KnowledgeBoat Logo
OPEN IN APP

History — Chapter 7

Medieval India — (A) The Cholas

Class 9 - Total History & Civics Solutions


Short Answer Questions

Question 1

State two significant features of inscriptions for providing information about the Cholas.

Answer

Two significant features of inscriptions for providing information about the Cholas are:

  1. These inscriptions tell us about the Chola administration. For example, the Uttaramerur inscription gives information on the village administration, taxation and land revenue.
  2. Some inscriptions have royal orders on taxation and land revenue, resolutions of village assemblies, judgements delivered against persons guilty of theft, murder and other crimes.

Question 2

Who established the rule of the Cholas? Name the capital of his empire.

Answer

Chola ruler Vijayalaya established the rule of the Cholas.

The capital of his empire was Thanjavur.

Question 3

Why did Rajaraja undertake a naval expedition against Ceylon and Maldives?

Answer

The coasts of Kerala, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and the Maldive Island had become rich through the Money that came to them from overseas trade. India sent textiles, spices and precious stones to the West Asian countries. The people who came from Western Asia to trade in these goods were the Arab merchants, who exchanged money for goods. Foreigners brought wealth to India through their trade. Rajaraja was aware of the importance of controlling the sea. He decided to show his strength along the coasts of South India. So, he took out a naval expedition and attacked both Sri Lanka and the Maldive Islands. He conquered the northern half of Sri Lanka.

Question 4

Name any two great rulers of the Chola dynasty.

Answer

Two great rulers of the Chola dynasty were:

  1. Rajaraja I
  2. Rajendra Chola

Question 5

Give any two achievements of Rajendra Chola.

Answer

Two achievements of Rajendra Chola were:

  1. He invaded and annexed the whole island of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka was not able to free herself from the Chola control for another 50 years.
  2. His army defeated Mahipala, king of Bengal. He built a new capital called Gangaikonda-cholapuram which he adorned with beautiful temples and magnificent palaces.

Question 6

Name the new capital built by Rajendra Chola. In which present day state is it situated?

Answer

The new capital built by Rajendra Chola was Gangaikonda-cholapuram. It is situated in Tamil Nadu.

Question 7

Why did the cholas build a strong naval fleet?

Answer

The cholas built a strong naval fleet in order to show their strength and conquer the islands of Sri Lanka, Maldives and control the trade of those areas. During the reign of Rajendra Chola, Indian merchants were trading with various parts of South East Asia and Southern China, through the straits of Malacca, which was held by the kingdom of Shrivijaya. The merchants of Shrivijaya began creating problems for the Indian merchants. The Indian merchants appealed to Rajendra Chola for help. He sent out a huge Navy and defeated Shrivijaya king. As a result, Indian trade with South-East Asia and southern China continued, thereby enriching the Chola kingdom.

Question 8

What made the Chola administration strong and effective?

Answer

The Chola administration was strong and effective because of following reasons:

  1. The King was the pivot of administration and all the authority vested in his hands.
  2. The King often went on tours in order to keep a check on the administration.
  3. The Cholas were good administrators. The villages were not ruled by any government official but they were self governed by the villagers themselves. The villages had three types of assemblies, namely, the Ur, the Sabha and the Nagaram.

Question 9

Name the two languages promoted by the Cholas.

Answer

The two languages promoted by the Cholas were:

  1. Sanskrit
  2. Tamil

Question 10

Name any two features of temples built by the Cholas.

Answer

Two features of temples built by the Cholas were:

  1. Massive Vimanas or towers.
  2. Spacious courtyards.

Question 11

Which is the best example of Chola temples? Give one reason.

Answer

The best example of Chola temples is Brihadeshwara temple. It is also known as Rajarajeshwar temple. It was dedicated to Lord shiva and was built by Rajaraja I.

The Brihadeshwara temple is considered as the best example of Chola temples because it is the finest monument with splendid sculptures and decorative mouldings. The main structure of the temple has a great vimana or tower which rises to a height of 190 feet. It is crowned by a massive dome consisting of a single block of stone, 25 feet high and weighing about 80 tons. The Brihadeshwara temple is the most beautiful specimen of Tamil architecture and has also been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Question 12

What is known as the 'gopuram'? Name another feature of temples built during the Chola Period.

Answer

The gateway of the temple is known as 'gopuram'.
The another feature of temples built during the Chola Period was massive towers known as 'vimanas' and spacious courtyards.

Structured Questions

Question 1

With reference to the sources of information about the Cholas, briefly answer the following:

(a) List the forms of chola inscriptions.

(b) What was the special feature of the inscriptions? Who conceptualised the idea? Name one temple built by him.

(c) Mention the significance of Brihadeshwara Temple.

Answer

(a) The forms of chola inscriptions are:

  1. Copper-plates grants.
  2. Stone inscriptions.
  3. Inscription made on the walls and pillars of the temples.

(b) The special feature of the inscriptions was that it mentioned the main achievements of the the king and his reign.

The idea was conceptualised by Rajaraja I.

The temple built by Rajaraja I was Brihadeshwara Temple.

