NIOS Class 12 Sociology Chapter 37 Indian Cultural Heritage

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NIOS Class 12 Sociology Chapter 37 Indian Cultural Heritage

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Indian Cultural Heritage

Chapter: 37




Q.1. Match column ‘A’ with column ‘B’:

1. Adarang and SadarangOdissi.
2. Raghunath Panigrahi and Sanjukta PanigrahiKathakali.
3. Rukmini DeviVeena.
4. Madame SimakBharatnatyam.


1. Adarang and SadarangVeena.
2. Raghunath Panigrahi and Sanjukta PanigrahiOdissi.
3. Rukmini DeviBharatnatyam.
4. Madame SimakKathakali.


Write the name of the places where the following are situated: 

(a) Sun Temple.

Ans. Konak.

(b) Victoria Memorial.

Ans. Kolkata.

(c) Hawa Mahal.

Ans. Jaipur.

(d) Taj Mahal.

Ans. Agra.


Fill in the Blanks:

(a) ………………. was a noted mathematician of ancient India.

Ans. Baudhayana.

(b) ……………… is the author of the two scientific works named as “Aryabhatta” and “Surya Siddhanta”.

Ans. Aryabhatta.

(c) …………….. received the Nobel Prize for Physics.

Ans. C. V. Raman.

(d) Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore was founded by ………………… .

 Ans. Tata.


Q.1. Write briefly the meaning of Indian Cultural Heritage. (Most Imp.)

Ans. The Meaning of Indian Cultural Heritage: India’s cultural heritage is not only one of the most ancient, but it is also one of the most extensive and varied.

Throughout its history, people of diverse cultures have either temporarily come into contact with India or have permanently settled here in to evolve a distinctive Indian Culture. As a matter of fact, Indian Culture presents a synthesis of several ways of life. Over several generations, material components and intellectual give India its unique identity as a nation visible in many aspects of our culture like food, dress, ornaments, architecture, sculpture language, literature, science, technology, dance and music, art and painting, values and practices etc. The achievements in all these areas of activity that have come down to us defying the ravages of time, are termed as our heritage. In the following section, we shall discuss some of them.

Q.2. Discuss any two aspects of our culture to know the Indian cultural Heritage.

Ans. Aspects of Indian Culture to know Cultural Heritage:

(i) Sculpture: The Mathura and Sarnath schools, paid special attention to the physical charm of the statues and to the dignity of their poses. Statues of Vishnu, Shiva, Budda and other gods and goddess were sculptured in minute details. All the statues found inside the temples of Orissa (Puri, Konark, Bhubaneswar etc.) are characterized by a highly developed sense of rhythm and beauty.

Modern India have maintained the sculpture of ancient and medieval India but there is no significant mark of advancement in sculpture in contemporary India.

(ii) Architecture: Ancient India was as rich in the domain of sculpture and architecture as in the field of art and literature. The Vishnu temple at Deogarh, the Sun temple at Konark, the famous temple of Lord Jagannath at Puri are admired as gems of ancient Indian architecture, Khajurajo temples in Bundelkhand built of buff-coloured sandstones are still standing as loud witness to the outstanding architecture of ancient India. The Jain Dilwara temples of Mount Abu exhibit sculptural decoration of most marvellous richness and delicacy. The temples of Orissa have special place in the field of Indian architecture. The Orissan temples are characterized by the absence of pillars in the halls, an adorned interior and a lavishly adorned exterior. Among the finest of these are Lingaraj temple. Mukteswara temple and Rajarani temple at Bhubaneswar besides the Sun temple of Konark and the Jagannath temple of Puri. The strong and magnificent forts of Chittorgarh, Gawalior, the grand fort of Jodhpur the Hawa Mahal, and Amar Palace of Jaipur, the palaces of Jaipur, Udaipur and Gawalior, and the towns like Jaisalmer, Kota and Udaipur are some of the examples of architectural skill of India.

