Ans. The Mahabharata is about a war fought between the Kauravas and Pandavas, who were cousins. This was a war to gain control of the throne of the Kurus, and their capital, Hastinapur. The story itself was an old one, but was written down in the form in which we know it today, about 1500 years ago. The Mahabharata are supposed to have been compiled by Vyasa. The Bhagavad Gita was also included in the Mahabharata.
Ans. Iron pillar at Mehrauli
i. The iron pillar at Mehrauli, Delhi, is a remarkable example of the skill of Indian crafts persons.
ii. It is made of iron, 7.2. m high, and weighs over 3 tonnes.
iii. It was made about 1500 years ago. We know the date because there is an inscription on the pillar mentioning a ruler named Chandra, who probably belonged to the Gupta dynasty.
Ans. Aryabhata was a mathematician and astronomer, wrote a book in Sanskrit known as the Aryabhatiyam.
i. He 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.
ii. He developed a scientific explanation for eclipses as well.
iii. He also found a way of calculating the circumference of a circle, which is nearly as accurate as the formula we use today.
Ans. Features of stupa architecture
i. Generally, there is a small box placed at the centre or heart of the stupa. This may contain bodily remains of the Buddha or his followers, or things they used, as well as precious stones, and coins.
ii. Often, a path, known as the pradakshina patha, was laid around the stupa. This was surrounded with railings.
iii. Entrance to the path was through gateways.
iv. Both railings and gateways were often decorated with sculpture.
Ans. Main features of the Hindu temples
i. Deities such as Vishnu, Shiva, and Durga were worshipped in these shrines. The most important part of the temple was the room known as the garbhagriha, where the image of the chief deity was placed.
ii. It was here that priests performed religious rituals, and devotees offered worship to the deity.
iii. Often, as at Bhitargaon, a tower, known as the shikhara, was built on top of the garbhagriha, to mark this out as a sacred place.
iv. Most temples also had a space known as the mandapa. It was a hall where people could assemble.
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