Ancient India glossary

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Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khanan[edit]

He lived during the reign of Akbar. He translated Babur’s Memoirs from Turkish to Persian.


He was hon­oured with the award of “zari­qalam” by Akbar.

Chronological order of Ages[edit]

Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic


Tax-free villages granted to the learned Brahmanas in ancient India were known as Agrahara.


A town, about 42 km from Akola, from where a stone idol of Lord Adinath, the first Jain Teerthankara, was found in 1993.

Chronological sequence of Alien Powers in India[edit]

Indo-Greeks, Scythians, Kushanas, Huns.


was one of the nine gems in the court of the legendary Vikramaditya. His work Amarkosha occupies a dominant position in Sanskrit lexicography.


The long ruling Rashtrakuta king (A.D. 814-78). He represented the height of development of his dynasty.


A Buddhist philosopher. He was the origi­nator of Buddhist Yogachara idealism.


The spiritual adviser of Kanishka (the Kushan emperor) who took a leading part in the Fourth Buddhist Council at Srinagar which was presided by Vasumitra. He was a renowned Mahayana Sanskrit scholar and author of Sariputra-prakarana and Buddha Charitam. He was the greatest literary figure at Kanishka’s court.

Atisa Dipankara[edit]

The most famous teacher of Vikramasila university founded in A.D. 810 by king Dharmapala of Pala dynasty.

Battle of San Thomas[edit]

This battle during the Carnatic Wars (1746-61) definitely proved for the first time the superiority of European arms and discipline over the traditional Indian methods of warfare.

Battle of Waihand[edit]

was fought between Mahmud Ghaznavi and jaipala


The king of Kamarupa (Upper Assam). He was a contempo­rary of king Sasanka of Gauda and was his arch-enemy. Bhaskaravarman was the east­ern ally of king Harsha.


A Sanskrit historian and poet born in Kashmir. He left Kashmir about A.D. 1065 and became the court poet at Kalyana where he wrote an epic, Vikramadeva-charita to celebrate the reign of Vikramaditya-VI, the Chalukya king of Kalyana.

Blue Water Policy[edit]

The “Blue Water” policy is attrib­uted to Don Francisco de Almeida, the first Viceroy of the Portuguese possessions in India. His “Blue Water” policy was to be powerful at the sea instead of building fortresses on Indian land.

Boghaz Koi inscriptions[edit]

are important in Indian history because inscriptions of the four­teenth century B.C. discovered here mention the names of Vedic gods and mentioned god and godesses are move towards east.

How can one say that they moved towards east? Cant it be visa-versa?


(598-660) of Ujjain, was a great mathemati­cian of his time.


A language of Baluchistan. Linguistically, it is Dravidian.

Busa Munda Revolt[edit]

occurred in Bihar.

Catching the butterflies and setting them free[edit]

The prominent feature of the foreign policy of Samudragupta.


A French possession before its merger with India.


is known as the greatest of the materialistic philosophers of ancient India.


A tax levied by Marathas—a contribution exacted by a military leader, which was justified by the exi­gencies of the situation.

Coinage in Ancient India[edit]

Coins in ancient India were made of metal—copper, silver, gold, or lead. Nishka and Satamana in the Vedic texts were taken to be names of coins, but they seem to be only prestige objects. Coins made of metal first appeared in the age of Gautama Buddha. The earliest were made largely of silver though a few copper coins also appear. Coins made of burnt clay belong to the Kushan peri­od i.e., the first three Christian centuries.


The saint from Gujarat who preached non-sec­tarianism in medieval times. He founded the “Brahma-Sampardaaya” (the sect of Brahma).

Dahar (or Dahir)[edit]

The Brahmana king of Sind who was defeated by the Arab inva­sion in A.D. 712 by Mohammad­bin-Kasim, nephew and son-in­law of al-Hajjaj, governor of Irak. The Indian ruler (Dahar) offered a brave resistance in the battle near Raor but was defeat­ed and killed.


The Iranian ruler who penetrated into north-west India in 516 B.C. and annexed Punjab, west of Indus, and Sindh


(A.D. 830-850) was successor to Dharmapala, the famous Pala ruler. He estab­lished the third important Pala university of Somapura. He shifted his capital to Monghyr from where he maintained diplomatic relations with the Sailendra kings of Sumatra.


The first major work to say that sal­vation by means of devotion is open to humans regardless of birth, gender or station in life.


In the Gandhara art, it is the preaching mudra associated with the Buddha’s First Sermon at Sarnath.

First Congress Split[edit]

took place in 1907 at Surat.

First metal used by man[edit]

Zinc and copper

First Muslim invaders of India[edit]

Arabs were the first Muslim invaders of India.

