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2A) Ancient History – Political and Social Life (Prelims PYQs)

Ancient History - Political and Social Life (Prelims PYQs)

Prehistoric Age

2023-1995 Prelims PYQs

1] With reference to ancient South India, Korkai, Poompuhar, and Muchiri were well known as: [2023]

a) Capital cities
b) Ports
c) Centres of iron- and- steel making
d) Shrines of Jain Tirthankaras

Show Answer

Ans: b) Ports

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2] Consider the following dynasties: [2023]
1. Hoysala                          2. Gahadavala
3. Kakatiya                         4. Yadava

How many of the above dynasties established their kingdoms in early eighth century AD?
a) Only one                        b) Only two
c) Only three                     d) None

Show Answer

Ans: d) None

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3] Consider the following pairs: [2021]

Historical PlaceWell-known for
1. BurzahomRock-cut shrines
2. ChandraketugarhTerracotta art
3. GaneshwarCopper artefacts

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?
a) 1 only 
b) 1 and 2
c) 3 only 
d) 2 and 3

Show Answer

Ans: d) 2 and 3

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Indus Valley Civilization

2023-1995 Prelims PYQs

1] Which one of the following is not a Harappan site? [2019]

a) Chanhudaro                  b) Kot Diji
c) Sohgaura                        d) Desalpur

Show Answer

Ans: c) Sohgaura

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2] Which of the following characterizes/ characterizes the people of Indus civilization? [2013]

1. They possessed great palaces and temples.
2. They worshipped both male and female deities.
3. They employed horse-drawn chariots in warfare.

Select the correct statement/ statements using the codes given below.
a) 1 and 2 only                  b) 2 only
c) 1, 2, and 3                      d) None is correct

Show Answer

Ans: b) 2 only

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3] Regarding the Indus Valley civilization , consider the following statements? [2011]

1. It was predominantly a secular civilization and the religious element, though present, did  not dominate the scene.
2. During this period, cotton was used for manufacturing textiles in India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a) 1 only                             b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2                 d) Neither 1 nor 2

Show Answer

Ans: c) Both 1 and 2 

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4] Match List I with List II and select the correct answer using the codes given below the lists: [2002]

List 1 (Ancient Site)List 2 (Archeological Finding)
A. Lothal1. Ploughed field
B. Kalibangan2. Dockyard
C. Dholavira3. Terracotta replica of plough
D. Banawali4. An inscription comprising ten large-sized signs of the Harappan script

Codes:
    A    B    C    D
a) 1    2     3    4
b) 2    1     4    3
c) 1     2     4    3
d) 2     1     3    4

Show Answer

Ans: b) 2    1     4    3

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5] Which one of the following animals was NOT represented on the seals and terracotta art of the Harappan culture? [2001]

a) Cow                                b) Elephant
c) Rhinoceros                    d) Tiger

Show Answer

Ans: a) Cow

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Vedic Age

2023-1995 Prelims PYQs

1] With reference to the difference between the culture of Rigvedic Aryans and Indus Valley people, which of the following statements is/are correct? [2017]

1. Rigvedic Aryans used the coat of mail and helmet in warfare whereas the people of Indus Valley Civilization did not leave any evidence of using them.
2. Rigvedic Aryans knew gold, silver and copper whereas Indus Valley people knew only copper and iron.
3. Rigvedic Aryans had domesticated the horse whereas there is no evidence of Indus Valley people having been aware of this animal.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:
a) 1 only                             b) 2 and 3 only
c) 1 and 3 only                  d) 1, 2 and 3

Show Answer

Ans: c) 1 and 3 only  

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2] The religion of early Vedic Aryans was primarily of: [2012]

a) Bhakti
b) Image Worship and Yajnas
c) Worship of Nature and Yajnas
d) Worship of Nature and Bhakti

Show Answer

Ans: c) Worship of Nature and Yajnas

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3] The “dharma” and “Rita” depict  a central Idea of ancient Vedic civilization  of India. In this context, consider the following statements: [2011]

1. Dharma was a conception of obligations and of the discharge of one’s duties to oneself and to others.
2. Rita was the fundamental moral law governing the functioning of the universe and all it contained.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a) 1 only                             b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2                 d) Neither 1 nor 2.

