UPSC IAS Mains History Optional Solved Exam Paper - 2006


UPSC IAS Mains History Optional Solved Exam Paper - 2006

:: Paper - I ::

"Section A"

1. Mark any fifteen of the following placed on the map supplied to you and write short notes on the answer book on the places marked on the map:
1. Konark 
2. Taxila
3. Talikota 
4. Somnath
5. Kalinjar 
6. Mandu
7. Murshidabad 
8. Nalanda
9. Tanjore 
10. Amber
11. Anegondi 
12. Chanderi
13. Arikamedu 
14. Kalibangan
15. Nagarjunakonda 
16. Eran
17. Kausambi 
18. Pattadakal
19. Halebid 
20. Dwarasamudra

1. Konark: Konark is situated near Puri in the State of Orissa. It is a coastal town and is famous for the ‘Sun Temple’ which is also known as the Black Pagoda. The temple was originally built in the tenth century and it was restructured in the fourteenth century by the Ganga King Narasimha I (1238-1269). TheKonark temple represents the temple of the Nagara style.
2. Taxila: Taxila is situated near Rawalpindi in Pakistan. In ancient times, it served as an important political, economic, cultural, educational and religious centre. The site has been repository of Northern Black Polished Ware (NBPW) cultural remains. During the rule of the Mauryan dynasty it was the capital of the Uttarapatha province. Moreover, the city was an important centre of Buddhism. Several stupas were built in this city. The city also served as a major commercial centre with many trade routes converging and taking off from here. The city was also an important educational centre. The Taxila University produced luminaries like Kautilya and Jivaka.
3. Talikota: The site ofTalikota is located in the Krishna-Tungabhadra doab. It was here that in 1565 A.D. the decisive battle was fought between the armies of Vijayanagar and the armies of four successor Bahmani states viz. the Barid Shahis of Bidar, the Qutub Shahis of Golconda, the Adil Shahis of the Bijapur and the Ahmad Shahis of Ahmednagar. The battle led to the defeat ofVijayanagar armies.The battle fought here is considered to have ended the illustrious career ofVijayanagar Empire for all practical purposes. The place is also known as Bannihatti and lies at the junction of the Rakshas and Rangoli villages.
4. Somnath: This historical site is situated in the Kathiawar peninsula of the state of Gujarat. It was an important coastal city. It was an important Hindu religious centre having the famous Shiva temple. The temple was known for its rich wealth. The city gained prominence in medieval times when it was targeted by the Mahmud of Ghazni. Mahmud attacked the city raging the temple to ground and plundering its wealth in 1026A.D. At that time Somnath was under the rule of Solanki dynasty and Bhima-I was the ruler. Throughout medieval ages, Somnath served as an important pilgrimage centre.
5. Kalinjar: The Historic site of Kalinjar located in the present day Banda district of Uttar Pradesh. The site had the distinction of possessing innumerable impregnable forts. The site of Kalinjar was under the Chandella Rajputs of Bundelkhand. The fort town of Kalinjar was attacked by Muslim raiders since the time of Mahmud of Ghazni. Even Sher Shah tried to capture it where he was killed due to an accidental explosion in 1545. The fort site later came under the control of Akbar. In the nineteenth century, the site came under the control of the British East India Company when the Brit; h paramountcy over Rajputana was established.
6. Mandu: The historic site of Mandi is located over the Malwa plateau in the present day state of Madhya Pradesh. It was located in the old Dhar state of Madhya Pradesh. In the medieval times, it served asthe capital cityofthe Muslim sultans of Malwa. The city subsequently was ruled byBaz Bahadur ofMalwa. The city possesses several monumental buildings which stand as epitomes of rich Malwa style of architecture. The most notable and beautiful constructions here include - the Jami Masjid, the Ashrafi Mahal (the Gold Muhar Palace), the Jahaz Mahal and the Hindola Mahal. Mandu emerged as important centre for music during rule of Baz Bahadur, who himself was an accomplished musician. Later on, Mandu passed under the control of Akbar who inducted Baz Bahadur into imperial service by conferring him Mansabdari.
7. Murshidabad: The historic site of Murshidabad is situated in the present day state of West Bengal. The city of Murshidabad was founded byMurshid Quli Khan who established it as capital of the Provincial Kingdom of Bengal taking advantage of disintegration of the Mughal Empire. The city passed on to the British control after the Battle of Plassey in 1757. Even under the British East India Company, Murshidabad served as the capital till 1772 when Warren Hastings had got the capital transferred from Murshidabad toCalcutta. During medieval times, the city was a famous centre of textile and craft.
