NCERT Class 7 History Chapter 5 - Rulers and Buildings Notes

Chapter 5 - Rulers and Buildings Notes

1. Qutbuddin Aybak constructed Qutb Minar in 1199.

2. Qutb Minar has five storeys. The first floor was constructed by Qutbuddin Aybak and the rest by Iltutmish around1229.

3. Qutb Minar was repaired by Alauddin Khalji, Muhammed Tughluq, Firuz Shah Tughluq and Ibrahim Lodi.

4. The pattern is created under the balcony by the small arches and geometrical designs. The surface of the minar is curved and angular.

5. Between the 8th and the 18th centuries kings and their officers built two kinds of structures. The first were forts, places, garden residence and safe, protected and grandiose places of rest called tombs. Second were structures meant for public activity including temples, mosques, tanks, wells, caravanserais and bazaars.

6. Kings were making structures for their use and comfort and hoped to win their praise. Construction activity was also carried out by others, including merchants. Akbar built Agra Fort for providing work to the labours. Agra Fort required 2,000 stone-cutters, 2000 cement and lime-makers and 8,000 labourers.

7. 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.

8. Domestic architecture: large mansions (havelis) of merchants have survived only from the 18th Century.

9. Monument can make by placing wooden beams or a slab of stone across four walls. But the task becomes difficult if we want to make a large room with an elaborate superstructure. This requires more sophisticated skills. Between the 7th and 10th centuries architects started adding more rooms, doors and windows to buildings.

10. The Kandariya Mahadeva temple dedicated to Shiva was constructed in 999 by the king Dhangadeva of the Chandela dynasty. This was the place for ritual worship where only the king, his immediate family and priests gathered.

11. The Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh) complex contained royal temples where commoners were not allowed entry. The temples were decorated with elaborately carved sculptures. Most Khajuraho temples were built between 950 and 1050 by the Chandela dynasty.

12. The Rajarajeshvara temple at Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu) had the tallest shikara amongst temples of its time.

13. From the 12th century two technological and stylistic developments are noticeable:
(i) The weight of the superstructure above the doors and windows was sometimes carried by arches. This architectural form was called “arcuate”.
(ii) Limestone cement was increasingly used in construction. This was very high- quality cement.

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

15. The Rajarajeshvara temple was built by King Rajarajadeva for the worship of his god, Rajarajeshvaram. The names of Raja and God are very similar, because the king took the god’s name as it was auspicious and he wanted to appear like a god. Through the rituals of worship in the temple one god hounoured another god.

16. The largest temples were all constructed by kings. The other, lesser deities in the temples were gods and goddesses of the allies and subordinates of the ruler. The temple was miniature model of the world ruled by the king and his allies.

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

18. 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.

19. 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 Delh-i- kuhna or the “King’s Reservoir”. Sometimes these tanks and reservoirs were part of a temple, mosque or a gurdwara.

20. The Persian terms ‘abad’, populated, prosperous and abadi, flourishing, are both derived from the word ab, meaning water.

21. Kings built temples to demonstrate their devotion to God and their power and wealth. Hence, when they attacked one another’s kingdoms they often targeted these buildings. In the early 19th century when the Pandyan king Shrimara Shrivallabha invaded Sri Lanka and defeated the King, he removed all the valuables, the statue of the Buddha made entirely of gold in the Jewel Place, golden images in the various monasteries etc.

22. Similarly, Chola king Rajendra-I built a Shiva temple in his capital and filled it with prized statues seized from defeated rulers which included a Sun-pedestal from the Chalukyas, a Ganesha statue and several statues of Durga, a Nandi statue, an image of Bhairava and Bhairavi from the Kalingas of Orissa, and a Kali statue from the Palas of Bengal.

23. Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni was a contemporary of Rajendra-I. He attacked the temples and looted their wealth and idols especially from the Somnath temple.

24. Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir and especially Shah Jahan were personally interested in literature, art and architecture.

25. Babur described his interest in planning and laying out formal gardens, placed within rectangular walled enclosures and divided into quarters by artificial channels. These gardens were called Chahar bagh because of their symmetrical division into quarters. Some of the most beautiful Chahar bagh were constructed by Jahangir and Shah Jahan in Kashmir, Agra and Delhi.

26. Akbar’s architects turned to the tombs of his Central Asian ancestor, Timur. The central towering dome and the tall gateway 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.

27. During Shah Jahan’s reign huge amount of construction activity is witnessed especially in Agra and Delhi. The ceremonial halls of public and private audience (diwan-i khas or am) were carefully planned. Shah Jahan’s audience halls were specially constructed to resemble a mosque.He built the world famous Taj Mahal in Agra, Lai Qila and Jama Masjid in Delhi.

28. In Vijayanagara, the elephant stables of the rulers were strongly influenced by the style of architecture found in the adjoinging Sultanates of Bijapur and Golconda. In Vrindavan, near Mathura, temples were constructed in architectural styles that were every similar to the Mughal palaces in Fatehpur Sikri.

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