Here we are providing Class 12 History Important Extra Questions and Answers Chapter 5 Through the Eyes of Travellers: Perceptions of Society. Class 12 History Important Questions are the best resource for students which helps in class 12 board exams.
Class 12 History Chapter 5 Important Extra Questions Through the Eyes of Travellers: Perceptions of Society
Through the Eyes of Travellers Important Extra Questions Very Short Answer Type
When and where was Al-Biruni born?
Al Biruni was born in 973 AD, in Khwarizm in present-day Uzbekistan.
What did Al-Biruni do when he spent many years in India?
Al-Biruni spent many years in the company of brahmana, priests and scholars, learning Sanskrit and studying religious and philosophical texts.
Name the book written by Al-Biruni.
Al-Biruni wrote the ‘Kitab-ul-Hind’.
Name the book written by Ibn Battuta.
Rihla, in the Arabic language, was written by Ibn-Battuta.
When did Ibn-Battuta visit Mecca ?
In 1332-33 CE.
Who was known as the inveterate traveller?
Ibn Battuta was known as the inveterate traveller.
Who was Duarte Barbosa?
He was a Portuguese writer who created a detailed account of trade and society in south India.
Who was Francois Bernier?
He was a French man, a doctor, political philosophers and historian who remained in India for 12 years between 1656-1668 CE.
Who gave a detailed description of the Caste system in India?
Who disapproved the nation of pollution?
Who described Delhi as a vast city with a great population?
With which purpose did the people travel? Write any four objectives.
The people used to travel:
- In search of work.
- To escape from natural disasters.
- To satisfy their sense of adventure.
- With multi-purpose objectives as traders, merchants, soldiers, priests and pilgrims.
Where did Al-Biruni live? How did he reach Ghazni?
Al-Biruni lived in Khwarizm in present-day Uzbekistan. Ghazni’s Sultan Mahmud attacked Khwarizm in 1017 C.E. and took back many poets and scholars to Ghazni. Al-Biruni was one of them.
Give any two characteristics of the writings of Al-Biruni.
- Al-Biruni wrote in the Arabic language.
- He adopted a critical approach in his writings. In each chapter, he began with a question. Then he gave a detailed description. He concluded with a comparison with other culture.
“Al-Biruni was capable of translating different texts in other languages.” Give example.
Al-Biruni was well-versed in many languages which is why he was capable of translating different texts in other languages. He translated many Sanskrit texts in the Arabic language including the grammar of Patanjali. He even translated accounts of a Greek mathematician for his Brahmana friends.
How did Al-Biruni know about the works of the Greek philosophers?
Al-Biruni did not know the Greek language. Even then he was familiar with the works of the Greek philosophers. He had read their translations in Arabic.
Name the book written by Ibn-Battuta. What was his observation about female slaves in the sub-continent? (C.B.S.E. 2009 (O.D.))
Ibn-Battuta’s book was entitled ‘Rihla’. According to it, the slaves were engaged to do domestic work. He wrote in his book that not only male slaves but the Sultan also employed female slaves to keep a watch on his nobles.
Give a brief introduction of Francois Bernier. How long did he remain in India? (C.B.S.E. 2011 (D))
Francois Bernier was a French traveller. He himself was a doctor, political philosopher and a historian. He remained in India for 12 years from 1656 till 1668 C.E. and was closely associated with the Mughal court.
Mention any two characteristics of the cities in the Indian sub-continent, as described by Ibn-Battuta. (C.B.S.E. 2011 (O.D.))
According to Ibn-Battuta:
- Indian cities were very prosperous.
- Indian cities were densely populated.
Through the Eyes of Travellers Important Extra Questions Short Answer Type
Briefly describe the life sketch of Al-Biruni.
Al-Biruni was born in 973 C.E., in Khwarizm in present-day Uzbekistan. Khwarizm was an important centre of education. Al-Biruni received the best available education over there and was well versed in many languages including Syrian, Persian, Hebrew and Sanskrit. Although he was not aware of the Greek language he was completely familiar with the works of Plato and other Greek philosophers.
