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Class VI - social: Life in Villages, Towns and the Kingdoms of South and Central India
One Word Answer Questions:
Q) What was the main occupation of the people of the Iron Age?
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Q) Name the port city of the Pandyas?
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Q) Name one important Buddhist religious centre?
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Q) The period between 500 BC and 300 AD is known?
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Q) Who built the dam Grand Anicut?
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Short Answer Questions:
Q) Explain about the Cholas?
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Q) What is meant by Urbanisation?
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Q) What is the Sangam Age? Why is it called so?
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Q) Who were Satavahanas? Where was their kingdom located?
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Q) Explain about the Cheras?
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Long Answer Questions:
Q) What were the conditions that encourged urbanisation in the Gangetic plains?
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Q) Write an account of the reign of the Satavahana kings?
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Q) Describe the life of Tamil people during the Sangam Age?
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Q) Explain the importance of iron tools during the Aryan period?
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Q) Describe the different kinds of urban centres during the second urbanisation in ancient India?
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New Development in the field of Agriculture
  • Iron Age started between the period of 1000 and 600 BC when Aryans spread into Indo-Gangetic Plains of North India.
  • Aryan's made tools and weapons from Iron which was harder than the copper tools.
  • This innovation of Iron tools helped them to cut down forests and cultivate new areas.
  • This led to major expansion of agriculture and a marked increase in agricultural production.
Early Iron Age Weapons

Life in the villages
  • By 800 BC, several closely spread small villages had emerged in the Gangetic Plains.
  • Agriculture was the main occupation of the people of these settlements.
  • People started specialising in different professions.
  • The importance of carpenters increased.They had access to abundant supplies of wood from the surrounding forests.
  • Metal smiths made things of brass, copper, gold, silver and iron.
  • Apart from above mentioned occupations there were other occupations also like the pottery, the weaver and the hunter.
Gold Collar
The Second Urbanisation

    The conditions in the Gangetic Plains were suitable for urbanisation. These are:

  • Increased agricultural production led to surplus food supply.
  • Surplus food could now be exchanged or traded for other goods. This led to the establishment of trade centres.
  • Since towns and cities did not produce their own food, they depended on trade with villages for food.
  • The growth of kingdoms and empires in northern India also encouraged the growth of cities.
  • Thus, the expansion of agriculture and trade, and the establishment of states, led once more to the growth of towns and cities.
  • By 200 BC, several thriving urban centres had developed in the South. In South India, the towns that developed included Thanjavur,Madurai,Puhar and Mamallapuram.
  • Life
    Mamallapuram Shore Temple
    Tanjavur Temple
Different kinds of urban centres

Administrative Towns
  • Some towns grew as centres of administration.
  • Some cities became the capitals of powerful kingdoms like Hastinapur, Rajagriha (of Magadha), Kausambi and Shravasti (of Kosala).
Vishwa Shanti Stupa

Market Towns
  • Some towns were markets and centres of trade.
  • These urban centres were connected to several villages and were places where the villagers could come and exchange their produce for other things they needed.
  • Several trading places in the interior of the subcontinent also developed into urban centres, such as Kondapur, Nevasa, Nasik and Kakur.
Port Towns
  • Bharuch was a major port city which handled most of the sea trade from the west.
  • Musiri, near Pattanam in present-day Kerala, was an important centre of trade with the Roman Empire.
  • Tamralipti on the bank of Ganga was the main port on the eastern coast.
Musiri Port

Religious Centres
  • Some urban centres developed around places of Buddhist, Jain and Hindu Pilgrimage.
  • Vaishali, Ujjain, Kasi, Madurai and Mathura were cities of great religious significance for the Hindus.
  • Many towns and cities served multiple functions. Cities like Pataliputra and Mathura were not just administrative centres; they were also important centres of trade.
  • In the Southernmost part of India, there were three kingdoms - the chera, Chola and Pandya kingdoms.
  • Madurai was a religious centre as well as the capital of the Pandyan kingdom.
  • The period between 500BC and AD 300 is known as the Sangam Age in Tamil Nadu.
  • The Satavahanas ruled over Central India for three centuries.
A Temple in Ujjain
Buddhist Stupa in Amravathi
Layout of towns
  • Most of the towns were enclosed within moats or fortified walls.
  • The houses were built of mud bricks and in some cases burnt bricks.
  • Palaces and richer dwellings were made of carved wood.
  • Facilities not seen in villages can be seen in excavated urban sites - drains, ring wells and soakage pits to dispose of sewage.
  • These were different from the features of the towns of the Indus Civilisation.
Moats or fortified wall of Tanjavur town

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