Chapter Notes and Summary
• Traders and Black Gold : South India was known for its gold, spices, especially as pepper and precious stones. South Indian pepper was very popular in Roman Empire and was known as Black Gold.
• Exploring Sea Routes : In course of their trading activities, traders explored many sea routes. Other traders reached western coast of subcontinent from East Africa or Arabia sailing during South-West monsoon.
• New Kingdoms and Geography : southern part of sub-continent is marked by a long coastline, hills, plateaus and river valleys.
• Muvender-Three Chiefs : Sangam Literature talks about Muvender, meaning three Chiefs—the Cholas Cheras, and Pandyas. They were powerful around 2300 years ago.
• Administration of Chiefs : They did not collect any regular taxes, but demanded gifts from people. They distributed their wealth amongst their supporters.
• Emergence of Satavahanas : Satavahana dynasty emerged after 200 years and was powerful in Western India. An important ruler of this dynasty was Gautamiputra Shri Satakarni.
• Satavahanas and Inscription : An inscription composed by Gautami Balashri, mother of Satakarni, throws lights on history of Santavahana dynasty. Satavahana rulers were known as Lords of Dakshinapatha, meaning ‘route leading to South’.
• Silk Route : Techniques of making silk were first invented in China around 7000 years ago. Chinese went to distant lands carrying silk with them. paths they followed came to be known as Silk Route.
• Controlling Silk Route : Some of rulers of earlier times tried to control Silk Route for collecting taxes, tributes and gifts brought by traders. Indian rulers who controlled Silk Route were Kushanas.
• Buddhist Council : Kushana ruler Kanishka, who ruled around 1900 years ago organised a Buddhist Council.
Ashvaghosha, a poet, composed a biography of Buddha known as Buddhacharita.
• Spread of Buddhism : A new form of Buddhism, ‘Mahayana Buddhism’ developed and spread throughout Western and Southern India and south eastwards to Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia.
• Buddhist Pilgrim : Traders journeyed to distant lands in caravans and ships. With them, pilgrims often travelled.
Well-known Chinese Buddhist pilgrims are Fa Xian, Xuan Zang and I-Qing. They left accounts of their journeys.
• Beginning of Bhakti : word Bhakti (Sanskrit term ‘bhaj’) means ‘to divide or share.’ It suggests an intimate, two-way relationship between deity and devotee. Bhakti is directed towards Bhagwad.
Chapter Notes and Summary