Manipur also played an active role under the leadership of the Naga tribal women Gaidinliu during Civil Disobedience Movement. This movement led by her is known as “Jiatarang Movement”.

  • People hoped that their hardships would end after the war was over. But that did not happen

  • Mahatma Gandhi was arrested on May 5, 1930 and sent to Yarvada Jail when a raid was made by Congress volunteers on Dharsana Salt Depot. Abbas Taiyabji led the Movement after him Sarojini Naidu led the raid on Dharsana Salt Depot on May 21, 193 after Abbas Taiyabji got Web Miller, an American journalist, presented the details of this great event.


Gandhi-Irvin Pact

  • The Gandhi-Irvin Pact was a political agreement signed by Mahatma Gandhi and the then Viceroy of India, Lord Irwin on 5th March, 1931 before the Second  Round Table Conference in London. Below are the proposed conditions- Discontinuation of Civil disobedience Movement by Indian National Congress.

  • Participation of the Indian National Congress in Round Table Conference.

  • Withdrawal of all ordinances issued by British Government imposing curbs on the activities of INC.

  • Withdrawal of all prosecutions except those involving violence.

  • The release of prisoners arrested for participating in the Civil Disobedience Movement.

Removal of the tax on Salt.

Lift the ban on Congress.

  • Congress did not participate during the Round Table Conference. This pact was implemented to pave the way for Congress to attend Round Table Conference.

  • After noticing the expansion of Civil Disobedience Movement, Viceroy Lord Irwin released Mahatma Gandhi on January 26, 1931. The conversation started between Gandhi and Irwin in the mid-February, 1931 which was the efforts of Tej Bahadur Sapru and M.R. Jaykar. The pact known as Gandhi-Irwin Pact took place on March 5, 1931. In context to the pact, Sarojini Naidu termed them as “The Two Mahatmas”.

  • The biographer of Irwin, Alan Campbell Johnson termed Mahatma Gandhi’s gain in the Gandhi-Irwin Pact as “Consolation Prizes” and the only surrender of Irwin to agreeing for the conversation.


Karachi Session of Congress (1931)

  • To approve the Gandhi-Irwin Pact on March 29, 1931 the Karachi Session of Congress took place in the leadership of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Congress passed the resolutions related to Fundamental Rights and the national economic programme for the first time in this session. While getting opposed by few people in the session Gandhi said “Gandhi can die Gandhism can’t” It was first time when the Congress described the term ‘Complete Independence’.

  • Jawaharlal Nehru with the help of M.N. Roy drafted the resolution of Fundamental Rights and National economic programmes for the Karachi Session of Congress in 1931.

  • Subhash Chandra Bose regarded the Karachi Session of Indian National Congress as the “pinnacle of Mahatma Gandhi’s popularity and prestige.”

  • Gandhi-Irwin Pact – Congress authorized Gandhi to negotiate with the Viceroy. After a long conversation between Gandhi and Lord Irwin, a pact known as Gandhi-Irwin Pact was signed on March 5, 1931.

  • Execution of Bhagat Singh – Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were hanged on March 23, 1931 in Lahore conspiracy case.

  • Karachi Session of Congress – Congress confirmed the Gandhi-Irwin Pact in the annual session at Karachi held on March 26-29, 1931.

  • Second Round Table Conference – The second session of Round Table Conference started on December 7, 1931 in which Mahatma Gandhi attended the Conference as sole representative of Congress. This Conference was a complete failure.

  • Events                            Date

Gandhi-Irwin Pact                                                   –        March 5, 1931

Execution of Bhagat Singh                                      –        March 23, 1931

Karachi Session of Indian National Congress         –        March 26-29, 1931

Poona Pact                                                                        –        September 24, 1932


Round Table Conference

  • Report of Simon Commission was published on 27 May, 1930. Political organization had refused the recommendations of Commission. Main leaders of Congress were in jails. British Government organized 1st Round Table Conference on November 12, 1930 in London in the environment of frustration and dissatisfaction. 89 Indian representative members participated in 1st Round Table Conference, but Congress did not participate. Main participants of 1st Round Table Conference were: Tejbahadur Sapru, Srinivas Shastri, Muhammad Ali, Muhammad Shafi, Aga Khan, Fazlul Haq, Muhammad  Ali Jinnah, Homi Modi, M.R. Jaykar, Munje, Bhimrao Ambedkar and Sundar  Singh Majithia etc.

  • Congress did not participate in 1st Round Table Conference at St. James Palace (London), in 1930. K.T. Paul represented Indian Christians in the Conference. First Round Table Conference was inaugurated officially by British King and chaired by the British Prime Minister, Ramsay McDonald.

  • Mahatma Gandhi participated as only official representative Congress in 2nd Round Table Conference held on 7 September, 1931 to 1 December, 1931. Sarojini Naidu and Madan Mohan Malviya and Annie Besant also participated in this Conference.

  • First Round Table Conference was held on 12 November, 1930 to 13 January, 1931 in London in which Indian Liberals, Muslim League, Hindu Mahasabha depressed class, representatives of Business class and representative of Princely States participated, but Congress did not take part in the Congress.

  • Second Round Table Conference occurred from 7th September to 1st December, 1931 in which Mahatma Gandhi participated as a sole official representative of Congress. Third Round Table Conference was held on 17 November, 1932 to 24 December, 1932 which was boycotted by Congress.

  • In the first Round Table Conference, Dr. Ambedkar demanded separate electorates for the depressed classes. The Indian National Congress participated only in Second Round Table Conference and boycotted Third and First Round Table Conference. In Poona Pact, Congress agreed that adequate representation would be given to the depressed classes in the local bodies and civil services.


Communal Arbitration And Poona Pact (1932)

  • On 14 August, 1931, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar said during a conversation with Gandhi in Mumbai “History tells that Mahatmas, like fleeting phantoms, raise dust but not level”. It was noticed that there was a conflict between Gandhi and Ambedkar on the matter of “situations of depressed classes.” Gandhiji began fast-unto death on 20th September, 1932 against Communal Award of Prime Minister Ramsay Macdonald. Poona Pact was signed between the followers of Gandhi and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

  • No consensus was made on the subject of separate electorate for depressed classes and various communities in Second Round Table Conference. British Prime Minister Ramsay Macdonald was authorized for the solution of conflicts in the Conference. Accordingly, Ramsay Macdonald declared his “Communal Award” on 16 Aug, 1932.

  • Number of reserved seats for depressed classes in Provincial Legislatures were 71 in Communal Award which was increased  to 148 by Poona Pact (Madras=30, Sindh with Bombay=15, Punjab=8, Bihar and Odisha=18, Central Provinces=20, Assam=7, Bengal=30, United Provices=20).  Though some books mentioned that there are 147 seats. In addition to this, 18% seats in General class seats were reserved for depressed class in Central Legislature.

  • After “fast unto death” of Gandhiji against Communal Award, Poona Pact was signed on 24 September, 1932. This pact was signed between followers of Gandhiji and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. Gandhi did not sign on this document.

  • Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi established All India Anti-Untouchability League in 1932. He published a weekly magazine “Harizan” in 1933. Gandhi named Ghanshyamdas Birla as first President of Harijan Sevak Sangh and Amrit Lal Thakkar as its secretary.

  • B.R. Ambedkar established the “All India Depressed Class Federation” in 1920. Dr. Ambedkar founded “Depressed Class Institution” in Bombay in 1924. After years in 1927, he started publication of Marathi paper “Bahiskrit Bharat”. In the last years of life, he accepted Buddhist religion.

  • After Poona Pact, 1932, Mahatma Gandhi was not actively involved in Civil Disobedience Movement but now he took an interest in anti-untouchability Movements and “All India Untouchability League” was founded by Mahatma Gandhi whose name was later changed to “Harijan Sevak Sangh”. Ghanshyam Das Birla was the first President of this institution.

  • Mahatma Gandhi founded “All India Anti-Untouchability League” for removal of untouchability from society on 30 September, 1932 which later named as “Harijan Sevak Sangh”.



Congress Socialist Party (1934)

  • Congress Socialist Party was established in May, 1934 in Patna during the meeting of Congress Committee. In October-November, 1934, policies and systems of Congress Party were decided in Bombay.

  • The convenor all India Congress Socialist Party in 1934, in Patna was Jai Prakash Narayan. Acharya Narendra Dev and Ashok Mehta etc. were founder members. J.P. Narayan was appointed as General Secretary and Acharya Narendra Dev served as the President of the Party. The Congress Socialist Party promoted decentralized socialism.

  • The Congress Socialist Party was founded in 1934 as a socialist caucus within the INC. Its members rejected what they saw as the anti-rational mysticism of Gandhi as well as the sectarian attitude of the Communist Party of India towards the Congress party. Influenced by Fabianism as well as Marxism, the CSP advocated armed struggle as well as non-violent resistance. The CSP advocated decentralized socialism in which co-operation, trade unions, independent farmers and local authorities would hold a substantial share of economic power. As secularities, they hoped to transcend communal divisions through class solidarity.

  • Jai Prakash Narayan, Yogendra Shukla, Minoo Masani and Acharya Narendra Dev, etc. formed Congress Socialist  Party in the year 1934 within the Indian National Congress.

  • Shri Narsingh Narayan was a socialist and he was related with Bihar Socialist Party.

  • In April, 1946, “Jaiprakash Day” was celebrated for the release of Jai Prakash from prison. A rally was conducted in Bankimpur Maidan of Patna where release of Jai Prakash Narayan was demanded and criticism of Government policy regarding the arrest of political persons was made.

  • Jay Prakash is famous as “Loknayak”. He secretly organized Indian public during “Quit India Movement” with Ram Manohar Lohia and Aruna Asaf Ali in 1942. He declared “Sampoorna Kranti” at Gandhi Maidan Patna on 5 June, 1974. He was awarded “Bharat Ratna” posthumously in 1998.


Provincial Election and Formation of  Cabinet (1937)

  • Provincial assembly elections were held under Indian Government Act, 1935 in which Congress won a full majority in six provinces- Madras, Bihar, Central Provinces and Berar, United Province and Orissa. Congress made its ministries in 6 states: Madras, Central Province, Bihar, Bombay, Orissa and United Province in July, 1937.

  • Indian provincial elections were held in 1936-37 mandated by Government of India Act, 1935. The elections were held in eleven provinces, i.e. – Madras, Central province, Bihar, Orissa, United Province, Bombay Presidency, Assam, NWFP, Bengal, Punjab and Sindh. The results of the election were declared in February, 1937 and Indian Congress emerged as a power in eight provinces except Bengal, Punjab and Sindh.

  • The Tenure of the Congress ministries formed in the elections of 1937 after the Act of 1935 was 28 month. Congress ministries resigned from Legislature on 22nd October, 1939 because Indian were included in the Second World War without the consent of Indian leaders. Jinnah called All Indian Muslims to celebrated 22nd December, 1939 (Friday) as Day of Deliverance due to the resignation of Congress Ministries.