Show Answer

Ans: c) Both 1 and 2

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4] The term ‘Aryan’ denotes: [1999]

a) An ethnic group
b) A nomadic people
c) A speech group
d) A superior race

Show Answer

Ans: c) A speech group (the answer is disputed, see explanation for more clarification)

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5] In the context of ancient Indian society, which one of the following terms does not belong to the category of the other three? [1996]

a) Kula                                b) Vamsa
c) Kosa                                d) Gotra

Show Answer

Ans: c) Kosa 

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6] The original home of the gypsies was: [1995]

a) Egypt                              b) Russia
c) India                               d) Persia

Show Answer

Ans: c) India  

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Age of Mahajanpadas

2023-1995 Prelims PYQs

1] With reference to the history of India, consider the following pairs: [2020]

Famous Place                  Present State
1. Bhilsa                        —  Madhya Pradesh
2. Dwarasamudra       —  Maharashtra
3. Girinagar                   —  Gujarat
4. Sthanesvara            —  Uttar Pradesh

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?
a) 1 and 3 only             b) 1 and 4 only
c) 2 and 3 only             d) 2 and 4 only

Show Answer

Ans: a) 1 and 3 only 

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2] Consider the following pairs: [2016]

Famous place      –   Region
1. Bodhgaya           –    Baghelkhand
2. Khajuraho          –    Bundelkhand
3. Shirdi                   –     Vidarbha
4. Nasik (Nashik)  –    Malwa
5. Tirupati               –    Rayalaseema

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?
a) 1, 2 and 4                   b) 2, 3, 4 and 5
c) 2 and 5 only              d) 1, 3, 4 and 5

Show Answer

Ans: c) 2 and 5 only 

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3] Which of the following Kingdoms were associated with the life of the Buddha? [2014]

1. Avanti                   
2. Gandhara
3. Kosala                  
4. Magadha

Select the correct answer using the code given below.
a) 1, 2 and 3                     b) 2 and 4
c) 3 and 4 only                d) 1, 3 and 4

Show Answer

Ans: c) 3 and 4 only  

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4] Between which of the following was the ancient town of Takshasila located? [2006]

a) Indus and Jehelum
b) Jhelum and Chenab
c) Chenab and Ravi
d) Ravi and Beas

Show Answer

Ans: a) Indus and Jehelum

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5] Who among the following was not a contemporary of the other three? [2005]

a) Bimbisara                  b) Gautama Buddha
c) Milinda                       d) Prasenjit

Show Answer

Ans: c) Milinda  

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6] Which one of the following was initially the most powerful city-state of India in the 6th century B.C.? [1999]

a) Gandhar                       b) Kamboj
c) Kashi                              d) Magadh

Show Answer

Ans: d) Magadh

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7] Which of the following pairs are correctly matched? [1998]

I. Lothal: Ancient dockyard
II. Sarnath: First Sermon of Buddha
III. Rajgir: Lion capital of Asoka
IV. Nalanda: Great seat of Buddhist learning

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
Codes:
a) I, II, III and IV                b) III and IV
c) I, II and IV                       d) I and II

Show Answer

Ans: c) I, II and IV 

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8] The following maps shows four of the sixteen Mahajanapadas that existed in ancient India: [1997


The places marked A, B, C and D respectively are
a) Matsya, Cedi, Kosala, Anga
b) Surasena, Avanti, Vatsa, Magadha
c) Matsya, Avanti, Vatsa, Anga
d) Surasena, Cedi, Kosala, Magadha

Show Answer

Ans: c) Matsya, Avanti, Vatsa, Anga  

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UPSC Prelims PYQ Book
  • Collection of more than 3200 Previous Year Questions (1995-2023)
  • All questions divided into 10 Subjects
  • Subject further sub-divided into more than 75 topics
  • All answers according to official answer key
  • BEST PYQ CLASSIFICATION EVER !

