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History for UPSC (Civil Services) Prelims

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Abastanoi, These were people who dwelt, on the eve of Alexander's invasion, in the north-western part of India, on the Chenab above its confluence with the Indus. Their name is the Greek form of the Sanskrit Ambastha who are mentioned in the Aitareya Brahmana, the Mahabharata and the Barhaspatya Arthasastra.

Abdul Hamid Lahori, official historian of the time of Shah Jahan. His work called Padshahnama is an authoritative account of the reign of Shah Jahan.

Abdullah Barha Sayyid, the elder of the two Sayyid brothers who controlled the administration of the Mughul empire from 1713 when they put on the throne Farrukhsiyar till their fall in 1719.Dictionary, Ancient History, UPSC UPSC Notes | EduRevAbdullah Barha SayyidAbdur Rahim, Khan-i-Khanan son of Bairam Khan. He was a minor at the time of his father's death in 1561, rose high in Akbar's service, became the Khan-i-Khanan or premier nobleman in his court, and took part in many campaigns. 
He was a literary man, translated Babur's Memoirs into Persian and patronized literary men like Abdul Baqi who wrote the Maasir-i-Rahimi.

Abdus Samad was Akbar's drawing master who was later put in charge of the mint. He was a celebrated artist.

Adhisima Krishna prehistoric king of Hastinapura, mentioned in the Vayu and Matsya Puranas. He was the great-great-grandson of Parikshit, the famous Kuru King who came to the throne after the Bharata War.

Adi Granth is the scripture of the Sikhs. It was compiled in 1604 by the fifth Guru, Arjan Mal (1581-1606) by collecting select verses from the works of Guru Nanak and his three successors as well as of some Hindu and Jain saints.

Adisura was, according to Bengal literary tradition, king of  Gaura or Lakshnavati who sought to revive in Bengal the Brahmanical religion which had suffered from Buddhist pre-dominance.

Aditya vamsa was, according to Kambuja tradition, a King of Indraprastha whose son was Kaundinya who founded the royal dynasty of Kambuja. There is no Indian record to confirm this tradition.

Adivaraha "primaeval boar", was a title assumed by King Mihira Bhoja (A.D. 840-90) of the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty of Kanauj. This title has been found inscribed on his silver coins found in abundance in northern India.

Agalassoi,  a tribal people who lived in the lower Indus Valley next to the Siboi. Alexander the Great met them in his retreat down the Indus.

Agathokles, an Indo-Greek prince who ruled in the Taxila region (c. 190-180 B.C.). Some of his coins have been found in that locality. They contain his name both in Greek and a kind of Prakrit.

Agronomi - They were magistrates who, according to Strabo, in the time of Chandragupta Maurya, "had the care of the rivers, measured the land and inspected the closed reservoirs from which water is distributed by canals, so that all may have an equal share of it.

Ahava malla, the title of the Chalukya king Somesvara I of Kalyani (A.D.1053-68). He restored the power and prestige of the Chalukyas by defeating the contemporary Chola King Rajadhiraja in the battle of Koppam.

Akbar Hydari Sir (1869-1941), started his career as a subordinate officer in the Finance Department of the Government of India and rose to be the first Indian Controller of Treasuries. Dictionary, Ancient History, UPSC UPSC Notes | EduRevAkbar HydariIn 1937 he became the Chief Minister of the Nizam in whose dominions he introduced some reforms. Later on he became a Member of the Viceroy's Executive Council.

Alauddin Hussain Shah was the sultan of Bengal from 1493 to 1518 and founder of the Hussain Shahi dynasty of Bengal. He was a Sayyid of Arab descent and proved to be a very successful and popular king of Bengal.

Al-Masudi, early Arab traveller, visited in A. D. 915 the Pratihara Kingdom which was then being ruled by King Mahipala I and wrote about his horses and camels.