He read their works through their Arabic translations. Mahmud of Ghazni attacked Khwarizm in 101 C.E. and took back many scholars and poets to his capital. Al-Biruni was one of them. He came over there as a hostage but gradually developed a liking for the city. He spent the rest of his life over there and died at the age of 70.
The travels of Ibn-Battuta were arduous and hazardous. Why was he called an inveterate traveller?
Ibn-Battuta has beautifully written about the new cultures, peoples, beliefs and values in India. He travelled to India in the fourteenth century. It was the time when travel was more arduous and hazardous than it is today. Ibn-Battuta travelled from Multan to Delhi in forty days.
He completed his travel from Sindh to Delhi in about fifty days. Besides travelling was also more insecure. Ibn- Battuta was attacked by robbers many a time. So he preferred to travel along with other companions. But it was not a guarantee of any safety. Many of his companions had lost their lives on the way. He himself was badly wounded.
A Persistent Traveller. Ibn-Battuta was an inveterate traveller. Before coming to India in 1332—33 CE, he had made pilgrimage trips to Mecca besides travelling extensively in Syria, Iraq, Persia, Yemen and Oman. On his return, the ruler of Morocco ordered him to record all his stories.
According to Al-Biruni, what were the barriers that obstructed his understanding?
Explain briefly the barriers, felt by Al-Biruni, in understanding what he observed in India. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (D))
Al-Biruni was aware of the problems that he could face during his travel. He felt that many barriers obstructed his understanding. These barriers can be studied as under :
- The first barrier was that of the language. He found a lot of difference between Sanskrit and Arabic or Persian. He found it hard to translate ideas and concepts of one language into another.
- Secondly, he found a lot of difference in religious beliefs and practices.
- The third barrier was the self-absorption and insularity of the local population.
Which four social categories of ancient Persia were described by Al-Biruni? What he actually wanted to express?
Al-Biruni tried to explain the caste system in comparison with its parallels in other societies. He wrote that four social categories were recognised in ancient Persia and these were:-
- Knights and princes.
- Monks, fire priests and lawyers.
- Physicians, astronomers and other scientists.
- Peasants and artisans were:
Actually, he wanted to express that these social categories were not unique to India. He also expressed that all humans are treated equally in Islam and they differ only in their observance piety.
Which norm of caste-system was not approved by Al-Biruni and why? What does he say about the rigidity of the caste system?
Explain Al-Biruni’s descriptions of the caste system in India. (C.B.S.E. 2009 (O.D.))
Explain Al-Biruni’s description of the caste system. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (D))
‘The conception of social pollution intrinsic to the caste system was contrary to the law of nature.” Examine Al-Biruni’s statement on the Indian caste system. (C.B.S.E. 2013 (O.D.))
State the inherent problems faced by Al-Beruni in the task of understanding
Indian social and Brahmanical practices. Mention any two sources that provided him with the support. (C.B.S.E. 2016 (D))
Al-Biruni had explained the caste system of India. He did not consider it unique as such social divisions were prevalent in ancient Persia. He accepted the Brahmanical description of the caste system. But he did not accept the notion of pollution and stated that the state of impurity does not remain forever. It soon regains its original condition of purity. The sun cleanses the air. The salt in the sea prevents the water from being polluted. But he finds social pollution as contrary to the laws of nature.
Thus, we see that Al-Biruni’s description of the caste system was deeply influenced by his study of normative Sanskrit books and the views of BrahmAnswer: However, he did not find the system as rigid. For example, the categories like antyaja (born outside the system) provided inexpensive labour to both peasants and Zamindars. Though such classes were socially oppressed, yet they were included in the economic network.
From the descriptions of Ibn-Battuta, what glimpse we find about the agricultural economy of the village and trade and commerce of the sub-continent?
Explain how the prosperity of towns has been explained by the historians on the basis of Ibn- Battuta’s observations. C.B.S.E. 2010 (O.D.))
Ibn-Battuta had no interest in describing the prosperity of the cities. But the historians have used his description to argue that the prosperity of the cities depended on the agricultural economy of the villages. According to Ibn-Battuta, Indian agriculture was quite productive. Its reason was the fertility of the land. It was easy for the farmers to grow two crops in a year.
