CBSE Class 12 History sample paper Solved with PDF Download

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Class 12 History sample paper Solved

Years2024 (Based on the latest Syllabus)
Class 12th
Provides Mcqs, Verry shorts, Shorts, Long answer and map works
SectionsA, B, C, D, E
Max. Marks80
Times3 hrs
PapersCBSE Sample paper

Section A consists of 21 questions of 1 mark

CBSE Class 12 History sample paper Solved with PDF Download

1. Read the following statements and identify the correct answer. 

I. It was walled.

II. It was a smaller but higher part of the settlement.

III. It was used for special public purposes.

IV. It included a warehouse and the Great Bath.

(a) Lower town

(b) Upper town

(c) Middle town

(d) Citadel

2. Which one of the following sites was known for making shell objects in the Harappan Civilisation?

(a) Amri

(b) Balakot

(c) Kalibangan

(d) Manda

3. Who was the first person to decipher the ‘Ashokan Inscription’?

(a) James Prinsep

(b) REM Wheeler

(c) Colin Mackenzie

(d) Alexander Cunningham

4. Which among the following appropriately defines the term Yavana? 

(a) Major port city in Eastern India used for trading with South Asian countries.

(b) The early kingdom in Jammu and Kashmir. 

(C) Term used to denote the tribal people.

(d) Sanskrit word used for the Greeks and other people who entered the sub-continent from the North-West.

5. Look at the given image of Tirthankara and identify the Indian School of Architecture associated with this image. 

(a) Gandhara School of Art

(b) Mathura School of Art

(e) Greeco Roman School of Art

(d) Amaravati School of Art

6. Which of the following categories of society of ancient Persia was not recognised by the Al-Biruni? 

(a) Knights and Princes

(b) Monks and Fire-priests

(c) Peasants and Artisans

(d) Children and Women

7. Who among the following was/were foreign travellers who visited the Vijayanagara Empire? 

(a) Thomas Roe

(b) Ibn Battuta

(c) Abdur Razzaq

(d) Williams Hawkins

8. Consider the following statements regarding Mirabai and choose the correct option.

1. She was a Rajput princess from Mewar.

II. She recognised Lord Krishna as her lover.

III. She was a follower of Nirguna Bhakti.

IV. Surdas was her perceptor.


(a) Only (i) is correct

(b) Only (i) and (ii) are correct

(c) Only (ii) and (iii) are correct

(d) only (iii) and (iv) are correct

9. Identify the name of the personality related to the history of the Mughal Empire with the help of the given information. 

He defeats Ibrahim Lodi, the Delhi

Sultan at Panipat. He becomes the first Mughal emperor.


(b) Babur

(a) Humayun

(c) Akbar

(d) Aurangzeb

10. Given below are two statements, one labelled as Assertion (A) and the other labelled as Reason (R). 

Assertion (A) Travellers from different parts of the world visited the Vijayanagara Empire.

Reason (R) Krishnadevaraya’s work Amuktamalyada advised kings to take care of foreign sailors and travellers.


(a) Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A

(b) Both A and R are true, but R is not the correct explanation of A

(c) A is true, but R is false

(d) A is false, but R is true

11. The didactic (informative) sections of Mahabharata added in 200-400 CE largely resemble which ancient text? 

(a) Sutta Pitaka

(b) Manusmriti

(c) Dharmashastra

(d) Upanishad

12……… was the Viceroy of India when the Revolt of 1857 happened. 

(a) Lord Dalhousie

(b) Lord Canning

(c) Lord Curzon

(d) Lord Lytton

13. Choose the correct option from the following statements concerning the Buddha’s followers. 

(a) Buddha’s followers were Kings and Gahapatis only.

(b) Workers, slaves and craftspersons worked in Sanghas.

(c) Followers were regarded as equal on becoming Bhikkhus or Bhikkhunis.

(d) Buddha’s foster mother, Gotami never adopted Buddhism.