With the advent of Mughals, Indian architecture entered a new phase in which the rugged and simple work of the earlier Sultans of Delhi is softened and beautified by Persian influence. Architecture under the Mughals attainted a very high peak. Mughal architecture reveals a happy blending of Persian and Indian style. The Gol Gumbaz at Fatepur Sikri, the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Red- Fort, Diwan-i-Am and Diwan-i-Khas and the Jama Masjid represent this style. The Mughals were famous for gardens. As per the Persian style, the gardens were to be geometrical in design containing, artificial lakes, channels, tanks, and water-falls, which were freely provided. Another important innovation was the making of terraces at different levels.

During the British rule, the western architectural styles became popular and spread all over the country. In the beginning of 20th century, two distinct schools emerged in Indian architecture:

(a) Revivalist school which aimed at the revival of indigenous architecture. and

(b) The progressive and modern school which inclined toward the western models. The latter had been more popular.

The constructions of Victoria Memorial in Kolkata and at New Delhi were designed by Engineers. In Spite of expansion of western architecture, many Indian Princes and Nawabs constructed a few structures in traditional Indian design. The modern magnificent buildings at Udaipur, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Mysore and other places are the best specimens of the art of Indian master-builders. The bathing Ghats of Haridwara, Ujjain, Varanasi and Maheshwar, the temples at Mathura, the Jain temple of glass at Indoor and the Birla temple at Delhi and the Vishnu temple at Nagda in Madhya Pradesh are those which were least influenced by the western ideas. They are the brilliant examples of Indian architecture set in modern times.

Q.3. Write notes on:

(a) Norms and Values.

Ans: Norms and Values: 

(i) Every culture contains a large number of guidelines which direct individual and groups conduct themselves in particular situations. A norm is a specific guide and action which defines acceptable and appropriate behaviours and particular situations.

(ii) Values, on the other hand provide more general guidelines. A value is a belief that something is good and desirable. It defines what is important, worthwhile, and worth striving for.

(iii) Many norms can be seen as reflections of values. A variety of norms can be seen as expressions of a single value. 

(iv) Certain norms and values are essential for the operation of human society.

(v) A great deal of attention was directed by the thinkers of ancient India to provide specific guidelines to individuals to conduct their inter-personal relationship in specific situations.

(vi) The values and practices of ancient India were of great importance. These practices could be easily seen in institutions like marriage and rituals and languages. For example the Grhuya Sutras, lay down that the following rituals are essential for the marriage ceremony: Kanyadana, Agnisthapana, Homa, Panigrahana, Lajja Homa, Agni Pranayama and Saptapadi. These rituals form an integral part of the traditional marriage ceremony.

(vii) In addition to these, Lokachara or the customs prevailing in the community are observed. In case there is any doubt about these, old-women are normally consulted. This too has been the practice all along. 

(b) Art and Painting.

Ans. Art and Painting: 

(i) The paintings of ancient India are master-pieces of all times. The fresco-paintings on the walls and ceilings of the Ajanta and Ellora caves and those at Bagh in Gwaliar in the style of Ajanta still attract admiration. The most important compositions are the procession of elephants and a dancer with women musicians. The Madhubani paintings of Madhubani of Bihar and Patta Painting of Orissa are some good examples of ancient art and painting. The Rajput paintings are sensitive, delicate and serene. They show close association with religion.

(ii) During the Mughals, fine art rose to a standard of considerable excellence. Being lovers of fine art, the mughal kings patronised new styles and techniques where one can notice a happy mingling of Persian and Indian elements. This synthesis has left a deep impression on painting, architecture, embroidery, jewellery and metal work of the age.

(iii) Painting made remarkable progress during the time of Akbar. His personal interest in painting, generous aesthetic temperament, sympathetic attitude towards foreign artists, his religious tolerance and active association with Hindus are noticeable in the paintings of his times. The best work of painting were undertaken when Akbar was staying at his new capital Fatepur Sikri. All artistic creations of this period breathe an air of luxury.

Q.4. Write about contributions of Indian Scientist in brief. (Most Imp.) 

Ans. Contribution of Indian Scientist:

(i) In ancient India, the study of the Veda in addition to subjects like astronomy, geometry, and arithmetic medicine and surgery (Ayurveda), agriculture military science (Dhanurvidya) etc. were also studied with considerable interest. Sacrifices had to be performed as the sine-qua-non of the vedic way of life on an altar of prescribed size and shape. This requirement gave rise to the science of geometry. The priests formulated rules for constructing squares equal in area to oblongs and oblongs to squares; and, methods for making triangles equal to squares and oblongs and circles equal to squares; etc.

