Periods of history of Rajasthan

The history of the Indian state of Rajasthan is about 5000 years old. The history of Rajasthan can be classified into three parts owing to the different epochs- Ancient, Medieval and Modern.

Ancient Period, up to 1200 AD

Rajput clans emerged and held their sway over different parts of Rajasthan from about 700 AD. Before that, Rajasthan was a part of several republics. It was a part of the Mauryan Empire. Other major republics that dominated this region include the Malavas, Arjunyas, Yaudhyas, Kushans, Saka Satraps, Guptas and Hunas.

The Rajput clans ascendancy in Indian history was during the period from the eighth to the twelfth century AD. The Pratihars ruled Rajasthan and most of northern India during 750-1000 AD. Between 1000-1200AD, Rajasthan witnessed the struggle for supremacy between Chalukyas, Parmars and Chauhans.

Medieval Period, 1201 – 1707

Around 1200 AD a part of Rajasthan came under Muslim rulers. The principal centers of their powers were Nagaur and Ajmer. Ranthambore was also under their suzerainty. At the beginning of the 13th century AD, the most prominent and powerful state of Rajasthan was Mewar. 

Modern Period, 1707 – 1947

Rajasthan had never been united politically until its domination by Mughal Emperor – Akbar. Akbar created a unified province of Rajasthan. Mughal power started to decline after 1707. The political disintegration of Rajasthan was caused by the dismemberment of the Mughal Empire. The Marathas penetrated Rajasthan upon the decline of the Mughal Empire. In 1755 they occupied Ajmer. The beginning of the 19th Century was marked by the onslaught of the Pindaris.

Book – Ancient History of Rajasthan for RPSC RAS/RTS and other exams – Download

Ancient History Practice MCQs for RPSC RAS Prelims Exam

History of Rajasthan Complete Study Notes with Practice MCQ

Stone Age

Early Stone Age: 10, 00,000 – 1, 00,000 BCE

Middle Stone Age: 1, 00,000–50,000 BCE

Later Stone Age: 50,000–5000 BCE

Bronze Age

Early Bronze Age: 5000-3300 BCE

Later Bronze Age: 3300-1500 BCE

  • Indus Valley Civilization
  • Kalibanga

Vedic Period

Iron Age: 1500–500 BCE

Classical Period

Ancient Kingdoms of Rajasthan

Many Kingdoms of Rajasthan Ruled from (500 BCE to 300 CE) like- Sivi, Salwa, Malava and Others.

Under Gupta Empire

Many Kingdoms of Rajasthan ruled independently under Gupta Empire from (300-600 CE)

Rajput Period

Many Rajput & other Kingdoms (not only Rajput many others also) ruled Rajasthan as:

Early Rajput Period from (600-1200 CE)

Middle Rajput Period from: (1200-1674 CE)

Later Rajput Period from: (1674-1857 CE)

Archaeological evidence indicates that early humans lived along the banks of the Banas River and its tributaries some 100,000 years ago. The Indus (Harappan) and post-Indus civilizations (3rd–2nd millennium BCE) are traceable at Kalibangan in northern Rajasthan, as well as at Ahar and Gilund, both near the city of Udaipur in the south. Pottery fragments at Kalibangan date to 2700 BCE. The discovery near Bairat (in north-central Rajasthan) of two rock inscriptions from the 3rd century BCE indicate that the area was at that time under the rule of Ashoka, the last great emperor of the Mauryan dynasty of India.

According to Wikipedia, Maharishi Valmiki called Rajasthan as Marukantaar in the Ramayana period.

Rajasthan was an ancient part of Indus Valley civilization (Harappans). One of the Rajasthan ancient cities, Hanumangarh city was known as Kalibangan, was the capital of Indus valley civilization at the ancient time period. Rajasthan’s ancient civilizations leave much important evidence of the earliest agricultural field ever founded in Rajasthan, India, and as well as many places in Asia.

The whole or parts of present-day Rajasthan were ruled by Bactrian (Indo-Greek) kings in the 2nd century BCE, the Saka satraps (Scythians) from the 2nd to the 4th century CE, the Gupta dynasty from the early 4th to the late 6th century, the Hephthalites (Hunas) in the 6th century, and Harsha (Harshavardhana), a Rajput ruler, in the early 7th century.

Stone Age: a prehistoric period when weapons and tools were made of stone or of organic materials such as bone, wood or horn.

Paleolithic age: Paleolithic, The cultural period of the Stone Age that began about 2.5 to 2 million years ago, marked by the earliest use of tools made of chipped stone. The Paleolithic Period ended at different times in different parts of the world, generally around 10,000 years ago in Europe and the Middle East.

Paleolithic site in Rajasthan: Nagaur and Didwana.