14. Match the following.

List IList II
A. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu1. Rajasthan
B. Basvanna2. Bengal
C. Mirabai3. Punjab
4. KarnatakaD. Baba Guru Nanak


(a) A-2, B-4, C-1, D-3

(b) A4, B2, C-3, D-1

(c) A-2, B-4, C-3, D-1

(d) A-3, B-1, C-2, D-4

15. Read the following statements carefully and identify the place where this temple is located from the given options.

I. It is a temple of the Durga Surya.

II. It was built between 7th and 8th century by the Chalukya Dynasty.

(a) Gaya, Bihar

(b) Ellora, Maharashtra

(c) Deogarh, Uttar Pradesh

(d) Aihole, Karnataka

16. Who among the following represented ‘Tribals’ in the Constituent Assembly

(a) Jaipal Singh

(b) NG Ranga

(c) BR Ambedkar

(c) Budhu Bhagat

17. Who introduced the crucial ‘Objective Resolution in Constituent Assembly’? 

(a) Jawaharlal Nehru

(b) KM Munshi

(d) Vallabh Bhai Patel

(c) BR Ambedkar

18. Under the Ryotwari system, the lands were surveyed every

(a) 10 years

(b) 20 years

(c) 30 years

(d) 40 years

19. Nana Sahib, the successor of Peshwa was the leader of 1857. during the Revolt of

(a) Baji Rao II, Kanpur

(b) Narayan Rao, Ara

(c) Madhav Rao, Meerut

(d) Balaji Vishwanath, Kanpur

20. Why was Gandhiji certain that he would not be allowed to reach Dandi? Choose the correct option from the following.

(a) The British might arrest him on the way.

(b) The British might impose the Rowlatt Act on him.

(c) The British deport him back to South Africa.

(d) The British deport him back to Andaman and Nicobar.

21. Which of the following is/are true about the role played by Rajendra Prasad and BR Ambedkar in the Constitutional Assembly? 

(a) BR Ambedkar served as the Chairman of the Drafting Committee.

(b) Rajendra Prasad served as President of the Constitutional Assembly.

(c) Both (a) and (b)

(d) None of the above

(c) BR Amосакат

Section B consists of 6 questions of 3 marks

22. List some of the problems faced by epigraphists.

23. Explain, how the Constituent Assembly reflected the diversity of the people of India and their opinions.

24. What was Damin-i-koh? How did it come into being? 

25. What do you think were the advantages and disadvantages of enclosing agricultural land within the fortified area of the city of Vijayanagara?

26. Justify the statement that ‘6th century BCE is regarded as a major turning point in early Indian history’. 


How was the period of the mid-first millennium BCE a major turning point in world history? 

27. Write about the Khanqahs and the development of Silsilas of Sufism. 

Or “Sufism evolved as a reaction to the growing materialism of the caliphate as a religious and political institution.

Section C consists of 3 questions of 8 marks each

28. In the history of nationalism, Gandhiji was often identified with the making of a nation. Describe his role in the freedom struggle of India.


Gandhi’s ideology of incorporation of every segment of the Indian population was a significant feature of his nationalist struggle. In this regard, elucidate how the Non-cooperation Movement was a mass movement with participation from every segment of society. 

29. Discuss with examples how Bhakti and Sufi Saint promoted the development of regional language.


Kabir described the ultimate reality through his poems, couplets and quotes. Explain his source of inspiration and how he used various traditions to express himself. 

30. What do you mean by numismatics? How has the study of coins helped numismatists to reconstruct networks? possible commercial


Explain the system of land grants and trade from 600 BCE to 600 CE. 

Section D consists of 3 Source based questions

31. Read the following source carefully and answer the questions that follow.

Rules for Monks and Nuns

These are some of the rules laid down in the Vinaya Pitaka When a new felt (blanket/ruq) has been made by a bhikkhu, it is to be kept for at least six years. If after less than six years he should have another new felt (blanket/ruq) made, regardless of whether or not he has disposed of the first, then unless he has been authorised by the bhikkhus it is to be forfeited and confessed.

In case a bhikkhu arriving at a family residence is presented with cakes or cooked grain meal, he may accept two or three bowlfuls if he so desires. If he should accept more than that, it is to be confessed.

Having accepted the two or three bowlfuls and having taken them from there, he is to share them among the bhikkhus. This is the proper course here.

Should any bhikkhu, having set out bedding in a lodging belonging to the sangha or having had it set out and then on departing neither put it away nor have it put away or should he go without taking leave, it is to be confessed. 

(i) What is Vinaya Pitaka? Explain its importance.