8. Nalanda: The Historic site ofNalanda is located in the present day state of Bihar. It is a site of great antiquity. Also known as Bargaon, the site came to prominence as the educational hub when the University of Nalanda was established here by the Gupta ruler Kumaragupta Sakraditya. The University at Nalanda attracted scholars from far away lands as China, Burma, and Ceylon. To the Nalanda came luminaries like Huen Tsang, It-Sing. Many students fromNalanda like Kumarajiva and.Dipankar travelled to far away lands to propagate Buddhism. Nalanda retained its prominence and glory during the period ofHarsha and thePalas.It came under attack ofTurkish invaders in the thirteenth century. A colossal copper image of Buddha has been found here. During the fourteenth and the fifteenth centuries, it became centre of Firdausia sect of Sufism.
9.Tanjore: The historic site ofTanjore is located in the present day state of Tamil Nadu. The city was founded by Vijayalaya and served as the capital of Imperial Cholas of the medieval times. It stands as an epitome of the mighty power of the Cholas. Tanjore is famous for the majestic Brihaddeswara temple or the Rajarajeshwara temple built byRajaraja Chola-I. It is a temple dedicated to the Lord Shiva. The two hundred and sixteen feet temple is the tallest. It is the most grandeur testimony of the Dravidian style of architecture with big vimanas and the majestic gopurams serving as its crowning glory. The temple also has a sculpture in hat believed to be that of Marco Polo. Tanjore is also famous for its grand Nataraja statue (statue of the Lord of Dance) in bronze. Economically,Tanjore was a famous bronze and copper metallurgical centre, and was inhabited by a section of craftsmen known asIdangai. Politically, withTanjore as the base, the Cholas established their mighty empire.
10.Amber: The historic site ofAmber is located near modern Jaipur, in the present day state of Rajasthan. The city was established by the Kachchwaha Rajput King Dulla Ray in the thirteenth century. The city rose to prominence when the Kachchwaha King Bharamal of Amber established matrimonial relations withAkbar by marrying off his daughter to the latter in 1562A.D.The site is also noted for its majestic and elegant forts. There is also a huge artificial lake near Amber. Amber continued to serve as the capital of Rajputs of Kachwaha dynasty till the foundation of Jaipur as the new capital. Amber during the eighteenth century had illustrious ruler in Swat Raja Jai Singh who is as much a town planner as a reformist, administrator and a scientist. The city ofAmber came to accept British paramountcy during the early half of the eighteenth century and with the accession of the princely states became integral part of state of Rajasthan.
11. Anegondi: This historic site of Anegundi is located in the present day state of Karnataka in the Raichur doab region. It was an important fort town held by the dynasties ofVijayanagar Empire. Anegundi was bone of contention between the Vijayanagar and, the Bahmani kingdoms. First, it was contested fiercely between Deva Raya I and Firoz Shah Bahmani. Later on, Deva Raya II also his successors fought the Bahmani rulers for possession of this fort town. However,Anegundi remained part of the Vijayanagar Kingdom since its foundation till the battle Talikota in 1565. The fort of Anegundi besides being of strategic importance also had huge economic significance for it commanded the highly fertile tract ofKrishna-Tungabhadra doab in the otherwise highly Deccan tract. Later on, after decline of Vijayanagar empire, the fort town passed under the control of Wodeyar Dynasty, and then under British control.
12. Chanderi: This historic city ofChanderi is located in the present day state of Madhya Pradesh near Gwalior. The site was an important political and economic centre during the medieval times. The place came to face the invasions of Qutb-ud-din Aibak, Iltutmish, Ala-uddin Khilji,and also by later rulers between the twelfth and the fifteenth centuries. After the disintegration of the Delhi Sultanate, Chanderi came to be ruled byRaja Medini Rai. Raja Medini Rai initially was an important noble under Sultans of Malwa, but later established his own control. He fought alongside Rana Sanga against Babur in the Battle ofKhanwa in 1527. Later, in 1529.,Babur had to fight the battle ofChanderi with Medini Rai in which Babur defeated the latter.
13.Arikamedu: This historic site is situated near Pondicherry on the eastern coast of India. It was also known by the name of Poduca. Arikamedu served as an important port town and trade emporium during 200 B.C. to 300A.D. It had vigorous trade relations with the eastern part oftheRoman Empire. From this port- town was exported Indian textiles, muslin, precious stones, and iron and cutlery items to theRoman world. To This place came wine amphorae,Argentine ware and large number of gold coins from the Roman Empire. Archaeological excavations at this place have unearthed a hoard of evidence establishing the vigorous nature of Indo-Roman trade. The place also finds mention in thee books like Periplus ofErythrean Sea, Pliny’s Natural History, and in SangamLiterature.