Mauryan Period

2023-1995 Prelims PYQs

1] According to Kautilya’s Arthashastra, which of the following are correct? [2022]

1. A person could be a slave as a result of a judicial punishment.
2. If a female slave bore her master a son, she was legally free.
3. If a son born to a female slave was fathered by her master, the son was entitled to the legal status of the master’s son.

Which of the statements given above are correct?
a) 1 and 2                           b) 2 and 3 only
c) 1 and 3 only                  d) 1, 2 and 3

Show Answer

Ans: b) 2 and 3 only

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2] Who among the following rulers advised his subjects through this inscription? [2020]

“Whosoever praises his religious sect or blames other sects out of excessive devotion to his own sect, with the view of glorifying his own sect, he rather injures his own sect very severely.”

a) Ashoka                          b) Samudragupta
c) Harshavardhana       d) Krishanadeva Raya

Show Answer

Ans: a) Ashoka

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3] Consider the following statements: [2003]

1. The last Mauryan ruler, Brihadratha was assassinated by his commander in chief, Pushyamitra Sunga.
2. The last Sunga king, Devabhuti was assassinated by his Brahmana minister Vasudeva Kanva who usurped the throne
3. The last ruler of the Kanva dynasty was deposed by the Andhras.

Which of these statements is/are correct?
a) 1 and 2                          b) Only 2
c) Only 3                            d) 1, 2 and 3

Show Answer

Ans: d) 1, 2 and 3

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4] Which one of the following dynasties was ruling over North India at the time of Alexander’s invasion? [2000]

a) Nanda                     b) Maurya
c) Sunga                      d) Kanva

Show Answer

Ans: a) Nanda  

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5] Assertion (A): Ashoka annexed Kalinga to the Mauryan Empire.

Reason (R): Kalinga controlled the land and sea routes to South India. [2000]
a) Both A and R are true, and R is the correct explanation of A
b) Both A and R are true, but R is not a correct explanation of A
c) A is true, but R is false
d) A is false, but R is true

Show Answer

Ans: a) Both A and R are true, and R is the correct explanation of A

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6] Assertion (A): According to Asoka’s edicts social harmony among the people was more important than religious devotion.

Reason (R): He spread ideas of equity instead of promotion of religion. [1998]

a) Both A and R are true, and R is the correct explanation of A
b) Both A and R are true, but R is NOT a correct explanation of A
c) A is true, but R is false
d) A is false, but R is true

Show Answer

Ans: a) Both A and R are true, and R is the correct explanation of A

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7] The given map relates to: [1998]


a) Kaniska at the time of his death
b) Samudragupta after the close of his South Indian campaign
c) Asoka towards close of his reign
d) Empire of Thaneswar on the eve of Harsha’s accession

Show Answer

Ans: c) Asoka towards close of his reign

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Post Mauryan Period: Greek, Saka, Parthian and Kushan Invasions, Satavahanas in Deccan

2023-1995 Prelims PYQs

1] With reference to the invaders in ancient India, which one of the following is the correct chronological order? [2006]

a) Greeks . Sakas . Kushans
b) Greeks . Kushans . Sakas
c) Sakas . Greeks . Kushans
d) Sakas . Kushans . Greeks

Show Answer

Ans: a) Greeks . Sakas . Kushans  

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2] From the third century AD, when the Hun invasion ended the Roman Empire, the Indian merchants relied more and more on the: [1999]

a) African trade
b) West ­European trade
c) South­ East Asian trade
d) Middle­ Eastern trade

