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6th History NCERT

Chapter: 1 What, where, How and when


-The places where rice was 1st grown are to the north of the Vindhyas.
-The area to the south along the river Ganga and its tributary son, was known as
Magadha.
-People moved in search of livelihood, some driven by a spirit of adventure, to
escape droughts or floods
-Traders moved to do trade
-Religious teachers moved to offer instruction
=>All this lead to exchange of ideas between people.

Chapter 2: On the trail of earliest People


Reasons why Hunter gatherers moved from place to place:
1).Limited resources at one place
2).Animals moved in search of prey so the hunters had to move along too.
3).Plants and trees have different seasons in which they bear fruit so people
moved.
4).People living alongside seasonal rivers would have to move in search of water
during dry seasons.
Tools made of stone; bone and wood provide us info about these people.
Stone tools:
1).Cut meat and bone, scrape bark (from trees) and hides, chop fruits and roots
2).Making spears and arrows for hunting
3).Digging for edible roots
4).Stitching clothes made out of animal skin.
Hunter gatherer sites have been found alongside rivers.
People tried to find places where good quality stones were found for making
stone tools.

Factory sites: places where people made tools.


Habitation cum factory sites: sites where people lived for longer spells.

Palaeolithic period 2million years ago till 12000 yrs ago. This period covers
99% of human history.
Paleo means old, lithic means stone.
-Divided into
1).Lower
2).Middle
3).Upper Palaeolithic periods

Meso(Middle)lithic period - Period about 12000yrs ago when Environmental


changes began till 10000yrs ago.
-Microliths: Tiny stone tools. Stuck to handles of bone or wood to make tools
such as saws & sickles.
Rock paintings found on the walls of the caves .eg - Southern UP and MP
Ostrich eggs - Paleolithihc period - Patne Maharashtra
Hunsgi - Number of paleolithic sites

Chapter: 3 From Gathering to growing food


Domestication A process in which people grow plants and look after animals.
-Began 12000yrs ago
Early farmers herders - Present day Kashmir, East and south India
Bones of animals, seeds of plants, burnt grain.
Traces of huts or houses at some sites: Burzahom in Kashmir(pit houses)
Stone tools different from Palaeolithic tools found at some sites.
Neolithic Tools: Fine cutting edge. Mortars or pestles used to grind grain and
plant produce.

Diff between tribes and societies


Tribes are different from many other societies: land, forests, grasslands, water
are regarded as wealth of entire tribe and everybody shares n uses these
together.
Mehrgarh - Located in a fertile plain near Bolan Pass.
-remains of square and Rectangular houses.
-Burial sites found

Daojali Hading - near Brahmaputra Valley

-Stone tools including mortars and pestles have been found

-jadeite - stone from china


-Tools made of fossil wood
-pottery

Chapter 4: In the earliest cities


Harrapan cities developed 400 yrs ago.
Special features of Harrapan Cities:
1).Divided into 2 or more parts.
Citadel -The Part to the west; smaller and higher.
-Great bath in Mohenjodaro built in this area

West

Lower town - Larger but lower


town

Citadel

East
Lower

-Kalibangan & Lothal had fire altars


-Mohenjodaro, Harappa had elaborate store houses
2).Walls of baked brick built around each part.
Houses - 1 or 2 storey high; Built around a courtyard.
-Drains were covered and drainage of houses connected to the bigger drains.

Rulers - People who planned the construction of special buildings in the city

-sent people to distant lands to get metal, precious stones etc

Scribes - Ppl who knew how to write; prepared seals

Objects found in Harrapan cities:


-Made of stone, shell and metal including Cu, Bronze, Gold and silver
-Cu n Bronze: tools, weapons, ornaments n vessels
-Gold n silver: ornaments n vessels
-Beads (made of carnelian), weights (made of chert) and blades found
- Rectangular seals made of stone
-Pots with black designs
Cotton pieces found in Mohenjodaro attached to a silver vase.
Specialists - person trained to do only one kind of work. for eg : cutting stone,
carving seals .
Faience - artificially produced Gum used to shape sand or powdered quartz and
then object was glazed; colours were usually blue or sea green

-used to make beads, bangles, earrings and tiny vessels.

