Short Q & A :
Q1: Write short notes on Harsha- The ruler of Kanauj.
Ans : Harsha was the ruler of Kanauj. He tried to expand his rule beyond the river Narmada. His successive efforts were foiled by the Chalukya ruler Pulakeshin II. He is regarded as most successful Chalukya ruler. He is credited for performing Ashvamedha sacrifice several times.
Q2: Write short notes on Banabhatta.
Ans : Banabhatta was a poet laureate in Harshavardhana court. He was a prolific Sanskrit writer, lived during the 7th century as the court chronicler of King Harshavardhana. 'Harshacharita' and ’Kadambari’ are among his renowned works. In 'Harshacharita', Banabhatta has narrated the complete life of King Harshavardhana.
Q3: Write short notes on Chandragupta I .
Ans : Chandragupta I was born in 305 A.D. He married a Lichchhavi princess named Kumaradevi. Through this matrimonial alliance, he gained enormous power and used it to his great advantage. He launched a series of military expansions, pushing the kingdom's boundaries westward. By 320 A.D., he proclaimed himself Maharaj-adhiraja. Many historians consider 320 A.D. was the beginning of the Gupta dynasty.
Q4: Write short notes on Chandragupta II.
Ans : Chandragupta II was an Indian astronomer and mathematician of the fifth century A.D. He lived and worked in Kusumapura near present-day Patna in Bihar. He was born in 476 A.D. in Kerala. He was also a great mathematician. His treatise was Aryabhatyam.
Q5: Briefly describe assemblies in the Southern kingdoms.
A number of local assemblies were mentioned in the inscriptions of the Pallavas. Most probably these assemblies were controlled by rich and powerful landowners and merchants.
Q6: Mention three authors who wrote about the King and the lives of the ordinary people.
Kalidasa, Fa Xian and Banabhatta wrote about the lives of the ordinary people in the kingdom./p>
Q7: What were the changes in the army after the Gupta period?
The protection of an Empire required huge and strong army. Thus, special attention was paid to maintain a huge and efficient army.
Q8: Explain the new developments in the field of administration after the Gupta period.
During the Gupta period, there were some new developments in the administrative field. Kings adopted numerous measures to win the support of powerful men such as:
Q9: Who was Pulakeshin II? How have we come to know about him?
Ans : Pulakeshin was one of the famous Chalukyan rulers. A prashasti, composed by his court poet Ravikirti, is an important source of information regarding his early life and his expeditions. This provides us with the information about his ancestors for four generations.It tells us that Pulakeshin evidently got the kingdom from his uncle. According to Ravikirti, he led expeditions along both the west and east coasts. He also checked the advance of Harsha.
Q10: Write a short note on the Pallavas and Chalukyas.
Ans : The most important ruling dynasties in south India were the Pallavas and Chalukyas. The realm of the Pallavas spread from the region around their capital, Kanchipuram, to the Kaveri delta. The kingdom of the Chalukyas was centred on the Raichur Doab between the rivers Krishna and Tungabhadra. Aihole was the capital of the Chalukyas. It was an important trading centre as well as a religious centre. The Pallavas and Chalukyas frequently attacked each other’s lands, especially the capital cities, which were prosperous towns.
Q11: Mention an important source of information about Samudragupta.
Ans : An important source of information about Samudragupta is a long inscription in the form of poem written in Sanskrit by his court poet, Harisena nearly 1700 years ago.
Q12: How did the poet of Prashastis praise Samudragupta?
Ans : The poet praised the king as warrior and as a king who won victories in battle. He was learned and the best of poets. He is also described as equal to the gods.
Q13: What was the title adopted by Chandragupta, the father of Samudragupta?
Ans : Chandragupta was the first ruler of the Gupta dynasty who adopted the grand title of maharaj-adhiraja. Later on this title was also adopted by Samudragupta.
Q14: Write about the kingdom of the Chalukyas.
Ans : The Chalukyas were one of the important dynasties in south India during 3rd -5th A.D. The kingdom of the Chalukyas centered around the Raichur Doab, between the rivers Krishna and Tungabhadra. Their capital city was Aihole. It was an important trading centre. It was also an important religious centre, with a number of temples. Pulakeshin II was the famous Chalukya ruler.