Ali, Muhammad Ruhela was the founder of the power of the Ruhelas in Rohilkhand lying at the base of the Himalayas to the north-west of Ouddh. 
In 1774 at the end of the Rohilla War and death of their leader Hafiz Rahaamat Khan the East India Company placed his son Faizullah Khan in possession of a small part of Rohilkhand, together with Rampur. Thus was founded the family of the Nawabs of Rampura.

Alinagar, the treaty of was concluded on the  9th February, 1757, between Nawab Siraj-ud-daulah of Bengal and the East India Company represented by Clive and Watson after the recapture of Calcutta by the English.

Aliwal, the battle was fought on January 28, 1848, in the course of the First Anglo-Sikh War. The Sikhs were defeated; they lost  their guns and were driven across the river sutlej.

Allahabad, the treaty was concluded in 1765 between Clive representing the East India Company  and Emperor Shah Alam II. By this treaty the East India Company agreed to hand over to the Emperor the districts of Kora and Allahabad and also to pay him an annual tribute of twenty-six lakhs of rupees and the Emperor, in his turn, granted to the East India  Company the Diwani of Bengal , Bihar and Orissa.

Allard General French by  nationality, had fought  under Napoleon and was  later on employed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh (A.D.1798-1839) for the purpose of reorganising and training the Sikh army.

Ambhi was the king of Taxila in 327-26 B. C. when  Alexander the great invaded India. His territories lay between the Indus and the Jhelum and he was a great rival of king Poros whose dominions lay to the east of the Jhelum . 
Out of his grudge against King Poros and also on account of his own cowardice he voluntarily submitted to Alexander and helped him in various ways in his war with Poros.

Amboyna, the massacre was perpetrated by the Dutch in 1623. Amboyna is in Java. When the Dutch found that  the English East India Company were fast developing into a powerful rival body they suddenly fell upon the small English establishment at Amboyna and killed all the English settlers there after cruel persecution. 
This massacre scared away the English from Java and the Spice Islands and  they henceforth concentrated their attention on India where they gradually overthrew the power of the Dutch.

Ambur, the battle was fought between Chanda Sahib backed by his French allies and Nawab Anwaruddin of the Carnatic in 1749. The Nawab was defeated and killed.

Amir Ali Syed (1849-1928) was the first Indian to be appointed a judge of the Privy Council. Beginning his career as an advocate he was raised to the Bench in 1890 and continued to be a judge of the Calcutta High Court till 1904. 
In 1909 he was appointed to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England where he died. His works included History of the Saracens and several legal treatises.
Dictionary, Ancient History, UPSC UPSC Notes | EduRev
Amir Umar son of the sister of Sultan Alauddin Khalji, rose in revolt against the Sultan  in Badaun and was easily suppressed and executed.

Amitraghata, literally meaning 'slayer of enemies is a restoration in Sanskrit of the Greek name Amitrachates given by some classical historians to Bindusara, the son  of Chandragupta Maurya.

Amritsar, the treaty was concluded on the 25th April, 1809, between Ranjit Singh and the East India Company during the administration of Lord Minto I (1807-13). By this treaty the cis-Sutlej states of the Panjab came definitely under British protection while Ranjit Singh was recognised as the king of the Panjab west of the Sutlej.

Amritsar, the treaty was concluded at Amritsar on the 16th March, 1846 at the end of the First Anglo-Sikh war (1845-46). By this treaty Kashmir which was a part of Ranjit Singh's kingdom was taken away from king Dalip Singh and was given by the English to Gulab Singh, a Sardar of the Lahore Darbar, in return for ten lakhs of rupees, which he paid to the English.

Ananda Ranga Pillai was the dubash of  Dupleix, kept an account of what happened at Pondicherry and also recorded other historical events that had repercussions in the French Indian capital. 
Twelve volumes of his Tamil Diary have been translated into English. He sometimes recorded mere bazar rumours or gave to trivial things an exaggerated importance.

Anangapala a king belonging to the Tomara dynasty, flourished in the middle of the eleventh century of the Christian era, built the Red Fort in Delhi where the Qutb Mosque now stands and thus gave permanence to the city of Delhi.

