Indian Art and Culture Previous Year Questions (PYQs) | UPSC Mains Examination

On this page, you will find all Indian art and culture PYQs (Previous year’s questions) for UPSC mains of IAS examination.

The UPSC Mains syllabus includes a specific section on “Indian art and Culture,” highlighting the importance of this topic in the examination. Questions related to art, culture, and heritage are often asked in General Studies Paper I.

Indian Art and Culture Previous Year Questions (PYQs) | UPSC Mains Examination

Q.1) Explain the role of geographical factors towards the development of Ancient India [150 words] [10 Marks] [2023]

Q.2) What are the main features of Vedic society and religion? Do you think some of the features are still prevailing in Indian society? [250 words][15 Marks] [2023]

Q.3) What were the major technological changes introduced during the Sultanate period? How did those technological changes influence the Indian society? [250 words][15 Marks] [2023]

Q.4) How will you explain the medieval Indian temple sculptures represent the social life of those days? [150 words] [10 Marks] [2022]

Q.5) Discuss the main contributions of Gupta period and Chola period to Indian heritage and culture.[250 words][15 Marks] [2022]

Q.6) Discuss the significance of the lion and bull figures in Indian mythology, art and architecture. [250 words][15 Marks][2022]

Q.7) Evaluate the nature Of the Bhakti literature and its contribution to Indian culture.[150 Words] [10 Marks] [2021]

Q.8) The rock-cut architecture represents one of the most important sources of our knowledge of early Indian art and history. Discuss.[150 Words] [10 Marks] [2020]

Q.9) Pala period is the most significant phase in the history of Buddhism in India, Enumerate.[150 Words] [10 Marks] [2020]

Q.10) Indian Philosophy and tradition played a significant role in conceiving and shaping the monuments and their art in India. Discuss.[250 Words] [15 Marks] [2020]

Q.11) Persian Literary sources of medieval India reflect the spirit of the age. Comment.[250 Words] [15 Marks] [2020]

Q.12) Highlight the Central Asian and Greco-Bactrian elements in the Gandhara art.[150 Words] [10 Marks] [2019]

Q.13) Safeguarding the Indian art heritage is the need of the moment. Discuss.[150 Words][10 Marks] [2018]

Q.14) Assess the importance of the accounts of the Chinese and Arab travellers in the reconstruction of the history of India.[150 Words] [10 Marks] [2018]

Q.15) The Bhakti Movement received a remarkable re-orientation with the advent of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Discuss.[250 Words] [15 Marks] [2018]

Q.16) How do you justify the view that the level of the excellence of the Gupta numismatic art is not at all noticeable in later times?[150 Words] [10 Marks] [2017]

Q.17) The spirit of tolerance and love is not only an interesting feature of Indian society from very early times, but it is also playing an important part at the present. Elaborate.[250 Words] [15 Marks] [2017]

Q.18) Early Buddhist Stupa-art, while depicting folk motifs and narratives, successfully expounds Buddhist ideals. Elucidate.[200 Words] [12.5 Marks] [2016]

Q.19) Krishnadeva Raya, the king of Vijayanagar, was not only an accomplished scholar himself but was also a great patron of learning and literature. Discuss.[200 Words] [12.5 Marks] [2016]

Q.20) The ancient civilisation in Indian sub-continent differed from those of Egypt, Mesopotamia and Greece in that its culture and traditions have been preserved without a breakdown to present day. Comment.[200 Words] [12.5 Marks] [2015]

Q.21) Mesolithic rock cut architecture of India not only reflects the cultural life of the times but also a fine aesthetic sense comparable to modern painting. Critically evaluate this comment.[200 Words] [12.5 Marks] [2015]

Q.22) To what extent has the urban planning and culture of the Indus Valley Civilization provided inputs to the present-day urbanization? Discuss.[150 Words] [10 Marks] [2014]

Q.23) Gandhara sculpture owed as much to the Romans as to the Greeks. Explain.[150 Words] [10 Marks] [2014]

Q.24) 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.[150 Words] [10 Marks] [2014]

Q.25) The third battle of Panipat was fought in 1761. Why were so many empire-shaking battles fought at Panipat? [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2014]

Q.26) Sufis and medieval mystic saints failed to modify either the religious ideas and practicesor the outward structure of Hindu / Muslim societies to any appreciable extent.Comment. [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2014]

Q.27) 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. [200 Words] [10 Marks] [2013]

Q.28) Discuss the Tandava dance as recorded in the early Indian inscriptions. [100 Words] [5 Marks] [2013]

Q.29) Chola architecture represents a high watermark in the evolution of temple architecture.Discuss. [100 Words] [5 Marks] [2013]

Trends of Indian Art and Culture PYQs For UPSC Mains

As per the recent trends, the questions asked about Indian Art and Culture have increased. Therefore, it is crucial for candidates to thoroughly analyze and practice the previous year’s questions (PYQs) on topics mentioned under art and culture in the UPSC official syllabus to enhance their preparation.

The mains questions for Art and Culture in recent years have covered a wide range of topics. In 2023, questions were regarding Vedic society and religion, role of geographical factors towards the development of Ancient India and the Sultanate period. In 2022, questions delved into subjects like the Gupta and Chola Period, as well as Medieval Temple Scriptures. The 2021 examination included a question regarding the Bhakti Movement and its impact on Indian culture. In 2020, there were four challenging questions related to Indian History and Architecture. This diversity of topics underscores the significance of a comprehensive understanding of Indian Art and Culture for UPSC Mains, as candidates should be prepared to tackle a broad spectrum of questions in this domain.

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