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An Introduction With Basic Questions on Medieval History of India

Updated on November 23, 2017


History (ancient, medieval, modern plus world) is a part of General Studies in Indian competitive exams for students. Some basic questions with brief introduction of Indian medieval history are being presented in this article. It's helpful for improving a student's G.K. regarding History.



The word medieval means middle ages. It is used in history to refer to the period lying between the ancient and the modern periods. In Indian subcontinent, Medieval India refers to the Post classical Era, i.e. 8th to 18th century CE. Medieval period is an important period in the history of India because of the developments in the field of art and culture, languages, and religion. The period has also witnessed the impact of other religions on the Indian culture. Beginning of the Medieval period is marked by the rise of Rajput clan. Medieval period has been divided into two parts, early Medieval period from the 8th to the 13th century and the late medieval period from the 13th to the18th century.

In the early medieval period, a number of small kingdoms appeared in Indian subcontinent. Early Medieval period witnessed wars among regional kingdoms from north and south India whereas late medieval period saw the number of Muslim invasions by Mughals, Afghans, and Turks. By the end of the fifteenth century European traders started doing trade. Around mid-eighteenth century they became a political force in India marking the end of Medieval period. But some scholars and historians believe that the beginning of Mughal Empire is the end of Medieval period in India.

Features of Indian Medieval History:

  • Decentralisation of the political system occurred. The system of land revenue changed, the king didn't have direct control over revenue collection, due to the feudal set up. In this system, officers were not paid salaries in cash, rather they were paid through land grants. Gradually this officers or feudatories became powerful through land grants as now they possessed the rights to collect revenue through their granted lands. Thus a decentralised system began. Later on, these feudatories declared their independence and established themselves as kings. However Mughals were able to maintain efficiency in a decentralised system.
  • From 606 C.E., Kannauj became the centre of political activity in Northern India. Many principalities were established by regional governors in the north and the south India, both.
  • The Arabs were the first Muslim conquerors to invade India, but Turks were the first to establish their rule in India.
  • From 12th century onwards, many dynasties like Khaljis, Tughluqs, Mughals appeared on the scene. These dynasties were able to build an empire that was pan-regional, spanning diverse regions.
  • This period saw the emergence of an Indian culture, similar to what is observed today, a combination of Hindu and Islamic cultural traditions and customs.
  • Mughals brought magnificent architecture, built impressive buildings, gardens, gave patronage to artists and scholars.
  • Later medieval period brought economic stability to Indian empire.

Q.1 Who wrote manuscripts in Medieval Period?

Ans. Jain and Buddhist Monks.

Q.2 Where is the word 'India' derived from?

Ans. The word India' comes from the Indus, called ' Sindhu' in Sanskrit.

Q.3 History of Kashmir is found in which text and who wrote it?

Ans. Rajtarangini, a famous Sanskrit composition in Medieval period, written by Kalhana.

Q.4 Name the Arab cartographer who prepared the map of Indian subcontinent.

Ans. Muhammad al-Idrisi.

Q. 5 Who wrote Tuzuk-i-Baburi and Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri?

Ans. Tuzuk-i-Baburi written by Babur, his autobiography, and Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri, biograpphy of Jahangir, written by his sister Gulbadan Begum.

Q.6 Mention the period of The Pallavas and Chalukyas ?

Ans. The Pallavas and Chalukyas emerged in 4th century CE. Both these empires ruled over south India for about 400 years.

Q.7 Name two important Chola rulers and mention their capitals.

Ans. Raja Raja I (985-1014 C.E.), capital Tanjaur, Rajendra Chola (1014-1044 C.E.), capital Gangaikonda Cholapuram.

Q.8 Who founded the Chola empire?

Ans. Vijayalaya (848 - 871) founded Chola dynasty by conquering Tanjore in mid 8th century.

Q.9 When was the first battle of Tarain fought and who got defeated?

Ans. The first battle of Tarain was fought between Prithviraj Chauhan, a rajput ruler, and Muhammad Ghori, a Ghaznavi ruler, in 1191 C.E. Muhammad Ghori got defeated.

Q. 10 Who formed Lodi dynasty and when?

Ans. Khizr Khan laid the foundation of Lodi dynasty, at Delhi, in 1414.

