Tracing Changes Through a Thousand Years: NCERT / CBSE Revision Notes

Changes in Terminology

The information that we have about our history has gone through a lot of revisions to take on its current form.The 1154 A.D. world map by Arab cartographer Al Idrisi was oriented with the South Pole at the top as a result the view of India and Sri Lanka is upside down.

As the science of cartography evolved, more accurate versions of the map were made.
When historian study records they need to be sensitive about the context in which the information was penned down

Source for Medieval Indian History

The period between the 8th and the 18th centuries is termed as the medieval period in India.

The archaeological and literary sources of information help historians trace history. Archaeological sources include monuments, temples, inscriptions, coins and weapons. Literary sources include manuscripts, folk tales, poems and biographies of different rulers.A manuscript is any document that is written by hand.
Manuscripts were collected by wealthy people, rulers, monasteries and temples. The manuscripts provide detailed information to historians but they are also difficult to use.
Tracing Changes Through a Thousand Years, NCERT / CBSE Revision Notes, Ncert Class 7 solutions
Manuscripts were copied by hand in India as there was no printing press in medieval India. The nastaliq style of writing Persian and Arabic is easy to read. However the shikaste style of writing is difficult to decipher.
Historians face problems gathering information from various textual sources as a copy of the manuscript was never the same as the original.

Region and Empire

The medieval period saw rise and fall of many great empires.  By 700 AD, the Indian subcontinent was divided into many separate regions with distinct language and culture. This is evident from the writings of Amir Khusrau, a notable musician and poet in the court of Delhi Sultanate. He also noted that Sanskrit was studied by the Brahmins alone.

Regions were also associated with specific ruling dynasties like the Rajputs in Rajasthan, Palas in Bengal and Bihar, Pratiharas in Avanti and Gujarat, and Rashtrakutas over north Deccan. This was the period when rulers of dynasties like the Cholas, Khaljis, the Tughluqs and the Mughals extended their empires.

However, all the dynasties were not equally stable and successful to rule over large kingdoms and control people of different regions. After the decline of the Mughal Empire in the 18th century, regional states such as Malwa, Bengal, Gujarat and Mewar re-emerged.
Between 700 and 1750 AD, many regions grew, and successfully retained their identity.

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