History - Class 7

Our Past - II

Chapter 2: New Kings and Kingdoms

Intext Questions:

Question 1: Locate the Gurjara-Pratiharas, Rashtrakutas, Palas, Cholas and Chahamanas (Chauhans). Can you identify the present-day states over which they exercised control?

Answer: Yes, we can identify the present states over which they exercised control.

  • Guijara-Pratiharas: Central Madhya Pradesh
  • Rashtrakuta: Maharashtra and Western Andhra Pradesh
  • Palas: West Bengal
  • Cholas: Karnataka (Southern) and Tamil Nadu
  • Chahamanas:Madhya Pradesh (North Western) and Rajasthan {South-Eastern)

Question 2: Do you think being born as a Kshatriya was important in order to become a ruler during this period?

Answer:  No, it was not important to be born as a Kshatriya in order to become a ruler during this period. This is because any lower caste person could over throw rulers and become king by performing rituals with the help of Brahmanas.
For example, Dantidurga, a Rashtrakuta chief became king by killing Chalukya ruler and by performing ritual.

Question 3: Are any such taxes (of the Cholas) collected today?

Answer: Yes, the land revenues and taxes on buildings/houses are collected as house tax today.

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Question 4: In what ways was this form of administration different from the present-day system?


  • In the present system, the administration is run by the elected governments in most of the countries or states.
  • Resources are obtained from different taxes and tariffs on produces, consumers, and citizens. These are collected by government departments.
  • Resources are used for developing the state and providing facilities to the citizens.
  • No one is forced to do labour. The rule of law is followed.

Question 5: Also, see if you can find some of the areas mentioned in the inscription on Map1. Other rulers made similar claims as well. Why do you think they made these claims?


  1. We can see Kanauj, Anarta, Vanga.
  2. To show their power and superiority.

Question 6: List all the possible sources of irrigation mentioned in the inscription, and discuss how these might have been used?

Answer: Possible sources of irrigation

  • Wells.
  • Canals.
  • Tanks.
  • Rivers.

Mainly tanks were used through channels (canals) to the fields.
Water was regulated in the tank with the slice gate.

Question 7: Look at Map 1 and suggest reasons why these rulers wanted to control Kanauj and the Ganga valley?


  1. The city of Kanauj and the Ganga valley was a prized area as it was very fertile.
  2. For centuries, rulers belonging to the Gurjara-Pratihara, Rashtrakuta and Pala dynasties fought for control over Kanauj. Historians often describe it as the “tripartite struggle”.

Question 8: Look at Map 1 again and discuss why the Chahamanas may have wanted to expand their territories?

Answer: Chahamanas attempted to expand their control to the west and the east, where they were opposed by the Chalukyas of Gujarat and the Gahadavalas of western Uttar Pradesh.

  1. The dynasty of Chahamanas enjoyed the central position in the subcontinent. It, therefore may have wanted to expand its territories in all the directions
  2. It also must have enjoyed enormous resources needed for the expansion of territories, as their domain lied in the fertile land irrigated by the waters of Yamuna and Ganga rivers.
  3. Therefore, it must have been the wealthiest of all the neighbouring dynasties. And a wealthy king can only think of wedging a war against its neighbours.

Question: How did the Cholas rise to power?


  1. Vijayalaya, a Chola chief from Uraiyur, captured the Kaveri delta from a Samanta (subordinate) of Pallava king.
  2. He gradually conquered neighbouring regions, and thus established Chola kingdom by defeating Pallava and Pandya kings.
  3. The Chola kingdom was consolidated under Rajaraja I and his son Rajendra I.

Question: How Was the administration organised?

Answer: The Chola administration was organised in the village councils and Nadu, groups of peasant villages. Nadu worked under the supervision of Central Chola government, which was controlled by Chola kings.

Question 9: Do you think women participated in these assemblies? In your view are lotteries useful in choosing members of committees?


  1. No, women did not participate in these assemblies according to Uttarmerur inscription.
  2. In my view, lotteries are not useful in choosing members of the committees. The best way is through elections.

Question 10: Were there any Brahmanas in this hamlet? Describe all the activities that were taking place in the village. Why do you think temple inscriptions ignore these activities?


  1. No
  2. The Brahmanas lived separately in temples or in their adjoining buildings.
  3. The activities which were taking place in the village were:
Village Activities
  • Agrarian labour
  • Rearing of cocks and group of chickens
  • Making of drums
  • Husking of paddy.

These activities did not find a place in the inscriptions because these activities were considered menial and without any importance.

Question 11: In what ways was this system different from those prevalent in the Indian subcontinent?

Answer: The Tang empire was administered by a bureaucracy recruited through an examination, which was open to all who wished to appear for it.
Indian rulers often shared power with their samantas as well as with associations of peasants, traders and Brahmanas. And these posts were hereditary in nature hence no place for the talent.


Question: You are present in an election for a sabha. Describe what you see and hear.


  • All candidates were landowners well versed in administration.
  • Age group 35-70.
  • Talking about Vedas and scriptures.
  • A young boy is called upon and asked to take out one slip from the box, in which all slips, with the names of candidates, were put in.
  • The name of the selected candidate is announced and everyone congratulates him.