  • Pirpur Report          –        1938

  • Shareef Report –        March, 1939

  • Fazul Hq Report –        December, 1939

  • The Congress Working Committee adopted the policy of abolishing land ownership in 1937. Tenancy (Amendment) Act was passed by Congress Government in United Province and Bihar. Each Congress governed province attempted to improve irrigation facilities and to save farmers from cruel policies of money lenders.


Tripuri Crisis of Congress (1939)

  • Subhash Chandra Bose was elected President of Congress in Haripura Session (Gujarat) of February, 1938, unopposed. It is well known that Subhash Chandra Bose was rejected as President of Tripuri Session of INC by defeating Pattabhi Sitaramaiya (who was supported by Gandhiji).

  • Tripuri is situated is Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) where Congress Session of 1939 was held. In Tripuri Session, Subhash Chandra Bose elected President by defeating Pattabhi Sitaramaiya with 1500 votes over 1377 votes.

  • In Haripura Session of Congress 1938, S.C. Bose was elected President (unopposed) for the time. He was reelected as President in Tripuri Session, 1939 defeating Pattabhi Sitaramaiya supported by Gandhi but on the question of formation of Working Committee, the dispute between Gandhi and Bose came on the surface. After that, Bose resigned, and Dr. Rajendra Prasad became President of Congress.

  • Subhash Chandra Bose looked upon a war between Germany and Britain as a godsent opportunity which would enable Indians to exploit the situations to their advantage. He went to Germany and then Japan to procure some help from them to liberate India from British Rule.

  • The whole dispute between Subhash Chandra Bose and right wing after Tripuri Session of Congress centered round to the question of formation of Congress Working Committee. Gandhi was against the point of view about modernization and working conduct of Subhash Chandra Bose.


Indian Princely States

  • The Indian States Committee appointed a committee under the Chairmanship of Sir Harcourt Butler, which was popularly known as “The Butler Committee” to investigate and clarify the relationship between paramount power and the princes of Princely States in 1927 A.D. The committee visited 16 states and submitted its report 1929.

  • The Recommendation of Committee were

  • The relationship of the paramount power of the State was not merely contractual relationship but a living growing relationship shaped by the circumstances and policy.

  • British paramount preserve the princely State.

  • The state should not be transferred without their agreement to a relationship with a new government in British India responsible to an Indian legislature.

  • All India State People’s Conference was set up in December, 1927. More than 700 political workers of different States participated in this Conference. All India States People Conference was formed in which men like Balwant Rai Mehta, Manilal Kothari and G.R. Abhayankar played a significant role.

  • Jawaharlal Nehru was elected as President of All India State Peoples Conference in 1939 to represent the common National interest of political struggles of the Princely States and British India.

  • Integration of most of the princely states occurred in 1947. All Princely States merged in the Union of India in 1947 except Junagarh, Jammu and Kashmir and Hyderabad and these three States were compelled to join the Union of India till the end of 1948. Sardar Patel, who took charge of the state department in July 1947, tackled the situation with great statesmanship. Patel appealed to the patriotic and Nationalist sentiments of the Princes and requested the States to be hand over to the authority of External Affairs, Defence and Communication to the Indian Dominion. The Integration of Princely states had taken proper shape in his leadership.

  • On 26 October, 1947 the Maharaja of Kashmir Hari Singh handed over the Instrument of Accession (IOA) to Jawaharlal Nehru J.L. Nehru appointed Sheikh Abdullah as Chief Minister and the Indian Army entered in Jammu and Kashmir on 27 October, 1947 to repel the invaders.

  • During the time of Partition of India, Punjab province came forward with a plan for a United and Independent existence, but it was due to the effort of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel that PEPSU came into existence consisting Eastern Punjab, Patiala, and the hilly States and rejected the idea of independent state.


Second World War

  • When World War II broke out in 1939, Britain made India belligerent without consulting Indian elected councils and also declared the Emergency. That action angered Indian officials and prompted the Congress Party to declare that India would not support the War until it had been granted Complete Independence.

  • During Second World War the proposal approved by Indian National Congress criticized Nazism, Fascism and the Nazi invasion of Poland. It was declared under the proposal that Indian could not take part in any such war which is being fought to protect the democratic liberty, while itself being deprived of liberty.

  • On October 17, 1939 Lord Linlithgow declared India in the war against Germany. Congress cabinets had resigned from all the provinces for declaring war without the consent the Indian Legislature.

  • The First World War had ended with the defeat of Ottoman Turkey. And there were rumours that a harsh peace treaty was going to be imposed on the Ottoman emperor – the spiritual head of the Islamic world (the Khalifa). To defend the Khalifa’s temporal powers, a Khilafat Committee was formed in Bombay in March 1919.  A young generation of Muslim leaders like the brothers Muhammad Ali and Shaukat Ali, began discussing with Mahatma Gandhi about the possibility of a united mass action on the issue. Gandhiji saw this as an opportunity to bring Muslims under the umbrella of a unified national movement.  At the Calcutta session of the Congress in September 1920,  he  convinced  other  leaders  of  the  need  to  start  a  non-cooperation movement in support of Khilafat as well as for swaraj.

  • After 28 months of tenure, the cabinets of Congress resigned in 1939 because British Government had declared India as a war-torn country without the consent of Indians.

  • The Second World War commenced on September 1, 1939 with the invasion of Germany over Poland which ended after six year in August, 1945 with America’s atomic attack over two cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki of Japan.

  • Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of Britain during 2nd World War. His Tenure was form 1940 to 1945.


Demand for Pakistan

  • The word Pakistan was primarily used by the student of Cambridge University Chaudhary Rehmat Ali in his letter entitled “Now or Never”.

  • The poet and political Philosopher Mohammad Iqbal is considered as the originator of the idea of the separate Muslim nation. Inspired by the spirit of Pan-Islam in All India Muslim League at Allahabad Session in 1930 Muhammad Iqbal said “I would like to see the Punjab, the North-West Frontier Province, Sindh and Balochistan amalgamated into a single state. Self-Government within the British Empire, or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated Nroth-West Indian Muslim state appears to me to be final destiny of the Muslims, at least of North-West India.

  • During his landmark Presidential address to the annual session of the All-India Muslim League at Allahabad in 193, Iqbal declared Hundus and Muslims to be two separate Nations in the light of the religious, social, cultural and historical context.

  • Muslim league in its Lahore Session of March, 1940 passed the Pakistan resolution calling for “grouping of geographically contiguous areas where Muslims are in majority (North-West, East) into independent state in which constituent unit shall be autonomous and sovereign, and adequate safeguards to Muslims where they are in minorities”. This resolution was drafted by Sikandar Hayat Khan and presented on 23 March, 1940 by Fazlul Haque.

  • The annual Session of Muslim League was held at Lahore on 23rd March, 1940 in the Presidentship of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, under which a resolution was passed and it was demanded that a separate Muslim Nation “Pakistan” should be formed apart from India. In the commemoration of this day Muslim League celebrated the Pakistan Day on 23rd March, 1943.

  • The annual session of Muslim League on March 23, 1940 was held in Lahore. The two-nation theory of Jinnah was recognized at Lahore. The draft related to this resolution was prepared by Sikandar Hayat Khan and Fazal ul Haq presented the resolution on March 23, 1940.


Individual Satyagraha (1940)

  • After completely rejecting August proposal, Congress initiated Individual Civil Disobedience in the leadership of Gandhiji. The Satyagraha was a symbolic statement of moral protest against the British Government’s policy for India. On October 17, 1940 Mahatma Gandhi selected Acharya Vinoba Shave as the first Satyagrahi (proponent of Satyagraha) to start Individual Civil Disobedience (a movement which meant holding to the truth) and Jawaharlal Nehru as the second.

  • The word “Sarvodaya” was primarily used by Mahatma Gandhi. Vinoba Bhave established the “Sarvodaya Samaj” to promote the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi.


Cripps Mission (1942)

  • Considering the rising power of Japan, International community especially America, China and Australia enforced Britain to provide freedom to India. As a result Stafford Cripps arrived in India in March, 1942 to negotiate with Indian politicians.

  • After reaching India in March, 1942 Stafford Cripps presented the proposal whose major recommendation were –

  1. After war India should be given a Dominion Status and which would not be subject to any external authority.

  2. Indians should be given the right to form their own Constitution for which the Council of Constitution making-body will be initiated after the war.

  3. The Provinces agreeing to the new Constitution would have the right to keep themselves out of the proposed Union. Such provinces will be entitled to constitute their own separate Constitution.

  4. During the war an interim government comprising of different parties of India would be constituted. However, defence and external affairs would be the sole responsibility of the Viceroy.

  • The War Cabinet of Britain sent Sir Stafford Cripps to India on March 1942. He made a proposal that “India would be Dominion associated with the United Kingdom”. He promised that immediately after the war, steps would be taken to set up an elected body for making of Constitution of India and Indian State could participate in the framing of the Constitution. It was the first time British Government reorganized the “Right of Dominion” for India.

  • Cripps Mission visited India and announced the draft proposal; the Congress rejected the Cripps Proposal, and Mahatma Gandhi called the proposal as “the post-dated cheque”.

  • Lord Linlithgow called the Movement of Gandhi as “Political Blackmail”. Viceroy and Governor General Lord Linlithgow’s tenure was the longest in India. He was the longest serving Viceroy of India from 1936 to 1944. Quit India Movement was launched by Mahatma Gandhi during his tenure.

  • Nehru and Maulana Azad were the official negotiations for the Congress with Cripps Mission.

  • To seek help and India’s participation in Second World War in March, 1942 the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill sent Cripps Mission to India under the leadership of Sir Stafford Cripps.


Quit India Movement

  • In July, 1942 the meeting of Congress Working Committee held at Wardha in which Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Sarojini Naidu, Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabh Bhai Patel, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Sitaramaiyya, G.V. Pant, Praful Chandra Ghosh, Saiyyad Mehmood, Asaf Ali, J.B. Kriplani, Mahatma Gandhi etc. had taken part and passed a resolution named ‘Quit India Movement’, was chaired by the then Congress President Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.

  • The meeting of Congress Working Committee was held at Wardha on 14th, 1942 and passed the resolution ‘Quit India Movement’.

  • The Commander in Chief of the Indian Army during Quit India Movement was Lord Wavell. Later he also served as Viceroy and Governor General of India from 1943-1947.

  • The historic session of the All India Congress Committee began on the 7th August, 1942 and was concluded after midnight of 8th /9th August, 1942 at Gowalia Tank Maidan, Mumbai. The Committee asserted India’s right to freedom and decided to start a mass struggle with non-violent means on the widest possible scale. Addressing the Conference, Gandhiji gave the call “Do or Die”, either to get India free or to die in this attempt. But before the Movement could be launched Gandhiji and all other leaders of the Congress were imprisoned under Operation Zero Hour. Gandhiji and Sarojini Naidu were kept in Aga Khan Palace at Poona (now Pune).  The Movement of 1942 mostly affected the State of Mumbai, Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and Madras. Though the whole country participated in this Movement.

