17 short questions on Indian history for historians – Answered


1. Who was the last great king of the Guptas? Invasion of which foreign horde was responsible for the fall of the Guptas?

Vishnugupta was the last great king of the Guptas. The invasion of the Hunas was responsible for the fall of the Gupta: But the fall of the Guptas cannot simply be explained by the invasio of the Hanas.

2. From which two evidences is known about the Guptas after Skandagupta?


For the period after Skandagupta the most dependable source c information are the copper-plate and epigraphy.

Much is known: about the Guptas after Skandagupta from the Ghunaighar copper plate and Erna Inscription.

3. What economic decline was visible towards the end of the Gupta rule? Name a regional power of South India that emerged ii the post-Gupta period.

Economic decline towards the end of the Gupta rule was visible from the debasement of coins.


One of the important regional powers of South India that emerged in the post-Gupta period was the Chalukyas.

4. Who were the Kumaramatyas? What was the difference between the Mauryas and the Guptas regarding the armed force?

Kumaramatryas were high officials of the Gupta administration. They used to govern the provinces and sometimes were princes of royal blood.

The greatest difference as regards the armed forces was that the Mauryas used to maintain regular armed forces, but the Guptas procured soldiers from their Samantas (feudal lords).


5. Harshavardhana began his career as the king of which two kingdoms? What title was assumed by Harshavardhana?

Harshavardhana began his career as the king of the twin kingdoms of Thaneswar and Kanauj.

Harshavardhana assumed the title of Siladitya.

6. Where did Harshavardhana transfer his capital? What was the major difference between the administrative system of Harsha and that of the Guptas?


Harshavardhana transferred his capital from Thaneswar to Kanauj.

The major difference in the administrative system was that Harsha decentralized the administration. But the Gupta administration was a highly centralized one.

7. Why was Sasanka important in the history of Bengal? What constituted the ancient Gaud?

Sasanka was important in the history of Bengal because no other Bengali before him could establish an independent kingdom. Sasanka also valiantly fought against the combined power of Kanauj, Thaneswar and Kamrupa.


Present Malda and Murshidabad of West Bengal constituted ancient Gauda.

8. What was known as the ‘matsyanyaya’? Who was the founder of the Pala dynasty?

After the death of Sasanka there was a complete chaos and confusion in Bengal. This near anarchy that prevailed in Bengal came to be known by the term ‘matsyanyaya’.

Gopala was the founder of the Pala dynasty.

9. Who revived the Pala Empire after Devpala? What was the Kaivartya rebellion?

It was Mahipala I who revived the Pala Empire after Devpala.

During the reign of Mahipala II fishermen of North Bengal known as Kaivartya tribe rebelled under their leader Divya. Divya occupied the Pala throne by killing Mahipala II.

10. Under which Pala king the Nalanda University flourished? Who was the last Pala king?

Under Devpala the University of Nalanda became famous as a centre of learning. Of course, most of the Pala kings patronised Nalanda.

Madanpala was the last king of the Palas.

11. What is the main source of information of the Kaivartya rebellion? Under which Pala king was Bengal attacked by which Chola king?

Sandyakarnandi’s Ramacharita vividly describes the Kaivartya rebellion of Bengal. And that is the only source of our information about the Kaivartya rebellion.

It was under the reign of Rampala that Bengal was attacked by the Chola king Kulottuinga.

12. Who were the Senas of Bengal? Under whom Bakhtiyar Khilji invaded Nadia?

The Senas were originally the local chiefs under the Palas. It was onthe ashes of the Pala Empire that Vijayasena (1095 AD.) founded a new ruling dynasty in Bengal, called the Senas.

It was under Lakshmanasena that Bakhtiyar Khilji attacked the royal palace at Nadia in Bengal in 1201 AD.

13. Whose court-poet was Ravikirti? Write about the conquest of Vikramaditya VI.

Ravikirti was the court-poet of the greatest Chalukya king Pulakesin II.

The first half of Vikramaditya’s reign was devoted to the military conquests. He subdued the rulers of Konkan and other southern powers including the Chalukyas of Vengi and the Cholas.

14. Who was the greatest king of the Chalukyas of Kalyani? Write about his cultural activities.

Vikramaditya VI was the greatest king of the Chalukyas of Kalyani.

Vikramaditya VI was a great patron of art, architecture and literature. Bilhana, Vijnanesyara and others received his patronage.

15. Who was the real founder of the Pallava dynasty? From which Pallava king did begin the Pallava-Chalukya contest?

Simhavishnu was the real founder of the Pallava dynasty.

It was from the time of the Pallava king Mahendravarman I that the Pallava-Chalukya contest for supremacy began. The contest was for control over the Krishna-Tungabhadra Doab region.

16.Supremacy over what led to the tripartite contest? What was the result of it?

The tripartite contest between the Palas, Pratiharas and Rashtrakutas centered round control over Kanauj. For, the centre of political power that had shifted from Pataliputra to Kanauj.

The result of the tripartite conflict was not at all beneficial for either of the parties. The long-drawn military engagements weakened all the three contesting parties.

17. What was the political condition of North India after the death of Harshavardhana?

With the removal of a .strong personality like that of Harshavardhana political disorder reigned supreme in northern India.

The history of the upper Ganga valley after the death of Harsha was one of internal strife and of external invasion. The regional powers like Palas, Pratiharas, etc. entered into contest with one another.

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