Science and Scientists of Medieval India


  • Maktabs and Madrasas
  • Sheikh Abdullah and Sheikh Azizullah headed the madrasas at Sambal and Agra
  • Arithmetic, Mensuration, Geometry, Astronomy, Accountancy,
    Public Administration and Agriculture were included in the courses of studies for primary education
  • Large workshops called karkhanas not only worked as manufacturing agencies, but also served as centres for technical and vocational training


  • Narayana Pandit, son of Narsimha Daivajna: Works- Ganitakaumudi and Bijaganitavatamsa
  • Gangadhara, in Gujarat- Lilavati Karamdipika, Suddhantadipika , and Lilavati Vyakhya
    • gave rules for trigonometrical terms like sine, cosine tangent and cotangent
  • Nilakantha Somasutvan- Tantrasamgraha rules of trigonometrical functions
  • Ganesa Daivajna produced Buddhivilasini – a commentary on lilavati – containing a number of illustrations.
  • Krishna of the Valhalla family brought out Navankura on the
    Bijaganit of Bhaskara-II and elaboration of the rules of indeterminate equations of the first and second orders.
  • Nilakantha Jyotirvida compiled Tajik, introducing a large number of Persian technical terms.
  • Faizi, at the behest of Akbar, translated Bhaskara’s Bijaganit. Akbar ordered to make Mathematics as a subject of study, among others in the education system.
  • Naisiru’d –din-at –tusi, was another scholar of Mathematics.


  • Hamsadeva compiled a work in the field of Biology entitledMrga-paksi-sastra-13th Century
  • Akbar had a special interest in producing good breeds of domestic animals like elephants and horses.
  • Jahangir, in his work – Tuzuk-ijahangiri – recorded his observations and experiments on breeding and hybridization.
    • described about 36 species of animals
    • Court artists, specially, Mansur, produced elegant and accurate portraitures of animals.


  • Mughals knew the technique of production of gunpowder and its use in gunnery
  • Sukraniti attributed to Sukracarya contains a description of how gunpowder can be prepared using saltpeter, sulphur and charcoal in different ratios for use in different types of guns
  • Work Ain –I-akbari speaks of the regulation of the Perfume office of Akbar


  • Mehendra Suri, a court astronomer of Emperor Firoz Shah, developed an astronomical, instrument ‘Yantraja’.
  • Paramesvara and Mahabhaskariya, both in Kerala, were famous families of astronomers and almanac-makers.
  • Nilakantha Somasutvan produced commentary of Aryabhatiyaa.
  • Kamalakar studied the Islamic astronomical ideas. He was
    an authority on Islamic knowledge.
  • Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh-II of Jaipur was a patron of
    • He set up the five astronomical observatories in Delhi, Ujjain, Varansasi, Mathura and Jaipur


  • Sarangdhara Samhita and Chikitsasamgraha by Vangasena, the Yagaratbajara and the Bhavaprakasa of Bhavamisra
  • Sarangdhara Samhita, written in the thirteenth century, includes use of opium in its material medica and urine examination for diagnostic purpose
  • drugs mentioned include metallic preparation of the rasachikitsa system and even imported drugs
  • Rasachikitsa system, dealt principally with a host of mineral medicines, both mercurial and non-mercurial.
  • Unani Tibb system of medicine flourished in India during the medieval period.
  • Ali-binRabban summarized the whole system of Greek medicine as well as the Indian medical knowledge in the book, Firdausu-Hikmat.
  • The Unani medicine system came to India along with the Muslims by about the eleventh century and soon found patronage for its growth.
  • Hakim Diya Muhammad compiled a book, Majiny-e-Diyae, incorporating the Arabic, Persian and Ayurvedic medical knowledge.
  • Firoz Shah Tughalaq wrote a book, Tibbe Firozshahi.
  • The Tibbi Aurangzebi, dedicated to Aurangzeb, is based on Ayurvedic sources.
  • The Musalajati-Darshikohi of Nuruddin Muhammad, dedicated to Darashikoh, deals with Greek medicine and contains, at the end, almost the whole of Ayurvedic material medica

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