First Sultan of Delhi[edit]

was Qutb-ud-din who succeeded Muhammad Ghuri as sovereign of the new Indian conquests, and from 1206 may be reckoned as the first Sultan of Delhi.

First to issue gold coins in India[edit]

Indo Greeks

First to set up department of agriculture[edit]

Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq was the first to set up a department of agriculture in India.

First to start sea trade with India[edit]


Gautamiputra Satakarni[edit]

The great king of Satavahana dynasty.

Gayatri mantra[edit]

is con­tained in Rig Veda.


It has been the main feature of the South Indian temple architecture.

Hasan Gangoo[edit]

entitled Zafar Khan was founder of the Bahmani kingdom in Deccan.

Ibadat Khana[edit]

A build­ing at Fatehpur Sikri where Akbar held discussions on reli­gious matters.


A great scholar and traveller from South Africa who came to India in A.D. 1333 during the reign of Mohammad Tughlak and wrote about him.


It was the land-grant system adopted by Ala-ud-din Khilji to grant his officers as reward for services rendered. Qutabuddin Aibak was assigned the first iqta in India by Mohd of Ghor.


A famous jurist of medieval India (fifteenth century). His work Dayabhaga is a commentary on the srutis, specially on Manu.

Kalachuri era[edit]

counted from A.D. 248, it was mostly current in Central India. Their capital was Tripuri near Jabalpur. Kalachuris were the feudatories of the Pratiharas but soon acquired independence.


The most commonly used coin in the Chola kingdom.


The land tax imposed by Mohd-bin-Qasim after the Arabs’ occupation of Sind.

Magazines started by National leaders[edit]

Young India (M.K. Gandhi); Kesari (B.G. Tilak); New India (Annie Besant); Bengali (S.N. Bannerji).

Maski Rock edict[edit]

This minor Rock-edict is the only edict in which Ashoka refers to himself as the king of Magadha.

Moplah Rebellion[edit]

broke out in Malabar (Kerala) in August 1921.


A Persian script used in medieval India.

Nauroj festival in India[edit]

Balban introduced the famous Persian festival of Nauroj in India.

Nicolo Conti[edit]

The Italian foreign traveller who vis­ited Vijayanagar about A.D. 1420 during the reign of Deva Raya-II.


who controlled most of Bengal and Bihar, was the third power involved in the three-sided conflict between Rashtrakutas and Pratiharas over the control of Kanauj. Pala dynasty was established by Gopala in the eighth century A.D. He attained renown from the fact that he was not hereditary king but was elected.


During the rule of the so-called Slave dynasty in India, the empire was divided into provincial units called Paraganas placed under the charge of a military officer.


This language received royal patronage during the reign of Satavahanas.


The Sanskrit poet who lived in the court of Mahendrapala-I.


or rati is a weight between 1.5 to 3 Gunjas; between 5 to 8 grains of rice. It was the basic weight (measure) in ancient India.


denoted the Arabiasn Sea in ancient Indian historical geography.


is supposed to be the mythical founder of Jainism.


An additional levy of 10%, which Shivaji demanded on the basis of his claim as the hereditary Sardeshmukh (chief headman) of Maharashtra.


It was silver coin of the Mughals.

Sharada script[edit]

The Kashmiri language was origi­nally written in Sharada script.


The first Turkish invader of India.


A silver coin of the Sultanate period of India.


Alberuni’s work on India. It contains obser­vations on Indian civilization which are remarkably incisive and acute.


A tax collected by the Gahadavalas during the early medieval India.


is regarded as unrivalled in his knowledge of the basic principles of Ayurveda.

Vatapi (or Badami)[edit]

now in the Bijapur district of Karnataka, where Pulakesin I, founder of the Chalukya dynasty in the middle of the sixth century, established him­self as lord of Vatapi or Badami (capital of Chalukyas). It is well-known for Chalukyan sculpture found in the cave temples here.


the constant companion and confidant of the hero in Sanskrit dramas, was nearly always a Brahmin.

Vikramasila University[edit]

A great Tantrik University founded by the Pala king Dharmapala in A.D. 810. It was a hotbed of moral corruption, sorcery and idolatry. In A.D. 1198, the soldiers if Ikhtiar Khilji razed the structure to the ground and killed every monk in the University.

Wood's Despatch of 1854[edit]

It related to educational reforms. Lord Dalhousie took measures to carry out the scheme embodied in the famous despatch of Sir Charles Wood (July 1854) which embraced ver­nacular schools throughout the districts, and above all the glori­ous measures of grants-in-aid to all schools, without reference to caste or creed.


The south Indian dance tradition that appeared for the first time in the Vijayanagar period.

Zabti System[edit]

was intro­duced by Akbar for land rev­enue administration. In Zabti system, land was measured and assessment of land revenue was based upon it.

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