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IAS Prelims Exam: Medieval History NCERT Questions: Through the Eyes of Travellers

Feb 3, 2016 19:08 IST

    Questions asked from Medieval Indian History section in IAS Prelims Exam are quite easy but the candidates need to memorise well before appearing in the exam. The candidates should have balanced preparation of overall three sections of the History and its chronology is one of the most important parts of the subject history which enable candidates to memorise well every important aspects of history.

    Following Multiple Choice Questions of Medieval Indian History would help students in understanding the nature of questions asked in IAS Prelims Exam.

    Q1. Consider the following statement(s) related to Al-Biruni.
    I. Al-Biruni received the best education available at that time and was well versed in several languages: Syriac, Arabic, Persian,English, Hebrew and Sanskrit.
    II. Al-Biruni’s Kitab-ul-Hind, written in Persian, is simple and lucid.
    Which of the above statement(s) is/are correct?
    A. Only I
    B. Only II
    C. Both I and II
    D. Neither I nor II

    Ans: D

    Explanation: Al-Biruni was born in 973, in Khwarizm in present day Uzbekistan. Khwarizm was an important centre of learning, and Al-Biruni received the best education available at the time. It was in Ghazni that Al-Biruni developed an interest in India. This was not unusual. Sanskrit works on astronomy, mathematics and medicine had been translated into Arabic from the eighth century onwards.

    Q2. Consider the following statement(s) related to Rihla.
    I. It dealt on the social and cultural life in the subcontinent in the fourteenth century.
    II. Writer of this book was born in Tangier into one of the most respectable and educated families known for their expertise in Islamic religious law or shari‘a.

    Which of the above statement(s) is/are correct?
    A. Only I
    B. Only II
    C. Both I and II
    D. Neither I nor II

    Ans: C

    Explanation: Ibn Battuta’s book of travels, called Rihla, written in Arabic, provides extremely rich and interesting details about the social and cultural life in the subcontinent in the fourteenth century. This Moroccan traveller was born in Tangier into one of the most respectable and educated families known for their expertise in Islamic religious law or shari‘a. True to the tradition of his family, Ibn Battuta received literary and scholastic education when he was quite young.

    Q3. Which of the following traveller defined the distance between Sind and Delhi in Days?
    A. Ibn-Batuta
    B. Al-Beruni
    C. Mahmood Of Gaznavi
    D. Both A & B

    Ans: A

    Explanation: According to Ibn Battuta, it took forty days to travel from Multan to Delhi and about fifty days from Sind to Delhi. The distance from Daulatabad to Delhi was covered in forty days, while that from Gwalior to Delhi took ten days.

    Q4. Which of the following travellers was appointed as the qazi or judge of Delhi by the Muhammad bin Tughlaq?
    A. Al-BIruni
    B. Mahmood of Gaznavi
    C. Both A & B
    D. Ibn-Batuta

    Ans: D

    Explanation: Travelling overland through Central Asia, Ibn Battuta reached Sind in 1333. He had heard about Muhammad bin Tughlaq, the Sultan of Delhi, and lured by his reputation as a generous patron of arts and letters, set off for Delhi, passing through Multan and Uch. The Sultan was impressed by his scholarship, and appointed him the qazi or judge of Delhi. He remained in that position for several years, until he fell out of favour and was thrown into prison.

    Q5. Which of the following statement is incorrect as per the Ibn battuat’s description about Indian communication system?
    A. Ibn Battuta was not so amazed by the work of the postal system which allowed merchants to not only send information and remit credit across long distances, but also to dispatch goods required at short notice.
    B. Ibn Battuta describes the postal system: the horsepost, called uluq, is run by royal horses stationed at a distance of every four miles. The foot-post has three stations per mile; it is called dawa that is one-third of a mile.
    C. When the courier starts from the city he holds the letter in one hand and the rod with its bells on the other; and he runs as fast as he can.
    D. The foot-post is quicker than the horse-post; and often it is used to transport the fruits of Khurasan which are much desired in India.

