Solution: Daily Problem Practice for 2023 History Optional [Ancient India: Day 6]

Q. Identify the following places marked on the map and write a short note of about 30 words on each of them in your Answer sheet. Locational hints for each of the places marked on the map are given below seriatim: [2.5×6= 15 Marks]

(i) Mesolithic site


  • Rock shelters in the Raisen District in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Mainly Paleolithic and Mesolithic period.
  • A World Heritage site.
  • Tools:
    • Earlier (Palaeolithic) tools were largely made of quartzite and sandstone and were of large size.
    • Mesolithic tools were most often of chalcedony and of smaller size.
  • Floors paved with flat stone slabs found.
  • No bones have been found so far.
  • Rock cave paintings:
    • A natural art gallery with rock cave paintings.
    • Numerous layers (Paleolithic-Mesolithic) of paintings with themes like hunting by men, dancing, children paying, women working, sign of proto-family set up etc.

(ii) Harappan site


  • In Sindh, Pakistan, on bank of Indus river.
  • Early Harappan and mature Harappan phase.
  • UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • The city into two parts, the Citadel and the Lower City.
    • Citadel:
      • Great Bath
      • a large residential structure,
      • Great Granary,
      • two halls of assembly.
    • Lower town:
      • courtyard houses.
  • Grid pattern.
  • A large central well.
  • Houses:
    • smaller wells,
    • small bathrooms and, like the streets, were provided with drains and sanitation.
    • Brick stairs indicate at least an upper story.
  • Suffered more than once from floods due to the encroaching Indus and tectonic uplifts.
  • Artefacts:
    • A bronze dancing girl.

    • A few stone sculptures of seated male figures and Priest King.

    • Pashupati seal interpreted as proto-Shiva.
    • Seven-stranded necklace.
    • Ivory, lapis, carnelian, and gold beads, as well as the baked-brick city structures.

(iii) World heritage Site

Elephanta Caves

  • On a small island of Mumbai.
  • It was known as Gharapuri (literally “the city of Caves”) in ancient time.
  • Two groups of caves:
    • Five Hindu caves
      • Rock cut stone sculptures dedicated Shiva
      • from basalt rock.
    • Two Buddhist caves.
  • No inscription found.
  • Few Kshatrapa coins (4th century AD).
  • Chalukyas and mostly the Rashtrakutas were the main creators of the caves, (7th and 8th century).
  • During Rshtrakutas:
    • Trimurti of Elephanta showing the three faces of Shiva
    • Nataraja and Ardhanarishvara sculptures.
  • Gujarat Sultanate surrendered Elephanta to the Portuguese in 1534 who named the island “Elephanta Island” in honour of a huge rock-cut black stone statue of an elephant that was then installed on a mound.

(iv) Capital of a Mahajanapada


  • In Kashambi district, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Capital of Vatsa, a Mahajanapada of the 6th century B.C.
  • Ashokan Pillars found here.
  • Centre of trade.
  • Chinese pilgrim Hieun Tsang visited.
  • Excavations reveal settlements dating back to 2nd millinum B.C.
  • PGW pottery, trace of iron etc pointing to a later Vedic settlement.

(v) Ancient Cave site

Bagh Caves

  • In Dhar district (north-west of Ajanta), Madhya Pradesh.
  • Buddhist rock cut caves used as Viharas.
  • Architecture:
    • Plan related to the Ajanta caves.
    • All the caves are ‘viharas’ with quadrangular plan.
    • A chamber at the back, forms the ‘chaitya’, the prayer hall.
  • Mural paintings:
    • On wall, pillars and ceiling.
    • Related to the Buddhist and Jataka stories.
  • A copper plate inscription of Maharaja Subandhu, recording his donation for the repair of the vihara was found.

(vi) Ancient terracotta temple

Bhitargaon Temple

  • In Kanpur district, UP.
  • A terraced brick building fronted with a terracotta panel.
  • Built in the 5th century during the Gupta period.
  • Oldest remaining brick/terracotta Hindu shrine with a roof and a high Shikhara, though its upper chamber did sustain some damage in the 18th century.
  • Built on a square plan with double-recessed corners and faces east.
  • There tall pyramidal spire over the garbhagriha.
  • The walls are decorated with terracotta panels depicting aquatic monsters, Shiva and Vishnu etc.


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