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Through the Eyes of Travellers 2 marks Name any two travellers who came to India during the medieval

period (11th to 17th C)? Al Biruni (11th Century) from Uzbekistan Ibn-Battuta (14th Century) from north western Africa, Morocco. Francois Bernier (17th Century) from France Do you think Al-Biruni depended only on Sanskrit texts for his information and understanding of Indian society? Yes, Al-Biruni depended almost exclusively on the work of Brahmanas, often citing passages from the Vedas the Purana, the Bhagavad Gita the works of Patanjali the Manusmriti etc., to provide an understanding of Indian society. What was the Al-Birunis objective to came India? To help those who want to discuss religious questions with them. As a repertory of information to those who want to associate with them. What were the two things that amazed Ibn Battuta in India? The two things that amazed Ibn Battuta were the paan and the coconut. Write a note on the urban professional classes according to the descriptions of Bernier. Urban groups included professional groups such as physicians (hakim or vaid), teachers (pundit or mulla), lawyers (wakil), painters, architects, musicians, calligraphers, etc. While some depended on imperial patronage, many made their living by serving other patrons while still others served ordinary people in crowded markets and bazaars. How Al Biruni developed his liking for India? Al-Biruni was brought to Ghazni as a hostage. At Ghazni he comes across the Arabic translations of Sanskrit works on Astronomy, Mathematics, and medicine. When Punjab became the part of the Ghaznavid Empire resulted in the development of relations among the people. Al Biruni spent most of his time in the company of the Brahmin priest and scholars. He learned Sanskrit and studied religious and philosophical texts. What does Bernier say in his account about sati practice? Bernier has given a detailed description of sati in his account. He has mentioned that while some women seemed to embrace death cheerfully, others were forced to death. Further he mentions about child sati in which a twelve-year-old young widow sacrificed. Explain the meaning of the term Hindu. Do you find any religious identity in it? The term Hindu was derived from an old Persian word, used in sixth-fifth centuries BC to refer to the region east of the river Sindhu (Indus). The Arabs continued the Persian usage and called this region al-Hind and its people Hindi. Later the Turks referred to the people east of the Indus as Hindu, and their land as Hindustan, and their language as Hindavi. None of these expressions indicated the religious identity of the people. It was much later that the term developed religious connotations.

Name the Sanskrit literature which Al-Biruni depended upon? Al-Birunidepended mainly on the works of Brahmanas and often quoted from the Vedas, the Puranas, the Bhagavad Gita, the works of Patanjali, and the Manusmriti, etc., in order to provide an understanding of Indian society. List out some of the travellers and writers who visited India and gave their accounts between 10th to 17th centuries. With the advent of medieval period, several invaders invaded India and they were accompanied by several scholars. Many scholars visited during the rule of the Sultanate and the Mughal Period. The important ones were Al-Biruni, Minhaj-usSiraj, Zia-ud-din Barni, Ibn Battuta, Isami, Abdur Razzaq Samarqandi, Francois Bernier, Travenour, Mannucci, Fredrick Ceaser, Barbosa etc. Who was Duarte Barbosa? Duarte Barbosa was a Portuguese writer who had written a detailed account of trade and society in south India. He came to India during the rule of the famous Vijayanagara ruler Krishnadev Rai and gave description of Vijayanagara in his book. Who was the most famous French traveller who visited India? The most famous French traveller who visited India was the French jeweler Jean Baptiste Tavernier. He visited India at least six times. He was attracted to the trading conditions in India. He compared India to Iran and the Ottoman Empire. Name the Italian traveller who never returned homeland and settled down in India itself. Different culture and social systems in India attracted number of travellers. Some of the travellers like the Italian doctor Manucci settled in India and later, worked as an army man in the army of Dara Shukoh which fought against Aurangzeb. What were the two things that amazed Ibn Battuta in India? The two things that Ibn Battuta mentioned were the paan and the coconut. The best example of Ibn Battuta's strategies of representation are clear in the ways in which he described the coconut and the paan, two kinds of plant produce that were absolutely new to his audience. What did Pelsaert say about the poverty in the subcontinent? Pelsaert, a Dutch traveller, visited the subcontinent during the early decades of the seventeenth century. He was shocked to see the widespread poverty and said poverty so great and miserable that the life of the people can be depicted or accurately described only as the home of stark want and the dwelling place of bitter woe. What did Bernier say about the social condition of India that prevailed during his visit? Bernier described Indian society as consisting of undifferentiated masses of a very rich and powerful ruling class. There a vast gap between the poorest of poor and the richest of the rich. He says There is no middle state in India. How did Bernier describe the Mughal Emperor and his subjects? Bernier described the Mughal Empire as the King of beggars and barbarians: its cities and towns were ruined and contaminated with ill air and its fields overspread with bushes and full of pestilential marishes. He attributed all these social problems to the crown ownership of land.