Ibn- Battuta also saw that the sub-continent was part of a global network of communication. The Indian goods were in great demand in Central and South-East Asia. It was profitable to both artisans and merchants. There was a great demand in India for cotton cloths, soft muslin, silk brocade and satin. Ibn-Battuta tells us that some kinds of muslin were so costly that only the rich could afford to buy them.
In other words, the cities of the sub-continent provided exciting opportunities to those who had necessary drive, skill and resources. All the cities had colourful markets having a wide variety of goods. The bazaars were the main places of economic transactions. They were also the hub of social and cultural activities. In fact, the sub-continent was well-integrated with inter- Asian networks at trade and commerce.
Which features of the postal system of the medieval period were given by Ibn-Battuta? How traders were benefitted from this system?
“India had a unique system of communication during the fourteenth century.” Examine the statement of Ibn-e-Batuta. (C.B.S.E. 2017 (O.D.))
The state took special steps to encourage merchants. Inns and rest houses were built on almost all the trading routes. Ibn-Battuta was amazed by observing the postal system. Merchants were not only able to send information to a long-distance but also to dispatch goods required at short notice. The postal system was so efficient that while it took 50 days for traders to reach Delhi from Sindh but the news, reports of spies would reach the king in only 5 days.
“Bernier wanted to express India inferior to the western world.” Elucidate the statement.
Bernier’s work ‘Travels in the Mughal Empire’ is marked by detailed observations, critical insights and reflects. His account contains discussions trying to keep the Mughal history within the universal framework. He continually compared the Mughal age India with contemporary Europe and generally stressed on the superiority of Europe. His representation of Indian work was on the model of binary opposition in which India is expressed as the inverse of Europe. He also described the differences which he saw so that India could be expressed inferior to the western world.
Why did Bernier consider crown ownership of land as disastrous?
According to Bernier, “Crown ownership of land had disastrous consequences for the state and the I society.” Justify the statement. (C.B.S.E. 2009 (O.D.))
Mention Bernier’s views about private property and crown ownership of land. (C.B.S.E. 2011 (O.D.))
Examine why Bernier was against the idea of crown ownership of land in ‘.Mughal India. (C.B.S.E. 2017 (D.))
According to Bernier, the Mughal India did not have private ownership of land. He believed that private property had many virtues. But he regarded the crown ownership of land as harmful to both the state and its people. In the Mughal Empire, the emperor owned all the land. He distributed this land among his nobles. Bernier felt that this principle had disastrous consequences for the economy as well as society.
Because of the crown ownership of land, the landholders could not pass their land to their children. Besides they could not make any long-term investment to sustain and increase production. The crown ownership of land also prevented the emergence of an improved class of landlords as in Western Europe. It had ruined the agriculture and increased oppression of the peasantry. It brought a continuous decline in the living standard of all sections of society. That is why Bernier considered crown ownership of land as disastrous.
How was the Mughal Empire viewed by Francois Bernier? Do Mughal governmental documents justify it?
Francois Bernier wrote a book entitled ‘Travels In the Mughal Empire.’ He considered the Mughal rule
as inferior to that of Europe. During the Mughal rule, Indian society had masses of impoverished people. The rich and powerful people were in a minority. There were poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich. There was no middle class in India. This is how Bernier described India during the Mughal rule. The Mughal king was the king of beggars and barbarians. All the cities and towns were in shambles. They were contaminated with polluted air. All the fields were full of bushes and marshes because of the crown ownership of land.
However, there was no Mughal official document to show that the state was the sole owner of the land. For example, Abul Fazl, the official chronicler of Akbar in the 16th century, describes the land revenue as “remunerations of sovereignty”. Many European travellers believed that the king claimed revenue as he provided protection to his subjects. He did not take any rent on land as many scholars believe. In reality, it was neither rent nor a land tax. It was in fact a tax on the crop.
Which type of contrary views about arts and artisans in the Mughal empire is given by Bernier?
Explain the views of Bernier about a more complex social reality of the Mughal empire. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (O.D.))
Bernier’s description expresses the Mughal empire as tyrannical but it also indicates a more complex social reality. For example, he wrote that artisans were not encouraged to improve the quality of their products as their profits were appropriated by the State. That is why there was a continuous decline in the level of production. On the other hand, he also wrote that great quantities of precious metals have flowed into India from the world because manufacturers exported in exchange for gold and silver. He also accepted the existence of a prosperous trading community which was engaged in the long-distance exchange.
