NIOS Class 10 Indian Culture and Heritage Chapter 3 Ancient India

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NIOS Class 10 Indian Culture and Heritage Chapter 3 Ancient India

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Ancient India

Chapter: 3


Intext Questions 3.1

Answer the following questions:

Q.1. Where were the most of the sites of Harappan Civilization found?

Ans: On the blanks of Indian,Ghaggar and its tributaries.

Q.2. What was the main occupation of the people of Harappan Civilization?

Ans: Agriculture.

Q.3. Where do you find evidence of Neolithic habitation? 

Ans: In Mehergarh in Baluchistan.

Q.4. How do you say that a language existed in Harappan Civilization?

Ans: From the scripts contained on the seals of the Harappan Civilization.

Q.5. How would you know that the Harappans had a sculpture skill?

Ans: The unicorn on the seals of Harappan period and a bronze sculpture of a dancing girl found in Mohanjodaro.

Q.6. Name some of the Vedic literature of the Aryans.

Ans: Four Veda-the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda the Sam Veda and the Atharva Veda, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and the Upanishads.

Q.7. How does mam attain salvation or moksha?

Ans: Man can attain moksha by following dharma, artha and kama.

Q.8. How was Vedic yajna performed initially?

Ans: Yajna in Vedic period was initially performed by chanting of Vedic hymns.

Q.9. Which were the yajnas performed by the kings to establish their position?

Ans: The kings performed Ashvamedha Rajsuya and Vajapeya yajnas.

Q.10. What change did the Later Vedic period practice in their religions ceremonies?

Ans: The worshipped a new Trinity of Gods named Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva instead of Indian, Varun and Agni.

Q.11. What were the modes of entertainment of the Aryans? 

Ans: Chess and horse racing.

Q.12. Name some of the Mahajanapadas of the sixth century BC of North Indian and upper Deccan.

Ans: Magdha, Anga, Kashi, Kosala, Kutu and panchala.

Q.13. In how many sects did Jainism split?

Ans: Two-Swetambara and Digambara.

Q.14. How many paths does the Ashtangika has?

Ans: Eight.

Q.15. What were the monasteries called in Jainism and Buddhism?

Ans: Sthanakas in Jainism and Viharas in Buddhism.

Q.16. Name the three divisions in Buddhism.

Ans: Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana.


Q.1. What were the sources of information about the society and economic conditions of the people of northern and north-Western Indian in fourth century BC?

Ans: The accounts left by Arrian, Admiral Nearchus and Mehasthenes.

Q.2. What is Dhamma Vijaya according to King Ashoka? 

Ans: Dhamma Vijaya according to King Ashoka is the true conquest by piety and virtue i.e. welfare of people.

Q.3. State the views of Ashoka in his twelfth major rock edict.

Ans: ‘The honour of one sect lies in honour of other sect.

Q.4. Where do you find the edicts of Ashoka?

Ans: Lauriya Nandangarh in Bihar.

Q.5. Where is the national emblem of India taken from?

Ans: From the Ashoka pillar at Sarnath.

Q.6. What were the features borrowed by Gandhara school of art from Greek and Roman art forms?

Ans: Appollonian faces, Hain styles and Draperies arrangements.

Q.7. Describe the uniqueness of Mathura school of art.

Ans: They use faces and figures of Buddha, folklores were drawn on long panels and rock faces. They also built status.


Answer the following questions:

Q.1. What were the features of Gupta coins?

Ans: One side of the coin contained different portraits of king and the other side of the coin contained goddess with her associated symbols.

Q.2. Where is Dashavatara temple located?

Ans: Deogarh.

Q.3. What are cave temples Udaigiri hills famous for?

Ans: Gupta art form.

Q.4. How high was the bronze statue of Buddha found at Sultanganj (near Bhagalpur)?

Ans: 2 metre high.

Q.5. Where do you find the Gupta art form of painting?

Ans: At Wall frescoes of the Ajanta caves at Aurangabad and at Bagh caves near Gwalior.

Q.6. Where was a philosophical assembly during Harsha reign took place? 

Ans: Kanauj.


Answer the following questions:

Q.1. How did Christianity come to India?

Ans: St. Thomas an architect who was accidentally called to India by the parthian King Gonda-phernes, converted people into Christians thus brought Christianity to India.

Q.2. What are the divisions of Christian Church?

Ans: The Roman Catholic Church and the protestant Church.

Q.3. Who was Mother Teresa?

Ans: A famous Christian social worker who did a great work for the poor and homeless in India.

