Himachal Pradesh Board History Syllabus for Class 12

Himachal Pradesh Board Syllabus for Class 12 History

Themes in Indian History





1. The Story of the First Cities: Harappan Archeology.


Broad overview: Early urban centers.


Story of discovery: Harappan civilization


Excerpt: Archaeological report on a major site.


Discussion: how it has been utilized by archaeologists/

  • Familiarize the learner with early urban centers as economic and social institutions.

  • Introduce the ways in which new data can lead to a revision of existing notions of history.

  • Illustrate how archaeological reports are analyzed and interpreted by scholars.

2. Political and Economic History: How Inscriptions tell a story.


Broad overview: Political and economic history from the Mauryan to the Gupta period.


Story of discovery: Inscriptions and the

decipherment of the script. Shifts in the under standing of political and economic history.


Excerpt : Asokan inscription and Gupta period land grant.


Discussion: Interpretation of inscriptions by historians.

  • Familiarize the learner with major trends in the political and economic history of the subcontinent.

  • Introduce in inscription analysis and the ways in which these have shaped the understanding of political and economic processes.

3. Social Histories: Using the Mahabharata Broad Overview: Issues in social history, including caste, class kinship and gender.


Story of discovery: Transmission and publications of the Mahabharata.


Excerpt: from the Mahabharata, illustrating how it has been used by historians.


Discussion: Other sources for reconstructing social history.

  • Familiarize the learner with issues in social history. Introduce strategies of textual analysis and their use in reconstructing social history.


4. A History of Buddhism: Sanchi Stupa


Broad overview:

(a) A brief review of religious histories of Vedic religion, Jainism, Vaisnavism, Saivism.

(b) Focus on Buddhism.


Story of discovery: Sanchi stupa


Excerpt: Reproduction of sculptures from Sanchi.


Discussion: Ways in which sculpture has been interpreted by historians, other sources for reconstructing the history of Buddhism


  • Discuss the major religious developments in early India.


  • Introduce strategies of visual analysis and their use in reconstructing histories of


5. Agrarian Relations: The Ain-i-Akbari


Broad overview:

(a) Structure of agrarian relations in the 16th and 17th centuries

(b) Patterns of change over the period.


Story of discovery : Account of the compilation and translation of Ain-i-Akbari


Excerpt: From the Ain-i-Akbari


Discussion: Ways in which historians have used the text to reconstruct history.

  • Discuss developments in agrarian relations.


  • Discuss how to supplement official documents with other sources.

6. The Mughal Court: Re-constructing Histories through Chronicles


Broad overview :

(a) Outline of political history 15th -17th centuries.

(b) Discussion of the Mughal court and politics.


Story of discovery: Account of the production of court chronicles and their subsequent, translation

and transmission.


Excerpts: From the Akbarnama and Padshahnama.


Discussion: Ways in which historians have used the texts to reconstruct political histories.

  • Familiarize the learner with the major landmarks in political history.


  • Show how chronicles and other sources are used to reconstruct the histories of political institutions.

7. New Architecture : Hampi


Broad overview :

(a) Outline of new buildings during Vijayanagar period- temples, forts, irrigation facilities.

(b) Relationship between architecture and the political system.


Story of discovery: Account of how Hampi was found.


Excerpt: Visuals of buildings at Hampi.


Discussion: Ways in which historians have analyzed and interpreted these structures.

  • Familiarize the learner with the new buildings that were built during the time.


  • Discuss the ways in which architecture can be analyzed to reconstruct history.

8. Religious Histories: The Bhakti- Sufi tradition


Broad overview:

(a) Outline of religious development during this


(b) Ideas and practices of the Bhakti-Sufi saints.

Story of Transmission : How Bhakti-Sufi compositions have been preserved.


Excerpt: Extracts from selected Bhakti Sufi works.


Discussion: Ways in which these

have been interpreted by historians.

  • Familiarize the learner with religious developments.

  • Discuss ways of analyzing devotional

    literature as sources of history.

9. Medieval Society Through Travellers’Accounts


Broad overview : Outline of social and cultural life as they appear in travellers’ accounts.


Story of their writings: A discussion of where they travelled, why they travelled, what they wrote, and for whom they wrote.


Excepts: from Alberuni, Ibn Batuta, Bernier.


Discussion: What these travel accounts can tell us and how they have been interpreted by historians.


  • Familiarize the learner with the salient features of social histories described by the travellers.


  • Discuss how travellers’ accounts can be used as sources of social history.

10. Colonialism and-Rural Society : Evidence from official Reports.


Broad overview:

(a) Life of zamindars, peasants and artisans

in the later 18 century

(b) East India Company, revenue settlements and


(c) Changes over the nineteenth century.


Story of official records: An account of why official investigations into rural societies were

under taken and the types of records and reports produced.


Excerpt: From Firminger's Fifth Report, Accounts of Frances Buchanan-Hamilton, and Deccan Riots Report.


Discussion: What the official records tell and do not tell, and how they have been used by historians.

  • Discuss how colonialism affected Zamindars, peasants and artisans.

  • Understand the problems and limits of using official sources for understanding the lives of people

11. Representations of 1857


Broad overview:

(a) The events of 1857-58.

(b) How these events were recorded and narrated.


Focus: Lucknow.


Excerpts: Pictures of 1857. Extracts from contemporary accounts.


Discussion: How the pictures of

1857 shaped British opinion of what

had happened.

  • Discuss how the events of 1857 are being reinterpreted.


  • Discuss how visual material can be used by historians.

12. Colonialism and Indian Towns: Town Plans and Municipal Reports.


Broad overview : The growth of Mumbai, Chennai, hill stations and cantonments in the 18th and 19th century.


Excerpts: Photographs and paintings. Plans of cities. Extract from town plan reports. Focus on Kolkata town planning.


Discussion: How the above sources can be used to reconstruct the history of towns. What these

sources do not reveal


  • Familiarize the learner with the history of modern urban centers.

  • Discuss how urban histories can be written by drawing on different types of sources.

13. Mahatma Gandhi Through contemporary Eyes

Board Overview :

(a) The nationalist movement 1918-48,

(b) The nature of Gandhian politics and leadership


Focus: Mahatma Gandhi in 1931.


Excerpts: Reports from English and Indian language newspapers and other contemporary writings.


Discussion: How newspapers can be a source of history.

  • Familiarize the learner with significant elements of the nationalist movement and the nature of Gandhian leadership.

  • Discuss how Gandhi was perceived by different groups.

  • Discuss how historians need to read and interpret newspapers diaries and letters as historical source.

14. Partition through oral sources


Board Overview:

(a) The history of the 1940s;

(b) Nationalism. Communalism and Partition.


Focus: Punjab and Bengal


Excerpts: Oral testimonies of those who experienced partition.


Discussion: Ways in which these have been analyzed to reconstruct the history of the event.

  • Discuss the last decade of the national movement, the growth of communalism and the story of Partition.

  • Understand the events through the experience of those who lived through these years of communal violence.

  • Show the possibilities and limits of oral sources.

15. The Making of the Constitution


Board Overview:

(a) Independence and the new nation


(b) The making of the constitution.


Focus: The Constitutional Assembly debates.


Excerpts: From the debates.


Discussion: What such debates reveal and how they can be analyzed.

  • Familiarize students with the history of the early years after independence.

  • Discuss how the founding ideals of the new nation state were debated and formulated.

  • Understand how such debates and discussions can be read by historians.


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