Anantavarman Choda Ganga the most notable king belonging to the Eastern Ganga dynasty, ruled over Kalinga for seventy-one years (A.D.1076-1147) and at one time ruled over a kingdom extending from Ganges to the Godavari. 
He built the temple of Jagannath at Puri as well as the great temple of the Sun-God at Konark in Puri District in Orissa. He was a great patron of Hindu religion and of Sanskrit and Telugu literatures.

Angad Dev the second Guru of the Sikhs, was nominated to the dignity by Guru Nanak himself who esteemed him very high amongst his disciples and nominated him as his successor to the exclusion of his two sons. Guru Angad was a man of very high character and was the leader and preceptor of the Sikhs for fourteen years (1438-52). Dictionary, Ancient History, UPSC UPSC Notes | EduRevGuru Angad Dev Ji
Angkor Vat is a magnificent monument in Cambodia which is called Kambuja in old local inscriptions. It is situated in the city of Angkor Thom which was in earlier times called Yasodharapura and was the capital of Cambodia during the reign of Jayavarman II (A.D.1181-1205). It was one of the grandest cities in the world in that age and the temple known as Angkor Vat is the grandest of the monuments found  at Angkor Thom. It was built by King Suryavarman II (A.D. 1049-66) of Kambuja.
Dictionary, Ancient History, UPSC UPSC Notes | EduRev
Ansari, Dr. (1880-1936) a prominent Muhammadan nationalist leader. Born in Bihar, he graduated in medicine from Edinburgh and settled as a physician in Delhi. In 1912-13 he organised in India a medical mission which he sent to Turkey to help her in her wars. He took a leading part in organising the Muslim League over which he presided in its 1920 session. He also presided over the Madras session of Indian National Congress in 1927.


Antialcidas was an Indo-Greek king  who ruled at Taxila. An inscription found on a column at Besnagar (Vidisha) near modern Bhilsa in Central India shows that he sent a Greek ambassador named Heliodoros to the court of the king of Besnagar .The inscription has been assigned to between 140 B.C.and 130B.C.

Antigonos Gonatas, referred to as Antikini in an Asokan inscription (R.E. XIII) as one of the Hellenistic kings with whom Emperor Asoka maintained friendly relations, was the king of Macedonia from 277 B.C.to 239 B.C.

Antiochus I Soter, son of Seleucos Nikator, was the king of Syria when  the second Maurya Emperor  Bindusara was ruling in India. According to Strato, Antiochus I sent to Bindusara as ambassador a Greek named Deimachos. 
Antiochus was on friendly terms with Bindusara who wrote to Antiochus requesting him to buy and send to the Indian ruler sweet wine, dried figs and a sophist. Antiochus wrote in reply  that figs and wine would be sent but not a sophist, as the laws forbade a sophist to be sold.

Aornos was a fort situated, according to the classical historians, on the further bank of the Indus. Its site has not been satisfactorily identified. It was captured by Alexander the Great on his way to India and before he crossed the Indus at Ohind.

Aquaviva, Father Ridolfo was a Jesuit missionary working at Goa. In september, 1579 at the request of Emperor Akbar for two learned priests capable of explaining to him the Gospels Father Aquaviva was sent, along with Father Monserrate, by the Portuguese Government of Goa to Akbar's Court at Fatehpur-Sikri. They arrived there in February, 1580 and were received  with great honour by the Emperor.

Aravidu (or  Karnataka) Dynasty was founded after the destruction of Vijayanagar following the battle of Talikota (1565), by Tirumala, brot- her of  Ram Raja who had led the Vijayanagar army to its defeat and destruction at the battle of Talikota. 
He established his capital at Penugonda and restored to some extent the power and prestige of the Hindu Kingdom. The dynasty  founded by him ruled in the Deccan till 1684.