Q.4. Name the two structural temples built by pallavas at Kanchipuram.

Ans: Kailashanath and Vaikunthaperumal. 

Q.5. What were the different styles in temple architecture during the pallavas and the Cholas?

Ans: Nagara style and Dravidian style.

Q.6. Name the temple built by Cholas.

Ans: Rajarajeshwara / Brihadeshwara temples.

Q.7. What was the style of sculpture in the Chola period called?

Ans: The Dravidian style.

Q.8. What style of work do you find at Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram)?

Ans: Bas reliefs.


Q.1. How do you differentiate the culture of Aryans with the Harappans?

Ans: Harappan culture is older than the Aryan culture as Harappan Civilization came into being after the Aryan civilization.

(i) The Harappan civilization is the first ever known urban civilization while the Aryan civilization was the more advanced civilization with more stress on education and philosophy.

(ii) The Harappans knew how to write and  read but did not have any impressive literature as the Aryans had in the form of Vedas and Upanishadas  etc.

(iii) The Harappans are known to have worshipped mother Goddess and Lord Pashupati while the Aryans worshipped the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

(iv) The Aryan society was a well defined as people are known to have been divided into various vernas according to their occupation, which is not found in the Harappan culture.

(v) Harappans are known to have followed agriculture and trade as the major occupation while the Aryans are known to have followed various occupations.

(vi) Religion during Harappan civilization was not as defined and developed as is known to have been in the Aryan culture.

Q.2. State the circumstances which lead to the emergence of Jainism and Buddhism in the sixth century BC.

Ans: Mainly the unpopularity of the Brahminsm lead to the emergence of the Jainism and Buddhism in Later Vedic period. The Brahmins had made the religion their vested interest which made yajnas and sacrifices very costly which lead to the feelings of resentment in the Kshatriyas and the poor who together brought about the reforms in the Hinduism in form of new religions uiz. Jainism and Buddhism.

Reason for the rise of Jainism and Buddhism:

1. Unpopularity of Brahmanism and need for a new ideological system was felt: Before sixth century B.C., the Brahmans had developed a vested interest in ritualism. They wanted large charities at the end of Yajnas in which animals were sacrificed on a large scale. All these yajnas (sacrifices) became very costly.

Morever, Brahmans considered themselves superior to others and became arrogant. This led to the unpopularity of Brahmanism and a need for a new ideological system was felt.

2. Rigid Varna (Caste) System:

(a) There were other factors which helped a lot in rise and growth of Jainism and Buddhism. For example, divisions of Indian society into rigid Varna system, reaction to the Kshatriyas to the Brahmin claim for supremacy. 

(b) In the changed economic system Vaishyas demanded an improved social position for themselves.

3. Complexity and ritualistic nature of Vedic religion: The Vedic religion had become very complex and ritualistic. The revolt led by the Kshatriyas and aided by poorer masses Who could not afford the high cost of Yajnas, resulted in the emergence of Jainism and Buddhism around the sixth century B.C. Their founders (Mahavira and Gautama Buddha ) were the Kshatriyas.

Q.3. What were the impacts of Persian invasion on Indian culture?

Ans: The Persians had a significant impact on the culture of Indian.

(i) They introduced a new style of writing called Kharoshthi. This writing style is found in many of Ashoka’s inscriptions in North -west India.

(ii) The architectural style of Mauryan dynasty was also influenced by the Persian architectural style. This is found in the bell shaped capitals of the monolithic pillar edicts of Ashoka.

(iii) Chandregupta Maurya started the ceremonial hair nath on his birthday which was influenced by the Persian ceremonies followed by a king.

(iv) It is written in Arthashastra that a king should sit in the room with sacred fire while consulting a physician or an ascetic. It was also the influence of the Persian culture.

Q.4. What were the outcomes of the Macedonian invasion on ancient India?

Ans: (i) The Macedonian king Alexander brought India in contact with Europe through the den route he followed to reach India which lead to close commercial relations between India and west.

(ii) Macedonian invasion also lead to the unification of the north western India.

(iii) The Greek art influenced Indian art significantly as Indians learnt the art of making beautifully designed gold and silver coins from them.

(iv) Indian astrology was also influenced by the Greek.

Q.5. How did the transformation of Vedic Brahmanism into puranic Hinduism take place in ancient India?