What did Bernier say in his account about sati practice? Bernier has given a detailed description of sati in his account. He has mentioned that while some women seemed to embrace death cheerfully, others were forced to death. Further he mentioned about child sati in which a twelve year old young widow sacrificed. What were the two things that amazed Ibn Battuta in India? Write the description about the fruit that Ibn Battuta saw. The two things that Ibn Battuta mentions were the paan and the coconut. He describes the Coconut as resembling a man's head because in it are what looks like two eyes and a mouth and inside of it when it is green looks like the brain. Attached to it are the fibres that look like hair. 5 marks What does Ibn Battuta say about the slaves in the Indian society? Number of travellers has written about the slaves in the Indian society. Slaves were openly sold in markets, like any other commodity and were regularly exchanged as gifts. When Ibn Battuta visited Sind he purchased horses, camels and slaves as gifts for Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq. Ibn Battutas account shows that there was a considerable differentiation among slaves. Some female slaves in the service of the Sultan were experts in music and dance. The Sultan also used female slaves to keep a watch on his nobles. Slaves were used for domestic labour, and Ibn Battuta says that man and women slaves carried planquins or dolai. The price of slaves, particularly female slaves required for domestic labour was very low. Discuss the condition of artisans and merchants in the light of Bernier's description. OR What does the account of Bernier say about the merchants and artisans? Bernier mentioned in his account that artisans had no incentive to improve the quality of their manufacturers. All profits were appropriated by the state. According to him, manufacturers were everywhere in decline. At the same time, he agreed that vast quantities of the worlds precious metals flowed into India, as Indian manufactured goods were exported in exchange for gold and silver. Merchants had a strong community or kin ties and were organized into their own caste-cum occupational groups. In western India these groups were called Mahajans, and their chief, the seth. In urban centers such as Ahmedabad the chief of the merchant community who was called nagarsheth collectively represented the Mahajans. Write a note on Berniers Travels in the Mughal Empire. Berniers Travels in the Mughal Empire gives a detailed observations and critical insights He constantly compared Mughal India with contemporary Europe and emphasized the superiority of the European society Berniers description of landownership According to Bernier, one of the fundamental differences between Mughal India and Europe was the lack of privet property in the land in the Indian society.

Bernier had a firm belief that the private property was good and the crown ownership of land was harmful for both state and its people. He thought that the Mughal Emperor owned all land and distributed it among the people.. He argues in his account that lands under the crown ownership could not be passed on to their children. So they were averse to any long-term investment in the sustenance and expansion of production. He says that the absence of the private property prevented the emergence of the class of improving lands as it was in Western Europe to maintain and improve the land. And it had ruined the agriculture and oppressed the peasants and the living standard of all sections in the society declined except the ruling aristocracy. What were the barriers that Al-Biruni observed in understanding the Indian society? Al Biruni discussed several barriers that obstructed the understanding of things in reality. The first barrier that Al-Biruni had observed was the language. He says Sanskrit was so different from Arabic and Persian and the ideas and concepts could not be easily translated from one language to another. The barrier of language was quiet common to all travellers from ancient to modern period as their native language was different from local language. So it created problems of understanding and interpreting the things. The second barrier was that Al-Biruni identified was the difference in religious beliefs and practices. This was another common problem as difference of religion created rift. The Indian society in that period was rigid and was wary of meeting people of different religions freely. The third barrier that Al-Biruni observed was the self observation and consequent insularity of the local population. He depended mainly on the works of Brahmanas and often quoted from the Vedas, the Puranas, the Bhagavad Gita, the works of Patanjali, and the Manusmiriti. The above mentioned barriers applied to most of the Indians which was observed by all the travellers. Consequently foreigner travellers faced difficulty in communication and in gathering the information. Why are the accounts of Muslim travellers so important and what was new for India about these accounts? The accounts of Muslim travelers are so important because they provide us with a tantalising glimpse of the lives of men and women during these centuries. These accounts give the contemporary picture of the society, culture, administration and rule of the period in which they were written. The new thing about these accounts wasthatbefore these travellers, there was no tradition of writing accounts of contemporary period in India.After the initiation of those people we got several historical records. Otherwise we can seelack of written records and evidences for ancient and early medieval period. Write a short note on Francois Bernier and his travel works. Francoise Bernier was French by origin and doctor by profession. He was a political philosopher and historian. He visited the Mughal Empire in search of opportunities and stayed in India for 12 years from 1656 to 1668. He was physician to Prince Dara Shukoh, the eldest son of Emperor Shah Jahan and intellectual and scientist with Danishmand Khan, an American noble at the Mughal court.

