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Old NCERT Gist (Satish Chandra): Summary of Age of Conflict [9th To 12th Centuries] - History for UPSC CSE

(i) Rapid changes occurred in west and central asia and therefore in north India. Abassid caliphate declined by end of 9th century.
(ii) Turks (heathens → Islamized) had entered caliphate as mercenaries → king-makers rulers. Assumed titles of "Amir" and later "Sultan".
(iii) Turkish tribesmen excelled in lightning raids and plunders due to excellent horses and ability to cover incredible distances on horseback. Moved towards NW India, where the breakup of Gurjara-Pratiharas had created uncertainty and weakness.

1. The Ghaznavids
(i) Transoxiana, Khorasan and Iran were ruled by Samanids who had to battle continually with Turks in 9th century.
(ii) Battle against turks = battle for religion as well as safety (coz Turks = heathens). Ghazis were born during this struggle. Ghazi = missionary+fighter.
(iii) Turks gradually became Islamized and strongest defenders of Islam but ghazi struggle against non-lslamic tribes continued.
(iv) Turkish slave Alaptgin established independent kingdom with capital at Ghazni. Ghaznavids took over defence of Islam after Samanid empire ended.

Mahmud ascended Ghazni throne in 998, till 1030.

(i) Associated with Iranian renaissance.

(ii) In 1000 A.D. Mahmud of Ghazni invaded India

(iii) He was the first Turkish to invade India.

(iv) He returned to Ghazna with enormous wealth after defeating

(a) Jaipala, the ruler of Hindu Shahi Dynasty

(b) Fateh Daud of Multan

(c) Anandpala of Nagarkot

(d) the Chandelas, the rulers of Mathura

(e) Kanauj, and Gwalior.

Mahmud of Ghazni's Character Estimation
(i) Mahmud of Ghazni was one of the greatest Muslim rulers of Asia.
(ii) He patronised art and letters and scholars like Firdausi and Alberuni. High watermark = Mahmud's poet laureate Firdausi's Shah Namah.
(iii) Iranians never accepted Arabic language and culture patronised Persian language.
(iv) Raided India 17 times and directed the plunder at Hindustani rulers and temples. Gained a toe-hold in Punjab by battling the Hindushahi rulers at Peshawar; gaining Punjab, he plundered temples to fund his central asian campaigns.
(v) posed as "destroyer of images" for glory of Islam. Plundered Kanauj in 1018 and Somnath in 1025. Overran whole of north India (inc. Bundelkhand) because of absence of a strong state and presence of cavalry with mounted archers.
(vi) Did not annex any areas, only looted and plundered. Died at Ghazni in 1030.
(vii) Death resulted in rise of Seljuk empire encompassing Syria, Iran and Trans-oxiana. Masud, Mahmud's son was defeated by Seljuks and had to retreat. Ghaznavids now confined to Ghazni and Punjab and posed no real threat to India.

2. The Rajput States (came into existence after breakup of Pratiharas.)
About the Rajputs
(i) They are the descendants of Lord Rama (Surya vamsa) or Lord Krishna (Chandra vamsa) or the Hero who sprang from the sacrificial fire (Agni Kula theory).
(ii) The Rajput Period (647A.D- 1200 A.D.)
(iii) From the death of Harsha to the 12th century, the destiny of India was mostly in the hands of various Rajput dynasties.
(iv) They belong to the ancient Kshatriya families.
(v) They are foreigners.

There were nearly 36 Rajput' clans. The major clans were:
(a) The Pratiharas of Avanti
(b) The Palas of Bengal
(c) The Chauhans of Delhi and Ajmer
(d) The Rathors of Kanauj
(e) The Guhilas or Sisodiyas of Mewar
(f) The Chandellas of Bundelkhand
(g) The Paramaras of Malwa
(h) The Senas of Bengal
(i) The Solankis of Gujarat

(i) Simultaneous expansionist urges and frequent quarrels amongst the Rajputs prevented them from uniting against Ghaznavids. Feudal organization based on clans prevailed.
(ii) Advantages of Rajput society = sense of brotherhood and egalitarianism.
(iii) Disadvantages = difficult to maintain discipline, feuds continued for several generations, formed exclusive groups and no brotherhood with common people who were non-Rajputs.
(iv) Treated war as sport. This and struggle for land and cattle led to continuous warfare. Most Rajputs were champions of Hinduism. Stood as protectors of brahmanas and caste system. Gave concessions and privileges to brahmanas who in return recognized rajputs as descendants of solar and lunar dynasties of kshatriyas. Brahmanism revived and Sanskrit replaced Prakrit and Apabhramsha among upper classes, but literature was closer to local languages and continued to be produced in prakrit and apabhramsha. Local languages = Marathi, Bengali etc. Emerged in this period.

The Tomars of Delhi
(i) The Tomars were the feudatories of the Pratiharas.
(ii) They founded the city of Delhi in 736 A.D.
(iii) Mahipala Tomar captured Thaneshwar, Hansi and Nagarkot in 1043 A.D.
(iv) Chauhans captured Delhi in middle of the 12th century and the Tomars became their feudatories.