Ans: The transformation of Vedic Brahmanism to puranic Hinduism actually took place during the rule of Guptas. The Gupta rulers considered themselves as the Nhagavatss, the worshippers of Lord Vishnu thus they propagated this sect and built many temples of Lord Vishnu. During this period puranas were compiled. The most important among them being the Vishnu Purana. Vishnusmriti was also written which was basically a book of law. By fourth century the famous Shrimad Bhagavad purana was written which taught devotion to Lord Krishna. The theory Dashavatar or the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu came to be accepted. Besides Vishnu many other gods were also worshipped. Animals, plants, rivers etc. were also revealed and many bank cities like Benaras, prayag became places of pilgrimage. Thus the modern Hinduism took shape during this period.

Q.6. Describe the development of Indian culture during the rules of successive empires.

Ans: 1. Cultural developments taken place during the Mauryan Empire:

(a) Ashoka the great emperor of the Mauryan empire propagated ahimsa and Dhamma Vijaya. He taught his subjects piety and virtue.

(b) The Varna system became well established. New religions and philosophy grew along with growth of new cities, crafts and trade. 

(c) Ashoka built 84,000 stupas with edicts inscripted on them in prakrit and Brahmi script. 

(d) Mauryans built rock cut caves especially Ashoka built these caves for the monks. 

2. Cultural developments during Chola Empire:

(a) The achievements of the Cholas also lie in their conquests across the seas and developing democratic institutions at the Village level.

(b) The Village panchayat called Sabha or Ur has extensive powers and control over finances also. This body was further subdivided into several smaller bodies which looked after different aspects of Village administration.

(c) A very detailed account of the functioning of the Sadhas is available from one of the inscriptions.

(d) The Chola rulers were great builders. Temples architecture specially the Dravidian style reached the zenith under the Chola rulers.

3. Cultural developments during pallava Empire: 

(a) Pallavas were great patrons of art and architecture. The rathas at Mahabalipuram named after the Pandavas were built by the Pallavas and were examples of rock-cut temples.

(b) Pallavas also built structural temples such as Kailashanath and Vaikunthperumal temple at Kanchipuram.

(c) The Kailashnath temple is a huge structure with thousands of effigies and is said to be the “largest single work of art ever undertaken in Indian.”

(d) There is another set of bas religions found at Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram) dating from early centuries of the Christian era.

(e) The pagodas (the Buddhist temples) at Mahabalipuram back to the first century A.D.

4. Cultural developments during Gupta Empire: 

(a) Under the political unity and state patronage that was provided by the Gupta Kings, cultural activities increased manifold.

(b) Before the arrival of the Gupta’s in power, the Indian art forms had been heavily influenced by Graeco-Roman world. This art mainly depicted the Buddha or Buddhist thought. During the Gupta period art became more creative and Hindu god and goddesses also came to be portrayed.

(c) The artistic achievement of the Gupta Age is exhibited in the delicate workmanship and the variety of designs drawn in different types of Gupta coins.

(d) Gupta rulers provided enough opportunities for artistic expression in monuments, temples and statues or sculptures. The skilled artists of the Gupta period used their implements and knowledge to express the ideals and philosophical traditions through different art forms.

The artists decorated even the niches and corners of religious places with stares of gods and goddesses. The images of gods were treated as symbols of representing the god. Hence, although the god took a human form, he was shown having four or right arms each carrying a symbol or an attribute connected with that God. 

(e) Examples of the Gupta monumental art can be seen in the Dashavatara temple of Deogarh and the cave temple in Udaigiri hills. The most famous examples of Gupta art however, remain numerous seated and standing images of Buddha fromd Sarnath.

(f) The school at Sarnath provides us with some of the most pleasing and graceful images of the Buddha. Besides stones , Gupta artists were also skilled on bronze. A two metre high bronze image of Buddha has been discovered at Sultanganj (near Bhagalpur). Examples of sculpture in caves created in this period are the famous Ellora caves (Aurangabad, Maharashtra).

(g) Archaeological evidence for Gupta architecture is however poor. Examples of Gupta shrines have been discovered in the jungles of Central India, particularly in Bundelkhand and Baghellkhand. They include those at Bhitargaon in Kanpur district.

(h) Painting as an art reached a high degree of perfection during Gupta times. The wall frescoes of the Ajanta Caves and those at Bagh Caves (near Gwalior) are proof of this. 

Although the Ajanta paintings belong to the period between first to the seventh century A.D., yet most of them were produced in Gupta times. 

These paintings depict different scenes from the life of the Gautam Buddha.



1. This is the first Known urban culture in Indian.

(a) Aryans.

(b) Harappan.

(c) Latar. 

(d) Maurya.

