Medieval History of India – Important Topics, Medieval History from 6th to 14th Century

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Medieval History of India is the time period of Indian history between the ancient period and the modern period, ranging from the 6th century to the 16th century. The topics of the Medieval History of India are greatly related to other topics such as Indian Heritage and Art & Culture. History is a significant and essential subject of the IAS exam and the below-given Medieval History notes are helpful in both UPSC prelims and mains.

Medieval History of India requires a thorough understanding of the chronology of events. The article covers all the necessary topics that one needs to know while studying the Medieval Indian History Notes PDF. At the end of the article, we have compiled all the micro-topics in the form of Medieval History Notes for UPSC PDF.

Medieval History of India

The medieval history of India notes covers the most important topics of this particular era for the IAS exam. As the UPSC syllabus is vast, one needs a proper strategy to cover the entire subject and topics related to Indian Heritage and Culture.

The first stage of the exam is UPSC Prelims, followed by the Mains exam. The medieval history of India forms an integral part of the History syllabus of the IAS exam covering the period between Ancient and Modern History.

The Medieval History of India notes will assist the aspirants in appropriately dividing the syllabus and will give better clarity while studying the important topics for the UPSC Prelims exam. Aspirants must ensure that they cover every important topic integral to India’s Medieval history syllabus.

Medieval History UPSC: Important Topics to Prepare

All UPSC aspirants need to be well-read and possess in-depth knowledge of the subject and topics in the IAS exam. We have listed a few important topics that one needs to prepare from the UPSC syllabus of the Medieval History of India.

  • Tripartite Struggle and Cholas
  • Delhi Sultanate
  • Mughal Dynasty
  • Mansabdari System – Explained in Layman’s Terms
  • Rulers and Buildings
  • Towns, Traders, and Craftspersons
  • Tribes, Nomads, and Settled Communities
  • Bhaktism, Sufism, and Sikhism
  • Regional Cultures
  • 18th-Century Political Formations

Medieval Indian History

The approach to covering the Medieval History of India is simple. You need to first get in touch with the general overview of the detailed topics and must go through it once to get the basic knowledge of the fundamental topics included in the syllabus. The UPSC History topics notes must be segmented according to the time left for the exam and segregated into weeks.

Any topic that is covering the headlines, must be covered in detail. The candidates must brush up on current affairs for UPSC on a regular basis. The UPSC prelims syllabus mandates selective reading, while the mains syllabus needs an in-depth and critical analysis of all the topics mentioned. In accordance with the question paper in the prelims, the focus is laid on Medieval History. It is important for the candidates to solve the previous year questions to get a detailed understanding of the type of questions asked in the IAS exam.

Medieval History for UPSC Exam

Indian history is an important part of the UPSC syllabus, divided into three main sections: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern. Medieval history notes for UPSC PDF will make it easier for the candidates to segregate and grasp the vast syllabus in less time.

The Medieval History section includes the following topics:

  • North Indian Kingdoms
  • Kingdoms of the Deccan
  • Delhi Sultanate
  • Islamic Kingdoms in India
  • Vijayanagara Empire
  • Bhakti and Other Cultural & Religious Movements
  • Mughal and Sur rule and the Arrival of Europeans

The topics that are included in the History of Medieval India Notes for UPSC should be studied for the upcoming UPSC Exam. The micro-topics related to these topics are as follows:

Major Dynasties of Medieval History, Their Administration and Economy

  • The Pratiharas (8th to 10th Century)
  • The Palas (8th to 11th Century)
  • The Tripartite Conflict
  • The Senas (11th to 12th Century)
  • The Rajputs
  • Pallavas
  • Chalukyas
  • Rashtrakutas
  • Administration
  • Society and Culture
  • Economy and the Decline of Trade

Cholas and Other South Indian Kingdoms

  • Chola Rulers and Political History
  • Chola Administration
  • Socio-Economic Life
  • Education and Literature
  • The Cheras
  • The Yadavas
  • Contact with South-East Asia