Berniers travels and his work Bernier travelled many parts of the country and wrote accounts based on his observations and compared the social condition in India with the situations in Europe. His works were published in France in 1670-71 and translated into English, Dutch, German and Italian and later it was reprinted number of times. He dedicated his writings to Louis XIV, the king of France. He often travelled with army. How did Ibn Battutas describe Indian cities? Ibn Battuta found cities in the subcontinent full of exciting opportunities for those who are capable and have resources and skills. The cities were densely populated and prosperous. According to him, cities were disrupted during the war times and by invasions. His account illustrates that streets in many cities were crowded and bright and colourful markets were with full of many varieties of goods. He described Delhi as a vast city, with a great population, the largest in India. Bazaars were not only places of economic transactions, but also the hub of social and cultural activities. Many bazaars had mosque and temple with spaces for public performance such as dances, musical program. Ibn Battuta says that the cities got its wealth from the villages, because of agriculture with good production wit two crops a year. He mentions that there was a great demand for Indian textiles such as cotton cloth, fine muslins, silks, brocade and satin. He further mentions in his account that certain varieties of fine muslin were very expensive that could be worn only by the nobles and the very rich. What were the two postal systems according to Ibn Battuta? According to Ibn Battuta, in India the postal system was of two kinds: The horse-post called uluq was run by royal horses stationed at a distance of every four miles and The footpost had three stations per mile and was called dawa. Postal System: At every third of a mile there was a well populated village, outside which were three pavilions in which sat men with girded loins ready to start. Each of them carried a rod, two cubits in length, with copper bells at the top. When the courier started from the city, he held the letter in one hand and the rod with its bell on the other hand; and he would run as fast as he could. When the men in the pavilion would hear the ringing of the bell, they would get ready. This was how they did till the letter reached its destination. The postal system was very efficient and it took fifty days to reach Delhi from Sind. The new reports of spies would easily reach the Sultan through the postal system in just five days. What is the information which differentiates Berniers account from other traveller? Francois Bernier is probably the only historian who provides a detailed description of the imperial karkhana (workshops) and their working. He wrote at many places he saw large karkhanas for artisans. Under Superintendents, various artisans like embroiderers, goldsmiths, painters, varnishers, joiners, tailors, turners and shoemakers and manufacturers of silk, brocade and fine muslins, etc. worked in their respective halls. The artisans worked from morning to evening. Other travellers gave details of all society or culture but no one mentioned such an important thing of royal use. How did Bernier compare ownership right over land in Europe and India? Bernier was an intellectual of rational European tradition. The basic difference he pointed out was the absence of private ownership of land in Mughal India which was