The Chauhans of Delhi and Ajmer
(i) The Chauhans declared their independence in the 1101 century at Ajmer and they were the feudatories of the Pratiharas.
(ii) They captured Ujjain from the Paramaras of Malwa and Delhi in the early part of the 12th century.
(iii) They shifted their capital to Delhi.
(iv) Prithviraj Chauhan was the most important ruler of this dynasty

Rathors of Kanauj (1090-1194 A.D.)
(i) The Rathors established themselves on the throne of Kanauj from 1090 to 1194 A.D.
(ii) Jaichand was the last great ruler of this dynasty.
(iii) He was killed in the battle of Chandwar in 1194A.D. by Muhammad of Ghori.

The Chandellas of Bundelkhand
(i) Established them in the 9th century.
(ii) Mahoba was the capital of Chandella during the period of Chief Yasovarman
(iii) Kalinjar was their important fort.
(iv) The Chandellas built the most famous Kandariya Mahadeva Temple in 1050 A.D. and a number of beautiful temples at Khajuraho.
(v) Paramal the last Chandella ruler was defeated by Qutb-ud-din Aibak in 1203A.D.

The Guhllas or Sisodiyas of Mewar
(i) The Rajput ruler Bapa Rawat was the founder of the Guhila or the Sisodiya dynasty and Chittor was its capital.
(ii) During the period of Rana Ratan Singh of Mewar.
(iii) In 1307 A.D. Ala-ud-din khilji invaded his territory and defeated him.
(iv) Rana Sangha and Maharana Pratap & the Sisodiya rulers gave a tough fight to the Mughal rulers of India.

The Paramaras of Malwa
(i) The Paramaras were also the feudatories of Pratiharas. They declared their independence in the lOthcentury and Dhara was their capital.

Raja Bhoja (1018-1069)
(i) He was the most famous ruler of this period.
(ii) He constructed beautiful lake more than 250 sq. miles near Bhopal.
(iii) He set up a college at Dhara for the study of Sanskrit Literature.
The reign of the Paramaras came to an end with the invasion of Ala-ud-din Khilji.

Nature of the Rajputs
(i) The Rajputs were great warriors and chivalrous by nature.
(ii) They believed in protecting the women and the weak.

(i) The Rajputs were staunch followers of Hinduism.
(ii) They also patronized Buddhism and Jainism.
(iii) During their period the Bhakti Cult started

(i) The Rajput government was outdated in character.
(ii) Each kingdom was divided into a large number of Jagirs held by the Jagirdars.

Major literary works of this period
(i) Kalhana's Rajatarangin
(ii) Jayadeva's Gita Govindam
(iii) Somadeva's Kathasaritasagar
(iv) Chand Bardai, the court poet of Prithviraj Chauhan, wrote Prithviraj Raso in which he refers to the military exploits of Prithviraj Chauhan.
(v) Bhaskara Charya wrote Siddhanta Shiromani, a book on astronomy.
(vi) Rajasekhara: The court poet of Mahendrapala and Mahipala. His best known works were Karpu ramaniari, Bala and Ramayana.

Art and Architecture
(i) Temples = centres of cultural life. Climax in temple building activity in north india.
(ii) Nagara style of temples in North India and Deccan. Tall, curved, spiral roof over chief deity room (garbhagriha, deul). Mandapa (anteroom) in front of sanctum. High walls and lofty gates.

  • the Chandella-built Parsvanath Temple, Vishvanath Temple and Kandarya Mahadeo temple at Khajuraho in MP
  • Lingaraj Temple (11th cent) and Konark Sun Temple (13th cent) at Orissa (Bhuvaneshwar).
  • Jagannath temple at Puri also belongs to this period.
  • Vastupal = minister of Chalukyan King Bhima = writer, patron and builder Dilwara Temple at Mount Abu

(iii) Mural paintings and Miniature paintings were popular.

End of the Rajput Power
There was no strong military power during the Rajput period to keep the warring princes in check and to coordinate their activities against foreign invasions.

Some popular terms
(i) Jauhar: Amass suicide of women in order to escape defilement at the hands of foreign victors.
(ii) Gita Govindam: Song of the cowherd
(iii) Rajatarangini: 'River of Kings'
(iv) Kathasaritasagara: 'Ocean of tales'.

2. Turkish conquest of North India
(i) In middle of 12th century, part-buddhist part-pagan Turkish tribesmen destroyed Seljuks and two new powers arose: Khwarizmi empire in Iran and Ghurid empire in Ghur (NW Afghanistan). Former dominated central asia, forcing the latter to move towards India.

(ii) End of Ghazni's rule in India: Ghazni's rule declined by 1186 A.D. and the Mahmud of Ghori grew up.

(iii) Muhammad of Ghori (1149 - 1206)
(a) He was the third Muslim ruler who invaded India.
(b) He became the ruler of Ghori.