  • On the eve of commencing Quit India Movement, 1942 Mahatma  Gandhi had given the following  statements –

  1. Government employees should not leave their work but should declare their allegiance for Congress.

  2. Soldiers should refuse to fire on their countrymen.

  3. Students should leave their study only if they stay firm on their decision until freedom is achieved.

  4. The Princess of the Princely States should accept the Sovereignty of their people and people living in their States should declare them as a part of the Indian Nation and accept the leadership of the king only when they take their future linked with public.

  • The Quit India speech was made by Mahatma Gandhi on the eve of the Quit India Movement. He called for determined, but passive resistance that signified the certitude that Gandhi foresaw for the Movement is best described by his call to “Do or Die”. His speech was made at Gwaliya Tank Maidan in Bombay, later renamed as August Kranti Maidan.

  • The failure of August proposal (1940) and Cripps Mission (1942) led to Quit India Movement. After the rejection of demand of establishment of National Government in India, the Wardha proposal was confirmed in the annual meeting of AICC on August 8, 1942 at Gwaliya Tank Ground, Bombay. As soon as the Quit India Movement started on August 8, 1942, British Government arrested high level leaders of Congress under the operations “Zero Hour”. In the protest, Baldev Sahai resigned in 1942 from the post of Advocate General of Bihar.

  • Quit India Movement of 1942 was not so non-violent. According to official assessments, in first week 250 railway stations were either damaged or destroyed, and more than 500 post offices and 150 police stations were attacked. Heavy violence was used for the suppression of the Movement from the ruling party. Mahatma Gandhi himself in 1942 refused to condemn the violence. He said it was an answer to the hue violence of the rulers. The arrest of main leaders had made the Movement more aggressive.

  • On August 8, 1942 in the meeting of AICC, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru presented Quit India Resolution and Sardar Patel supported it.

  • In August, 1942 at the All India Congress Committee Session in Bombay, Mahatma Gandhi launched the “Quit India” Movement. The next Day, Gandhi Nehru and many other leaders of the Indian National Congress were arrested by the British Government.

  • Mahatma Gandhi drafted a resolution in April of 1942 with the help of Jawaharlal Nehru and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad calling upon the British to Quit India.

  • Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was the President of Indian National Congress when “Quit India Resolution” was passed. He became the President of Congress in the session of Ramgarh in 1940 and no session of Congress held during 1941-1945.

  • The Hindu Mahasabha, Communist Party of India, Unionist Party of Punjab and Muslim League did not support “Quit India Movement”.

  • Abul Kalam Azad was the President of Indian National Congress for six consecutive years.

  • Winston Spencer Churchill (1942-1945 and 1951-1955) was the Prime Minister of England during Quit India Movement.

  • During Quit India Movement, Congress Radio was secretly being broadcasted form different parts of India which could he heard up to Madras. Ram Manohar Lohia was regularly broadcasted on the radio. Usha Mehta was a valued member of the small group of Congress who managed underground congress radio.

  • The American journalist Louis Fischer was with Gandhiji at the time of Quit India Movement. Louis Fischer with American Intellectual Pearl Buck, Adgersnow, M.L. Surmen and Norman Thomas demanded India’s freedom.

  • Rajagopalachari’s formula was a proposal formulated by Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari to solve the political deadlock between INC and All India Muslim League on Independence of India from the British. Rajagopalachari devised a proposal called “The way out” for Congress to offer the league the Muslim Pakistan based on plebiscite (the direct vote of all the members of an electorate on an important public question such as a change in the Constitution). The formula was opposed even by Congress. Jinnah also rejected the proposal and the talks failed.

  • One of the important feature of Quit India Movement was establishment of parallel government at many places including Ballia, Tamluk, Satara etc. Jatiya Sarkar of Tamluk (Midnapore) was organised under Satish Savant from December, 1942 to September, 1944 which undertook cyclone relief work, sanctioned grants to schools, supplied paddy from the rich to the poor, organized Bidut Bahinis etc.

  • The Quit India Movement, though short-lived and badly crushed gave the signals that British rule was not wanted in India. There was nothing to stop Indians from attaining their freedom. The signs of firm determination of the people to free India from British, hastened the British decision to quit. Thus the Quit India Movement marked the culmination of the Indian Freedom Movement which had began in 1857.


  • Aruna Asaf Ali was a famous Indian freedom fighter and organizer of underground activities in Quit India Movement. She would always be remembered for hoisting the flag of Congress in Gwaliya Tank Ground, Bombay in 1942.

  • On November 9, 1942 Yogendra Shukla along with Jai Prakash Narayan escaped from Hazaribag jail but was arrested at Muzzaffarpur. He was put in Buxar jail and held behind the bar for 3 years.

  • During the Quit India Movement, Rampyari Devi, wife of Mr. Jagat Narayan Lal addressed the assembly in Bankipur and called people to Quit Government jobs.

  • Riots generated due to Quit India Movement mostly spread in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh (United Provinces). The atmosphere of revolt was generated here. Azamgarh, Baliya and Gorakhpur in Eastern U.P. and Gaya, Bhagalpur, Saran, Poorniya, Shahabad, Muzaffarpur and Champaran in Bihar ere the centre of the riots.



Subhash Chandra Bose and Azad Hind Fauj

  • Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was born on 23 January, 1987 in Cuttack of Orissa. He graduated from University in 1919 and was selected in I.C.S. (Indian Civil Services) in 1920. He became the President of Congress in 1938 and 1939. He founded Forward Bloc in 1939 and fled away to Germany in 1942. In 1943, he led Hind Fauj. He is better known as Netaji.

  • Subhash Chandra Bose resigned from the President ship of Congress after Tripuri Crisis and Founded “Forward Bloc” in 1939.

  • The Forward Bloc was formed on 22 June, 1939 by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose who resigned from the presidency of Indian National Congress after being outmaneuvered by Mahatma Gandhi. Subhash Bose became the first president of Forward Bloc and S. S. Cavesheer as its vice president.

  • Sheel Bhadra Yazee was a freedom fighter from Bihar who was associated with Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose. Yazee joined Subhash Chandra Bose to found All India forward Bloc and actively associated with the INA movement.

  • The National Army (INA) was the brain child of Giani Pritam Singh Dhillon along with Major Fujimura and Captain Mohan Singh in February/March, 1942. While there Giani Pritam Singh became actively involved in the Indian Independence Movement and Gadar Party. He was instrumental in the failed 1915 mutiny, that he stirred among a Bengal Lancers regiment. The authorities started hunting him. He fled via Burma to Bangkok, in 1919, where some Indian revolutionaries from other parts of India were living. Once in Bangkok, he mingled with the local Sikh community and through his missionary work began spreading the message of the Gadar Party. Then he met with Iwaichi Fujiwara, head of the Japanese field intelligence section in the region, who had even before the declaration of war by Japan. reached an agreement of collaboration with the Japanese at Bangkok on 4 December, 1941. It was Giani Pritam Singh’s idea working with Iwaichi Fujiwara who released Indian soldiers who were asked to join an Indian National Army to fight for Indian independence.



  • The official formation of the first division of INA took place in September, 1942 and Mohan Singh was the first Commander of Indian National Army.

  • Ras Bihari Bose handed over the charge of INA to Subhash Chandra Bose. He arrived in Singapore on 2 July and on 21 October, 1943 formally announced the establishment of the Provision Government of Free India.

  • Subhash Chandra Bose as supreme commander of INA announced the establishment of the Government of free India on 21 October, 1943. At that time Singapore Island was a part of British Malaya.

  • Subhash Chandra Bose reached Germany on April 3, 1941. He founded the “Free India Centre” with the help of German foreign ministry after 6 months. German ruler Adolf Hitler approved it and permitted S.C. Bose to organize army for independence war in 1942. S.C. Bose raised an army with 10000 prisoners of Romel battle in North Africa. This is known as “The Free Indian Legion”.

  • Subhash Chandra Bose reached Tokyo in June, 1943. Ras Bihari Bose offered to resign from the President post of I.N.A. Subhash Chandra Bose was declared the Supreme Commander of Azad Hind Fauj.

  • The Rani of Jhansi Regiment was the Women’s Regiment of the Indian National Army (INA) during the Second World War. It was named after Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi, a revolutionary heroine. The regiment was formed in 1942 under Subhash Chandra Bose, along with other Indian nationalist forces to overthrow the British Empire in colonial India, with assistance from Imperial Japan, Indian National Army had three other battalions namely-Subhash brigade, Nehru Brigade and Gandhi Brigade.

  • Rabindranath Tagore bestowed Subhash Chandra Bose with the title of “Desh Nayak” or “National Leader” in 1938 at Shantiniketan, after Subhash Chandra Bose became the President of INC. Mahatma Gandhi called him ‘Patriot of Patriots’.

  • The Slogan “Jai Hind” was given by S.C. Bose. It was the greeting manner of Azad Hind Fauj Now the slogan of India.


Cabinet Mission Plan (1946)

  • End of World War Second saw the Labour Party under Mr. Atlee won elections in England. Mr. Atlee was sympathetic towards India’s demand for freedom. The Secretary of State Pethick-Lawrence announced on February 19, 1946 the dispatch of the Mission for Constitutional reforms. The Cabinet Mission arrived in Delhi on April 2, 1946. The Cabinet Mission to India consisted of the Secretary of State Mr. Pethick Lawrence, Sir Stafford Cripps, President of the Board of Trade and A.V. Alexander, First Lord of the Admiralty.

  • Promulgated on 16 May, 1946, the plan to create a United Dominion of India as a loose confederation of provinces came to be known by the date of its announcement.

  1. A united dominion of India would be given Independence.

  2. Muslim League’s demand for Pakistan was rejected.

  3. The Union should have an Executive and Legislative constituted from British Indian and State Representative.

  4. Constituent Assembly would be formed with the representatives of State Legislative and the Princely State.

  • The Cabinet Mission, 1946 suggested the reconstitution of the Viceroy’s Executive Council in which all the portfolios including that of War Members were to be held by the Indian leaders.

  • The opinions of the topmost Congress leaders of the time bear ample testimony to the fact that the Cabinet Plan was not devoid of reality. Mahatma Gandhi was totally in favour of Cabinet Mission Plan. According to Gandhiji, “It is the best document the British Government could have produced in the circumstances”.

  • Abul Kalam Azad negotiated with both Cripps Mission and Lord Wavell. He presided over Congress from 1940 to 1945.

  • Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was the President of Congress during the arrival of the Cabinet Mission to India. He was authorised by Congress Working Committee for discussions with Mission. He negotiated with the member of the Cabinet Mission on 6 April, 1946.


Constituent Assembly (1946)

  • The idea of the Constitution of India was seen in “Swarajya Vidheyak” of 1895 for the first time but officially it was said in the Congress Session in 1936. In this session constituent Assembly was vastly explained.