What were Bernier’s views about of 17th-century cities? Why his description is oversimplified?
Around 15% population in the 17th century lived in towns. This ratio was more than the ratio of the urban population of Europe. Then he described Mughal towns as ‘camp towns’ which he meant by those towns which were dependent upon imperial camps for their existence.
He believed that these towns came into existence when the imperial court moved in and declined very quickly when it moved out. He also wrote that they did not have viable social and economic foundations and they were dependent upon imperial patronage.
But this thing is oversimplified as all kinds of towns existed at that time like manufacturing towns, trading towns, port towns, sacred or religious centres, pilgrimage towns, etc. Prosperous trading communities and professional classes were indicators of their existence.
Give a brief description of the merchant communities and other urban groups in Mughal India.
Merchants were mutually associated through strong communities or kin ties and were organised through their caste and occupational institutions. These groups in western India were known as Mahajan and their head was known as Seth. In urban centres like Ahmedabad, all the Mahajans were collectively represented by the chief of the merchant community called Nazareth.
Other urban groups included professional classes like teachers (Mulla or Pandit), physicians (hakim or vaid), musicians, architects, painters, etc. Some of them depended upon imperial patronage, some of them lived by serving other patrons and the rest of them served common masses in crowded markets.
What were the views of European travellers and writers about the condition of women in the medieval period?
Explain how the accounts of Ibn, Battuta and Bernier provide us with tantalizing glimpses of the life of Indian ’ women during the 16th and 17th century (C.B.S.E. 2013 (D))
All the contemporary Europen travellers and writers had ‘written about the treatment of women which according to them was a crucial point of difference between western and eastern societies. That’s why Bernier specifically mentioned in detail about the inhuman practice of Sati.
Life of women was circled around a few other things as well except the practice of Sati. Their labour was important for both agriculture and non-agriculture production. Women of merchant families were also often engaged in commercial activities and sometimes took mercantile disputes to the court of law. Therefore, it hardly seems that women were only confined to four walls of their homes.
Explain in the real intentions of Buchanan’s journey to India. (CIB.S.E. 2009 (D))
Francis Buchanan came to India in 1794. He was a physician and served in the Bengal Medical Service till 1815. He also served as a surgeon to Lord Wellesly, the Governor-General of India for a few years.
But on the request of the Bengal Government, he undertook detailed surveys of the areas under the control of East India Company. He had become an employee of the East India Company.
Buchanan was a keen observer of things. Wherever he went, he saw the stones and rocks. He also observed the different strata and layers of soil. He searched for minerals and invaluable stones. He also recorded the sites where iron-ore, mica, granite and saltpetre were available. He carefully noted the local practices of salt¬making and non-ore mining.
Through the Eyes of Travellers Important Extra Questions Long Answer Type
Give information about Francois Bernier and other writers who visited India after 1500 C.E.
The Portuguese came to India after 1500 C.E. They wrote a lot about the social customs and religious practices of India. Roberto Nobili even translated many Indian books into European languages.
Duarte Barftosa. He was a famous Portuguese writer. He gave a detailed account of pf trade and society in south Indian. But after 1600 C.E., a lot of Dutch, English and French travellers came to India.
Jean-Baptiste Tavernier. He was a French jeweller. He had visited India at least six times. He was fascinated with the trading conditions in India. He compared India to Iran and the Ottoman Empire.
Manucci. He was an Italian doctor. He felt so impressed with India that he settled here and never went back to Europe.
Francois Bernier. He was a Frenchman. He was a doctor as well as a historian and a political philosopher. He had come to the Mughal Empire in search of opportunities. He remained in India for twelve years, i.e., from 1656 to 1668. He was a physician to Prince Dara Shukoh, the eldest son of Emperor Shah Jahan. So he was closely associated with the Mughal court. As he was an intellectual and scientist, he also remained associated with Danishmand Khan, an Armenian noble at the Mughal court.
