Flash Card

LAKSHYA-75 [Day-2] Static Flash Cards for IAS Prelims 2020

Work of Sea Waves; Atmospheric pressure belts and wind system; Tropical Evergreen Forests; Tropical Deciduous Forests; Structure of the atmosphere; Sahara Desert; Taxation and administration under Khalji Sultanate; Babur, Humayun and Akbar; Jahangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb; Kandariya Mahadeva temple & Rajarajeshvara temple; Nayanars and Alvars.
By IASToppers
March 07, 2020




Who were Nayanars and Alvars?

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Nayanars and Alvars were the Tamil poet-saints who propagated Bhakti movement in South India.

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Nayanars and Alvars:

  • The seventh to ninth centuries saw the emergence of new religious movements, led by the Nayanars (saints devoted to Shiva) and Alvars (saints devoted to Vishnu) who came from all castes including those considered “untouchable” like the Pulaiyar and the Panars.
  • They were sharply critical of the Buddhists and Jains and preached ardent love of Shiva or Vishnu as the path to salvation.
  • They drew upon the ideals of love and heroism as found in the Sangam literature (the earliest example of Tamil literature, composed during the early centuries of the Common Era) and blended them with the values of bhakti.


  • The Nayanars were a group of 63 saints in the 6th to 8th century who were devoted to the Hindu god Shiva in Tamil Nadu.
  • The Nayanars and Alvars went from place to place composing exquisite poems in praise of the deities enshrined in the villages they visited, and set them to music.
  • There were 63 Nayanars, who belonged to different caste backgrounds such as potters, “untouchable” workers, peasants, hunters, soldiers, Brahmanas and chiefs.
  • The best known among them were Appar, Sambandar, Sundarar and Manikkavasagar.
  • There are two sets of compilations of their songs – Tevaram and


  • Alvars were a group of 12 devotional saints in the 7th and the 12th centuries who were devoted to the Hindu god Shiva in Tamil Nadu.
  • There were 12 Alvars, who came from equally divergent backgrounds, the best known being Periyalvar, his daughter Andal, Tondaradippodi Alvar and Nammalvar.

Their songs were compiled in the Divya Prabandham.




Kandariya Mahadeva temple, Khajuraho is constructed by rulers of which dynasty?

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The Kandariya Mahadeva temple, Khajuraho was constructed in 999 A.D. by the king Dhangadeva of the Chandela dynasty.

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Kandariya Mahadeva temple:

  • The Kandariya Mahadeva temple is situated at Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh.
  • It is dedicated to Shiva was constructed in 999 A.D. by the king Dhangadeva of the Chandela dynasty.
  • An ornamented gateway led to an entrance, and the main hall (mahamandapa) where dances were performed.
  • The image of the chief deity was kept in the main shrine (garbhagriha).
  • This was the place for ritual worship where only the king, his immediate family and priests gathered.
  • The Khajuraho complex contained royal temples where commoners were not allowed entry.
  • The temples were decorated with elaborately carved sculptures.

 Rajarajeshvara temple:

  • The Rajarajeshvara temple at Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu had the tallest shikhara amongst temples of its time.
  • The temple which is based on Dravidian architecture was built by Raja Raja Chola I between 1003 and 1010 AD.
  • Constructing it was not easy because there were no cranes in those days and the 90 tons’ stone for the top of the shikhara was too heavy to lift manually.
  • So the architects built an inclined path to the top of the temple, placed the boulder on rollers and rolled it all the way to the top.
  • The path started more than 4 km away so that it would not be too steep. This was dismantled after the temple was constructed.
  • But the residents of the area remembered the experience of the construction of the temple for a long time.
  • Even now a village near the temple is called Charupallam, the “Village of the Incline”.




Which Mughal ruler was a contemporary of Maratha ruler Shivaji?

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Mughal emperor Aurangzeb was the contemporary of Maratha ruler Shivaji.