Show Answer

Ans: c) South­ East Asian trade 

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3] The Indo-Greek kingdom set up in north Afghanistan in the beginning of the second century BC was: [1999]

a) Bactria                           b) Scythia
c) Zedrasia                         d) Aria

Show Answer

Ans: a) Bactria 

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4] Many of the Greeks, Kushanas and Shakas embraced Buddhism rather than Hinduism because: [1998]

a) Buddhism was in the ascendant at that time
b) They had renounced the policy of war and violence
c) Caste­ridden Hinduism did not attract them
d) Buddhism provided easier access to Indian society

Show Answer

Ans: d) Buddhism provided easier access to Indian society 

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5] What is the correct chronological order in which the following appeared in India? [1998]

I. Gold coins
II. Punch­marked silver coins
III. Iron plough
IV. Urban culture

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
Codes:
a) III, IV, I, II                       b) III, IV, II, I
c) IV, III, I, II                        d) IV, III, II, I

Show Answer

Ans: d) IV, III, II, I 

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  • Collection of more than 3200 Previous Year Questions (1995-2023)
  • All questions divided into 10 Subjects
  • Subject further sub-divided into more than 75 topics
  • All answers according to official answer key
  • BEST PYQ CLASSIFICATION EVER !

Guptas and Vakatakas

2023-1995 Prelims PYQs

1] With reference to the history of India, the terms ‘kulyavapa’ and ‘dronavapa’ denote: [2020]

a) Measurement of land
b) Coins of different monetary value
c) Classification of urban land
d) Religious rituals

Show Answer

Ans: a) Measurement of land 

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2] With reference to the period of Gupta dynasty in ancient India, the towns Ghantasala, Kadura and Chaul were known as: [2020]

a) Ports handling foreign trade
b) Capitals of powerful kingdoms
c) Places of exquisite stone art and architecture
d) Important of Buddhist pilgrimage centres

Show Answer

Ans: a) Ports handling foreign trade

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3] With reference to forced labour (Vishti) in India during the Gupta period, which one of the following statements is correct? [2019]

a) It was considered a source of income for the State, a sort of tax paid by the people.
b) It was totally absent in the Madhya Pradesh and Kathiawar regions of the Gupta Empire.
c) The forced labourer was entitled to weekly wages.
d) The eldest son of the labourer was sent as the forced labourer.

Show Answer

Ans: a) It was considered a source of income for the State, a sort of tax paid by the people.

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4] With reference to the guilds (Shreni) of ancient India that played a very important role in the country’s economy, which of the following statements is/are correct? [2012]

1. Every guild was registered with the central authority of the State and the king was the chief administrative authority on them.
2. The wages, rules of work, standards and prices were fixed by the guild.
3. The guild had judicial powers over its own members.

Choose the correct option:
a) 1 & 2 Only                            b) 3 Only
c) 2 & 3 Only                            d) 1,2, & 3

Show Answer

Ans: c) 2 & 3 Only 

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5] Consider the following statements: [2004]

1. The Chinese pilgrim Fa ­Hien attended the fourth Great Buddhist Council held by Kanishka.
2. The Chinese pilgrim Huan ­Tsang met Harsha and found him to be antagonistic to Buddhism.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a) 1 only                             b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2                d) Neither 1 nor 2

Show Answer

Ans: d) Neither 1 nor 2

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6] Assertion (A): The origin of the feudal system in ancient India can be traced to military campaigns.

