A History of India

Ref: C3674700

The course will begin by looking closely at the affairs of northern India in the wake of the Islamic incursions, and make some assessment of the emergence of the Gurjara dynasties before going on to look in greater detail at the establishment and significance of the Gurjara Pratiharas. We will analyse the character of the other regional kingdoms across India by the same period, including the emergence of Rashtrakutas of the Deccan, the Pala kingdom of Bengal, as well as the continuation of the Pallavas, the Cholas and the other Tamil principalities from farther south. We will also consequently consider why no dynasty was able to create a single hegemony across the subcontinent. We will go on to look at the later evolution of Hinduism and the decline of Buddhism, the continued growth of urbanisation and temple patronage as well as a sustained cultural Indian influence across the wider region of south-east Asia.

Course aim

This course will examine the later centuries of early medieval India after the first Islamic incursions, the evolution of Indian society and the successor kingdoms of the 9th & 10th centuries.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of the importance of the Rashtrakutas of the Deccan
  • Provide an outline for the history of Bengal & eastern India in the 9th and 10th centuries AD
  • Make an assessment of the importance of the Pratiharas for the history of northern India
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the decline of Buddhism during the early medieval period

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • India: A History J Keay (Harper Press 2010)

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

A History of India


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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