a different feature from the normal European scenario. Here state was the owner of land and distributed it among nobles. As a firm believer of gains of private ownership he said, crown ownership was not fruitful either to state or to people. It prevented the emergence of the class of improving landlords with a concern to maintain or improve the land. It had led to destroying of agriculture and oppression of peasant class. The living standard of all sections of society had decline except the ruling aristocracy. What does the account of Bernier say about the merchants and artisans? Bernier mentioned in his account that artisans had no incentive to improve the quality of their manufactures. All profits were appropriated by the state. According to him, manufactures were everywhere declining. At the same time, he agreed that vast quantities of the worlds precious metals flowed into India, as manufactures were exported in exchange for gold and silver. Merchants had a strong community or kin ties and were organised into their own caste-cum occupational bodies. In western India these groups were called mahajans, and their chief, the Sheth. In urban centers such as Ahmedabad, the mahajans were collectively represented by the chief of the merchant community who was called nagarsheth. What did Ibn Battuta say about slaves in the Indian society? Number of travellers had written about the slaves in the Indian society. Slaves were openly sold in markets, like any other commodity and were regularly exchanged as gifts. When Ibn Battuta visited Sind he purchased horses, camels and slaves as gifts for Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq. Ibn Battutas account shows that there was a considerable differentiation among slaves. Some female slaves in the service of the Sultan were experts in music and dance. Female slaves were also used to keep a watch on his nobles by the Sultan. Slaves were used for domestic labour, and Ibn Battuta said that men and women slaves carried palanquins or dolai. The price of slaves, particularly female slaves required for domestic labour, was very low. 8 marks A Warning for Europe Bernier warned that if European kings followed the Mughal model: Their kingdoms would be very far from being well cultivated and peopled, so well built, so rich, so polite and flourishing as we see them. Our kings are otherwise rich and powerful; and we must avow that they are much better and more royally served. They would soon be kings of deserts and solitudes, of beggars and barbarians, such as those are whom I have been representing (the Mughals) We should find the great Cities and the great Burroughs (boroughs) rendered uninhabitable because of ill air, and to fall to ruine (ruin) without any bodies (anybody) taking care of repairing them; the hillocks abandoned, and the fields overspread with bushes, or filled with pestilential marishes (marshes), as hath been already intimated. Write the name of the text from which, this text has been taken? Who is the author of the text? The name of the author is Francois Bernier and the name of the text is Travels in the Mughal Empire. To whom the author is alerting and for what?

The author is alerting the European kings for not following the Indian system of administration. What is the reason for such an illustration on the part of the author? The author belonged to Europe and during the 17th Cent Europe was witnessing Industrial revolution. Therefore, the author was analysing India in comparison to that of the condition prevailing in Europe. Education and entertainment This is what Ibn Juzayy, who was deputed to write what Ibn Battuta dictated, said in his introduction: A gracious direction was transmitted (by the ruler) that he (Ibn Battuta) should dictate an account of the cities which he had seen in his travel, and of the interesting events which had clung to his memory, and that he should speak of those whom he had met of the rulers of countries, of their distinguished men of learning, and their pious saints. Accordingly, he dictated upon these subjects a narrative which gave entertainment to the mind and delight to the ears and eyes, with a variety of curious particulars by the exposition of which he gave edification and of marvellous things, by referring to which he aroused interest. Who is the author of the above text? Write the name of the country to which, Ibn Battuta belonged to? Ibn Juzayy is the author of the above text. Ibn Battuta belonged to Morocco. Why the ruler has issued such an order? The ruler of Morocco has issued such an order because in the medieval period the travelogues were the accepted way of knowing different parts of the world. Therefore, when Ibn Battuta returned home, the ruler issued order to make an account of what Ibn Battuta has seen in the different parts of the world. Explain the phrase, entertainment to the mind and delight to the ears and eyes. The phrase means that, Battutas experiences were enjoyed by all. As travelogues were the only mean of knowing the customs and tradition of the other countries. An excerpt from Berniers description of the peasantry in the countryside: Of the vast tracts of country constituting the empire of Hindustan, many are little more than sand, or barren mountains, badly cultivated, and thinly populated. Even a considerable portion of the good land remains untilled for want of labourers; many of whom perish in consequence of the bad treatment they experience from Governors. The poor people, when they become incapable of discharging the demands of their rapacious lords, are not only often deprived of the means of subsistence, but are also made to lose their children, who are carried away as slaves. Thus, it happens that the peasantry, driven to despair by so excessive a tyranny, abandon the country. (4+4=8) What according to Bernier were the hardships faced by peasants in the subcontinent? According to Bernier Indian labourers were treated badly by the British Governors. As a result, many of them perished and a significant portion of the fertile land remained untilled because of lack of labourers. Whenever the labourers became incapable of discharging the demands of their lords, they were not only deprived of

