CBSE Class 7 Social Science History Revision Notes Chapter 2

CBSE Class 7 History Chapter 2 Notes – New Kings and Kingdoms

Following the end of the 7th century, a large number of new dynasties came into existence. By that time, there were more warrior chiefs and landlords in charge of the various subcontinental regions. Class 7 History Chapter 2 explains the new kings and kingdoms that emerged over the years. Students will learn more about the kings and their new kingdoms with the Class 7 History Chapter 2 Notes from Extramarks.

Important Topics Covered in This Chapter

The significant topics covered in this chapter are listed below.

  • New and Old Terminologies
  • Historians and their Sources
  • New Social and Political Groups
  • Region and Empire
  • Old and New Religions
  • Thinking about Time and Historical Periods

New Kings and Kingdoms Class 7 Notes History Chapter 2

Access Class 7 Social Science (History) Chapter 2 – New Kings and Kingdoms Notes

The Emergence of New Dynasties

There were powerful landowners or military commanders in various parts of the subcontinent in the 7th century. They were frequently acknowledged as their subordinates or semantics by the kings of the time.

For example, the Rashtrakutas of the Deccan. These were initially under the control of the Karnataka Chalukyas. Dantidurga, a Rashtrakuta leader, deposed his Chalukyan master in the middle of the 8th century by performing a ritual known as hiranya-garbha (literally, the golden belly). It was believed that when this ritual was carried out with the aid of Brahmanas, the sacrificer would experience a “rebirth” as a Kshatriya, even if he had never been one before.

In other instances, ruthless family members employed their military prowess to found kingdoms. For example, the Brahmanas who successfully left their traditional occupations to join the armed forces were the Kadamba Mayurasharman and the Gurjara Pratihara Harichandra.

Administration in the Kingdoms

Many of these new kings had taken grand titles such as Tribhuvana-Chakravartin (Lord of the Three Worlds), Maharaja-Adhiraja (Big King, Lord of Kings), and so forth.

Each of these states derived its resources from producers, such as farmers, herders, and artisans, who were frequently compelled to offer some of their output.

These were referred to as “rent” because a lord claimed to be the land’s owner. Merchants also contributed to the income.

These materials were employed in the building of temples, forts, and the king’s settlement. They were also employed in the conduct of wars, which were anticipated to result in the capture of wealth through plunder and the opening of trade routes as well as access to land.

Officials in charge of collecting money were typically chosen from prestigious families, and many times, their positions were hereditary. The same held true for the armed forces. The king’s kin frequently carried out these duties.

Prashastis and Land Grants

Prashastis include details that may not be literally accurate. However, they describe how the leaders wished to portray themselves, for example, valiant, victorious warriors. These were written by learned Brahmanas who occasionally helped with administration.

A lengthy Sanskrit poem that tells the history of the Kashmiri kings was written by a person named Kalhana. He based his narrative on a variety of sources, such as inscriptions, paperwork, eyewitness accounts, and earlier accounts.

Warfare for Wealth

The most well-known of these leaders is Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, Afghanistan. He extended his rule over portions of Central Asia, Iran, and the Northwest of the subcontinent from 997 to 1030. He primarily attacked the Indian subcontinent and targeted affluent temples, such as Somnath in Gujarat. Mahmud used a sizable portion of the wealth he amassed to build Ghazni’s magnificent capital.

Sultan Mahmud commissioned a scholar Al-Biruni to write a review of the Indian subcontinent because he was curious to learn more about the people he had conquered. This Arabic text, also referred to as Kitab ul-Hind, is still a crucial resource for historians. When writing this narration, he sought advice from experts in Sanskrit.

Prithviraj III (1168–1192), the most well-known ruler of Chahamana, defeated Sultan Muhammad Ghori of Afghanistan in 1191 but lost to him the following year, in 1192.