Comparing East and West. Bernier had visited many parts of India. He wrote accounts of what he saw in these parts of India. He compared his knowledge about India with the situation in Europe. He dedicated all his important writings to Louis XTV, the King of France. Most of his writings are in the form of letters written to ministers and influential officials. He painted the situation in India as bleak in comparison to the development in Europe. However his assessment was not very accurate but his works became very popular. They were translated into English, Dutch, German and Italian. Between 1670 and 1725 C.E., his work was reprinted eight times in French and three times in English.
Explain giving examples of how the accounts of foreign travellers help in reconstructing the history of India from the 10th to 17th century.
- Most of the foreign travellers came from a diverse social environment.
- The local writers remained indifferent towards them.
- They compared the Indian environment and social scenario with the outside world.
- They laid more stress on those things or statements in their descriptions which looked queer and strange to them. This fact made their description interesting and lively.
- Their descriptions threw light on the contemporary proceedings of the royal court, religious beliefs and the features of architecture and sculpture. It helps in the writing of history.
Important Foreign Travellers
The three most important foreign travellers who visited India during the Middle Ages were Al-Biruni, Ibn-Battuta and Bernier.
1. The detailed description by Al-Biruni is found in his ‘Kitab-ul-Hind’ which provides information about the contemporary religion, philosophy and science. His description is very simple and straight¬forward.
2. Al-Biruni explained that the caste system was not only the characteristic of the Indian society but also of many other societies of the world. In other words, the caste system was prevalent in many countries of the world.
1. Ibn-Battuta wrote a book entitled ‘Rihla’. In this book, he declined a beautiful picture of his experiences that he had gathered during his various visits and travels. From his book, we come to know a lot about various aspects of social values and new culture.
2. Ibn-Battuta found paan and coconut very strange. So he made a special mention of them.
3. He also wrote about the cities of India and an efficient postal system.
(c) Francois Bernier.
- Bernier wrote a book entitled, ‘Travels in Mughal Empire’.
- Like the books of Al-Biruni and Ibn-Battuta, the book of Bernier is a gist of his experiences.
- He especially compared the condition of India with that of Europe. He found the life of the people of India is worst in comparison to the life found in Europe.
- In all his descriptions, he criticises the control of the state over all the land. He considers it responsible for the miserable condition of Indian agriculture and the farmers.
Through the Eyes of Travellers Important Extra Questions HOTS
Why were travels more difficult and risky in the 14th century? Give any two reasons.
- There was a hazard of robbers on long journeys.
- The travellers could feel home-sick and also fall ill.
‘Ibn-Battuta was an inveterate traveller.’ Give an example.
Ibn-Battuta was neither afraid of anything nor did he get tired. He travelled extensively for several years through northern Africa, western Asia, many parts of central Asia, Indian sub-continent and far off places in China. That is why he was known as an inveterate traveller.
Who was Jean-Baptiste Tavernier?
Jean Baptiste Tavernier was a French jeweller. He had visited India six times. He was especially impressed by the trade activities in India. He compared India with Iran and the Ottoman Empire.
What was the idea of oriental despotism of the French philosopher Montesquieu? What was the base of this idea?
The idea of oriental despotism states that rulers in Asia enjoyed absolute authority over their subjects and the subjects were kept in conditions of subjugation and poverty. The base of this idea was that all the land belonged to the king.
H0w had Bernier described a complex social reality of the artisan, under the Mughals? Give any one reason. (C.B.S.E. 2011 (D)) .
Bernier wrote that artisans under Mughals were hardly encouraged to make their product better because their profit was appropriated by the state. That is why there was a continuous decline in the level of production. On the other hand, he wrote that the world’s precious metals were flown into India as manufactures exported in exchange for gold and silver.
“Ibn-Battuta was full of excitement to know about the unfamiliar.” Give reasons in favour of the statement.
When Ibn-Battuta arrived in India in the 14th century, the whole of the sub-continent was part of a global network of communication. This communication network stretched from China in the east and North¬western Africa and Europe in the west. Ibn-Battuta himself extensively travelled in these regions. During his journeys, he observed sacred places, spent time with scholars and rulers and even remained on the post of Qazi.