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  1. Jahangir (1605-1627):
  • Military campaigns started by Akbar continued.
  • The Sisodiya ruler of Mewar, Amar Singh, accepted Mughal service.
  • Less successful campaigns against the Sikhs, the Ahoms and Ahmadnagar followed.
  • Prince Khurram, the future Emperor Shah Jahan, rebelled in the last years of his reign. The efforts of Nur Jahan, Jahangir’s wife to marginalize him were unsuccessful.
  1. Shah Jahan (1627-1658):
  • Mughal campaigns continued in the Deccan under Shah Jahan.
  • The Afghan noble Khan Jahan Lodi rebelled and was defeated.
  • Campaigns were launched against Ahmadnagar; the Bundelas were defeated and Orchha seized.
  • In the north-west, the campaign to seize Balkh from the Uzbegs was unsuccessful and Qandahar was lost to the Safavids.
  • In 1632 Ahmadnagar was finally annexed and the Bijapur forces sued for peace.
  • In 1657-1658, there was conflict over succession amongst Shah Jahan’s sons.
  • Aurangzeb was victorious and his three brothers, including Dara Shikoh, were killed.
  • Shah Jahan was imprisoned for the rest of his life in Agra.
  1. Aurangzeb (1658-1707):
  • In the north-east, the Ahoms were defeated in 1663, but rebelled again in the 1680s.
  • Campaigns in the north-west against the Yusufzai and the Sikhs were temporarily successful.
  • Mughal intervention in the succession and internal politics of the Rathor Rajputs of Marwar led to their rebellion.
  • Campaigns against the Maratha chieftain Shivaji were initially successful.
  • But Aurangzeb insulted Shivaji who escaped from Agra, declared himself an independent king and resumed his campaigns against the Mughals.
  • Prince Akbar rebelled against Aurangzeb and received support from the Marathas and the Deccan Sultanate. He finally fled to Safavid Iran.
  • After Akbar’s rebellion Aurangzeb sent armies against the Deccan Sultanates.
  • Bijapur was annexed in 1685 and Golconda in 1687.
  • From 1698 Aurangzeb personally managed campaigns in the Deccan against the Marathas who started guerrilla warfare.
  • Aurangzeb also had to face the rebellion in north India of the Sikhs, Jats and Satnamis, in the north-east of the Ahoms and in the Deccan of the Marathas.

His death was followed by a succession conflict amongst his sons.




In context of medieval India, Battle of Chausa was fought between?

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Battle of Chausa (1539) was fought between Mughal Emperor Humayun and Sher Shah Suri of Suri Empire, and resulted in defeat of Humayun.

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  1. BABUR (1526-1530):

1526 – Defeated Ibrahim Lodi and his Afghan supporters at the first battle of Panipat.

1527 – Defeated Rana Sanga, Rajput rulers and allies at the battle of Khanua.

1528 – Defeated the Rajputs at the battle of Chanderi.

Established control over Agra and Delhi before his death.

  1. HUMAYUN (1530-1540, 1555-1556):
  • Humayun divided his inheritance according to the will of his father.
  • His brothers were each given a province.
  • The ambitions of his brother Mirza Kamran weakened Humayun’s cause against Afghan competitors.
  • Sher Khan defeated Humayun at the battle of Chausa (1539) and Kanauj (1540), forcing him to flee to Iran.
  • In Iran, Humayun received help from the Safavid Shah.
  • He recaptured Delhi in 1555 but died the next year after an accident in this building.


  1. AKBAR (1556-1605):

Akbar was 13 years old when he became emperor. His reign can be divided into three periods:

(1) 1556-1570:

  • Akbar became independent of the regent Bairam Khan and other members of his domestic staff.
  • Military campaigns were launched against the Suris and other Afghans, against the neighbouring kingdoms of Malwa and Gondwana, and to suppress the revolt of his half-brother Mirza Hakim and the Uzbegs.
  • In 1568 the Sisodiya capital of Chittor was seized and in 1569 Ranthambhor.

(2) 1570-1585:

  • Military campaigns in Gujarat were followed by campaigns in the east in Bihar, Bengal and Orissa.
  • These campaigns were complicated by the 1579-1580 revolt in support of Mirza Hakim.

(3) 1585-1605:

  • Expansion of Akbar’s empire. Campaigns were launched in the north-west.
  • Qandahar was seized from the Safavids, Kashmir was annexed, as also Kabul, after the death of Mirza Hakim.
  • Campaigns in the Deccan started and Berar, Khandesh and parts of Ahmadnagar were annexed.
  • In the last years of his reign Akbar was distracted by the rebellion of Prince Salim, the future Emperor Jahangir.




Kharaj Tax, levied at the times of Delhi Sultanate, is related to?

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Agricultural Tax

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Taxation and administration under Khalji Sultanate:

  • Under Alauddin Khalji the state brought the assessment and collection of land revenue under its own control.
  • The rights of the local chieftains to levy taxes were cancelled and they were also forced to pay taxes.
  • The Sultan’s administrators measured the land and kept careful accounts.
  • Some of the old chieftains and landlords served the Sultanate as revenue collectors and assessors.
  • There were three types of taxes: (1) on cultivation called Kharaj and amounting to about 50 % of the peasant’s produce, (2) on cattle and (3) on house.

