UPSC IAS Prelims Exam: Key terms in Medieval Indian History

Terms and their meanings under Ancient and Medieval Indian history have a vital role in UPSC Civil Services IAS Examination. In 2015 and 2016, UPSC had asked questions about the meaning or key terms from Medieval Indian History. They have already asked several terms and their meanings like Eripatti, Purohita, Jana and Panchayatan. So while preparing for Indian history, aspirants should note down these terms with their meanings.  In this scenario, UPSC may follow the same trend and aspirants should know the key terms in history.

Question on terms from Medieval Indian History and their meanings asked in UPSC IAS Prelims exam.

1. In the context of the history of India, consider the following pairs: Term description

  1. Eripatti: land, revenue from which was set apart for the maintenance of the village tank.
  2. Taniyurs: Villages donated to a single Brahmin or a group of Brahmins
  3. Ghatikas: colleges generally attached to the temples.

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 3 only
  3. 2 and 3
  4. 1 and 3

Ans. B

2. With reference to the cultural history of India, the term ‘Panchayatan’ refers to

  1. An assembly of village elders
  2. A religious sect
  3. A style of temple construction
  4. An administrative functionary

Ans: C

 Key terms in Medieval Indian History.

Term Meaning
Amils Revenue
Bargir Cavalrymen
Dam Coin
Dhimmis Non-Muslims people
Din Religion
Diwan Function of finance
Diwan-i-Arz Ministry of Military affairs
Diwan-i-Insha Ministry of Royal correspondence
Diwan-i-Kul Wazir or Chief imperial fiscal minister
Diwan-i-Risalat Religious Affairs
Diwan-i-Wizarat Department of Finance
Faujdar In charge of Sarkar
Ganj A grain market
Gomashta Commercial agent
Hun A gold coin
Hundis Bills of Exchange
Ibadat Khana House of Worship
Khalisa Land revenue directly for the imperial treasury
Khots Village head
Khums Tax on plunder
Khutba A sermon made in Friday mosque
Madad-i-Massh Tax-free grants of land
Malfuzat Saying of Sufi saint
Mamluk White slaves
Mir Bhakshi Military department
Mir Saman Supply department
Misl Sikh regions
Muquaddam Village head
Nagaram Assembly of Merchants in Chola Period
Nankar A portion of revenue given to Zamindar
Pargana Around a hundred village
Qanungos Caretaker of revenue records
Sabha Assembly of Brahmins in the Chola period
Sadr Us Sadur Ecclesiastical affairs
Sarkar Administrative unit or Units of Paragana
Shaikhzadas Indian Muslims nobility
Sharia Muslim law
Shiqdar Head of Administrative unit
Sondhar Loans
Subhas Provinces
Tankah Silver coin
Umara Collective term of nobility
Ummah Muslim believer
Ur Common village assembly in Chola Period
Vimans Towers of Temple
Waqf Grants to Muslim religious establishments
Watandar Desais and Deskmukh
Wilayat The spiritual territory of a Sufi
Wujuhat Taxes on cattle
Zabt Revenue-based on land measurement
Zawabit Non-Shariat State laws


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