He also enjoyed the cosmopolitan culture of urban centres where people used to speak Arabic, Persian, Turkish and other languages and exchanged ideas, information, stories, etc. These include stories of men noted for their piety, kings, general masses and people of all categories. If anything was unfamiliar in those stories, it was particularly highlighted so that the readers or listeners must be impressed by that. Ibn-Battuta very interestingly described the coconut and the paan. His readers were very much unfamiliar with these two things.
“Bernier’s accounts influenced western theorists from the 18th century. Give arguments to support the statement.
“Bernier’s description of imperial land ownership influenced western theorists like French philosopher Montesquieu and German Karl Marx.” Justify it with suitable arguments. (C.B.S.E. 2013 (D))
1. The descriptions of Bernier had a deep impact on many western thinkers. For example, Montesquieu, the French philosopher, used the descriptions of Bernier to develop his idea of oriental despotism. In other words, Montesquieu stated that the rulers in Asia enjoyed absolute authority over their subjects. All the people lived in subjugation and poverty. All the land belonged to the king and there was no private property.
2. Karl Marx further developed this idea as the Asiatic mode of production. He stated that the surplus was taken by the state in India. This led to the emergence of society having a large number of autonomous and egalitarian village communities. The imperial court also respected their autonomy. It was considered as a stagnant system.
Why did travellers, who came to India, sometimes took social inequalities for granted as a natural state of affairs? Explain. (C.B.S.E. 2009 (D)))
Travellers, who came to India, sometimes took social inequalities like a caste system for granted because they did not consider it unique. For example, Al-Biruni had explained the caste system in India. He did not consider it unique as such social divisions were prevalent in ancient Persia. He even accepted the Brahmanical description of the caste system. But he did not accept the notion of pollution as social pollution was contrary to the laws of nature. Actually, he tried to explain the caste system in comparison with its parallels in other societies. But he also expressed that all humans are treated equally in Islam and they differ only in their observance piety.
Through the Eyes of Travellers Important Extra Questions Source-Based
Read the following passages and answer the questions that follow :
Music in the Market
Read Ibn Battuta’s description of Daulatabad: In Daulatabad there is a market place for male and female singers, which is known as Taraba. It is one of the greatest and most beautiful bazaars. It has numerous shops and every shop has a door which leads to the house of the owner… The shops are decorated with carpets and at the centre of a shop, there is a swing on which sits the female singer. She is decked with all kinds of finery and her female attendants swing her. In the middle of the market place, there stands a large cupola, which is carpeted and decorated and in which the chief of the musicians takes his place every Thursday after the dawn prayers, accompanied by his servants. and slaves. The female singers come in successive crowds, sing before him and dance until dusk after which he withdraws. In this bazaar, there are mosques for offering prayers… One of the Hindu rulers …. alighted at the cupola every time he passed by this market place, and the female singers would sing before him. Even some Muslim rulers did the same.
(i) From where has this excerpt been taken?
This excerpt has been derived from Ibn Battuta’s description of Allahabad.
(ii) What was Taraba? Discuss its three features.
(ii) Tarabad was a market place for male and female singers in Daulatabad.
(a) It was one of the greatest and most beautiful bazaars.
(b) It had many shops which were decorated with carpets.
(c) There was a swing in the centre of the shop. The female singer sat on it. Her attendants swing her.
(iii) After the prayers, what programme was carried out on Thursday in a large cupola which existed in the middle of the market place?
(iii) After the dawn prayers on every Thursday, the chief of the musicians sat in a cupola near the market place. Then the female singers came in successive crowds and sang and danced before him till it was dusk or the evening time. Then they left the place.
(iv) How was the Hindu ruler welcomed when he visited cupola in the market place?
The female singers welcomed the ruler by singing songs when he reached the cupola.
The Bird leaves its Nest
This is an excerpt from the Rihla :
My departure from Tangier, my birthplace, took place on Thursday… I set out alone, having neither fellow-traveller nor caravan whose party I might join, but swayed by an overmastering impulse with me and a desire long-cherished in my bosom to visit these illustrious sanctuaries. So I braced my resolution to quit all my dear ones, female and male and forsook my home as birds forsake their nests My age at that time was twenty-two years. Ibn Battuta returned home in 1354, about 30 years after he had set out.
(i) What is Rihla?