Cu - Harrapans got it from rajasthan, Oman


Tin+Cu = bronze: Afghanistan and Iran
Gold - Karnataka
Precious stones - Gujarat , Iran and Afghanistan
Farming: Farmers and herders supplied food to cities

Plough was used


Stored water was used for irrigation as region gets less rainfall
Reared sheep, goat, buffalo
Caught fish, hunted wild animals and collected fruits

Dholavira in Gujarat (Rann of Kutch)

Divided into 3 parts not 2


Each part surrounded by massive stone walls with entrances through
gateways

Open area for public ceremonies

Lothal -Located beside a tributary of Sabarmati close to Gulf of Khambat

Situated near areas where raw materials like semi-precious stones were
easily available
Imp centre for making objects out of stone, shell and metal

The end:
3900 yrs ago ppl stopped living in many cities
- writings, weights, seals no longer used
-Raw materials became rare
-In Mohenjodaro garbage piled up on the streets
-Drainage system broke
-Less elaborate houses
Reasons suggested:
1).Drying up of rivers
2).Deforestation: Fuel was required for smelting Cu ores and baking bricks
3).Destruction of Green cover due to grazing by large herds of cattle
4).Floods in some areas

Chapter: 5 What Books and burials tell us


Oldest Veda: Rigveda (3500yrs ago)
Rigveda:
Contains Suktas or hymns (well - said)
-written in Old or Vedic Sanskrit
-Agni, Indra, Soma(plant from which spl drink was prepared)
-Most hymns were composed by men, few by women
Rigveda was recited and heard rather than read.
-written down several centuries after it was first composed
Prayers in Rigveda for cattle, children (esp. sons) and horses
Description of People as per Rigveda:

2 groups described in terms of their work,


Brahmins (performed rituals)
Rajas
2 words used to describe people or community as a whole:
-jana
-vish (vaishya comes from vish)
Aryas: who composed hymns
dasas or dasyus -their(aryas) opponents
-Rigveda composed in NW of the subcontinent
Megaliths - Big stones used to mark burial sites
-Practice was prevalent throughout in
-Deccan
-South India
-NE
-Kashmir
Burials in megaliths have some common features:

-Dead buried with distinct pots (black n red ware)


-tools n weapons of iron
-ornaments of stone and gold

Megaliths:
-some were buried with more beads, ornaments etc which show some kind of
status difference
-one family had same burial site

Chapter: 6 Kingdoms, Kings and an early republic


3000yrs ago some men became rajas by performing very big sacrifices like
Ashvamedha or horse sacrifice.
Period after Rigveda = Later vedic
samveda, yajurveda and atharvaveda are all later vedic texts
-Varna system - priests divided people into 4 groups
-Brahmins - priests

-Kshatriyas- rulers
-vaishyas - farmers, herders, traders
-Shudras - had to serve other groups; couldnt perform rituals
-Women and shudras cudnt study vedas
-Varna decided by birth
Janapadas: The land where jana sets its foot and settled down.
Rajas who performed these big sacrifices were now known as rajas of janapadas
rather than janas(vish).
-rajas of janapadas were given gifts by the jana
Some janapadas became more important and were now called as
Mahajanapadas
-They had a capital city, many were fortified.
Rajas now began to maintain armies; soldiers paid regular salaries; some
payments were thru punch marked coins
-Taxes were imposed now to maintain armies and to raise resources to build forts
-Bhaga or a share: tax on crops =1/6th of what was produced;
-Tax on craft persons in form of labour like work for a day
-Herders: animals or animal produce
-Hunters n Gatherers: forest produce
2 major Changes in Agriculture:
1).Growing use of Iron ploughshares which meant more grain as iron plough
could turn the soil over better then wooden ones
2).Transplantation of paddy began: Instead of scattering seeds, saplings were
grown n then planted on fields. It lead to an increased production as many more
plants survived
-dasas or agricultural labourers (Kammakaras) did this work.
Magadha:

-Became important Mahajanapada in 200yrs


-Ganga n son flowed thru it
tranport
water supply
made land fertile

-iron ore mines


-Bimbisara n Ajatsattu were 2 very powerful rulers of Magadha
-used all means to conquer other Janapadas
-Mahapadma Nanda:
-Extended his control to North West part of subcontinent
-Rajgriha(present day rajgir ) was capital of Magadha for many years. Later it
was shifted to pataliputra(patna)
Vajji:
Capital: Vaishali (Bihar)
Government type: Gana or sangha
Gana or sangha :

-Not one but many rulers' each one individually called as raja
-performed rituals together
-met in assemblies to decide what to do n how

-women, dasas, kammakaras cud not participate in such discussions.


