50 Short Questions with Answers on “India from Guptas to Harsha” for Class IX Students (History and Civics ):
Q1. Name three kingdoms that arose in the post-Gupta period.
Ans: The Maitrakas of Valabhi, the Pushyabhutis of Thaneshwar and Maukharis of Kanauj.
Q2. Name some of the important inscriptions that help us in the reconstruction of history of the period from Guptas to Harsha.
Ans: Allahabad Pillar Inscription written by Harisena, Banskhera Copper-Plate Inscription of Harsha’s period, Aihole-Meguti Inscription of Pulakesin II help us in the reconstruction of history of the period from Guptas to Harsha.
Q3. Who were the foreign travellers who have left behind valuable account of this period?
Ans: Fa Hien and I Tsing have left accounts of the Guptas and Hiuen Tsang for the period of Harsha.
Q4. Who is regarded as the real founder of the Gupta Empire? How far did he extend his authority?
Ans: Chandragupta I was the first Gupta ruler who ascended the throne around AD 319 – 320. He extended his authority from Magadha to Allahabad, Oudh and south Bihar.
Q5. What is the most important source of information for Samudragupta’s period? Who was its author?
Ans: The most important source of information for Samundragupta’s period is a lengthy eulogy called the Allahabad Prasasti. It was composed by Harisena.
Q6. Who is known as the ‘Indian Napoleon’?
Ans: Samudragupta is known as the ‘Indian Napoleon’.
Q7. When did Chandragupta II Vikramaditya ascend the throne? With whom did he conclude matrimonial alliance?
Ans: Chandragupta II Vikramaditya ascended the throne in AD 380. He concluded matrimonial alliance with two powerful states, the Nagas and the Vakatakas.
Q8. Why is Skandagupta regarded as a heroic figure?
Ans: Skandagupta is regarded as a heroic figure because he repulsed the Huna invasions from the northwest and re-established his authority over his feudatories.
Q9. Why did the Gupta Empire collapse?
Ans: The Gupta Empire collapsed after Skandagupta mainly because of the inability of the weak Gupta successors who could not arrest the Hun invasions. This coupled with the assertive feudatories and an empire too large to be ruled effectively, eventually led the Gupta Empire to peter out.
Q10. Name three important Maukhari rulers. With whom did the Pushyabhutis conclude matrimonial alliance?
Ans: Isanavarman, Sarvavarman and Grahavarman were important Maukhari rulers. Grahavarman had matrimonial relations with the Pushyabhutis.
Q11. Name the centre of learning that flourished under the patronage of Maitrakas.
Ans: Valabhi in western India had flourished under the patronage of Maitrakas.
Q12. What was the capital of Gauda and by whom was it ruled?
Ans: The kingdom of Gauda had its capital in Karnasuvarna. It was ruled by Sasanka.
Q13. Who was the king under whom the kingdom of Thaneshwar became powerful?
Ans: The kingdom of Thaneshwar became powerful under Harshavardhana.
Q14. By whom was Rajyavardhan killed?
Ans: The allied forces of Sasanka of Gauda and Devagupta of Malwa killed Rajyavardhana.
Q15. Name the book written by Hiuen Tsang.
Ans: Si Yu Ki is the book written by Hiuen Tsang.
Q16. Name the kingdoms that were defeated by Harshavardhana. What was the extent of Harsha’s empire?
Ans: Harsha conquered the ‘Five Indies’, i.e. eastern Punjab, Kanauj, Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. His empire extended from the Brahmaputra in the east to eastern Punjab in the west and from the Himalayas in the north to the Narmada in the south.
Q17. Name the capital of the Pallavas. Who was the greatest ruler of the Pallava dynasty? What is he famous for?
Ans: Kanchipuram was the capital of the Pallavas. The greatest ruler of the Pallava dynasty was Narasimhavarman I. He founded the port city of Mamallapuram (modern Mahabalipuram).
Q18. Who was defeated by the Chalukya king Pulakesin II?
Ans: Harshavardhana of Kanauj was defeated by the Chalukya king Pulakesin II.
Q19. Who beautified the temple city of Mahabalipuram?
Ans: King Narasimhavarman of the Pallava dynasty built and beautified Mahabalipuram.
Q20. Who defeated king Aparajitavarmana in AD 895?
Ans: Aditya Chola of the Chola dynasty defeated the Pallava king Aparajitavarmana in AD 895.
Q21. Who was the real founder of the Chalukya dynasty? Which foreign traveller visited the kingdom of Pulakesin II?
Ans: Pulakesin I was the founder of the Chalukya dynasty. Hiuen Tsang visited the kingdom of Pulakesin II in AD 641.
Q22. Who revived the Chalukya power? What is he famous for?
Ans: King Pulakesin II revived the Chalukya power.
He was famous because he not only consolidated his authority in Maharashtra but overran the whole of the Deccan from the banks of river Narmada to the region beyond Kaveri. He defeated the great Harshavardhana of Kanauj and also humbled the pride of Mahendravarman of Kanchi as well as annexed the northern territories of the Pallavas.
Q23. Who defeated the Pallava king Nandivarman?
Ans: Vikramaditya II of the Chalukya dynasty defeated the Pallava ruler Nandivarman and captured his capital Kanchi.
Q24. Mention one cause for the revival of Brahmanical religion in the Gupta period.
