Flash Card

LAKSHYA-75 [Day-27] Static Flash Cards for IAS Prelims 2020

Warli Paintings; Sittanavasal cave; Shabad; Dhrupad; Swaramela-Kalanidhi; Mahavamsa; Dipavamsa; Sallekhana ritual of Jainism; List of Classical Dances in India; Sangeet Natya Academy; Dhumal dance; Hozagiri Dance; Kalbelia dance; Yakshagana;
By IASToppers
April 03, 2020

Yakshagana is the classical form of dance drama belongs to which Indian state?

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  • Yakshagana is the classical form of dance drama in
  • Its stories are drawn from Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavata and other epicsfrom both Hindu and Jain and other ancient Indic traditions.

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  • This is a classical folk artwhich has its roots in the mythologies and holy texts.
  • Yakshagana is supposed to originate from the Bhakti Movement (Vaishnavism).
  • According to Hindu mythology Yakshas are demi gods and the attendants of Kubera.
  • Yakshagana is traditionally presented from dusk to dawn.
  • It is a traditional theatre form that combines dance, music, dialogue, costume, make-up, and stage techniques with a unique style and form.
  • Yakshagana comprise of Bhagwata or the singer and percussion instruments, such as, Maddale, Mrudange, Harmonium and Chande (drums).
  • The most popular episodes are from the Mahabharata i.e. Draupadi swayamvar, Subhadra vivah, Abhimanyu vadh, Karna-Arjun yuddh and from Ramayana i.e. Raajyaabhishek, Lavkush Yuddh, Baali-Sugreeva yuddha and Panchavati.

Are Dhumal dance, Hozagiri Dance and Kalbeliya Dance are mentioned under the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity?

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Among these three dances, only Kalbeliya Dance is mentioned under the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity?

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Dhumal dance:

  • The Dhumal dance is one of the popular folk dances of the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • This dance is only performed by the men of the Wattal tribeof the region. 

Hozagiri Dance:

  • Hozagiri Dance is practised by the tribal community of ‘Reangs’residing in the north-eastern Indian state of Tripura.
  • It is performed by the Reangs by placing a bottle on their heads and gently moving the lower portions of their bodies.
  • Hozagiri Dance is displayed during new harvests and for worshipping the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi and is basically a female dance.

Kalbelia dance:

  • Kalbeliya Dance is a folk dance of Rajasthan.
  • It is well known by other names like ‘Sapera Dance’ or ‘Snake Charmer Dance’.
  • The folk dance is mainly performed by the Kalbeliya (snake-charmer) community.
  • It is a part of the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity from the year 2010.

How many traditional dances have been recognised as classical dances by Sangeet Natya academy?

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Sangeet Natya academy, the national academy of performing arts, has recognized eight traditional dances as Indian classical dances. These dances have roots in the Sanskrit text Natya Shastra, and the religious performance arts of Hinduism.

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List of Classical Dances in India:

Classical Dances



Tamil Nadu



Northern and Western India













Andhra Pradesh


Natya Shastra:

  • The Natya Shastra is a Sanskrit textand detailed treatise on the dramatic and performing arts.
  • The text is attributed to sage Bharata Muni,and is dated to between 200 BC and 200 AD.
  • It is revered as the fifth Vedaas it has been evolved by taking words from the Rigveda, music from the Samaveda, gestures from the Yajurveda and emotions from the Atharvaveda.

Sangeet Natya Academy:

  • Sangeet Natak Akademi (The National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama) is the national level academy for performing artsset up by the Government of India.
  • It was set up by the Indian education ministry on 31 May 1952.
  • The academy functions as the apex body of the performing arts in the country to preserve and promote the vast cultural heritage of India expressed in music, dance and drama.
  • It is the nodal agency of the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of Indiaand coordinates the matters related to Intangible Cultural Heritage and various UNESCO Conventions addressing Cultural Diversity and promotion and dissemination of cultural traditions and expressions of the country.

Sallekhana ritual belongs to which religion: (a) Buddhism OR (b) Jainism?

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Sallekhana or Santhara is a highly respected fasting ritual of Jainism to face death voluntarily by reducing intake of food and liquids. The ritual can be undertaken both by men and women of all economic classes in the Jain community.

