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UPSC > Ancient History

Explore popular questions from Ancient History for UPSC. This collection covers Ancient History previous year UPSC questions hand picked by experienced teachers.

Q 1.

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The Third Tamil Sangam was held at

A

Tanjore

Madurai

C

Kanjeevaram

D

Mahabalipuram

Q 2.

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The objects like pottery, tools and ornaments that humans made in the past are called

A

Monuments

B

Coins

C

Inscriptions

Artifacts

Q 3.

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Which of the following does the Puranas contain?

A

Laws of Manu and the history on various dynasties

B

Hymns in favour of the Gods

C

Thoughts on the mystery of life and universe

Mythology

Q 4.

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Most of the Upanishads seem to have been composed by whom?

A

Brahmins

Kshatriyas

C

Buddhists

D

Non-aryans

Q 5.

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Who wrote a book ’Return of the Aryans’ ?

Bhagvan Das Gidvani

B

L.D.Kalla

C

Avinash Chandra Das

D

D.S.Trivedi

Explanation

The book ‘Return of the Aryans* was written by Bhagvan S.Gidvani.This book tells the epic story of the Aryans - a gripping tale of kings and poets, seers and gods, battles and romance and the rise and fall of civilizations.

Q 6.

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Which of the following Brahmana texts belongs to Atharvaveda?

A

Shatpatha

B

Aitareya

Gopatha

D

Panchavinsh

Explanation

The Gopatha Brahmana is the only Brahntana, a genre of (he prose texts describing the Vedic rituals, associated with the Atharvavcda.

Q 7.

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The expounder of Yoga philosophy was :

Patanjali

B

Shankaracharya

C

Jaimini

D

Gautam

Explanation

The ancient Sage Patanjali was an expounder of the Yoga Sutras one of the most important text of yoga covering all aspects of life.Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras describe the working of the mind and emotions.

Q 8.

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The famous dialogue between Nachiketa and Yama is mentioned in the :

A

Chhandogyopanishad

B

Mundakopnishad

Kathopanishad

D

Kenopanishad

Explanation

The famous dialogue between Nachiketa and Yama about transmigration of the soul is mentioned in the Kathopanishad.

Q 9.

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Which of the following pairs indicating the contents of the sacred Buddhist Pitakas is not correctly matched?

A

Vinaya Pitaka — rules of monalstic discipline

B

Abhidhamma Pitaka — philosophical development of the Buddha’s teachings

C

Suttra Pitaka — Stories of the Buddha’s previous births (Jataka stories)

Dhammapada — The original sermon of the Buddha of Sarnath

Q 10.

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Robert Bruce foote, who discovered first palacothic tool in India, was originally a

A

Palaeobotanist

Geologist

C

Archaeologist

D

Historian

Q 11.

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The earliest Buddhist literature which deal with the stories of the various birth of Buddha are

A

Vinaya pitakas

B

Sutta pitakas

C

Abhidamma pitakas

Jatakas

Explanation

Jatakas are the stories that tell about the previous lives of the Buddha, in both human and animal form.

Q 12.

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Consider the following statements :
1. Historians use the word source to refer to the information found from manuscripts, inscriptions and archaeology.
2. Ramayana and Mahabharata are also important source of ancient Indian history.
Which of the above is / are correct?

A

1 only

B

2 only

Both 1 and 2

D

Neither 1 nor 2

Q 13.

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Mrichchhakatikam,written by Shudraka deals with
1. The love affair of a rich merchant with the daughter of a courtesan.
2. The military expedition of Samudragupta.
Which of the above is correct?

1 only

B

2 only

C

Both 1 and 2

D

Neither 1 nor 2

Explanation

Mrichchhakatikam is attributed to Sudraka it is a ten act drama. It deals with the love story of a rich merchant with the daughter of a courtesan.

Q 14.

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Consider the following statements: Al-Beruni’s Kitab-ul-Hind is
1. A sympathic study of Indian civilization.
2. Mainly a political history of India.
3. Critical of Mahmud Ghaznavi’s plundering raids of India.
4. Mainly a study of India’s cultural, social and intellectual history.
Which of the above statement(s) is/are correct?

1,3 and 4

B

1 and 4

C

2 and 4

D

Alone

Q 15.

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Willi reference to the Jambudvipa. consider the statements
1. Bharatvarsha was also called Jambudvipa.
2. Early Buddhist evidence suggests that Jambudvipa was a territorial designation from the third century BC.
Which of the above is/ are correct?