-Buddha n mahavira belonged to ganas

Chapter: 7 New Questions and Ideas


Buddha:
-Siddhartha aka Gautama founder of Buddhism was born around 2500yrs ago
-Belonged to a small Gana: Sakya Gana
-was a Kshatriya
-left his home in search of true knowledge
-attained enlightenment under a peepal tree at Bodh gaya in Bihar; now he was
known as Buddha or the Wise One
-Went to sarnath near Varanasi nd taught there for the first time
-passed away at Kusinara
Teachings of Buddha:
1).Life is full of suffering and unhappiness due to cravings n desires;

2).Tanha or thirst -we always want more n are never satisfied. It can be removed
by following moderation in everything
3).taught people to be kind
-to respect lives of others incl animals
4).Karma ie the result of our actions affects us in this life n the next
-He taught in Prakrit
5).Encouraged people to think for themselves rather than accepting what he tells
them.

Upanishad:
-means approaching and sitting near
-Later Vedic text
-Contains conversations between teachers n students
-ideas presented thru simple dialogues
-Upanishadic thinkers were rajas and brahmins mostly
-Gargi: famous women thinker and took part in debates held in royal courts
-Though poor ppl seldom took part 'Satyakama Jabala' was an exception
Panini prepared a grammar for Sanskrit
Jainism:
TImeline: 2500yrs ago around same time as buddha
-Kshatriya prince pf Lichchhavis, a group that was part of Vajji sangha
-At 30 he left his home and after 12yrs he attained enlightenment
Teachings of Mahavira:
1).Men n women who wish to know the truth must leave their homes
2).Must follow Ahimsa very strictly
3).Taught in Prakrit
4).Followers of Mahavira known as Jainas(comes from word jina meaning the
conqueror) had to lead simplelives, begging for food.
-had to be absolutely honest, never to steal

-Observe celibacy
-Men had to give up everything including their clothes
Jainism was mainly supported by traders as farmers had to kill insects to save
their crops
-Jainism spread to parts of North India, Gujarat, TN, Karnataka

The sangha:
-Mahavira n Buddha arranged for the ppl who left their homes to stay together in
form of an association ie sangha
-Vinaya Pitaka: Book containing rules made for Buddhist sangha
-all men cud join
-women needs permission of husband
-debitors of creditors
-children of parents
- men n women who joined sanghas were known as Bhikkhus(prakrit for
beggar)n Bhikkhunis.
-Varna system was not followed inside sanghas
Monastries were built as the need for a permanent shelter was felt by nuns and
monks .They were known as Viharas
-They were made of wood earlier n then later on of wood
-Some were in caves in western india
Brahmins developed system of ashramas .It was done at the same time when
buddhism n jainism were becoming famous.
1).Bramhcharya -Brahmin , Kshatriya n Vaishya men lead simple lives , studied
vedas during early years of life
2).Grihastha-marry n live as householders
3).vanaprastha- live in forest and meditate
4).Samnyasa-give up everything and become samnyasins
Women had to follow the ashrama chosen by their husbands
Chapter: 8 Ashoka, the emperor who gave up war
Mauryan Empire -

-Important cities

:Pataliputra
-Taxila
-Ujain

Area around Pataliputra was under direct control of the emperor.


-officials appointed to collect taxes from farmers, herders etc
-officials punished those who disobeyed ruler's orders
-Messengers were used
-Spies kept watch on officials
-Other areas or provinces were ruled from a provincial capital such as taxila or
ujjain.
-Rulers tried to control roads, rivers and tried to collect resources as tax n tribute
Megasthenes was sent to the court of Chandragupta Maurya by Greek Ruler
Seleucus Nicator
Ashoka:The most famous Mauryan ruler
-First ruler who tried to take his message to the people through inscriptions
written in Brahmi script n were in Prakrit.
-Horrified at the bloodshed in the war for Kalinga(orissa) that he gave up the
conquest after winning the war.
-He decided to spread his message of Dhamma (Prakrit word for the sanskrit
term 'Dharma') .
Ashoka's Dhamma:

-didnt involve worship of a god or any sacrifice


-Inspired by teachings of Buddha
-Appointed officials as Dhamma Mahamatta who went from place to place
teaching people about dhamma.

