NCERT Class 7 History Chapter 5: Rulers and Buildings YouTube Lecture Handouts

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NCERT Class 7 History Chapter 5: Rulers and Buildings

1st Balcony of Qutb Minar made by Qutbuddin Aybak in 1199 – small arches, geometrical designs

Kinds of Structures

Kinds of Structures

Agra Fort by Akbar: 2,000 stone-cutters, 2,000 cement and lime-makers and 8,000 laborers.

Engineering Skills

  • Roof with beams
  • Slab of stones with 4 walls
  • Large room with superstructure (part of building above ground floor) – more sophisticated
  • B/w 7th -10th century: More rooms, doors & windows added
  • “Trabeate” or “corbelled” architecture: Placing a horizontal beam across two vertical columns – in temple, mosque, tom & large stepped wells
Trabeate and Corbelled Architecture
  • Arcuate: “true” arch and “keystone” at the centre of arch transferred weight of superstructure to base of arch.
  • Limestone cement mixed with stone chips hardened into concrete

Temple Construction in 11th Century

  • Symbol of power, wealth and devotion of the patron
  • Largest temples were all constructed by kings
  • Kandariya Mahadeva temple (Shiva Temple) : Constructed in 999 by King Dhangadeva of the Chandela dynasty. Ornamental gateway led to an entrance & main hall (mahamandapa) where dances were performed. Chief deity was kept in the main shrine (garbhagriha) – where king and immediate family gathered
  • Khajuraho complex contained royal temples where commoners were not allowed entry.
  • Rajarajeshvara temple at Thanjavur had tallest shikhara amongst temples of its time – had no cranes & idea was to lift 90 ton stone for top of shikhara (with inclined path of 4 km & boulders were rolled to the top) . Even now a village near the temple is called Charupallam, the “Village of the Incline” . Built by King Rajarajadeva to worship god, Rajarajeshvaram. King took the name of God & wanted to appear like God.


  • Muslim Sultans and Padshahs did not claim to be incarnations of god but Persian court chronicles described Sultan as the “Shadow of God” .
  • God chose Alauddin as a king because he had the qualities of Moses and Solomon, the great law-givers of the past.
  • Greatest law-giver and architect was God Himself.
  • Introduced order & symmetry
  • Ab means water – abad (populated) & abadi (flourishing)
  • Rulers tried to transform capitals into cultural centers
  • Sultan Iltutmish won universal respect for constructing large reservoir just outside Delhi-i kuhna known as hauz-i Sultani or the “King՚s Reservoir” .

Why Temples Were Destroyed?

  • Kings demonstrated power by temples and it was targeted 9th century: Pandyan king Shrimara Shrivallabha invaded Sri Lanka and defeated king, Sena I – removed gold & Buddha statue Sena II invaded Madurai, capital of Pandyas (to find & restore gold statue of Buddha)
  • 11th century: Chola king Rajendra I built Shiva temple & filled it with prized statues seized from defeated rulers like Sun-pedestal, Ganesha, Durga, Nandi from Chalukyas; image of Bhairava and Bhairavi from Kalingas of Orissa; and Kali statue from Palas of Bengal
  • Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni was contemporary of Rajendra I. He looted Somnath

Gardens, Tombs & Forts

  • Mughal architecture was more complicated. Babur laid formal gardens, rectangular enclosures, chahar Bagh (4 gardens with symmetrical division of quarters – later by Shah Jahan & Jahangir)
  • Akbar՚s architects turned to tombs of his Central Asian ancestor, Timur
  • Humayun Tomb: Central towering dome & tall gateway (pishtaq) , placed in chachar bagh built in tradition known as “eight paradises” or hasht bihisht, central hall surrounded by eight rooms. Building was constructed with red sandstone, edged with white marble.
  • Shah Jahan: fused Mughal architectural elements, construction in Delhi & Agra, ceremonial halls of public and private audience (diwan-i khas or am) or chihil sutun or 40-pillared halls within a large courtyard. Audience hall was similar to mosque. Pedestal where throne was placed was called qibla (direction faced by Muslims during prayer)
  • Red Fort: Series of pietra dura inlays depicting legendary Greek god Orpheus playing the lute behind emperor՚s throne. Shah Jahan՚s audience hall communicated that king՚s justice would treat high & low as equals where all could live together in harmony. Initial capital was Agra with Taj Mahal, white marble mausoleum was placed on a terrace by the edge of the river and the garden was to its south. It was completed in 1643.
  • New city of Shahjahan abad constructed in Delhi, imperial palace commanded the river-front. Only specially favoured nobles – like his eldest son Dara Shukoh – were given access to the river, rest all had to construct their homes in the city away from River Yamuna


  • In Vijayanagara, elephant stables of rulers were strongly influenced by the style of architecture found in the adjoining Sultanates of Bijapur and Golcunda.
  • In Vrindavan, near Mathura, temples were similar to the Mughal palaces in Fatehpur Sikri. Style of architecture is from NW Iran (Khurasan) for high ceiling roof and was used in Fatehpur Sikri.
  • Cross fertilization of architectural forms took place
  • Bengal – local rulers developed roof designed to resemble thatched hut, Mughals used this Bangla Dome.
  • Akbar՚s capital at Fatehpur Sikri - impact of architectural styles of Gujarat and Malwa
  • 12th century: France build churches that were taller and lighter than earlier buildings. Gothic style had high pointed arches, use of stained glass, often painted with scenes drawn from the Bible, and flying buttresses. Tall spires and bell towers were visible from a distance were added to the church – Notre Dame Church in Paris

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