(ii) Why do you think men and women joined the sangha? Give two reasons.

(iii) What was the Bodh sangha? Mention two rules laid by the sangha that should be observed by the bhikkhus.

32. Read the following source carefully and answer the questions that follow.

Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah

Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah was one of the many maulvis who played an important part in the Revolt of 1857. Educated in Hyderabad, he became a preacher when young. In 1856, he was seen moving from village to village preaching jehad (religious war) against the British and urging people to rebel.

He moved in a palanquin, with drumbeaters in front and followers at the rear. He was therefore popularly called Danka Shah the maulvi with the drum (danka). British officials panicked as thousands began following the maulvi and many Muslims began seeing him as an inspired prophet.

When he reached Lucknow in 1856, he was stopped by the police from preaching in the city. Subsequently, in 1857, he was jailed in Faizabad. When released, he was elected by the mutinous 22nd Native Infantry as their leader.

He fought in the famous Battle of Chinhat in which the British forces under Henry Lawrence were defeated. He came to be known for his courage and power. Many people believed that he was invincible, had magical powers, and could not be killed by the British. It was this belief that partly formed the basis of his authority.

(i) Who was Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah? 

(ii) Why Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah was popular? 

(iii) Which battle was fought by Ahmadullah Shah? What important information did the passage convey to you? 

33. Trade between the Tribes and the Plains, 1595 This is how Abu’l Fazl describes the transactions between the hill tribes and the plains in the suba of Awadh (part of present-day Uttar Pradesh).

From the Northern mountains quantities of goods are carried on the backs of men, stout ponies and goats, such as gold, copper, lead, musk, tails of the kurtas cow (the yak), honey, chuk (an acid composed of orange juice and lemon boiled together), pomegranate seed, ginger, long pepper, majority (a plant producing a red dye) root, borax, zedoary (a root resembling turmeric), wax, woollen stuff, wooden ware, hawks, falcons, black falcons, merlins (a kind of bird), and other articles. In exchange, they carry back white and coloured clothes, amber, salt, asafoetida, ornaments, glass and earthenware.

(i) What are the modes of transport described in this passage? 

(ii) Name the products that were taken from Northern Mountain. 

(iii) What did people from the Northern mountains carry back in exchange for their goods? Mention the uses of any three products. 

Section E consists of Map based questions of 5 marks

34. A. Locate and label the following.

(i) One important town of the Gupta kingdom in Bihar

(ii) One Buddhist site in Maharashtra


(iii) One Buddhist site in Telangana

(iv) The place of launch of Dandi March

B. Identify two important areas marked as land 2 that were among major centres of British Power in 1857. 


1. (d) Citadel

2. (b) Balakot

3. (a) James Prinsep

4. (d) Sanskrit word used for the Greeks and other people who entered the sub-continent from the North-West.

5. (b) Mathura School of Art

6. (d) Children and Women

7. (c) Abdur Razzaq

8. (b) Only (1) and (ii) are correct

9. (b) Babur

10. (b) Both A and R are true, but R is not the correct explanation of A

11. (b) Manusmriti

12. (b) Lord Canning

13. (c) Followers were regarded as equal to becoming Bhikkhus or Bhikkhunis.

14. (a) A-2, B-4, C-1, D-3

15. (d) Aihole, Karnataka

16. (a) Jaipal Singh

17. (a) Jawaharlal Nehru

18. (c) 30 years

19. (a) Baji Rao II, Kanpur

20. (a) British might arrest him on the way

21. (c) Both (a) and (b)

22. Inscriptions are the most important archaeological source. They are very helpful in reconstructing the ancient history. But, as a source of historical evidence, inscriptions pose many problems for the epigraphists.

These are enlisted in the following points

• Sometimes, there are technical limitations like letters are very faintly engraved and thus, reconstructions are uncertain.

• Inscriptions may be damaged or letters are missing. The exact meaning of the words used in Inscriptions is not always clear.

All the inscriptions that have been discovered have not been deciphered, published and translated.

One of the most fundamental problems is that everything that is considered politically or economically significant doesn’t need to be recorded in inscriptions.

23. The Constituent Assembly reflected the diversity of the people and their opinions in the following ways

Wide Range of ViewPoints of Members The Constituent Assembly had 300 members in all. These members held a wide range of views. Some were atheists and secular.

