Medieval India | History of Medieval India | Download PDF
The medieval history of India extends from the 8th century to the 16 century which is a very long period of time show the emergence and decline of various dynasties and thrones.
Also much technological scientific and cultural development also took place during this time. There are two parts of the medieval period which have been divided for the ease of efficient study – the early medieval period and the late medieval period.
The early medieval period (8th-12th century) mostly pivots around the formation of states in the Northern India, ruled by the Rajput’s and in the southern India where the Cholas ruled. Agrarian and different forms of trade and exchange also emerged and prospered during this time. Various religious and cultural developments were also seen during this early medieval period.
There is an extremely divided opinion among various historians about the status of feudalism in the medieval period of India. Mini eminent Scholars are of the opinion that feudalism was rampant in the Indian medieval period and the peasants and the law class working group people were dominated by the rulers. They paid heavy taxes and harsh conditions were hurled up on them.
On the other hand there is an equally acclaimed group of Scholars and his historians claiming that the very concept of feudalism did not exist in medieval India. The peasantry was free and trade and business grow exponentially because of this. One of the highlights of the early medieval period is that the religious differences and the Cursed the differences were being leveled.
A process of all round integration was under development and all sections of the society where being united occluding the higher caste as well as the untouchables does legitimizing and including them in the social hierarchy which is a very unique feature of this period and did not exist in most of the other historical ages preceding it or successing it.
During this period the Chola Empire talks about the segmented state model. State included several segments including self operating peasantry. Temples were extremely important institutions in Savdhaan India for the purpose of state formation and all the development in the state took place around the temple. Temple was a very important entity of the state machinery.
The Sufism and Bhakti is movements were also emerged during this period in the Indian subcontinent. During the medieval period with the entry of Islam into India the presence of Hinduism was greatly threatened because of the farmer’s liberal outlook, equality of status among its followers and its concept of God.
As a result the bhakti Cult was started which focused on reforming the Hindu religion and followed the doctrine of complete surrender to God. At the same time the Sufi movement also a merged with head goals of making spiritual progress of an individual and to serve mankind as a whole and professed free thinking liberal ideas and a tolerant outlook.
The beginning of the early medieval period is marked by the Battles of tarain where the Rajput’s were defeated and mid way for Turkish invasion. Many reasons for the defeat of the Rajput in the Northern part of India because of political disunity as well as shortage and poor quality of military equipment’s and strategies. System was so disorganized that it could not integrate all start of the society and as a result they could not fight together.
Then came the formation and rule of the Delhi sultanate. As per the political chronology It begin with Qutubuddin Aibak establishing the Delhi sultanate in 1206 and ending his dynasty with Balban 1290 and that ended the supremacy of the turns and began the period of the Khaljis. During this period trade was transformed and various control measures were put on the free market in order to regulate it.
Fixed prices and Taxes levied on items and they were made under the direct control of a controller of prices which was an important office in the Delhi sultanate. A lot of Government officers was set up for the purpose of Administrative efficiency and local Areas where segmented into administrative blocks.
Market was also organized into 3 sections primarily including the grain section, the cattle section and the slaves section. This system was however not originated by the Delhi sultanate but was brought into India from the Central Asia.
The power of the Delhi sultanate was finally abolished by the Mughal forces led by Babur in 1526 with the Battle of Panipat defeating Ibrahim Lodi thus finishing the Lodhi Dynasty. The Lodhi Dynasty is known for its beautiful architecture and monuments.
Then came the great Mughal period which was also a beginning and transition to the modern medieval era. The Mughal rule is known for its extremely liberal and open mentality towards religious sections of the society that existed during the time. Groundbreaking development swears made in the field of science and technology in astronomy chemistry metallurgy.
Even the economic system developed by the Mughals was so advance that it was continued till the later part of the 20th century. Administration was also made more organized with the help of division of territories and bringing into existence a hierarchy of officials to look after the estates.
India’s economy during the Mughal period live by leaps and bounds and it is because of this prosperity that attracted the British to invade India and turn it into a colonial empire of the United Kingdom. Military advancements were also made as they brought new technology from Central Asia and also adopted newer techniques of battle.
The growth of culture and architecture is of stark prominence during this period. The Mughals loved architecture and devoted a large amount of time money and expertise in the building of various beautiful monuments with stand till today as living evidence of how beautiful mortal rumination can be.
Various plants and flowers and gardening techniques are also brought in front Central Asia by the Mughals into India. The Mughal rules grandeur and magnificence degraded in India after the rule of Aurangzeb in 1707.
After the Mughals, there was a short stint of the rule of Ahmed Shah Abdali mostly in the southern part of India where he defeated the Marathas in the third Battle of Panipat. After this was Fought the Battle of Plassey in 1757 which officially marks the intrusion of the British rule in to India.