A

1 only

B

2 only

Both 1 and 2

D

Neither 1 nor 2

Q 16.

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Who among the following teachers were visited by Siddhartha Gautama in the quest of knowledge before his enlightment?
1. Alara Kalama
2. Udraka Ramaputra
3. Makkhali Gosala
4. Nigantha Nataputta Indicate your answer from the codes given below : Codes:

A

1 and 4

B

4 and 2

C

2 and 3

1 and 2

Explanation

Gautama studied under various teachers and followed their practices until he mastered them alL His lirst teacher was Alara Kalama who taught a form of meditation leading to an exalted form of absorption called "the state of no-thingness", a state without moral or cognitive dimension. Gautama saw this was not going to solve suffering, and continued his search. The next teacher was Udraka Ramaputra who taught him meditative absorption leading to “the state of neither perception nor non-perception". Again. Gautama realised this was not the state he was looking for. (Both Alara and Udraka arc by some scholars considered to be Jain followers.)

Q 17.

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A-4,B-1,C- 2,D- 3

B

A-1,B- 4,C- 3,D- 2

C

A-4,B- 1,C- 3,D- 2

D

A-1,B- 4,C- 2,D- 3

Explanation

Q 18.

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A

A-2,B- 4,C- 1,D- 3

B

A-3,B-1,C- 4,D- 2

C

A-2,B- 1,C- 4,D- 3

A-4,B- 1,C- 2,D- 3

Explanation

The Abhidhamma Pitaka is the last of the three Pitakas constituting the Pali Canon, the scriptures of Theravada Buddhism. Abhidhamma has been variously described as philosophy, psycholog}', metaphysics, etc. Sutta Pitaka matches with matters of doctrine and ethics. The Vinaya Pitaka is a Buddhist scripture, one of the three parts that make up the Tripitaka. Its primary subject matter is the monastic rules for monks and nuns. Mahasanghika matches with members of great community.

Q 19.

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A-1,B- 2,C- 3,D- 4

B

A-2,B- 3,C- 1,D-4

C

A- 4,B- 2,C- 3,D- 1

D

A-3,B- 1,C- 4,D- 2

Explanation



Sudraka’s Mrichhakatikam (The little clay Cart) is unquestionably a master piece in the realm of ancient Sanskrit drama. If we expect literature of the time to faithfully represent the age then the little clay cart has achieved this criterion more than any other plays of ancient Sanskrit tradition. The Mudrarakshasa (“Signet Ring of the Rakshasa. (he Chief Minister of the last Nanda King"), a historical play in Sanskrit by visakhadatta (4lh century CE) narrates (he ascent of the king Chandragupta Maurya to power in Northern India with (he aid of Chanakya, his Guru and Chief Minister. Vikramorvasiyam (Urvasi won Through valor) is based on the old legend of the love of the mortal Pururavaas for die heavenly damse Urvasi. Uttara Ramacharita ( The story of Rama's later life), depicts Rama's coronation, the abandonment of Sita. and their reunion.

Q 20.

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Consider the following statements relating to Jain literature:
1. The sacred books of the Jainas are known as Siddhanta or Agama.
2. The language of the earliest Jain texts is eastern dialect of Pali known as Ardha Magadhi.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

1 only

B

2 only

C

Both 1 and 2

D

Neither 1 nor 2

Explanation

Again Literature-This consists of original scriptures complied by Gandharas and Srut-kevalis. They are written in the Prakrit language. Non-agam Literature-This consists of commentary and explanation of Agam literature and independent works, complied by elder monks, nuns, and scholars. They are written in many languages such as Prakrit. Sanskrit. Old Marathi. Gujarati, Hindi, Kannad, TamiL German, and English.

Q 21.

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Which one of the following sites is famous for prehistoric paintings?

A

Bagh

B

Ajanta

Bhimbetka

D

Amrawati

Explanation

The rock shelters of Bhimbetka are a repository of rock paintings within natural rock shelters with archaeological evidences from the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods through the Chalcolithic to the Medieval period.

Q 22.

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The first metal to be used by man was

A

bronze

B

iron

copper

D

stone

Q 23.

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Iron was brought to many civilization by the

A

Turks

B

Greeks

Hittites

D

Huns

Q 24.

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The Megaliths of South India are mainly associated with

A

Mesolithic age

B

Neolithic age

C

Chalcolithic age

Iron age

Q 25.

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Which of the following is not a feature of Neolithic cultures?

A

Cultivation of Plants

B

Domestication of animals

Use of Iron for agriculture

D

Sedentary farming