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Ancient India to Modern India History and Facts, General Knowledge.


                     INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION


Discovery and Time  : –          

  • B. Dayaram Sahni first discovered Harappa in 1921.
  • D. Banerjee discovered Mohenjodaro in 1922.


Geographical Extent  :-

  • Covered parts of Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, Gujrat, Rajasthan and some parts of western UP.
  • Major sites in Pakistan are Harappa (on Ravi in W.Punjab), Mohenjodaro (on Indus), Chanhu-Daro (Sindh), etc. In India, major sites are Lothal, Rangpur and Surkotda (Gujrat), Kalibangam (Rajasthan), Banwali (Hissar), and Alamgirpur (Western UP).
  • Largest and the latest site in India is Dholavira in Gujrat. J.P. Joshi and Dr. R.S. Bisht were involved in it.

Town Planning :-

  • Elaborate town-planning. It follows the grid system. Roads well cut, dividing  the town  into large rectangular blocks.
  • Used burnt bricks of good quality as the building material.
  • Their drainage system shows developed sense of health and sanitation.
  • The towns were divided into 2 parts : Upper Part or Citadel and Lower Part.
  • In Mohanjodaro, a big public bath (Great Bath) has been found.


Agriculture   :-

  • Used wooden ploughs.
  • Produced sufficient to feed themselves. Food grains were stored in granaries.


Art and Craft    :-

  • The Harappan culture belongs to the Bronze Age.
  • Bronze was made by mixing tin and copper. Tools were mostly made of copper and bronze.
  • Cotton fabrics quite common. Wooden in winter.
  • Very fond of ornaments (of gold, silver, ivory, copper, etc) and dressing up.
  • Ornaments were worn by both men and women.
  • Potter’s wheel was in use. Played dice games.


Economic Life   :-

  • Well-knit external and internal trade.
  • Barter system was there.
  • A dockyard has been discovered at Lothal.



Religious Life   :-

  • Main object of worship was the Mother Goddess.
  • Phallus (lingam) and yoni worship was also prevalent.
  • Many trees (papal), animals (bull), birds (dove, pigeon) and stones were worshipped.
  • Dead bodies were placed in the north-south orientation.


Script     :-

  • Not yet deciphered.
  • The script is not alphabetical but pictographic (about 600 undeciphered pictographs).


End/Decay    :-

  • The Harappan culture lasted for around 1,000 years.
  • Invasion of the Aryans, recurrent floods, social breakup of Harappans, earthquakes, major ecological changes etc. are listed as possible causes.





Region  :-

  • The early Aryans settled in Eastern Afganistan, modern Pakistan, Punjab and parts of Western UP. The whole region in which the Aryans, first settled in India is called the ‘Land of Seven Rivers or Sapta Sindhava’ (The Indus and its five tributaries and the Saraswati).


Political Organization   :-

  • Monarchial form.  Tribe was known as Jan and its king as Rajan.
  • The king was assisted by a number of officers of which purohita was the most important.
  • Family was the basic unit of society. The family was patriarchal in nature. But women enjoyed equal power with men.


Economy   :-

  • Aryans followed a mixed economy- pastoral and agricultural- in which cattle played a predominant part.
  • Standard unit of exchange was cow. At the same time coins were also there (gold coins like Nishka, Krishnal and Satmana).


Religion   :-

  • The Aryans personified the natural forces and looked upon them as living beings.
  • The most important divinity was Indra who played the role of warlord (breaker of forts- Purandar, also associated with strom and thunder).
  • Didn’t believe in erecting temples or idol worship. Worshipped in open air through yajnas.




Region   :-

  • Aryans expanded from Punjab over the whole of western Punjab over the whole of western UP covered by the Ganga-Yamunna doab.
  • In the beginning, they cleated the land by burning ; later with the use of iron tools which became common by 1000-800 BC.


Political Organization   :-

  • Tiny tribal settlements were placed by strong kingdoms.
  • Powers of the king, who was called Samrat increased.
  • A regular army was maintained for the protection of kngdom.
  • References of Priest (Purohita), Commander in chief (Senapati), Charioteer (Suta), treasurer (Sangrahita), tax collector (Bhagdugha), chief queen (Mahisi) and the game companion (aksavapa).


Social Setup   :-

  • The four fold division of society became clear- initially based on occupation, which later became hereditary: Brahmins (priests), Kshatriyas (Warriors), Vaishyas (agriculturists, cattle-rearers, traders) and Shudras (servers of the upper three).
  • Women enjoyed freedom & respect but their status deteriorated compared to earlier time.
  • The institution of gotra appeared in this age first time. Gotra signified descent from common ancestors.
  • Chariot racing was the main sport and gambling was the main pastime.