14.Kalibangan: Literally Meaning black bangles, this historic site is located on the banks of the river Ghaggar in the present day Ganganagar district of Rajasthan. Kalibangan was one of the important cities of the Indus Valley Civilization. The site shows evidences of both proto-Harappan and Harappan levels. From the proto-Harappan phase comes the evidence of the ploughed fields. In the Harappan phase, the city emerged as a prominent city. Here has been found the characteristic Harappan pottery, the evidence of defensive wall, copper statues, and the evidence of fire altars. From Kalibangan also, comes the evidence of occurrence of earthquake and also the standardized burnt bricks. The city was divided into two parts - the citadel and the city with both the parts enclosed by a solid defensive wall.
15. Nagarjunakonda: This historic site is located in the present day state ofAndhra Pradesh on the right bank of the river Krishna inAndhra Pradesh. Thissite was politically, religiously and culturally significant city of the ancient times. During the pre­historic period, the site served as site of southern Neolithic culture. The site also served asimportantChalcolithic and Iron Age site and many pit-dwellings came too light here. In historic phase, the city came into prominence during the Satavahanasfirst and later under the Ikshvakusin third and fourth centuries. It was an important centre of the Mahasanghika sect of Buddhism. The site has large number of Buddhist monuments and famous Buddhist Stupa called Mahachaitya. Excavations have brought to light evidences of craft, trade and guild activities.
16. Eran: This historic site is located I n the present day Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh. The site is very closely related to the Gupta Empire. It was the site which yielded the land charter of the time of Samudragupta. Besides This, manyGupta inscriptions have been found here. The most important of the inscriptions is the famous Fran inscription dated 510 A.D. This inscription gives us the first concrete evidence of Salt in the ancient India. The inscription notes that the widow of Gupta General Goparaja self immolated herself on his death. The Gupta ruler Bhanugupta is also known to us from this single inscription at Eran.
17. Kausambi: This historic site is located near Allahabad in the present day state of Uttar Pradesh, on the bank of river Yamuna. The site served as the capital of the Mahajanapada of Vatsa in the sixth century B.C. The place during the Northern Black Polished Ware phase (NBPW phase) revealed elaborate drainage arrangements. During theMauryan period, the Asoka pillar containing inscription was placed here. Kausambi during the Gupta period was for all purposes the next important city. Moreover, economically, the site was the meeting point of many subsidiary routes of the Uttarapatha. The Allahabad pillar Inscription of Samudragupta was also excavated from this place. At this place,Jahangir established his studio too. Besides, Akbar built a fort near Kaushambi inAllahabad in medieval times.
18. Pattadakal: This historic site is located in the present dayBijapur district of the state ofKarnataka. The city rose to prominence during the rule of the Chalukyas ofVatapi. During their rule, the city was an important temple town. Both rock-cut and structural temples have been found here. The Most important and famousmonumentalstructure istheVirupaksha temple. Besides This, the Sangameshwara temple is also found here. The city wasthu the cradle for the development of the Vesara style of architecture so characteristic of the Deccan.
19. Halebid: This historic site is located in the Hassan district of Karnataka. It is also known as the Dwarasamudra. It Served as the capital of the Hoysalas of Dwarsainudra who ruled the Karnataka region between the thirteenth and the nineteenth centuries A.D. The site is famous for the Hoysala monuments of which the most important is the Hoysalesvara temple. The temple is richly decorated and sculptured with pillars and sculptures. Further, the temple is dedicated to the great Lord Shiva. The temple is referred to as a fine example of the Jewellers’ art in stone.
20. Dwarasamudra: This historic site is located in the present day Hassan district of the state of Karnataka. It was also known as Divaravalipura. Its modem name is Halebid. It Served as the capital city of the Hoysala dynasty in the medieval period. The capital city faced the mighty army led byMalik Kafur during the reign of Ala-ud-din Khilji in 1310 A.D. Following the disintegration of the Delhi Sultanate, the place had to face the invasion ofMadurai Sultans.After decline of Madurai Sultans, Dwarsamudra passed under the control of Vijayanagar Kingdom and the Hoysala Kingdom became extinct.


