Test: Important Question (Ancient India) - 1

30 Questions MCQ Test History for UPSC (Civil Services) Prelims | Test: Important Question (Ancient India) - 1

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Consider the following statements with reference to why hunters-gatherers moved from place to place in ancient times. 

1. Fear of eating up all the available plant and animal resources if stayed at one place. 

2. Because animals to be hunted move from place to place. 

3. Plants and trees bear fruit in different seasons.

Which of the above statement(s) is/are correct?


There are at least following four reasons why hunter-gatherers moved from place to place: 

  • First, if they had stayed at one place for a long time, they would have eaten up all the available plant and animal resources. Therefore, they would have had to go elsewhere in search of food.
  • Second, animals move from place to place either in search of smaller prey, or, in the case of deer and wild cattle, in search of grass and leaves. That is why those who hunted them had to follow their movements.
  • Third, plants and trees bear fruit in different seasons. So, people might have moved from season to season in search of different kinds of plants.
  • Fourth, people, plants and animals need water to survive. Water is found in lakes, streams and rivers. While many rivers and lakes are perennial (with water throughout the year), others are seasonal. People living on their banks would have had to go in search of water during the dry seasons (winter and summer).

With reference to Chalcolithic cultures in the Indian subcontinent, consider the following statements: 

1. Ochre-coloured pottery sites have been usually found in the Gangetic doab of India. 

2. Anthropomorphic figures of worship have been found in the copper hoard culture.

Which of the above is/are correct?

  • These occur mostly in hoards large and small and are believed to date to the later 2nd millennium BCE, although very few were derived from controlled and dateable excavation contexts.
  • A fragment of an anthropomorphic came to light in controlled excavations at Lothal and a second one at SaipaiLichchavi, Etawah district.
  • The doab hoards are associated with the so-called Ochre Coloured Pottery (OCP) which appears to be closely associated with the Late Harappan (or Post urban) phase.

Consider the following statements: 

Assertion (A): In the ancient period of Indian history, urbanisation was followed by pastoral life.

Reason (R): The Harappan culture was an urban one.

Choose the answer using the code given below:


In India, urban culture started during Harappan culture. The pastoral life started during Vedic period.


Which of these statements is not correct about the Indus Valley Civilisation? 

1. People worshipped the Mother Goddess or Goddess of fertility. 

2. Dancing was a part of the culture at Indus valley. 

3. The trade and cultural contacts were restricted to the other cultures in the Indus valley.

Choose the correct answer using the codes below. 

  • People worshipped the Mother Goddess or Goddess of Fertility.
  • Trade and cultural contacts existed between these cities and those of Mesopotamia.
  • The famous dancing girl statue in Mohen-jo-daro proves that dance was part of Indus Valley civilization.

Consider the following statements: 

1. In the early-Harappan stage, the people lived in large villages in the plains. 

2. In the late-Harappan stage, the Indus culture rose to its peak and started spreading Southern India and across Indian frontiers.

Which of the above is/are correct? 

  • Early-Harappan stage did not only have large villages, but also saw the transition from rural to urban life. The sites of Amri and KotDiji remain the evidence for the early-Harappan stage. So, Statement 1 is correct.
  • In the late-Harappan stage, the decline of the Indus culture started. The excavations at Lothal reveal this stage of evolution. So, Statement 2 is incorrect as it was the period of decline and not spread.
  • In the mature Harappan stage, Indus culture rose to its peak.

If you were living in the Harappan civilisation, you might have come across which of the following specialised groups of artisans? 
1. Goldsmiths 
2. Stonecutters 
3. Weavers 
Select the correct answer using the codes below. 

  • Many gold and silver ornaments were found which indicates the prevalence of goldsmiths.
  • Pottery remains plain and in some places, red and black painted pottery is found.
  • Stonecutters made beads from a wide variety of semi-precious stones.
  • The priest king sculpture wears clothes, which shows the prevalence of weavers in the society.

During the Rig Vedic period, Bharatas, Matsyas, Yadus and Purus refer to 


There were several tribal kingdoms during the Rig Vedic period such as Bharatas, Matsyas, Yadus and Purus.


In the Early Vedic period, who was known as Vishayapati? 


In the Rig Vedic or early Vedic period: 

  • The head of graham or family is Grahapati.
  • The leader of the village or grama is Gramani. 
  • The leader of Visu (a group of villages) is Vishayapati.

Consider the following statements regarding Rig Vedic Aryans. 
1. There are no evidence of the use of Iron by Rig Vedic Aryans. 
2. Trade was conducted on the barter system. 
3. Copper coins called nishka were used as media of exchange in large transactions.

Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?

  • The Rig Vedic Aryans were pastoral people and their main occupation was cattle rearing.
  • Their wealth was estimated in terms of their cattle. When they permanently settled in North India they began to practice agriculture.
  • With the knowledge and use of iron they were able to clean forests and bring more lands under cultivation.
  • Trade was another important economic activity and rivers served as important means of transport.
  • Trade was conducted on the barter system. In the later times, gold coins called nishka were used as media of exchange in large transactions.

In the early vedic period, Visu refers to 


The basic unit of political organization was kula or family. Several families joined together on the basis of their kinship to form a village or grama. The leader of grama was known as gramani. A group of villages constituted a larger unit called visu. It was headed by vishayapati.


The second Jaina council was headed by?


Second Jain council was held at Vallabhi under the chairmanshio of Devardhi in 521 A.D. It resulted in the final compilation of 12 Angas and 12 Upangas.


Which of the following statement is incorrect about Nalanda University? 


Apart from Chinese pilgrims, there are records from the Gupta period, especially Kumaragupta I. Records are also available under Harsha and Pala Dynasty.


Mahayana refers to one of three routes to enlightenment. What are the other two?