Let’s recall:

Question 1: Match the following:

1)Gurjara-Pratiharas a)Western Deccan
2)Rashtrakutas b)Bengal
3)Palas c)Gujarat and Rajasthan
4)Cholas d)Tamil Nadu


1)Guijara-Pratiharas a)Gujarat and Rajasthan
2)Rashtrakutas b)Western Deccan
3)Palas c)Bengal
4)Cholas d)Tamil Nadu

Question 2: Who were the parties involved in the “tripartite struggle”?

Answer: Parties involved in the “tripartite struggle”

  1. Guijara-Pratiharas
  2. Rashtrakutas
  3. Palas

Question 3: What were the qualifications necessary to become a member of a committee of the sabha in the Chola Empire

Answer: According to the Uttaramerur inscription, the following qualifications were necessary to become a member of a committee of the sabha in the Chola Empire:

  1. A person should own land from which revenue was collected
  2. He should have been their own home.
  3. He needed between 35 and 70 years of age.
  4. He should have been knowledgeable of Vedas.
  5. He required to be well-versed in administrative matters and honest.
  6. If anyone had been a member of any committee in the last three years, he could not have become a member of another committee.
  7. Anyone who had not submitted his accounts, and those of his relatives, could not have contested the elections

Question 4: What were the two major cities under the control of the Chahamanas?

Answer:  The two cities under the control of the Chahamanas:

  • Delhi.
  • Ajmer.

Question 5: How did the Rashtrakutas become powerful?

Answer:  Initially, Rashtrakutas were subordinate to the Chalukyas of Karnataka. However, in the mid-eighth century, Rashtrakuta chief Dantidurga defeated his Chalukya overlord and performed the Hiranyagarbha ritual, establishing his right to rule. When this ritual was performed with the help of Brahmanas, it was thought to lead to the rebirth of the sacrificer as a Kshatriya, even if he was not one by birth. Thus, the Rashtrakutas became powerful in India through a mixture of military prowess and ritualistic actions.

Question 6: What did the new dynasties do to gain acceptance?

Answer: In order to gain acceptance, the new dynasties made the following efforts:

  • They took on new titles and performed religious rituals to become a part of the Kshatriyas.
  • They were regarded as the subordinates or Samantas by their overloads. But when they gained power and wealth, they declared themselves to be maha-samantas.
  • They asserted their independence from their overlords.
  • They engaged themselves in warfare to assert their power and carve out an independent kingdom.

Question 7: What kind of irrigation works were developed in the Tamil region?


  • During the fifth or sixth century the area of Tamil Nadu was opened up for large-scale cultivation.
  • In many areas, wells were dug and tanks were built for storage of rainwater.
  • Embankments were built in the delta region to prevent flooding
  • Canals were built to carry water to the fields.
  • sluice-gates were built that regulated the outflow of water from a tank into the channels that irrigated the fields.

Question 8: What were the activities associated with Chola temples?

Answer: The following activities were associated with the Chola temples :

  1. Temples were nuclei of settlements which grew around them.
  2. The temples were centres of craft production.
  3. The produce of the land owned by the temple (granted to the temple by kings) went into maintaining—priests, garland makers, cooks, sweepers, musicians, dancers, etc.
  4. Temples were the places of social, economic, cultural, and religious activities.
  5. Bronze images were also made in Chola temples.

Let’s Discuss:

Question 9: Look at Map 1 once more and find out whether there were any kingdoms in the state in which you live.

Answer: Yes.
Different answers for students living in different states. Some examples:

West Bengal → Palas
Orissa → Utkalas, Gangas, Kalinga/td>
Tamil Nadu → Cholas, Pandyas
Kerala → Cheras
Maharashtra & Karnataka → Rashtrakutas
Gujarat → Andhra
Rajasthan → Chahamanas

Question 10: Contrast the ‘elections’ in Uttaramerur with present-day panchayat elections.

Answer: The present-day panchayat elections do not use the lottery system to elect the members of panchayat as was done in the Chola Empire.

Let’s Do:

Question 11: Compare the temple shown in this chapter (of your textbook) with any present-day temple in your neighbourhood, highlighting any similarities and differences that you notice.

Answer: Comparison between temples shown the chapter and present-day temples in our neighbourhood.

Temples showed in the chapter Temples in our neighbourhood
  • Pyramidal shape
  • Triangular in shape with apex and base.
  • Images on the walls.
  • No images on the walls.
  • Settlements and land nearby.
  • No such settlements and land nearby.
  • Several specialists—priests, garland makers, sweepers, cook, etc
  • Only priests—other temporary, professions
  • Worship of gods and goddesses.
  • Worship of gods and goddesses.
  • Domination of Brahmanas.
  • Domination of Brahmanas.

Question 12: Find out more about taxes that are collected at present. Are these in cash, kind, or labour services?

Answer: Some of the important present-day taxes are GST, excise duty, house tax, etc. All the present-day taxes are collected in cash.