Indian History Questions for Patwari

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1. Which metal was first used by
the Vedic people ?
(1) Silver (2) Gold
(3) Iron (4) Copper

2. Arabs were defeated in 738 A.D.
(1) Pratiharas (2) Rashtrakutas
(3) Palas (4) Chalukyas

3. In Mauryan dynasty Kalinga war
took place in the year—
(1) 260 BC (2) 261 BC
(3) 126 BC (4) 232 BC

4. The caves and rock-cut temples
at Ellora are
(1) Hindu and Buddhist
(2) Buddhist and Jain
(3) Hindu and Jain
(4) Hindu, Buddhist and Jain

5. The Seven Pagodas of Mahabalipuram are a witness to the art
patronised by the
(1) Pallavas (2) Pandyas
(3) Cholas (4) Cheras

6. Name the clan Buddha belonged to
(1) Gnathrika (2) Maurya
(3) Sakya (4) Kuru

7. Who was the author of the Kadambari, a great romantic play ?
(1) Banabhatta
(2) Harshavardhana
(3) Baskaravardhana
(4) Bindusara

8. During which Gupta King’s reign
did the Chinese traveller Fa-hien
visit India ?
(1) Chandra Gupta I
(2) Samudra Gupta
(3) Chandra Gupta II
(4) Kumara Gupta

9. St. Thomas is said to have come
to India to propagate Christianity
during the reign of the
(1) Cheras (2) Parthians
(3) Pandyas (4) Cholas

10. The people of the Indus Valley
Civilization usually built their
houses of
(1) Pucca bricks
(2) Stone
(3) Wood
(4) All of the above

11. Who started the Saka Era and
when ?
(1) Kadphises in 58 BC
(2) Rudradaman I in AD 78
(3) Vikramaditya in 58 BC
(4) Kanishka in AD 78

12. In which state was the Nalanda
University located in India?
(1) Bengal (2) Bihar
(3) Orissa (4) Uttar Pradesh

13. Which event brought about a
profound change in Ashoka’s
administrative policy?
(1) The third Buddhist Council
(2) The Kalinga War
(3) His embracing of Buddhism
(4) His sending of missionary to

14. The monk who influenced
Ashoka to embrace Buddhism
(1) Vishnu Gupta
(2) Upagupta
(3) Brahma Gupta
(4) Brihadratha

15. Harshvardhana was defeated by
(1) Prabhakaravardhana
(2) Pulakesin II
(3) Narasimhasvarma Pallava
(4) Sasanka

16. Which of the following statements about the Guptas is NOT
true ?
(1) They ruled mainly over
parts of north and central
(2) Kingship was hereditary and
the throne always went to
the eldest son
(3) The judicial system was far
more developed than in
earlier times
(4) Land taxes increased and taxes on trade and commerce decreased

17. Which of the following was NOT
composed by Harshavadhana?
(1) Harshacharita
(2) Ratnavali
(3) Priyadarshika
(4) Nagananda

18. Which of the following is not one
of the animals carved on the
Sarnath Pillar ?
(1) Humped Bull (2)Deer
(3) Elephant (4) Horse

19. The ‘Kannauj assembly’
organised by Harsha was held
in honour of
(1) Fa-Hien
(2) Itsing
(3) Hieun-Tsang
(4) Megasthenes

20. The first metal used by man was
(1) Aluminium (2) Copper

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

Explainations: 1. (4) The Rig Veda mentions such artisans as the carpenter, the chariot-maker, the weaver, the leather
worker, the potter, etc. This indicates that they practiced all these crafts. The term, ayas used for copper
or bronze shows that metal working was known. Gold
was known as ‘hiranya’.

2. (4) The Battle of Rajasthan is a battle (or series of
battles) where the Hindu alliance defeated the Arab
invaders in 738 CE and removed the Arab invaders
and pillagers from the area east of the Indus River
and protected whole India. The main Indian kings
who contributed to the victory over the Arabs were
the north Indian ruler Nagabhata of the Pratihara
Dynasty and the south Indian Emperor Vikramaditya- II
of the Chalukya dynasty in the 8th century.