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:: Paper - II ::

"Section A"

1. Comment on any three of the following statements in about 200 words each:
(a) “Neither Alexander the Great nor Napoleon could have won the empire of India by starting fromPuduicherry as a base and contending with a power which held Bengal and the command of the Sea.” Ans” 

18th century India was marked by conflict between English and French for establishing political swayin India. In this conflictEnglish defeated French. Important factors which contributed for the victory of England were capture of Bengal by the British and command of sea.

England and France started to struggle among each other for political supremacy in India. Three Carnatic wars were fought between them. These wars ultimately resulted into the victory of England. And by the treaty of Parisit was concluded that the French factories in India were restored but they could no longer be fortified or even adequately garrisoned with troops. They could serve with only as centres of trade and now the French lived in India under British protection. France was defeated in these wars due to making Pondicherry As base. Pondicherry Was not a rich province in terms of resource. On the other hand the English had Bengal as a base. At that time Bengal was a rich resource Province.And resource of Bengal could be utilized for some profitable business. English utilized thin resource against France.

Also at that timeEnglish had command oversea. They utilized this also. Command over sea helped English in many way to transport arms and ammunitions, man-power etc against French. This helped British to defeat French. On the other hand French didn’t have control over sea. They were not a great naval power. They didn’t make serious effort to become a great naval power.

Due to this inherent defect it can be said that neither Alexander nor Napoleon could defeat the English having Pondicherry as base and by neglecting establishing control over sea.

The defeat of French had a far reaching significance. For, the defeat paved the way for British to establish supremacy in South India and eventually whole of India. Also defeat of France boosted prestige of English.

(b) “Self-sufficient village, based on agriculture carried on with the primitive plough and bullock-power, and handicrafts by means of simple instruments, was a basic feature of Pre- British Indian economy.”

Ans: Several attempts have been made to characterize the pre-British period Indian economy. One recurrent theme is that the Pre-British Indian economy was characterized by self-sufficient villages based on the union of agriculture and handicrafts.

The village economy was held to be self sufficient and self subsisting. The basic land relationships in the villages were governed by custom and usage.: Another marked feature of the pre-British economy was the union of agriculture and basic crafts in the villages. The farmers carried on the task of cultivation and cultivated enough to feed themselves and the other sections dependent on them. They carried the cultivation with plough fitted with iron hoe with the help of bullocks as the draught power. The peasant family undertook also to spinning and wearing. Besides, some specialized group of craftsmen provided for the handicrafts and implements needed by the villagers. In return for their products, they were remunerated in grain by the peasants.

