NCERT Class 6 History Chapter 5 Notes

NCERT Class 6 History Chapter 5 Notes cover all the topics in a precise and simplified way. NCERT Class 6 History Chapter 5 Notes are easy to understand and learn for the exams. NCERT Class 6 History Chapter 5 Notes are very helpful for a quick revision of the chapter – Kingdoms, Kingdoms, and an early Republic.

NCERT Class 6 History Chapter 5 Notes

NCERT Class 6 History Chapter 5 Notes

How people became rajas
>In the Vedic Age (1500 BC – 500 BC), people chose their leaders as rajas.
>Some rulers who performed big sacrifices were also recognized as rajas.

Ashvamedha Sacrifice

>It was a horse sacrifice ritual performed by a king.
>A horse was let loose to wander freely with few guards.
>Any ruler who stopped the horse, he had to fight the king.
>Any ruler allowing the horse to pass meant he had accepted the authority of the king.
>When the horse return back to the king, a ceremony was organised to complete the sacrifice.
>All the rulers were invited to the ceremony.
>Rulers and people brought gifts for the king.

>The charioteer chanted the tales of the glory of the king.
>The wife and sons of the king performed minor rituals.
>Priests chanted mantras to complete the rituals.
>Shudras were not invited to the rituals.

Varna System

The priests divided people into four groups, called varnas. This varna system was initially based on the occupation of the people. Then the varnas of people were decided on the basis of birth.

Responsibilities of each varna were also prescribed by the priests.
(1) Brahmanas
>Expected to study and teach vedas, perform sacrifices and receive gifts.
(2) Kshatriyas
>Expected to fight battles and protect people.
(3) Vaishyas
>Expected to be farmers, herders, crafts persons, etc.
(4) Shudras
>Expected to serve other three varnas.
>Often, women were also grouped with the shudras.
>Both women and shudras were not allowed to study the Vedas.

Many people did not accept the Varna System
>Some kings thought that they were superior to the Brahmanas.
>Some thought that birth should not be the basis for deciding the varnas.
>Some felt that there should not be any differences among the people.
>Others believed that everyone should be allowed to perform sacrifices and rituals.
>Some also condemned the practice of untouchability.


The word Janapada literally means the land where people kept their feet and settled down.

Important Janapada sites:
>Purana Qila (Delhi)
>Hastinapur (Near Meerut, UP)
>Atranjikhera (Near Etah, UP)

Important features of Janapada sites:
>People lived in huts.
>Made earthen pots. (red ware, grey ware, painted grey ware)
>Kept cattle.
>Grew variety of crops (rice, wheat, barley, pulses, sugarcane, sesame and mustard)


About 2500 years ago (500 BC), some janapadas became important and were known as mahajanapadas. Magadha, Gandhara, Avanti, Kuru, Panchala, Kosala, Vajji were some of the important mahajanapadas.

Important features of Mahajanapadas
>Rulers lived in their capital cities.
>Rulers also used punch coins as currencies.
>Maintained regular armies.
>Fortified their capital cities.
>Collected taxes.

Why were the capital cities fortified?
>For protection from enemy attacks.
>For showing off their power and wealth.
>For better management and control of the people of the cities.

Types of Taxes:
(1) 1/6 of the crops from the farmers.
(2) Animals and animal produces from the herders.
(3) Coins from traders.
(4) Forest products from the hunters and gatherers.
(5) in the form of work from crafts persons.

Major changes in Agriculture about 2500 years ago
(1) Use of Iron ploughshare
(2) Transplantation of Paddy

The changes in the agriculture helped in increased production and it also helped the rulers in collecting more tax from farmers.


Bimbisara, Ajatasattu, Mahapadma Nanda, etc. were important rulers who ruled Magadha. Rajagriha was the capital and later the capital was shifted to Patliputra.

Magadha became the most powerful mahajanapada.
>Rivers were used for transport and water supplies.
>Very fertile land.
>Magadha had access to forests.
>Elephants were caught and trained for army.
>Wood from forests used in the construction of houses, carts and chariots.
>Iron ores from mines were used for making strong tools and weapons.
>Powerful rulers ruled Magdha.


Vajji was a kind of republic as it was ruled by many rulers together. Vajji was ruled by Gana or Sangha.

Jana – Group of people
Sangha – Organisation or association of people.

Vajji did not have a powerful army but they were able to survive and rule for long period of time.
>They discussed and took the decisions together.
>They followed established rules.
>Respected, supported, and listened to their elders.
>Women were given little freedom.
>Saints from different religions were respected.

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