Tracing Changes Through A Thousand Years

Over a period of time, the map of an area made by a person differs significantly from that made by another person. This is because of the changes in the information about that region. Another reason for difference in the maps of two distinct periods is the difference in the science of cartography. When documents, maps and texts from the past are read by historians, they have to keep in mind the differences in the historical backgrounds and the contexts in which the information about the past was produced. Hence maps and documents cannot be interpreted in absolute and independent terms.

Different Maps of India

Sources for Historians

New Social and Political Groups

Classification of History

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New Kings And Kingdoms

During the seventh century, there were many big landlords or warrior chiefs in the subcontinent, who were often acknowledged by the kings as their subordinates or samantas. As the power and wealth of the samantas increased, they declared themselves to be mahasamanta or maha-mandaleshwara (meaning the great lord of the ‘circle’ or the region). In some cases, they even asserted their independence over the overlords. One such instance was that of Rashtrakutas in the Deccan.

Emergence of New Dynasties

Prashashtis and Grants

The Rise of the Cholas

Administration of Brahmadeya

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The Delhi Sultans

Delhi is the capital of India and hence it is politically the most important city in India. But Delhi was like any other non-descript city till twelfth century. It was only in the twelfth century, that Delhi became an important city. Right from the days of the Rajput rulers; Delhi gradually grew in political importance in India. During the Mughal rule, it reached its pinnacle of political importance.

Rajput Rulers & Sultans

Expansion of Delhi Sultanate

Regions Outside Delhi Sultanate

Suri Dyansty

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The Mughal Empire

It was a big challenge for any ruler in the Middle Ages to rule a territory as large and diverse as the Indian subcontinent. The Mughals were the pioneers in building an empire for a long period of time, contradicting their predecessors who ruled only for short periods of time. They expanded their kingdom from the latter half of the sixteenth century from Agra and Delhi to almost all parts of the subcontinent in the seventeenth century. Their structures of administration and ideas of governance had a place even after their reign was over. In other words, they left a political legacy that even the succeeding leaders of the subcontinent could not ignore.

Administration in Mughal Empire

Akbar’s Policies

List of Mughal Emperors

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Rulers And Buildings

Till the 5th century AD, very few buildings were made of stone or brick. With gradual developments in construction technologies, huge structures of bricks and stones were being made in later years. Most of the grand buildings were built by the rulers. In this lesson, you will read about the buildings, architectural styles, and construction methods during the medieval period. You will also learn about the significance of such grand monuments.

New Architecture

Gardens, Tombs and Forts

Adaptations of Mughal Architecture

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Towns, Traders And Craftspersons

A medieval town may be a Temple town, Administrative centre, Commercial town or Port town. Many towns had combined characteristics of all the above types of towns. For example, many towns were administrative centres, commercial and craft production centres as well as temple towns – all at the same time.

Administrative Centres, Temple Towns

Surat and Hampi

Masulipatnam

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Tribes, Nomads And Settled Communities

As the rise and fall of various kingdoms was happening, new arts, crafts and production activities flourished in towns and villages. There were changes in the economic, political and social scenario over the centuries. But the changes in the social aspects were not the same everywhere. This is because different societies evolved differently.

Tribal Societies

Evolution of Tribes

The Ahoms

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Devotional Paths To The Divine

Different people show their devotion to God in different ways. Some of them perform rituals, some sing bhajans, kirtans or qawwalis, and some are moved to tears when they do these or repeat the name of God in silence. These forms of intense devotion towards God form the foundation of various kinds of Bhakti and Sufi movements that have evolved since the 8th century.

Concept of Bhakti

Philosophy of Bhakti

Islam and Sufis

Religious Developments in North India

The Sikhism

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The Making Of Regional Cultures

The description of people on linguistic basis is extremely common. In other words, people are described on the basis of the language they speak or their mother tongue. When we refer to some person as a Kannada or a Marathi, this usually means that he/she speaks Kannada/Marathi. We also have a tendency to associate each region with distinctive kinds of food, clothing, poetry, dance, music and painting. We also sometimes tend to take these aspects of people as granted and assume that the people are identified with these since time immemorial.

The Cheras and Malayalam

Jagannatha Cult

Kathak

Miniature Paintings

Bengali Culture

Temples in Bengal

Staple Food in Bengal

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Eighteenth-Century Political Formations

During the first half of the 18th century, many significant developments took place in the subcontinent. The boundaries of the Mughal Empire were reshaped by the emergence of a number of independent kingdoms. In major parts of eastern India, another power, the British had successfully gained control by 1765. Within a short span of time the political scenario in the 18th century India changed quite dramatically.

Decline of Mughal Empire

Awadh

Bengal and Hyderabad

Rajputs and Sikhs

The Marathas

The Jats

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