From Socialists to Capitalists Out of the members of the Constituent Assembly, some were socialists in their economic philosophy, while, others defended the rights of capitalists.

From Different Caste and Religious Groups Independent members of different castes and religious groups were also members of the Constituent Assembly these were Maulana Azad, Frank Anthony and many more. Questions

from the Field of Law Law experts also deliberated on matters involving substantial questions of law. The intense debates that took place within the Constituent Assembly reflected the diversity of opinions. Thus, the Constituent Assembly consisted of people of all religions and communities making it a miniature India.

24. Damin-i-koh was the name given to the forested hilly areas of Rajmahal hills in present-day Jharkhand state.

This area was demarcated as a land of Santhal and they were persuaded to carry out settled agriculture in this area. After carrying out a survey and mapping of the area it was declared as Damin-i-koh in 1832.

Britishers created Damin-i-koh to serve their two-fold purpose. They were

(1) After the introduction of permanent settlement they wanted an expansion of agricultural activities which could increase their land revenue collection.

(ii) They also wanted to drive out Zacharias who were constantly raiding the nearby plain settlements.

Thus, the demarcation of separate areas for Santhal led to the clearing of forests and the migration of Santhal from various regions of Eastern India to this region.

25. Following are the advantages of the fortification of agricultural land

• It enclosed the agricultural tracts, cultivated fields, gardens and forests for the benefit of the city and protected fields from animals.

• The enclosement had an elaborate canal system which drew water from the Tungabhadra.

Following are the disadvantages of the fortification of agricultural land Fortification of agricultural land was very costly.

It was difficult to bring seeds, fertiliser, tools and implements from markets located outside the fortified area.

26. The 6th century BCE is regarded as a major turning point in early Indian history for the following reasons It is an era associated with early states, cities, the

growing use of iron, the development of coinage, etc. This era witnessed the growth of diverse systems of thought like Buddhism and Jainism.

• It is associated with the emergence of sixteen Mahajanapadas


The mid-first millennium BCE is often regarded as a major turning point in the world history because of the following facts

• Emergence of Thinkers It saw the emergence of thinkers such as Zarathustra in Iran, Kong Zi in China, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle in Greece and Mahavira and Gautama Buddha among others in India

Understanding of the Mysteries of Existence Thinkers tried to understand the mysteries of existence and the relationship between human beings and the cosmic order.

Development of New Kingdoms and Cities It was the time when new kingdoms and cities were developed.

Change in Social and Economic Life Social and economic life was changing in a variety of ways, e.g. in the Ganga Valley growth of the town, new crafts and trade took place.

• New Agricultural Technology There was an extension of agriculture due to the occupation of new lands, application of new techniques and use of iron tools.

27. The development of Khanqahs and Silsilas was evident by the eleventh century when Sufism evolved into a well-developed movement with a body of literature on Quranic studies and Sufi practices.

Institutionally, the Sufis began to organise communities around the Khanqah (Persian) controlled by a teaching master known as shaikh, pir or murshid (in Persian). He enrolled disciples and appointed a successor (Khalifa). He established rules for spiritual conduct and interaction between inmates as well as between laypersons and the master.

Sufi Silsilas began to crystallise in different parts of the Islamic world around the twelfth century. The word salsa means a chain, signifying a continuous link between master and disciple, stretching as an unbroken spiritual genealogy to the Prophet Muhammad.

In the early centuries of Islam, a group of religious-minded people called Sufis protested against the growing materialism of the Caliphate as a religious and political institution. They were critical of the dogmatic definitions and scholastic methods of interpreting the Quran and Sunnah (traditions of the prophet) adopted by theologians.

Instead, they emphasized seeking savi Through intense devotion and love for God by flowing through and by following regarded as of his pet Mohammad whom they regarded as a pending

human being. 28. The period of 1919-1947 occupies a very important place in the history of the Indian freedom struggle. This period is generally known as the ‘Gandhian Gandhiji transformed the nature of the Nationa movement and it became a mass movement. His role

in the freedom struggle of India is given below Gandhiji transformed the National Movement of the masses by following his new technique of struggle based on the principle of Satyagraha and CM Disobedience.

