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SHIKHAR Mains 2023 Day 21 Model Answer English

Updated : 5th Jul 2023
SHIKHAR Mains 2023 Day 21 Model Answer English

Q1: प्राचीन भारत में "प्रयागराज "के सांस्कृतिक महत्व का वर्णन कीजिए?  8 Marks

Describe the cultural significance of 'Prayagraj' in ancient India.


  • Write introduction.
  • In main body of answer write about the cultural significance of Prayagraj.
  • Conclude with the contemporary importance of Prayagraj.


Prayagraj, formerly known as Allahabad, holds significant cultural significance in India. Here are some of the cultural aspects and contributions associated with Prayagraj:

Religious Significance: Prayagraj is known as the "City of Sangam" as it is situated at the confluence of three holy rivers: Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati (believed to be an underground river). The Sangam is considered one of the holiest pilgrimage sites in Hinduism. The city hosts the Kumbh Mela, the world's largest religious event, which takes place every 12 years and attracts millions of devotees.

Historical Significance: Prayagraj has a rich historical heritage. It is associated with ancient empires including the Kuru dynasty and the Maurya Empire. The city has been a center of cultural, political, and administrative activities for centuries.

Triveni Sangam: The confluence of the rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati at Prayagraj holds immense spiritual significance. It is believed to be the place where drops of nectar fell during the Samudra Manthan (churning of the ocean) in Hindu mythology. Pilgrims take a ritual bath at Triveni Sangam to cleanse themselves of sins and seek spiritual blessings.

Cultural Events and Festivals: Prayagraj plays host to various cultural events and festivals that showcase the vibrant heritage of the region. Apart from the Kumbh Mela, the city also celebrates festivals like Makar Sankranti, Navratri and Diwali with great enthusiasm. These events include cultural performances, music festivals and religious processions.

Educational and Intellectual Centre: Prayagraj has been a center of learning and knowledge for centuries. It houses prestigious educational institutions like Allahabad University, Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (MNNIT) and many renowned schools and colleges. The city has given birth to many scholars, poets, writers and thinkers who have contributed significantly to the intellectual and cultural fabric of India.

Literary and Artistic Heritage: Prayagraj has been a breeding ground for literary and artistic talents. It has given birth to famous poets and writers including Mahadevi Varma, Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Sumitranandan Pant. The city has also played an important role in the development of Hindustani classical music and hosts cultural events and performances.

Overall, the cultural significance of Prayagraj lies in its religious heritage, historical significance, vibrant festivals, intellectual contributions and literary heritage, making it a city of great cultural importance in India.




Q2: उत्तर प्रदेश के स्थापत्य कला की प्रकृति का उल्लेख करते हुए इसके विकास का संक्षिप्त परिचय दीजिए?

Mentioning the nature of architecture of Uttar Pradesh, give a brief introduction about its development?



  • Write the nature of architecture of Uttar Pradesh in Bhumika

  • Write the development of architecture in different periods

  • Give proper conclusion at the end.


Answer -

Uttar Pradesh has been rich in terms of art and culture as well as being geographically broad. Areas like Awadh, Braj, Bhojpuri, Bundelkhand etc. come under the cultural periphery of Uttar Pradesh. Where folk and scriptures are visible in the periphery of Ganga Jamuni. The State Government had established the Cultural Department in the year 1957 for the preservation, display, systematization etc. of the archaeological, historical and artistic activities of the State.


In the architecture of Uttar Pradesh, the remains of architecture related to folk life are found. On one hand religious forms of architecture are visible in the construction of temples, mosques, churches, Buddhist viharas and stupas etc. On the other hand secularism on pillars, inscriptions etc. elements are also visible.


Ancient time:

  • The oldest remains of architecture in Uttar Pradesh are found from the Mauryan ruins made of sand stones of Chunar. Most of the rock pillars and stupas were built during the Maurya period. In which the Lion Pillar of Sarnath is the best specimen of Mauryan art.

  • Huge statues of Yakshas and Yakshinis have also been found from Parakham, Borda and some other places of Mathura, which is of Ashoka period. The Mathura art style reached its climax during the Kushan period.

  • The stone temple and brick temple of Deogarh (Jhansi) at Bhitargaon in Kanpur district is famous for its artistic panels.

  •  Some other specimens of ancient arts and crafts are the Vishnu picture, the (standing) Buddha statue in Mathura and the seated image of the Tathagata in the Sarnath museum.

  •  Both the Mathura and Sarnath schools of art reached their peak during the Gupta period.

  •  Elegance and balance were the characteristics of the architecture of this period.

  • Uttar Pradesh witnessed unprecedented progress in symbolic forms and decorative purposes during this period. Rajghat (Varanasi), Sahet-Mahet (Gonda-Bahraich), Bhitargaon (Kanpur) and Ahichhatra (Bareilly) have also found some excellent specimens of artistic sculptures made of not only stone but also terracotta.


Medieval period:

  • The mixed Indian and Muslim style of architecture reached its climax during the Mughal period. The Taj Mahal, described as a dream in marble, is a living example of this style.

  • Innumerable forts and places, mosques and mausoleums and baths and ponds were built during this period, which are known for their bold, graceful and grand style.

  • The Sharqi style of architecture developed under the patronage of the Sharqi rulers of Jaunpur in the early medieval period. Atala Masjid, Khalis Mukhlis, Jhanjhari and Lal Darwaza are the main ones in the construction here.

  • Babur built mosques in Ayodhya and Sambhal.

  • Architecture built by Akbar - Agra Fort, various architecture built in Fatehpur Sikri etc. Akbar's construction is a combination of the royal style of the pre-Mughal period and the regional styles of Gujarat, Malwa, and Chanderi.

  • The main feature of this period is the use of red sandstone and marble, fine mosaic on smooth and colorful floors, and inlaid work.

  • The entire construction of the Taj Mahal built by Shah Jahan is made of Makrana marble, which is a wonderful specimen of architecture.


Modern Era:

  • In the modern period, many constructions were done by the Nawabs of Awadh and the British. The major buildings of Lucknow which have been built by the Nawabs of Awadh are as follows - Imambara of Asfuddolla, Tomb at Kesar Bagh, Lal Baradari, Residency, Rumi Darwaza, Shahnajaf, Imambara of Hussainabad, Chhatar Manzil, Moti Mahal, Palace at Kesarbagh, Dilkusha Garden and Sikanderbagh.

  • The arched hall of the Bada Imambara built by Asfuddola is a specimen of pure Lucknowi art. It is believed that it is the largest hall of its kind in the world.

  • Various architectures built by the British - Church Architecture, Allahabad University, Charbagh Railway Station etc.


The state stopped showing interest in the construction of religious constructions i.e. temples, mosques etc., but secular buildings like schools, colleges, government offices etc. were built on a large scale. These buildings symbolize a radical change in the traditional construction activity. Being utilitarian in nature and devoid of all architectural pretense, he has indeed ushered in a new era in the history of architecture in Uttar Pradesh.