the means of subsistence, but were also made to loose their children. Their children were taken away as slaves by the British officials. As a result to this tyranny, these labourers were forced to live a miserable life. Why did Bernier consider Crown Ownership of land as being harmful for both the state and its people? Bernier was a firm believer in the virtues of private property and considered crown ownership of land as being harmful for both the state and its people. Bernier was of the view that under the crown ownership of land, landholders could not pass on their land to their children. So, they were averse to any long-term investment in the sustenance and expansion of production. The absence of private property in land had therefore, prevented the emergence of the class of improving landlords with a concern to maintain and improve the land. It had led to the uniform ruination of agriculture, excessive oppression of the peasantry and a continuous decline in the living standards of all sections of society, except the ruling aristocracy. This is how Ibn Battuta describes the postal system: In India the postal system is of two kinds. The horse post, called uluq, is run by royal horses stationed at a distance of every four miles. The foot-post has three stations per mile; it is called dawa that is one-third of a mile ... Now, at every third of a mile there is a well populated village, outside which are three pavilions in which sit men with girded loins ready to startThis foot-post is quicker than the horse-post; and often it is used to transport the fruits of Khurasan which are much desired in India. (2+4+2=8) What were the two postal systems according to Ibn Battuta? According to Ibn Battuta in India, the postal system was of two kinds: The horse-post called uluq was run by royal horses stationed at a distance of every four miles The footpost had three stations per mile and was called dawa. How did the foot post system work? At every third of a mile, there was a well populated village, outside which were three pavilions in which men sat with girded loins ready to start. Each of them carried a rod, two cubits in length with copper bells at the top. When the courier started from the city, he held the letter in one hand and the rod with its bell on the other hand and he would run as fast as he could. When the men in the pavilion would hear the ringing of the bell, they would get ready. This was how they did till the letter reach its destination. How efficient was the foot post system? The postal system was very efficient. It allowed merchants to not only send information and remit credit across long distances, but also to dispatch goods required at short notice. It took fifty days to reach Delhi from Sind while the news reports of spies would easily reach the Sultan through the postal system in just five days. This is Al-Birunis account of the system of varnas: The highest castes are the Brahmana, of whom the books of the Hindus tell us that they were created from the head of Brahman. And as the Brahman is only another name for the force called nature, and the head is the highest part of the body, the Brahmana are the choice part of the whole genus. Therefore the Hindus consider them as the very best of mankind.

The next castes are the Kshatriya, who were created, as they say, from the shoulders and hands of Brahman. Their degree is not much below that of the Brahmana. After them follow the Vaishya, who were created from the thigh of Brahman. The Shudra, who were created from his feet . . . Between the latter two classes there is no very great distance. Much, however, as these classes differ from each other, they live together in the same towns and villages, mixed together in the same houses and lodgings. What did Al-Biruni think of the Caste system in India? Al-Biruni tried to explain the caste system by looking for parallels in other societies. He noted that in ancient Persia, four social categories were recognised: those of knights and princes those of monks, fire-priests and lawyers physicians, astronomers and other scientists Peasants and artisans. In other words, he attempted to suggest that social divisions were not unique to India. At the same time he pointed out that within Islam all men were considered equal, differing only in their observance of piety. What was his view regarding the notion of pollution in caste system? Al-Biruni disapproved of the notion of pollution in the caste system. According to him, the conception of social pollution which was intrinsic to the caste system was contrary to the laws of nature. He remarked that everything which falls into a state of impurity strives and succeeds in regaining its original condition of purity. The sun cleanses the air and the salt in the sea prevents the water from becoming polluted. AlBiruni insisted if it was not so, then life on earth would have been impossible. This is how Ibn Battuta describes the postal system: In India the postal system is of two kinds. The horse post, called uluq, is run by royal horses stationed at a distance of every four miles. The footpost has three stations per mile; it is called dawa, that is one-third of a mile ... Now, at every third of a mile there is a well populated village, outside which are three pavilions in which sit men with girded loins ready to start. Each of them carries a rod, two cubits in length, with copper bells at the top. When the courier starts from the city he holds the letter in one hand and the rod with its bells on the other; and he runs as fast as he can. When the men in the pavilion hear the ringing of the bell they get ready. As soon as the courier reaches them, one of them takes the letter from his hand and runs at top speed shaking the rod all the while until he reaches the next dawa. And the same process continues till the letter reaches its destination. This foot-post is quicker than the horse-post; and often it is used to transport the fruits of Khurasan, which are much desired in India. Write the name of the book written by Ibn Battuta. Rehla. What was the difference between uluq and dawa? The horse post was called uluq where as foot post was called dawa.