3. (2) In the Mauryan dynasty, Kalinga war took place in
the year 261 BC. The Kalinga war fought between the
Mourya Empire under Ashoka the Great and the state
of Kalinga (Odisha). It was fought in 262-261 BC. The
Kalinga war is one of the major and bloodiest battles
in the history of India.

4. (4) Ellora represents the epitome of Indian rock-cut
architecture. The 34 “caves” – actually structures
excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri
hills. Buddhist, Hindu and Jain rock-cut temples and
viharas and mathas were built between the 5th century and 10th century. The 12 Buddhist (caves 1–
12), 17 Hindu (caves 13–29) and 5 Jain (caves 30–
34) caves, built in proximity, demonstrate the religious harmony prevalent during this period of Indian

5. (1) “Seven Pagodas” has served as a nickname for the
south Indian city of Mahabalipuram, also called Mamallapuram, since the first European explorers
reached it. The phrase “Seven Pagodas” refers to a
myth that has circulated in India, Europe, and other
parts of the world for over eleven centuries. Mahabalipuram’s Shore Temple, built in the 8th century CE
under the reign of Pallava king Narasimhavarman II,
stands at the shore of the Bay of Bengal. Legend has
it that six other temples once stood with it.

6. (3) Shakya was an ancient tribe (janapada) of the Indian Subcontinent in the 1st millennium BCE. In Buddhist texts the Shakyas, the inhabitants of Shakya
janapada, are mentioned as a Kshatriya clan of Gotama gotra. The most famous Shakya was Gautama
Buddha, a member of the ruling Gautama clan of
Lumbini, who is also known as Shakyamuni Buddha,
“sage of the Shakyas”, due to his association with this
ancient kingdom. The Puranas mention Shakya as a
king of Ikshvaku dynasty

7. (1) Kadambari is a romantic novel in Sanskrit. It was
substantially composed by Banabhatta in the first half
of the 7th century, who did not survive to see it
through completion. The novel was completed by Banabhatta’s son Bhushanabhatta, according to the plan
laid out by his late father. It is conventionally divided
into Purvabhaga (earlier part) written by Banabhatta,
and Uttarabhaga (latter part) by Bhushanabhatta.

8. (3) Chandragupta II The Great (was one of the most
powerful emperors of the Gupta empire in northern
India. His rule spanned c. 380–413/415 CE, during
which the Gupta Empire achieved its zenith, art, architecture, and sculpture flourished, and the cultural
development of ancient India reached its climax. Fa
Hsien was the first of three great Chinese pilgrims
who visited India from the fifth to the seventh centuries CE, in search of knowledge, manuscripts and
relics. Faxian arrived during the reign of Chandragupta II and gave a general description of North India
at that time. Among the other things, he reported about
the absence of capital punishment, the lack of a polltax and land tax. Most citizens did not consume onions, garlic, meat, and wine.

9. (2) St. Thomas is traditionally believed to have sailed
to India in 52AD to spread the Christian faith among
the Jews, the Jewish diaspora present in Kerala at
the time. He is supposed to have landed at the ancient port of Muziris near Kodungalloor. He then went
to Palayoor (near present-day Guruvayoor), which was
a Hindu priestly community at that time. He left Palayoor in AD 52 for the southern part of what is now
Kerala State, where he established the Ezharappallikal, or “Seven and Half Churches”. Thomas landed
in Cranganoor (Kodungallur, Muziris) and took part in
the wedding of Cheraman Perumal and proceeded to
the courts of Gondophorus in North India. Gundaphorus was indeed a historical figure and he belonged
to the Parthian Dynasty from Takshasila (Taxila).

10. (1) The Indus Valley Civilization, marked by its remarkable level of urbanization despite being a Bronze
Age culture, is noted for its cities built of brick, roadside drainage system, and multistoried houses. Houses
were one or two stories high, made of baked brick,
with flat roofs, and were just about identical. Each
was built around a courtyard, with windows overlooking the courtyard. The outside walls had no windows. Each home had its own private drinking well
and its own private bathroom.