  1. Rig Veda     ­:-
  • Oldest religious text in the world.
  • A collection of hymns. Were recited at the time of sacrificial rites and other rituals with utmost devotion.
  • Contains 1028 hymns (1017 + 11 valakhiyas) and divided into 10 mandalas.
  • The X mandala contains the famous Purushsukta which explains that the 4 varnas (Brahmans, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra) were born from the mouth, arms, thighs and feet of the creator, Brahma.
  1. Sama Veda :-
  • Derived from the root ‘Saman’, i.e., ‘melody’. It is a collection of melodies.
  • It has 1603 verses but except 99 all the rest have been borrowed from Rig Veda.
  • Contains ‘Dhrupada Raga’.


  1. Yajur Veda :-
  • Deals with the procedure for the performance of sacrifices.


  1. Atharva Veda :-
  • Divided into 20 Kandas (books) and has 711 hymns- mostly dealing with magic (along with personal problems of people).



  • They explain the hymns of the Vedas in an orthodox manner.
  • Each veda has several Brahmanas attached to it.
  • Rigveda: Kaushetki and Aitreya
  • Yahurveda: Taitriya and Shatpatha
  • Samaveda: Panchvish and Jemineya
  • Atharvaveda: Gopath



  • Called ‘forest books’. Written mainly by the hermits living in the jungles for their pupils.
  • Deals with mysticism and philosophy. Opposed to sacrifice and emphasize ‘Meditation’.




  • ` The word means ‘to sit down near someone’ and denotes a student sitting near his guru to learn.
  • They are the main source of Indian philosophy.
  • There are 108 upanishads.
  • They also condemn the ceremonies and the sacrifices.


  • Explains rules and regulations in the Vedic life.
  • Main are Manusmriti, Naradsmriti, Yagyavalkyasmriti and Parasharsmriti.



  • Six Vedgangas are Shiksha, Kalpa, Vyakarana, Nirukta, Chhanda and Joytisha.
  • Shiksha deals with pronunciation.
  • Kalpa with rituals.
  • Vyakarana with grammer.
  • Nirukta with etymology.
  • Chhanda with meter.
  • Joytisha with astronomy.



  • There are 6 schools of Indian philosophy known as Shad- Darshan.
  • These are given by 6 philosophers of Ancient India:
  • Nyaya (Analysis) Darshana: Gautam.
  • Vaishesika Darshana: Kanada Rishi (referred atom as kan/anu).
  • Sankhaya Darshana: Kapila.
  • Yoga Darshana: Patanjali.
  • Purva Mimansa: Jaimini.
  • Uttara Mimansa: Badaryana or Vyasa (wrote Mahabharata, classifie Vedas, composed the puranas, gave vedantic philosophy).




  • There are four upvedas:
  • Dhanurveda (deals with arts of warfare) (Upveda of Yajur Veda).
  • Gandharva veda (deals with art & music) (Upveda of Sama Veda).
  • Shilpa veda (deals with architecture) (Upveda of Atharva Veda).
  • Ayurveda (deals with medicine) (Upveda of Rig Veda).


EPICS    :-

  • Though the two epics-the Mahabharta and the Ramayana – were complied later, they reflect the state of affairs of the Later Vedic Period.
  • The Mahabharata, attributed to Vyasa, is considered older than the Ramayana and describes the period from the tenth century BC to the fourth century AD. It is also called Jaisamhita and Satasahasri Samhita and has one lakh verses.
  • The Ramayana, attributed to Valmiki, has 24,000 verses. Its composition started in the fifth century BC and passes through five stages; the fifth stage ended in the twelfth century AD.



  • Also known as Sakyamuni or Tathagata.
  • Born in 563 BC on the Vaishakha Poornima Day at Lumbini (near Kapilavastu) in Nepal.
  • His father Suddhodana was the Saka ruler.
  • His mother (Mahamaya, of Kosala dynasty) died after 7 days of his birth. Brought up by stepmother Gautami.
  • Married at 16 to Yoshodhara. Enjoyed the married life for 13 years and had a son named Rahula.
  • After seeing an old man, a sick man, a corpse and an ascetic, he decided to become a wanderer.
  • Left his palace at 29 in search of truth (also called ‘Mahabhinishkramana’ or The Great Renunciation) and wandered for 6 years.
  • Attained ‘Englightenment’ at 35 at Gaya in Magadha (Bihar) under the Pipal tree.
  • Delivered the first sermon at Sarnath where his five disciples had settled. His first sermon is called ‘Dharmachakrapravartan’ or ‘Turning of the Wheel of Law’.
  • Attained Mahaparinirvana at Kushinagar (identical with village Kasia in Deoria district of UP) in 483 BC at the age of 80 in the Malla republic.


  • FIRST COUNCIL : At Rajgriha, in 483 BC under the chairmanship of Mehakassaapa (King was Ajatshatru). Divided the teachings of  Buddha into tow Pitakas- Binaya Pitaka and Sutta Pitaka.


