Flash Card

LAKSHYA-75 [Day-25] Static Flash Cards for IAS Prelims 2020

Chhau folk dance; Doregata Dance; Bizu Dance; Tarana and Chaturang; Tansen; Vishnuvardhana; Mughal paintings; ‘Dastak’; Daman-i-Koh; Chola Administration; Gupta Administration; Brihadeshwara Temple;
By IASToppers
April 01, 2020

Who built Brihadeshwara Temple at Tanjore?

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  • Brihadeshwara Temple was built in the year 1010 CE by Rajaraja Cholaat Thanjavur.

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Brihadeshwara Temple

  • The famous Chola templebuilt at Tanjavur (Tanjore) is known as the Brihadeshwara temple. 
  • It is also called the Rajarajeshwara templeafter the name of king Rajaraja who built it in honour of Lord Shiva in about 1009 A.D.
  • This Temple is one of the most outstanding monuments of the Chola Period.
  • It is composed of many interconnected structuressuch as the Nandi pavilion, a pillared portico and a large hall. 
  • Its vimana is 66 metres high.
  • The inner walls of the templehave extensive paintings and sculpture.
  • The tower of the temple rises to a height of 57 metres, like a pyramid,in 13 successive storeys.
  • Its top has a single block of stone, 25 feet highand weighs about 80 tonnes. 
  • The structural idea of constructing a Gopuram was first conceived by the Chola kings.
  • The Double plastered walls of the sanctuary are elevated on a moulded basement with lions. Those on the central niches, on both storeys depict – Dakshinamurti (south), Vishnu (west) and Brahma (north).
  • A massive lingaon the central pedestal is enshrined within the sanctuary.
  • A stone altar carved with a lotus on the top has the Navagrahas carvedon to the sides.
  • A large Nandi sculptureconstructed of blocks is constructed in the front (east) of the principal temple.
  • The temple, especially its tower, is the finest example of Dravidian art.


What was the lowest administrative unit of the Guptas?

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  • The villages were thelowest administrative units.

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Gupta Administration

  • The king was assisted inhis administration by a council consisting of a chief minister, a Senapati or commander-in-chief of the army and other important officials. 
  • According inscriptions, the Gupta kings assumed titles like Paramabhattaraka,Maha rajadhi raja, Parameswara, Samrat and  
  • A high official called Sandivigrahawas mentioned in the Gupta inscriptions, most probably minister for foreign affairs.
  • The king maintaineda close contact with the provincial administration through a class of officials called Kumaramatyas and
  • Provincesin the Gupta Empire were known as Bhuktis and provincial governors as  They were mostly chosen from among the princes. 
  • Bhuktis were subdividedinto Vishyas or districts. They were governed by Vishyapatis. 
  • Na gara Sreshtiswere the officers looking after the city administration. 
  • The villages in the districtwere under the control of
  • Fahien’s account on the Gupta administration provides useful information.He characterises the Gupta administration as mild and benevolent.
  • There were no restrictions on people’s movements and they enjoyed a large degree of personal freedom.
  • There was no state interference in the individual’s life.
  • Punishments were not severe.
  • Imposing a fine was a common punishment.
  • There was no spy system.
  • The administration was so efficientthat the roads were kept safe for travellers, and there was no fear of thieves.
  • He mentioned that people were generally prosperousand the crimes were negligible.
  • Fahien had also appreciated the efficiency of the Gupta administration as he was able to travel without any fear throughout theGangetic valley.
  • On the whole theadministration was more liberal than that of the Mauryas.

Social Life

The cast system:

  • The social structure of the Gupta Empire was highly influenced by religion.
  • Hinduism dividedthe people of the Gupta Empire into five classes. 
  • The highestwas composed of the priest and teachers, underneath that were the rulers and warriors, then the merchants and artisans, and ending with the unskilled workers.
  • In the sphere of religion, Brahmanism reigned supreme during the Gupta period.
  • It had two branches – Vaishnavismand
  • Most of the Gupta kings were Vaishnavaites.
  • They performed Aswamedha sacrifices.
  • The worship of imagesand celebration of religious festivals with elaborate rituals made these two religions popular.
  • Religious literature like the Puranaswas composed during this period. 
  • The progress of Brahmanism led to the neglect of Buddhism and Jainism.
  • Fahien refersto the decline of Buddhism in the Gangetic valley.
  • But a few Buddhist scholars like Vasubandhu were patronized by Gupta kings.
  • In western and southern India Jainism flourished.
  • The great Jam Council was held at Valabhiduring this period and the Jam Canon of the Swetambras was written.


  • The position of women had also become miserableduring the Gupta period. 
  • They were prohibited from studyingthe religious texts like the Puranas.
  • The subjection of womento men was thoroughly regularized. But it was insisted that they should be protected and generously treated by men. 
  • The practice of Swyamvara was given up and the Manusmriti suggested the early marriage for girls.

Key fact:

  • The Gupta period witnessed a tremendous progress in the field of art, science and literature and on account of this it has been called “a golden age”.

