History Optional Paper Solution- 2015 (Q. 1: Map Based Questions)
Q.1 Identify the following places marked on the map supplied to you and write a short note of about 30 words on each of them. Locational hints for each of the places marked on the map are given below:
(1) A Neolithic site
- Situated in northeast of Srinagar.
- Burzahom was the first Neolithic site to be discovered in Kashmir.
- It has certain features which differentiate it from other neolithic cultures of India. For example: people were not acquainted with agriculture and followed hunting and fishing economy.
Other important feature:
- Use of large number of bone tools in form of harpoons, needles, arrowheads etc.
- Graves contained human bones as well as bones of dogs and antlered deer. Probably pet animals were buried along their masters.
(2) A Neolithic site
Mehrgarh is a Neolithic (7000-3200 BC) site on the Kachi plain of Baluchistan, Pakistan, and one of the earliest sites with evidence of farming (wheat and barley) and herding (cattle, sheep and goats) in Indian subcontinent. They also had the techniques for fishing. Among earliest cultivation of cotton.
Mehrgarh is supposedly the most sophisticated, ingenuous and best planned ancient farm villages of ancient India.
The most unique discovery is the known origin of the dental surgery and related medicinal activities exercised in Mehrgarh area.
Figurines of terracotta and clay have been found along with those of stone.
During the period 2500 BCE – 2000 BCE there has been a migration towards newly settled Harappan sites.
(3) A Harappan site
- On left bank of the river Ghaggar.
- The site contains both pre-Harappan and Harappan remains, and therein can be seen the transition between the two cultures. Although the pre-Harappan culture worked copper and produced pottery, it had no writing system, and its ruins lack the orderly layout.
- Houses were made in mostly sun dried bricks.
- The Harappan remains include a cemetery and a fortified citadel.
- Important findings: Fire altars, six types of pottery, a cylindrical seal, copper bull.
- Functionally, pottery can be classified into household pots, religious and burial purposes.
(4) A Megalithic site
- Located in Tamilnadu.
- Evidence of Megalithic burial.
- A number of skeletons dating were found buried in earthenware urns.
- Discovery of iron tools and objects.
- Evidence of agriculture and herding.
- People lived in a fortified town and it had a separate potters quarters.
- There was also evidence of industrial activity.
(5) A Harappan site
- Lay on the land route to Lothal and represented the diffusion of Harappan culture in Kutch and Gujarat.
- Antiquities include a terracotta seal with Harappan photographic script but without animal, beads of steatile and carmelian.
- Horse like skeleton has been found.
- Important for coastal trade during Harappan time.
(6) A painted-Grey-ware site
- The first reference to Hastinapur in Puranas comes as the capital of Bharata.
- Important site of later vedic times. It was capital of Kurus.
- Excavation at Hastinapur was carried out in the early 1950’s to find out the stratigraphic position of Painted Grey Ware
- The Painted Grey Ware culture is an Iron Age culture of the Gangetic plain and the Ghaggar-Hakra valley, lasting from roughly 1200 BCE to 600 BCE. It was succeeded by Northern Black Polished Ware.
(7) An inscriptional site
- In Junagarh district of Saurashtra region of Gujarat.
- One of the major rock edict of Ashoka is found here.
- Inscription of Rudradaman, the Saka ruler (AD 130-150) is the earliest Sanskrit inscription. It mentions renovation of the famous Sudarshana lake which dates back to Mauryan period.
- Many Jain temples are located at Girnar.
(8) An important ancient city
Vidisha (or Besnagar):
- This ancient city lies just east of the Betwa River of Bhopal. The city, originally called Besnagar and later dubbed Bhilsa, was renamed Vidisha in 1956.
- Besnagar figures significantly in Buddhist, Jain and Brahmanical literature in various forms like Vaisyanagar, Vessanagar, etc.
- The Heliodorus pillar as a stone column, was erected around 113 BCE in central India in Besnagar, by Heliodorus, a Greek ambassador of the Indo-Greek king Antialcidas to the court of the Shunga king.
- The pillar was surmounted by a sculpture of Garuda and was apparently dedicated by Heliodorus to the god Vasudeva.
- Famous Sanchi stupa is also located nearby.
(9) An ancient port
- Modern Tamluk near the mouth of the Ganges in Midnapur district of West Bengal.
- Emporium of trade in eastern India.
- It was connected to Taxila by land and river on one hand and with south-east Asia by sea on the other.
- Antiquities of Chalcolithic period have been found.
- Became important during NBPW phase.
- Discovery of Roulette ware and red polished ware of Roman type indicates the trade contact with Roman world during first and second century AD.
Urban character is proved by discovery of terracotta figurines, coins, beads or semi-precious stones etc.
(10) A site of ancient cave-painting
- Sittanavasal Cave is a Jain complex of caves in Sittanavasal village of Tamil Nadu.