    Answer: A

    Explanation: The state evidently took special measures to encourage merchants. Almost all trade routes were well supplied with inns and guest houses. Ibn Battuta was also amazed by the efficiency of the postal system which allowed merchants to not only send information and remit credit across long distances, but also to dispatch goods required at short notice.

    Q6. Consider the following statements regarding the account of Ibn Battuta:
    I. From the account of Ibn Battuta, it appears that there was considerable differentiation among slaves while female slaves in the service of their Sultan were expert in music and dance.
    II. Slaves were generally used for domestic labour, and Ibn Battuta found their services particularly indispensable for carrying women and men on palanquins or dola.
    III. The price of slaves, particularly female slaves required for domestic labour, was very low, and most families who could afford to do so kept at least one or two of them.

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
    A. Only I
    B. I and II
    C. I and III
    D. All of the above

    Answer: D

    Explanation:  When Ibn Battuta reached Sind he purchased “horses, camels and slaves” as gifts for Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq. When he reached Multan, he presented the governor with, “a slave and horse together with raisins and almonds”. Muhammad bin Tughlaq, informs Ibn Battuta, was so happy with the sermon of a preacher named Nasiruddin that he gave him “a hundred thousand tankas (coins) and two hundred slaves”. At that period of time slaves were openly sold in markets, like any other commodity, and were regularly exchanged as gifts.

    Q7. Consider the following statements regarding the contemporary European travellers and writers:
    I. The contemporary European travellers and writers often highlighted the treatment of women as a crucial marker of difference between Western and Eastern societies.
    II. Albiruni chose the practice of sati for detailed description and he noted that while some women seemed to embrace death cheerfully, others were forced to die.
    III. While Bernier mentioned in his account that he saw most beautiful young widow sacrificed, who could not have been more than twelve years of age.

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
    A. Only I
    B. I and II
    C. I and III
    D. All of the above

    Answer: C

    Explanation:  It was Bernier who chose the practice of sati for detailed description and he noted that while some women seemed to embrace death cheerfully, others were forced to die. Bernier have highlighted the status of women and how the system of sati was prevailed at that time in his account. While women’s labour was crucial in both agricultural and non-agricultural production.

    Q8. “Travels in the Mughal Empire” is an account of which of the following travellers to India?
    A. Albiruni
    B. Abdur Razzaq Samarqandi
    C. Berneir
    D. Ibn Battuta

    Answer: C

    Explanation: Bernier’s Travels in the Mughal Empire is marked by detailed observations, critical insights and reflection. His account contains discussions trying to place the history of the Mughals within some sort of a universal framework. He constantly compared Mughal India with contemporary Europe, generally emphasising the superiority of the latter. His representation of India works on the model of binary opposition, where India is presented as the inverse of Europe. He also ordered the perceived differences hierarchically, so that India appeared to be inferior to the Western world.

    Q9. Consider the following statements regarding the differences mentioned by Bernier between Mughal India and Europe in his account:
    I. According to Bernier, there was lack of private property in land in Mughal India while there was not such private ownership of land in Europe.
    II. Bernier thought that in the Mughal Empire the emperor owned all the land and distributed it among his nobles, and that this had fruitful for the economy and society.
    III. The absence of private property in land had, therefore, prevented the emergence of the class of “improving” landlords (as in Western Europe) with a concern to maintain or improve the land.

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
    A. Only I
    B. I and II
    C. I and III
    D. All of the above

    Answer: C
    Explanation:
    Bernier thought that in the Mughal Empire the emperor owned all the land and distributed it among his nobles, and that this had disastrous consequences for the economy and society. This perception was not unique to Bernier, but is found in most travellers’ accounts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

    Q10. Who among the following travellers have mentioned “a strange nation” when he saw the populated port of Calicut (present-day Kozhikode)?
    A. Albiruni
    B. Abdur Razzaq Samarqandi
    C. Berneir
    D. Ibn Battuta

    Answer: A

    Explanation: The travelogue of Abdur Razzaq written in the 1440s is an interesting mixture of emotions and perceptions. On the one hand, he did not appreciate what he saw in the port of Calicut (present-day Kozhikode) in Kerala, which was populated by “a people the likes of whom I had never imagined”, describing them as “a strange nation”.

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