UPPSC- Ancient India With Important Facts Notes
- Indus Valley Civilization:
- The Indus Valley Civilization (also known as the Harappan Civilization) was one of the world’s earliest urban civilizations, flourishing around 2500 BCE in the Indus River Valley (in present-day Pakistan and western India).
- It had well-planned cities like Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, with advanced systems of drainage and water supply.
- The civilization had a writing system that has not yet been fully deciphered.
- Trade and agriculture were prominent, and artifacts reveal a sophisticated level of craftsmanship.
- Vedic Period:
- The Vedic period (1500 BCE – 500 BCE) marked the beginning of Indo-Aryan civilization in the Indian subcontinent.
- The Rigveda, a collection of ancient hymns, is the oldest known text of this period.
- Society was divided into four varnas (castes): Brahmins (priests), Kshatriyas (warriors), Vaishyas (merchants/farmers), and Shudras (laborers).
- Rituals and sacrifices were central to religious practices.
- Maurya Empire:
- The Maurya Empire (322 BCE – 185 BCE) was the first major empire in ancient India, founded by Chandragupta Maurya and later expanded by Ashoka the Great.
- Ashoka is known for his conversion to Buddhism and his efforts to promote peace and non-violence, as evidenced by his rock edicts.
- The empire had a highly organized administration, with a system of governance that included provinces and efficient taxation.
- Gupta Empire:
- The Gupta Empire (c. 320 CE – 550 CE) is often considered a golden age of ancient Indian civilization.
- It was known for its advancements in arts, science, mathematics, and literature.
- The decimal numeral system and the concept of zero originated during this period.
- The Gupta period witnessed notable achievements in the fields of medicine, astronomy, and metallurgy.
- Indian Ocean Trade:
- Ancient India had extensive maritime trade networks with regions like East Africa, Arabia, Southeast Asia, and the Roman Empire.
- Indian merchants traded goods such as spices, textiles (particularly silk), precious stones, and indigo.
- The port city of Muziris (in present-day Kerala) was an important center of trade with the Roman Empire.
- Religion and Philosophy:
- Ancient India saw the development of major religious and philosophical traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.
- Hinduism evolved from Vedic rituals and beliefs and encompasses a wide range of gods and goddesses, with the ultimate goal of achieving moksha (liberation from the cycle of rebirth).
- Buddhism, founded by Gautama Buddha, emphasizes the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path to attain enlightenment and end suffering.
- Jainism, founded by Mahavira, stresses non-violence and the importance of ascetic practices.
These are just a few key facts about ancient India. The history and culture of ancient India are rich and diverse, with many more significant events and developments shaping the region over thousands of years.
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Most Important Ancient India Question Answer
Q 1.The Boghazkoi inscription was discovered in __?
Answer: D [ Turkey ]
Notes:- Homeland of Aryans : one of the inscription proves that the Aryans are from Central Asia is Boghazkoi (Asia Minor ,Turkey ) Inscription.
Q 2.In context of Mauryan administration, who was regarded as the ‘Chief treasury officer’?
Answer: C [ Sannidhata ]
Notes:- As per the Arthashastra of Chankya, there were two important officers in the Central Administration. These are Sannidhata (the Chief treasury officer) and Samaharta (the Chief Collector General of Revenue).
Q 3.Which Indian city was also known as Kusumapura during the ancient period?
Answer: B [ Patna ]
Notes:- Patna was known as Kusumapura during the ancient period. Aryabhata called himself a native of Kusumapura or Pataliputra (present day Patna, Bihar).
Q 4.Who among the following is said to have crossed the Vindhyas in the later Vedic age and aryanise the south ?
Answer: B [Agatsya]
Notes:- During the Later Vedic Age the Aryans thoroughly subdued the fertile plains watered by Yamuna, Ganges and Sadanira. They crossed the Vindhyas and settled in the Deccan, to the north of Godavari. Sage Agastya was the first to cross the Vindhyas.
Q 5.Katyotsarga pose is a gesture of which of the following?
[D] Gautam Buddha
Answer: C [Mahavira]
Notes:- Katyotsarga pose is a gesture of Mahavira. Kayotsarga is a yogic posture which is an important part of Jain meditataion. seated cross-legged on a lion throne in the posture of meditation, dhyanamudra.
Q 6.In which of the following marriages in Vedic era, a girl was given by her father to a sage?
[A] Brahma marriage
[B] Daiva Marriage
[C] Gandharva Marriage
[D] Arsha Marriage
Answer: D [Arsha Marriage]
Notes:- In Arsha marriage, the girl is given in marriage to a sage. One example of Arsh Marriage is that of Agastya with Lopamudra.
Q 7.Nalanda University was founded by which of the following ?
[D] None of the above
Answer: A [Kumaragupta]
Notes:- The Nalanda University was founded by Gupta emperor Kumargupta I. He adopted the title of Mahendraditya. It was established in 5th century.
Q 8.Which of the following dynasty was ruling in India, when Alexander invaded India?
[A] Nanda Dynasty
[B] Shunga Dynasty
[C] Maurya Dynasty
[D] Shishunaga Dynasty
Answer: A [Nanda Dynasty]
Notes:- The Nanda dynasty ruled in northern part of the Indian subcontinent during the 4th century BCE, and possibly during the 5th century BCE. In 326 BC, Alexander invaded India, after crossing the river Indus he advanced towards Taxila.
Q 9.Select the statement which is NOT correct regarding Kalidasa:
[A] Kalidasa was a renowned Sanskrit poet and dramatist of Gupta period.
[B] He was one of the nine gems in the court of Chandragupta I.