Ans: Harappan.

2. This site holds sufficient evidences of Neolithic habitation.

(a) Mehargarh.

(b) Kashi.

(c) Nalanda. 

(d) Anga.

Ans: Mehargarh.

3. Harappan Civilization is also known as _______.

(a) Sumerian Civilization.

(b) Indus Valley civilization.

(c) Both a.and b.

(d) None of these.

Ans: Indus Valley civilization.

4. This material was used by the Harappans for making different materials.

(a) Ivory.

(b) Copper.

(c) Bone. 

(d) Both a. ans c.

Ans: Bonth a. ans c.

5. The image of one horned rhinoceros found in Harappan Site is called _______.

(a) Ashwamedha. 

(b) Unicorn.

(c) Varuna. 

(d) Skylax.

Ans: Unicorn.

6. ______ number of Vedas are known to be there in Hindu religion.

(a) Five.

(b) Four. 

(c) Six.

(d) None of these.

Ans: Four.

7. Two epics written in Sanskrit are ______.

(a) Ramayana and Mahabharata.

(b) Rig Veda and Sam Veda.

(c) Aranyakas and Upanishads.

(d) Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda.

Ans: Ramayana and Mahabharata.

8. This is ont one of the four Varnas of Indian culture.

(a) Brahmans.

(b) Shudras.

(c) Sanyasa. 

(d) Kshatriyas.

Ans: Sanyasa. 

9. He is founder of the Jainism.

(a) Rishabhadeva. 

(b) Indian.

(c) Bali.

(d) Mahavir. 

Ans: Rishabhadeva.

10. He is founder of Buddhism.

(a) Rishabhadeva. 

(b) Indian.

(c) Bali.

(d) Gautam Budha.

Ans: Gautam Budha.

11. Shvetambras and Digambaras are two sects of _______.

(a) Buddhism.

(b) Jainism.

(c) Hinduism.

(d) Both a. ans b.

Ans: Jainism.

12. This Achaemenid ruler annexed parts of Punjab and Sindh during his empire.

(a) Cyrus.

(b) Darius I.

(c) Skylax.

(d) Herodotus. 

Ans: Darius I.

13. The great sailor of Persia who encouraged trade and commerce between Persia and India. 

(a) Cyrus.

(b) Darius I.

(c) Skylax.

(d) Herodotus.

Ans: Skylax.

14. The great warrior of Macedonia from Greece who attacked India in 326 BC.

(a) Alexander.

(b) Herodotus.

(c) Kautilya.

(d) Cyrus.

Ans: Alexander.

15. The Greek historian called father of history.

(a) Alexander.

(b) Herodotus.

(c) Cyrus.

(d) Kautilya.

Ans: Herodotus.


Q.1. What is the other accepted name of the Harappan Civilization? 

Ans: Indus Valley civilization.

Q.2. Name four different materials used by the Harappans to make crafts and objects.

Ans: Shell, Ivory, Bone and Faience.

Q.3. When did Harappan culture come to an end? 

Ans: By 1800 BC.

Q.4. Where can we find the evidences of Neolithic habitation? 

Ans: Mehrgarh in Baluchistan.

Q.5. What was the main occupation of the Harappans? 

Ans: Agriculture.

Q.6. Where did the most of the cities of Harappan Civilization develop? 

Ans: On the banks of rivers Indus, Ghaggar and its tributaries.

Q.7. What was the occupation of the urban Harappans? 

Ans: Internal and external trade.

Q.8. With which other contemporary civilization did the Harappans develop trade relations? 

Ans: Mesopotamia.

Q.9. Name any one port city of Indus Valley civilization.

Ans: Lothal.

Q.10. Which culture flourished after the decline of the Harappan culture at the same site? 

Ans: Aryan culture.

Q.11. In which form the hymns composed in the honour of the gods and the goddesses by the Aryans were compiled? 

Ans: In form of the Four Vedas.

Q.12. Name the four Vedas.

Ans: Rig Veda, Sam Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda.

Q.13. What does the word Veda mean?

Ans: Knowledge.

Q.14. What kind of society existed during the Vedic culture?

Ans: Patriarchal.

Q.15. In how many varnas was the society divide during Later Vedic period?

Ans: Society was divided in four Varnas.

Q.16. Name the four Varnas in which the society was divided during the Later Vedic culture.

Ans: Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras.

Q.17. Which class of the society was included in the Kshatriya Varna? 

Ans: The ruling class.

Q.18. Name four divisions of the Chaturashrama.