-inscribed his message on rocks and pillars


-sent messengers to other lands such as Egypt, Syria, Greece and Srilanka

Chapter: 9 Vital villages, thriving towns


Megalithihc burial sites had large collections of iron tools and weapons

Villages:
-Tamil region: large landowners - Vellalars;
Ordinary ploughmen- uzhavar;
landless labourers including slaves - Kadaisiyar n adimai
Northern region Villages:
-Grama Bhojaka-Village headman (hereditary post)

largest landowner often


hired slaves to work on his land
King used him to collect taxes from village
functioned as a judge n policeman sometimes

Grihgapatis: other independent famers, smaller landowners


Dasas/karmakaras: Men n women who didnt own land and worked in fields to
earn a living
Jatakas: Stories composed by ordinary people; written down n preserved by
buddhist monks

Sangam Literature:
Called sangam bcz was composed n compiled by assemblies of poets held in city
of madurai
Find out more ?
Many cities that developed from about 2500yrs ago were capitals of
Mahajanapadas.
-Ring wells found in many such cities
punch marked coins used during this period
Mathura:
imp city as it was located at the cross roads of 2 major routes of travel
-from NW to east and from North to South
-Became a capital for kushanas around 2000yrs ago
-Religious centre with monastries, Jaina shrines and krishna worship.

Northern Black Polished Ware:

Extremely fine pottery; found in Northern part of subcontinent; Black in color


with fine sheen
Shrenis:
Associations formed by merchants n craft persons
Shrenis of craft persons:
-provided training, procured raw material n distributed finished product
Shrenis of merchants:
-organised trade
Shrenis served as banks also
Arikamedu:
A coastal settlement between 2200 n 1900 yrs ago
Pottery, Arretine ware, roman lamps, glassware n gems

Chapter: 10 Traders, Kings and pilgrims


South India: known for pepper n spices
-roman coins found in south India
-pepper was known as black gold in Rome
Muvendar: Mentioned in sangam poems
-tamil word meaning used for heads of 3 ruling families i.e.
-Cholas
-Cheras
-Pandyas
-Became powerful in south india around 2300 yrs ago
-Each chief had an inland and coastal centre of power
-2 important out of 6 were:
-Kaveripattinam: port of Cholas
-Madurai: Capital of Pandyas
-chiefs didnt collect taxes instead demanded regular gifts from ppl

-Went on military expeditions n collected tributes n distributed them amongst


their followers including their own family members n poet soldiers etc.
Satvahanas:
200 yrs later they became powerful in western india
-gautamiputra Shri Satakarni
Satavahan rulers werre known as Lords of Dakshinapatha
Silk Route:
: Techniques of making silk was first invented in China 7000yrs ago
:ppl from china went to distant lands on foot, on camels n horseback and the
route they followed came to be known as Silk Route
-Chinese rulers sent gifts of silk to Iran n West Asia and from there the knowledge
of silk spread further west.
-Rulers tried to control the route for tributes n gifts from traders and they
protected them instead from robbers
-Kushanas controlled silk route
ruled over central asia n NW India
Peshawar n Mathura their major centres of Power
Taxila also came under their kingdom
-Kushanas issued gold coins and were amongst the earliest rulers in the
subcontinent to do so

Spread of Buddhism:
Kanishka - an imp Kushana ruler
-organised a buddhist council
-Ashvaghosha -Poet who composed biography of Buddha i.e. budhhacharita
lived in his ocurt.
-Ashvaghosha n other poets now began writing in Sanskrit
- Mahayana Buddhism developed now
:features
-Earlier in sculptures buddha was shown thru signs like by peepal tree but now
his statues were made in mathura n taxila.

-Bodhisattvas - those who attained enlightenment cud live in complete


isolation but now they lived in the wrld teaching other ppl
- worship of boddhisattvas spread to central asia ,china n later to korea n japan
- Buddhism also spread to western n southern India
Buddhism also spread SE to Srilanka, Myanmar, Thailand n Indonesia.
Theravada Buddhism was more popular here.
Caves were hollowed in the hills for the monks to live in.
Caves were located near passes thru Western Ghats where traders coming from
the ports n going to the cities of the Deccan halted
Pilgrims:
Chinese buddhist pilgrim - Fa-Xian
1600 yrs ago
Xuan Zang 1400yrs ago
I-Qing - 50yrs after Xuan Zang
-Spent time at Nalanda studying Buddhism
Beginning of Bhakti:
-Worship of certain deities gained in importance
-Deities worshipped thru bhakti
-Anyone rich or poor cud follow path of Bhakti
-Idea of bhakti is presetn in Bhagwad geeta
-Bhakti followers emphasised devotion n individual worship of a god or goddess
rather then performance of rituals
-devotee who worships with a pure heart, deity will appear in the form in which
he or she desires .so deity cud be thought of anything like tree, lion or human
figure etc
-image worship