(iv) Muhammad of Ghori invasions
(a) He first invaded India in 1176 A.D

(vi) Meanwhile, Chauhans of Ajmer overshadowed others and also killed a lot of Turks who tried to invade Rajasthan from Punjab.

3. The battle of Terrain
First Battle of Tarain (1191 A.D.)
(i) He seized the fortress of Bhatinda in 1189 A.D. and then progressed into the kingdom of Prithviraj Chauhan.
(ii) Muhammad of Ghori was defeated by Prithviraj in the first Battle of Tarain in 1191 A.D. and recovered Bhatinda.

Second Battle of Tarain (1192 A.D.)
(i) In the second battle of Train, the joined forces of the Rajput rulers under Prithviraj were defeated by Muhammad of Ghori.
(ii) Prithviraj was held as a prisoner and later put to death.
(iii) The Turkish rule began for the first time in Indian history with end The Second Battle of Tarain.

4. Turkish conquest of Ganga Valley
In order to establish rule over Ganga valley, Ghori had to defeat Gadhvals of Kanauj.
(i) Battle of Chandwar (1194 A.D.): Muhammad of Ghori defeated Jaichandra, the greatest Rajput ruler of Kanauj and killed him in the battle.
(ii) Battles of Tarain and Chandawar laid foundation of Turkish rule in India.
(iii) Qutb-ud-din Aibak was appointed as the commander by Muhammad of Ghori.
(iv) Conquest of Bengal and Bihar:
(a) Muhammad-bin-Baktiyar Khilji, was appointed the in-charge for some provinces in the east.
(b) He gathered an army and stealthily moved towards Nadia, the capital of Sena kings of Bengal and captured Nadia (in 1204) but could not hold on to it due to large number and size of rivers. Withdrew and fixed his capital at Lakhnauti in north Bengal while Lakshman Sena continued to rule in the south.
(c) Khalji foolishly attempted an invasion of Assam, was ambushed by Assamese rulers and lost the battle. Was killed soon afterwards one of the commanders of Muhammad of Ghori destroyed Vikramasila in 1202 and Nalanda Universities in 1203A.D.
(v) Rajput Uprisings:
(a) There were many Rajput mutinies between 1193 and 1198 A.D.
(b) Qutb-ud-din-Aibak defeated them and brought many regions under his control.
(c) Muhammad of Ghori made Delhi as the capital.
(vi) Death of Muhammad of Ghori:
(a) He was assassinated on 25th March 1206 A.D. in Central Asia by some Shia rebels and Khokhars.
(b) He is considered to be the real founder of the Turkish Empire in India because of his various invasions and subjugations of the Rajput territories in North India.
(vii) Aibak:
(viii) captured Khajuraho and Kalinjar from Chandellas.
(ix) Gujarat from Bhima II, which threw of Turkish rule soon afterwards. Turks were more successful in the east.

The document Old NCERT Gist (Satish Chandra): Summary of Age of Conflict [9th To 12th Centuries] | History for UPSC CSE is a part of the UPSC Course History for UPSC CSE.
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FAQs on Old NCERT Gist (Satish Chandra): Summary of Age of Conflict [9th To 12th Centuries] - History for UPSC CSE

1. What were the major conflicts during the period from the 9th to the 12th centuries in India?
Ans. The major conflicts during this period in India included invasions by Arab and Turkish forces, the rise of regional kingdoms, and conflicts between rival ruling dynasties. The most significant conflicts were the invasions of Mahmud of Ghazni, the Ghurid invasions, and the conflicts between the Chola and Chalukya dynasties.
2. How did the invasions by Mahmud of Ghazni impact India during this period?
Ans. The invasions by Mahmud of Ghazni had a significant impact on India during this period. He conducted numerous raids and looted temples, accumulating immense wealth. These invasions weakened various regional kingdoms and led to the decline of the powerful Hindu Shahi dynasty. Additionally, they also had a cultural impact as many Hindu and Buddhist monuments were destroyed or damaged.
3. Who were the major ruling dynasties during the 9th to 12th centuries in India?
Ans. The major ruling dynasties during this period in India were the Pratiharas, the Palas, the Rashtrakutas, the Cholas, the Chalukyas, and the Ghurids. These dynasties controlled different regions of the Indian subcontinent and engaged in conflicts and alliances with each other.
4. What were the key characteristics of the Age of Conflict in India during the 9th to 12th centuries?
Ans. The Age of Conflict in India during the 9th to 12th centuries was characterized by frequent invasions, political instability, and territorial disputes. It witnessed the rise of regional kingdoms, often engaged in conflicts with each other. The period also saw the decline of some earlier ruling dynasties and the emergence of new ones.
5. How did the conflicts during this period impact Indian society and culture?
Ans. The conflicts during this period had a profound impact on Indian society and culture. The invasions resulted in the destruction of many Hindu and Buddhist temples, leading to the decline of these religious institutions. The conflicts also led to changes in political and administrative systems, as regional kingdoms gained prominence. The period also witnessed the emergence of new artistic and architectural styles influenced by the interactions between different cultures.
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