  • SECOND COUNCIL :-At Vaishali, in 383 BC under Sabakami (King was Kalasoka).  Followers divided into Sthavirmadins and Mahasanghikas.


  • THIRD COUNCIL :-  At Pataliputra, in250 BC under Mogaliputta Tissa (King  was Ashoka).  In this, the third part of the Tripitaka ws coded in the Pali language.


  • FOURTH COUNCIL :-   At Kashmir (Kundalvan), in 72 AD under Vasumitra (King was Kanishka. Vice-Chariman was Ashwaghosha).  Divided Buddhism into Mahayana and Hinayana sects.


  • In Pali language.


  • Rules of discipline in Busshist monasteries.


  • Largest, contains collection of Buddha’s sermons.


  • Explanation of the philosophical principles of the Buddhist religion.



  • Founded by Rishabha.
  • There were 24 Trithankaras (Prophets or Gurus), all kshatriyas. First was Rishabhnath (Emblem : Bull).
  • The 23rd Tirthankar Parshwanath (Emblem : Snake) was the son of King Ashvasena of Banaras.
  • The 24th and the last Tirthankar was Vardhman Mahavira (Emblem : Lion). He was born in Kundagram 9Distt Muzaffarpur, Bihar) in 599 BC.
  • His father Siddhartha was the head of Jnatrika clan.
  • His mother was Trishla, sister Lichchavi Prince Chetak of Vaishali.
  • Mahavira was related to Bimbisara.
  • Married to Yashoda, had a daughter named Priyadarsena, whose husband Jamali became his first disciple.
  • At 30, after the death of his parents, he became an ascetic.
  • In the 13th year of his asceticism (on the 10th of Vaishakha), outside the town of Jrimbhikgrama, he attained supreme knowledge (kaivalya).
  • From now on he was called Jaina or Jitendriya and Mahavira, and his followers were named Jains. He also got the title of Arihant, i.e., worthy.
  • At the age of 72, he attained death at Pava, near Patna, in 527 BC.
  • Mahavira preached almost the same message as Parshvanath and added one more Brahmcharya (celibacy) to it.



Bimbisara  (544 BC-492 BC)   :-

  • Contemporary of Buddha.
  • His capital was Rajgir (Girivraja). He strengthened his position by matrimonial alliance with the ruling families of Kosala, Vaishali, and Madra(3 wives).

Ajatshatru  (492 BC-460 BC)  :-

  • Son of Bimbisara, killed his father & seized the throne. Annexed Vaishali and Kosala.


Udayin  (460 BC-444 BC)

  • He founded the new capital at Pataliputra, situated at the confluence of the Ganga  & son.


  • Founded by a minister Shishunaga. Dynasty lasted for two generations only.
  • Greatest achievement was the destruction of power of Avanti.

NANDA DYNASTY (Ist of Non-Kshatriaya Dynasties)  :-

  • Considered by many as the first non-Kshatriya dynasty. Founder was Mahapadma Nanda.
  • Alexander attacked India in their reign. DhanaNanda was there at that time.


Chandragupta Maurya (322 BC-273 BC)  :-

With the help of Chanakya, he overthrew the Nandas.

  • Defeated Seleucus, the general of Alexander. Selecus sent Megasthenes (the author of ‘Indica’) to his court.

Bindusara  (297 BC-232 BC)  :-

  • Called Amitraghat by Greek writers.
  • He is said to have conquered ‘the land between the 2 seas’, i.e., the Arbian Sea & Bay of Bengal.

Ashoka  (269 BC-232 BC)  :-

  • Regarded as one of the greatest kings of all times.
  • THE KLINGA WAR (261 BC, mentioned of XIII rock edict) changed his attitude towards life. Ashoka became a Buddhist after that.
  • The emblem of Indian republic has been adopted from the 4-lion capital of the Ashokan pillar at Sarnath.
  • Built the Sanchi Stupa in present day Madhya Pradesh.


  • The most famous Indo- Greek ruler was Menander 9165-145 BC), also known as Milinda.
  • He was converted into Buddhism by Nagasena (described in the Pali text, Milinda panho or The Questions of Milinda).
  • Greeks were the first to issue coins which can be definitely attributed to the Kings.


  • The Greek were followed by the Shakas, who controlled a larger part of India than the Greek did.
  • A king of Ujjain, who called himself Vikramditya, defeated Shakas. An era called the Vikram Samvat is reckoned from the event of his victory over the Shakas in 57 BC.


  • The most famous Parthian King was Gondophernes (AD 19-45), in whose regin St. Thomas is said to have come to India for the propagation of Christianity.