Kharaj Tax:

  • Kharaj is a type of individual Islamic tax on agricultural land and its produce developed under Islamic law.
  • The Kharaj tax was introduced in India by the Delhi Sultanate.
  • It was the mainstay of the finance of the government.
  • It was charged from both Muslims and non-Muslims, ranging from 1/5th to 1/2 under various reigns.


  • Like the earlier Sultans, the Khalji and Tughlaq monarchs appointed military commanders as governors of territories of varying sizes.
  • These lands were called iqtas and their holder was called iqtadar or muqti.
  • The duty of the muqtis was to lead military campaigns and maintain law and order in their iqtas.
  • In exchange for their military services, the muqtis collected the revenues of their assignments as salary.
  • They also paid their soldiers from these revenues.
  • Control over muqtis was most effective if their office was not inheritable and if they were assigned iqtas for a short period of time before being shifted.
  • These harsh conditions of service were rigorously imposed during the reigns of Alauddin Khalji and Muhammad Tughlaq.
  • Accountants were appointed by the state to check the amount of revenue collected by the muqtis.
  • Care was taken that the muqti collected only the taxes prescribed by the state and that he kept the required number of soldiers.




Bedouins and Tuaregs tribes live in Assam and Tripura as well as in Bangladesh. True OR False.

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Correct Statement:

  • Bedouins and Tuaregs tribes live in Sahara Desert region.

Sahara Desert

  • It is the world’s largest desert. It has an area of around 8.54 million sq. km.
  • The Sahara Desert touches eleven countries. These are Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, Tunisia and Western Sahara.
  • Sahara Desert is covered with, there are also gravel plains and elevated plateaus with bare rocky surface. These rocky surfaces may be more than 2500m high at some places.


  • The climate of the Sahara Desert is scorching hot and parch dry. It has a short rainy season. The sky is cloudless and clear. Here, the moisture evaporates faster than it accumulates. Days are unbelievably hot. The temperatures during the day may soar as high as 50°C, heating up the sand and the bare rocks, which in turn radiates heat making everything around hot. The nights may be freezing cold with temperatures nearing zero degrees.

Flora and Fauna

  • Vegetation in the Sahara Desert includes cactus, date palms and acacia. In some places there are oasis – green islands with date palms surrounding them. Camels, hyenas, jackals, foxes, scorpions, many varieties of snakes and lizards are the prominent animal species living there.


  • The Sahara Desert despite its harsh climate has been inhabited by various groups of people, who pursue different activities. Among them are the Bedouins and Tuaregs. These groups are nomadic tribes rearing livestock such as goats, sheep, camels and horses. They wear heavy robes as protection against dust storms and hot winds.
  • The oasis in the Sahara and the Nile Valley in Egypt supports settled population. Since water is available, the people grow date palms. Crops such as rice, wheat, barley and beans are also grown. Egyptian cotton, famous worldwide is grown in Egypt.

The discovery of oil in Algeria, Libya and Egypt is constantly transforming the Sahara Desert. Other minerals of importance that are found in the area include iron, phosphorus, manganese and uranium.




Radio waves transmitted from the earth are reflected back to the earth by Mesosphere. True OR False.

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Correct Statement:

Radio waves transmitted from the earth are reflected back to the earth by Thermosphere.

Enrich Your Learning:

Structure of the atmosphere


  • This layer is the most important layer of the atmosphere. Its average height is 13 km.
  • The air we breathe exists here. Almost all the weather phenomena like rainfall, fog and hailstorm occur in this layer.


  • Above the troposphere lies the stratosphere. It extends up to a height of 50 km.
  • This layer is almost free from clouds and associated weather phenomenon, making conditions most ideal for flying aeroplanes.
  • One important feature of stratosphere is that it contains a layer of ozone gas.


  • This is the third layer of the atmosphere. It lies above the stratosphere. It extends up to the height of 80 km.
  • Meteorites burn up in this layer on entering from the space.


  • In thermosphere temperature rises very rapidly with increasing height.
  • Ionosphere is a part of this layer. It extends between 80-400 km. This layer helps in radio transmission.
  • In fact, radio waves transmitted from the earth are reflected back to the earth by this layer.


  • The upper most layer of the atmosphere is known as exosphere. This layer has very thin air.
  • Light gases like helium and hydrogen float into the space from here.




Enlist the hardwood trees found in the Tropical Evergreen Forests and Tropical Deciduous Forests.