  • Constituent Assembly was founded under Cabinet Mission. The President of Cabinet Mission declared that the main purpose of this mission was to make a Constitution Committee for Constitutional reforms in India. Cabinet Mission decided that representatives of native states will control the Constituent Assembly.

  • Under the Cabinet Mission, the total number of seats allocated to each province in the Constituent Assembly was roughly in ratio of one representative to the population of 10 lakh persons on a communal basis. Three classes of voter were accepted –

  1. General

  2. Muslims

  3. Sikh (only in Punjab)

  • The first session of Constituent Assembly was held on December, 1946. After two days, Rajendra Prasad was elected as the President of the Constituent Assembly on 11 December, 1946.

  • Rajendra Prasad was the President of the Indian Constituent Assembly. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was President of the Drafting Committee. Jawaharlal Nehru was President of Union Power Committee, Union Constitution   Committee and States Committee, Vallabhbhai Patel was President of Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights, Minorities Tribal and excluded areas.

  • The Constituent Assembly was not sovereign at the time of formation; it was declared sovereign on 14 August, 1947 and that day Rajendra Prasad was elected as President of Constituent Assembly.

  • V. Mavlankar held the office of Speaker of Central Legislative Assembly of British era (1946 to 14 August, 1947) and was speaker of Lok Sabha after Independence from 1952 to 1956. He was President of Legislative Assembly of Bombay province during 1937 to 1946.

  • Sachchidanand Sinha was associated with Quit India Movement. He was elected as temporary President in the first session of the Constituent Assembly (7 December, 1946).


Formation of Interim Government (1946)

  • The Interim Government of India was formed on 2nd September, 1946 from the newly elected Constituent Assembly as per the Cabinet Mission Plan which was declared on 24th August, 1946. After inclusion of League in the interim Government, Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel, Rajendra Prasad, Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar, C. Rajagopalachari, Baldev Singh, Liyaqat Ali Khan, Ghazanfar  Ali Khan, Jagjivan Ram, Jogendra Nath Mandal, Abdur Rab Nishtar, Asaf Ali and C.H. Bhabha were included. Some members like Sarat Chandra Bose, C. Rajagopalachari, M. Asaf Ali, and Sir Shafat Ahmad Khan Syed Ali   Zaheer appointed earlier resigned to make room for the Muslim League nominees.

  • In the Interim Cabinet of 1946, Railways and Transport Portfolio was headed by Asaf Ali.

  • A series of meetings took place between Jinnah and Lord Wavell and ultimately Muslim League joined the interim Government on October 25, 1946. To create space for the Muslim League Ministers, Sarat Chandra Bose, Shafaat Ahmad Khan and Syed Ali Zaheer had to quit. Liyaqat Ali Khan was appointed as Finance Minister who imposed high duties on traders and people in business in his budget.

  • Muslim League formed Government in Bengal under Fazlul Haq with an alliance of Krishak Praja Party in the elections of 1946 but later the ministerial cabinet of Muslim League was formed. The leader of the Muslim League in Bengal and Chief Minister of the province was Hussain Suhrawardy.

  • After accepting the last offer proposed by Viceroy, Lord Wavell formally invited Congress president Jawaharlal Nehru to form a Government. The first Indian Interim Government under the leadership of Nehru was announced on 24th August, 1946 and officiated on 2nd September 1946 in which Muslim League did not participate.


Partition of India and Independence

  • During the Independence of India, Clement Richard Attlee from Labour Party was the Prime Minister of U.K. He was the Prime Minister of U.K. from 1945 to 1951.

  • Prime Minister of Britain Attlee declared in the House of Commons on February 20, 1947 that British will leave India before June, 1948, after transferring power to liable people. Attlee appointed Lord Mountbatten as the Viceroy of India in place of Wavell. Mountbatten initiated the efforts of power transfer in March, 1947.

  • George VI was the British monarch at the time of Indian independence. He was the king of United Kingdom from 1936 until his death in 1952.

  • The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Clement  Attlee  announced on 20th  February, 1947 in the House of  Commons that he wish to transfer powers to Indian but also said that if in time the decision related to the constitution is not made British Empire has the power to transfer Governments to any of them. Thus, to effect the transfer of power, Atlee decided to send Lord Mountbatten as Viceroy to India. Lord Mountbatten armed with vast powers became India’s Viceroy on 24 March, 1947. Mountbatten became Viceroy of India with a mandate to oversee the British withdrawal. Lord Mountbatten came to India as Viceroy of India along with specific instructions to keep India United if possible however he was authorized to make decisions according to favourable Indian circumstances and minimum British loss. Mountbatten concluded that a United India was an unachievable goal and resigned himself to a plan for partition, creating the Independent nations of India and Pakistan.

  • The important points of Mountbatten Plan (3 June, 1947) were –

  • Punjab and Bengal legislative assemblies would meet in two groups, Hindus and Muslims, to vote for partition. If a simple majority of either group voted for partition, then these provinces would be partitioned.

  • Sindh take its own decision.

  • Referendum in NWFP and Sylhet district of Bengal would decide the fate of these areas.

  • Since the congress had conceded a unified India, all their other points would be met-

  1. Independence for princely states ruled out, they would either join India or Pakistan.

  2. Independence for Bengal ruled out.

  3. Accession of Hyderabad to Pakistan ruled out (Mountbatten supported the congress on this).

  • M. Panikkar stated that “the most important achievement of British Rule was the unification of entire Indian sub-continent.

  • Coupland wrote that – “India Nationalism was the child of British Rule.” But he forgot to add that Indian Nationalism was an involuntary child to whom they denied to feed and tried to throttle.

  • During the partition of India, the Congress President was J.B. Kriplani who was Congress President from December, 1946 to December, 1947. He became President of INC in Meerut Session, 1946. He resigned from his post in November, 1947.

  • In the year 1929, at the annual session of Congress held at Lahore, “Purna Swaraj” or Complete Independence was accepted as the goal of the Congress. On the banks of the river Ravi, at midnight on 31st December, 1929, the tricolour flag of Indian Independence was unfurled amidst cheer and jubilation. 26th January, 1930 was marked as the first Independence Day, which was to be so celebrated every year. To commemorate this historic day, it was decided to enforce the Constitution on 26th January, 1950.


  • Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel represented Indian National Congress in the partition council headed by Lord Mountbatten. Lord Mountbatten presented his plan on June 3, 1947.

  • Rajendra Prasad was the first President of India (1950-1962), the second was Sarvapalli  Radhakrishnan (1962-1967), third was Zakir Hussain (1967-1969) and  V.V. Giri was the fourth President of India  (1969-1974).

  • Lord Mountbatten (1947-48) was the first Governor General of Independent India while C. Rajagopalachari (1948-50) was the first Indian Governor General of Independent India.

  • Lord Mountbatten (1947-48) was the last British Viceroy and Governor General of India. He took charge in March, 1947 and presented the plan of India’s Partition on June 3, 1947.

  • In the Central Assembly at the midnight of August 15, 1947, M.S. Subbulakshmi sang “Jan-Gan-Man” and “Sare Jahan Se Acchha Hindostan Hamara” written by Iqbal.

  • In the Delhi Session of I.N.C. on June 14, 1947, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan (Seemant Gandh) voted against the partition of India.

  • Sir Cyrill Radcliffe headed the Boundary Commission appointed in 1947 in the context of India’s partition. The partition line between India and Pakistan is known as Radcliffe line due to Sir Radcliffe who was charged with equitably dividing 450000 km sq. of territory within 88 million people.

  • A meeting was organized on 14 June, 1947 by All India Congress to approve the plan for the partition of India of 3rd June, 1947. Gobind Vallabh Pant introduced the proposal of partition of India and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad seconded this proposal.


Constitution Development of India

  • Regulating Act, 1773, was passed by the British Parliament for the regulation of the British East India Company’s Indian Territories, mainly in Bengal. The main provisions of the Act were the appointment of a Governor General of Fort William in Bengal with supervisory powers over the Presidencies of Madras (now Chennai) and Bombay (now Mumbai). The Governor General had a Council of four who were given the power to cast vote but no veto. Warren Hastings was appointed the first Governor of Bengal.

  • The main purpose of Regulating Act was to regulate the activities of Company under British Rule. It was passed by British Parliament in 1773 and implemented in India in 1774. According to the provisions of this Act, a Provincial Assembly was set up in Bihar in 1774.

  • Regulating Act, 1773 –         Establishment of Supreme  Court

  • Indian Council  Act, 1909           –         Introduction of Communal Electorate

  • Government of India Act, 1919 –         Introduction of Dyarchy

  • Government of India Act, 1935 –        Provision for Autonomy of  Provinces

  • The “Instrumentation of Instruction” contained in the Government of India Act, 1935 was incorporated in the Constitution of India in the year 1950 as Directive Principles of State Policy. The cities said this part of Constitution as holy phrases.

  • The Government of India Act, 1935 came into force on 4 August, 1935. The safeguards and the special powers vested in the Governor-General was something like a “Charter of Slavery” as mentioned and criticized by Jawaharlal Nehru. The Government of India Act, 1935 was the largest document of the entire history of British rule which had 14 Parts, 321 Sections and 10 Schedules.

  • B.R. Ambedkar  said it “I have not to beg pardon  in connection with the allegation that in the draft of the Constitution, a major part of the  Government of India Act, 1935, has again been reproduced’ in parliamentary debates regarding Constitution making process.

  • The Government of India Act, 1919 had made a major change in Provincial governance. The Government of India Act, 1919 introduced the system of Dyarchy. Dyarchy means a dual set of Governments. The Government of India Act of 1919, made a provision for classification of the central and provincial subjects. The provincial subjects were divided into two groups: One was Resrved and another was transferred. The Reserved subjects were kept with the Governor and Transferred subjects were kept with the Indian Ministers. This division of subjects was basically what they meant by essential areas of law enforcement such as justice, police, revenue.  The transferred subjects were such as public health, public works, education etc.

  • The basis of Indian Council Act, 1919 was the report of India Secretary Adwin Montague and Viceroy Lord Chelmsford.

  • On 20th August, 1917 the reform made by Edwin Montagu (Secretary of State of India) and Lord Chelmsford is known as “Montagu Declaration”.

  • Bombay, Madras and Calcutta High Courts were established in 1862 under the Indian High Court Act of 1861.

  • The Indian Councils Act, 1892 was passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The main provisions of this bill were as under –

  1. The Indian Councils Act, 1892 gave the members right to ask questions on Budget or matters of public interest. But none of them was given the right to ask supplementary questions.

  2. The additional members of the Council could ask questions of public interest under this Act, after pre-information of six days.




Modern History: Miscellaneous

  • Lord Cornwallis was the first Governor General who established a regular police force in India on the British pattern.

  • The Regulating Act of 1773 established a Supreme Court at Fort William, Calcutta.

  • The Indian Penal Code (IPC) was drafted in 1860 on the recommendations of first law commission of India established in 1834 under the Government of India Act, 1833.

