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The Making of Regional Cultures Summary Class 7 History Chapter 7

The Cheras and the Development of Malayalam

  • The Chera kingdom of Mahodayapuram was established in the ninth century in the south-western part of the peninsula, part of present-day Kerala.
  • The rulers introduced the Malayalam language and script in their inscriptions.
  • The first literary works in Malayalam, dated to about the twelfth century, are directly indebted to Sanskrit.

Rulers and Religious Traditions: The Jagannatha Cult

  • The best example of this process is the cult of Jagannatha (literally, lord of the world, a name for Vishnu) at Puri, Orissa.
  • In the twelfth century, one of the most important rulers of the Ganga dynasty, Anantavarman, decided to erect a temple for Purushottama Jagannatha at Puri.

The Rajputs and Traditions of Heroism

  • In the nineteenth century, the region that constitutes most of present-day Rajasthan, was called Rajputana by the British.
  • Rajput rulers cherished the ideal of the hero who fought valiantly.
  • Stories about Rajput heroes were recorded in poems and songs.

Beyond Regional Frontiers: The Story of Kathak

  • The term kathak is derived from katha, a word used in Sanskrit and other languages for story.
  • The kathaks were originally a caste of story-tellers in temples of north India.
  • It began evolving into a distinct mode of dance in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries with the spread of the bhakti movement.
  • Under the Mughal emperors and their nobles, Kathak was performed in the court.
  • It developed in two traditions or gharanas: one in the courts of Rajasthan (Jaipur) and the other in Lucknow.
  • By the third quarter of the nineteenth century it was firmly established as a dance form in the adjoining areas of present-day Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.

Painting for Patrons: The Tradition of Miniatures

  • Miniatures are small-sized paintings.
  • The Mughal emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan patronised highly skilled painters.
  • With the decline of the Mughal Empire, many painters moved out to the courts of the emerging regional states.
  • They retained and developed their distinctive characteristics.
  • Basohli and Kangra School of miniature paintings developed in the Himalayas from the seventeenth century.

A Closer Look: Bengal

The Growth of a Regional Language

  • Now-a-days, People in Bengal spoke Bengali.
  • From the fourth to the third centuries BCE, commercial ties began to develop between Bengal and Magadha, which led to the growing influence of Sanskrit.
  • During the fourth century the Gupta rulers established political control over north Bengal and began to settle Brahmanas in this area.
  • In the seventh century the Chinese traveller Xuan Zang observed that languages related to Sanskrit were in use all over Bengal.
  • In 1586, when Akbar conquered Bengal, it formed the nucleus of the Bengal suba.
    • During this period, Bengali developed as regional language.
  • In fact by the fifteenth century the Bengali group of dialects came to be united by a common literary language.
  • Early Bengali literature may be divided into two categories: Sanskritic and Nath literature.

Pirs and Temples

  • From the sixteenth century, people began to migrate in large numbers from the less fertile western Bengal to the forested and marshy areas of south-eastern Bengal.
  • The early settlers sought some order and assurance in the unstable conditions of the new settlements.
  • The community leaders, called pirs, were the source of order and stability for the early settlers.
    • They included Sufi saints, soldiers, colonisers, Hindu and Buddhist deities and spirits.
  • From the fifteenth century onwards, temple construction started on a large scale.

Fish as food

  • Fish and rice are available in plenty in the riverine plains of Bengal. Thus, these became the staple food items.
The document The Making of Regional Cultures Summary Class 7 History Chapter 7 is a part of the Class 7 Course Social Studies (SST) Class 7.
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FAQs on The Making of Regional Cultures Summary Class 7 History Chapter 7

1. Who were the Cheras?
Ans. The Cheras were one of the major ancient Tamil dynasties that ruled over the region corresponding to modern-day Kerala and parts of Tamil Nadu in South India. They established a powerful kingdom and played a significant role in the development and shaping of the region's culture.
2. What was the significance of the Cheras in the development of Malayalam?
Ans. The Cheras played a crucial role in the development of Malayalam, the language spoken in the present-day state of Kerala. They patronized the growth of literature and language, and their court served as a center for poets and scholars. This support helped in the evolution and refinement of the Malayalam language.
3. How did the Cheras contribute to the regional culture?
Ans. The Cheras contributed to the regional culture by promoting trade and maritime activities. They had extensive trade connections with various foreign powers, which led to cultural exchanges and the blending of different traditions. This interaction enriched the regional culture, influencing art, architecture, language, and religious practices.
4. What was the impact of the Cheras' rule on the society of Kerala?
Ans. The Cheras' rule had a significant impact on the society of Kerala. They introduced and popularized the practice of matrilineal inheritance, where family lineage and property passed through the female line. This system provided women with significant social and economic rights, which influenced the social fabric of Kerala for centuries.
5. How did the Cheras contribute to the growth of literature and education?
Ans. The Cheras played a vital role in the growth of literature and education in their kingdom. They patronized poets, scholars, and intellectuals, providing them with support and resources. This support led to the production of literary works in various genres, including poetry and prose, which contributed to the overall development of regional literature and education.
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