THE KUSHANS ( 45 AD)  :-

  • First to issue gold coins in India. Kanishka  was their most famous king.
  • He patronized the following persons:
  • Ashwaghosa (wrote ‘Buddhacharita’, which is the biography of Buddha.
  • Nagarjuna (wrote ‘Madhyamik Sutra’)
  • Vasumitra (Chairman of fourth Buddhist Council)
  • Charak (a physician, wrote ‘Charak Samhita’)
  • Kanishka is known in history for two reasons :
  • He started an era in AD 78, which is now known as Saka era and is used by the Govt. of India.
  • He extended his whole-hearted patronage to Buddhism (Held the fourth Buddhist Council in Kashmir).




  • Pushyamitra founded this dynasty.
  • They were basically Brahmins. This period saw the revival of Bhagvatism.
  • Patanjali’s classic Mahabhasya was written at this time.



  • The founder of this short-lived dynasty was Vasudeva, who killed the last Sunga king, Devabhuti.
  • They were swept away by Satavahanas of the Deccan.



  • They were the successors of the Mauryans in the Deccan & the central India.
  • Simuka is regarded as the founder of this dynasty. The most important king was Gautamiputra Satakarni (AD 106-130) who raised the power and prestige of Satavahanas to greater heights.



  • Their capital was Madurai.
  • The Pandya kings profited from trade with the Roman empire and sent embassies to the Roman emperor Augustus.



  • The kingdom was called Chalomandalam or Coromandal. The chief centre was Uraiyur, a place famous for cotton trade.  Capital was  Kaveripattanam/Puhar.
  • Main source of wealth was trade in cotton cloth. They also maintained an efficient navy.


  • Their capital was vanji (also called Kerala country).
  • It owned its importance to trade with the Romans. The Romans set up two regiments there to protect their interests.



Chandragupta-I (AD 319-335)  ­:-

  • Started the Gupta era in 319-320 AD.
  • He enhanced his power & prestige by marrying Kumara Devi, princes of the Lichchavi clan of Nepal.
  • He acquired the title of Mharajadhiraj.


Samudragupta  (AD 335-380) :-

  • The Gupta Kingdom was enlarged enormously by Chandragupta’s son Samudragupta, because of his bravery and generalship he is called the ‘Nepoleon’ of India (by the historian V.A. Smith).
  • He assumed the titles of Kaviraj and Vikramanka.


Chandragupta   (AD  380-413)  :-

  • Took the title of Vikramaditya by defeating Rudrasmha III, a Kshatrap king of Ujjain.
  • He was the first ruler to issue silver coins. Also issued copper coins.
  • The iron pillar inscription, fixed near Qutamminar in Delhi mentions a king Chandra (considered by many as Chandragupta II only).
  • His court was adorned by celebrated nine gems (navratnas) including Kalidasa, Amarsimha, Varahmir, and Dhanvantri.
  • Chinese pilgrim Fahien visited India at this time.


Kumaragupta-I  (AD- 413-455)  :-

  • He adopted the title of Mahendraditya.
  • Founded Nalanda University (a renowned university of ancient India).
  • In the last years of his reign, the peace and prosperity of the empire was disturbed due to the invasion of Turko-Mongol tribe, Hunas. During the was with the Hunas, Kumaragupta died.


Skandagupta  (AD 455-467)  :-

  • Kumaragupta-I was followed by Skandagupta. He faced Hunas
  • After his death, the great days of the Guptas were over. The empire continued but central control weakened, and local governors became feudatory kings with  hereditary rights.



Harsha Vardhana  (AD 606-647)  :-

  • Belonged to Pushyabhuti family & son of Prabhakar Vardhan.
  • Originally belonged to Thaneshwar, but shifted to Kannauj.
  • Defeated by Pulakesin-II, the great Chalukya king, on the banks of Narmada in 620.
  • He established a large monastery at Nalanda. Banabhatta, who adorned his court wrote Harshacharita and Kadambari. Harsha himself wrote 3 plays- Priyadarshika, Ratnavali and Naganda.



  • Founder- Pulakesin-I.
  • Their king, Krishna-I is remembered for constructing the famous rock-out Kailasha temple at Ellora.
  • Their king, Krishna-III set up a pillar of victory and a temple at Rameshwaram.
  • Rashtrakutas are credited with the building of cave shrine of Elephanta.


  • Their king Narsimhadeva constructed the Sun Temple at Konark.
  • Their king Anantvarman Ganga built the famous Jagannath temple at Puri.
  • Kesaris, who used to rule Orissa before Gangas built the Lingaraja temple at Bhubhaneswar.



  • Founder- Simhavishnu. They set up their captical  at Kanchi (south of Chennai).
  • Narsimhavarman was their greatest king. He founded the town of Mamalapuram (Mahabalipuram) which he adorned with beautiful rock-cut Raths or Seven Pagoras.  Hieun Tsang visited Kanchi during his reign.


