CBSE Class XII History - Through the Eyes of Travellers

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CBSE Class XII History - Through the Eyes of Travellers. Learning the important concepts is very important for every student to get better marks in examinations. The concepts should be clear which will help in faster learning. The attached concepts made as per NCERT and CBSE pattern will help the student to understand the chapter and score better marks in the examinations.



Key concepts in nutshell

• Al-Biruni was born in Khwarizm in present day Uzbekistan.

• Sultan Mahmud attacked Khawrizm and took Al-Biruni to his capital Ghazni.

• Al-Biruni wrote “Kitab-ul-Hind” also known as “Tahkik-a-Hind”

• Ibn-Battuta’s Travelling account “Rihla” gives a very interesting information of social and cultural life of India.

• Ibn-Battuta’s attacked by bands of robbers several times.

• Whatever Bernier saw in India, compared it with European condition.

• Al-Biruni discussed several “barriers”.

• Ibn-Battuta’s wrote that Indian agriculture was very productive.

• Ibn-Battuta’s was greatly amazed by looking at the postal system.

• Bernier compared India with contemporary Europe.

• Bernier critically wrote his account “Travels in the Mughal empire”.

• Around 15% population in 17th century lived in towns in India.

• Bernier called Mughal cities as “camp town”, which were dependent upon imperial protection for their survival.

• Bernier’s description influenced western theorists like Montesquieu.

Q.1 Name any two travellers who came India during the medieval period (11th to 17th C)?

Ans. 1. Al Biruni (11th Century) from Uzbekistan 2

2. Ibn-Battuta (14th Century ) from North western Africa, Morocco.

3. Francois Bernier (17th Century) from France

Q.2 What was the Al-Biruni’s objective to came India? 2

Ans. (1) To help those who want to discuss religious questions with them.

(2) As a repertory of information to those who want to associate with them.

Q.3 Do you think Al-Biruni depended only on Sanskrit texts for his information and understanding of Indian society?

Ans. 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.

Q.4 Name the Plants found in India which amazed Ibn-Battuta. 2

Ans. Coconut – He wrote that the nuts of coconut resembles a man’s head.

Paan – He wrote about Paan that the betel has no fruit and is grown only for the sake of his leaves...

Q5. What was the more complex social reality which Bernier’s notice in the Mughal Empire? 2

Ans. (i) He felt that artisans had not incentive to improve the quality of their manufacturers because profits were appropriated by the state. Thus production was on the verge of decline.

(ii) At the same time, he conceded that vast quantities of the world’s precious metals (gold & silver) flowed into India in exporting manufactures.

Q.6 What were the “barriers” discussed by Al-Biruni that obstructed him in understanding India? 5

Ans. Following were the barriers he faced in understanding India

1. Problems of Language – According to him, Sanskrit was so different from Arabic and Persian that ideas and concept could not be easily translated from one language.

2. Difference of religion beliefs and practices – He was Muslim and his religious beliefs and practices were quit different from India.

3. Self-absorption and insularity of the local population - According to him the third barrier was the isolation policy of the Indians.

Q7. According to Bernier, What were the evils-effects of the crown ownership of land?

Ans. (1) Absence of ownership of land, landholders could not pass on their land to their children. Thus they didn’t take any interest in increasing production. 5

(2) It prevented the emergence of the “improving” landlords.

(3) It led to the ruination of agriculture.

(4) It brought a continuous decline in the living standard of all sections of society.

(5) It led to the excessive oppression of the peasantry.  

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