Argaon, the battle was fought on November 29, 1803 between the army of the Maratha leader, the Bhonsle Raja of Nagpur, and the English army under Arthur Wellesley in the  Second Maratha War. 
The Bhonsle's army was decisively defeated and the English victory enabled them to capture the fort of  Gawilgarh. The Bhonsle Raja made peace with the subsidiary alliance.

Arjan Dev the fifth Guru (1581-1606) of the Sikhs, was the son and successor of Ramdas, the fourth Guru. He compiled the Adi Granth by collecting select verses from the works of the four preceding Gurus as well as of many other  Hindu and Muslim saints. Dictionary, Ancient History, UPSC UPSC Notes | EduRevGuru Arjan Dev JiHe required  the Sikhs to pay a "spiritual tribute ", that is to say, a sort of a religion and thus laid the foundation of the wealth of the Sikh Guru. He helped Prince Khusru out of pity, when the latter was in revolt against his father, Emperor Jahangir. As a consequence Jahangir had him executed on a charge of treason.          

Aryadeva, a Buddhist author who flourished in the second century A.D., was one of the earliest exponents of the Mahayana form of Buddhism.

Asaf Khan was the son of Mirza Ghiyas Beg, a Persian immigrant who came to India in the reign of Akbar, and brother of Mihr-un-nisa, better known as Nur Jahan, the queen of Emperor Jahangir (1605-27). Asaf Khan entered into the Mughul imperial service and became a prominent person in the imperial court. Dictionary, Ancient History, UPSC UPSC Notes | EduRevAsaf KhanAsaf Khan's daughter was Mumtaz Mahal who was married to Emperor Jahangir's third son, Prince Khurram, better known as Shah Jahan. On the death of Jahangir in 1627 Asaf Khan frustrated the plan of Nur Jahan to place on the Mughul throne Jahangir's youngest son, Shahryar, who had married Nur Jahangir's daughter and succeeded in securing the succession of Shah Jahan. 
The grateful son-in-law after his installation as the Emperor raised Asaf Khan to the high post of the Wazir of the Empire which position he held till his death.

Asanga, a renowned Buddhist scholar, saint and author, flourished in the Gupta period (4th century A.D.). He was the brother of the more famous Vasubandhu, teacher and minister of the second Gupta Emperor Samudragupta (c. A.D. 330-60) and was the author of the Yogachar-ya bhumi Shastra which is rightly regarded as one of the basic texts of the  Mahayana.

Asawal, old site of the city of Ahmadabad, was the nucleus out of which developed the Muslim Kingdom of Gujarat in the 15th century.

Ashti, battle was fought on the 20th February, 1818 between the East India Company and the Peshwa Baji Rao II in the course of the Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817-18). The Peshwa's army was defeated and his able general Gokhale was killed. This defeat led to the surrender of the Peshwa in June 1818.

Aspasians, the tribal people who lived in the valley of the Kunar or Chitral river to the north-west of the Indian frontier at the time of the invasion of India by Alexander the Great, offered very stout resistance to the Greek invader and Alexander had to fight two battles with them before they were finally reduced to submission.

Assakenois, the tribal people who occupied at the time of the invasion of India by ‘Alexander the Great’, a portion of the Swat valley near the Malakand Pass, had a large army and the seat of their government was at a fortified place called Massage. 
It was a formidable fortress protected by nature and human art. The Assakenois offered very stout resistance and on one occasion succeeded in wounding Alexander with an arrow. 
But in the end Alexander triumphed, the fort of Massage was captured and the Assakenois were reduced to submission after a severe slaughter.  

Asvalayana, an ancient author whose Grihya-Sutra is a storehouse of information about religious rituals and social customs of the early Brahmanical Hinduism. The earliest reference to the Mahabharata is found in his Grihya-sutra. Its date is uncertain.