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Hardwood trees like rosewood, ebony, mahogany are seen in Tropical Evergreen Forests, while sal, teak, neem and shisham are found in Tropical Deciduous Forests.

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Tropical Evergreen Forests

  • These forests are also called tropical rainforests. These thick forests occur in the regions near the equator and close to the tropics.
  • These regions are hot and receive heavy rainfall throughout the year. As there is no particular dry season, the trees do not shed their leaves altogether. This is the reason they are called evergreen.
  • The thick canopies of the closely spaced trees do not allow the sunlight to penetrate inside the forest even in the day time.
  • Hardwood trees like rosewood, ebony, mahogany are seen here.

Tropical Deciduous Forests

  • Tropical deciduous are the monsoon forests found in the large part of India, northern Australia and in central America.
  • These regions experience seasonal changes. Trees shed their leaves in the dry season to conserve water.
  • The hardwood trees found in these forests are sal, teak, neem and shisham.
  • Hardwood trees are extremely useful for making furniture, transport and constructional materials.
  • Tigers, lions, elephants, langoors and monkeys are the common animals of these regions.




The Horse Latitude is found on which latitudes of the Earth?

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Warm airs rise from the equator cools down at the 30° North and South creating a high pressure belt which is known as The Horse Latitude.

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Atmospheric pressure belts and wind system

  • Some air movements are the result of the systematic pressure gradients that arise from latitudinal changes in the Earth’s surface temperature.
  • The horizontal movement of air from the high-pressure area to low pressure areas is called wind.
  • The process is like the air near the earth’s surface gets heated up due to insolation (the incoming solar radiation), whereas the upper layer is cool and, hence it is denser than warm air. The warm air lifts up due to less dense, goes up and cool air comes down and this process goes on.
  • This process creates seven pressure belts on earth’s surface.
    • Equatorial low pressure belt
    • Two Sub tropical high pressure belt
    • Two Sub polar low pressure belt
    • Two Polar high pressure belt
  • These belts are created due to the spherical shape of the earth. As different parts of the earth are heated unequally, it creates low pressure belts at warm places while high pressure belts at colder places.

Equatorial Low Pressure Belts

  • It extends from 0° to 5° North and South of Equator.
  • Intense solar heating causes the moist air to break into great convection columns, so that there is a general rise of air causing law pressure at the surface.
  • This region is also known as the equatorial belt of variable winds and calms or the doldrums.

Subtropical High Pressure Belts

  • The rising warm air near the equator rises up and spread out towards the poles.
  • It gets cooled down near 30° North and South creating a high pressure belt in this region.
  • The region is also known as The Horse Latitude.
  • Winds from subtropical region blow towards Equator are known as Trade winds and another wind blows towards Sub Polar Low-Pressure known as Westerlies.

Sub-Polar Low Pressure Belts

  • There are two High-Pressure belts- Polar and Sub tropical. The air starts from high-pressure belt to low-pressure belt and meets at around 60o latitude in both hemispheres.
  • In the Subtropical region the descending air gets divided into two parts. One part blows towards the Equatorial Low Pressure Belt and other part blows towards the Sub-Polar Low Pressure Belt.
  • Warm Subtropical air over cold polar air blowing from poles in this region. This region is marked by violent storms in winter.
  • Centrifugal forces by earth’s rotation create the low pressure belt in this region called Sub-polar Low Pressure Belt.

Polar High Pressure Belts

  • The temperatures are always extremely low at the North and South Poles, between 70° to 90° latitudes.
  • This cold descending air creates high pressures over the Poles. These areas of Polar high pressure are known as the Polar Highs. These regions are characterized by permanent Ice Caps.



How sea cliffs are formed?

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A cliff is a mass of rock that rises very high and is almost vertical, or straight up-and-down. The steep rocky coast rising almost vertically above sea water is called sea cliff.

Cliffs are usually formed because of processes called erosion and weathering. Strong winds and powerful waves break off soft or grainy rocks from hardier rocks. The harder rocks are left as cliffs.

Enrich Your Learning:

Work of Sea Waves

  • The erosion and deposition of the sea waves gives rise to coastal landforms.
  • Sea waves continuously strike at the rocks and cracks develops. Over time they become larger and wider. Thus, hollow like caves are formed on the rocks. They are called sea caves.
  • As these cavities become bigger and bigger only the roof of the caves remain, thus forming sea arches.
  • Further, erosion breaks the roof and only walls are left. These wall like features are called stacks.
  • The steep rocky coast rising almost vertically above sea water is called sea cliff. The sea waves deposit sediments along the shores forming beaches.
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