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Sallekhana ritual of Jainism:

  • Sallekhana or Santhara, meaning thinning out, is the Jain practice of facing death voluntarily at the end of one’s life, prescribed both for the householder and ascetics.
  • It is a religious practice of voluntarily fasting to death by gradually reducing the intake of food and liquids.
  • It is allowed only when a person is suffering from an incurable diseaseor great disability, or when a person is nearing the end of life.
  • It is a highly respected practice among the members of the Jain community.
  • It is viewed in Jainism as means of destroying rebirth-influencing karma by withdrawing all physical and mental activities.
  • Santhara is undertaken both by men and women of all economic classes in the Jain community.


  • There is debate about the practice from a right to life and a freedom of religion viewpoint.
  • In 2015, the Rajasthan High Court banned the practice, considering it suicide.
  • Later that year, the Supreme Court of India stayed the decision of the Rajasthan High Court and lifted the ban on Sallekhana.

Key Facts:

  • In around 300BC, founder of the Mauryan Empire, Chandragupta Maurya, undertook Santhara atop the Chandragiri Hills in Karnataka.

In context of Buddhism, what do you mean by the terms ‘Mahavamsa’ and ‘Dipavamsa’?

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  • Mahavamsa is an important chronicle (written record) which contains the accounts of history of Buddha’s visit to Sri Lanka, Buddhist sangha and kings of Sri Lanka.
  • Mahavamsa means the “Great Chronicle”.
  • It is a historical poem written in Pali
  • It literary work dates to 3rd-4th centuries BCduring the reign of King Vijaya.
  • It relates the history of Sri Lankafrom its legendary beginnings up to the reign of Mahasena of Anuradhapura (A.D. 302) covering the period between the arrival of Prince Vijaya from India in 543 BCE to his reign (277–304 CE).
  • Major Records of Mahavamsa: Buddha’s Visits to Sri Lanka, Chronicles of Kings of Sri Lanka, History of the Buddhist Sangha and Chronicles of Sri Lanka.


  • It literally means “Chronicle of the Island”.
  • It was probably written in 3rd-4th centuries BC in Sri Lanka during the reign of KingDhatusena.
  • It mentions about the visit of Buddha to Sri Lanka and the relics of Buddha.
  • It is an important early work in Buddhist and Pali literature.
  • Together with the Mahavamsa, it is the source of many accounts of ancient history of Sri Lanka and India.

In context of Indian Music, do you know about the ‘Swaramela-Kalanidhi’?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

Swaramela-Kalanidhi is a treatise on music authored by Ramamatya, a noted musician in the court of King Sadashiva Raya of Vijayanagara empire.

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  • It is a treatise on Music, was aimed particularly to reconcile the tradition and the practices of Music at that time.
  • The date of the text is said to be around A.D. 1549 authored by Ramamatya.
  • Ramamatya was a noted scholar and musician in the court of the Vijayanagara King Sadashiva Raya(1542-1570).

Key facts:

  • The work is counted among the sangita shastra navaratnas or the nine ‘gems’ of the theory of Karnataka Music.
  • It has five Chapters:
  • Upodgata (preface)
  • Swara-prakarana,
  • Veena-prakarana,
  • Mela-prakarana and
  • Raga-prakarana
  • The text has about 328 couplets in Sanskrit and deals with Svara, Veena, Mela system and Ragas.
  • Ramamatya brings the theory up to his times, rationalizes music principles and practices.
  • He speaks of two kinds of Music: the ancient Marga or Gandharvawhich was Lakshana pradhana and the Desi Sangita which is in practice Lakshya pradhana.
  • The text marked the revival or a new beginning of an era of classifying Ragas on purely music principles; and methodically grouping them under what came to be known as Mela system.

Dhrupad is a vocal genre in Carnatic classical music tracing its origin to Samaveda. Right OR Wrong?

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Right Statement:

Dhrupad is a vocal genre in Hindustani classical music tracing its origin to Samaveda.

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  • Dhrupad is a vocal genre in Hindustani classical music, said to be the oldest still in use in that musical tradition.
  • Its name is derived from the words Dhruvaand pada, where a part of the poem is used as a refrain.
  • The lyrics in Dhrupad are in a medieval form of Hindi and heroic in theme, or praise of a particular deity.
  • Dhrupad is a form of devotional music tracing its origin to the ancient text of Samaveda.
  • Abul Fazl,courtier and chronicler at the court of the Emperor Akbar, defines the dhrupad in Ain-e-Akbari as “four rhyming lines, each of indefinite prosodic length.”
  • Thematic matter ranges from the religious and spiritual to royal panegyrics, musicology and romance.
  • Though Dhrupad is basically a vocal tradition, its musical aesthetics have been adopted by many instrumentalists.
  • The dhrupad style of singing was performed with a Tanpura and Pakhawaj, traditionally.