Who was the ruler when Ibn Battuta came to India? Muhammad Bin Tughlaq was the ruler when Ibn Battuta came to India Write a note on postal system. Indian postal system had two kind of posts one was called uluq and the other was called dawa. In the Uluq post messenger carries the news on horse whereas in dawa post messenger go by walk (fast runners). The foot-post has three stations per mile. At every third of a mile there is a well populated village, outside which are three pavilions in which sit men with girded loins ready to start. Each of them carries a rod, two cubits in length, with copper bells at the top so that passers by get alarmed by hearing it. Travelling With The Mughal Army Bernier often travelled with the army. This is an excerpt from his description of the armys march to Kashmir: I am expected to keep two good Turkoman horses, and I also take with me a powerful Persian camel and driver, a groom for my horses, a cook and a servant to go before my horse with a flask of water in his hand, according to the custom of the country. I am also provided with every useful article, such as a tent of moderate size, a carpet, a portable bed made of four very strong but light canes, a pillow, a mattress, round leather table-cloths used at meals, some few napkins of dyed cloth, three small bags with culinary utensils which are all placed in a large bag, and this bag is again carried in a very capacious and strong double sack or net made of leather thongs. This double sack likewise contains the provisions, linen and wearing apparel, both of master and servants. I have taken care to lay in a stock of excellent rice for five or six days consumption, of sweet biscuits flavoured with anise (a herb), of limes and sugar. Nor have I forgotten a linen bag with its small iron hook for the purpose of suspending and draining dahi or curds; nothing being considered so refreshing in this country as lemonade and dahi. Write the name of the text written by Francois Bernier. Francois Bernier has written a travelogue, name of that travelogue is "Travels in the Mughal Empire" Why he was travelling with the mughal army? He was appointed physician of Prince Dara Shukoh and he has to move along with prince. Make a list of articles required for travelling during Mughal period. Articles required were as follows: a tent of moderate size, a carpet, a portable bed made of four very strong but light canes, a pillow, a mattress, round leather tablecloths used at meals, some few napkins of dyed cloth, three small bags with culinary utensils which are all placed in a large bag, and this bag is again carried in a very capacious and strong double sack or net made of leather thongs. The bird leaves its nest This is an excerpt from the Rihla: My departure from Tangier. My birth place took place on Thursday ..I set out alone having neither fellow-Traveller.nor caravan whose party I might join but swayed by

an overmastering impulse within cherished in my bosom to visit these illustrious sanctuaries. So I braced my resolution to quit all my dear ones female and male and forsook my home as birds forsake their nests My age at that time was twenty -two years. Ibn Battuta returned home in 1354, about 30 years after he had set out. Who was Ibn Batutta and from which country and when he started for journey to other countries including India? Ibn Battuta was an African traveller who came from morocco. He started for tour of other countries in 14th Century. How can you distinguish the travellers from the robbers? A traveller generally moves with some objectives and to fulfill certain ambitions. He tries to record his experiences and Ideas which he has other hand a robber is a bad character. He is worse than a thief. He generally tries to rob the people and their belongings. A traveller is generally remembered for his works and contribution while a robber is condemned caught by the people and his hand over to the police or the state so that he may be punished for his wrong deeds. When did Ibn Batutta return home? Write the name of his famous work mention some of his travel experiences. Ibn Battuta returned home in 1354, about 30 years after he had set out. Rihla is the famous work of Ibn Battuta. In this work he has mentioned about native place from where he departed. What are the consequences of Berniers interpretation of the land ownership in the Mughal Empire? OR To what extent the description of Bernier about the ownership of land is correct? Bernier wrote in his account that the Empire owned all lands and the nature of land ownership was the crown ownership. But none of the Mughal official documents show that the state was the sole ownership of the land. But according to the official chronicler of Akbars reign Abul Fazl , the Mughal Emperor collected only the remunerations from the people for the protection given by the state and no rent was collected . Bernier misunderstood the remuneration as land revenue since it was very high sometimes. Consequences of Berniers description of land ownership The oriental despotism - Berniers descriptions of land ownership in The Mughal Empire influenced some of the western theorists from the eighteenth century onwards. For example the French philosopher Montesquieu used Berniers account and developed idea of oriental despotism. According to this idea in Asia (the orient or the East), there was no private property and the kings due to whom all people accept the kings owned all lands and his nobles struggled for survival. Asiatic mode of production - Karl Marx as the concept of Asiatic mode of production further developed the idea of Oriental despotism. According to this concept, in India, before the arrival of colonialism, surplus was appropriated by the state. This resulted in the emergence of a society that was composed of a large number of autonomous and egalitarian village communities. The imperial court