THE IMPERIAL CHOLAS  (AD 846-1279)  :-

  • Founder-Vijayalaya. Capital was Tanjore.
  • The greatest Chola rulers were Rajaraja-I (985-1014) and his son Rajendra I (1014-1044).
  • Rajaraja I constructed Rajrajeshwari temple (also called Brihasdeshwar Shiva temple) at Thanjavur. His son Rajendra-I annexed the whole of SriLanka. In the North,  went  as far as Ganga and the dominions of the Pala king Mahiapala.  He took the title of ‘Gangaikonda’ after that.
  • Dancing figure of Shiva called Nataraja belong to this period only.
  • Cholas temples has massive ‘Vimanas’ or towers and spacious courtyards. The entrances has elaborate Gopurams (gateways).
  • Local Self-Government was there (concept of Panchayati Raj has been borrowed from it).


THE PALAS OF BENGAL  (Capital-Monghyr)  :-

  • Its founder was Gopala (750 AD).
  • Their King, Dharampala founded Vikramsila University & revived Nalanda University.


  • They were divided into 4 clans-
  • Pratihara or Pariharas of S.Rajasthan.
  • Chauhans of E.Rajasthan.
  • Chalukyas or Solankis of Kathiarwar.
  • Parmaras or Pawars of Malwa.



Mahmud of Ghazni  :-

  • Mahmud came to the throne of Ghazni in 997 AD.
  • He started his raids in India in 1001 by attacking and killing  Jaipala, the king of Punjab in the l Battle of Waihind.
  • In the ll Battle of Waihind (1008) he defeated Ananpala (Hindushahi ruler in Punjab).
  • He led 17 expenditions between 1001 and 1027. He plundered Thaneshwar, Mathura, Kannauj and Somnath.
  • The Plunder of somnath temple (dedicated to Shiva) in 1025, situated on the sea coast of Kathiarwar, was famous.
  • His objective was to plunder the riches of temples and palaces and was not interested in expanding his empire to India.


Mohammad Ghori  :-

  • He was also a ruler of a small kingdom in Afganistan. But he was interested in conquering northern India and adding it to his kingdom.
  • Prithviraj Chauhan, who was the king of Delhi at that time, received contingents from other Rajput kings, defeated him in the l Battle of Tarain (1191).
  • But Mohammad Ghori defeated Prithviraj in the ll Battle of Tarain in 1192.
  • Died in 1206, leaving Qutab-ud-Din Aibak the charge.





Qutab-Ud-Din Aibak  (1206-1210)  :-

  • Lahore and later Delhi were his capitals.
  • Famous for his generosity and earned the sobriquet of lakh-baksh (giver of Lakhs).
  • Laid the foundation of Qutab Minar after the name of famous Sufi saint, Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki.
  • Died of a horse fall at Lahore, while playing Chaugan(polo).
  • Buit the first mosque in India-Quwwat-ul-Islam(Delhi) and Adhai Din Ka Jhonpara (at Ajmer).

IItutmish (1210-1236)  :-

  • He formed Turkan-i-Chahalgani or Chalisa (a group of 40 powerful Turkish nobles to suppress nobles).
  • Divided his empire into IQTAS, as assignment of land in lieu of salary, which he distributed to his officers.
  • He introduced the silver tanka and the copper jital- 2 basic coins of the Sultanate.

Raziya  (1236-1240)  :-

  • She disregarded purah, began to adorn male attire and rode out in public on elephant back.
  • She promoted Jalauddin Yakut, an Abyssinian, to the important office or superintendent of the stables.  It provoked the Turkish
  • She had to marry Altunia, the Governor of Bathinda.
  • She was killed, along with her husband, by Bahram Shah, a son of lltutmish.
  • She was the first and the last Muslim woman ruler of medieval India.

Balban  (1266-1286)  :-

  • He ordered the separation of military department from the finance department (diwan-i-wizarat), and the former was placed under a ministry for military affairs (diwan-i-ariz).
  • The declared the Sultan as the representative of god on earth. He impressed upon the people that king was the deputy of God (niyabat-i-khudai) and the shadow of God (zil-i-ilahi).  Introduced Sijdah or paibos practice, in which the people were required to kneel and touch the ground with their head to greet the Sultan.



Jalaluddin Firuz Khalji (1290-1296)  :-

  • He was the first ruler to put forward the view that since a large majority of people in India are Hindus, the state in India could not be a total Islam state.

Alauddin Khalji (1296-1316)  :-

  • Added and entrance door to Qutab Minar, Alai Darwaza and built his capital at Siri.
  • Also built Hauz Khas, Mahal Hazaar Satoon and Jamait Khana Mosque.
  • First Sultan to have permanent army- paid soldiers in cash, imported horses, detailed description of each soldier (Chehra) and each horse (Dagh) was kept (first time). His  Land Revenue System is very famous.
  • First Turkish Sultan of Delhi who separated religion from politics. He proclaimed –“Kingship knows no kinship”.
  • Though Alauddin was illiterate he was a patron of learning and art. There were many great poets in his court.  Both Amir Khusrau and Mir Hasan Dehlvi enjoyed his patronage.


Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq (1320-1325)  :-

  • Took keen interest in the construction of canals and formulated a famine policy.
  • Built the fortified city of Tughlabad and made it his capital.

Muhammad Bin Tughlaq  (1325-1351)  :-

  • Regarded as the most controversial figure in Indian history, because of his five ambitious projects :
    • Increase in the land revenue in the Doab : The measure proved to be ill-timed, as Doab was passing through  famine which was followed by plague.
    • Transfer of capital to Devagiri (Daulatabad) in 1327 : But Daulatabad was found to be unsuitable because it was not possible to control N.India from there.  So he decided to retransfer the capital to Delhi.
    • Introduction of token currency : Token currency meant introduction of bronze tankas in place of Silver tankas with equal value. But this experiment failed, due to counterfeit coins. So he withdrew the scheme and all token coins were exchanged for silver coins.
    • Planning of expedition for the conquest of Khurasan and Iraq : But the scheme was abandoned as conditions in Iraq improved (paid the extra army for one full year).
    • The plan for the conquest of Qarachil (Kumaon hills) : It also met with a disastrous end.
  • During his last days, the whole of S.India became independent and three major independent states – The Empire of Vijaynagar, The Bahamani kingdom and Sultanate of  Madura were founded.
  • The famous traveler, Ibn Batuta came to Delhi during 1334.

Firoz Shah Tughlaq (1351-1388)  :-

  • Built new towns – Hissar, Firozpur, Fatehbad, FirozShah Kotal & Jaunpur.
  • Repaired Qutab Minar when it was struck by lightening.
  • Built his capital Firozabad & to beautify it, brought 2 Ashoka Pilllars, one from Topara in Ambala & the other from Meerut.
  • Wrote a book ‘Fatuhat Firozshahi”.


  • Khizr Khan founded this short-lived dynasty and claimed to have descended from the prophet of Islam.
  • Khzir Khan’s 3 successors – Mubarak Shah (1421-33), Muhammad Shah (1434-43) & Alauddin Alam Shah (1443-51) were incapable leaders.


Bahul Lodhi  (1451-1489)  :-

  • They were Afgans by race (considered the first Afgan dynasty of India).
  • Revived Sultanate to quite an extent.

Sikandar Lodhi  (1517-1526)  :-

  • Noblest of the three Lodhi rulers.
  • Introduced the Gaz-I-Sikandari (Sikandar’s yard) of 32 digits for measuring cultivated fields.
  • In 1504, he founded the city of Agra and made it his capital.


Babur  (1526-1530) :-

  • Defeated Ibrahim Lodi in the First Battle of Panipat in 1526 and introduced gunpowder in India.
  • Defeated Sangram Singh (Rana Sanga) of Mewar in the Battle of Khauna in 1527.
  • Defeated another Rajput ruler, Medini Rai (of Chanderi) in the Battle of Chanderi in 1528.
  • Defeated the Afgan chiefs under Mahmud Lodi (brother of lbrahim Lodi) In the Battle of Ghagra in 1529.
  • Died in 1530, Buried at Aram Bagh in Agra; later his body was taken to Aram Bagh, Kabul.
  • His memoir, the Tazuk-i-Baburi in Turki language is a classic of world literature.

Humayun   (1530-1556)  :-

  • He did, a blunder by dividing his empire among his three brothers- Kamran, Hindal and Askari.
  • Built Dinpanah at Delhi as his second capital.
  • Sher shah Suri gradually gained power during his time.
  • He was attacked by Sher Shah at Chausa (Battle of Chausa) in 1539, but escaped.
  • But in the Battle of Kannauj (or Bilgrma) in 1540, he was defeated by Sher Shah and had to flee.
  • Passed nearly 15 years (1540-1555) in exile.
  • Had the chance to return in 1555. Bairam Khan, his most faithful officer, helped him in this.
  • Died in 1556, due to a fall from his library building stairs (Sher Mandal, Delhi) seven  months aftr he captured Delhi.
  • Gulbadan Begum, his half-sister, wrote Humayun-nama.