11. (4) Most of what is known about Kanishka derives
from Chinese sources, particularly Buddhist writings.
When Kanishka came to the throne is uncertain. His
accession has been estimated as occurring between
his reign is believed to have lasted 23 years. The year
78 marks the beginning of the Saka era, a system of
dating that Kanishka might have initiated.

12. (2) Nalanda was an ancient center of higher learning
in Bihar, India. It was a Buddhist center of learning
from the fifth or sixth century CE to 1197 CE. Nalanda flourished between the reign of the Chakraditya
(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

13. (2) Kalinga War was the only major war Ashoka fought
after his accession to throne. It is one of the major and
bloodiest battles in the history of India. Kalinga put up a
stiff resistance, but they were no match for Ashoka’s
brutal strength. The bloodshed of this war is said to
have prompted Ashoka to adopt Buddhism.

14. (2) Upagupta was a Buddhist monk. According to some
stories in the Sanskrit Avadana he was the spiritual
teacher of Asoka the great Mauryan emperor. Upagupta’s teacher was Sanavasi who was a disciple of Ananda, the Buddha’s attendant. Due to the absence of
his name in Theravada literature it is assumed that
Upagupta was a Sarvadin monk.

15. (2) In 630 BC, Harshavardhana faced defeat at the
hands of Pulakesin II, the Chalukya King of Vatapi, in
Northern Karnataka. The defeat resulted in a truce
between the two kings, with Harsha accepting River
Narmada as the southern boundary for his kingdom.

16. (2) Kingship was hereditary. Though succession to
the throne was generally decided by law of primogeniture, that is, the eldest son succeeding his father,
there were many exceptions to this rule. Sometimes
kings were even elected by nobles and councillors.
As head of the government, the King was overseer of
all administrative activities of his realm. He was the
supreme judge, and he usually led his army to the

17. (1) The Harshacharita, is the biography of Indian
Emperor Harsha by Banabhatta, also known as Bana,
who was a Sanskrit writer of 7th century in India. He
was the ‘Asthana Kavi’, meaning ‘Court Poet’, of King

18. (2) Ashoka built the Sarnath pillar to commemorate
the site of the first preaching of Lord Buddha, where
he taught the Dharma to five monks. The Lion Capital
of Ashoka comprises four lions, standing back to back,
mounted on a cylindrical abacus. The abacus features
the sculptures of an elephant, a galloping horse, a
bull, and a lion, separated by intervening 24-spoked
Dharma wheels over a bell-shaped lotus. The four
animals in the Sarnath capital are believed to symbolize different phases in Lord Buddha’s life. The Elephant is a representation of Queen Maya’s conception of Buddha when she saw a white elephant entering her womb in dream. The Bull represents desire
during the life of the Buddha as a prince. The Horse
symbolizes Buddha’s departure from palatial life while
the Lion represents the attainment of Nirvana by Lord

19. (3) The convocation of an assembly at Kannauj was
one of the most significant events of the reign of Harsha. The purpose of this assembly was to simplify
the doctrines of Mahayanism. This assembly was convened in 643 A.D. It was attended by kings of eighteen countries, 3000 Brahmanas and Jains, 3000
Buddhist monks of Mahayana and Hinayana sects and
1000 Buddhist monks of Nalanda Vihara. The famous
Chinese traveler, Hiuen Tsang was also present and
presided the assembly.

20. (2) The first two metals to be used widely were gold
and copper. The use of copper in antiquity is of more
significance than gold as the first tools, implements
and weapons were made from copper. From 4,000 to
6,000 BC was the Chalcolithic period which was when
copper came into common use. By 3600 BC the first
copper smelted artifacts were found in the Nile valley
and copper rings, bracelets, chisels were found. By
3000 BC weapons, tools etc. were widely found. Tools
and weapons of utilitarian value were now within society, however, only kings and royalty had such tools;
it would take another 500 years before they reached
the peasants.

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