Reason (R): There was considerable expansion of the feudal system during the Gupta period. [2000]
a) Both A and R are true, and R is the correct explanation of A
b) Both A and R are true, but R is not a correct explanation of A
c) A is true, but R is false
d) A is false, but R is true

Show Answer

Ans: b) Both A and R are true, but R is not a correct explanation of A

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7] Which one of the following ports handled the north Indian trade during the Gupta period? [1999]

a) Tamralipti                         b) Broach
c) Kalyan                              d) Cambray

Show Answer

Ans: a) Tamralipti

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8] The silver coins issued by the Guptas were called: [1997]

a) Rupaka                  b) Karshapana
c) Dinara                    d) Pana

Show Answer

Ans: a) Rupaka 

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9] Who among the following is known for his work on medicine during the Gupta period? [1996]

a) Saumilla                        b) Sudraka
c) Shaunaka                     d) Susrutha

Show Answer

Ans: d) Susrutha 

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10] In Sanskrit plays written during the Gupta Period women and sudras speak: [1995]

a) Sanskrit                         b) Prakrit
c) Pali                                  d) Sauraseni

Show Answer

Ans: b) Prakrit

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Era of King Harsha

2023-1995 Prelims PYQs

1] From the decline of Guptas until the rise of Harshavardhana in the early seventh century, which of the following kingdoms were holding power in Northern India? [2021]

1) The Guptas of Magadha
2) The Paramaras of Malwa
3) The Pushyabhutis of Thanesar
4) The Maukharis of Kanauj
5) The Yadavas of Devagiri
6) The Maitrakas of Valabhi

Select the correct answer using the code given below.
a) 1, 2 and 5             b) 1, 3, 4 and 6
c) 2, 3 and 4             d) 5 and 6

Show Answer

Ans: b) 1, 3, 4 and 6

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2] Emperor Harsha’s southward march was stopped on the Narmada river by: [2003]

a) Pulakesin I                    b) Pulakesin II
c) Vikramaditya I             d) Vikramaditya II

Show Answer

Ans: b) Pulakesin II

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3] Assertion (A): Harshavardhana convened the Prayag Assembly.

Reason (R): He wanted to popularise only the Mahayana form of Buddhism. [2001]
a) Both A and R are individually true, and R is the correct explanation of A
b) Both A and R are individually true, but R is NOT a correct explanation of A
c) A is true, but R is false
d) A is false, but R is true

Show Answer

Ans: b) Both A and R are individually true, but R is NOT a correct explanation of A

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History of South India

2023-1995 Prelims PYQs

1] In the context of the history of India, consider the following pairs: [2016]

Term:                   Description
1) Eripatti: Land, revenue from which was set apart for the maintenance of the village tank
2) Taniyurs: Villages donated to a single Brahmin or a group of  Brahmins
3) Ghatikas: Colleges generally attached to the temples

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?
a) 1 and 2                    b) 3 only
c) 2 and 3                    d) 1 and 3

Show Answer

Ans: d) 1 and 3

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2] India maintained its early cultural contacts and trade links with southeast Asia across the bay of Bengal. For this pre-eminence of the early maritime history of the Bay of Bengal, which of the following could be the most convincing  explanation/explanations? [2011]

a) As compared to other countries, India had better ship-building technology in ancient and medieval times.
b) The rulers of southern India always patronised traders , Brahmin  priests and Buddhist monks in this context.
c) Monsoon winds across the bay of Bengal facilitated sea voyages.
d) Both (a) and (b) are convincing explanations in this context.

Show Answer

Ans: c) Monsoon winds across the bay of Bengal facilitated sea voyages.

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3] Consider the following statements: [2003]

1. The Cholas defeated Pandya and Chera rulers and established their domination over peninsular India in early medieval times.
2. The Cholas sent an expedition against the Sailendra empire of SouthEast Asia and conquered some of the areas.