Mesolithic Age: Mesolithic, also called Middle Stone Age, ancient cultural stage that existed between the Paleolithic (Old Stone Age), with its chipped stone tools, and the Neolithic (New Stone Age), with its polished stone tools. Most often used to describe archaeological assemblages from the Eastern Hemisphere, the Mesolithic is broadly analogous to the archaic culture of the Western Hemisphere. Mesolithic material culture is characterized by greater innovation and diversity than is found in the Paleolithic. Among the new forms of chipped stone tools were microliths, very small stone tools intended for mounting together on a shaft to produce a serrated edge.

Mesolithic sites in Rajasthan:

1. Bagor

  • On the bank of river Kothari in Bhilwara District.
  • Most ancient source of animal husbandry is found here.
  • Tools are excavated in large numbers.
  • Excavated by Virendranath Mishra.
  • Biggest Mesolithic Site in India.

2. Tilwara

  • On the bank of river Luni in Barmer district.
  • Evidence of animal husbandry is found here.
  • Excavated by Virendranath Mishra.

3. Chalcolithic Age: Chronology of Chalcolithic Settlement. The first metal age of India is called Chalcolithic Age which saw the use of copper along with stone. It was also called Stone-Copper Age.

Ahar Culture

  • It is also known as Banas Culture.
  • Six hearth-stone are found from a single home which shows the evidence of joint families living under the same roof.
  • Black and Red Ware pottery were found here.
  • Other important sites were Gilund, Balathal, Pachamta, etc.

The Palaeolithic age has been further divided into 3 sub-ages namely:

  • Upto 1,00,000 BC: Lower Palaeolithic or Early Old Stone Age
  • 1,00,000 BC – 40,000 BC: Middle Palaeolithic or Middle Old Stone Age
  • 40,000 BC – 10,000 BC: Upper Palaeolithic or Later Old Stone Age

Important Points of Palaeolithic or Old- Stone Age in Rajasthan:

  • Special characteristic stone tools – handaxe and cleaver.
  • Raw materials used for making stone tools included – quartzite, quartz and basalt.
  • The sites of early Stone Age discovered in Rajasthan have been identified as belonging to Acheulian culture, named after French site of St. Acheul who was the first effective colonization of the Indian subcontinent.
  • The Acheulian culture was a hunter-gatherer culture.
  • Sites of lower-palaeolithic age are located in Belan valley in Uttar Pradesh, Barkhera, Bhimbetka and Putlikarar in Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh, Nevasa / Patne (Kolhapur district) in Maharashtra.
  • In Rajasthan the discoveries of Lower Palaeolithic sites are largely confined to southern and central Rajasthan and partly to the western Rajasthan.
  • Important sites include Didwana in Luni Valley, Jayal, Jaisalmer-Pokhran Road, Berach complex, Chambal complex (Allchin etal. 1978)
  • The Acheulian culture of Old Stone Age was slowly transformed into the middle Palaeolithic by giving some of the tool types and by developing new tools & technology.
  • Special characteristic of stone tools – Flakes.
  • In comparison to the lower Palaeolithic era, the tools in middle Palaeolithic became smaller, thinner and lighter.
  • New raw materials used for making stone tools included fine-grained siliceous rocks like chert and jasper.
  • In Rajasthan, Middle Palaeolithic sites are largely confined to central Rajasthan and partly in southern and western Rajasthan.
  • Important Middle Palaeolithic age sites are located at Luni valley, around Didwana, Budha Pushkar.
  • The tools of Upper Palaeolithic Era are further refined upon the lower and middle periods and show a marked regional diversity with respect to the refinement of techniques and standardization of finished tool forms.
  • Special characteristic of stone tools of Upper Palaeolithic age – Flakes and blades.
  • One important discovery is of the Ostrich egg shells at over 40 sites in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, which shows that ostrich, a bird adapted to arid climate.
  • The upper Palaeolithic settlements also show a distinct trend of being associated with permanent sources of waters.
  • Society was ‘Band Society‘– small communities, usually consisting of less than 100 people. They were nomadic to some extent moving from one place to another.
  • The earliest form of art by humans also belongs to upper Palaeolithic period in the form of rock paintings (Bhimbetka).
  • In Rajasthan, Upper Palaeolithic sites are largely confined to central Rajasthan and are partly found in western and northeastern Rajasthan.
  • Major sites include Chittorgarh, Kota and basins of rivers Wagon, kadamli, Sabarmati & Mahi.

Important MCQs

Question-1 in Sanskrit literature the word ‘Bahudhanyakatak’ has been used for which civilization?

  1. Ganeshwar
  2. gilund
  3. sigh
  4. Kalibanga

Ans: 1

Question-2 The oldest remains of animal husbandry were found in Rajasthan?

  1. Bagore (Bhilwara)
  2. Alaniya (Kota)
  3. Sohanpura (Sikar)
  4. Bharani (Tonk)

Ans: 1

Question-3 Who first used the word prehistoric in 1851 in his book “The Archeology and Pre-historic Annals of Scotland”?