A Closer Look: The Cholas

From Uraiyur to Thanjavur

The ruling family in the Kaveri Delta was a small family known as Muttaraiyar. They worked for the Kanchipuram Pallava kings. In the middle of the 9th century, Vijayalaya, a member of the ancient family who primarily belonged to the Uraiyur Cholas, conquered the Mutharaiyar delta. He built Thanjavur city and a temple dedicated to Nishumbhasudini.

Following Vijayalaya, his successors expanded and fortified the kingdom by capturing neighbouring lands. The Pandyan and Pallava kingdoms, which were to its south and north, respectively, were included in this empire. 

Rajaraja I, regarded as the Chola kingdom’s most powerful ruler, expanded Chola rule over the majority of these territories after becoming king in 985. Additionally, the empire’s administration was reorganised. Rajendra I, the son of Rajaraja, carried on his father’s policies and even conducted raids on the Ganga valley, Sri Lanka, and nations in Southeast Asia while building a navy for these operations.

Splendid Temples and Bronze Sculpture

Rajaraja and Rajendra built magnificent temples in Thanjavur and Gangaikondacholapuram, which are marvels of architecture and sculpture.

Temples built by the Cholas were typically the centre of the villages that developed around them. These served as centres for the production of crafts. Additionally, land was given to the temples by the leaders and others.

These were not only places of worship but also served as the site of social, cultural, and economic activity.

Chola’s bronze sculptures are among the most exquisite works of art ever created and were considered the finest in the world. These sculptures were mostly of Gods. Occasionally, sculptures of devotees were also made.

Agriculture and Irrigation

Recent developments in agriculture enabled the Cholas to accomplish many of their goals.

The Kaveri River is divided into a number of minor channels before flowing into the Bay of Bengal. Oftentimes, these canals overflow, leaving fertile soil on their banks. The moisture required for agriculture, including the production of rice, is also supplied by the water in the channels.

Tamil Nadu’s other regions had developed agriculture earlier, but the region was not accessible for  large-scale agriculture until the 5th or 6th centuries. It was necessary to clear some forests and other lands in various regions. In the delta region, embankments were built to prevent flooding, canals were constructed for irrigation and in many cases, it was necessary to water crops artificially. 

For irrigation purposes, a number of techniques were employed. In a few places, wells were dug. Large reservoirs were constructed to collect rainwater in other areas. Irrigation work requires organisation and planning of labour and resources, maintenance and how water was to be shared. Both the new rulers and the people took an active interest in it.

The Administration of the Empire

The development of irrigation agriculture led to the flourishing of peasant settlements, known as ur. These villages were grouped together to form larger entities known as Nadu. Delivering justice and collecting taxes are just two of the administrative tasks that the Village Council and Nadu carried out.

Under the direction of the Chola central government, the wealthy peasants of the Vellala caste had a significant influence over Nadu’s affairs.

As a sign of respect, the Chola kings gave some wealthy landowners titles like “Chief,” “Araiyar,” and “Muvendavelan” and appointed them to important positions in the government.

A sabha of important Brahmin landowners looked after each Brahmadeya, (Sanskrit for “given to Brahmana”) as tax-free land gift either in the form of a single plot or whole villages donated to Brahmanas in early mediaeval India. . These assemblies performed incredibly well. Their choices were fully recorded in inscriptions, which were frequently found on the rocky temple walls.

The Uttaramerur inscriptions in Tamil Nadu’s Chingleput district provide information on the organisation of the Sabha. Separate committees for irrigation work, gardens, temples, etc. were present in the Sabha.

Small palm leaf tickets with the names of those who qualified for membership in these committees were placed in an earthenware pot, from which a young boy was asked to remove the tickets, one by one for each committee.

The Rise of New Dynasties

The subcontinent was dominated by war chiefs and wealthy landowners in a variety of regions at the start of the 7th century. These people were referred to as the Samantas or Rulers. Students can refer to and clear their doubts with the Revision Notes, which provide detailed explanations of the topic. The overlords and kings required certain gifts to be brought to the courts by these Samantas, or Subordinates. They were also in charge of giving the kings more military assistance. However, after the Samantas gained control, they established their own independent rule under the name Maha-Samantas, which roughly translates to “Great Lord of the Region.”

