Indian History Questions for General Competition

Here is the list of questions with answers and explanations which could be asked in different Government Jobs like MPPSC, BPSC, CGPSC, RPSC, HPSC, MPSC, UPPSC, JPSC, OPSC, WBPSC

1. Where has the world’s largest monolithic statue of Buddha been installed ?
(1) Bamiyan (2) Hyderabad
(3) Kandy (4) Lhasa

2. The Harappan Civilisation was discovered in the year :
(1) 1935 (2) 1942
(3) 1901 (4) 1922

3. The title ‘Indian Napolean’ has been attached to
(1) Chandra Gupta Maurya
(2) Samudragupta
(3) Chandragupta-I
(4) Harshavardhana

4. The ‘Ajivikas’ were a
(1) sect contemporary to the
(2) breakaway branch of the
(3) sect founded by Charvaka
(4) sect founded by Shankaracharya

5. The organic relationship between
the ancient culture of the indus
Valley and Hinduism of today is
proved by the worship of
(1) Pashupati, Indra and the
Mother Goddess
(2) Stones, trees and animals
(3) Vishnu and Lakshmi
(4) Siva and Sakti

6. How was Burma (now Myanmar)
known to ancient Indians ?
(1) Malayamandalam
(2) Yavadwipa
(3) Suvarnabhumi
(4) Suvarnadwipa

7. With whom is ‘Junagarh Rock
Inscription’ associated ?
(1) Rudradaman
(2) Bimbisara
(3) Chandragupta II
(4) Gautamiputra Satakarni

8. Nalanda University was a great
centre of learning, especially in
(1) Buddhism (2) Jainism
(3) Vaishnavism (4) Tantra

9. The Rathas of Mahabalipuram
was built during the reign of the
(1) Palas (2) Cholas
(3) Rashtrakutas (4) Pallavas

10. Who is hailed as the “God of
Medicine” by the practitioners of
Ayurveda ?
(1) Susruta (2) Chyavana
(3) Dhanwantari (4) Charaka

11. Which was the only Indus site
with an artificial brick dockyard?
(1) Lothal (2) Kalibangan
(3) Harappa (4) Mohenjo Daro

12. Which dynasty succeeded the
Chalukyas in the Western
(1) Cholas (2) Kakatiyas
(3) Pallavas (4) Rashtrakutas

13. Upto where did Chandragupta
Maurya’s empire extend in the
north-west ?
(1) Ravi river
(2) Indus river
(3) Satluj river
(4) Hindukush range

14. Prince Ellara conquered Sri Lanka in the second century BC.
With which of the following dynasties of Dravida ruler was he
associated ?
(1) Chera (2) Chola
(3) Pandya (4) Pallava

15. Harshavardhana organised his
religious assembly at
(1) Mathura (2) Prayag
(3) Varanasi (4) Tamralipt

16. Which of the following domesticated animals was absent in the
terracottas of the Indus civilisation ?
(1) Buffalo (2) Sheep
(3) Cow (4) Pig

17. Which among the following is the
sacred book of the Buddhists ?
(1) Upanishad (2) Vedas
(3) Tripitaka (4) Jatakas

18. The greatest development in the
Kushana period was in the field
(1) religion (2) art
(3) literature (4) architecture

19. Who was the first known Gupta
ruler ?
(1) Sri Gupta
(2) Chandragupta I
(3) Ghatotkacha
(4) Kumaragupta I
(SSC Combined Graduate Level
Prelim Exam. 13.11.2005 (Ist Sitting)
20. Which was the only Indus city
without a citadel ?
(1) Kalibangan (2) Harappa
(3) Mohenjodaro (4) Chanhudaro

Answers: 1.(1) 2.(4) 3.(2) 4.(1) 5.(2) 6.(3) 7.(1) 8.(1) 9.(4) 10.(3) 11.(1) 12.(4) 13.(2) 14.(2) 15.(2) 16.(3) 17.(3) 18.(2) 19.(1) 20.(4)