  • First Anglo-Burmese War  –           (1824-1826) (British India v/s Burma)

  • First Anglo-Afghan War –           (1838-1842) (British v/s Afghan)

  • First Anglo-Maratha War –           (1775-1782) (British v/s Marathas)

  • Second Anglo-Mysore War- (1780-1784) (British v/s Kingdom of Mysore)

  • Farrukhsiya imposed the Jizya tax again and Lord William Bentinck passed the Sati Prevention Act, while in the third Carnatic War Britishers occupied the Rajahmundry and Masulipatnam under the leadership of Colonel Francis Ford in 1759. Malcolm was an American priest who visited India and gave details of slavery in South India in 1830 but his name is not associated with end of Slavery.

  • Introduction of Patriachal approach of governance in Indian context is attributed to British administration like- Sir Thomas Munro (1761-1827), Sir John Malcolm (1769-1833), Alfinston (1779-1859), Chorls Metcalfe (1785-1846) etc. They were the main proponent of the democratic charter of Indian villages. Munro instituted Ryotwari system in Madras in 1820.

  • The Indian Famine Code, 1833 was prepared by Strachey Commission. Strachey Commission was appointed in 1880 to formulate general principles and measures for prevention of famine like Orissa Famine (1866) and the great famine (1876-78) which affected area of 257000 sqm, miles, and population of 58 million.

  • Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar is considered as one of the pillars of Bengal Renaissance. In other words, he managed to continue the reforms Movement that was started by Raja Ram Mohan Roy. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar initiated the concept of Widow Remarriage and he also opened the doors of the colleges and other Educational institutions to lower caste students, which was earlier reserved only for the Brahmins. For his immense generosity and kind-heartedness, people started addressing him as “Dayar Sagar” (ocean of kindness). Major-General Sir William Henry Sleiman was a British soldier and administrator in British India, best known for his work on suppression of thuggee. Justice Mahadev Govind Ranade was a judge, politician, writer cum reformer of India. Politically, Ranade established the Poona Sarvajanik Sabha and was also among those who played a phenomenal role in setting up the Indian National Congress party. He set up the social Conference Movement, which worked against child marriage, Widows Remarriage, spending heavily in marriages and other social female education. Lord Hastings became Governor-General in 1813. In 1816, Lord Hastings finally decided to suppress the Pindaris. Hastings planned vigorous military preparations with a view to surroundings the Pindaris from all sides- on the north and east from Bengal, on the west from Gujarat and the south from the Deccan. A Huge army of 113,000 men and 300 guns was divided into two parts – on the northern side under Hastings’ command and the southern under the control of Thomas Hislop. By the end of 1817, the British troops were successful in expelling the Pindaris from Malwa and across the Chambal. In January, 1818 the Pindaris were practically exterminated. On February 18, 1818, Karim Khan, one of the powerful leaders of the Pindaris surrendered to the British and was given the small estate of Gowashpur in the United Provinces.

  • It was the first advertisement of Indian cinema published on July 7th 1896 in Times of India (Bombay). On the same day Lumiere brothers (France), presented the first cinematography show at the Watson’s Hotel in Bombay.

  • Lord Macaulay was a central figure in the language debate over which language should be used as the medium of education in India. The orientalists were in favour of use of classical language of Indian tradition, on the other hand, the Anglicists supported English. The Anglicists group’s views were expressed in the Minute of Macaulay. Commenting on the policies of East India Company once he said “The Company is an anomaly but it is part of a system where everything is an anomaly”. He prepared the draft of the Indian Penal Code.

  • Both Gandhi and Tilak toured extensively in India for the cause of social development. Tilak was the first national leader who tried to establish a close relationship with public.

  • Bhimrao Ambedkar was born to Bhimabai Sakpal and Ramji on April 14, 1891 in Madhya Pradesh. On December 6, 1956 he died at his home in Delhi. He was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour in 1990.


  • “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan” (English: Hail the Soldier, Hail the Farmer) was a slogan given to India by the then Prime Minister of India, Sri Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1965, in a public gathering at  Ramlila Maidan, 

  • At the time of Quit India Movement which was started on August 9, 1942, Mahatma Gandhi said, “Freedom is almost within reach, we have to seize it”. On the same occasion Mahatma Gandhi gave the slogan of “Do or Die”.

  • Rabindranath Tagore was born on May 7, 1861 in a wealthy Brahmin family in Calcutta. He was the ninth son of Debendranath and Sarada Devi. He passed away on August 7, 1941 at his ancestral home in Calcutta.

  • Mahatma Gandhi called Rabindranath, “The Great Sentinel of India”. Gandhi believed that he was providing moral support for India’s freedom struggle.

  • After Independence, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru stated that “Everything else can wait, but not agriculture”.

  • The first cloth mill established in Bombay in the year 1854, was the first cotton textile mill of Bombay. It was established by a Parsi cotton merchant Cawasji Dabar.

  • “Kings are made for public; Public is not made for the King” This statement was made by the Grand old man of India, the well-known industrialist, educationist and thinker Dadabhai Naoroji.

  • “I am a socialist and a republican and do not believe in Kings and Princes” this statement is associated with Jawaharlal Nehru.

  • Frank Moraes was the biographer of Jawaharlal Nehru.

  • Sir Leonil Cartis is known as father of Dyarchy. His ideas concerning dyarchy were important in the development of the government of India act 1919. In Dyarchy (rule of two), the concept of executive councilors and popular ministers was introduced in with subjects were divided into two lists-Reserve and Transferred subjects.

  • Aga Khan, also is known as Maulana Sultan Mohammed Shah presided over the All-India All Parties Muslim Conference in  Delhi on December  31, 1928. All India Muslim Conference was set up under the leadership of Aga Khan and demanded separate electorates for Muslims.

  • Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was founded on September 27, 1925 in Nagpur by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, on the other hand the Communist Party of India was founded on December 25, 1925 in Kanpur. Atal Bihari Vajpayee is the first Swayamsevak to become Prime Minister of India.

  • Rajendra Prasad was born on December 3, 1884 in Ziradei village in Siwan district of Bihar. He was the first President of Independence India. He was the President of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the Constitution.


  • Great poet Rabindranath Tagore emerged as a great painter at the age of 70 years. Tagore was the first Indian artist to exhibit his works in 1930 across Europe, Russia, and the United States of America, earning him critical acclaim in the West.

  • Jagat Narayan Lal was sent to Hazaribagh Jail during the freedom struggle. After the release of Jagat Narayan Lal in July 13, 1929, Rajendra Prasad addressed a meeting in Gilabbah, Patna on July 14.

  • King of the princely State of Tripura involved educated Bengalis in his administration. Due to pressure from the Britishers in the early twentieth century, some of the Bengal revolutionaries had taken shelter in Tripura, which resulted in the expansion of Independence Movement in Tripura.

  • The Samadhis of Kasturba and Mahadev Desai are situated in the premises of Agha Khan Palace, Pune. The Agha Khan Palace was built by Sultan Muhammed Shah Agha Khan III in Pune, India, Built in 1892, it is one of the biggest landmarks in Indian history. The palace was an act of charity by the Sultan who wanted to help the poor in the neighboring areas of Pune, who were drastically hit by famine.

  • The Great Bengal famine of 1943 was a large famine in Bengal, a State in British-ruled India, claiming the lives of at least three and a half million people.

  • The Royal Commission, better known as the Whitley Commission, was asked to report and make recommendations on “the existing conditions of Labour in industrial undertakings and plantations in British India, on the health, efficiency and standard of living of the workers and on the relations between employers and employee”.

  • After 15th August 1947, Goa remained under Portuguese control. In 1955 America supported the Claim of Portuguese Government over Goa. After 14 years, Operation Vijay was conducted by Indian forces to free Goa from Portuguese control. The armed action which involved the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force was a decisive victory for India, ending more than 450 years of Portuguese rule in India on 19th of December, 1961.

  • The first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was influenced by socialism, British liberalism and also by the thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi, but he was not influenced by the German Nationalism. His famous books, articles, and speeches showed his socialist views.

  • During the Pre-Independence period, in Bihar Bhoomihar, Rajput and Kayasthas were the dominant castes while Kurmi caste was not a dominant caste.

  • Womesh Chandra Bennerjee was the first president of Indian National Congress and first Indian to contest an election to the British House of Commons. Although he lost the election. It is known that Dadabhai Naoroji was the first Indian to be elected as member of British Parliament.

  • The practice of indirect in India was launched in 1892.

  • Announcement of Peace Terms to Turkey – 14 May, 1920

  • Submission of unanimous report on Jaliawala Bagh Massacre by Congress Committee –           25 March, 1920


  • The special Session in Indian-National Congress,  Calcutta            –           December 4-9, 1920

  • Demise of Bal Gangadhar Tilak –           1 August, 1920

  • In 1957, the Communist Party of India won Kerala’s assembly elections by a slim majority, forming the first Communist State Government in the country. Elamkulam Manakkal Sankaran Namboodiripad (13 June, 1909-19 March, 1998), popularly EMS, was an Indian Communist politician and theorist, who served as the first Chief Minister of Kerala in 1957-59 and then again in 1967-69.

  • Bardoli Satyagraha             –           Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (1928)

  • Champaran Satyagraha –           Gandhiji (1917)

  • Kuka Movement –           Ram Singh (1872)

  • Lal Kurti Movement –           Gaffar Khan (Frontier Gandhi)

  • Khilafat Movement –           Ali Brothers

  • Home Rule Movement –           Bal Gangadhar Tilak

  • Civil Disobedience Movement –           Khan Brothers

  • Quit India Movement –           R. Ambedkar

  • Mahatma Gandhi –           Dandi March

  • Jawaharlal Nehru –           Demand for  Complete Independence in Lucknow Session

  • Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan –           Red Shirt Movement

  • Vallabhbhai Patel –           Bardoli Satyagraha

  • Vinoba Bhave –           Individual Satyagraha

  • G. Tilak –           Home Rule Movement

  • Aruna Asaf Ali –           Quit India Movement

  • Sarojini Naidu –           Dharsana Raid

  • Female Ruler Related State/Capital

Rani Durgavati                                  –           Gara Mandal

Maharani Ahilya Bai                        –           Holkar State

Maharani Lakshmi Bai         –           Jhansi

Begum Razia Sultan             –           Delhi

  • Home Rule Movement        –           1916

Rowlatt Act                           –           1919

Simon Commission              –           1928 (appointed in 1927)

Gandhi-Irwin Pact                –           1931

Champaran Satyagraha        –           1917

Dandi March                         –           1930

Non-Cooperation Movement          1920

Quit India Movement                       –           1942

The Partition of Bengal        –           1905

The Lucknow Pact                –           1916

The Introduction on Dyarchy          December, 1919

Poona Pact     –           24 September, 1932

Communal Award    –           16 August, 1932

Gandhi-Irwin Pact    –           5 March, 1931

Jaliawala Bagh Massacre     April 13, 1919

Amritsar Session of Indian National Congress – December, 1919

  • Warren Hastings was the Governor-General of Bengal at the time when Pitt’s India Act of 1784 was passed.


