NIOS Class 10 Indian Culture and Heritage Chapter 2 Indian Culture

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NIOS Class 10 Indian Culture and Heritage Chapter 2 Indian Culture

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Indian Culture

Chapter: 2


Intext Questions 2.1

Q.1. Name the state where Bhangra is a popular dance form.

Ans: Punjab.

Q.2. What is the dance form for Assam known as?

Ans: Bihu (dance).

Q.3. Who brought salwars, kurtas,topees etc., to India around second century B.C.?

Ans: kushanas, Shakas, Parthians.

Q. 4. Which region is famous for Patola?

Ans: Orissa.


Q.1. Give two examples of people who come to India from outside and settled here.

Ans: 1. Kushans.

2. Mughals.

Q.2. Which components of climate gives unity to India?

Ans: Monsoons.

Q.3. Name the civilization with which the Harappans were known to have had trade relations across the seas.

Ans: Sumerian.


Q.1. What are the different components of culture?

Ans: Culture has two different components uiz.

(a) material.

(b) non-material components.

(a) Material components consist of dress  we wear, food we eat and other material things.

(b) Non-material components consist of ideas, thoughts and beliefs.

Q.2. Give the meaning of material and non -material culture.

Ans: Culture has two distinctive components namely material and non-material.

1. Material Culture: Material culture consists of objects that are related to the material world like our dress, food and household goods.

2. Non-material Culture: It refers to ideas, ideals, thoughts and beliefs etc.

Q.3. Define the secular character of Indian culture.

Ans: The Indian constitution declares India as a secular nation as nation itself has no religion. In India people of different religions have been living peacefully together for ages. They have, to a large extent, developed broad outlook towards life. Right to profess, follow and propagate any religion has been given by our constitution. This shows the secular character of Indian culture.

Q.4. Describe the distinctive features of Indian culture.

Ans: Indian culture has Following distinctive features:

(i) Indian culture has continuous and changing character. The basic cultural traits are continuous from thousands of years which new thoughts and ideas have been continuously been added to it to give it its present form.

(ii) Indian culture has variety and unity. In other words it has unity in diversity. people of different religions and regions are part of this culture but still have been living together peacefully for ages.

(iii) The most striking feature of Indian culture is its secular outlook, which unites people of different religions in a common thread. Indian Constitution has also decided Indian as a secular state having no nation religion.

(iv) Indian culture shows universalism in its character by strongly supporting the peaceful coexistence world wide, denouncing racialism and colonialism. 

(v) Indian culture nurtures materialism as well as spiritualism side by side. It not only propagated spiritualism in the world it also displayed the finest of its time materialistic developments. Harappan civilization is the most profound example of India’s materialistic developments even in ancient times.

Q.5. write short notes on the following:

(a) Cultural synthesis in India.

(b) Spirituality.

(c) Adaptability as a characteristic of Indian culture.

Ans: (a) Cultural synthesis in India:

(i) An important feature of the Indian culture is its synthesis nature. Indian culture is the intermingling among various ethnic groups. Since time immemorial, people from far and near have been coming and settling here.

(ii) In vast country of ours, we find people belonging to different racial stocks like proto-Australoids, Negroids and Mongoloids here in India.

(iii) Various ethnic groups like Iranians or Persians, Greeks, Kushans, Shakas, Hunas, Turks, Afghans, Mughals and Europeans come to India. They settled here and intermixed with the local population.

The people belonging to other cultures brought their cultural habits, thoughts and ideas, which got amalgamated into the existing Indian culture.

(iv) Among second century B.C., stitched clothes such as salwars, kurtas, topers etc. wete brought to India, by the kushanas, Shakas and parthians. Prior to this Indians wore clothes which were unstitched.

The later introduction of shirts, trousers, skirts, etc., was brought by the Europeans in the eighteenth century.

(v) Indian through the ages, has shown a remarkable capacity for assimilation of ideas. This has contributed to variety and richness of our culture.