1. (1) The Buddhas of Bamiyan were two 6th century
monumental statues of standing buddha carved into
the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley in the Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan. They were dynamited and destroyed in March 2001 by the Taliban, on
orders from leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, after
the Taliban government declared that they were idols.
On 8 September 2008 archeologists searching for a
legendary 300-metre statue at the site of the already
dynamited Buddhas announced the discovery of an
unknown 19-metre (62-foot) reclining Buddha, a pose
representing Buddha’s passage into nirvana

2. (4) In 1872–75 Alexander Cunningham published the
first Harappan seal (with an erroneous identification
as Brahmi letters). It was half a century later, in 1912,
that more Harappan seals were discovered by J. Fleet,
prompting an excavation campaign under Sir John
Hubert Marshall in 1921–22 and resulting in the discovery of the civilization at Harappa by Sir John Marshall, Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni and Madho Sarup
Vats, and at Mohenjo-daro by Rakhal Das Banerjee, E. J. H. MacKay, and Sir John Marshall.

3. (2) Samudragupta (335-375 AD) of the Gupta dynasty
is known as the Napoleon of India. Historian A V Smith
called him so because of his great military conquests
known from the ‘Prayag Prashati’ written by his courtier and poet Harisena, who also describes him as the
hero of a hundred battles. But some leading Indian
historians criticise Smith and feel that Samudragupta
was a far greater warrior than Napoleon, as the former
never lost any battle.

4. (1) Ajivika (“living” in Sanskrit) was a system of ancient Indian philosophy and an ascetic movement of
the Mahajanapada period in the Indian subcontinent.
Ajivika was primarily a heterodox Hindu (Nastika) or
atheistic system. The Ajivikas may simply have been
a more loosely-organized group of wandering ascetics
(shramanas or sannyasins). One of their prominent
leaders was Makkhali Gosal. Ajivikas are is thought
to be contemporaneous to other early Hindu nastika
philosophical schools of thought, such as Charvaka,
Jainism and Buddhism, and may have preceded the
latter two systems.

5. (2) There has been evidence that the people of the
Indus Valley Civilization believed in some form of animal and nature worship. The figure of deities on the
seals indicates that they worshipped gods and goddesses in the human form. No major sculpture survives but for a bust thought to be of a major priest
and the stunning bronze dancing girl. The Divine
Mother appears to have been an important goddess,
due to the countless terra-cotta statues of her that
were found. It follows a school of thought that would
become prevalent later as well, of the female energy
being regarded as the source of all creation. What is
most interesting is the existence of a male god which
has been identified as a proto-type of an important
God of the religion of Hinduism, lord Shiv. The fact
that the same God is still worshipped today, and has
been for the last five thousand years is one of the
remarkable features of Indian culture. Even evidence
of the Bhakti cult (loving devotion to a personal God)
has been found at Indus Valley Civilization sites, and
the Bhakti cult also has a large following even today.
It can therefore be concluded that there is a close
relationship between the beliefs of the Indus Valley
Civilization and that of modern Hinduism.

6. (3) Suvarnabhumi is a Sanskrit term meaning the “Golden Land” or “Land of Gold”, coined by the ancient
Indians which refers broadly to Southeast Asian region across Gulf of Bengal and Eastern Indian Ocean; Lower Burma, Lower Thailand, Lower Malay Peninsula, and Sumatra. Although it seems to cover vast
region in Southeast Asia, it is generally accepted that
the name Suvarnabhumi was first used to refer more
specifically to Lower Burma. Another term which was
used by the ancient Indians is Suvarnadvipa which
means the “Golden Peninsula/Island”. Suvarnabhumi may have been used primarily as a vague general
designation of an extensive region in Southeast Asia,
but, over time, different parts of it came to be designated by the additional epithets of island, peninsula
or city.