[C] Kumarasambhavam and Ritusamhara are his two epic works.
[D] His plays and poetry are primarily based on Hindu Puranas and philosophy
Answer: B [He was one of the nine gems in the court of Chandragupta I.]
Notes:- He was one of the nine gems in the court of Chandragupta II Vikramaditya.
Q 10.Which of the following is not an event in ancient Indian history in BC era?
[A] Foundation of the Indo-Greek empire
[B] Beginning of Vikram samvat Era
[C] Fourth Buddhist Council
[D] Hathigumpha inscription by Kharvela
Answer: C [ Fourth Buddhist Council]
Notes:- Foundation of the Indo-Greek empire by Demetrius in 182 BC. Beginning of Vikram samvat Era in 58BC by Vikramaditya of Ujjain. Fourth Buddhist Council was held in Kundalvana, Kashmir in 72 AD under the patronage of Kushan king Kanishka. The King Kharavela of Kalinga left Hathigumpha inscription in around 50BC. So correct answer would be C.
Q 11.Amarsimha whose work Amarkosha is related to which of the following ?
Answer: B [Lexicography]
Notes:- The Amarakosha is a vocabulary of Sanskrit roots, in three books, and hence sometimes called Trikanda or the “Tripartite”. Lexicography is the activity or occupation of compiling dictionaries.
Q 12.Which among the following is Not correctly matched?
[A] Takshshila – Gandhar
[B] Viratanagara – Matsya
[C] Surasena – Kausambi
[D] All are correct
Answer: C [Surasena – Kausambi]
Notes:- Shurasena was an ancient Yadava ruler of Mathura after whom the Surasena Kingdom or Mahajanpada and the Yadava sect of Surasenas were named. Kaushambi was was the capital of the Vatsa kingdom, one of the sixteen mahajanapadas.
Q 13.In which of the following Buddhist Councils , the compilation of Dhamma Pitaka and Sutta Pitaka took Place?
Answer: A [1st]
Notes:- First Buddhist Council in 483 at Satparni caves near Rajgriha
Q 14.Who among the following annexed Anga to Magadha?
[A] Chandragupta Maurya
Answer: B [Bimbisara]
Notes:- Anga was annexed to Magadha by Bimbisara. He was the main reason for the expansion of the empire. He annexed Anga, Kosi etc.
Q 15.Who among the following established Mewar Kingdom in Rajasthan ?
[C] Bappa Rawal
[D] Mahdenra II
Answer: C [Bappa Rawal]
Notes:- Mewar or Mewad is a region in the south-central part of Rajasthan state of India. It was established by Bappa Rawal. The bardic chronicles describe him as a member of the Guhila clan of Rajputs, and some of these consider him as the founder of the Guhila dynasty.
Q 16.With reference to the position of women in Rig-Vedic India, which among the following observations is / are correct?
1.A girl generally selected her own husband
2.Unmarried girls obtained a share in paternal property
3.Widows could remarry after death of their husbands
Choose the correct option from the codes given below:
[A] Only 1
[B] Only 1 & 2
[C] Only 2 & 3
[D] 1, 2 & 3
Answer: D [ 1, 2 & 3 ]
Notes:- There were no unhealthy restrictions upon Hindu women in those days, no rules to keep them secluded or debarred from their legitimate place in society. A girl generally selected her own husband, but her parents’ wishes were for the most part respected. We have frequent allusions to careful and industrious wives who superintended the arrangements of the house, and, like the dawn, roused everyone in the morning and sent him to his work. Girls who remained unmarried obtained a share in the paternal property. Widows could re-marry after the death of their husbands. (RC Datt)
Q 17.Consider the following statements:
The Atharvaveda deals with peace and prosperity of human society and contains the procedures for everyday life
The Samaveda is the Veda of melodies and chants
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: C [Both 1 & 2]
Notes:- The Sama Veda is the Yoga of Song. It consists of various hymns of the Rig Veda put to a different and more musical chant. The Atharvaveda deals with peace and prosperity of human society and contains the procedures for everyday life.
Q 18.Which of the following is / are correct statements with respect to the Indus Valley Civilization people?
They were primarily rural people engaged in agriculture
They had great reverence for bull
They used horse for war and outdoor games
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: B [ 2 Only ]
Notes:- Only second statement is correct in this question. Indus valley is considered to be made of urban settlements primarily. Use of horse by Indus Valley People is also doubtful.
Q 19.Consider the following statements about the Chalcolithic Phase:
The chalcolithic people cultivated cereals in abundance
Chalcolithic people were the first to uses painted pottery
The chalcolithic phase had an essential rural background
Use of iron axes and ploughs made production far more efficient
Which of the above statements are correct?
[A] 1, 3 & 4 Only
[B] 1, 2 & 3 Only
[C] 2, 3 & 4 Only
[D] 1, 2, 3 & 4
Answer: B [ 1, 2 & 3 Only ]
Notes:- Fourth statement is incorrect because the use of iron implements had no place in chalcolithic culture. The people used copper to make tools and weapons. The supply of copper was limited and people didn’t know the use of bronze. Most of the Chalcolithic people domesticated cattle and lived in central and western India and did not practise cultivation on large scale.
Q 20.In which of the following the only mention of the four varnas was found?
[A] Fifth mandal
[B] Tenth mandal
[C] Seventh mandal
[D] First mandal
Answer: B [Tenth mandal]
Notes:- The tenth mandal of the Rig Veda contains the only mention of the four varnas. It was found in the Purusashukta of the tenth mandal of the Rig Veda. The varna system was probably introduced towards the end of the Rig Vedic age.
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