CBSE NCERT Class VII (7th) | Social Studies | History
Chapter : Towns, Traders and Craftspersons
CBSE NCERT Solved Question Answer
Q1 How were the towns classified in the medieval age?
The towns were classified into three categories depending upon the functions they performed. The three types of towns were: a temple town, an administrative centre and a commercial town. In fact, many towns combined several functions – they were administrative centres, temple towns, as well as centres of commercial activities and craft production.
Q2 What were mandapas?
There are palaces with mandapas or pavilions. Kings hold court in these mandapas, issuing orders to their subordinates.
Q3 Write a short note on Thanjavur.
1. Thanjavur was the capital of Cholas.
2. The perennial river Kaveri flows near this beautiful town.
3. One hears the bells of the Rajarajeshvara temple built by King Rajaraja Chola.
4. Besides the temple, there are palaces with mandapas or pavilions. Kings hold court in these mandapas, issuing orders to their subordinates.
5. There are also barracks for the army.
6. The town is bustling with markets selling grain, spices, cloth and jewellery.
7. Water supply for the town comes from wells and tanks.
8. At Svamimalai, the sthapatis or sculptors are making exquisite bronze idols and tall, ornamental bell metal lamps.
Q4 How do you say that Thanjavur was an example of a temple town?
Thanjavur is also an example of a temple town. Temple towns represent a very important pattern of urbanisation, the process by which cities develop.
Temples were often central to the economy and society.
Rulers built temples to demonstrate their devotion to various deities.
They also endowed temples with grants of land and money to carry out elaborate rituals, feed pilgrims and priests and celebrate festivals. Pilgrims who flocked to the temples also made donations.
Temple authorities used their wealth to finance trade and banking. Gradually a large number of priests, workers, artisans, traders, etc. settled near the temple to cater to its needs and those of the pilgrims. Thus grew temple towns.
.Q5 What functions were performed by the Samantas living in the earlier times?
Usually a samanta or, in later times, a zamindar built a fortified palace in or near these towns. They levied taxes on traders, artisans and articles of trade and sometimes “donated” the “right” to collect these taxes to local temples, which had been built by themselves or by rich merchants.
Q6 Name few of the products that the traders of small towns were generally dealing in.
Salt, camphor, saffron, betel nut and spices like pepper.
The towns on the west coast were home to Arab, Persian, Chinese, Jewish and Syrian Christian traders. Indian spices and cloth sold in the Red Sea ports were purchased by Italian traders and eventually reached European markets, fetching very high profits.
Spices grown in tropical climates (pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, dried ginger, etc.) became an important part of European cooking, and cotton cloth was very attractive. This eventually drew European traders to India
Q8 Why were the guilds formed by the traders?
Since traders had to pass through many kingdoms and forests, they usually travelled in caravans and formed guilds to protect their interests.
Q9 Name any two famous guilds of the past.
Manigramam and Nanadesi.
Q10 What was Bidri?
The craftspersons of Bidar were so famed for their inlay work in copper and silver that it came to be called Bidri.
Q11 What was Vishwakarma community?
The Panchalas or Vishwakarma community, consisting of goldsmiths, bronzesmiths, blacksmiths, masons and carpenters, were essential to the building of temples. They also played an important role in the construction of palaces, big buildings, tanks and reservoirs.
Q12 List the characteristics of Hampi.
Hampi is located in the Krishna-Tungabhadra basin, which formed the nucleus of the Vijayanagra empire.
The magnificent ruins at Hampi reveal a well-fortified city.
No mortar or cementing agent was used in the construction of these walls and the technique followed was to wedge them together by interlocking.
The architecture of Hampi was distinctive. The buildings in the royal complex had splendid arches, domes and pillared halls.
They also had well-planned orchards and pleasure gardens.
Q13 How were the temples of Hampi as ‘Hub of cultural activities’?
Temples of Hampi were the hub of cultural activities and devadasis (temple dancers) performed before the deity, royalty and masses in the many-pillared halls in the Virupaksha (a form of Shiva) temple. The Mahanavami festival, known today as Navaratri in the south, was one of the most important festivals celebrated at Hampi
Q14 What lead to ruin of the city of Hampi?