(c) The Brihadeshwara Temple or Rajarajeshwara Temple is the finest monument of a splendid period of South Indian history and the most beautiful specimen of Tamil architecture. It is a Shiva temple built by Rajaraja I at Thanjavur. It is one of the best specimens of Dravidian style of architecture.
The main structure of the temple has a great vimana or tower which rises to a height of 190 feet. It is crowned by a massive dome consisting of a single block of stone, 25 feet high and weighing about 80 tons. The shrine houses a gigantic Shiva Lingam, cut in a monolithic rock about 8.87 metres high. The temple has many structures such as a Nandi Pavilion, a pillared portico and a large assembly hall. Thus the significance of this temple lies in its architectural beauty and historical importance.

Question 2

With reference to the Chola period explain the following:

(a) Taxes imposed by the Cholas.

(b) Administration of the Kingdom.

(c) The three types of village assemblies.

Answer

(a) Taxes imposed by Cholas were taxes on land, taxes on the produce of the land and taxes on trade. The taxes on land were collected by the officials from the village councils. Part of revenue was kept for the king. The rest was used on the public works, on salaries of officials, on paying for the upkeep of the army and on the building of temples.

(b) The Cholas had a very efficient and organised administration. All authority was vested in the king. There was a council of ministers to advise the king. The administration was made even more simpler and efficient by distribution of power at different stages of administration. The empire was divided into province (mandalams), which were further divided into Valanadu and Nadu. Princes of the royal family were appointed governors of provinces. There was self governance in the villages and they were not ruled by any government officials. The central government looked after external defence, internal peace and order, promotion of general prosperity and cultural progress of the empire.

(c) The villages had three types of village assemblies, namely, the Ur, the Sabha and the Nagaram. The Ur was common type of assembly of the villages where the land was held by all classes of people who were, therefore, members of the local assembly. The Sabha was exclusively Brahmin assembly of the villages, where all the land belonged to the Brahmins. The Nagaram was the assembly of merchants and traders. It was prevalent at the places where they were dominant. Villagers who owned land were chosen by a vote to the council. The life and the work of the villages were discussed in these councils. This was a source of popular strength because it united the people. All affairs concerning the village, such as, collection of taxes, settlement of disputes and allocation of water were looked after by the committees.

Question 3

With reference to the Chola Administration, write short notes on:

(a) The King, the chief administrator.

(b) Local self-government.

(c) Temples as the centre of social activity.

Answer

(a) The king was the most important person in Chola administration. He was the pivot of administration and all the authority was vested in him. The king often went on tours in order to keep check on the administration. He had a council of ministers to advise him. The Central government looked after external defence, internal peace and order, promotion of general prosperity and cultural progress of the empire.

(b) The cholas believed in local self-government at village level. The villages were governed by villagers and not by government officials. The villages had three types of village assemblies, namely, the Ur, the Sabha and the Nagaram. The Ur was common type of assembly of the villages where the land was held by all classes of people who were, therefore, members of the local assembly. The Sabha was exclusively Brahmin assembly of the villages, where all the land belonged to the Brahmins. The Nagaram was the assembly of merchants and traders. It was prevalent at the places where they were dominant. Villagers who owned land were chosen by a vote to the council. The life and the work of the villages were discussed in this council. This was a source of popular strength because it united the people. All affairs concerning the village, such as, collection of taxes, settlement of disputes and allocation of water were looked after by the committees.

(c) The temples in the Chola kingdom were the centre of social activity. It was not only a place of worship, but was also a place where people gathered together. The temples were also the biggest employers after the state, providing work and means of livelihood to a large number of people. The temples used to take care of the welfare of its workers by providing food, clothing and housing facilities and by arranging proper education and establishing hospitals. The temples were also a centre for education. The priests of the temple were local teachers and the schools were housed in the temple courtyard. There were no separate schools.

Question 4

Study the picture and answer the following questions:

Name the temple given in the picture. Who built this temple? Where is it located? To which deity is the temple dedicated? Mention two special features of this temple? What were the following features of temples known as? 1. Gateway  2. Shrine  3. Audience hall  4. Towers. Medieval India - (A) The Cholas, Total History and Civics Solutions ICSE Class 9.

(a) Name the temple given in the picture. Who built this temple? Where is it located?

(b) To which deity is the temple dedicated? Mention two special features of this temple?

(c) What were the following features of temples known as?

  1. Gateway
  2. Shrine
  3. Audience hall
  4. Towers

Answer

(a) The given temple is Brihadeshwara Temple, also known as Rajarajeshwara Temple. Chola King, Rajaraja I built this temple.It is located at Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu.

(b) The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Two special features of this temple are:

  1. The massive tower or Vimana of 190 feet height and a huge dome of 25 feet, carved out of a single block of stone.
  2. A gigantic Shiva Lingam, cut in monolithic rock about 8.87 metres high.

(c) Given features of temples were known as:

  1. Gateway - Gopuram
  2. Shrine - Garbhagriha
  3. Audience Hall - Mandapa
  4. Towers - Vimana.
PrevNext