(ii) Baudhayana, was the Mathematician. Virddha Garga, Lagdha Aryabhatta the astronomers, have had a lasting impact on science in India. Aryabhatta authored two great scientific works “Aryabhatiya” and “Surya- Siddhanta”. He was first to enunciate that the earth is round and revolves round the sun. He also explained the movements of the stars and analysed the causes of the solar and lunar eclipses. Moreover, Aryabhattiya deals with algebra, geometry, arithmetic and trigonometry. It also throws light on the numbers. The concept of zero has been his everlasting contribution to science and mathematics.

(iii) Varahamihira was another great scientist of this age. He was the author of the famous book “Brihat Samhita deals with astronomy, botany, geography and many other subjects. But its main subject is astronomy, a work still considered to be an authority.

(iv) Besides astronomy and mathematics, the science of medicine also flourished in the Gupta period, Vriddha-Vagbhatta was perhaps the greatest physician of this age. The system of medicine that he adopted and propagated was the same as that of Charaka and is considered an authority on the ancient system of medicine. Dhanavantari was another great medical authority in the science of Ayurveda system of medicine.

(v) Brahmagupta was another famous mathematician of this period. He is credited with the discovery of the use of the zero and the profounder of the decimal system. These two discoveries revolutionised mathematics.

(vi) Though India achieved remarkable progress in the field of science in ancient times, it received a setback in the medieval age. But the contact with the West and the Indian Renaissance made Indians realize that development of science, scientific inventions and discoveries were responsible for unprecedented progress and material prosperity of the west. Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose made discoveries on plant-life in 1897 and startled the world by his demonstration in short waves wireless.

(vii) In 1902, Prafulla Chandra Ray wrote the history of Hindu Chemistry, which acquainted the West with our progress in the field of Chemistry. In 1911 the Indian Institute of Science was founded by Tata at Bangalore for all research work in physics, chemistry etc. In 1914, Indian Science Congress was started to promote the study and research in science, to acquaint people with the progress of science to create interest in science and establish close contacts among the scientists. It has been doing admirable work in the filed of science. As a result of this, Indians made remarkable progress in various branches of science and gained international fame.

(viii) In 1918, Srinivas Ramanujam startled the world by his talents in Mathematics, discoveries of Jagdish Chandra Bose in Botany, contributions of C.V. Raman to Physics in 1930 have all brought them international reputation and acclaim. In recognition of his researches, Raman received the Nobel Prize for Physics (1930). He established the Raman Institute of Science at Bangalore to promote the study of Physics. To further the cause of science the Academy of Science was founded at Allahabad in 1930. As a result of these institutions and researcher therein, science gained popularity. In colleges and universities it became a subject of higher studies.

(ix) After the political liberation, the Government of India had a separate department to encourage scientific inventions and constituted an advisory body for it. Gradually, interest in the scientific inventions and discoveries increased and the people and the Government both moved in this direction rapidly. Consequently, a large number of technical scientific institutions were established. Among these, the National Physical Laboratory at Delhi, National Chemical Laboratory at Pune, National Metallurgical Laboratory at Jamshedpur, Fuel Research Institute at Jharia Coalfields, Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute, Institute of Radio Physics and Electronics at Calcutta, are well known. Besides these, Geological Survey of India, established in 1916, and Botanical Survey of India are doing praiseworthy work in their own fields. All these institutions have trained scientists and keep on making valuable contributors to various branches of science.

(x) Also, we have famous nuclear scientists like Dr. Raja Ramanna who is known as the father of India’s nuclear science. Our space scientists, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and Kalpana Chawla have made commendable contributions in their field. (We are proud to have Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam as the president of our country while recently we have not lost Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian Woman who went to space).



Q.1. Write the names of various aspects of culture.

Ans. (i) Literature.

(ii) Architecture.

(iii) Sculpture.

(iv) Art and Painting.

(v) Music and Dance. and

(vi) Science and technology are six important aspects the culture.

Q.2. Why has the Indian Culture become very wide and assimilative?

Ans. Indian culture, has absorbed various ingredients of the Aryan. Dravidian, Persian, Greek, Chinese, Muslim and various other cultures, and has become very wide and assimilative.

