Indian Culture and Heritage Unit-16 Science and Scientist of Medieval India (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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  • In Medieval India science and technology developed in two aspects one with existing traditional chartered courses and other with new influences by Islamic and European impact.
  • Medieval period witnessed the entry of Muslims in India. The educational pattern of Arab was adopted and classical Indian methods received a setback. Maktabs and Madarsascame into existence and received royal patronage. Madrasa were opened at numerous places including Sambal and Agra where they were headed by two brothers Sheikh Abdullah and Sheikh Aziz Ullah. Learned men from Arabia, Persia and Central Asia were invited to educate in Madrasas.
Medieval Period
  • Subjects like, Arithmetic, Mensuration, Geometry, Astronomy, Accountancy, Public Administration and Agriculture were added in the primary school courses.
  • Large workshops called Karkhanas were opened for manufacturing equipment՚s for royal household and governmental departments. These Karkhanas provided Technical and Vocational training to people who turned out to be Artisans and Craftsperson՚s who later openedtheir own independent Karkhanas.
  • Various work on Mathematics were produced during this time like Ganitakaumudi And Bijaganitavatamsa by Narayana Pandit; Lilavati Karamdipika and Lilavati Vyakhya by Gangadhara; Tantrasamgraha by Nilakantha Somasutvan. Tajik was compiled by Nilakantha Jyotirvida who introduced Persian technical terms. Mathematics was made as a subject by Akbar.
  • In the field of Biology Mrga-paksi-sastra was compiled by Hamsadeva; Jahangir՚s Tuzuk-i jahangiri recorded his observation and experiments on breeding and hybridisation.
  • In the area of Chemistry Paper was produced in Kashmir, Sialkot, Patna and Mysore. The application of Chemistry was also used in making Gunpowder, explosive composition and (Attar) perfumes.
  • Mehendra Suri developed an astronomical instrument. ‘Yantraja’ during Firoz Shah Reign. Kamalakar studied Islamic astronomical ideas as he was head of Islamic Knowledge. Five Astronomical observatories were setup in Delhi, Ujjain, Varanasi, Mathura and Jaipur by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh-II of Jaipur.
  • However, on Ayurveda there was not much progress apart from some important treaties like Sarangdhara Samhita and Chikitsa Sangraha by Vangasena, the Yagaratbajara and the Bhavaprakasa of Bhavamisra were compiled. Use of Opium in its material medica and urine examination for diagnostic purpose was included in Sarangdhara Samhita.
  • During the medieval period the Unani Tibb system flourished.
  • There was not much change in agricultural practices, only some changes like introduction of new crops and trees. The Western Ghats yielded black pepper and Kashmir maintained saffron while ginger and cinnamon in Tamil Nadu; Cardamom, Sandalwood and coconut from Kerala were Popular.
  • During the 16th and 17thcentury Tobacco, Chillies, potato, guava, custardapple, cashew and pineapple were also introduced.
  • Mango Grafting system were introduced by Jesuits of Goa
  • For irrigation; Wells, Tanks, Canalsand Rahat were used.
  • Land measurement and land classification system was introduced which was beneficial to the rulers as well as the tillers.

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