Chapter: 11 New Empires & Kingdoms


Samudragupta: Gupta dynasty

-We know about him from a long poem in sanskrit by court poet Harishena 170
yrs ago
-The above inscription is of spl kind known as Prashasti (meaning in praise)
-Prashastis became imp during guptas rule
Harishena describes 4 kinds of rulers and tell us about Samudraguptas policy
towards them
1).Rulers of Aryavarta: 9 rulers here were uprooted n their kingdoms were
made a part of Samudras empire
2).Rulers of Dakshinapatha: 12 rulers were here; surrendered to him after
being defeated n samudra allowed him to rule again
3).Inner circle of neighbouring states, including Assam, Coastal Bengal,
Nepal n number of gana sanghas in NW brought tributes to his court , followed
his orders n attended his court
4).Rulers of outlying areas: Descendents of kushanas and shakas , ruler of
srilanka submitted to him n offered their daughters for marriage.
Samudras mother belonged to Lichchhavi gana n his father chandragupta was
first ruler of gupta dynasty to adopt the title of Maharaj-adhiraja
Harshavardhana:
ruled 1400yrs ago
Banabhatta his court poet wrote Harshacharita his biography in sanskrit
-Xuan Zang spent time in his court
Harsha took over kanauj n then bengal, magadha but was stopped in his march
towards Deccan by pulakeshin II a ruler of chalukya dynasty
Pallavas n chalukyas ruled during this period in South India
Pallavas:
-Kingdom was spread from capital city of Kanchipuram till kaveri delta
Chalukyas:
-Aihole, the capital of chalukyas, imp trading centre
-Pulakeshin -II , known by prashasti by court poet Ravikirti
His Kingdom centered around Raichur Doab between Krishna n tungbhadra.
-Both dynasties fought with each other n raided capital cities as they were
prosperous

Eventually they gave way to Rashtrakutas & cholas

Administration: Chalukyas & Pallavas


-Land revenue remained important
-Village remained the basic unit of administration
New developments:
Measures taken by kings to win support of powerful men,

-Imp admin posts were made hereditary like harishena was a mahadanda-nayaka or chief judicial officer like his father
-1 person held many posts
-Imp men had a say in Local administration which include nagarashreshti or chief banker or merchant of the city, sathavaha or
leader of merchant caravans, prathama-kulika or chief craftsman
and the head of kayasthas or scribes

New kind of army:


-Well maintained armies like earlier rulers with chariots, elephants cavalry, foot
soldiers
-Military leaders or samantas who provided troops to the king when he needed
them
-They were paid grants of land n not regular salaries
-they collected revenue from the land and used them to maintain soldiers &
horses & for providing equipment for warfare
Assemblies in South Kingdoms:
Inscriptions of Pallavas mention local assembliles namely, sabha -assembly of
brahmin land owners; looked after irrigation, roads ,local temples etc
ur -an assembly of land owners who were not brahmins
nagaram- org of merchants
Untouchability prevalent:
The untouchables were expected to live outskirts of the city

Chapter: 12 Buildings, Paintings & Books


Stupas: A Small box (Relic casket) placed at the heart of stupa; may contain
bodily remains of buddha or his followers or things they used as well as precious
stones n coins
-Pradakshina patha was laid around the stupa
Devotees walked around stupa in clockwise direction
Earliest Hindu temples also built during this time
-Most imp part of the temple was garbhagriha -where image of chief deity was
placed
shikhara -a tower was built on the top of garbhagriha to mark it as a sacred
place
mandapa - a hall where ppl cud assemble
-Mahabalipuram - eg of monolithic temple
Epics:
Grand long compositions about heroic men and women & include stories about
gods
Silappadikaram:
Tamil epic composed by Ilango around 1800yr ago
Manimekalai:
Tamil epic
-by sattanar aroound 1400yrs ago
Kalidasa wrote in sanskrit
Puranas were written during this period only
-Puranas were written in simple Sanskrit
-were meant to be heard by everyone including women & shudras
Mahabharata:
known previously but written about 1500yrs ago
Both Mahabharata and puranas are by Vyasa
Sanskrit ramayana valmiki
Books on science:

Aryabhata: wrote Aryabhatiyamm in Sanskrit


-Stated that day and night were caused by the rotation of earth on its axis
He developed a scientific explanation for eclipses as well
-also found out the way for calculating the circumference of a circle
Paper:
-Paper invented in china by Cai Lun about 1900yrs ago
-the secret reached Korea about 1400yrs ago and then to Japan.
-From Baghdad where it was known about 1800yrs ago it spread to Europe, Africa
and other part s of Asian subcontinent