• Indian Nationalism witnessed a transformation in t nature with the active participation of the Gandhij Indian National Movement.

• The mass appeal made by Gandhiji was frivolous. His qualities of efficient leadership made a remarkable contribution to making the base of Inda Nationalism wider

Due to Gandhiji’s contribution, the province committees of the Congress were formed on linguistic regions and not on the artificial boundaries of British India. These different ways contribute greatly to taking Nationalism to the distant comers d the country.

The social groups previously untouched by Nationalism now became an important part of it because of the contribution of Gandhiji. Thousands of peasants, labourers and artisans participated in the National Movement.

The common masses participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement significantly. In Delhi, some 1600 women picketed the liquor shop.

• The Quit India Movement became genuinely a mass movement. Hundreds of thousands of ordinary Indians participated in it. Besides the common Indian, some very prosperous businessmen and industrialists also became supporters of the Indian National Congress. Some renowned industrialists such as GD Birla started supporting the National Movement openly whereas some others began to do so Thus, under Gandhiji, the National Movement was transformed into a mass movement.


Non-Cooperation Movement is regarded as the first major mass movement led by Mahatma Gandhi. There were different steps taken by Mahatma Gandhi to include different sections of society in the Non-Cooperation Movement which were

• Before the launch of the Non-Cooperation Movement, he led the struggle of farmers in Champaran Satyagraha and workers in the Ahmedabad mill strike. This segment of the population hitherto neglected in the national struggle played a huge role in the Non-Cooperation Movement.

The western weigert of the poor and poor peasants was bridged by the Matme Gandhi in Champaran Satyagraha. Many prominent lawyers of Bihar such as Rapidra Prasad Mazd Haq etc participated in Satyagraha for the cause of farmers. This nexus between peasants and the middle classes was the main factor for the success of many Gandhian plans,

To promote the cause of Hindu-Muslim unity he Incorporated the various demands of the Khilafat Movement into the Non-Cooperation Movement it is noteworthy that both these movement was launched from a single platform and led by Gandhij I saw massive participation from both these communities He recognised the potential of youngers people in the nationalist struggle. 

The Non-Cooperation Movement through its appeal of boycott of schools and colleges and promotion of nationalist education saw huge participation of youths in the cause for the nation. Many of the revolutionaries from Bengal and Maharashtra followed the principles advocated by Mahatma Gandhi

Many among the neglected sections of the population joined the nationalist movement for a common cause due to accommodative policies followed by Mahatma Gandhi. The Tana Bhagat Movement led by the Oroan tribes of the Chhotanagpur plateau was incorporated into the programme of the Non-Cooperation Movement. Similarly, women from many segments of the population joined protests and Dharnas.

Many of the programmes of Non-Cooperation

Movements such as the boycott of foreign clothes and products, law courts, and liquor were common concerns for every segment of the Indian population. Inspired by the

appeal of Gandhiji, hill tribes of Andhra Pradesh violated forest laws. Farmers and peasants also withhold their taxes.

• Gandhiji’s clarion call on the promotion of Swadeshi led to the opening of nationalist schools and colleges in different parts of the country. In addition it large number of indigenous village and cottage industries were established

Thus, the Non-Cooperation Movement was a watershed moment in the history of the freedom struggle of the country as people from many strata of the society participated in the nationalist cause

29. Bhakti and Sufi saints had a huge following among the masses. In place of the classical language of the court such as Persian, they preferred to communicate in the regional language.

The following examples highlight how they played a significant role in the development of regional language

• Sufi Saint of Chishti Silsila conversed in Hindavi which was the language of the people in Delhi. Similarly, Baba Farid composed verses in the Punjabi language.

• The Suli poetry or Masnavis composed by the saints were recited in hospices, usually during sama, and helped in the growth of language. For instance, Malik Muhammad Jayasi composed Padmavati, on the other hand, at Bijapur, Karnataka poems were composed in Dakhani (a variant of Urdu).

In South. Alwar and Nayanar composed their hymns in Tamil, they also spread their messages in these languages which led to huge popularity among the masses Similarly, in Maharashtra, Bhakti Saints such as Tukaram, Eknath and Ramdas emphasized the growth of the Marathi language.

