Chapter 11: Buildings, Paintings and Books
Q1. Fill in the blanks.
i. We can learn about the Gupta rulers from their inscriptions and coins.
ii. Kumara devi, mother of Samudragupta belonged to the Lichchhavi gana.
iii. Pulakeshin II checked the advance of Harsha.
iv. The Pallavas and Chalukyas were the most important ruling dynasties in south India during this period.
i. His brother-in-law was the ruler of Kanauj. True
ii. Harishena composed a prashasti in praise of Gautamiputra Shri Satakarni. False
iii. The rulers of Aryavarta brought tribute for Samudragupta. False
iv. There were twelve rulers in Dakshinapatha. True
v. Taxila and Madurai were important centres under the control of the Gupta rulers. False
vi. Local assemblies functioned for several centuries in south India. True
Q3. Whose court poet was Ravikriti?
Ans. Pulakeshin II
Q4. What do genealogies mean?
Ans. Genealogies mean lists of ancestors.
Q5. Name an Indian king who was known as ’musician king’.
Q6. In ancient period, who was called sarthavaha?
Ans. Leader of the merchant caravans was called as Sarthavaha.
Q7. Who was the best-known Chalukya ruler?
Ans. The best-known Chalukya ruler was Pulakeshin II.
Q8. In which language is Harshacharita written?
Ans. Harshacharita is written in Sanskrit.
Q9. What was the capital of Chalukyas?
Ans. Aihole was the capital of the Chalukyas.
Q10. Which ruler was described as equal as gods?
Q11. How many rulers were there in dakshinapatha?
Ans. There were twelve rulers in dakshinapatha.
Q12. Who composed the Prashasti of Chalukya king Pulakeshin II?
Ans. Ravikirti the Prashasti of Chalukya king Pulakeshin II.
Q13. Who led an expedition to western India against Shakas?
Ans. Chandragupta II led an expedition to western India against Shakas.
Q14. Who wrote the biography of king Harshavardhana?
Ans. Banabhatta wrote the biography of king Harshavardhana.
Q15. What do you know about the mother of the greatest Gupta emperor Samudragupta?
Ans. His mother was Kumara devi and she belonged to the Lichchhavi gana.
Q16. What were the functions of assemblies in southern kingdom?
Ans. These assemblies looked after irrigation, agricultural operations, making roads, local temples, etc.
Q17. What was Ur?
Ans. The ur was a village assembly found in areas where the land owners were not brahmins.
Q18. Who was Fa Xian and what did he notice during his visit to India?
Ans. Fa Xian was a Chinese pilgrim. He noticed the plight of those who were treated as untouchables by the high and mighty.
Q19. Who was Banabhatta?
Ans. Banabhatta was the court poet of King Harshvardhana. He wrote Harshcharita, a biography of Harshavardhana.
Q20. Write about the kingdom of the Pallavas.
Ans. The kingdom of the Pallavas spread from the region around their capital, Kanchipuram, to the Kaveri delta.
Q21. What is a prashasti?
Ans. Inscription of a special kind is known as a prashasti, a Sanskrit word, meaning ‘in praise of’.
Q22. Mention three authors who wrote about Harshavardhana.
Ans. Ravikirti, Banabhatta and Xuan Zang were the three authors who wrote about Harshavardhana.
Q23. Write the meaning of kumar-amatya and sandhi-vigrahika.
Ans. kumar-amatya – an important minister
sandhi-vigrahika – a minister of war and peace.
Q24. Who was Harishena?
Ans. Harishena was a poet, a maha-danda-nayaka, a kumar-amatya and a sandhi-vigrahika.
Q25. Write a note on rulers of Dakshinapatha.
Ans. There were twelve rulers in dakshinapatha. They surrendered to Samudragupta after being defeated and he then allowed them to rule again.
Q26. Who was the first ruler of Gupta Dynasty who adopted the grand title of maharaj-adhiraja?
Ans. Chandragupta was the first ruler of the Gupta dynasty to adopt the grand title of maharaj-adhiraja.
Q27. What is Abhijana Shakuntalam?
Ans. Abhijnana Shakuntalam is the most famous play of Kalidasa. It is the story of the love between a king named Dushyanta and a young woman named Shakuntala.
Q28. How did poet praise the king Samudragupta?
Ans. The poet praised the king in glowing terms — as a warrior, as a king who won victories in battle, who was learned and the best of poets. He is also described as equal to the gods.
Q29. How did the Sabha function in ancient India?
Ans. Sabha was an assembly of brahmin land owners and this assembly functioned through subcommittees, which looked after irrigation, agricultural operations, making roads, local temples, etc.
Q30. How do we come to know about Harshavardhana?
Ans. We can find out about Harshavardhana from:
i. his biography , the Harshacharita written by his court poet, Banabhatta
ii. a detailed account left by Xuan Zang, who spent a lot of time at Harsha’s court.
Q31. What changes do you find in the army at this time?
Ans. Some kings maintained a well-organised army. Besides, there were military leaders who provided the king with troops whenever he needed them. They were not paid regular salaries. Instead, some of them received grants of land. They collected revenue from the land and used this to maintain soldiers and horses, and provide equipment for warfare.
Q32. What do you know about Chalukyas kingdom?
Ans. Chalukyas was one of the most important ruling dynasties in south India. Chalukyas was centred around the Raichur Doab, between the rivers Krishna and Tungabhadra. Aihole, the capital of the Chalukyas, was an important trading centre. It developed as a religious centre, with a number of temples.
Q33. What were the new administrative arrangements during this period?
Ans. There were some new developments. Kings adopted a number of steps to win the support of men who were powerful, either economically, or socially, or because of their political and military strength. For instance:
i. Some important administrative posts were made hereditary.
ii. Sometimes, one person held many offices.
iii. Besides, important men probably had a say in local administration.
Q34. Write a note on Pulakeshin II.
Ans. The best-known Chalukya ruler was Pulakeshin II. We know about him from a prashasti, composed by his court poet Ravikirti. This tells us about his ancestors, who are traced back through four generations from father to son. Pulakeshin evidently got the kingdom from his uncle. According to Ravikirti, he led expeditions along both the west and the east coasts. Besides, he checked the advance of Harsha.
Q35. Write a short note on Harshavardhana?
Ans. Harsha was not the eldest son of his father, but became king of Thanesar after both his father and elder brother died. His brother-in-law was the ruler of Kanauj and he was killed by the ruler of Bengal. Harsha took over the kingdom of Kanauj, and then led an army against the ruler of Bengal. Although he was successful in the east, and conquered both Magadha and Bengal, he was not as successful elsewhere. He tried to cross the Narmada to march into the Deccan, but was stopped by a ruler belonging to the Chalukya dynasty, Pulakeshin II.
Q36. Write about assemblies in the southern kingdoms.
Ans. The inscriptions of the Pallavas mention a number of local assemblies. These included the sabha, which was an assembly of brahmin land owners.
This assembly functioned through subcommittees, which looked after irrigation, agricultural operations, making roads, local temples, etc. The ur was a village assembly found in areas where the land owners were not brahmins. And the nagaram was an organisation of merchants. It is likely that these assemblies were controlled by rich and powerful landowners and merchants. Many of these local assemblies continued to function for centuries.