Detailed, Step-by-Step NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History Chapter 7 An Imperial Capital: Vijayanagara Questions and Answers were solved by Expert Teachers as per NCERT (CBSE) Book guidelines covering each topic in chapter to ensure complete preparation.
An Imperial Capital: Vijayanagara NCERT Solutions for Class 12 History Chapter 7
An Imperial Capital: Vijayanagara Questions and Answers Class 12 History Chapter 7
What have been the methods used to study the ruins of Hampi over the last two centuries? In what ways do you think they would have complemented the information provided by the priests of the Virupaksha Temple?
Describe the various efforts made by scholars to reconstruct the history of the city and the empire from the ruins of Hampi upto the 20th century. (C.B.S.E. 2008 (D))
How and when were the ruins of Hampi brought to light ? Explain briefly.
An engineer and antiquarian Colonel Colin Mackenzie brought the ruins of Hampi to light in 1800 C.E. He was an employee in the East India Company. He prepared the first survey map of this site. His initial informations were based on the memories of priests of the Virupaksha temple and shrine of Pampadevi. From 1856 C.E.
onwards, photographers started to record the pictures of monuments of this site which helped the scholars to study them. Dozens of inscriptions were collected from here and other temples of Hampi. Historians collected information from these sources, accounts of foreign travellers and other literature written in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and Sanskrit language so that history of the city could be reconstructed. These functions complemented the information given by priests of the Virupaksha temple.
How were the water requirements of Vijayanagara met ?
Explain how the people of Vijayanagara obtained water for their needs. (C.B.S.E. 2009)
Why were the water resources of the Vijayanagara Empire developed ? Give reasons. (C.B.S.E. 2015 (O.D.))
The need of water in Vijayanagara was fulfilled from the natural basin formed by the river Tungabhadra which flowed in the north-eastern direction. This river was surrounded by stunning granite hills which formed a girdle around the city. These hills were also the source of a large number of streams which flowed down to the river Tungabhadra.
So, the rulers of Vijayanagara got built large embankments to store water. They also constructed reservoirs of varying sizes and made arrangements to store the rain water as this was the most arid zone of the peninsula. A very large tank was built in the fifteenth century which is now called as the Kamalapuram tank. The water of this tank served the following purposes :
- It irrigated the nearby fields.
- It fulfilled the needs of the royal centre.
Besides, the ruins of the Hiriya canal have also been found. This canal drew water from a dam across the Tungabhadra river. It irrigated the cultivated valley.
What do you think were the advantages and disadvantages of enclosing agricultural land within the fortified area of the city ?
A great fortification of Vijayanagara was accomplished in the fifteenth century. It also encircled the agricultural heartland and forests. This encirclement had the following advantages :
- It enclosed agricultural tracts, cultivated fields, gardens and forests.
- It had an elaborate canal system which drew water from the Tungabhadra.
- In the medieval period, sieges were laid to starve the defending armies into submission. These sieges lasted for many months or many years. So the rulers of Vijayanagara adopted an elaborate strategy to protect the agricultural belt and build large granaries.
- This encirclement also saved crops from animals.
- This system was very expensive.
- It was inconvenient for farmers during adverse circumstances.
What do you think, was the significance of the rituals associated with Mahanavami Dibba ?
“Domingo Paes has called the Mahanavami Dibba of Vijayanagara Empire as ‘The House of Victory.” Justify. (C.B.S.E. 2014 (D))
“The Mahanavami Dibba in the Royal centre of Vijayanagara has been assigned name on the basis of its form of building as will as function.” Elaborate. (C.B.S.E. 2015 (D))
Highlight the aspects observed by the Domingo Paes on the Mahanavmi Dibba of the Vijaynagara Empire. (C.B.S.E. 2016 (D))
Identify the rituals and practices associated with the Mahanavami Dibba, a structure in the Royal centre of Vijayanagara Empire.
(C.B.S.E. 2017 (D))
“Mahanavami Dibba of Vijayanagara was the centre.of elaborate rituals”. Explain the statement with suitable examples. (C.B.S.E. 2019 (D))
The Mahanavami Dibba was the king’s palace in Vijayanagara though there is no definite evidence. It had a distinctive structure. It had the largest enclosures and an impressive platform called as ‘the audience hall’. It was surrounded by high double walls with a street running between them.
There were many rituals associated with the Mahanavami Dibba. Literally, Mahanavami meant the great ninth day of the ten-day Hindu festival during the autumn months of September and October. This period had Dussehra in the northern India, Durga Pooja in Bengal and Navaratri or Mahanavami in peninsular India. The rulers of Vijayanagara displayed their power and prestige on this occasion.
The ceremonies performed on this occasion included :
(i) Worship of the image
(ii) Worship of the State horse
(iii) The sacrifice of buffaloes and other animals.
(iv) The main attractions of this occasion were:
- Wrestling matches
- Processions of caparisoned horses, elephants, chariots and soldiers.
All these ceremonies had deep symbolic meanings. Most of them were presented before the king and his guests. On the last day of the festival, the king inspected his army as well as the armies of the nayaks. He also accepted rich gifts from the nayaks. There was a grand ceremony in an open field.
Given picture is an illustration of another pillar from the Virupaksha temple. Do you notice any floral motifs ? What are the animals shown ? Why do you think they are depicted ? Describe the human figures shown.
Given illustration of the pillar from the Virupaksha temple has pictures of plants bearing flowers and different animals- birds. Animals-birds include peacock, horse, duck, etc. These pictures were probably carved on gateways to attract people. These pictures also express devotion, religiousness and love for art of patronage ruler.