‘Rihla’ is an account of travels, written in Arabic, by Ibn Battuta. It gives a detailed description of the social and cultural life in the fourteenth century.
(ii) Why did Ibn Battuta set out of his house all alone? How old was he at that time?
He set out alone as he had a keen desire to visit illustrious sanctuaries. Besides, he was quite experienced in travelling as he had already gone to Mecca, Syria, Iraq, Persia, Yemen, Oman and a few trading ports of South Africa. He was then just 22 years old.
(iii) Why did he compare himself with the birds?
He compared himself to the birds as he felt as free as the birds. The birds leave their nests to see new places. Similarly, he had left all his friends and relatives to know about new places.
(iv) When did he return to his home? How old was he at the time of his return?
He returned home in 1354. At that time he was 32 years old.
Education and Entertainment
This is what Ibn Juzayy, who was deputed to write what Ibn Battuta dictated said in his introduction
A gracious direction was transmitted (by the ruler) that he (Ibn Battuta) should dictate an account of the cities which he had seen in his r travel, and of the interesting events which had clung to his memory, and that he should speak of those whom he had met, of the rulers of countries, of their distinguished men of learning, and their pious saints. Accordingly, he dictated upon these subjects a narrative which gave entertainment to the mind and delight to the ears and eyes, with a variety of curious particulars by the exposition of which he gave edification and of marvellous things, by referring to which he aroused interest.
(i) Who was Ibn Juzayy?
Ibn Juzayy was deputed to write what Ibu
(ii) What instructions were given by the king to Ibn Battuta?
The ruler asked Ibn Battuta to dictate an account of the cities that he had visited during his travel. He also asked Battuta to record the interesting events besides his meetings with rulers, distinguished learned men and pious saints of other countries.
(iii) What was the impact of the narrative of Ibn Battuta on the author?
The narrative of Ibn Battuta entertained the mind of the author. It also delighted his ears and eyes.
(iv) From where had Ibn Battuta come? Which places or regions he visited? Tell anyone problem that he faced during his travel?
Ibn Battuta had come from Morocco. He had visited North Africa, West Asia, Central Asia and China. He had to face many highway robbers during his travels.
Nuts like a Mali’s Head
The following is how Ibn Battuta described the coconut :
These trees are among the most peculiar trees in kind and most astonishing inhabit. They look exactly like date-palms, without any difference between them except that the one produces nuts as its fruits and the other produces dates. The nut of a coconut tree resembles a man’s head, for in it are what look like two eyes and a mouth, and the inside of it when it is green looks like the brain and attached to it is a fibre which looks like hair. They make from these cords with which they sew up ships instead of (using) iron nails, and they (also) make from it cables for vessels.
(i) Why has Ibn, Battuta described coconut?
Ibn Battuta described the coconut because it looked peculiar and astonishing.
(ii) What similarity and dissimilarity did he find in the coconut and date-palm trees?
(a) The coconut tree exactly looks like the date-palm. There is no difference between the two if been looked at.
(b) The dissimilarity between the two is quite evident. The coconut tree produces nuts as its fruits whereas the date-palm produces dates.
(iii) How has he compared the coconut to a man’s head?
According to Ibn Battuta, the nut of a coconut tree resembles a man’s head. It has two eyes and a mouth when it is green, its inner part looks like the brain. It has also fibre which looks like hair.
(iv) According to Ibn Battuta, for what purpose are the fibres used by the people? Write two points.
(a) The fibre was used to make cords
which were used to sew up the ships instead of iron-nails.
(b) It was used to make cables for vessels.
Travelling with the Mughal Army
Bernier often travelled with the army. This is an excerpt from his description of the army’s march to Kashmir :
I am expected to keep two good Turkoman horses, and I also take with me a powerful Persian camel and driver, a groom for my horses, a cook and a servant to go before my horse with a flask of water in his hand, according to the custom of the country. I am also provided with every useful article, such as a tent of moderate size, a carpet, a portable bed made of four very strong but light canes, a pillow, a mattress, round leather table-cloths used at meals, some few napkins of dyed cloth, three small bags with culinary utensils which are all placed in a large bag, and this bag is again carried in a very capacious and strong double sack or net made of leather thongs.