(vi) Along with the contents with cultures from outside, cultural exchange between different regions of India has also continued.The Chikan work of Lucknow, Phulkari embroideries of Punjab, Kantha embroideries of Bengal, Patola of Orissa show a distinct regional flavour. Although the centres in the south, North, East and west of India have their characteristic cultures yet these did not develop in absolute isolation.

Inspite of physical barriers Indians used to travel from one part of the country to another for trade, tourism or pilgrimage.

The composite nature of our culture is reflected in our music, dance forms, drama, art forms like paintings and sculpture and architecture of our monuments as well. Our literatures of all the languages also reflect this composite nature.

(b) Spirituality: Indian is popularly known to be a land of spirituality particularly to the West. Their faith is correct upto some extent. From the earliest times, Indian scholars were interested in analysis of supernatural power, soul, etc.

Excellent books on medicines, planets, stars and plants (trees) were written. In the area of mathematics and in the field of medicine and other sciences India ‘s achivements in ancient time have been remarkable.

There was no opposition or resistance by religious or other thoughts in pursuing such knowledge. In philosophical thought even atheistic thinking developed and grew in India. Jainism and Buddhism (developed before 6 century B.C.) are silent about the existence of God. What does all this tell us? Indeed, that Indian culture has been both types of characteristics i.e. materialistic and non-materialistic or spiritualistic.

In principle different religions groups owe their allegiance to different religions doctrines. For example, the Vedas and Dharma Shastras may be sources of inspiration for Hindus. Koran and Hadees for Muslims and the Bible for Christians and Guru Granth Sahib for the Sikhs.

However, at the levels of rituals and life styles there is a lot of intermingling among followers of different religions.

Most of the Indians are God gearing. They respect human lives and human moral values alike. All favours good actions and condemns bed actions. They favours secularism and shows regards to other religions saints and religious books.

(c) Adaptability as a characteristic of Indian culture: 

(i) Indian is a vast country with a lot of diversities in her physical, social environment along with cultural diversities. But within all diversities (of languages, religions, literatures, castes and sub-castes, sects, rituals, festivals, dresses, food habits etc.) there is an underlying unity which acts as a cementing force.

(ii) Indian believes and famous for her’s adaptability. History gives us proof that intermingling of people has been steadily taking place in India over centuries.

(iii) A number of people of different racial stocks, ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs have settled down here. Despite major changes (political and others) and upheavals significant threads of continuity can be traced throughout the course of Indian history, right upto the present day.

(iv) The Harappan Civilization which flourishes in the Indian sub-continent over 4500 years ago,it is amazing that even today the pattern of home in the sub-continent is almost the same.

(v) Indian Village is not very different from that of a Harappan house. Some aspects of Harappan culture are still practised, such as the worshipping of Mother Goddess and pashupati. Vedic traditions, traditions of Buddhism and Jainism and many other continue to be followed even today. But as the same time one should not lose sight of the changing elements as are evident in the multistoried buildings in the metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata, quite unlike the Harappan houses.

(vi) The point to be noted here is that continuity and change in our civilization have gone band in hand. In fact a remarkable feature of Indian culture is that along with continuity it has kept on discarding what was becoming irrelevant in the modern age.

(vii) In our long history, there have been periods of ups and downs. As a result, movements have grown and reforms brought about. The movements of Jainism and Buddhism in the sixth century B.C. and awakening in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in modern India are a few examples where revolutionary changes were brought about in Indian thoughts and practices. Yet the thread of basic philosophy continued and still persists.

Thus due to adaptability a process of continuity and change has always been a characteristic of Indian culture. This shows the dynamism of Indian culture.

Q.6. Explain in detail unity in diversity in the context of Indian culture.

Ans: Unity in diversity in India: 

(i) Indian is a vast country with a lot of diversity in her physical and social environment. We see around us people speaking different languages, believing in different religions and practising different rituals.