  • Events Year

Government of India Act     –        1935

Cripps Proposal                   –        1942

August Offer                        –        1940

Wavell Plan                         –        1945

Morley Minto Reforms       –        1909

Formation of Indian National Congress         –         1885

Surat Split                            –        1907

All Party Convention           –        1928

Poorna Swaraj Resolution   –        1929

Indian National Army trial  –        1945

The Royal Indian Naval Rastings Revolt       –         1946

Nehru Report                       –        1928

Gandhi Jinnah Dialogue      –        September, 1944

C.R.  Formula                      –        March, 1944

  • Ghadar Party was formed by Sohan Singh Bhakna and Lala Hardayal in San Francisco (America) in 1913.

  • Apartheiv is Hindi translation of “Unearthly”. A novel series with the same name i.e. Apartheiv has been written by American writer Cynthia Hand. Apartheid, not Apartheiv, is a system in South Africa of institutionalised racial segregation.

  • First paper making is credited to Tsai-Lun in China. Tsai Lun made paper in 105 AD.

  • Bishop Desmond Tutu was black bishop of South Africa who achieved worldwide fame for anti-racism movement in the decade of the 80’s. He was awarded the Noble Prize in 1984 and Gandhi Peace Prize in 2007.

  • Richard Nixon was the 37th President of USA. He is the only U.S. President to resign the office due to his role in Watergate Scandal.

  • First President of USA was George Washington who served from 1789 to 1797.

  • Italian Renaissance started in the 14th century is known as the beginning of modern era and termination of the medieval Feudalised era. The main cause of Italian Renaissance was freedom to express ideas.



  • Germany was divided in Russia influenced Eastern Germany and USA influenced West Germany after 2nd World War. Germany reintegrated on 30 October, 1990 after a long duration of 40 years.

  • The Soviet Union disintegrated in fifteen separate countries along with Russia on 26 December, 1991.

  • China occupied Tibet in 1959. Autonomy of Tibet ended in 1959.

  • Mother Teresa was born in 1910 in Albania and at the age of 18, she had taken the membership of a missionary. She came to India in 1929 and started teaching at Lorato Convent, Kolkata. She was an Indian citizen at time of her death on September 5, 1997.

  • Falun Gong is the system of faith and practice which was established by Li Hongzhi in China in 1992.

  • Most prevalent Calendar in the present day is Gregorian Calendar. It is used worldwide.

  • Important Day

Legal Services Day     –        9 November

World Tourism Day    –        27 September

World Theatre Day     –        27 March

International Literacy Day  8 September

World Population Day-       11 July

International Youth Day      12 August

National Sports Day   –        29 August

World Literacy Day    –        8 September



  • Lucknow pact refers to the agreement reached between the Indian National Congress and the Muslim league at the joint session of both the parties, held in Lucknow, in December 1916. Gandhi-Irwin pact held on 5 March, 1931, Shimla pact in 1945 and Poona pact in 1932. In the year 1945, prevailed a rumor that an alliance had taken place between the congress and Muslim league through Bhulabhai Desai- Liyakat Ali Pact.

  • The Religious organisation established by Mother Teresa is called “Missionaries of Charity”.

  • Alipur Central Jail is located in Kolkata. It was established in 1910. Political Prisoners were imprisoned here during British India rule.

  • The Bhartiya Kisan Union was established on 17 October, 1986 as a non-political organization.

  • The first “All India Socialist Youth Congress” was oraganised in Calcutta on 27 December, 1928. This Congress was presided over by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru.

  • National Press Day is celebrated on 16 November Press Council of India was established in 1966 on the same day.

  • The “Deepavali Declaration” issued by then Governor-General Lord Irvin on October 31, 1929 was related to the dominion status of India.

  • Mahatma Gandhi wrote his biography originally in Gujarati language. British Government appointed Sadler Commission to study the problems of Calcutta University in the leadership of Dr. M. Sadler. Hindu College of Calcutta was the first institution which held in spreading English education in India. Lala Lajpat Rai was elected the President of Calcutta Session (Special) of Indian National Congress.

  • The separate electorate was commenced by Morley-Minto Reforms or Indian Council Act, 1909. Agreement between Congress and Muslim League was settled in 1916 during Lucknow Session of Indian National Congress. British Prime Minister Ramsay Macdonald declared Communal Award on 16 August, 1932. Muslim League celebrated 22 December 1939 as Deliverance Day after the resignation of Congress ministers in 1939.

  • For extension of the British empire in India and suppression of French forces, Wellesley started a policy of subsidiary alliance in 1798. Hyderabad was the first state which accepted the policy of subsidiary alliance (1798).


Magazines, Books and Their Authors

  • Annie Besant founded Central Hindu College in 1898 and was elected as the chairperson of Theosophical Society in 1907. In 1914 she started publishing “Common Weal” and “New India”. “Hind Swaraj” is the book of Mahatma Gandhi and “India Wins Freedom” is the masterpiece of Abul Kalam Azad.

  • The book “India Wins Freedom” is the autobiography of Abul Kalam Azad.

  • Colonel James Tod in his book “Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan” wrote about “Feudalism” in Rajasthan during the 19th

  • Aurobindo Ghosh in his letter “Vande Mataram” criticized the Partition of Bengal of 1905 AD. As a result he was sent to jail on May 4, 1908 where he studied the spiritual texts. After 1910 AD he took retirement from politics and started living at Pondicherry. As a great philosopher, scholar and writer he wrote many texts. Some of his texts are “The Life Divine”, “The Idol of Human Unity”, “Essays on the Gita”.

  • The memoirs entitled “Bapu: My Mother” was written by Manubehen Gandhi.

  • Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak wrote the book “Gita Rahasya” in Mandalay Jail.

  • Srimad Bhagavad Gita Rahasya is a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita by Lokmanya Bala Gangadhar Tilak in Marathi.

  • “Poverty and Un-British Rule in India” was written by Dadabhai Naoroji. He brought attention by his book on draining of Indian wealth into Britain.

  • The writer of the book “The Man Who Divided India” was Dr. Rafiq Zakaria.

  • “Indian Unrest” was written by Valentine Chirol. He termed Bal Gangadhar Tilak as “The father of Unrest in India”. As a result Tilak sued him for defamation.

  • The author of “Indian from Curzon to Nehru and after” is Durga Das.

  • Shyamji Krishna Verma was an Indian revolutionary who founded “The Indian Sociologist” in London.

  • Annihilation of Caste is an undelivered speech written in 1936 by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. The speech was prepared as the presidential address at the annual conference of a Hindus reformist group Jat-Pat Todak Mandal, on the ill effect of caste in Hindu society.

  • Anand Math is the masterpiece of Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, “Captive Lady” of Michael Madhusudan Dutt, “Gora” if Ravindra Nath Tagore and “The Broken Wing” of Sarojini Naidu.

  • Mahatma Gandhi in his book “Hind Swaraj” termed British Parliament as sterile and prostitute on the basis of its methodology. This book written by Mahatma Gandhi in 1909, was written in the English language.


  • The original version of “Gitanjali” in the Bengali language was published on August 14, 1910. The English version of Gitanjali was published in November, 1912 for the first time.

  • Sir Syed Ahmad Khan promoted his ideas thgough a magazine know as “Tahzib-ul-Akhlaq (Civilization and Morality). “Al-Helal” was the letter of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.

  • “Springing Tiger” is the book based on the life story of Subhash Chandra Bose written by Hugh Toye. “Towards Struggle” is the book written by Jaiprakash Narayan. “The Indian Struggle” was written by Subhash Chandra Bose. “India Divided” was written by Dr. Rajendra Pradad. Abul Kalam Azad wrote the book “India Wins Freedom”. “American Witness to India’s Partition” is the masterpiece of Philips Talbot.

  • K. Gandhi is the author of the book- “Gokhale-my political guru”. Its first edition was published from Ahmedabad in February, 1955.

  • Dinabandhu Mitra wrote “Nil Darpan” based on Nil Darpan revolt 1858-1859 in the Bengali language. The masterpiece of Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, ‘Debi Chaudharani’ was published in 1884. Munshi Prem Chand was a player of chess; he wrote “Shatranj Ke Khiladi” in Hindi. The titled of this story in the Urdu language is “Shatranj Ki Bazi”. Chandrakanta is the masterpiece of Devkinandan Khatri.

  • Das Capital (published in 1867) is one of the major works of the 19th century economist and philosopher, Karl Marx in which he expounded his theory of the capitalist system, its described his purpose as to lay bare “the economic law of motion of modern society”. The second and third volumes were published posthumously, edited by his collaborator Friedrich Engels.

  • Vanguard was an emigre communist journal of M.N. Roy. He was the founder of Communist Party of India (1920) founded at Tashkent.

  • “Andher Nagari Chaupat Raja” was written by Bharatendu Harishchandra.

  • Subramaniam Bharti was the great poet of Tamil language. The song composed by him were used during Swadeshi Movement.

  • Bharat Durdaha is a drama written by Bharatendu Harishchandra, the famous Hindu author of the 19th

  • The pamphlet entitled “Why I Am an Atheist?” was written by Bhagat Singh.

  • The National song “Aie Mere Watan Ke Logo” had been written by Pradeep. The original name of Pradeep was Ramachandra Narayanji. He was born in Ujjain. He wrote the particular song tribute to the soldiers martyred in Indo-China War of 1962.

  • The song “Amar Sonar Bangla” was written and composed by Rabindranath Tagore during the Bengal partition movement of 1905. The music of this song is inspired with the song “Kothay Pabo Tare” written by Gagan Harkara. Bangladesh adopted the first 10 lines of this song as its National Anthem. Syed Ali Ahsan translated the song in English. It is noteworthy that Rabindranath Tagore wrote the National Anthem of India “Jana Gana Mana”. He is the only poet of the world whose compositions have been adopted as the national anthem of the two countries.

  • Muhammad Iqbal, the renowned poet and lawyer by profession, was born on November 9, 1877 at Sialkot, Punjab of British India. He wrote “Saare Jahan Se Achcha” but later he joined Muslim League.


  • Sarojini Naidu is the author of the collection of a poem called “Golden Threshold”.

  • The author of the book “Out of Print: Newspapers, Journalism and the Business of News in Digital Age” is Professor George Brock.

  • The novel “A Passage to India” was written by E.M. Forster, based on freedom movement and background of British rule in India during 1920.

  • Bipin Chandra was a historian of modern India. He wrote mostly in the five decades from 1960 till 2000. His works were addressed to three different phases of Indian history- late 19th Century, the early decades of the 20th Century till independence, and independent India. He wrote “Indian National Movement”. The Long-Term Dynamics.”

  • The book “Landmarks in Indian Constitution and National Development” is a masterpiece of Gurmukh Nihal Singh. He also served as the first Governor of Rajasthan from 1956 to 1962.

