GS-I: Indian Architecture


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                                                                                                                                                                                    1. The "lost wax technique"seems to be an ancient technique still prevalent in many parts of India. Discuss the key features of this technique.
                                                                                                                                                                                    2. The terracotta figurines had a universal popularity in the ancient world and Harappan culture was no exception to this. Discuss.
                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Point out the differences between the Asokan Pillar and the Achaemenian Pillar to show that the former is not an imitation of the latter.
                                                                                                                                                                                    4. Mauryan court-art, with all its dignified bearing, monumental appearance and civilized quality, forms but a short and isolated chapter of the history of Indian art. Discuss.
                                                                                                                                                                                    5. Spiritually and formally the Sunga-Kanva art was opposed to Maurya art and stood for different motive and direction. Explain.
                                                                                                                                                                                    6. Kusana period is known for rise of a new art movement with abundant dimensions and creativity. Examine.
                                                                                                                                                                                    7. Mathura art represents an important formative stage in the history of Indian art that gave impetus to other arts. Examine.
                                                                                                                                                                                    8. To what extent has the urban planning and culture of the Indus Valley Civilization provided inputs to the present day urbanization?
                                                                                                                                                                                    9. The topography of the Western Ghats along with the political patronage suited to the development of Buddhist Caves in many of the hills, ravines and cliffs of the Sahayadris."Discuss giving salient examples.
                                                                                                                                                                                    10. "The sculpture at Ajanta Caves despite being among the finest ever created in India, has often not given the attention it deserves."Evaluate.
                                                                                                                                                                                    11. Discuss the salient features of the town planning in Indus Valley Civilization.
                                                                                                                                                                                    12. In what way, the sculptures at Sanchi Stupa were different from Bharhut?
                                                                                                                                                                                    13. Sanchi stupa represents a testimony to the Maurya, Sunga as well as Saatavahana art in India. Examine.
                                                                                                                                                                                    14. Differentiate between the Sandhara, Nirandhara and Sarvatobhadra Temples.
                                                                                                                                                                                    15. Discuss the Basic Structure of a Hindu Temple outlining the key differences between Nagara, Dravida, Vesra, Gadag and Kalinga style of temple architecture.
                                                                                                                                                                                    16. Discuss the salient Features of Gupta Architecture.
                                                                                                                                                                                    17. Discuss the salient Features of the Temple Architecture of Badami Chalukyas and Western Chalukyas.
                                                                                                                                                                                    18. Mention the distinctive features of Dravida style and discuss how it developed under the Pallavas and Cholas describing the architecture of one temple of each dynasty.
                                                                                                                                                                                    19. Mention the distinctive features of Vesara style and discuss how it developed under the Chalukyas and the Hoysalas describing the architecture of one temple of each dynasty.
                                                                                                                                                                                    20. Discuss critically the development of rock-cut architecture under the Pallavas.
                                                                                                                                                                                    21. Discuss the salient features of the Chola Architecture.
                                                                                                                                                                                    22. Discuss the reasons and advantages of introducing the Double Dome feature in Indo-Islamic architecture.
                                                                                                                                                                                    23. What do you understand by "Indian functionalism". Discuss with examples.
                                                                                                                                                                                    24. Discuss the salient features of the Kalinga School of Architecture. How it is different from the Nagara style?
                                                                                                                                                                                    25. What could be the possible reasons of sculpting the erotic images at Khajauraho?
                                                                                                                                                                                    26. Discuss the salient Features of Indo-Islamic Architecture. What new elements were added to the Indian architecture by the Muslims?
                                                                                                                                                                                    27. What was the role of mason's guilds in the development of provincial architecture in Gujarat. Discuss.
                                                                                                                                                                                    28. While keeping monuments at Mandu in foci, throw light on the rainwater harvesting system. Can Mandu's antique water system be restored and revived? Can it help to solve the drinking water problem in the surrounding areas? Discuss.
                                                                                                                                                                                    29. Discuss the salient features of the Mughal Architecture. How it was different from the earlier architecture of Delhi Sultanate?
                                                                                                                                                                                    30. One of the greatest early deeds of Mughals is that they brought the Persian Charbagh style to India. Discuss with giving examples of monuments in India which were built in Charbagh style.
                                                                                                                                                                                    31. Akbar's Tomb at Sikandara is the best example of Akbar's style. Elucidate.
                                                                                                                                                                                    32. Discuss the Importance of Chhatri in Mughal Architecture.
                                                                                                                                                                                    33. What are the main features of Palladian Style and Victorian Gothic Style? Give some examples of monuments built in these styles in India.