Qutub-ud-Din Aybak (206 - 1210)
Qutub-ud-Din Aybak (206 - 1210)

Q.11 Name the first and last ruler of Delhi sultanate, also mention their reign.

Ans. Qutub-ud-din Aibak, the first ruler of Delhi Sultanate and founder of 'Slave Dynasty', and Ibrahim Lodi, 1517-1526, the last ruler of Delhi Sultanate.

Note: 1. Ibrahim Lodi was defeated in 1526, by Babur, the ruler of Afghanistan, in the first battle of Panipat. Ibrahim Lodi died on the battlefield.

Q.12 Who was the first women sovereign of Delhi Sultanate? Mention her reign.

Ans. Razia sultan (1236-1240 C.E.)

Q.13 Who built the city of Dhilika and what was the name of the coin minted during that time?

Ans The Tomars, the Rajputs, built the city of Dhilika (Delhi) in 736 C.E. The coins were called dehliwal.

Q.14 Where was Akbar crowned as the Emperor and by whom?

Ans. Akbar was crowned as the Emperor, in 1556, at Kalanaur in Gurdaspur district of Punjab. His regent Bairam Khan managed to crown him at a simple ceremony at Kalanaur.

Buland Darwaza at Fatehpur Sikri in Agra district of UttarPradesh
Buland Darwaza at Fatehpur Sikri in Agra district of UttarPradesh

Q.15 Which structure is built by Akbar at Fatehpur Sikri?

Ans. Buland Darwaza, 176 feet, the largest gateway in India.

Q.16 Name any five Hindu books that were translated into Persian in Akbar's court.

Ans. Mahabharata, Ramayana, Atharvaveda, Rajatarangini, Panchatantra.

Q.17 Write the name of 'Nine gems' in Akbar's court.

Ans.The 'Nine Gems' are:

  1. Abul fazl
  2. Faizi
  3. Tansen
  4. Todar Mal
  5. Mirza Aziz Koka
  6. Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khana
  7. Raja Bhagwan das
  8. Raja Mansingh
  9. Birbal

Q. 18 Name the Mughal rulers who abolished jaziya and who reimposed it.

Ans Akbar abolished Jaziya and Aurangzeb reimposed it.

Note 2. Jaziya was a kind of tax on Hindus.

Nishat Bagh, Srinagar
Nishat Bagh, Srinagar
Shalimar Bagh, Srinagar
Shalimar Bagh, Srinagar
Pinjore Gardens, Haryana, (India)
Pinjore Gardens, Haryana, (India)

Q. 19 Write the name of three important Mughal Gardens.

Ans. Shalimar Bagh at Lahore and Srinagar, Nishat bagh in Srinagar, and the Pinjore Gardens in Haryana.


  • Nishat Bagh is located on the banks of the Dal Lake, Srinagar. It is popularly known as the ‘garden of joy or bliss’.
  • The word 'Shalimar' means abode of love. Shalimar garden has a canal, lined with polished stones that run through the middle of the garden. Garden has four main areas or terraces.
  • Also called Yadavindra Gardens, an example of the Mughal gardens style, and was built by Patiala Dynasty Rulers, located in Pinjore, Panchkula District in the Indian State of Haryana. Pinjore is well connected with Chandigarh at a road distance of 20 km. It was created in the 17th century by architect Nawab Fidai Khan during the early reign of his foster brother Aurangzeb, the Mughal emperor (r. 1658-1707). After it was initially built by Fidai Khan, the garden was refurbished by Maharaja Yadevendra Singh, former king of princely state Patiala, and restored to its former splendour. So in the memory of Maharaja Yadavindra Singh, the garden has been renamed as Yadavindra Gardens.

Q. 20 Battle of Haldighati was fought between which two rulers?

Ans. The Mughal Emperor Akbar and The King of Mewar, Rana Pratap, in 1576.

Note: 3. Rana Pratap was defeated in the battle of Haldighati. He escaped into the hills and continued the struggle against heavy odds till his death in 1597 C.E. He lived on as the ultimate symbol of Rajput defiance of Mughal rule.

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      23 months ago

      good article.


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