Except this, different animals and birds were associated with different gods and goddesses. That is why they were also worshipped.
Human pictures include both deities and their worshippers. The God is shown bearing malas and crown. He also has a gadda in his hands. Probably he was a destroyer of Rakshashas. In another picture, one devotee is shown near to a ‘Shivlinga’. This method of worship is also strange which is not applicable in any form.
Discuss whether the term ‘royal centre’ is an appropriate description for the part of the city for which it is used.
Explain the importance of the Royal Centre in Vijayanagara with a special focus on its important structures. (C.B.S.E. 2008 (O.D.))
Explain the role of Royal Centre played in the social and political life of Vijayanagara.
Why was the south-western part of Vijayanagara settlement designated as Royal Centre ? Explain. (C.B.S.E. 2013 (O.D.))
The Royal Centre existed in the south western part of the Vijayanagara. It had more than sixty temples. Through these temples, the rulers of Vijayanagara tried to establish, strengthen and legitimise their authority. They associated themselves with the divinities housed in the shrines. This Royal Centre had about thirty palaces. Many buildings had large and distinctive structures. These super structures were made of perishable materials. Many of these buildings were not associated with ritual functions.
The main complexes of the royal centre were as follows :
The Kings’s Palace : It is the largest complex of the royal centre. There is no definite evidence to show that it was a royal residence. It had two very impressive platforms. They were called as the Audience Hall and the Mahanavami Dibba. The kings’s palace was surrounded by high double walls with a street running between the two walls.
(a) The Audience Hall : It was a high platform having wooden pillars at close and regular intervals. It had a staircase which went upto the second floor. This staircase rested on the pillars. However it is not clear for what purpose was the hall used.
(b) The Mahanavami Dibba : It was a massive platform having a base of about 11000 sq. ft. It has a height of forty feet. It supported a wooden structure. The base of the platform was covered with relief carvings.
Rituals associated with this structure were probably coincided with Mahanavami known variously as Dusshera in northern India, Durga Pooja in Bengal and Navaratri in peninsular India. The rulers of Vijayanagara displayed their power, prestige and sovereignty on this occasion.
Main ceremonies associated with this occasion worshipped the image, worship of State horse, sacrifice of buffaloes and other animals, etc. Main attractions of this occasion were
- Wrestling matches
- Procession of caparisoned horses, elephants and chariots and soldiers
- Ritual presentation by nayaks and the subordinate kings before the king and his guests to mark the occasion.
These ceremonies had great symbolic meaning. King used to inspect his army and armies of the nayaks in a grand ceremony in an open field on last day of the festival. Nayaks, on this occasion, used to bring gifts and stipulated tribute for the king.
What does the architecture of buildings like the Lotus Mahal and elephant stables tell us about the rulers who commissioned them?
“Vijayanagara was characterised by a distinctive building style” Support this statement with the sacred “architectural examples of Vijayanagara. (C.B.S.E 2014 (O.D.))
Lotus Mahal was one of the most beautiful buildings in the royal centre. It was given this name by the British travellers in the 19th century. Historians are not quite sure that for which function this building was built. But the map drawn by Mackenzie suggests that it may have been a council chamber where the king used to meet his advisers.
There was an elephant stable near the Lotus Mahal in which a number of rooms were lined. The king used to keep large number of elephants over here. Architecture style of Lotus Mahal and nearby stable remind us about Indo-Islamic style. Rulers of Vijayanagara Kingdom used to built such elaborate buildings and spend a lot of money on them. They were of the view that beauty of these palaces will increase their prestige among masses.
What are the architectural traditions that inspired the architects of Vijayanagara ? How did they transform these traditions ?
The rulers of Vijayanagara made many innovations in the architectural traditions. They added many new features in the temple architecture. These large structures were a show of their imperial authority. For example, they built gopuram and royal gateways. The towers of the central shrines signalled the presence of the temple from a great distance. But the royal gateway surpassed them in height. They reminded the power of the kings and showed that the kings had full command over the resources, techniques
The rulers of Vijayanagara also got built Mandapas as pavilions. Besides there were long and pillared corridors that ran around the shrines. There were two main temples . The Virupaksha Temple and the Vitthala Temple. The Virupaksha Temple was built over the centuries. It was constructed in the 9th-10th centuries. But after the establishment of Vijayanagara Empire, it was substantially enlarged. Krishna Deva Raya built a hall in front of the main shrine which marked his accession to the throne. It was decorated with delicately carved pillars.
Many temple complexes had chariot streets. These streets extended from the temple gopuram in a straight line. They were paved with slabs of stone. They were lined with pillared pavilions. The merchants set up their shops in these pavilions. In other words, the rulers of Vijayanagara built impressive buildings.
What impression of the lives of the ordinary people of Vijayanagara can you call from the various descriptions in the chapter ?
The meaning of ordinary people is by those people who did not participate in power structure. Rich merchants were also included among them. Following were the main features of their lives:
(i) Archaeologists have found some fine Chinese porcelain in certain areas. They are of the view that rich traders probably lived over here. This was also the Muslim residential quarter. Tombs and mosques located over here are distinctive features of art, but still their architecture style resembles with that of the architecture of mandapas found in the temples of Hampi.
(ii) Portuguese traveller Barbosa of 16th century describes the houses of ordinary people like this, “the other houses of the people are thatched, but nonetheless well built and arranged according to the occupations, in long streets with many open places.”
(iii) Field surveys suggest that there were many shrines and small temples in the entire area which belonged to vivid cults. They probably were supported by different communities. Surveys also indicate that wells, rainwater tanks and temple tanks were probably the main sources of water for ordinary town people.