Aungier, Gerald Governor of Bombay (1669-1707), was the real founder of the city of Bombay who foresaw its future greatness. He may be regarded as one of the early founders of the British Indian empire. He lies buried in a nameless grave in Surat.
Dictionary, Ancient History, UPSC UPSC Notes | EduRev


Avamukta, a state mentioned in the Allahabad Pillar inscription of Samudragupta whose king Nilaraja is said to have been defeated but restored to his dominions by the Gupta Emperor. Avamukta was a state in the Deccan, but  its exact position is uncertain .

Avitabile, General was a Neapolitan soldier of fortune who came to India and was one of the European officers whom Ranjit Singh of the Punjab engaged for organising the Sikh army on the European model.

Azim-ud-daulah was made in 1801 the titular Nawab of the Carnatic by Lord Wellesley, Governor-General (1798-1805) and was granted a pension. The entire civil and military administration of the Carnatic was taken over by the Company and the Carnatic was annexed to the British Indian Empire.

Badal, a Rajput hero of Mewar, along with Gora, at the head of a small band of Rajputs resisted the much larger forces of Sultan Alauddin Khalji when he invaded Chitor. Badal was ultimately overwhelmed and killed in battle, and Chitor was stormed by the Sultan. 
The ladies within, including the famous Padmini whose beauty is said to have lured Alauddin on to this expedition, perished in flames rather than fall into the hands of the Muhammadan invaders.

Baden-Powell, Lord founded the worldwide organisation, known as the Boy Scouts Movement. Indians were at first refused admission into this organisation. The colour-bar was removed by the efforts of Lord Baden-Powell after he had paid a visit to India.

Bahram Aiba, surnamed  Kishlu Khan, was in charge of the fiefs of Uch, Sind and  Multan, in the reign of Sultan Muhammad Tughluq (1325-51). In 1329 Bahram Aiba revolted against the Sultan who was then in Devagiri from where the Sultan marched to Multan, defeated and captured Bahram whom he beheaded. His head was hung up in the gate of the city of Multan as a warning to all intending rebels.

Bakhtiyar Khalji was the father of Ikhtiyar-ud-din Muhammad who drove away Laksmana Sen from Nadia and thus laid the foundation of Muslim rule in Bengal.

Baldwin, Stanley (1867-1947) was the Prime Minister of England from 1923-29 and again from 1935-37. He appointed in 1928, the Simon Commission of seven members- all Britishers, to enquire into the working of the Govt. of India Act 1919 in India.

Banerjee Hemchandra, a Bengali poet (1838-1903), introduced in his poetical works like Vritrasamhar (1875-77) a nationalistic spirit. His famous poem Bharat-Sangeeta (1870) called upon the people to strive for realising the independence of India. This poem certainly made an intense appeal to its readers.

Banerjee Rangalal, a Bengali Poet (1827-87) tried to spread the spirit of nationalism and the desire for freedom amongst his countrymen through his writings. As early as 1859 he published a poetical work named Padmini which contained the famous piece beginning with 'Swadhinata hinatay ke bachite chyre, ke bachite chay '("Who wants to live  in a state where there is no freedom").

Banerjee Sir Gurudas (1844-1918), a Puisne Judge of the Calcutta High Court, began his career as a Professor in a college in Bengal, soon took to the practice of law, earned the D.L.degree in 1876 and was raised to the bench in 1888 from which he retired in 1904. 
He always maintained keen interest in the development and expansion of education and was Vice Chancellor of Calcutta University for two terms. He was an orthodox Hindu and wrote several books on Hindu religion. Chief amongst his works were Jnana O Karma (Knowledge and Rituals) in Bengali and few thoughts on Education.

Birkenhead Lord(1872-1930),  was a very successful English lawyer and statesman. He was a member of the Parliament from 1906-19 when he was raised to the peerage. He was Attorney-General from 1915-19, Lord Chancellor from 1919-22 and Secretary of State for India from 1924-28. 
He was a politician of liberal views, but he incurred much obloquy with the Indians by appointing the all British Simon Commission in 1927 to enquire into the working of the Government of India Act, 1919.
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