  • The editor of “Congress Presidential Address” was G.N. Natesan. The book was published in two parts. The first part of the book compiled the presidential addresses of Congress from 1885 to 1910 while the other part compiled the presidential address of Congress from 1911 to 1934.

  • H. Sleeman was a British Administrator who played an important role to abolish swindle practices. The report “Journey through the Kingdom of Oudh in the year 1849-50” was written by W.H. Sleeman which was published in two parts in London.

  • The book “Planning and the Poor” was written by Bagicha Singh Minhas.

  • George N. Curzon is the author of the book “The Problems of the Far East”.

  • “The Untold Story” is the masterpiece of General Brijmohan Kaul. The book highlighting the history of Indian Army was published in 1967.

  • The famous book “The Alphabet: A Key to the History of Mankind” was written by British philologist David Diringer.

  • “Yayati” is a novel written by Vishnu Sakharam Khandekar.

  • Books Writers

India Wins Freedom            –        Abul Kalam Azad

Runs and Ruins                   –        Sunil Gavaskar

The Wheel of History          –        Ram Manohar Lohia

Terrorist                               –        Dilip Mukherji

My Experiments With Truth        Mahatma Gandhi

Nation in Making                –        S.N. Banerjee

Discovery of India               –        Jawaharlal Nehru

Freedom at Midnight           –        Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre

Living an Era                       –        D.P. Mishra

Mother India                        –        Catherine Mayo

Unhappy India                     –        Lala Lajpat Rai

Priya Pravas                         –        Ayodhya Prasad

Gaban                                   –        Prem Chand

My Music My Life              –        Pt. Ravi Shankar

Adha Gaon                           –        Rahi Masoom Raza

Radha                                   –        Sri Ramakant Rath

The Pilferer                          –        Laxman Gaikwad

Eternal India                        –        Indira Gandhi

Shah Nama                           –        Firdausi

My Life and Times              –        Bipin Chandra Pal

India’s Struggle for Independence        –         Bipin Chandra

Life Divine                          –        Sri Aurobindo

Sadhana                                –        Rabindranath Tagore

The first Indian War of Independence   –         Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

Young India                         –        Mahatma Gandhi

New India                            –        Annie Besant

Bharat Bharati                     –        Maithali Sharan Gupta

A Nation in Making             –        Surendra Nath Banerjee

Hind Swaraj                         –        M.K. Gandhi

The Indian Struggle             –        Subhash Chandra Bose

Autobiographical-Writings  –        Lala Lajpat  Rai

An Introduction to the Dreamland        –         Bhagat Singh

Bandi Jivan                          –        Sachindranath Sanyal

Why I am an Atheist            –        Bhagavati Charan Vohra

Vish aur Amrit                     –        Amritlal Nagar

Chidambara                         –        Sumitra Nandan Pant

Devdas                                 –        Sharat Chandra Chatterjee

Geet Govind                        –        Jaidev

Show Business                    –        Shashi Tharoor

Circle of Reason                  –        Amitabh Ghosh

Clear Light of Day               –        Anita Desai


  • Authors Books

Romesh Chandra Dutt                  –        The Economic History of India Under British Rule

J.R. Mclane                          –        Indian Nationalism and the Early Congress

Birendra Nath Ganguli        –        Indian Economic Thought-19th Century Perspectives

Bipin Chandra                     –        The Rise and Growth of Economic Nationalism in India

Nirad C. Chaudhari             –        Autobiography of an Unknown Indian

V.S. Naipal                          –        India: A Wounded Civilization

Mulk Raj Anand                  –        Confession of Lover

R.K. Narayan                       –        The English Teacher

Vikram Chandra                  –        Love and Longing in Bombay

Leila Seth                             –        Ghar Aur Adalat

Mahendra Kulshrestha        –        Jhopari Se Rashtrapati Bhavan Tak

 Nandan Nilekani                 –        Imaging India

T.S.R. Subramanian             –        Journey through Babudom and Netaland

Sunil Manohar Gavaskar     –        One Day Wonders

Veer Bharti                          –        Andha Yug

Munshi Insha Alla Khan     –        Udaibhan Charit

Babu Devki Nandan Khatri –        Kajar ki Kothari

Pt. Pratap Narain Mishra     –        Hathi Hamir

Jain Shankar Prasad             –        Kankal

Hillary Clinton                     –        Living History

Kapil Dev                            –        Cricket-My Style

Camp                                   –        Myth of Mahatma

Neville Chamberlain           –        The Struggle for Peace

Nizamuddin                         –        Tabaqat-i-Akbari

Zia-ud-din Barani                –        Tarikh-i-Firozshahi

Al Utbi                                 –        Tarikh-i-Yamini

Rajini Kothari                      –        Politics in India

Anita Desai                          –        In Custody

Amitav Ghosh                     –        Sea of Poppies

Amartya Sen                        –        The Argumentative Indian

Jhumpa Lahiri                      –        Unaccustomed Earth

Salman Rushdie                   –        Midnight’s Children (Booker Prize in 1981)

Paul Scott                             –        Staying on (Booker Prize in 1977)

James Gordon Farrell          –        The Siege of Krishnapur (Booker Prize in 1973)

Sriman Narayan                   –        Gandhian Constitution of India

  1. Gledhill –        The Republic of India

  2. Mackenzie Brown – The Politics of India

Raul R. Brass                                –        The Politics of India since Independence

  1. S. Naipal – Half a Life

Arun Shourie                       –        Worshiping False Gods

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam             –        Agni Ki Udan

Shiv Khera                           –        Jeet Apki







1743 A.D.

Noor Mohammad


1545 A.D.



1540  A.D.

Malik Muhammad Jayasi


1503  A.D.



Art and Culture

  • Gatka is a martial art of Punjab in which wooden sticks, lathi are used to stimulate swords in sparring matches. Madhubani painting or Mithila painting is a unique style of painting practiced in the Mithila regions of Nepal and Indian States of Bihar. Sindhu Darshan Festival is a Festival of Indian held every year on full moon day (on Guru Purnima) in the month of June. It is held at Leh, in Ladakh District of Jammu & Kashmir.

  • Tribhanga (tri-bent pose) is a standing body position or stance used in the traditional Indian sculpture, art and Indian classical dance form. Tribhanga is literally meaning three parts break, consists of three bends in the body; at the neck, waist and knee which gives it a gentle ‘S’ shape.

  • Chaliha Sahib festival is a fourty day long festival celebrated by Sindhi community annually in the months of July-August. The Nanda Raj Jaat yatra is a three week long pilgrimage in Uttarakhand that is organised once in 12 years. The pilgrimage is believed to be symbolic of the deity, Nanda Devi’s (an avatar of Goddess Parvati) journey from her maternal home to her husband’s abode in Kailash. So, it is not associated with Gond tribe. Wari (Vari) is an annual pilgrimage to Pandharpur -the seat of Hindu god Uithoda in the Indian state of Maharashtra, in honour of the deity.

  • Kumbha Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith in which Hindus gather to take a dip in a holy river. It is the world’s largest religious gathering. It is held every third year at one of the four places by rotation: Haridwar, Allahabad (Prayag), Nashik and Ujjain. Thus the Kumbha Mela is held at each of these four places every twelfth years. Ardh (Half) Kumbh Mela is held at only two places, Hardwar and Allahabad, every sixth year. The rivers at these four places are: the Ganges (Ganga) at Haridwar, the confluence (Sangam) of the Ganges and the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati at Allahabad, the Godawari at Nashik and the   Shipra at Ujjain.

  • Bihu –        Assam (Celebrated thrice in a year:  During sowing and harvesting of crop and in autumn season)

  • Onam –        Kerala (Celebrated during harvesting of crop)

  • Pongal –        Tamil Nadu (Celebrated in the month of January  during harvesting of crop)

  • Baisakhi –        Punjab

  • Pookalam, also called Athapoo is an intricate floral mat laid in the front courtyard by maidens of the house during Onam festival.

  • “Tamasha” is a traditional Marathi folk art form. It includes both singing and dancing forms. It is widely performed by theatre groups within the State of Maharashtra.

  • Thai Pongal is a harvest festival of Tamil Nadu celebrated on Makar Sankranti by Tamil people at the end of the harvest season.

  • Adi Shankracharya was one of the most notable philosophers as well as savant of India. He established four Peethas or Mathas in the four corners of India. The four Mathas established by him are – Jyotirmath or Joshimath in north, Govardhan Math in Puri in the east, Dwarka Peeth in Dwarka in the west and Sringeri Sharada Peetham in Sringeri in the south. He also established the fifth Math which has the right over the other four Mathas.

  • The temple of Srisailam is located on the banks of Krishna river, about 232 km south of Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh), which is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas.

  • Vichitravirya was the grandfather of Arjun, who had two sons Pandu and Dhritarashtra. Arjun was the son of Pandu.

  • Tabo Monastery is located in the Tabo village of Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh. It was founded in 996 CE in the Tibetan year of the Fire Ape by the Tibetan Buddhist Rinchen Zangpo.

  • Kaaba is a cuboid-shaped building located in Mecca of Saudi Arabia which is the holiest place of Muslims. According to Quran Kaaba was founded by Ibrahim and his son Ismail. All the Muslims over the world face towards the Kaaba during the Namaz.

  • The Lasoong Festival is the most popular festival of Sikkim. It is usually celebrated at the end of the tenth Tibetan lunar month (usually December). It is the most important festival among the Bhutias in India and is marked by the traditional Chaan dancing and merry-making. Losoong is celebrated across the monasteries in Bhutan, Nepal and India. In Sikkim, during the festival of Losoong, often dance forms depict narrativized tales from the life of Padmasambhava (or Guru Ugyen).

  • At famous Paris University, first Sanskrit faculty was established at College de France in 1814.

  • Chapchar Kut is a festival celebrated in the State of Mizoram during the month of March.

  • The earliest reference of “Magnetic Compass” is found in Jawamiul Hikayat.

  • Temple State

Vidyashankar Temple                  –         Karnataka

Rajarani Temple                           –        Orissa

Kandariya Madadev Tmeple        –        Madhya Pradesh

Bhimesvara Temple                      –        Andhra Pradesh

  • “Sufi Kalam” a type of devotional music is characteristic of Jammu and Kashmir.

  • Mimansa system of philosophy stresses on the doctrine of “Karma”. It says that liberation is possible by means of performing “Karma”.


  • Festival of Rath Yatra is held in Jagannathpuri of Orissa.

  • The Chitragupta Swami temple considered to be the only temple of Chitragupta is situated in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu.

  • Ustad Alla Rakha  Qureshi popularly known as   Alla Rakha, was an Indian  Tabla player. He was the father of  Ustad Zakir Hussain.

  • “Vikramarjuna Vijaya” composed by Pampa by is the Kannada version of Mahabharata.

  • Bhajan SoporiPandit Bhajan Sopori was born in Srinagar (Kashmir) into a family of a musician of the fabled “ Sufiana  Gharana” of Kashmir (the exclusive traditional  Santoor family of the country). His first public performance was at a conference organized by Prayag   Sangeet Samiti and  the University of  Allahabad.

