Nitin Singhania Test: Indian Circus

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Which of the following states came to be known as the cradle of the Indian Circus?

  • In 1904, one of Kunhikannan's students, Pariyali Kannan, started his own circus company by Grand Malabar Circus's name.

  • The students of Kunhikannan started other companies such as Whiteway Circus (1922), Great Ramayan Circus (1924), The Great Lion Circus, the Eastern Circus, the Fairy Circus, etc.

  • Thus, Kerala came to be known as the "Cradle of Indian Circus'.


Which of the following has been conferred the epithet of 'the Father of Indian Circus'?

  • Vishnupant Chatre: A master of equestrian arts and singing, he is known as the father of the Indian circus.









In 1964, It became the first Indian circus to attend the USSR's International Circus Festival. They held shows at Moscow, Sochi and Yalta. It is:

  • Gemini Circus: In 1951, Gemini circus came into existence at Bilimora in Gujarat. It was helmed by M. V. Shankaran, an ex-army man. A master aerialist and acrobat, he became popular as Gemini Shankarettan.

  • In 1964, Gemini Circus became the first Indian circus to attend the International Circus Festival in USSR. They held shows at Moscow, Sochi and Yalta. Gemini Circus also became the backdrop of many Indian movies such as Raj Kapoor's Mera Naam Joker.


Which Circus was started by Babu Rao Kadam?

  • Great Bombay Circus: Started in 1920 by Baburao Kadam, it was initially known as Grand Bombay Circus. In 1947, K. M. Kunhikannan, the nephew of Keeleri Kunhikannan, merged his circus company with the Grand Bombay Circus and renamed it as Great Bombay Circus.

  • It became one of India's largest circus companies, with a troupe comprising 300 performers and 60 animals.


Which of the following personalities is/are related to the circus?

Solution: Both personalities are related to the Circus.


Which among the following are the reasons for the decline of India's circus industry?

1. Intensive training from childhood

2. Ban on the use of wild animals

3. It is generally seen as a dangerous profession

Choose from the following options.

  • Some of the reasons for India's circus industry decline are as follows: Indian circus companies try to keep their trade a guarded secret. This has made it a hereditary affair and kept it within the confines of a select few.

  • This has prevented good managers from entering the circus business. The Indian circus companies feel that circus acrobatics require intensive training from childhood.

  • With the Supreme Court's ban on hiring children below the age of 14 in 2011, this limited the circus companies' resource pool. With India's government enforcing a ban on the use of wild animals for entertainment in 1997, a typical genre of performance and attraction for the audience ceased to exist.

  • Among the Indian masses, the circus is generally seen as a dangerous profession. So, families are unwilling to let their children choose it as a viable professional career. This has also prevented the development of dynasties of circus performers, unlike in the west. With access to world-class gymnastics and other forms of e-entertainments, the younger generation has lost interest in the traditional Indian circus. The circus companies also failed to match up to their expectations.


Circuses are under the:

Solution: Circuses are under the Ambit of sports and youth affairs, Ministry of sports and youth affairs.


Which of the following is also called the Pride of India?


Jumbo Circus: Jumbo Circus, "The Pride of India" is the largest Indian circus of modern times. It started in Bihar in 1977 and was later acquired by the Shankaran family. It generally included Russian acrobats and performers.


The great Indian Circus was founded by:

  • The Great Indian circus was the first modern Indian circus, founded by Vishnupant Chatre, an accomplished equestrian and singer. It flourished under the Raja of Kurduwadi, under whom Chatre worked as a stable master.

  • The first performance of The Great Indian Circus was held on March 20, 1880, following which it toured extensively throughout the country and foreign shores such as Ceylon and South East Asia. He gained appreciation everywhere.

  • However, his tour to North America was a failure where he couldn't match his competitors' size and grandiose.


The first Indian Circus was born around:

Solution: India has a long tradition of street performers and artists who would go from town to town. However, circus in the modern sense of the term is fairly a new industry. According to Philin Astley, an English circus master, the first Indian circus was born around 1880.
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