(ii) We also see diversities in food habits and dress patterns of the people of India. Besides, look at the myriad dance and music forms in our country.

But within all different types of diversities (languages, religions, food, dress, arts etc.) there is an underlying unity which acts as a cementing forces. The intermingling of people has been steadily taking place in India over centuries.

(iii) A number of people of different racial stocks, ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs have settled down here. We should not forget that the composite and dynamic character of Indian culture is a result of the rich contributions of all these diverse cultural groups over a long period of time.

The distinct features of Indian culture and its uniqueness are the previous possession of all the Indians.



1. This civilization flourished in India some 4500 years ago.

(a) Indus-valley.

(b) Harappan.

(c) Vedic.

(d) Both a. and b.

Ans: Both a. and b.

2. This practice of Harappan Civilization is still practised.

(a) Worshipping of pashupati.

(b) Worshipping of Lord Krishna.

(c) Worshipping of Black magic.

(d) None of these.

Ans: Worshipping of Pashupati.

3. Revolutionary changes were brought about in Vedic religion by ______.

(a) Religious and social awakening movements.

(b) Jainism.

(c) Buddhism.

(d) Both b.and c.

Ans: Both.and c.

4. This feature of Indian culture demonstrates unity in diversity in Indian culture.

(a) No religion of the state.

(b) Addition of new thoughts and ideas.

(c) Existence of different languages, religions, regions etc. in Indian culture.

(d) Denouncement of colonialism.

Ans: Existence of different languages, religions, regions etc. in Indian culture.

5. Kushanas brought with them this Pattern of dress.

(a) Trousers.

(b) Saree.

(c) Skirts.

(d) Salwaar -kameez.

Ans: Salwaar-kameez.

6. Bhangra and Bihu dances are performed specially _______.

(a) During marriages.

(b) During Diwali.

(c) to express joy of winning a war. 

(d) After rich harvest. 

Ans: After rich harvest

7. Chikenkaari embroidery is done in this state.

(a) Punjab.

(b) Uttar Pradesh.

(c) Bengal.

(d) Tamil Nadu.

Ans: Uttar Pradesh.

8. This political form was present during sixth to fourth century BC.

(a) Sabha.

(b) Samiti.

(c) Mahajanapadas.

(d) Both a.and b.

Ans: Both a. and b.

9. The British established their empire in India in ______.

(a) 1858

(b) 1947

(c) 1857

(d) 1847

Ans: 1858

10. Our cultural identities are based on _______.

(a) Only religion.

(b) Only religion.

(c) Only ethnicity.

(d) Religion, region and ethnicity.

Ans: Religion, region and ethnicity.


Q.1. Give three examples of people who came to ancient India from outside and settled here permanently.

Ans: Kushanas, Hunas, and Arabs

Q.2. Name the dance forms famous in Assam and performed after rich harvest.

Ans: Bihu.

Q.3. Name any four religions professed and followed in India.

Ans: Hinduism, Sikhism, Muslim and Buddhism.

Q.4. Name any three racial stocks, people belonging to which are living in India.

Ans: Proto-Australoids, Negroids and Mongoloids.

Q.5. Name any three dresses brought to India different ethnic groups.

Ans: Salwars, kurtas and topees.

Q.6. Name the famous embroidery work of Punjab.

Ans: Phulkari.

Q.7. To which state does the embroidery named Kantha work belong? 

Ans: Bengal.

Q.8. Name any one climatic pattern which unified India instead of her geographical diversity.

Ans: Monsoons.

Q.9. What has caused emergence of different cultures in different parts of Indian state? 

Ans: Diverse physical features and climate.

Q.10. What mind of social settlement were found during Vedic period? 

Ans: Pastoral settlements.

Q.11. What assisted people in starting a settled life in India? 

Ans: Agriculture.

Q.12. Which constitutional provisions ensures secularism in India? 

Ans: Right to freedom of religion.

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