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General Knowledge for Competitive Exams

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Gupta Empire: Administration

Jul 20, 2015
In Gupta Empire, the king was directed in his administration by a community and group consisting of a chief minister and a Senapati. There were various names of empire "Rajya", Rashtra", "Desha", "Mandala", "Prithvi" and "Avani".

Gupta Dynasty: Important Rulers

Jul 20, 2015
Gupta Empire’s age called the golden age of India. It existed from 320- 550 AD. This empire covered the most of Indian subcontinent to expand their dynasty. Gupta dynasty was of Vaish caste. Caste systems exist in this period. Gupta dynasty started by Sri Gupta, he ruled from 240 -280 CE. His son Ghatoksha was the next successor of this empire. His period of ruling was from 280- 319 CE.  Ghatoksha had a son named Chandragupta (I) (319-335 CE).

Gupta Empire: Trade, Art & Architecture and Literature

Jul 20, 2015
Industry and trade were generally prosperous during Gupta period. There was a balance of foreign trade. The three important southern ports of Muziris, Arikamedu, and Kaveripattanam also lost their importance. There were two types of merchants in the Gupta period namely Sresthi and Sarthavaha. Luxury goods were the principal articles of long distance trade.  The internal trade used to be carried on by roads and rivers. Foreign trade was used to be carried on by sea and land.

Chola Empire (from the 9th century AD to the 12th century AD): Medieval Cholas

Jul 20, 2015
The Cholas revived their power in 848 AD and their rule was re-established after a long lull from the 3rd century AD to 9th Century AD. The first medieval Chola ruler was Vijayalaya Chola who is credited with re-establishing the Chola rule. He had his capital in Thanjaur. He was a feudatory of Pallavas. He built Solesvara temple at Padukottai. The Cholas revived their power in 848 AD and their rule was re-established after a long lull from the 3rd century AD to 9th Century AD.

The Mauryan Empire: Administration

Jul 18, 2015
The Mauryan Empire was divided into four provinces with the imperial capital at Pataliputra. From Ashokan Edicts, the name of the four provincial capitals were Tosali (in the east), Ujjain in the west, Suvarnagiri (in the south), and Taxila (in the north). At the centre of the structure was the king who had the power to enact laws. Kautilya advises the King to promulgate dharma when the social order based on the Varnas and Ashramas (stages in life) perishes.

Economy, Social Life, Art and Architecture in Mauryan Age

Jul 18, 2015
There were 27 superintendents (Adhyakshas) appointed by the Muaryan Empire to regulate economic activities of the state. This included trade and commerce, agriculture, weights and measures, mining, weaving and spinning.

Kanishka: The Kushan Dynasty

Jul 18, 2015
Kanishka was the most powerful ruler of the Kushana Empire. The capital of his empire was Purushpura (Peshawar). Under his rule, Kushana Empire extended from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan to Mathura and Kashmir. Kanishka was the successor of Vima Kadphises, as demonstrated by an impressive genealogy of the Kushan kings, known as the Rabatak inscription.

Foreign Invasions during Pre Mauryan Age

Jul 18, 2015
There were two major foreign invasions of Indian Sub-continent which happened in the form of Iranian invasion in 518 BC and Macedonian invasion in 326 BC. These two invasions promoted Indo Iranian Trade and commerce. Iranian writers introduced Kharoshthi script in India which was later on used in some Ashokan inscriptions. It was written from right to left like Arabic.

Chola, Chera and Pandya Dynasties

Jul 17, 2015
The Tamil country was ruled by three dynasties namely the Chera, Chola and Pandyas during the Sangam Age. The Chera Dynasty had ruled in two different time-periods. The first Chera Dynasty had ruled in Sangam Era while second Chera Dynasty had ruled from the 9th century AD onwards. The Chola kingdom of the Sangam period extended from modern Tiruchi district to Andhra Pradesh. Pandyan Kingdom was located in Tamil Nadu reigned around 6th century BC and ended around the 15th century AD.

Chola Kingdom: Administration, Art and Architecture

Jul 17, 2015
The Chola Dynasty was a prominent Tamil Dynasty that ruled primarily in the south of India until the 13th century. Among the rulers, Karikala Chola was the most famous among the early Chola kings. The Chola Dynasty has some of the best specimens in bronze and other sculptures i.e. Dancing Nataraj statue & Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjaur (Tamil Nadu) are good example of the same.

