Posted in Art and Culture, General Studies 1, UPSC

Art and Culture – How to Prepare Art and Culture for UPSC?

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updated on March 23rd, 2019

Syllabus covered in this category !!!

Prelims Syllabus :
History of India and Indian National Movement

Mains Syllabus :
Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Books and Material Source :

Centre of Cultural and Resources training website :

Newspapers and Magazines .

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Topics you need to read about

0 . Understanding Art and Culture

0.1.Importance of culture for UPSC. 5-10 Questions in Prelims and 2/3 Questions in General studies paper 1 main Examination are asked every year. This portion looks almost static, but the recent happening and boomerang news from the past can be seen in the paper. So, read newspapers and magazines with Art and Culture in mind

0.2 What is culture ?

Culture is a way of life. The food you eat, the clothes you wear, the language you speak in and the God you worship all are aspects of culture All the achievements of human beings as members of social groups can be called culture. Art, music, literature, architecture, sculpture, philosophy, religion and science can be seen as aspects of culture. However, culture also
includes the customs, traditions, festivals, ways of living and one’s outlook on various issues of life. So u need to read them all

Some basic concepts you need to have :

Time Line of Indian History

1.Art Forms ( Including Performing Arts )

Paintings in Early India

  • Ajanta,
  • Ellora
  • Bagh caves

Regional paintings

  • Bundi School
  • Pahari School
  • Tanjore painting

Painting during the Mughal period.

  • Mughal painting and
  • Mughal manuscripts

Buddhist influence on early Indian Paintings

Distinguished painters, modern trends in Indian painting

Indian Music


  • Classical Dances
  • Folk Dances


2 . Architecture

Temple architecture

Temple architecture

  • Nagara
  • Vesara
  • Dravida

Mauryan Art and Architecture

  • Ashoka Pillar

Sculpture during the Gupta age

  • Iron pillar of Delhi

Architecture under the Delhi Sultanate

  • Qutub Minar

Mughal Architecture

  • Humayun Tomb
  • Red Fort
  • Taj Mahal
  • Fatehpur Sikri

Other Important Architectural Development

  • Gujarat
  • Malwa
  • Bahmini
  • Vijayanagara

3 .Literature

Vedic literature

  • Vedas
  • Brahmanas
  • Bhagavada
  • Upanishads
  • Aranyakas

Scripts of Ancient India

Sangam literature

  • Akananooru
  • Purananooru

Literature under the Gupta rulers

Scientific literature in Ancient India-

Development of literature during the medieval period

  • Bhakti movement and poets

4 .Civilizations in India

5. Religions of India

Civilizations in other parts of world

Mesopotamian Civilization

Egyptian Civilization

Ancient Chinese Civilization

Greek Civilization

Roman Civilization

Persian Civilization

Government Organizations

Archeological Survey of India -ASI


Some offbeat topics? Questions from these won’t be asked but you should know about them.

Why do we study Archaeology?

Different stages of Human Development

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How to prepare for UPSC :

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