Which of these statements is/are correct?
a) Only 1                         b) Only 2
c) Both 1 and 2            d) Neither 1 nor 2

Show Answer

Ans: c) Both 1 and 2

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4] Which one of the Chola kings conquered Ceylon? [2001]

a) Aditya I                         b) Rajaraja I
c) Rajendra                      d) Vijayalaya

Show Answer

Ans: c) Rajendra    

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5] One consistent feature found in the history of southern India was the growth of small regional kingdoms rather than large empires because of: [1999]

a) The absence of minerals like iron
b) Too many divisions in the social structure
c) The absence of vast areas of fertile land
d) The scarcity of manpower

Show Answer

Ans: b) Too many divisions in the social structure

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6] Match List I with List II and select the correct answer by using the code given below the lists: [1997]

List I                     List II
I. Gupta               A) Badami
II. Chandella       B) Panamalai
III. Chalukya       C) Khajuraho
IV. Pallava           D) Deogarh

Codes:
a) I­D, II­C, III­A, IV­B       b) I­D, II­B, III­C, IV­A
c) I­B, II­C, III­D, IV­A        d) I­C, II­D, III­A, IV­B

Show Answer

Ans: a) I­D, II­C, III­A, IV­B 

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7] Which one of the following was a corporation of merchants in ancient India? [1997]

a) Chaturvedimangalam     
b) Parishad
c) Ashtadikgaja                       
d) Manigrama

Show Answer

Ans: d) Manigrama

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  • Collection of more than 3200 Previous Year Questions (1995-2023)
  • All questions divided into 10 Subjects
  • Subject further sub-divided into more than 75 topics
  • All answers according to official answer key
  • BEST PYQ CLASSIFICATION EVER !

Post Harsha Period

2023-1995 Prelims PYQs

1] Consider the following pairs: [2022]

King                                       Dynasty
1. Nannuka                        Chandela
2. Jayashakti                     Paramar
3. Nagabhata II                Gurjara-Pratihara
4. Bhoja                              Rashtrakuta

How many pairs given above are correctly matched?
a) Only one pair                b) Only two pairs
c) Only three pairs           d) All four pairs

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Ans: b) Only two pairs

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2] Consider the following events in the history of India: [2020]

1. Rise of Pratiharas under King Bhoja
2. Establishment of Pallava power under Mahendravarman-I
3. Establishment of Chola power by Parantaka-I
4. Pala dynasty founded by Gopala

What is the correct chronological order of the above events, starting from the earliest time?
a) 2 – 1 – 4 – 3                    b) 3 – 1 – 4 – 2
c) 2 – 4 – 1 – 3                     d) 3 – 4 – 1 – 2

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Ans: c) 2 – 4 – 1 – 3 

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3] Which of the following phrases defines the nature of the ‘Hundi’ generally referred to in the sources of the post-Harsha period? [2020]

a) An advisory issued by the king to his subordinates
b) A diary to be maintained for daily accounts
c) A bill of exchange
d) An order from the feudal lord to his subordinates

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Ans: c) A bill of exchange

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4] Consider the following statements: [2006]

1. The Ikshvaku rulers of southern India were antagonistic towards Buddhism.
2. The Pala rulers of Eastern India were patrons of Buddhism.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a) 1 only                     b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2        d) Neither 1 nor 2

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Ans: b) 2 only

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  • Collection of more than 3200 Previous Year Questions (1995-2023)
  • All questions divided into 10 Subjects
  • Subject further sub-divided into more than 75 topics
  • All answers according to official answer key
  • BEST PYQ CLASSIFICATION EVER !
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Abhilash

Can I get other subjects as well?
Thanks by the way.

Last edited 1 year ago by Abhijeet
Admin

We’re in the process Abhilash, all subjects will be ready within this week.

Tarik

Kindly post explanation also

Mayur

Thank you for your suggestion Tarik. However, we feel that the most important requirement is subject and topic-wise classification of PYQs. That we’ve tried to do. For explanations, we will recommend that you refer your primary study sources and take help of internet wherever required.

धीरज

दक्षिण के राजवंसो का भी वर्गीकरण प्रस्तुत करने की कृपा करें 🙏

Sushmita

the best thing is answers are so reliable. thanks a lot, great compilation.

Mayur

Happy to know your opinion Sushmita. Stay plugged in.

Kalyani

Q.4 Aryan were ethnic group or speech group? In ignou it is mentioned as ethnic group