7. (1) The Junagadh rock inscription, found in Junagadh,
was carved under the orders of King Rudradaman,
who had obtained the title of Mahakshatrapa. He was
the grandson of the famous Mahakshatrapa Chastana
and was a Saka ruler from the Western Kshatrapa
dynasty. The inscription is a chronicle about the rebuilding of a dam named Urjayat around the lake
Sudarshana. The dam lay in the region of Saurashtra
and the closest town appears to have been a place
called Girinagar. It was fed by the rivers Suvarnasikata
and Palasini, along with other smaller streams. The
dam was originally built by Vaishya Pushyagupta who
was the governor of the region under Chandragupta
Maurya. Conduits from the dam were later built under orders of his grandson; Emperor Asoka.

8. (1) Nalanda was an ancient centre of higher learning
in Bihar, India. It was a Buddhist centre of learning
from the fifth or sixth century CE to 1197 CE. Nalanda flourished between the reign of the Sakraditya
(whose identity is uncertain and who might have been
either Kumara Gupta-I or Kumara Gupta-II) and 1197
CE, supported by patronage from the Hindu Gupta
rulers as well as Buddhist emperors like Harsha and
later emperors from the Pala Empire.

9. (4) The city of Mahabalipuram was largely developed
by the Pallava king Narasimhavarman I in the 7th
century AD. The mandapa or pavilions and the rathas
or shrines shaped as temple chariots are hewn from
the granite rock face, while the famed Shore Temple,
erected half a century later, is built from dressed
stone. The Pancha Rathas shrines were carved during the reign of King Mahendravarman I and his son
Narasimhavarman I. The purpose of their construction is not known, structures are not completed.

10. (3) Dhanvantri is an Avatar of Vishnu from the Hindu
tradition. He appears in the Vedas and Puranas as
the physician of the gods (devas), and the god of
Ayurvedic medicine. It is common practice in Hinduism for worshipers to pray to Dhanvantri seeking his
blessings for sound health for themselves and/or others. Dhanvantri is depicted as Vishnu with four
hands, holding medical herbs in one hand and a pot
containing rejuvenating nectar called amrita in another. The Puranas state that Dhanvantri emerged from
the ‘Ocean of Milk’ and appeared with the pot of nectar during the story of the Samudra or Sagar manthan whilst the ocean was being churned by the devas and asuras, using the Mandara mountain and the
serpent Vasuki.

11. (1) Lothal was one of the most prominent cities of the
ancient Indus valley civilization. Located in Bhal region of the modern state of Gujarat and dating from
2400 BCE, it was discovered in 1954. Lothal was
excavated from February 13, 1955 to May 19, 1960
by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Lothal’s
dock—the world’s earliest known, connected the city
to an ancient course of the Sabarmati river on the
trade route between Harappan cities in Sindh and
the peninsula of Saurashtra when the surrounding
Kutch desert of today was a part of the Arabian Sea.It
was a vital and thriving trade centre in ancient times,
with its trade of beads, gems and valuable ornaments
reaching the far corners of West Asia and Africa.

12. (4) The Chalukya dynasty was an Indian royal dynasty that ruled large parts of southern and central India
between the 6th and the 12th centuries. The earliest
dynasty, known as the “Badami Chalukyas”, ruled
from Vatapi (modern Badami) from the middle of the
6th century. The Badami Chalukyas began to assert
their independence at the decline of the Kadamba
kingdom of Banavasi and rapidly rose to prominence
during the reign of Pulakesin II. After the death of
Pulakesin II, the Eastern Chalukyas became an independent kingdom in the eastern Deccan. They ruled
from Vengi until about the 11th century. In the western Deccan, the rise of the Rashtrakutas in the middle of the 8th century eclipsed the Chalukyas of Badami before being revived by their descendants, the
Western Chalukyas, in the late 10th century.

13. (2) Prior to Chandragupta’s consolidation of power,
small regional kingdoms dominated the northwestern
subcontinent, while the Nanda Dynasty dominated the
middle and lower basin of the Ganges. After Chandragupta’s conquests, the Maurya Empire extended
from Bengal and Assam in the east, to Afghanistan
and Balochistan, some part of the eastern and southeast Iran in the west, to Kashmir and Nepal in the
north, and to the Deccan Plateau in the south. The
vast empire extended from the Bay of Bengal in the
east, to the Indus River in the west.