In North India, the Nirguna Bhakti Saints such as Kabir and Guru Nanak communicated and composed their hymns in the local language. Still, many of Kabir’s poems have survived in several languages and dialects.

The Virashaiva Movement in Karnataka led by Lingayats led to the huge popularity of the Kannada language. The Vachanas composed of many saints and common men and women alike played a significant role in the growth of the Kannada language In Eastern India, the Bhakti tradition was popularised by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in West Bengal and Shankaradeva. They popularised their Saguna Bhakti with their kirtana-those which played a significant role in the growth of Bengali and Assamese language and culture

Under the influence of Sufism, the Khwaja, a branch of the Ismails a Shia sect, developed new types of communication, spreading ideas devised from the Quran through local literary traditions.

Hence, Bhakti and Sufi movements, with their main aim of reformation of popular religion and upliftment of masses laid the foundation for the growth of many regional languages


Kabir was the most influential Bhakti Saint in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. He belonged to the Nirguna tradition of the Bhakti movement and through his poems attacked meaningless rituals of both Hinduism and Islam. At the same time, he drew on a range of traditions to describe the ultimate reality. The historians tried to reconstruct Kabir’s life and timing through a study of compositions attributed to him as well as from later hagiographies.

Verses attributed to Kabir have been compiled in three distinct traditions, V., Kabir Bijak, Kabir Granthavali and Adi Granth Sahib. All these compilations were made long after the death of Kabir Kabir’s poems have survived in several languages and dialects.

Source of Inspiration for Kabir

Kabir was born in an era where constant intermingling and exchange of ideas were carried out between the different traditions,

The basic ideologies of Bhaktism and Sufism were also developed at their mature stage. The constant Interaction between Bhakti saints, Wandering ascetic, Nath Panthis and Sufi saints had created an atmosphere where many illogical customs and traditions of the society were questioned through poems, couplets and quotes. These traditions inspired the Kabir to reform the established religion.

His Ideas crystallised through dialogues and debate (explicit or implicit) with the traditions of the Sufis and Yogis in the region of Awadh. Further Hagiographies within the Vaishnava tradition attempted to suggest that he was initiated into Bhakti by his guru, Ramananda. However, the verses attributed to Kabir use the words Guru and Satguru but do not mention the name of any specific preceptor.

Use of Various Traditions to Express Himself The significance of Kabir’s poem also lies in the fact that his teachings were inspired by both Hinduism and Islam which sometimes expressed diverse and conflicting ideas. For instance, some poems imbibed Islamic ideas used monotheism and attacked Hindu polytheism and idol worship while others used the Sufi concept of Zikr and Isha to express the Hindu practice of Nam-Simran i.e. remembrance of god’s name.

The various traditions utilised by Kabir to describe the ultimate reality through his poems are

• Islamic Tradition In some of his poems and couplets, ultimate reality has been described as Allah, Khuda, Hazrat and Pir

• Vedatic Tradition He also used the terms Alakh (Unseen), Nirankar (Formless), Brahman, Atman, etc to describe the ultimate reality.

Yogic Tradition Other terms with mystical connotations such as shabda (sound) or shunyata (emptiness) were drawn from yogic tradition.

30. Numismatics is the study of coins, including visual elements such as scripts and images, metallurgical analysis and the contexts in which they have been found

The study of coins has helped numismatists reconstruct possible commercial networks in the following ways

Introduction of Coinage for Trade Facilitation To some extent, exchanges were facilitated by the introduction of coinage. A wide range of goods were carried from one place to another like salt, grain cloth, metal ores and finished products, stone, timber, medicinal plants, etc. These certainly required some kind of currency for exchange. 

Hence, these led to the development of coinage across trading cultures. Excavation of Punch-marked Coins across the Sub-continent Punch-marked coins made of silver and copper (16th century BCE onwards) were amongst the earliest to be minted and used. 

These have been recovered from excavations at several sites throughout the subcontinent. Numismatists have studied these and other coins to reconstruct possible commercial networks

Kings, Merchants and Bankers as Issuing Authority Attempts made to Identify the symbols on punch-marked coins with specific ruling dynasties pictuding the Mauryas, suggest that these were issued by kings. It is also likely that merchants bankers and people living in towns issued some d these coins.