- While the Sittanavasal is dated from 1st century BC to 10th century AD when Jainism flourished here, the Temple-cave was initially dated to Pallava King Mahendravarman I (580–630 AD).
- The architectural features of the Sittanvasal Cave include the painting and sculptures.
- The paintings have been painted in fresco-secco technique with many mineral colours.
- The painting depict beautiful lotus pond with lotus flowers, people collecting lotuses from the pond, dancing figures, fish, buffaloes, elephants etc.
(11) A Buddhist site
- Situated on the bank of the Krishna river.
- Famous for Buddhist Stupa and its marble like limestone sculptures which represent the earliest Buddhist monuments during 200 BC to 300 AD. Stupas were lofty.
- Famous for the Amaravati School of architecture.
- Stupas and Mahachaityas were inspired by Mahasamghika sect of Buddhism.
(12) An educational centre
- Modern Antichak in Bhagalpur district of Bihar.
- Famous Buddhist monastery found by the Pala king Dharmpala. Tibetan sources says that it even surpassed Nalanda university and name and fame and was visited by the students from far and wide for higher education.
- Education included religious and secular subjects.
- Important centre to Vajrayana Buddhism and played impprtant role in the transmission of Buddhism to Tibet.
Other probability: Nalanda
(13) Brahmadeya Village
- Uthiramerur originally existed as a Brahmin settlement. The Pallava king Nandivarman II (720–796 CE) formally established it as a brahamdeya village.
- Inscription on granite stones of the temple dedicated to Shiva (during rule of Parantaka Chola) throw light on the functiining of Chola’s village administration particularly Sabha, the assembly of Brahmin village. It shows autonomy enjoyed by villages djring Cholas.
(14) An ancient capital
Aihole (or Badami):
- Capital of western Chalukyas
- Important centre of the Deccan style of architecture.
- The famous temples: Kontinguda group of temples, Ladkhan, Megiti and the Durga Temples.
- Jain rock architecture of the 7th centure is also found.
- The famous Aihole Prasasti dayed 634-35 A.D. composed by Ravikirti, the court poet of Pulkesin 2, gibes the detailed account of Pulkesin’s exploit against his neighboring kingdom.
(15) An ancient capital
- Kannauj was the capital of the Maukharis which later came under Harshavardhanas who made it capital of his kingdom.Kannuaj remained a focal point for the three dynasties, Gurjara Pratiharas, Palas and Rashtrakutas, between the 8th and 10th centuries.
- Its old name is Kanyakubja.
Other probability: Ahichatra
(16) A temple site
- Called ‘Temple City of India’.
- Temples are made in the Kalinga architectural style
- Famous temples: Lingaraj Temple, Muktesvara Temple, Rajarani Temple, Ananta Vasudeva Temple.
- Famous for Classical Odissi dance.
- The twin hills of Khandagiri & Udayagiri, served as the site of an ancient Jain monastery.
- Dhauli hills has major edicts of Ashoka.
Other lesser probability: Puri
(17) An ancient capital
Halebid/ Halebidu/ Dwarasamudra:
- In Hassan district of Karnataka.
- Capital of the Hoysala kings who became prominent in the region during the later period of the Chalukyas of Kalyani.
- It is home to some of the best examples of Hoysala architecture. For example: Hoysaleswara temple
(18) An ancient sea-port
- Flourishing port in the early Christian centuries ( Sangam Age).
- Carried trade with Arabia, Rome, Greece.
- Samgam literature, Greek&Roman writers like Pliny mentions Muziris.
- Commodities exported from Muziris were spices, semi-precious stones, pearls, diamonds, sapphires, ivory, tortoise shells etc.
(19) An archaeological temple site
It is situated in Tezpur district of Assam. It is famous for architectural remnants of an ancient temple of the sixth century overlying the ruins of another Shiva temple built of bricks during the Ahom period.
- Old city of Pragjyotishpur near Guwahati.
- The Kamakhya Temple (Kamrup-Kamakhya) is a Hindu temple dedicated to the mother goddess Kamakhya. It is one of the oldest of the 51 Shakti Pithas.
- The first epigraphic notice of Kamakhya is found in the 9th-century Tezpur plates
(20) A Harappan site
In Hissar district of Haryana.
- Recently declared the biggest harappan site.
- Rakhigarhi was occupied at Early Harappan times, Harappan times and post-Harappan times.
- Mature Harappan phase represented by planned township having mud-brick as well as burnt-brick houses with proper drainage system.
- The ceramic industry represented by red ware.
- Evidence of paved roads, large rainwater collection, storage system, statue production, and skilled working of bronze, precious metals, Jewelry, including bangles made from terracotta, conch shells, gold, and semi-precious stones.
Other probability: Ropar or Banawali
Note: Any suggestion for correction (with explanation) is welcome.