NCERT Class 7 History Chapter 2 - New Kings and Kingdoms Notes

Chapter 2 - New Kings and Kingdoms Notes

1. Many new dynasties emerged in different parts of the subcontinent between the 7th and 12th centuries.

2. In the 7th century, there were big landlords or warrior chiefs in different regions, they were acknowledged as subordinates of samantas of kings.

3. Samantas were expected to bring gifts and provide them with military support. As samantas gained power and wealth, they declared themselves to be mah-samanta, maha-mandaleshvara.

4. The Rashtrakutas in the Deccan was initially subordinate to the Chalukyas of Karnataka but later overthrew his Chalukya overlord and performed a ritual called ‘hiranya-garbha’.

5. The Kadamba Mayurasharman and the Gurjara Pratihara Harichandra were Brahmanas who gave up their traditional professions and took to arms, successfully establishing kingdoms in Karnataka and Rajasthan respectively.

6. Many of new kings adopted high sounding titles such as maharaja-adhiraja (great king), tribhuvana- chakravartin (lord of the three worlds) etc. They often shared power with their samantas as well as with associations of peasants, traders and Brahmanas.

7. In each of these states, resources were obtained from the producers - peasants, cattle keepers, artisans.

8. The Cholas who ruled in Tamil Nadu refer to more than 400 terms for different kinds of taxes. The most frequently mentioned tax is ‘vetti’, taken not in cash but in the form of forced labour, and ‘kadamai’ or land revenue. There were also taxes on thatching the house, the use of ladder to climb palm trees, a cess on succession to family property, etc.

9. The collected taxes were used for the construction of temples and forts, to fight wars, and access to land as well as trade routes.

10. For collecting the taxes or revenue, the functionaries were generally recruited from influential families and positions were often hereditary. In many cases, close relatives of the king held these positions.

11. One prashasti written in Sanskrit and found in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh describes the exploits of Nagabhata, a Pratihara King.

12. Kings often rewarded Brahmanas by grants of land. These were recorded on copper plates, which were given to those who received the land.

13. The 12th century was a long Sanskrit poem containing the history of kings who ruled over Kashmir. It was composed by an author named ‘Kalhana’.

14. Warfare was the way to control others areas. In the Ganga valley, city of Kanauj was the area where three dynasties fought for control. These dynasties were
• Guijara-Pratihara
• Rashtrakuta
• Pala dynasties
Historians often describe it as the ‘tripartite struggle’.

15. Others who were engaged in warfare included the Chahamanas, known as Chauhans, ruled over the region around Delhi and Ajmer. They attempted to expand their control to the west and the east, where they were opposed by the Chalukyas of Gujarat and the Gahadavalas of western Uttar Pradesh. The best-known Chauhans ruler was Prithviraja III (1168-1192), who defeated an Afghan ruler name Sultan Muhammad Ghori in 1191, but next year in 1192 he was defeated by Ghori.

16. Rulers also tried to demonstrate their power and resources by building large temples. So, when they attacked they often chose to target temples, which were sometimes extremely rich.

17. Such rulers was Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, Afghanistan. He ruled from 997 to 1030 and extended control over parts of Central Asia, Iran and the north-western part of the subcontinent. He raided the subcontinent almost every year. His targets were wealthy temples, including that of Somnath, Gujarat.

18. Al-Biruni was a writer of ‘Kitab-al-Hind’ which is written in Arabic.

19. Muttaraiyar was subordinate to the Pallava Kings of Kanchipuram. Vijayalaya, who belonged to the ancient chiefly family of the Cholas from Uraiyur captured the delta from the Muttaraiyar in the middle of the ninth century. He built the town of Thanjavur and a temple for goddess Nishumbhasudini there.

20. Vijayalaya conquered the Pandyan and the Pallava territories to the south and north were made part of this kingdom.

21. The big temples of Thanjavur and Gangaikondacholapuram, built by Rajaraja I and Rajendra I are architectural and sculptural marvels.

22. Temples and their area were maintained by those who worked at the temple and very often lived near them, priests, garland makers, cooks, sweepers, musicians, dancers, etc. Meaning temples were not only places of worship; they were the hub of economic, social and cultural life as well.

23. Chola bronze images are considered amongst the finest in the world. While most images were of deities, sometimes images were made of devotees as well.

24. Many of the achievements of the Cholas were made possible through new developments in agriculture. The Kaveri branches off into several channels before emptying into the Bay of Bengal. Water from the channels also provides the necessary moisture for agriculture particularly the cultivation of rice.

25. Inscriptions received from Tamil Nadu, provide the details of various sabha such as irrigation works, gardens, temples etc., with a certain criteria of eligibility.

26. In China, an empire was established under the Tang dynasty which remained in power for about 300 years. Its capital was Xi’an, one of the largest cities in the world visited by Turks, Iranians, Indians, Japanese and Koreans.

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