Ans: The Guptas did not give patronage to Buddhism. Hence, Buddhism declined and this led to an era of Brahmanical revival.
Q25. Name the two sects of Hinduism that developed during the Gupta period.
Ans: Vaishnavism and Shaivism were the two sects of Hinduism that developed during the Gupta period.
Q26. What was the official language of the Gupta empire?
Ans: Sanskrit was the official language of the Gupta empire.
Q27. Mention any three playwrights of the Gupta period.
Ans: Kalidasa, Vishakhadatta and Sudraka were the three well-known playwrights of the Gupta period.
Q28. Mention any three poetical works of Kalidasa.
Ans: ‘Meghadutam’, Ritusamhara’ and ‘Kumarasambhava’ are three of Kalidasa’s poetical works.
Q30. Name the famous play written by Sudraka.
Ans: Mrichchakatika was the famous play written by Sudraka.
Q31. Who was Harisena?
Ans: Harisena was the court poet of Samudragupta.
Q32. Who was called the Shakespeare of India?
Ans: Kalidasa was called the Shakespeare of India.
Q33. Mention one great work of each of the following: a) Dandin, b) Bana, c) Bharavi, d) Subandhu.
Ans: a) Dasakumaracharita, b) Harshacharita, c) Kiratarjuniya, d) Vasavadatta.
Q34. Who wrote the following: a) Kiratarjuniya, b) Dasakumaracharita, c) Malavikagnimitram, d) Kadambari, e) Abhijnanasakuntalam, f) Raghuvamsa, g) Harshacharita, h) Amarkosa.
Ans: a) Bharavi, b) Dandin, c) Kalidasa, d) Banabhatta, e) Kalidasa, f) Kalidasa, g) Bana, h) Amarasimha.
Q35. Why is the Panchatantra important?
Ans: Panchatantra is a collection of stories where animals and birds were used for giving moral instructions.
Q36. Name one the important work of Tamil literature.
Ans: Eight anthologies known as Ettutogai which is a large body of poetic literature and contains well over 2000 poems, ascribed to more than 200 authors is an important work of Tamil literature.
Q37. Name any three universities that flourished during the Gupta period.
Ans: Nalanda, Valabhi and Takshila were the three universities that flourished during the Gupta period.
Q38. Mention any two features of the Nalanda University.
Ans: Sanskrit was the medium of instruction and education was free with students being provided free boarding and lodging.
Q39. Where are the i) Dasavatara temple, ii) Bhitargaon temple located?
Ans: Dasavatara temple built in the sixth century AD is located in Deogarh and Bhitargaon temple built in the fifth century AD is located near Kanpur.
Q40. Mention two examples to show that the art of sculpture excelled during the Gupta period.
Ans: Standing Buddha from Mathura and the seated Buddha from Sarnath are two great masterpieces of sculpture during this period.
Q41. Name two main centres of Gupta sculptures.
Ans: Mathura and Sarnath are the two main centres of Gupta sculptures.
Q42. Mention any three features of the Ajanta paintings.
Ans: The three features of the Ajanta paintings were:
i. Paintings convey a secular message
ii. Based on line drawing
iii. The outline of the figures was drawn in dark brown or black. Then other colours were added. White, red, green, blue and brown were commonly used
Q43. Name a famous astronomer of the Gupta period. What was his chief contribution?
Ans: Aryabhatta was a famous astronomer of the Gupta period. He discovered the value of ‘pie’ as being 3.146.
Q44. Why are the following famous: a) Aryabhatta, b) Brahmagupta, c) Varahamihira
Ans: a) Aryabhatta was a great astronomer and mathematician. He wrote Aryabhatiyam’ and Suryasiddhanta’. He discovered the value of ‘pie’ as being equal to 3.146.
b) Brahmagupta was a great mathematician and wrote Brahmasphuta Siddhanta’ in which he hinted at the law of gravitation.
c) Varahamihira was the author of Brihat Samhita’ which deals with mathematics and astronomy.
Q45. Give one evidence to show that metal casting was highly developed during this period.
Ans: The iron pillar found at Mehrauli, although made in the fourth century AD, has not rusted over the centuries. This is by far the best example of technological skill in metal casting.
Q46. Where is the Shore Temple situated? Who constructed it?
Ans: The Shore Temple is situated in Mahabalipuram. It was constructed by Narasimha II of the Pallava dynasty.
Q47. Name the new style of temple architecture popularized by the Pallavas.
Ans: The Dravidian style was popularized by the Pallavas.
Q48. Give evidence to suggest that Indian culture had spread to countries in the Far-East during the Gupta period.
Ans: The style of Pallava architecture largely influenced the architecture of the Indian colonies in the Far-East. The Pallava style of sikhara can be seen in the temples of Java and Cambodia. Angkor Vat in Cambodia is a great Vishnu temple that depicts incidents of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata narrated in the relief of the walls of the temple. Borobodur in Java is the greatest Buddhist stupa and temple.
Q49. Why is Borobudur important? Where is it situated?
Ans: Borobodur is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. Constructed in the eighth century AD, it is situated in Java, Indonesia. It was made by the Shailendra Kings, who were the followers of Mahayana Buddhism.
Q50. Name two places in south-east Asia where the Indian culture spread during the ancient times.
Ans: Indonesia and Cambodia are the two places in south-east Asia where the Indian culture spread during the ancient times.