Key facts:

  • During these centuries we meet the most respected and renowned singers and patrons of this form including Man Singh Tomar, the Maharaja of Gwalior.
  • Swami Haridasa, a hermit of Brindavan was not only a dhrupadiya, but one of the most central figures in the Bhakti cult in the Northern areas of India.
  • By tradition he was the guru of Tansen,one of the best known dhrupad singers and one of the nine jewels of Emperor Akbar’s court.


  • Dhrupad has two parts: the anibaddha sectionand the sanchari dhrupad proper.
  • There were four schools or vanis of singing the dhrupadnamely the Gauhar vani, the Dagarvani, the Khandar vani and the Nauhar vani.

Warli Paintings mainly depicts mythological characters. Right OR Wrong?

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Right Statements:

  • Warli Paintings does not depict mythological characters. Instead, vivid expression of daily and social events of the Warli tribe in shapes and figures are drawn and painted on wall.

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Warli Paintings

  • Warli Painting is a style of tribal artmostly painted on Walls.
  • It is practiced in Maharashtra. Warli is the name of the largest tribe found on the northern outskirts of Mumbai.
  • This art makes use of geometric shapes such as circles, triangles and squaresto form numerous shapes.
  • The painting is the vivid expression of daily and social events of the Warli tribe and do not depict mythological characters or images of deities.
  • Women are mainly engaged in the creation of these paintings.
  • Initially, Warli art was done on walls on special occasions. The painting would be done over a brown backgroundwhich would basically be a mixture of mud and cow dung cakes.
  • The white pigment used to draw shapes and figureswould be a mixture of rice mixed with water and gum.
  • One of the most popular themes in Warli art is a spiral chain of humans around one central motif. This in accordance with their belief that life is an eternal journey, and it has no beginning and end.

In context of Sikhism, what does the term ‘Shabad’ mean?

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Shabads are the teachings compiled in Guru Granth Sahib attributed to various Sikh gurus and many bhakti saints-poets.

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  • Sikh music or Shabad Kirtanis Kirtan-style singing of hymns or Shabad from the Guru Granth Sahib, the central text of Sikhism.
  • It began in the late 16th centuryas the musical expression of mystical poetry, accompanied by a musical instrument rabab, by Bhai Mardana an early follower of Guru Nanak Dev –the founder of Sikhism.
  • Shabads are attributed to Sikh gurus and many bhakti saints-poets.
  • Guru Govind Singh, the tenth gurus of Sikhism compiled the teachings all Sikh gurus in Guru Granth Sahib (Adi Granth).
  • Shabads are sung accompanied by harmonium, tabla, dholak and chimta.
  • There are three distinct styles of Shabad singing: Raga based Shabads, traditional Shabads mentioned in Adi Granth and those based on lighter tunes.
  • Kirtan mark of daily bhakti (devotional remembrance) of God’s name.

The Sittanavasal cave paintings are related to which religion? (a) Buddhism OR (b) Jainism OR (c) Hinduism?

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The Sittanavasal cave paintings are related to Jainism.

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Sittanavasal cave:

  • It is a 2nd-century Jain complex of caves in Sittanavasal village in Tamil Nadu, India.
  • Its name in Tamil means “the abode of great saints”.
  • The monument is a rock-cut monastery or temple created by Jains, it is called the Arivar Koil, and is a rock cut cave temple of the Arihants.

Sittanavasal cave paintings:

  • The ceiling of the cave temple’s sanctum and Ardha Mandapam still flaunt beautiful paintings after so many centuries.
  • It contains remnants of notable frescoes from the 7th century.
  • Most paintings date to the Pandyan periode. 9th century AD.
  • Highlight: The notable drawings include a pond with lotuses. This scene shows a unique, chosen and elegant audience hall where Tirthankarasgave sermons after they reached realisation (kevala-gnana). Bulls, elephants, apsaras (angels) and other Gods gathered in this audience hall to witness this grand scene. Top columns have paintings of dancing women with lotuses whereas the southern pillars have the paintings of the king and queen with an umbrella.
  • The murals have been painted with vegetable and mineral dyes in black, green, yellow, orange, blue, and white.
  • Frescoes:Paintings that are created by applying colours over a thin wet surface of lime plaster.
  • However, many of these paintings are in a state of decay due to vandalism in the past 50-60 years.
  • The Maharaja of Pudukkottaihad attempted to have these paintings cleaned and given a preservative coating and the plaster structure restored in 1937-1939, but are in a poor state now.

Daily Current Flash Cards 2020 Prelims 2020 LAKSHYA-75

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