Which inscription tells about the Chola village administration?

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Answer: Uttaramerur inscription

  • The Uttaramerur inscriptiongives us information on the village administration, taxation and land revenue under the Cholas.

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Chola Administration

  • The Chola Empire was divided into three major administrativeunits called Central Government, Provincial government and local government. 
  • Uttaramerur inscriptionsthrows light on the administration of the Cholas.

Central government:

  • The administration was headed by the king.
  • The Chola kingship was hereditary in nature.
  • As per the Chola royal family tradition, the eldest son succeeded the king to the Chola throne. The heir apparent was called 
  • The king was assisted in his work by a council of ministers.

Land Revenue Department:

  • Chola government depended mainly on the land revenue as the main source of income.
  • Land produce was collected as tax.
  • Besides land revenue, customs and tolls were the other source of income for the empire.
  • Moreover, taxes on ports, forests and mines contributed to the treasure of the king.

Military Administration:

  • The Cholas possessed an efficient army and navy.
  • The army was made of 70 regiments.
  • Chola kings imported highly efficient Arabian horsesat a very high price.
  • The Chola king acted as the chief justice, as the trial in major cases were conducted by the king himself. The minor disputes at the village level were heard by the village assembly.

Provincial Administration:

  • One of the most important administrative units of the Cholas was Nadu.
  • Each nadu was headed by aNattar while the council of nadu was named  

Village Assembly:

  • The responsibility of the village administration was entrusted to the village assembly called Grama Sabha, the lowest unit of the Chola administration.
  • It was involved in the maintenance of roads, tanks, temples and public ponds.
  • The village assembly was also in charge of payment of taxes due from the villages to the King’s treasure.
  • The village administration was carried on effectively by variyams who used to be the male members of the society.

Key facts:

  • Thanjavur and laterGangaikonda Cholapuram, were the imperial
  • The tiger was the royal emblem of Chola kings.
  • The lower officials were calledSiruntaram while higher officials were called Peruntaram.
  • The whole empire had been divided into nine provincescalled mandalams.
  • Each provincewas headed by a viceroy who received orders from the king.
  • Each mandalamwas divided into number of Kottams or Valanadus which was further sub-divided into

Each nadu was further divided into villages called Urs.

Damin-i-Koh was the land of Santhals. Which place did the Santhal call Daman-i-Koh?

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Damin-i-koh (or sometimes referred to simply as Damin) was the name given to the forested hilly areas of Rajmahal hills broadly in the area of present Sahebganj, Pakur and Godda districts in the Indian state of Jharkhand.

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  • Among the numerous tribal revolts, the Santhal hool or uprising was the most massive. The Santhals, who live in the area between Bhagalpur and Rajmahal, known as Daman-i-Koh,
    rose in revolt.
  • Damin-i-Koh was the land of Santhalssituated in the Rajmahal hills. 
  • British persuadedthe Santhals to live in the foothills of Rajmahal by giving land to them.
  • By 1832, a large part of land was demarcated as Damin-i-Koh and was declared as land of Santhals.
  • They had to live in this region, practice plough agriculture and had to become settled agriculturalists.
  • This region was enclosed y boundary pillars. In this way this region was separated from the world of settled agriculturists of plains and Pahariyas of the hills.

Who granted Dastak to British?

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Answer: Farrukh Siyar Farman

  • Farrukh Siyar Farmanwas the Mughal emperor who granted Dastak or permits to the East India Company to enter the territory.

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  • Dastak was the trade permit sanctionedto the east India Company by the Mughal government.
  • Under the terms and conditions of farrukh siyar’s Farman of 1717 the East India Company was entitled to trade in Bengal without paying the normal customs duty.
  • Based on the right derived from the imperial Farman, the company used to issue Dastakauthorising their agents to trade customs-free within the province of Bengal.
  • The Nawab had issued parwanasto all his officials to honour the dastaks when the company traders produced it to them on demand.
  • According to the Farman of 1717, this right of free tradecovered by the dastaks was restricted to the company alone. 
  • This right, according to the Farman, was not to be exercised by the company’s private traders.
  • But in practice, the private traders of the company generally abused the free trade right by producing the Dastak to the chowkies of the government.
  • But the chowkidars had reasons to believe that most of the dastaks produced by company traders were produced just to cover theirown private trade. 
  • The company sold dastaks at high price not only to European private traders but also to native merchants.
  • Consequently, the government was losing revenueon the one hand, and the native merchants were losing their business due to unequal competition with the company and private traders, on the other.
  • The abuse of dastaks was, in fact, one of the key issues of conflicts between the Nawab and the company. The problem turned into a crisis during the regime of sirajuddaula.
  • His policy against the abuse of dastak was one of the important causes ofhis conflict with the company.
  • Being unable to persuade the company to behave as regards abusing dastak, Nawab mir qasimfinally abolished the inland duties altogether in order to save the local merchants from ruin.
  • It was this action of the Nawabthat landed him on a war with the company and his ultimate ouster.

