Ancient India glossary

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Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khanan[edit | edit source]

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

Abdussamad[edit | edit source]

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

Chronological order of Ages[edit | edit source]

Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic

Agrahara[edit | edit source]

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

Akot[edit | edit source]

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 | edit source]

Indo-Greeks, Scythians, Kushanas, Huns.

Amarasimha[edit | edit source]

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

Amoghavarsha-I[edit | edit source]

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

Asanga[edit | edit source]

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

Ashvaghosha[edit | edit source]

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 | edit source]

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

Battle of San Thomas[edit | edit source]

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 | edit source]

was fought between Mahmud Ghaznavi and jaipala

Bhaskaravarman[edit | edit source]

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.

Bilhana[edit | edit source]

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 | edit source]

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 | edit source]

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?

Brahmagupta[edit | edit source]

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

Brahui[edit | edit source]

A language of Baluchistan. Linguistically, it is Dravidian.

Busa Munda Revolt[edit | edit source]

occurred in Bihar.

Catching the butterflies and setting them free[edit | edit source]

The prominent feature of the foreign policy of Samudragupta.

Chandernagore[edit | edit source]

A French possession before its merger with India.

Charvaka[edit | edit source]

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

Chauth[edit | edit source]

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 | edit source]

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.

Dadu[edit | edit source]

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

Dahar (or Dahir)[edit | edit source]

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.

Darius[edit | edit source]

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

Devapala[edit | edit source]

(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.

Dhammapada[edit | edit source]

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

Dharmachakra[edit | edit source]

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

First Congress Split[edit | edit source]

took place in 1907 at Surat.

First metal used by man[edit | edit source]

Zinc and copper

First Muslim invaders of India[edit | edit source]

Arabs were the first Muslim invaders of India.

First Sultan of Delhi[edit | edit source]

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 | edit source]

Indo Greeks

First to set up department of agriculture[edit | edit source]

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

First to start sea trade with India[edit | edit source]


Gautamiputra Satakarni[edit | edit source]

The great king of Satavahana dynasty.

Gayatri mantra[edit | edit source]

is con­tained in Rig Veda.

Gopuram[edit | edit source]

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

Hasan Gangoo[edit | edit source]

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

Ibadat Khana[edit | edit source]

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

Ibn-Batuta[edit | edit source]

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.

Iqta[edit | edit source]

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.

Jimutavahana[edit | edit source]

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

Kalachuri era[edit | edit source]

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.

Karshapana[edit | edit source]

The most commonly used coin in the Chola kingdom.

Khiraj[edit | edit source]

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

Magazines started by National leaders[edit | edit source]

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

Maski Rock edict[edit | edit source]

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

Moplah Rebellion[edit | edit source]

broke out in Malabar (Kerala) in August 1921.

Nastaliq[edit | edit source]

A Persian script used in medieval India.

Nauroj festival in India[edit | edit source]

Balban introduced the famous Persian festival of Nauroj in India.

Nicolo Conti[edit | edit source]

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

Palas[edit | edit source]

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.

Paragana[edit | edit source]

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.

Prakrit[edit | edit source]

This language received royal patronage during the reign of Satavahanas.

Rajsekhar[edit | edit source]

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

Ratika[edit | edit source]

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.

Ratnakara[edit | edit source]

denoted the Arabiasn Sea in ancient Indian historical geography.

Rishabha[edit | edit source]

is supposed to be the mythical founder of Jainism.

Sardeshmukhi[edit | edit source]

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

Shahrukh[edit | edit source]

It was silver coin of the Mughals.

Sharada script[edit | edit source]

The Kashmiri language was origi­nally written in Sharada script.

Subuktigin[edit | edit source]

The first Turkish invader of India.

Tanka[edit | edit source]

A silver coin of the Sultanate period of India.

Tehqiq-i-Hind[edit | edit source]

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

Turushkadanda[edit | edit source]

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

Vagbhata[edit | edit source]

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

Vatapi (or Badami)[edit | edit source]

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.

Vidushaka[edit | edit source]

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

Vikramasila University[edit | edit source]

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 | edit source]

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.

Yakshagana[edit | edit source]

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

Zabti System[edit | edit source]

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