  1. P K Keshot
  2. Daniel Wilson
  3. c a hacker
  4. none of these

Ans: 2

Question-4 Who called the Stone Age or the Neolithic Age as “Stone Age Revolution”?

  1. colonel toad
  2. c a hacker
  3. Daniel Wilson
  4. Garden Child

Ans: 4

Question-5 which site related to the Mesolithic period is not a representative site of Rajasthan?

  1. Alaniya (Kota)
  2. Pass (Kota)
  3. Sohanpura (Sikar)
  4. Jahazpur (Bhilwara)

Ans: 4

Question-6 Which statement related to the Early Stone Age is true?

  1. Hand ax and chopper are the oldest tools of man.
  2. The representative sites of this period in Rajasthan are Dhingriya, Hamirpur, Deoli.
  3. The tools of this era were first discovered by CA Hacker.
  4. The tools of this era were beautiful and attractive

a) All the statements are true

b) All the statements are false

c) Statements I and IV are true

d) All except statement IV are true

Question 7.  Stone Age culture was spread in Rajasthan?

a) In the desert area

b) On the banks of major rivers and tributaries

c) Aravalli mountain range

d) in the caves of the forests

Ans: b

Question 8.  The material which has been received from the centers of Stone Age civilization of Rajasthan is?

a) Currency and coins

b) Inscription

c) Unformed and beauty less tools

d) Copper plate

Ans: c

Question 9. Primitive humans needed killers because-?

a) There were constant external attacks on primitive man

b) Primitive man was of imperial nature

c) Primitive man for his protection and livelihood

d) For the sale of arms and other castes

Ans: c

Question 10 Aryans used to call Proto Australoid people?

a) Dravidian

B) Nishad

c) primitive man

d) barbari

Ans: b

Question 11.  What was there in the desert region of Rajasthan thousands of years ago?

a) mountain

b) sand

c) sea

D) Arya’s salvation land

Ans: c

Question 12. In which era did the practice of offering “Bali” start?

1. Chalcolithic Age

2. Paleolithic Age

3. New Stone Age

4. None of the above

Ans: 3

Question 13. To which era do the tools named scraper and pointer belong?

1. Paleolithic Age

2. Chalcolithic Age

3. Iron Age

4. Neolithic Age

Ans: 4

Question 14. What was the main occupation of the people of the Stone Age?

1. Animal Husbandry

2. Farming

3. Horticulture

4. Collection of food by hunting

Ans: 4

Question 15. From where is the mural of “Bird Rider” (human riding on a bird) obtained?

1. Rate (Bharatpur)

2. Bagore (Bhilwara)

3. Gardada (Bundi)

4. Raid (Jaipur)

Ans: 3

Question 16. Which of the following is not a feature of the Neolithic Age?

1. Bronze was used

2. Cotton cultivation started

3. Agricultural work started

4. The wheel was invented

Ans: 1

Question 17. When was the cultivation of food grains first started?

1. Neolithic period

2. Mesolithic period

3. Palaeolithic period

4. Protohistoric carpet

Ans: 1

Question 18: From which place was the ancient evidence of animal husbandry obtained?

1. Bagour

2. Balathal

3. City

4. Jaipura

Ans: 1

Question 19: From which archaeological site does the knowledge of the civilization before the Chauhan era come?

(a) Bagore

(b) Naliya sir

(c) City

(d) Bairat

Ans: b

Question: 20 Relics of five cultural eras have been found at which place?

(a) Ahar

(b) Bagore

(c) Ganeshwar

(d) Noh

Ans: d

Question 21: A museum has been set up for the protection of 24 antiquities.

(a) Ganeshwar

(b) Kalibanga

(c) Balathal

(d) Bairat

Ans: b

Question: 22 which temple is situated on the banks of river Luni in Barmer?

(a) Ojhiana

(b) Tilwara

(c) Jodhpur

(d) Rang Mahal

Ans: b

Question: 23 In which district is the Stone Age archaeological site located?

(a) Alwar

(B) Bharatpur

(c) Nagaur

(d) Dhaulpur

Ans: b

Question: 24 In the context of archaeological sites, the mismatched pair is??

(a) Bhangarh – Jhunjhunu

(b) Sabaniya-Bikaner

(c) Thehad – Hanumangarh

(D) Kiradot-Jaipur

Ans: a

Question 25. Where is Lothal, the city of Indus Civilization?

(a) Gujarat

(b) Rajasthan

(c) Punjab

(d) Haryana

Ans: a

Question: 26. Mohenjodaro is located at?

(a) Sindh province of Pakistan

(b) Gujarat

(c) Punjab

(d) Afghanistan

Ans: a

Question 27. Which deity did the Vedic Aryans not worship?

(A) Indra

(B) Marut

(C) Varuna

(D) Pashupati

Ans: d

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