  • Birju MaharajaHe is the leading exponent of in Lucknow Kalka- Bindadin Gharana of  Kathak dance in India. He has been honoured with  Sangeet Ntak Akademi  Award. Padma Bhushan, Kalidas  Samman, Nritya Choodamani, Andhra  Ratna, Nritya Vilas,  Adharshila Shikhar    Samman an d Rajive  Gandhi Peace Award.

  • Priyadarshini GovindPriyadarshini Govind in one of the foremost Bharatanatyam dancers of the current generation, trained by two stalwarts, Kalaimamani K.  Rajaratham Pillai and Padma Bhushan Smt. Kalanidhi Narayan. She was honoured with “Kalaimamani” the highest honour of Tamil Nadu in 1998.

  • V. Gopal KrishnaHe is a great artist of Mridangam.

  • Pandit Devabrata (Debu) Chaudhari is a sitar player. Amjad Ali Khan is an Indian classical musician who plays the Sarod and Yehudi Menuhin was an American-born violinist while Panna Lal Ghosh was a Bangladeshi descent Indian flute (Bansuri) player.

  • “Radha Govind Sangeet Sar” the renowned  classical  music composition is the creation of Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh.


  • Dhrupad is the Indian classic music that traces its origin to the chanting of Vedic hymns and mantras. It was originated by King of Gwalior Man Singh Tomar (1486-1516). Hence Drupad was originated way back before Mughal Period.

  • Chakiarkoothu form of dance is believed to have been introduced to Kerala by the early Aryan immigrants and is performed only by the members of the Chakiar caste.

  • Umakant Gundecha and Ramakant Gundecha, known as the Gundecha Brothers, are leading  Dagarvani dhrupad singers.  Gundecha Brothers were born in Ujjain into a Jain family.

  • Rana Hammir authored “Srinagar Har”, Maharana Kumbha authored “Sangeetraj”, Radhakrishna authored “Rag Ratnakar” and Krishnanand Vyas authored “Raga  Kallpadrum”.

  • Pandit Bimsen Joshi was an Indian classical singer of the Kirana Apart from being an expert in “Khayal” singing, he was also adept in the presentation of Thumris, songs from plays or devotional compositions. He also sang for several films. He honoured with Bharat Ratna in 2008.

  • Raga “Todi” is sung during the morning while Raag “Darbari” is sung at night, Raag “Bhopali” during evening and “Bhimpa lasi” is sung at the afternoon.

  • “Mohini Attam” is semi-classical dance form of Kerala. Women perform it. The work Mohini means a maiden who steals the heart of the onlooker. It is thought that Vaishvava devotees gave the name of Mohini Attam to this dance form. It is one of the eight classical dance forms of India.

  • Kalamandalam Kshemaathy is a dancer of Mohiniattam, Kottakkal Sivarman is a dancer of Kathakali, Lakshmi Vishwanathan is a dancer of Bharatnatyam and N. Madhabi Devi is a dancer of Manipuri.

  • Dance State

Bharatnatyam              Tamil Nadu

Kathak                         Uttar Pradesh

Kuchipudi                   Andhra Pradesh

Mohiniattam               Kerla

  • Odissi is one of the eight classical dance forms of India. It originate from the state of Orissa, in India. It is the oldest surviving dance from of India on the basis of archaeological evidence.

  • Garba is a form of dance which originated in the State of Gujarat in India.

  • Indrani Rahman (1930-1999) was an Indian classical dancer, of Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathkali and Odissi, which she popularized in the west and later settled in New York in 1976. She is renowned to provide fame to Odissi dance style to international level.

  • The famous Thumri singer, Girja Devei belongs to Banaras Gharana.

  • Gangubai Hangal (1913-2009) was an Indian singer of the Khayal genre of Hindustani classical music, who was known for her deep and powerful voice. Hangal belonged to the Kirana Gharana.

  • Rukmani Devi –        Bharatnatyam dance

Kumar Gandharva      –        Classical singing

Birji Maharaj              –        Kathak dance

Rakesh Sharma           –        Astronaut


  • State Dance

Assam                –        Ojapali

Himachal Pradesh       Luddi

West Bengal               Jatra

Bihar                           Jata-Jatin

  • Tera Tali is a famous folk dance of Rajasthan. It is performed by two or three women of the “Kamar” tribe. The women folk sit on the ground while performing the “Tera Tali” which is an elaborate ritual with many other rituals in it.

  • Abanindra Nath Tagore founded Indian Society of Oriental Art in Kolkata in 1907 to revive the ancient traditions of India. He was the principal of Government School of art and a great artist of modern India.

  • The famous painting “Satyam Shivam Sundaram” is a masterpiece of Shobha Singh.

  • Sardar Puran Singh or Puran Singh is also known as the Tagore of Punjabi language.

  • Vishnu Chinchalkar was an artist (Chitrakar) born on September 5, 1917. M.F. Hussain and D.R. Bendre were his college mates. He was universally called “Guruji”.

  • Britney Jean Spears is an American singer and actress born on December 2, 1981 at Mocomb, Mississippi.

  • Abanindranath Tagore is called the father of modern Indian painting. His paintings are classified as revivalistic.

  • Jamini Roy was a famous painter.

  • “Mona Lisa” is the famous painting of Leonardo Da Vinci.

  • The song “Mera ghar Aaya” was sung by the renowned Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

  • Devika Rani Chaudhari, usually known as Devika Rani (born on March  30, 1908 and died on March 9, 1994) was an actress in Indian films. Devi ka Rani was born into a Bengali family in Waltair near Visakhapatnam in present-day Andhra Pradesh.

  • Raghu Rai (born 1942) is an Indian photographer and photojournalist. Rai became a photographer in 1965, and a year later joined the staff of the Statesman, a New Delhi publication. In 1976, he left the paper and became a freelance photographer.

  • Alam Ara is a 1931 film directed by Ardeshir Irani. It was the first Indian sound film. Alam Ara debuted at the Majestic Cinema in Mumbai (then Bombay) on 14 March, 1931. The first Indian talkie was so popular that “police aid had to be summoned to control the crowds.”

  • V. Serial “Mahabharata” was produced by B .R. Chopra (Baldev Raj Chopra) and directed by his son Ravi Chopra. He was awarded Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 1999.

  • The writer and producer of the famous T.V. Serial “Ramayana” were Ramanand Sagar.

  • Sri V.G. Jog is a famous player of Violin.

  • Gopalji Mishra is a Sarangi player.

  • Kishan Maharaj is a Tabla player.

  • Birju Maharaj is an excellent Kathak dancer.

  • “ Karagam”, a religious folk dance is associated with Tamil Nadu.


  • State Dance

Andhra Pradesh                     Burra

Assam                        Bihu

Himachal Pradesh     Nati

Rajasthan                               Ghoomar

  • Instruments            Singer

Shahnai                      –           Bismullah Khan

Sarod              –           Amjad Ali Khan

Painter                        –           Maqbool Fida Hussain

Tabla              –           Alla Rakha Khan

Sitar                            –           Ravishankar

Santoor                       –           Shivkumar

Flute                           –           Hari Prasad Chaurasia         

Rudra Veena  –           Asad Ali Khan

Sundari                       –           Pramod Gaekwad

Tabla              –           Zakir Hussain

Tabla              –           Veeru Mishra

Veena Vadan –           Sadiq Ali Khan

Khayal                        –           Suraj Khan

Pakhawaj                    –           Pt. Ayodhya Prasad

Violin             –           Omkar Nath Thakur




  • The “Kalidam Samman” is a prestigious arts award presented annually by the Government of Madhya Pradesh in India. It was established in 1980-81. In this Award, Rs. 100000 and a citation is presented in the fields of classical music, classical dance, theatre and visual art.

  • The first Ramon Magsaysay Awards, also known as “Asian Nobel”, were given on August 31, 1958 to five outstanding individuals working in India, Indonesia, Philippines, Republic of China (Taiwan) and Sri Lanka. Vinoba Bhave was the first Indian to receive the Magsaysay award founded by Ramon Magsaysay Foundation, Philippines. He got the award in 1958 for community leadership.

  • The Dronacharya Award is presented by the Government of India for excellence in sports coaching. The award comprises of a bronze statue of Dronacharya, a scroll of honour and a cash component. O.M. Nambiar (Athletics coach) was the first coach to receive Dronacharya Award in 1985.

  • Arjun award is given for excellence in sports. Jamnalal Bajaj Award is an Indian Award for promoting Ganhian values, social work and social development. The Tagore Award is an award given in commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of the Noble Laureate Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) for cultural harmony.

  • The Moortidevi Award is an annual literary award in India presented by the Bharatiya Jynanpith organization for work which emphasizes Indian philosophy and culture.

  • Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Arjuna Awards are given every year to recognize and reward excellence in sports. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is given for the spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four years immediately preceding the year in which award is to be given.

  • Award                         Area

Bhatnagar Award                  –           Science

B.C. Roy Award                   –           Medicine

Dada Saheb Phalke Award  –           Film

Gandharva Award                –           Classical Art

  • The first lady to receive “Gyanpeeth” Award is Ashapurna Devi. She was awarded the award in 1976 for her masterpiece work “Pratham Pratishruti”.

  • Nargis Dutt was the first Indian actress to receive the “Padma Shree” Award. She was awarded “Padma Shree” in 1958.

  • Nelson Mandela was awarded “Bharat Ratna” in 1990 for his incredible work in the abolishment of apartheid in South Africa. His movement was based on Gandhian values.

  • “Bharat Ratna” the highest civilian Award of the country, was instituted in the year 1954. The Award is given in various disciplines/fields of activities, viz-art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc.

  • Satyajit Ray was honoured by a Special Oscar Award in 1992 for his outstanding contribution in films.



  • The famous Indian journalist Arun Shourie was awarded “Magsaysay Award” in 1982.

  • The Maharana Pratap Award was established in 1982-83. It is given to the players for excellence in the field of sports. Notably, the Vishist Award was established in 1987 and given to the sports coaches.

  • The “Chakradhar Fellowship” was given in the field of classical music. King Chakradhar Singh as himself a great exponent of “Tabla and Pakhawaj”. His Darbar was the Centre of all musical activity in those days.  These used to be a galaxy of dancers and musicians and Sanskrit scholars in his Darbar. He also wrote many books on music.

  • The first Indian film to be nominated for an Oscar was “Mother India” (Released in 1957) directed by Mehboob Khan. The film failed to win the award in its category. Keechak Vadham released in January, 1918 was the first full-length Tamil Feature Film The film was directed by Nataraja Mudaliar.

  • S. Naipal is the first person of Indian origin to win the “Booker Prize”. He was awarded “Booker Prize” in 1971 for “In a Free State”.

  • The famous Urdu poet Firaq Gorakhpuri was awarded “Bhartiya Gyanpeeth Award” in 1969 for his masterpiece “Gule Nagma”.







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