respected these villages as long as the surplus flow continued. Karl Marx regarded this system as a stagnant one. Write an elaborate note on Ibn Battutas travels and his famous travel work Rihla. OR Discuss Ibn Batutta's visit in detail. Also give an account of his travel book Rehla. Ibn Battutas visit: Ibn Battuta was born in Tangier. He learned literature and other scholarly works at his young age itself. He was a Moroccan traveller. He considered that knowledge gained thorough travels is more important source than the bookish knowledge. He loved traveling, and went far off places, exploring new worlds and peoples. Before he visited India, he had visited Mecca and travelled extensively in Syria, Iraq, Persia, Yemen, Oman and a few trading ports on the coast of East Africa. Ibn Battutas visit to India: He set off his journey to India in 1332-33 and reached Sind in 1333. He was able to get the recognition of the Sultan of Delhi, Muhammad bin Tughlaq. The Sultan was impressed by the scholarship of Ibn Battuta and appointed him as the qazior judge of Delhi. He remained as judge for many years. The King Mohd Bin Tughalaq appointed him as his ambassador to China. On his enroute he also visited Malabar Coast, Maldives, and again to Bengal, Assam, Sumatra and China. Rihla: Ibn Battutas book of travels called Rihla was written in Arabic illustrates the social and cultural life in the subcontinent in the fourteenth century. He carefully recorded his observations about new cultures, peoples, beliefs, values, etc. Write a note on Al-Biruni and his works. Al-Biruni was born in Khwarizm Empire (present day Uzbekistan). He was very learned person and was well versed in several languages such as Syriac, Arabic, Persian, Hebrew and Sanskrit. He has learnt the Arabic translation of Greek philosophers such as Plato. Mahmud Ghazni in 1017 invaded Khwarizm and brought Al-Biruni with him to Ghazni. When Punjab was conquered by Ghazni and became a part of Ghaznavid Empire, Al-Biruni who also followed him got settled there. Where he got an opportunity to learn Indian texts on Indian religion and philosophy. His contacts with local Sanskrit scholars had increased. For Arabs travelogues were served as an important source of information and his accounts came to be known as Kitab-ul-Hind or Tahkik-e- Hind. The Kitab-u-Hind: The Kitab- ul -Hind was written in Arabic language and was divided into 80 chapters dealing in the subjects of religion and Philosophy, festivals, astronomy, alchemy, manners and customs, social life, weights and measures, iconography, and laws metrology. Al-Biruni has adopted a adopted mathematical approach i.e. he begins each chapter with a question followed up with the description and comparison of cultures. Scholars describe this feature is result of his mathematical orientation. Write a note on Al-Birunis description of the caste system in India. Al-Biruni tried to understand the caste system by comparing it with other societies. For example he said that in ancient Persia, there were four social categories: knights and princes

monks, fire priests and lawyers Physicians, astronomers and other scientists. He tried to mention that social divisions were not unique in India. He pointed out that within Islam also all men were considered equal and difference was based on only their observance of piety. He mentions about the four varnas such as the Brahmanas, the Kshatriya, the Vaishya and the Shudra. He did not accept the Brahmanical notion of pollution and argued against it. He said that everything which falls into a state of impurity strives and succeeds in regaining its original condition of purity. The sun cleanses the air, and the salt in the sea prevents the water from becoming polluted. He says that the notion of pollution which was intrinsic to caste system was against the laws of nature. Scholars argue that Al-Birunis description of the caste system was deeply influenced by his familiarity with normative Sanskrit texts which laid down the rules governing the system from the point of view of the Brahmanas.