Topic outline

    • Buildings, Paintings and Books

      Q21. Who wrote Aryabhatiyam?

      Ans. Aryabhata, a mathematician and astronomer, wrote a book in Sanskrit known as the Aryabhatiyam.


      Q22. What are epics?

      Ans. Epics are grand, long compositions, about heroic men and women, and include stories about gods.


      Q23. What is the historical importance of Amaravati?

      Ans. This was a place where a magnificent stupa once existed. Many of the stone carvings for decorating the stupa were made about 2000 years ago.


      Q24. What is Manimekalai?

      Ans. Manimekalai is a Tamil epic which was composed by Sattanar around 1400 years ago. This describes the story of the daughter of Kovalan and Madhavi.

      Q25. Describe the poem Meghaduta written by Kalidasa?

      Ans. Meghaduta is a poem written by Kalidasa, in which a monsoon cloud is imagined to be a messenger between lovers who are separated from one another.


      Q26. What is stated in Aryabhatiyam?

      Ans. In Aryabhatiyam, Aryabhata stated that day and night were caused by the rotation of the earth on its axis, even though it seems as if the sun is rising and setting every day.


      Q27. Write about Monolithic temples.

      Ans. There are Monolithic temples at Mahabalipuram. Each of these was carved out of a huge, single piece of stone. While brick structures are built up by adding layers of bricks from the bottom upwards.


      Q28. Where are the stories told by ordinary people preserved?

      Ans. Ordinary people also told stories, composed poems and songs, sang, danced, and performed plays. Some of these are preserved in collections of stories such as the Jatakas and the Panchatantra.


      Q29. What do you know about ‘zero’?

      Ans. While numerals had been used earlier, mathematicians in India now invented a special symbol for zero. This system of counting was adapted by the Arabs and then spread to Europe. It continues to be in use throughout the world.

      Q30. What is relic casket?

      Ans. Generally, there is a small box placed at the centre or heart of the stupa. This may contain bodily remains (such as teeth, bone or ashes) of the Buddha or his followers, or things they used, as well as precious stones, and coins. This box, known as a relic casket, was covered with earth.


      Q31. What are Puranas?

      Ans. Purana literally mean old. The Puranas contain stories about gods and goddesses, such as Vishnu, Shiva, Durga or Parvati. They also contain details on how they were to be worshipped. Besides, there are accounts about the creation of the world, and about kings.


      Q32. What is Silappadikaram?

      Ans. Silappadikaram is a Tamil epic. It was composed by a poet named Ilango, around 1800 years ago. It is the story of a merchant named Kovalan, who lived in Puhar and fell in love with a courtesan named Madhavi, neglecting his wife Kannagi.


      Q33. How the technique of making paper spread around the world?

      Ans. The technique of making paper was a closely guarded secret for centuries. It reached Korea about 1400 years ago, and spread to Japan soon after. It was known in Baghdad about 1800 years ago. From Baghdad it spread to Europe, Africa, and other parts of Asia including the subcontinent.

      Q34. Discuss several stages in building a stupa or a temple.

      Ans. First, good quality stone had to be found, quarried, and transported to the place that was often carefully chosen for the new building. Here, these rough blocks of stone had to be shaped and carved into pillars, and panels for walls, floors and ceilings. And then these had to be placed in precisely the right position.


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