The Age of Satavahanas

Jul 16, 2015
The Satavahana Empire existed around 230 BC onwards in India and extended from Dharanikota and Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh to Prathistan and Junnar in Maharashtra. The empire lasted 450 years approximately which is 220 AD. In fact, the Satavahana started off as the vassals of Mauryan Empire and after their decline emerged as the independent empire in south India.

Mauryan Dynasty

Jul 16, 2015
In the 4th century B.C., Nanda kings ruled Magadha dynasty and this dynasty was the most powerful kingdom of the north. A Brahman minister called Chanakya also known as Kautilya/ Vishnupgupta, trained a young man, Chandragupta from the Mauryan family. Chandragupta organized his own army and overthrew the Nanda king in 322 B.C.

Indo-Greeks, Shakas, Parthians and Kushans

Jul 16, 2015
The Indo- Greeks were forced to attack India after losing to the Scythian tribes. The Mauryan kings who succeeded Ashoka were too weak to stop this invasion. By the start of 2nd century BC, Indo-Greeks managed to acquire a large part of north-western India. Menander (Milinda) was a famous Indo-Greek ruler who ruled from 165 BC to 145 BC. The capital of his kingdom was at Sakala (modern Sialkot, Punjab). He adopted Buddhism by a Buddhist monk called Nagasena alias Nagarjuna.

Ashoka the Great

Jul 16, 2015
Ashoka was the son of Bindusara. He was governor of Taxila and Ujjain during his father’s reign. Ashoka sat on the throne around 268 B.C after successfully defeating his brothers. There was an interval of four years between Ashoka’s accession to the throne (273 B.C.) and his actual coronation (268 B.C.). Therefore, it appears from the available evidence that there was a struggle for the throne after Bindusara’s death.

The Mahajanapadas

Jul 15, 2015
In the sixth century BCE, there was a rise in the development of a few kingdoms that became prominent and earned the name Mahajanapada or great country. Aryans were the most influential tribes and were called as ‘janas’. This gave rise to the term janapada where jana means ‘people’ and pada means ‘foot. Janapada were the major kingdoms of Vedic India. A new kind of socio-political development was taking place in Mahajanapada. Mahajanapada were located in distinct geographical zones. There were sixteen such Mahajanapadas.

The origin of Buddhism and Jainism

Jul 14, 2014
During Later Vedic period, the society was divided into 4 Varnas namely, Brahmins, Kshatriya, Vaishyas and Shudras and it was decided on the basis on birth. Brahmins and Kshatriyas, who were the two dominated Varnas at that time, competed for supremacy. Kshatriyas were the rulers who disliked the domination of the Brhamin priests. Both Gautam Buddha and Mahavira Jain challenged the hegemony of Brahmins. Moreover, the importance of Vaishyas grew as the importance of trade increased.

Bodhisattvas

Jul 10, 2014
A Bodhisattva is an ordinary person who takes up a course in his or her life that moves in the direction of Buddha. You're a bodhisattva, I'm a bodhisattva; actually, anyone who directs their attention, their life, to practicing the way of life of a Buddha is a Bodhisattva.

Hinayana and Mahayana

Jul 10, 2014
After the death of Buddha, Buddhism was divided into two sects namely Mahayana and Hinayana. The terms Hinayana (Lesser Vehicle or Modest Vehicle) and Mahayana (Greater Vehicle or Vast Vehicle) originated in The Prajnaparamita Sutras (The Sutras on Far-Reaching Discriminating Awareness, The Perfection of Wisdom Sutras).

Buddhist Scholars

Jul 9, 2014
The objectives of the Buddhist teaching were to secure the salvation of individual or nirvana. Buddhism made an important impact on the society by keeping its doors open to women and Shudras. Buddhism taught people not to take things for granted but to argue and judge them on merits. Buddhism promoted rationalism among peoples. The Buddhists created a new language Hybrid Sanskrit by mixing Pali with Sanskrit.

Buddhist Councils

Jul 4, 2014
Six Buddhist Councils marked important turning points in the story of early Buddhism. This story spans the time from immediately after the death and Parinirvana of the historical Buddha in the 5th century BCE to sometime early in the first millennium CE. This is also the story of sectarian clashes and the eventual Great Schism that resulted in the two major schools, Theravada and Mahayana.

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