Consider the following statements;
1. In Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, she is a deva or Bodhisattva associated with the light and the sun.
2. She had been depicted with one, three, five or six faces. In her many-faced manifestations, one of her faces is that of a sow.
To which goddess does above description refer to?


In Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, Marichi is a deva or Bodhisattva associated with light and the sun. She is known as Molizhitian in China. Marishiten in Japan and as OazerCanma in Tibet.


Consider the following statement about Anuvrata movement:
1.    The movement was started by Buddhist monks after Buddha left his body
2.    The movement encouraged people to apply anuvratas in personal life.
3.    Later stages of the movement waslead by YuvacharyaMahapragya.
Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?

  • Acharya Tulsi was prominent Jain religious leader who started the Anuvrat movement in 1949 (anu- small and vrat – vow).
  • Statement 2 and 3 are correct and self explanatory.

Consider the following famous Chinese Buddhist Pilgrims;
1.    Faxian
2.    I-Qing
3.    Xuan Zang

Arrange them chronologically as per their visit to the Indian subcontinent;

  • Faxian came to Indian subcontinent about 1600 years go.
  • Xuan Zang came to Indian subcontinent about 1400 years ago.
  • l- Qang came to Indian subcontinent about 1300 years ago.

The doctrine of Anatta in Buddhism means that
1.    There is no permanent and independent essence in a human being.
2.    The sense of self as perceived by beings is illusionary.
Which of the above statement is/are correct?

  • Anatta (Pali – nonself or substanceless).
  • The doctrine that is there is in humans with no permanent underlying substance that can be called a soul.

In the apsidal end of the Vishwakarma chaitya hall is a stupa on the face of which a colossal 3.30 metres seated Buddha in Vyakhyana mudra (Teaching posture) is carved.

Above mentioned statue of Buddha is found in which of the following places in India?


The famous Buddhist Diamond Sutra is a/an;

  • Buddhist missionaries from China introduced hand printing techniques into Japan around AD 768-770.
  • The oldest Japanese book, printed in AD 868, is the Buddhist Diamond Sutra, containing six sheets of text and woodcut illustrations.
  • Diamond sutra is one of the most influential Mahayana sutras in east asia and is a key object of devotion and study in Zen Buddhism

Nyngma, Kagyud, Shakya and Geluk are sects/schools of 


All four sects/schools belong to the Vajrayana tradition.


Which of these sutras is not related to Buddhism?


There is no such sutra in Buddhism called as Wheel sutra


The conversation between Nagasena and Menander-I related to Buddhism is recorded in which book?


Ans: a

Explanation: Before becoming a Buddhist, Menander (an Indo-Greek king) asked Nagasena many questions relating to Buddhism.These questions and Nagasena’s answers are recorded in a form of book known as ‘Milindapanho’ (or The Questions of Milinda).


Who was the first Saka king in India?


Ans: a

Explanation: An Indo-Scythian king, Moga (or Maues) was the first Saka king in India who established Saka power in Gandhara and extended supremacy over north-western India.


Consider the following statements: Andal was a woman Alvar whose compositions were widely sung. Karaikkal Ammaiyar was a devotee of Shiva who adopted the path of extreme asceticism in order to attain her goal. 

Q. Which of the above statements is/are correct?


Ans: c

Explanation: Andal was the daughter of Alvar saint Periyalvar. She was the only female Alvar saint among 12 Alvar saints of the south. Like other Alvar saints, she was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. Andal’s Tamil works Thiruppavi and Nachiar are still recited by devotees during the winter festival season of Margazhi. Karaikal Ammaiyar is another woman saint amongst the 63 Nayanmars. She is one of the greatest figures of early Tamil literature. She was born at Karaikal, South India, and probably lived during the 6th century AD. She was a devotee of Shiva.


Which of these is not one of the so called ‘Five Epics’(the five great poems) attributed to the Sangam age?

  • Five epics include Jivaka Chintamani, Sillappatikaram, Manimekalai, Valayapathi and Kundalakesi.
  • Pattupattu(Ten songs) is prose not poetry.

Consider the following pairs;

Which of the above is/are correct?

  • Vellalar are known as landowners.
  • Uzhavar are known as ploughmen
  • Adimai are known as slaves.

Ancient Indian thinkers had arrived at an elaborate system of ideas on motion. It was in a way similar to the laws of the motion. In these Indian systems, which of the following concepts comes closest to the concept of inertia?

  • Vega is the tendency to move in a straight line.
  • Abhighat means impact
  • Nodan is the force due to continuous pressure.
  • Sanskara means persistent tendency.

Which of the following propositions have been given by the Vaisheshika Darshana?
1.    Dharma is that through which there is the accomplishment of rising to the unsurpassed good.
2.    The true being is eternal, having no cause.
3.    Dharma does not have the authority of Vedas as its surpassed Vedas.

Select the correct answer using the code given below;

  • Statements 1 and 3: It says that because the Dharma is an exposition of unsurpassed good, it has the authority of vedas.
  • Statement 2: It says that there is only one individual(soul) and is known from the absence of particularity when it comes to the emergence of understanding of happiness and suffering, whereas a multiplicity of individuals is inferred from their perspective in Dharma and from the strength of their teachings.

Consider the following statements with reference to ‘Romas’ group of people;
1.    Were Indians who went abroad as wanderers.
2.    Are known as Gypsies in Europe
3.    Settled as a group mainly in Pakistan and Afghanistan

Which of the above statement is/are correct?

  • Some groups of Indians went abroad as wanderers. They called themselves Romas as their language was Romani, but in Europe they are famous as Gypsies.
  • Today, they live in Greece, Bulgaria, states of former Yugoslavia, Romania, Hungary and many more.

Who is regarded as the greatest lawgiver of ancient India?


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