Akbar  (1556-1605)  :-

  • He was coronated when he was just 14 years old.
  • Bairam Khan represented him in the Second Battle of Panipat in 1556 against hemu Vikramaditya. Hemu was defeated.
  • Between 1556-1560, Akbar ruled under Bairam Khan’s regency.
  • Married Raja Bharmal’s daughter, Jodha Bai in 1562 which paved the way for friendship between Rajputs and Mughals (except Mewar).
  • Won Gujarat in 1572. It was in order to commemorate his victory of Gujarat that Akbar got the Buland Darwaza constructed at Fatehpur Sikri.
  • Fought Battle of Haldighati with Maharan Pratap in which Maharana was defeated.
  • Built Ibadatkhana (Hall of Prayers0 at Fatehpur Sikri.
  • Formulated an order called Din-i-IIahi or Tauhind-i-IIahi in 1582. Birbal, Abul Fazal and Faizi joined the order.
  • His land Revenue System was known as Todar Mal Bandobast or Zabti System.
  • Also introduced the Mansabdary System to organize the nobility as well as the army.


Jahangir (1605-1627)  :-


  • He executed, the fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjun Dev, who had helped the revolting prince Khusrau.
  • His greatest failure was the loss of Kandahar to Persia in 1622.
  • The most important event in Jahagir’s life was his marriage to was conferred on her.
  • Had a chain justice outside his palace in Agra (called Zanzir-i-Adil).
  • Captain Hawkins (1608-11) and Sir Thomas Roe (1615-1619) visited his court.
  • Tobacco growing started during his reign. It was brought by the Portuguese.
  • Painting reached its zenith during his reign.


Shahjahan   (1628-1658)  :-

  • His reign is considered the ‘Golden Age’  of the Mughal Empire.
  • 2 Frenchmen, Bernier and Tavernier, and an Italian adventurer Manucci, visited during his reign.
  • Built Tajmahal, Moti Masjid at Agra, Jama Masjid and Red Fort at Delhi, etc.
  • There was a brutal war of succession among his four sons (Dara, Shuja, Aurangzeb and Murad) during the last days of his reign. Shahjahan liked Dara, but Aurangzeb  came out victorious.  Thus, he had to spend last 8 years of his life in prison.


Aurangzeb Alamgir  (1658-1707)   :-

  • In his rule, various rebellions took place – Jat peasantry at Mathura, Satnami peasantry in Punjab and Bundelas in Bundelkhand.
  • He caused serious rift in the Mughal-Rajput alliance by his policy of annexation of Marwar in 1639 after the death of Raja Jaswant Singh.
  • In 1675, he ordered the arrest and execution of ninth Sikh guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur.
  • The Mughal conquests reached the territorial climax during his reign, as Bijapur (1686) and Golcunda (1687) were annexed to the Mughal empire.  The Mughal empire stretched from Kashmir in the north to Jinji in the south, from the Hindukushi in the West to Chittagong in the east.
  • He was called a ‘Darvesh’ or a ‘Zinda Pir’. He also forbade Sati.
  • The empire lost power after Aurangzeb’s rule. His successors were weak and incapable rulers.



  • This short-lived dynasty, founded by Sher Shah Suri, ruled in Delhi (North India) form 1540-1555.


Sher Shah Suri  (1540-1545)  :-

  • Real name was Farid. Given the title Sher Khan by Babar Khan Lohani (Governor of Bihar) who appointed him Valki(deputy).
  • Became the master of Delhi after the exit of Humayun.
  • Died in 1545 while campaigning against Kalinjar Fort.
  • Introduced the silver ‘Rupaya’ and the copper ‘Dam’ and abolished all old and mixed metal currency.
  • Built his tomb at Sasaram.
  • Built a new city on the bank of Yamuna river (present day , Purana Qila).
  • Malik Mohammad jaisi composed Padmavat (in Hindi) during his reign.






  • Vasco da Gama reached Calicut on May 17, 1498. It was ruled by a king named Zamorin.  In 1502, he established a factory at Cochin.
  • The first Governor of Portuguese in India was Francisco Almeida.
  • He was followed by Alfonso d’ Albuquerque in 1509. He gave them new heights.  He captured Goa in 1510 from the Bijapur ruler.  He also abolished Sati.


DUTCH    :-

  • Dutch East India Company was formed in 1602.
  • They set-up their first factory at Masulipatnam in 1605.
  • Their other factories were at Pulicat, Chinura, Patn, Balasore, Nagapattanam, Cochin, Surat, karikal, Kasimbazar.


  • The English East India Company was formed in 1599, and was given the royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth l in 1600 to trade in the east.
  • An emperial farman allowed the Company to set up a permanent factory at Surat in 1613.  Sir Thomas Roe played an  Important role in this.


  • The Danish East India Company was formed in 1616.
  • They established settlements at Serampur (Bengal) and Tranquebar (Tamil Nadu).
  • The Danes sold their settlements to the English in 1845.


  • The French East India Company was set in 1664, at the instance of a minister, Colbert, in the reign of Louis XIV.
  • They established their first factory at Surat in1668 and at Masulipatnam in 1669.




