Through the Eyes of Travellers Perceptions of Society – CBSE Notes for Class 12 History

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• Many foreign travellers visited India during medieval period. They came to India for several motives.
• Most of the travellers who came to India wrote their accounts.
• The accounts of these travellers dealt with various aspects. Some travellers accounts deal with the affairs of the court whereas few accounts are focussed on religious issues.
• Some travellers create about the contemporary style of architecture and monuments, whereas other depicts the social and economic life.
• The travellers who visited India presented the true picture of Indian civilisation in their accounts.
• Al-Biruni, a great scholar of central Asia, came to India in the 11th century. He arrived India during the invasion of Mahmud of Ghazni.
• Al-Biruni was bom on 4 Sept. 973 at Khwarizm in Uzbekistan.
• Al-Biruni was well-versed in many languages. Languages such as Arabic, Persian, Hebrew and Sanskrit were known to him.
• Al-Biruni’s most outstanding work ‘Kitab-ul-Hind’ was written in Ghazni and was concerned India. It was also known as Tarikh-ul-Hind and Tahqiq-ma-lil-Hind.
• Al-Biruni has thrown a light on caste system prevailing in the Hindu society.
• According to Al-Biruni’s description India’s economic condition was very good.
• Al-Biruni’s real name was Abu-Abdullah Muhammad. He was fond of travelling and wanted to increase his knowledge by establishing his contact with the people of different countries.
• He travelled thirty years of his life.
• The great traveller of Morocco died in 1377, but the account written by him ‘Rihla’ is of immense wealth.
• After returning to Morocco in 1354 he (Ibn Battuta) was ceremoniously welcomed by ‘Sultan’, Abu Iram.
• Sultan Abu Iram appointed Ibijuzayy to help Battuta to compile his account ‘Rihla’.
• Rihla was written in Arabic. In it describe whatever he saw in India.
• Undoubtedly Tlihla’ is considered as an invaluable source of Indian History in the 14th century.
• Francois Bernier was a French traveller who came to India in 17th century.
• Francois Bernier was a great French doctor, philosopher and an historian who remained in India from 1656 to 1688 and wrote his famous book entitled. “Travels in the Mughal court”.
• Francois has given great detail about Indian Kharkhenas. Town, land ownership system and social evil, i.e. sati system.
• Abdur Razzaq the great Iranian scholar came to India in 15th century. He was born in 1413 and was appointed the Qazi of Samarqand under Shah Rokh Khan.
• Abdur Razzaq stayed in the court of Vijayanagara empireDeva Raya II from 1442-1443 and gave a vind description about the Vijayanagara kingdom.
• Duarte Barbosa was a Portugese official in south India, who travelled Vijayanagara Empire during the reign of Krishna Deva Raya in 1518.
• Among the other important travellers who came to India in medieval period were Antonio Monserrate, Peter Mundy, Jean Baptisite Tavernier, Franciso Pelesart and Nikolo Muncci.
1. Hindu: The term “Hindu’ was derived from an old Persian word which was used in 6th century BCE. It referred to the region towards the east of the river Sindhu, i.e. Indus.
2. Antyaja: Those people who were included in the major four castes prevalent in the Indian society.
3. Tarababad: It means the music market in Daultabad.
4. Ulaq: Hose postal system.
5. Daw: Foot postal system.
6. Camp Towns: Those towns which owed their existence and survival to the imperial camp.
Time Line:
1. 973  Al-Biruni was bom in Uzbekistan
2. 1031  Kitub-ul-Hind in Arabic by Al-Biruni was published
3. 1048  Death fo Al-Biruni
4. 1304  Ibn Battuta bom at Tangier
5. 1333  Ibn Battuta’s reached Sindh
6. 1354  Ibn Battuta’s return to Morocco
7. 1377  Rihla was published
8. 1620  Francisco-Pelsart a Dutch traveller reached India
9. 1628  Petermundy of England visited India
10. 1656-68  Francois Bernier visited India