Notwithstanding there features, the Indian peasants produced sufficient amount of food grains to sustain those living in urban centres. Further, then villages also paid the land revenue that was imposed on them by the rulers. Moreover, the peasants in the villages enjoyed customary rights over the community properties like the village tank. Moreover, the villages had peasants cultivating the plots of land.

However, all this changed with the establishment of the British rule in India. Foremost they vested ownership of village land in zamindar under the permanent settlement. The peasant’s ownership over land was insecure under Ryotwari Settlement. The villagers moreover lost their customary rights over community lands and were reduced to the status of semi-serfs of zamindars and moneylenders. Moreover, by introducing the concept of mortgage, sale and transferability of land, the British tampered with the basic stability of the villages. Also, the ‘ruin of handicrafts industry ended the union of agriculture and handicrafts.

(c) “So long as the millions live in hunger and ignorance, I hold everyman a traitor who, having been educated at their expense, pays not the least heed to them.”

Ans:Among the string of the socio-religious reformers, the name of Swami Vivekananda stands tallest He besides raising the status of Indian culture in international arena also boosted the self assurance and self confidence of Indians and contributed powerful to the emergence of nationalism in India. Histeachings played an important role in awakening the Indian masses from slumber.

Foremost Vivekananda was a humanist. He was deeply pained by the plight of majority of Indian masses. He while touring the country found the masses steeped in hunger. Also, the masses were illiterate and hence ignorant. This Led to their cultural isolation.

Peeved by this state of affairs, Swami Vivekananda felt that it was the duty of each Indian to take care of his fellow Indian. He especially exhorted the educated Indian middle class to leave and come out of their attitude of isolationism and take upon the duty of removing the vicious cycle of poverty and illiteracy in which the Indian masses were entrapped.

He felt that every educated Indian who ignored the poverty and hunger of the masses of this land as traitor. This was because, it was out the money generated by the toiling masses that they have been educated. Vivekananda’s view on sad plight of the masses was in sync with the teachings of Rama Krishna Paramahansa according to which service to man is service to god. Vivekananda following the teaching of his master exhorted the Indians to serve their fellow countrymen.

Vivekananda’s views on the plight of Indian masses continued in subsequent times moderates programme and in the constructive work of Mahatma Gandhi.

(d) “It felt that if we did not accept partition, India would be split into many bits and would be completely ruined.”

Ans: India was partitioned in 1947 into two dominions, India and Pakistan. It was a saddest event in history of India. The fighters of freedom struggle had never intended the partition of the country. But the Nationalists leaders of India had to accept the partition due to the deteriorating condition of India. According to Vallabh Bhai Patel, had it not been partitioned. India would have been completely ruined. 

When English established their political supremacy in India, they followed the policy of divide and rule. They divided India on the basis of caste, religion etc. Their policy of divide and rule got manifested in every spheres of life. For instance they introduced separate electorate in 1909. Their policy of divide and rule encouraged separate tendencies. It checked the progress ofIndia’s unification which had been a continuous historical process. It became a potent factor in the growth of communalism - both Hindu and Muslim in the country. After some time Muslim League propounded two nation theories.

When the English made up their mind to leave India, the problem became very serious as to whom they transfer authority- Congress or Muslim League. Princelystates became active to become independent iii. case of transfer of authority. Muslim League started the Pakistan Movement. And when cabinet mission plan rejected partition of country, Muslim League gave the call for Direct Action Day. All over the country communal riots started. Thousands of people were killed.

In this background Mountbatten came to India. InitiallyLord Mountbatten stated to talk with leaders ofIndia. Seeing that no one was willing to how. he put forward plan Balkan. As per this plan India was to be divided into a number of small principalities. But this was soon dropped. So in the light of above circumstances it was felt to partition the country otherwise it would be split into many hits.


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