                                                                                                                                                                                    34. Critically comment on the architecture of Le Corbusier with emphasis on the so called "International Style"in architecture.
                                                                                                                                                                                    35. Why Laurie Baker is known as the "conscience keeper of Indian architecture"and "Gandhi of Indian architecture"? Evaluate his architectural style.
                                                                                                                                                                                    36. The Chola bronze sculptures considered as the most refined. Why?
                                                                                                                                                                                    37. What was the significance of a fort in medieval India? What were the strategic devices adopted in the construction of forts to confuse or defeat the enemy?
                                                                                                                                                                                    38. Which forms of secular architecture evolved during medieval times? What significance did these buildings have in the sociocultural lives of contemporary people?
                                                                                                                                                                                    39. Why is the word 'perfection' associated with the Taj Mahal?
                                                                                                                                                                                    40. Critically discuss the developments in art and architecture in India in the past which show that India's culture is a composite one.
                                                                                                                                                                                    41. What factors led to the amalgamation of the foreign and indigenous styles of architectures in medieval India. Critically examine the outcome of this amalgamation.
                                                                                                                                                                                    42. Excavations at various Indus Valley Sites have yielded a rich collection of objects in terracotta, stone and bronze. Explain while making a comparative account of these. Which of them was more popular and why?
                                                                                                                                                                                    43. The seals discussed in Harappan excavations form an impressive part of the surviving examples of Harappan arts. Justify by giving suitable examples.
                                                                                                                                                                                    44. Compare the image of the Buddha in the Gandhara art with that in the Mathura art.
                                                                                                                                                                                    45. Discuss the changes in the Indian architecture and sculpture after demise of the Maurya rule. How this art was different from the Maurya art?
                                                                                                                                                                                    46. What changes were brought in by the Sungas in the Maurya sculpture? Discuss.
                                                                                                                                                                                    47. How Mathura art was a formative art that gave impetus to other forms of art styles?
                                                                                                                                                                                    48. Critically discuss the importance of terracotta as the material for artistic expression of the humble people.
                                                                                                                                                                                    49. Discuss critically the Painting of cave X at Ajanta.
                                                                                                                                                                                    50. Discuss the importance of the Gupta temple in the development of Indian architecture.
                                                                                                                                                                                    51. Describe critically the architecture and sculpture of the Dasavatara temple at Deogarh.
                                                                                                                                                                                    52. Critically examine the importance of the Dhamekh Stupa at Sarnath as a representative of the Buddhist Stupas?
                                                                                                                                                                                    53. Critically discuss why Buddha image from Sarnath is considered the highest triumph of Indian art.
                                                                                                                                                                                    54. Describe the terracotta figures of the Gupta period to show that the terracotta work of this period was imbued with the spirit of true art prevailing at the time.
                                                                                                                                                                                    55. Justify by giving illustrations from the paintings in the caves at Ajanta that the master painters who produced these paintings were in love with nature.
                                                                                                                                                                                    56. Discuss the distinctive features of the Nagara style of Indian architecture and also state the important varieties of this style and their chief features.
                                                                                                                                                                                    57. Describe critically the architecture and sculpture of the Muktesvara temple at Bhuvanesvara showing why it is regarded as a gem of Orissan architecture.
                                                                                                                                                                                    58. The Rajasthan and Gujarat style reached its climax in the two jain temples at Mount Abu. Justify.
                                                                                                                                                                                    59. Mention the distinctive features of Dravida style and discuss how it developed under the Pallavas and Cholas describing the architecture of one temple of each dynasty.
                                                                                                                                                                                    60. Discuss critically the three-fold subjects decorative designs, portraiture and narration, of the Ajanta paintings by giving appropriate examples.
                                                                                                                                                                                    61. Mention the distinctive features of Vesara style and discuss how it developed under the Chalukyas and the Hoysalas describing the architecture of one temple of each dynasty.
                                                                                                                                                                                    62. Discuss the chief trends in medieval sculpture which distinguish it from the classical sculpture.
                                                                                                                                                                                    63. How was Islamic architecture modified by Hindu master builders?
                                                                                                                                                                                    64. While keeping Qutub Minar in focus, discuss trails of Hindu architecture into the monuments built by the early Sultans of Delhi?
                                                                                                                                                                                    65. What was the effect of the reaction against Hindu elements in Indo-Islamic architecture under Alaud-din- Khilji? Mention the building which reflects this reaction and describe the style of its architecture.
                                                                                                                                                                                    66. Discuss the factors on account of which the architecture of the Tughlaq period was massive and simple.
                                                                                                                                                                                    67. Discuss the chief features of the sculptures of Vijaynagar of the buildings constructed in the fourteenth-fifteenth and sixteenth centuries by giving concrete examples.
