The pursuit of a career in the prestigious Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exams is a dream for many aspiring civil servants in India. One of the crucial components of this rigorous examination is the Mains stage, where candidates have to choose an optional subject from a wide array of disciplines. Among the multitude of options, History has always held a special place, offering candidates a unique lens through which to view the unfolding tapestry of India’s past. In this blog series, we embark on an exciting journey through the pages of Indian history, focusing specifically on the Early Medieval period, spanning from 750 to 1200 CE. We’ll delve into a comprehensive analysis of the previous year’s questions for History as an optional subject in UPSC Mains, from 2013 to 2023, to help you understand the depth and breadth of this subject and guide your preparation effectively. So, if you’re an aspiring civil servant with History as your optional subject or simply a history enthusiast, this blog series is your gateway to mastering the Early Medieval India portion of the UPSC Mains examination.
As we explore the questions asked over the past decade, you’ll gain valuable insights into the examiners’ expectations, the key topics within Early Medieval India, and the best strategies to approach your preparation. We’ll unravel the complexities of this historical period, which saw the rise and fall of empires, socio-cultural developments, and significant political changes. Whether you’re preparing for the UPSC exams or simply want to enrich your knowledge of India’s past, this blog series is your go-to resource for understanding the role of History as an optional subject and for achieving success in one of India’s most coveted and challenging competitive exams. So, let’s step back in time and embark on this historical journey together.
Early Medieval India, 750-1200 History – Previous Year Questions (UPSC CSE Mains History Optional)
Polity: Major political developments in Northern India and the Peninsula, origin and the rise of Rajputs; The Cholas: administration, village economy and society; “Indian Feudalism”; Agrarian economy and urban settlements; Trade and commerce; Society: the status of the Brahman and the new social order; Condition of women; Indian science and technology.
1. What were the salient features of the bureaucratic machinery of the Cholas? Write short answer of not more than 200 words. (1985)
2. Main sources of information for the history of the 13th century. Write short answer of not more than 200 words. (1987)
3. Bring out the salient features of the polity & social structure of the Rajputs. To what extent were they responsible for the weakness of the Rajput resistance to foreign invaders? (1988)
4. Critically assess the period of the Cholas in the history of South India. (1991)
5. Write brief essay on Local self-government under the Cholas. (1992)
6. Discuss the contribution of Rajaraja I and Rajendra I for the expansion of the Chola empire. Analyse the causes and impact of the naval expeditions of the Cholas. (1993)
7. Write a brief note on Land charters of north India (c. A-D. 750-1200). (1995)
8. Assess the importance of the Cholas in the history of South India. (1996)
9. Give an account of the Society in Northern and Central India since the death of Harsha to the Muslim conquest of North India. (1996)
10. “Achieving dominance in south of the Vindhyas did not satisfy the ambitions of the Rashtrakutas, they also wanted to achieve dominance over the Gangetic Plains.” Elaborate and comment. (1997)
11. Write brief essay on Social structure of the Rajputs. (1998)
12. Critically evaluate the achievements of the Cholas. (1998)
13. Were the Chola village assemblies democratic in nature? Give reasons for your answer. (2000)
14. The Cholas are said to have established a strong and well organised administration with an element of self-government at the local level. Do you agree? Give reasons. (2004)
15. Write brief essay on The Samanta system. (2005)
16. Show that the administrative system in India reached a very high level during the Chola period. (2007)
17. Write short essay on Applicability of the term ‘Indian Feudalism’ to early Medieval society. (2009)
18. How far can the village assemblies or communities under the Cholas be really called democratic? (2009)
19. To what extent “monetary anaemia” afflicted the erstwhile commercial economy during the early medieval period? (2010)
20. Evaluate the socio-economic conditions from the Gupta Period to 1200 C.E. as gleaned from the various types of grants or danashasana. (2011)
21. Assess the contribution of Cholas in the expansion of Indian culture outside India. (2011)
22. What kind of changes were visualised by historians on Indian feudalism? Examine critically. (2012)
23. Evaluate the role of nadu and nagaram in the growth of urbanisation under the Cholas. (2012)
24. Evaluating various theories regarding the Chola State, throw light on its village assemblies. (2014)
25. Do the evidences of land ownership at our disposal support the theory of the prevalence of feudalism in early medieval India? (2015)
26. How could the local self – government under the Cholas adjust with their centralised administrative structure? (2015)
27. Analyze the significance of the Uttaramerur inscriptions of the Chola king Parantaka I. (2016)
28. Explain the ingredients of the transitory nature of the early medieval India. (2016)
29. “Doubtless it was not a free state; it was any rate a state” (KAN Sastri). Reflect upon the nature of local self-government institutions in the Chola country. (2018)
30. Critically analyze the changing nature of caste and gender relations during the early medieval period. (2018)
31. Large number of land grants in hitherto non-arable tracts invariably meant expansion of agriculture in early medieval India. How did the management of hydraulic resources (different types of irrigation works) facilitate expansion of agriculture in this period? (2021)
32. Discuss the different stages of India feudalism and analyze its impact on Indian political system, (in about 150 words). (2021)
FAQs on Early Medieval India, 750-1200
Q: What is the time frame of Early Medieval India?
A: Early Medieval India typically covers the period from around 750 CE to 1200 CE, which followed the decline of the Gupta Empire.
Q: What were the major political changes during this era?
A: Early Medieval India witnessed the emergence of regional kingdoms and dynasties, such as the Cholas, Chalukyas, and the Rashtrakutas. These entities played a significant role in shaping the political landscape.
Q: How did the caste system evolve during the early medieval period?
A: The early medieval period saw changes in the caste system, with the emergence of new castes and the development of complex social hierarchies. The society became more stratified.
Q: What were the key cultural and religious developments in early medieval Indian society?
A: This era saw the growth of bhakti and Sufi movements, which promoted devotional practices. Additionally, the construction of various temples and the spread of Buddhism had a significant impact on the society’s cultural and religious fabric.
Q: What are some notable early medieval monuments in India?
A: Notable early medieval monuments include the Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram, the Khajuraho Group of Monuments, and the Elephanta Caves, to name a few.
Q: What architectural styles were prevalent in early medieval monuments?
A: Early medieval monuments in India were constructed using a variety of architectural styles, including Dravidian, Nagara, and Vesara styles, depending on the region and cultural influences.
In case you still have your doubts, contact us on 9811333901.
For UPSC Prelims Resources, Click here
For Daily Updates and Study Material:
Join our Telegram Channel – Edukemy for IAS
- 1. Learn through Videos – here
- 2. Be Exam Ready by Practicing Daily MCQs – here
- 3. Daily Newsletter – Get all your Current Affairs Covered – here
- 4. Mains Answer Writing Practice – here