Muslim Invasion

  • The Arab Conquest of Sindh
  • Mahmud of Ghazni
  • Muhammad Ghori

History of Medieval India Notes on Delhi Sultanate

  • Slave Dynasty
  • Khalji Dynasty
  • Tughlaq Dynasty
  • Provincial Kingdoms and Resistance by Indian Chiefs
  • Sayyid Dynasty
  • Lodi Dynasty
  • Attacks by Mongols and other Turks
  • Administration and Economy
  • Urbanization
  • Society, Culture, Scientific Knowledge and Legal System
  • Challenges leading to the decline of the Sultanate

Struggle for Empire in North India

  • Struggle between Ibrahim Lodi and Babur
  • The Battle of Panipat
  • Babur‘s problems after the Battle of Panipat
  • Struggle with Rana Sanga
  • Problems of the Eastern Areas and the Afghans
  • Babur’s Contribution and Significance of His Advent into India
  • Humayun and the Afghans
  • Early Activities of Humayun, and the Tussle with Bahadur Shah
  • The Gujarat Campaign
  • The Bengal Campaign, and Struggle with Sher Khan
  • The Sur Empire (1540-56)
  • Contributions of Sher Shah
  • Conflict with the Afghans and Hemu – 2nd Battle of Panipat
  • Struggle with the Nobility: Bairam Khan’s Regency; Revolt of Uzbek Nobles
  • Early Expansion of the Empire (1560-76) – Malwa, Garh-Katanga, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Eastern India
  • Relations with the Rajputs – Growth of a Composite Ruling Class
  • Rebellions, and Further Expansion of the Empire in the NorthWest

History of Medieval India Notes on Empire and Government under Akbar

  • Akbar‘s Concept of Suzerainty
  • Structure of Government, Central and Provincial -t he Vikalat, the Central Ministries, Provincial
  • Government, District and Local Government
  • The Working of Government – the Ruler, Land-Revenue System, the Dahsala System, the Mansabdari System and the Army

Akbar’s Religious Views

  • Relations with the Ulama and Social Reforms
  • The Early Phase (1556-73)
  • The Second Phase (1573-80) – the Ibadat Khana
  • Debates – the Mahzar – Breach with Orthodox
  • Ulama – Re-organisation of Madadd-i-Maash Grants
  • Third or Final Phase – Din-i-Ilahi – State
  • Policies and religious toleration

History of Medieval India Notes on Mughals and the Deccan

  • The Deccani States up to 1595
  • Mughal advance towards the Deccan
  • Mughal Conquest of Berar, Khandesh and Parts of Ahmadnagar
  • Rise of Malik Ambar
  • Mughal Attempt at Consolidation (1601-27)
  • Conquest of Ahmadnagar, Acceptance of Mughal Suzerainty by Bijapur and Golconda
  • Shah Jahan and the Deccan (1636-57)
  • Cultural Contribution of the Deccani States

Foreign Policy of Mughals

  • Akbar and the Uzbeks
  • The Question of Qandahar and Relations with Iran
  • Shah Jahan’s Balkh Campaign
  • Mughal – Persian Relations – The Last Phase

India in the First Half of the Seventeenth Century

  • Jahangir’s Accession and His Early Difficulties
  • Territorial Consolidation and Expansion of the Empire – Mewar, East India and Kangra
  • Nur Jahan, and the Nur Jahan Junta
  • The Rebellions of Shah Jahan, and the coup de main of Mahabat Khan
  • Jahangir as a Ruler
  • State and Religion in the First Half of the Seventeenth Century
  • Shah Jahan – Consolidation and Expansion of the Empire
  • Evolution of the Mughal Ruling Class and the Mansabdari System

Crisis of Mughal Empire: The Marathas and the Deccan Kingdoms

  • Rise of the Marathas – Early Career of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
  • Treaty of Purandar – the Agra Visit
  • Aurangzeb and the Deccani States (1658-87)
  • Marathas and the Deccan (1687-1707)
  • Assessment of Aurangzeb and the Jagirdari Crisis