Q.3. India of today, requires what type of culture? Mention in one to two sentences.

Ans. Today, we need such a human culture which may not only unity the ancient and modern Indian culture but also have synthesis of the East and the West. India is the only country where the East and West can interact happily and synthesize early.


Q.1. Answer the following questions: (each one of them in about one sentences: 

(a) Has India achieved a new synthesis in cultural field?

Ans: We have to achieve a new synthesis in which the cultural heritage of our ancient land will be reconciled and enriched. 

(b) What is more dangerous in the field of cultural heritage?

Ans: Nothing is more advantageous and more credible than a rich heritage. But nothing is more dangerous for a nation that to sit-back and live on that heritage alone.

(c) What is importance of cultural heritage for a nation?

Ans. A nation cannot progress if it merely imitates its ancestors; what builds a nation is creative, and vital activity.

Q.2. What is place of own rituals for Indian society? Give example also.

Ans. I. All human societies have their own rituals which are considered important by their members. In Indian society, the emphasis on rituals seems to be a bit high. There are numerous practices connected with rites de passage, festivals, pilgrimages besides the daily worship of gods and goddesses.

II. Example For example millions of people from all corners of India congregate on specific occasions such as Kumba on a specific place like Haridwar and Allahabad without any invitation or announcement. The values/beliefs attached to this practice is the same as these were years back. The religious practices and values associated with Indian culture are constantly striving towards “Samanvaya” i.e., reconciliation and concord. Cultural practices have been modified from time to time, but different environments, diversified racial contribution have not basically affected the continuity of Indian culture associated with its values and practices.

Q.3. Discuss the meaning of Cultural Heritage in about five to six sentences.

Ans. Meaning of Cultural Heritage: A nation is recognised through its achievements – past and present. The past achievements, which survive the onslaught of time pass into the realm of heritage. Thus heritage is that item of culture which is inherited by the posterity collectively. The Sun temple of Konark, the pyramids of Egypt, the Kumbha Mela, many rituals and beliefs associated with day-to-day life and the Vedas are some examples of Cultural Heritage. We the people of India, are the successors of rich cultural heritage, created and left for us by our ancestors in different walks of life.

Q.4. “The Mughals were great patrons of literature.” Explain it in brief.

Ans. Down in the recent history, the Mughals were great patrons of literature and gave a considerable impetus to its development in different branches. Not only emperors but the ladies of the royal households from Humanyan’s mother to Zebunnisa, the famous daughter of Aurangjeb, were patrons of art and literatures. Babar and Jahangir wrote their own memoirs. Many thinkers and scholars flourished and wrote interesting and important works under the patronage of Akbar. At Akbar’s court gathered a galaxy of poets and men of literature. Abul-fazl, was Akbar’s “friend philosopher and guide” has written “Deen-i-Akbari”. The scholar Prince, Dara translated the principal Upanishads into Persian”. There had been drastic changes towards the latter half of the 19th century commencing from the time when India came in contact with the west.

Q.5. Discuss the development of Literature in Modern India.

Ans. Literature in Modern India: 

(i) Great Indians, such as Raja Rama Mohan Roy, Swami Dayananda Sarswati, Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, Swami Vivekanand and Mahatma Gandhi and many others turned their attention to a critical examination of Indian social practices, such as Brahminical rituals, caste rigidity, of the widows and women and came out with ideas to week the Indian Culture its dead wood. These led to great social and religious awakening and produced literature in different regional Indian languages.

(ii) Many Sanskrit works have been translated into English and other Indian languages. Widespread English Education has also introduced new ideology and western thought into the literature of regional languages. Various branches of literature-novel, story, drama, essay, and poetry-were enriched. With the advent of 20th century, national awakening and freedom struggle introduced the sentiment of patriotism into Indian literature. Today we see in our literatures, an attitude of realism and an enlarged global vision.

(iii) National spirit and patriotism deeply impressed the evolution of modern literature and consequently some of the best works were composed in this period. Rabindea Nath Tagore, Subramanyam Bharati, Dinkar, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawarharlal Nehru, to name only a few, belong to a galaxy of powerful writers whose works have already entered the realm of heritage was the pioneer in this field.

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