Mughal paintings are the mixture of which two styles of paintings?

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Persian and Indian style of paintings.

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Mughal paintings:

  • Mughal Paintings in India date back to the period in between the 16th and 18th centuries when the Mughal Emperors ruled over a large portion of India.
  • The Mughal Paintings flourished and developed during the rule of Emperor Akbar, Jahangir and also during the reign of Shah Jahan.
  • Mughal Paintings is a blend of the Persian and Indian stylealong with combinations from different cultural aspects.
  • The paintings of the Mughal period were rich in their range and included events, portraits and scenes of life of the courts, hunting scenes and wild lifeand instances of battles.
  • Abu al-Hasanwas a famous painter of the Mughal period in India and the Mughal ruler of that time was Jahangir.

Which Hoysala King brought the whole of Karnataka under his rule?

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  • Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana Raya

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  • Vishnuvardhana was one of the greatest rulers of the Karnataka region.
  • He was the king who really started to establish the Hoysalas as a separate independent dynasty, freeing them from subordination to the Chalukyas.
  • The Hoysalas were feudatories of the Chalukyas and ruled over a small territory, but during the reign of Vishnuvardhana, the Hoysalas began to assert themselves, concentrating on defeating and annexing neighbouring territories rather than provoking a direct conflict with their overlords, the Chalukyas.
  • Vishnuvardhana had a great mentor and guide in his elder brother Veera Ballala,in matters of administration and the art of warfare.
  • Vishnuvardhana’s first conquest was Gangavadi,which he wrested from Chola control. 
  • He also tried to free himselffrom Chalukyan control and defeated the Nidugal Cholas and the Kong lavas.
  • Under his general Punisa Raja, he launched successful campaigns into the Kongu country and Nilgiris.
  • He defeated Vikramaditya VI,the Chalukyan king, at Kenna gala and Hallur, but was in turn defeated by the Chalukya General Achugi. 
  • Vishnuvardhana was aJain and his name was Bittideva.
  • Vishnuvardhana assumed many titles like Veera Gangaand Talakaadu Konda after his successful military campaigns.

Musician Tansen was the contemporary of which Mughal emperor: a) Akbar b) Shahjahan?

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  • Tansen was the most renowned musician in the court of the Mughal emperor Akbar.
  • Tansen was educated in music by the well-known Dhrupad Singer Svami Haridasa.
  • Svami Haridasarecognising Tansen’s innate gifts trained him rigorously in the art and science of Dhrupad.
  • Tansen created some of the greatest Raagas in Hindustani Music, like Mian ki Todi, Mian ki Sarang, Mian Malhar and Darbari Kanada.
  • He was elevated as one of the Navratna, Nine Gemsof Akbar

Tarana and Chaturang are the music form based on khayal form of music in terms of Hindustani classical music style. True OR False

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  • Creator: Amir Khushro
  • It is a type of composition in Hindustani classical vocal music.
  • Tarana is an innovative version of khayal rendition.
  • Tarana is a classical music form, sung to fast the tempo by using words and vocals.
  • ‘Khayalnuma’ is an alternative of the ‘Tarana’, which is performed with a relaxed hustle.


  • Khayal is a musical form based on two parts that recur between expanding cycles of melodic and rhythmic improvisation in Hindustani music.
  • In a standard performance a slow (vilambit) khayalis followed by a shorter, fast (drut) khayal in the same raga.
  • The khayal is related to the longer melodic form known as the dhrupad but has fewer restrictions.
  • It is usually accompanied by a tablaand a tambura in a variety of talas.


Chaturang denotes composition with four distinct features of a song:

  • Fast Khayal,
  • Tarana,
  • Sargam
  • “Paran” of Tabla or Pakhwaj.

Key fact:

  • The major vocal forms or styles associated with Hindustani classical music are dhrupad, khyal, and tarana, dhamar, trivat, chaiti, kajari, tappa, tap-khyal, ashtapadis, thumri, dadra, ghazal and bhajan.

Doregata Dance, Bizu Dance and Chhau folk dance are celebrated in: a) Western India OR b) Eastern India?

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Eastern India

Enrich Your Learning:

Doregata Dance:

  • State: Meghalaya
  • This is quite interesting dance as the Khasi women try to knock off the turbans of their male partners.

Bizu Dance:

  • State: Tripura
  • This particular form of dance is characteristic of the Chakma

Chhau folk dance:

  • States: Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
  • Chhau Dance is a mask dance prevalent in Eastern India and a tribal martial dance of the above Indian states.
  • The dance form has three subtypes named differently because of the place of their origin.
  • Purulia Chhau(West Bengal)
  • Mayurbhanj Chhau(Odisha)
  • Seraikella Chhau(Jharkhand)
  • Purulia Chhau Dance is listed on UNESCO’s world heritage list of dances
  • The Chhau dance is mythological and based on various episodes of the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata.

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