14. (2) Elara (235 BC – 161 BC), also known as Manu
Needhi Cholan was a Chola king from the Chola Kingdom, in present day South India, who ruled Sri Lanka
from 205 BC to 161 BC from the ancient capital of
Anuradhapura. Often referred to as ‘the Just King’.
The Tamil name Elalan means, ‘the one who rules the
Ellai (boundary). Elara is a peculiar figure in the history of Sri Lanka and one with particular resonance given the ongoing ethnic strife in the country. Although
he was an invader, he is often regarded as one of Sri
Lanka’s wisest and most just monarchs, as highlighted in the ancient Sinhalese chronicle Mahavamsa.

15. (2) After the Kannauj Assembly was concluded, Hiuen-Tsang was making preparations to go to his home,
but Harsha invited him to attend another Assembly at
Prayag which he used to hold after ever five years on
the confluence of Ganga and Yamuna. Five such assemblies had already taken place and this was the
sixth Assembly in which Hiuen-Tsang was invited.
This ceremony was attended by the kings of eighteen
kingdoms and about 5, 00,000 people including Sramanas. Hercetics, Nigranthas, the poor, the orphans
etc, attended this assembly. The Prayag Assembly is
a glorious example of the generosity of Harshavardhana as he gave all his personal wealth and belongings in charity during the assembly.

16. (3) The Indus Valley Civilization made sculptures mainly
in stone, metal and terra-cotta. Ranging in size from
slightly larger than a human thumb to almost 30 cm.
(one foot) in height, the anthropomorphic and animal
terracotta figurines from Harappa and other Indus
Civilization sites offer a rich reflection of some of the
Harappan ideas about representing life in the Bronze
Age. From the terracotta figurines, we come to know
that the people of Harappa domesticated animals like
oxen, buffaloes, pigs, goats and sheep. Camels and
asses were used as means of transport. Dogs and
cats were kept as pets. The humped bull was considered a great asset in the farming community.

17. (3) Tripitaka is a traditional term used by various
Buddhist sects to describe their various canons of
scriptures. As the name suggests, a Tripitaka traditionally contains three “baskets” of teachings: a Sutra
Pitaka (Sanskrit; Pali: Sutta Pitaka), a Vinaya Pitaka (Sanskrit & Pali) and an Abhidharma Pitaka (Sanskrit;Pali: Abhidhamma Pitaka).

18. (2) The Kushanas were great patrons of art. It was
under the rule of the Kushans that principles were
formed for making sculptural images, which continued to influence making of sculptures ever after.
During this time, Buddha was first shown in human
form (earlier he was represented by symbols like lotus and footsteps). Other Hindu and Jain deities also
began to be shown in human form. Mathura and
Gandhara were the two main centers of art during
the time of the Kushanas. The Gandhara School of
Art and the Mathura School of Art developed their
own distinct styles. The Gandhara School was highly
influenced by Greco-Roman philosophies and mainly
concentrated on depicting the image of the Buddha
and the legends associated with his life, while the
Mathura School drew inspiration from local folk deities and themes from day to day life.

19. (1) Sri Gupta (240–280) was a pre-imperial Gupta king
in northern India and start of the Gupta dynasty. The
first evidence of Sri Gupta comes from the writings of
I-tsing around 690 CE who describes that the Poona
copper inscription of Prabhavati Gupta, a daughter of
Chandra Gupta, describes “Maharaja Sri-Gupta” as
the founder of the Gupta dynasty

20. (4) Excavations at Chanhudaro have revealed three
different cultural layers from lowest to the top being
Indus culture, the Jhukar culture and the Jhangar
culture. The site is especially important for providing
evidences about different Harappan factories. These
factories produced seals, toys and bone implements.
It was the only Harappan city without a citadel.

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Indian History Questions for CGPSC, Indian History Questions for RPSC, Indian History Questions for HPSC, Indian History Questions for MPSC, Indian History Questions for UPPSC, Indian History Questions for JPSC, Indian History Questions for OPSC, Indian History Questions for WBPSC

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