Warren Hastings (1772-1785)  :-

  • Brought the Dual Govt. of Bengal to an end by the Regulating Act, 1773.
  • Maintenance of records was made compulsory.
  • Great patron of oriental learning, founded the Asiatic Society of Bengal with William Jones in 1784. He wrote introduction to the first English translation of ‘The Gita’ by Charles Wilkins.
  • Impeachment proceedings started against him when he returned on the charges of taking bribe. After a trial of 7 years, he was finally acquitted.


Lord Cornwallis  (17876-1793)  :-

  • Did the Permanent Settlement of Bengal (also called Zamindary System).
  • First person to codify laws. The code separated revenue administration from the administration of justice.
  • Police Reforms : Each district was divided into 400sq. miles and placed under a police superintendent.
  • The civil service was brought into existence.

Sir John Shore (1793-1798)


Lord Wellesley   (1798-1805)  :-

  • Adopted the policy of Subsidiary Alliance – a system to keep the Indian rulers under control and to make the British the paramount power.
  • The states that accepted this policy were the Nizam of Hyderabad, the ruler of Mysore, the Raja of Tanjore, the Nawab of Awad, the Peshwa, the Bhonsle Raja of Berar, the Scindia, the Rajputs of Jodhpur, Jaipur, etc.

Geore Barlow   (1805-1807)


Lord Minto l  (1807-1813)  :-

  • Concluded the treaty of Amritsar with Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1809).
  • Charter Act of 1813 was passed.

Lord Hastings   (1813-1823)

Lord Amherst    (1823-1828)




Lord Willian Bentinck  (1828-1835) :-

  • Carried out the social reforms like Prohibition of Sati (1829) and elimination of thugs (1830).
  • Made English the medium of higher education in the country (After the recommendations of Macaulay).
  • Suppressed female infanticide and child sacrifice.
  • Charter Act of 1833 was passed ; made him the first Governor General of India. Before him, the designation was Governor General of Bengal.

Sir Charles Metcalfe (1835-1836) :-

  • Abolished all restrictions on vernacular press (called Liberator of the Press).

Lord Auckland  (1836-1842)  :-

  • The most important event of his reign was the First Afgan War, which proved to be a disaster for the English.

Lord Ellenborough  (1842-1844)

Lord Hardinge l  (1844-1848)

Lord Dalhousie (1848-1856) :-

  • Opened the first Indian Railway in 1853 (from Bombay to Thane).
  • Laid out the telegraph lines in 1853 (First was from Calcutta to Agra).
  • Introduce the Doctrine of Lapse and captured Satara (1848), Jaipur and Sambhalpur (1849), Udaipur (1852), Jhansi (1853) and Nagpur (1854).
  • Established the postal system on the modern lines through the length and breadth of the country, which made communication easier.
  • Started the Public Works Department. Many bridges were constructed and the work on Grand Trunk Road was started.  The harbors of Karachi, Bombay and Calcutta were also developed.
  • Made Shimla the summer capital.
  • Started Engineering college at Roorkee.
  • Encouraged science, forestry, commerce, mineralogy and industry.
  • In 1854, ‘Wood’s Dispatch’ was passed, which provided for the properly articulated system of education from the primary school to the university.
  • Due to Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s efforts, remarriage of widows was legalized by Widow Remarriage Act, 1856)




  • On March 29, 1857, a soldier named Mangal Pandey attacked and fired at his senior at Barrackpur in Bengal (in 19th and 34th Native infantry).
  • On May 10, there was a mutiny of sepoys at Meerut (3rd native cavalry ).
  • Mutiny spread throughout UP along with
  • March to Delhi’ became the battle cry of the rebels. At Delhi, the Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II was proclaimed the Emperor of India.


  • Bakht Khan (captured Delhi, was from the Berreily unit of the army).
  • Nana Sahib alias Dhondhu Pnat (from Kanpur, along with Tantia Tope and Azimullah).
  • Begum Hazrat Mahal of Awadh (declared her son as the Nawab of Awadh)
  • Rani Lakhmibai, the widowed queen of Raja Gangadhar Rao of Jhansi (Tantia Tope joined her and they defeated the Scindia of Gwalior but both were defeated by Sir Hugh Rose. She died on June 17, 1858, while Tantia was later captured and executed.
  • Kunwar Singh and Amar Singh (Bihar)
  • Maulavi Ahmedullah (First Awadh and then Rohilkhand).
  • Devi Singh of Mathura.
  • Kadam Sing of Meerut.


  • Scindia of Gwalior, the Holkar of Indore, the Nizam of Hyderabad. The Raja of Jodhpur, the Nawab of Bhopal, the rulers of Patiala, Sindh and Kashmir and the Rana Nepal provided active support to the British.


  • The revolt was mainly feudal’ in character carrying with it some nationalist elements.
  • The control of Indian administration was passed on the British crown by the Govt. of India Act, 1858.
  • The army was carefully reorganized to prevent the recurrence of such event.





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