This double sack likewise contains the provisions, linen and wearing apparel, both of master and servants. I have taken care to lay in a stock of excellent rice for five or six days’ consumption, of sweet biscuits flavoured with anise (a herb), of limes and sugar. Nor have I forgotten a linen bag with its small iron hook for the purpose of suspending and draining dahi or curds; nothing being considered so refreshing in this country as lemonade and dahi.
(i) Who was Bernier? Whom did he dedicate his most famous creation?
Bernier was a French traveller. He remained in India for twelve years, that is, from 1656 to 1668. He was closely associated with the Mughal court. He was a physician to Prince Dara Shukoh, the eldest son of Emperor Shah Jahan. He dedicated his major writing to Louis XIV, the King of France.
(ii) What was expected of him?
Bernier was a French traveller. He remained in India for twelve years, that is, from 1656 to 1668. He was closely associated with the Mughal court. He was a physician to Prince Dara Shukoh, the eldest son of Emperor Shah Jahan. He dedicated his major writing to Louis XIV, the King of France.
(iii) Except food material, what else was he given? Name any eight things.
He was expected to. see two good Turkoman horses.
(a) A powerful Persian camel and driver.
(b) A groom for his horses.
(c) A cook.
(d) A servant
(e) A tent of moderate size.
(f) A carpet.
(g) A caned portable bed. ‘
(h) A pillow and a mattress.
(iv) Name any four things given to him to eat.
(a) Excellent Rice.
(b) Sweet biscuits Kavaured with anise.
(c) Limes. ‘
Al-Biruni described his work as a help to those who want to discuss religious questions with them (the Hindus), and as a repertory of information to those who want to associate with them. ’
(i) When and where was Al-Biruni born?
Al-Biruni was born in 973 at Khwarizm which is these days in Uzbekistan.
(ii) Name the book written by him.
He wrote “Kitab-ul-Hind”.
(iii) With which objectives did he write?
(a) He wanted to help those who were eager
to discuss religious questions with the Hindus.
(b) He accumulated information for those who wanted to associate with the Hindus.
(iv) Name the two books translated by him. In which language were these translated?
Al-Biruni translated Patanjali’s work on grammar into Arabic. He also translated the works of Euclid into Sanskrit. Euclid was a Greek mathematician.
On Horse and on Foot
This is how Ibn Battuta described the postal system :
In India, the postal system is of two kinds: The horse-post called ‘ulu’ is run by royal horses stationed at a distance of every four miles. The foot-post has three stations permit. It is called ‘Dawa’, that is, one-third of a mile Now, at every third of a mile there is a well-populated village, outside which are three pavilions in which sit men with girded loins ready to start. Each of them carries a rod, two cubits in length with copper bells at the top.
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. When the men in the pavilion hear the ringing of the bell they get ready. As soon as the courier reaches them one of them takes the letter from his hand and runs at the top speed shaking the rod all the while until he reaches the next Dawa. And the same process continues till the letter reaches its destination. This foot-person is quicker than the horse-post, and often it is used to transport the fruits of Khurasan which are much desired in India.
(i)Name two kinds of the postal system.
There were two kinds of postal systems – the horse postal system and the postal system on foot.
(ii) Explain how the foot post worked.
In the postal service on foot, there were three stages. They were called the Dawa. It was one-third part of a mile. There was a village with a dense population at a distance of every three-mile. There were three centres outside it. The people used to sit in these centres to start their work. Each one of them had a long rod having copper bells at its top. Whenever a messenger started his journey, he held the letter in one land and this rod with copper bells in the other hand. He would run very fast. The people sitting in the camps at once got ready when they heard the sound of the bells. As soon as the messenger reached the camp, one of the people would take the letter and run away at full speed shaking the rod. This process continued till the letter reached its destination.
(iii) Why does Ibn-Battuta think that the postal system in India was efficient?
According to Ibn Battuta, the journey from Sindh to Delhi was completed in fifty days. On the other hand, all the information given by the detectives reached the king within five days. Ibn Battuta was quite amazed at their efficiency of the postal system. This system was also used to send information to traders who went too far off places.
(iv) How did the State encourage merchants in the 14th century?
In the 14th century, the state took special steps to encourage the traders. For example, al the trade routes had serais and rest houses.