The similarity of Kushana Coins with those of Greeks and Parthians The first gold coins were issued in the 1st century CE by the Kushanas. These were virtually identical in weight to those issued by contemporary Roman emperors and the Parthian rulers of the Iron. These coins have been found at several sites in North India and Central Asia

Close Connections with the Roman Empire The widespread use of gold coins indicates the enormous value of the transactions that were taking place Besides, hoards of Roman coins have been found from archaeological sites in South India.

 Networks of trade were not confined within political boundaries. South India was not a part of the Roman empire, but there were close connections through trade.

• Abundance of Gold Coins in the Gupta Empire The coins issued by the Gupta rulers were remarkable for their purity in addition to their intrinsic design patterns They facilitated long-distance transactions across the Roman Empire and the Gupta Empire. However, after the decline of the Roman empire trade and commerce deteriorated as attested by the decline in the number of gold coins from that era

Thus, numismatics through their study of coins helps in the reconstruction of possible commercial networks in addition to giving an idea about the material prosperity of the region.


From the early centuries, grants of land were recorded in inscriptions. Some inscriptions were recorded on copper plates. The records that have survived give us the following facts

Land grants were given to religious institutions or to Brahmanas. The Brahmanas were usually exempted from paying land revenue and other dues to the king The Brahmanas were often given the right to collect these dues from the local people.

Women were not supposed to have independent access to resources like land. But aristocratic women like Prabhavati Gupta, daughter of Chandragupta had access to land. All the people in rural areas had to obey the new lord of the village and pay him all the taxes.

Some historians claim that land grants were indicative of weakening political power, as kings were losing control over their samantas. Sometimes kings tried to win allies by making grants of land.

Land grants provide some insight into the relationship between cultivators and the state.

The system of trade from 600 BCE to 600 CE can be explained in the following ways

• Land and river routes criss-crossed the sub-continent and extended in different directions from the 6th century BCE. The rulers tried to control these routes by offering protection for a price

• These different routes were transversed by the peddlers who travelled on foot. But the merchants travelled with caravans of bullock carts and pack animals.

There were seafarers. Their ventures were risky but highly profitable.

Successful merchants, designated as Masattuvan in Tamil and Setthis and Satavahanas in Prakrit, were very rich.

A wide range of goods were carried from one place to another. These were salt, grain, stone, timber, medicinal plants, spices pepper and textiles, All these were transported across the Arabian Sea to the Mediterranean,


(1) Vinaya Pitaka is among the three sacred canonical literature of Buddhism. The other two are Sutta and Abhidhamma Pitaka. In Buddhism, it is considered very important as it contains rules for Buddhist monks and nuns.

(ii) Men and women joined sangha due to the two reasons given below

(a) They wanted to live a simple and disciplined life in sangha.

(b) They wanted to remain away from worldly pleasure.

(iii) Bodh sangha was an organisation of monks, who served as teachers of Dhamma. They lived a simple life and possessed only those essential goods which were required in daily routine life.

The two rules laid by the sangha were

(a) A new blanket/rug should be used for not less than six years.

(b) Cooked grain meals should be shared with other bhikkhus and should not be eaten alone.

(1) Maulvi Ahmadullah was one of the many maulvis who played an important part in the Revolt of 1857 in Awach region. He urged people to rebel against the British.


(i) He used to move from village to village preaching jehad (religious war) against the British and urging people to rebel, so he became popular

(i) He fought the famous Battle of Chirhat, in which the British forces under Henry Lawrence were defeated We got to know from the event that not only did rates and peasants become the leaders of the revolt, but Mauvis also played the role of leader and encouraged people to rebel against the British rule


The modes of transport mentioned in the passage are the goods that are carried on the backs of men, stout ponies and goats

(1) From the Northern mountains, that are camped on the backs of men, of stout ponies and goats, were gold, copper, lead, musk, tails of the kurtas cow (the yak), honey, pomegranate seed, ginger, long pepper, woollen stuff, wooden ware, hawks, falcons, black falcons, etc.

(i) In exchange people from Northern mountains carried back white and coloured clothes, amber, salt, asafoetida, ornaments, glass and earthenware Gold must have been used to make ornaments. Copper must have been used to make utensils. Ginger, long pepper must have been used in cooking.

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