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The Chinese traveller Yuan Chwang (Hiuen Tsang) who visited India recorded the general conditions and culture of India at that time. In this context, which of the following statements is/are correct?

1. The roads and river-routes were completely immune from robbery.

2. As regards punishment for offences, ordeals by fire, water and poison were the instruments for determining the innocence or guilt of a person.

3. The tradesmen had to pay duties at ferries and barrier stations

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

1. 1 only
2. 2 and 3 only
3. 1 and 3 only
4. 1, 2 and 3

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Correct Answer - Option 2 : 2 and 3 only

The correct answer is 2 and 3 only.

Yuan Chwang (Hiuen Tsang) made the following observations of India:

  1. There were different types of houses constructed of wood, bricks, and dung. The streets of the city were circular and dirty.
  2. New cities grew up in place of the old ones which got ruined. Prayag and Kannauj (capital) were important cities where he witnessed the assemblies.
  3. Nalanda and Valabhi were the important centres of Buddhist learning.
  4. Indians wore garments made of cotton, silk, and wool and are lovers of education, literature, and fine arts.
  5. He also praised the emperor Harsha and his administration. He wrote that the criminal law was severe and the offenders were given imprisonment, also trial by ordeals was in vogue, but still the roads were not safe and he himself got robbed more than once. Also, the emperor maintained a large, powerful, and well-equipped army.
  6. According to him, the government was liberal in the case of tax and revenue collection. Tradesmen had to pay light duties at ferries and barrier stations.
  7. The people did not include meat in their diet, the society was divided based on caste, and women were respected in general.
  8. Brahmanical system of religion was prominent and Sanskrit was the language of the cultured classes.
  • The Chinese traveler Yuan Chwang (Hiuen Tsang) visited India during the reign of emperor Harsha Vardhana and stayed for almost 15 years from 630-645 A.D.
  • After returning back to China he wrote the book 'Si-yu-ki' (Record of the Western Countries) in which he wrote a detailed description of India.
  • His prime objective to visit India was to secure genuine Buddhist scriptures and visit places of Buddhist interest as he was interested in Mahayana Buddhism.

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