The Rashtrakutas, who lived in the Deccan regions and served as Samantas in the Karnataka region, had also done the same with the Chalukyas. Rashtrakutas widely patronised Sanskrit literature. At the beginning of the 8th century, one of the Samanta overthrew his king and established his independent rule. The art and architecture of the Rashtrakutas can be found at Ellora and Elephanta.

Administration of New Kingdoms

In comparison to earlier times, the administration in the new kingdoms operated somewhat differently. The names of the New Kingdom kings would be prefixed with lofty titles like Tribhuvana-Chakravartin or Maharaja-Adhiraj. These kings often shared power with the Samantas as well as peasants, traders and Brahmanas. In addition, the new kings had to answer to the various organisations formed by Brahmins, traders, and peasants. The majority of the resources used to produce goods in these states came from these associations, some artisans, cattle farmers, and other people.

As a result, they were coerced into paying the kingdom “rent” by giving a portion of their harvest. These resources would then be used in order to finance the kingdom and run the organisation. Additionally, these resources would support armies during battles and be used to build temples and forts. As a result, more wealth was amassed through plunder, and the kingdoms also received more land. Class 7 History Chapter 2 Notes provide more information about the administration followed in these new kingdoms.

Land Grants Provided to Prashastis

The Prashastis were a group of educated Brahmins. The group was in charge of supporting the king’s government in the administration. These people give the kings specific information that helped them portray themselves as brave and successful warriors. However, the information was subject to biases. In response to these details, the monarchs would offer the prashastis specific land concessions.

Some copper plates contained accurate records of these lands. These plates would now be given to the specific Brahman who had been awarded the land reward. A poet by the name of Kalhana wrote the Rajatarangini, a Sanskrit poem and historical chronicle that mentions the reign of Kashmiri kings in the 12th century.

Wealth Accumulated From Warfare

Some of the ruling dynasties had their main bases in one specific region. However, they did try to assert their authority over the other territories. Wars were fought to expand their domain. One of the important  cities, Kannauj, in the Ganga Valley, was the bone of contention between the Pala, Rashtrakuta, and Gurjara-Pratihara dynasties. The conflict, which involved 3 parties, was protracted and frequently referred to as the “tripartite struggle” by historians.

One of the primary methods used by the kings and queens to demonstrate their power and resources was the construction of large temples of varied sizes. Therefore, destroying and gaining control over these local temples would be one of the principal objectives of the opposing rulers during times of war.

Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni was known for his extensive warfare (997-1030). Iran, Central Asia, and the North-Western Subcontinent were all under the Sultan’s control. He made it a point to attack the wealthy temples while attacking the subcontinent; one such temple was the Somnath Temple in Gujarat.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Who were the three parties that joined the well-known "tripartite struggle"?

The Rashtrakuta, Gurjar-Pratihara, and Pala Dynasties were the three parties or dynasties engaged in the long-drawn conflict and it came to be known as  Tripartite Struggle. The Ganga Valley’s City of Kanauj was the centre of constant conflict. Students can consult the Extramarks Class 7 Chapter 2 History Notes to know more about it.

2. Who were the Samantas?

The subcontinent was divided into different regions in the 7th century, each of which had its own warrior chiefs and landowners. They were referred to as the Samantas, and it was their duty to provide the kingdom’s administration with the necessary financial and military support. But over a period of time, the Samantas became powerful and started to depose the kings.

3. What did the new dynasties do to become popular?

The new kingdoms expanded in size and riches. They then identified themselves as Maha-Samantas or Maha-Andaleshwar. Many of these kings bestowed upon themselves grand titles such as “Tribhuvana-Chakravartin” and “Maharaja-Adhiraja.” They also used educated Brahmins to support their claim to be brave warriors. The prashastis contains a record of these actions. They displayed their extravagance and luxury by constructing magnificent monuments and temples.