Art & Culture Mains (GS I) Previous Year Questions

Art in the stone age

  1. Mesolithic rock-cut architecture of India not only reflects the cultural life of the times but also a fine aesthetic sense comparable to modem painting. Critically evaluate this comment. 2015
  2. The rock-cut architecture represents one of the most important sources of our knowledge of early Indian art and history. Discuss. 2020

Indus valley civilization

  1. The ancient civilization in the Indian subcontinent differed from those of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Greece in that its culture and traditions have been preserved without a breakdown to the present day. Comment. 2015
  2. To what extent has the urban planning and culture of the Indus Valley Civilization provided inputs to the present-day urbanization? Discuss. 2014

Foreign Accounts

  1. Assess the importance of the accounts of the Chinese and Arab travelers in the reconstruction of the history of India. 2018


  1. Early Buddhist Stupa-art, while depicting folk motifs and narratives successfully expounds Buddhist ideals. Elucidate. 2016
  2. Pala period is the most significant phase in the history of Buddhism in India. Enumerate. 2020

Post Mauryan Art & Culture

  1. Highlight the Central Asian and Greco -Bactrian elements in Gandhara art. (10m,150 words) 2019
  2. Gandhara sculpture owed as much to the Romans as to the Greeks. Explain.2014

Ancient Period Education

  1. Taxila university was one of the oldest universities of the world with which were associated a number of renowned learned personalities of different disciplines. Its strategic location caused its fame to flourish, but unlike Nalanda, it is not considered as a university in the modern sense. Discuss. 2014

Tamil language & Sangam literature

  1. Though not very useful from the point of view of a connected political history of South India, the Sangam literature portrays the social and economic conditions of its time with remarkable vividness. Comment. 2013

Gupta period Art & Culture

  1. How do you justify the view that the level of excellence of Gupta numismatic art is not at all noticeable in later times? 2017

Chola Period Art & Culture

  1. Discuss the Tandava dance as recorded in the early Indian inscriptions. 2013
  2. Chola architecture represents a high watermark in the evolution of temple architecture. Discuss

Bhakti & Sufi Movement

  1. The Bhakti movement received a remarkable re-orientation with the advent of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Discuss. 2018
  2. Sufis and medieval mystic saints failed to modify either the religious ideas and practices or the outward structure of Hindu / Muslim societies to any appreciable extent. Comment. 2014

Medieval Literature

  1. Persian literary sources of medieval India reflect the spirit of the age. Comment. 2020

Vijayanagar Art & Culture

  1. Krishnadeva Raya, the King of Vijayanagar, was not only an accomplished scholar himself but was also a great patron of learning and literature. Discuss. 2016


  1. Indian philosophy and tradition played a significant role in conceiving and shaping the monuments and their art in India. Discuss. 2020
  2. Safeguarding the Indian art heritage is the need of the moment. Discuss. 2018

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