                                                                                                                                                                                    68. What was the indirect influence of the personalities and experience of Babar and Humayun on the subsequent art of India?
                                                                                                                                                                                    69. Discuss how Akbar's mausoleum at Sikandra and the tomb of Itimad-ud-Daula show that jahangir's contribution to the building art was rather insignificant when compared to the vast and ambitious perfects of his father, on the one hand, and those of his son, on the other.
                                                                                                                                                                                    70. Show how the buildings constructed by Sher Shah clearly exemplify his ideals of the attitude towards building art. Discuss their chief features and their importance in the history of development of Indo-Muslim architecture.
                                                                                                                                                                                    71. Discuss the various factors which led to the formation of Akbar's Indo-Islamic architectural style.
                                                                                                                                                                                    72. Describe the chief features of the architecture and sculptures of the Agra fort. Also give examples of some buildings in the fort in support of your answer.
                                                                                                                                                                                    73. Explain how the buildings constructed by Akbar at Fatehpur Sikri show that he achieved a fusion of native traditions with those of Iran in the sphere of art.
                                                                                                                                                                                    74. Discuss the chief features of Mughal architecture in the time of Shah jahan and give examples in support of your answer.
                                                                                                                                                                                    75. The Diwan-i-khas and the Rang Mahal in the Red Fort at Delhi are described 'as the most ornamented of all Shahjahan's buildings and 'The crowning jewel of Shah jahan's seraglio' respectively by modern critics. Bring out the brilliance of these two buildings by giving a brief but critical account of these two buildings.
                                                                                                                                                                                    76. 'The Taj Mahal is a poem in marble, a romantic conception of heavenly beauty on earth.' Give a critical account of its architecture and picturesque setting to bring out its two aspects mentioned in the above quotation.
                                                                                                                                                                                    77. ''The tomb of Aurangzeb's queen Rabia-ud-Durani by Aurangabad illustrates in apathetic manner the rapid deterioration of the Mughal architecture." Bring out the correctness of the above statement by discussing the architecture of the buildings.
                                                                                                                                                                                    78. Describe critically those features of the city of Jaipur and of the architecture of the palace of Suraj Mal at Deeg on account of which E.B. Havell thinks that the modern Rajput architecture began in the second quarter of the eighteenth century.
                                                                                                                                                                                    79. Discuss why the buildings constructed by the Public Works Department of the Government of India in the second half of the nineteenth century have no architecture.
                                                                                                                                                                                    80. Discuss the architecture of the buildings in metropolitan cities of Madras, Bombay and Calcutta constructed by the English East India Company before 1857.
                                                                                                                                                                                    81. What is the significance of the architecture of the buildings of Jantar-Mantar and Safdar's Tomb in the history of modern Indian architecture? Discuss.
                                                                                                                                                                                    82. Describe those features of the buildings of the Secretariat, the Rashtrapati Bhavan which show that in the construction of these buildings, there is a happy synthesis of traditional Indian and modern Western architectural styles.
                                                                                                                                                                                    83. Mention some buildings which were architecturally good when most of the government buildings during 1950 to 1960 were built under the influence of the Modern Movement. Also state what were the drawbacks of the Modern Movement in architecture?
                                                                                                                                                                                    84. Discuss the work of some contemporary architects who have built in a style which is distinctively Indian.
                                                                                                                                                                                    85. While keeping in focus Kautilya's Arthashastra, examine the fort architecture of ancient India. What major changes occurred in the same after advent of Muslim conquerors? Examine.
                                                                                                                                                                                    86. What are the recently proposed amendments to the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act, 1958? Do you think that the proposed "public purpose" in these amendments could be a flawed notion of the government? Critically discuss.
                                                                                                                                                                                    87. The Pallava architecture not only sets the standard in South India but has also greatly influenced the architecture of South East Asia, particularly Cambodia and Vietnam. Discuss.
                                                                                                                                                                                    88. How Buddhism can be one of the integrative factors for Pan-Asianism ideology?
                                                                                                                                                                                    89. Has India Failed To Maintain Its Heritage Sites Such As Hampi?
                                                                                                                                                                                    90. The present generation can learn lessons and find solution to the contemporary problem of water crisis from the ancient culture and architecture of India such as step wells. Discuss.
                                                                                                                                                                                    91. Disclaimer: These questions have been written and answered by GKToday team over the period of time; and have included some previous years questions also. While every effort was made to ensure that these questions as well as their answers remain relevent and correct, it is possible, that some facts or context in some questions might have changed over time. GKToday does not assume and hereby disclaims any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by such change of facts or context in the questions and answers of this E-book.

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