Hampi fell into ruin following the defeat of Vijayanagara in 1565 by the Deccani Sultans – the rulers of Golconda, Bijapur, Ahmadnagar, Berar and Bidar.
Q15 What was Surat famous for?
b) Surat in Gujarat was the emporium of western trade during the Mughal period and somewhat later. The city was cosmopolitan and people of all castes and creeds lived there. In the seventeenth century the Portuguese, Dutch and English had their factories and warehouses at Surat.
c) There were also several retail and wholesale shops selling cotton textiles. The textiles of Surat were famous for their gold lace borders (zari).
d) The state built numerous rest-houses to take care of the needs of people from all over the world who came to the city.
Q16 What led to the decline of Surat towards the end of the seventeenth century?
This was because of many factors: the loss of markets and productivity because of the decline of the Mughal Empire, control of the sea routes by the Portuguese and competition from Bombay (presentday Mumbai) where the English East India Company shifted its headquarters.
Q17 Where was the town of Masulipatnam located?
The town of Masulipatnam or Machlipatnam (literally, fish port town) lay on the delta of the Krishna river.
Q18 Why did the Dutch and the English East India Company want to control Masulipatnam?
Both the Dutch and English East India Companies attempted to control Masulipatnam as it became the most important port on the Andhra coast. The fort at Masulipatnam was built by the Dutch.
Q19 Why did the Qutb Shahi rulers of Golconda imposed royal monopolies on the trade?
The Qutb Shahi rulers of Golconda imposed royal monopolies on the sale of textiles, spices and other items to prevent the trade passing completely into the hands of the various East India Companies.
Q20 How did the European traders get a control over the trade?
European countries were searching for spices and textiles, which had become popular both in Europe and West Asia. The English, Dutch and French formed East India Companies in order to expand their commercial activities in the east. The European Companies used their naval power to gain control of the sea trade and forced Indian traders to work as their agents. Ultimately, the English emerged as the most successful commercial and political power in the subcontinent.
Q21 How did the production of textiles grew in India during 16th - 17th century?
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, European countries were searching for spices and textiles, which had become popular both in Europe and West Asia. The English, Dutch and French formed East India Companies in order to expand their commercial activities in the east.
The spurt in demand for goods like textiles led to a great expansion of the crafts of spinning, weaving, bleaching, dyeing, etc. with more and more people taking them up. Indian textile designs became increasingly refined.
However, this period also saw the decline of the independence of crafts persons. They now began to work on a system of advances which meant that they had to weave cloth which was already promised to European agents. Weavers no longer had the liberty of selling their own cloth or weaving their own patterns. They had to reproduce the designs supplied to them by the Company agents.
Q22 What were Black Towns?
Native merchants and artisans (such as weavers) were moved into the Black Towns established by the European companies within the new cities while the “white” rulers occupied the superior residencies.
Q23 Write the note on Gujarati Traders.
Gujarati traders, including the communities of Hindu Baniyas and Muslim Bohras, traded extensively with the ports of the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, East Africa, Southeast Asia and China. They sold textiles and spices in these ports and, in exchange, brought gold and ivory from Africa; and spices, tin, Chinese blue pottery and silver from Southeast Asia and China.
Q24 Define the following-
· Hatta: Hatta was a market street lined with shops
· Factor: Official merchant of the East India Company.
· Hundi: Is a note recording a deposit made by a person. The amount deposited can be claimed in another place by presenting the record of the deposit.
· Emporium: A place where goods from diverse production centres are bought and sold.
· Mandapika: (or mandi of later times) was a place to which nearby villagers brought their produce to sell.
· Moors- a name used collectively for Muslim merchants.
Q25 What lead to development of towns of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras?
It was a part of the new policy of the English East India Company that it was not enough if a port had connections with the production centres of the hinterland. The new Company trade centres, it was felt, should combine political, administrative and commercial roles. As the Company traders moved to Bombay, (the EIC shifted its headquarters in 1668) Calcutta (present-day Kolkata) and Madras (present-day Chennai).