Q15: Who controlled the local assemblies such as Sabha, ur, and nagaram?
Ans : These assemblies were controlled by rich and powerful landowners and merchants.
Q16: From Where do we get information about King Harshavardhana?
Ans : We get information about Harshavardhana from his biography titled Harshacharita in Sanskrit, written by his court poet, Banabhatta.
Q17: 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. They were one of the most important ruling dynasties in south India during the 3rd to 5th A.D.
Q18: Write the meaning of these terms: nagara shreshthi, Sarthavaha, Prathama-kulika
Ans : Nagara-shreshthi: Chief banker or merchant of the city
Sarthavaha: Leader of the merchant caravans
Prathama-kulika: Chief craftsman and head of the then kayasthas or scribes.
Q19: Who were samantas?
Ans : Samantas were military leaders who provided the king with troops whenever he needed them. For their service they were not paid regular salaries. Instead, they received the grants of land from the king. They collected revenue from the land and used it for the maintenance of soldiers and horses and to provide war equipments. Whenever the king was weak they tried to become independent.
Q20: What was the Sabha during the Pallavas rule?
Ans : A number of local assemblies have been mentioned in the inscriptions of the Pallavas. The Sabha was one of the local assemblies. It was an assembly of brahmin land owners. This assembly had sub-committees that looked after irrigation, agricultural operations, making roads, and local temples, etc.
Q21: The Prayag Prashasti lists the conquests of Samudragupta. What is the other information that it provides us, about the ruler?
Ans : The Prayag Prashasti mainly talks of the military conquests and achievements of Samudragupta. Apart from that it also traces the genealogy of Samudragupta. This is the obvious information that is available to us. These inscriptions also give us information about his state policies which can be interpreted from the accounts of his treatment of the conquered territories. They also provide information about his court and the people who attended it.
Q22: What do you think were the causes of the downfall of the Gupta Empire?
Ans : The administration was decentralised and land grants were given to administrative officers in lieu of regular salaries. At times, these officers became powerful and started fighting for their independence. Also during Skandagupta’s reign, the empire was attacked by the Huns, the nomadic tribes from Central Asia. These attacks proved to be the death knell on the Gupta Empire.
Q23: What was the political scenario after the fall of the Gupta Dynasty?
Ans : The end of the Gupta Empire saw a period of disorder which prevailed for a while. There were many small kingdoms that became powerful and fought against each other. These were finally conquered by Harshavardhana who established a powerful empire.
Q24: Describe in brief the administrative system prevalent during the Gupta period.
Ans : The administration had been decentralised to a large degree. The king reigned at the top of the hierarchy with his council of ministers. The kingdom was divided into provinces. These were called `bhuktis` and were ruled by governors who were assisted by their officers. These provinces were further divided into districts or `vishayas` and were administered by the `ayuktas`. At the bottom of the hierarchy were the villages which were administered by the village elders. At each level, people were powerful enough to take decision so as to ease the administration and function efficiently.
Q25: Harshavardhana wanted to expand his kingdom but could not proceed beyond the Deccan. Why was this so?
Ans : The Chalukya king Pulakesin II defeated Harshavardhana in battle on the banks of Narmada thus checking his advancement into the Deccan and then further south.
Q26: How was the money spent which was collected in the form of revenue?
Ans : The money collected was spent on facilitating good administration. Grants and donations for religious and educational establishments were made. A portion of the revenue was also spent on maintaining the armies.
Long Q & A :
Q1: Mention four different kinds of rulers as described by Harisena. What was Samudragupta’s policy towards them?
Harisena, the court poet of Samudragupta has mentioned the four different rulers in the prashasti. Samudragupta’s policy toward them is as follows:
Q2: What do you mean by prashastis and how did they help
Ans : Prashastis is a special kind of inscription meaning "in praise of". They were composed in praise of the rulers. An important example is a prashasti of Samudragupta. It is a poem in Sanskrit, composed by his court poet Harisena, nearly 1700 years ago. It is inscribed on the Ashokan pillar at Allahabad. The poet has praised the king in glowing terms. He is described as equal to God. It tells about his conquests. Most prashastis also mention the ancestors of the ruler. Samudragupta’s great grandfather, grandfather, father and mother are mentioned by Harisena in the prashasti.