Marathas and the Other Indian States and Society in the 18th Century

  • The Marathas and their Policy of Expansion
  • The Marathas and Nizam-ul-Mulk
  • The Maratha Advance into Gujarat and Malwa
  • The Maratha Advance into Doab and Punjab
  • First Phase (1741-52); Second Phase (1752-61)
  • Third Battle of Panipat
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (1627-1680)
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji’s administration
  • Successors of Shivaji Maharaj
  • The Peshwas (1713-1818)
  • Other Indian States (Bhonsles, Gaikwads, Holkars, Sindhias)
  • Economic Condition in the 18th Century

History of Medieval India Notes on the Vijaynagar Empire

  • Sources
  • Political History
  • Administration
  • Social and Cultural Life
  • Economic Condition
  • Conflicts with the Bahmani Kingdom

North India in the First Half of the Eighteenth Century

  • The Regional States of North and South India (Bahmani, Bengal, Avadh, The Sikhs, Rajput States, Jats, Hyderabad, Mysore).
  • Bahadur Shah I, and the Beginning of the Struggle For Wizarat.
  • Rajput Affairs
  • Marathas and the Deccan – Accentuation of the Party Struggle.
  • Struggle for New Wizarat: Zulfiqar Khan and Jahandar Shah (1712-13).
  • The Saiyid Brothers’ Struggle for New Wizarat
  • The Saiyid New Wizarat
  • The Wizarat of M. Amin Khan and Nizam-ul-Mulk
  • Rise of Regional States, Beginning of Foreign Invasions of India (1725-48)
  • Companies – Position of Indian Merchants Over-land Trade
  • The Mughal State and Commerce
  • The trend of India’s Economy and Prospects during the First Half of the Eighteenth Century

How to Prepare Medieval History UPSC Notes?

The Medieval history of Indian notes can play a significant role in exam preparation. They provide properly arranged information in one place and let a candidate know what topics are important for UPSC Prelims and Mains. The medieval history of India is an important part of the syllabus for both phases of the IAS exam. Due to the syllabus being vast, it can be a bit overwhelming for the students, but if they follow a few simple steps, the task can be less daunting.

  • Keep the Medieval history of India notes handy at any time.
  • Gather some of the best NCERT books for UPSC that contain detailed and appropriate information to help you with the coverage of the history syllabus.
  • The candidates can follow the recommended books. After covering the entire syllabus from the NCERTs, one can refer to the UPSC books on History to cover all the relevant micro-topics of Medieval History. One can also refer to some of the History Books for UPSC to make History of Medieval India Notes.
  • Tweak the strategy as per your requirements and understanding rather than just following it blindly.
  • Always go through the UPSC previous year question papers to understand the paper trend.
  • Do not forget to revise.

Medieval History Notes UPSC PDF

Being a downloadable resource, one can easily fetch and save the Medieval History Notes PDF for future use. It makes for easy and comfortable study material for UPSC preparation. Preparing the History of Medieval India notes will lead the candidates to attain good scores in all the stages of the exam – Prelims, Mains, and Interviews. Even at the interview stage, Interview Questions can be asked from this section.

Medieval History Notes for UPSC PDF

The candidates can practice the Medieval History notes for the UPSC exam to get comprehensive knowledge and details of the topics. You can jot down the questions that are asked in the exam and solve the question papers to develop the fundamental concepts.

MCQs on Medieval Indian History

It is of utmost importance for the candidates to practise questions pertaining to the Medieval History of India. Some questions have been presented here. The questions will help the candidates prepare well for the exam.

Question: Who wrote Tarikh-i-Firozshahi? [A] Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq [B] Abul Fazal [C] Firoz Tughlaq [D] Ziauddin Barni

Answer: (Option D) Ziauddin Barni

Question: Which king issued Illahi coins? [A] Akbar [B] Humayun [C] Jahangir [D] Shah Jahan

Answer: (Option A) Akbar

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