Ans: Brehmacharya,Grihastha, vanaprastha and Sanyasa.

Q.19. Which new prominent Gods were worshipped during Later Vedic period?

Ans: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

Q.20. Which two new religions rose as the popular religious reforms during Later Vedic period? 

Ans: Jainism and Buddhism.

Q.21. Which Persian rulers annexed the fertile land of Sindh and Punjab in his empire?

Ans: The Persian ruler Cyrus and his successor Darius I.

Q.22. Which new style of writing was brought to India by the Persians?

Ans: Kharoshthi.

Q.23. Who destroyed the Achaemenid ruler from India?

Ans: Alexander of Macedonia.

Q.24. Which new style of art resulted from the combination of Greek and Indian style of art?

Ans: Gandhara school of Art.

Q.25. Who is known to be the greatest King of the Mauryan Empire? 

Ans: King Ashoka.

Q.26. To which regions out of his Empire did Ashoka send his monks to spread the teachings of Buddhism? 

Ans: Sri Lanka and Central Asia.

Q 27. Give two examples of Mauryan art of rock cut caves.

Ans: Lomash Rishi and Sudama caves.

Q.28. Which religion was popular during post Mauryan culture? 

Ans: Vaishnavism.

Q.29.When did Saka era start? 

Ans: 78AD.

Q.30. What market the beginning of saka era?

Ans: Accession by Kushanas rulers kanishka.

Q.31. Which school of art was the first one to make faces of Buddha?

Ans: Mathura school of Art.

Q.32. Name three important empires of South Indian.

Ans: Chola, Chera and pandya.

Q.33. Which south Indian Empire was founded by a woman King? 

Ans: Pandya Empire.

Q.34. Which foreign rulers in India were collectively called the yavanas? 

Ans: The Greeks, Kushanas, sakas and parthians.

Q 35. Which two important books did Bana Bhat write? 

Ans: Harshacarita and kadambari.

Q.36. Who defeated chalukyas? 

Ans: The Rashtrakutas.

Q.37. Under the rule of which empire did the portrays of Hindu Gods and Goddesses started to be built? 

Ans: Gupta Empire.

Q.38. Give an example of Gupta art work.

Ans: The Dashavatara temple at Deogarh.

Q.39. Name the largest single work of art ever undertaken in India.

Ans: The Kailashnath Temple at Kanchipuram.


Q.1. Which is the first Known urban culture in India and where its most of the sites developed? 

Ans: The first ever known urban culture in India was known to be the Harappan culture which is also known as the Indus Valley culture.

The most of sites of this culture developed at the banks of rivers Indus, Ghaggar and its tributaries.

Q.2. What facts support the claim that Harappan culture was the first Known urban culture in India? 

Ans: The Harappan sites show towns with complete planning, sanitation, drainage system and broad well-laid roads.

The houses were double-storeyed and the walled cities had other important buildings such as the Great Bath, Granaries and Assembly Halls.

Q.3. What was the occupation of urban Harappans? 

Ans: The urban Harappans took internal and external trade as their main occupation, while some others were engaged in mental work like alloy processing, sculpture making, crafts and objects making using shells, ivory, bone and Faience.

Q.4. What seals and other objects tell us about the religious beliefs and practices of the Harappans? 

Ans: Numerous seals carrying the images of the one horned rhinoceros, known as Unicorn, people leaves and a male god show that people during that age worshipped plants, animals and other natural objects. They worshipped lord Shiva and mother Goddess.

Q.5. Throw some light on the scripts of the Harappans.

Ans: The people of the Harappan culture knew how to write,  most of their seals contain some forms of script. But our knowledge of the Harappan script remains limited to this fact only as no one yet has been able to decipher the Harappan script.

Q.6. What is the meaning of the word Veda? Who composed Vedas and how many Vedas were composed? 

Ans: The work Veda means knowledge of the sacred. The Aryan composed Vedas and there are four Vedas composed by the Aryans. The four Vedas are the Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda.

Q.7. Throw some light on the literary work of Aryans.

Ans: The Aryans composed four Vedas which have hymns in honour of gods and goddesses they worshipped. Later They wrote Brahmans, Aranyakas and Upanishads. The Aryans also composed two great epics called Ramayana and Mahabharata during Later Vedic period.

Q.8. What do you know about the social order of the Aryans? 

Ans: The family was the smallest social unit, many families together formed a Kula, and many Kula together formed a grama or village. Several villages formed a uis. Many villages formed a Jana which was ruled by a chief Who was called Rajan.

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