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1. What do you know about the Mahabharata?

The Mahabharata was composed by Sage Ved Vyasa. It is the story of two sets of cousins- the Kauravas and Pandavas. The name comes from the Battle of Mahabharata, fought between the two. The Mahabharata also includes the Bhagavad Gita. It is the conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna on the battlefield.

2. List some of the temples built during the ancient period.

Many temples were also built. The cave temples at Ajanta are very famous. The Dasavatara Temple at Deogarh the temple at Bhitargaon and temple at Sanchi are very beautiful. They were constructed of brick and stone. The kingdoms of the south were also famous for temples. The Chalukyas built stone temples dedicated to Vishnu and Chiva at Vatapi, Aihole and pattadakal.

3.Write a note on the progress made in the filed of medicine during the ancient period.

Knowledge of medicine improved, largely due to the efforts of Charaka and Sushruta. Charaka wrote the Charaka Samhita. Sushruta was a specialist in cosmetic surgery. He performed thousands of operations, particularly the reconstruction the nose. Dhanvantri was a general physician.

4.  What is special about the Iron Pillar?

The Iron Pillar at Mehrauli, in Delhi, is a proof of the skill of the Indian craftsmen. it was constructed over 1,600 years ago, during the reign of the Guptas.The pillar is made of iron. It is 7.2 metres high and weights around 6.5 tonnes. It is known as the 'rustless wonder' because despite being exposed to the sun and rain for all these centuries, it has not rusted.

5. What was common in the structures of the temples constructed during this period?

Most of the temples constructed during this period had some common structures.  These were as under:

Garbhagriha - It was the room where the image of the chief deity was kept.

Shikhara or Vimana - It was a tower on top of the garphagraha to mark it out as a sacred place.

Mandapa - It was an assembly hall where people assembled and prayed.

6. Write a note on painting in the Gupta period.

The history of painting in India goes back to the Old Stone Age. Many prehistoric paintings have been found in the caves at Bhimbetka.

During the Gupta period, the walls of the cave monasteries at Ajanta were decorated with beautiful paintings. These paintings, called 'murals', depict events from the life of the Buddha. Colours made from natural materials were used in these paintings. That is why these paintings have retained their glow, even after so many centuries. Every year, thousands of people come to see these paintings. They marvel at the skill of the artists who created such masterpieces.

7.  Discuss the progress made in the field of astronomy during the ancient period.

The science of astronomy was also highly advanced. Romaka Siddhanta is an important work on astronomy. Aryabhatta and Varahamihira were well-known mathematicians and astronomers. Aryabhatta wrote a  book called Aryabhatiyam, in Sanskrit. In it he stated that the earth moves around the sun as well as on its axis; the rotation of the earth on its axis caused day and night. He also explained why and how eclipses occur. He found a mathematical method of calculating the circumference of a circle. Varahamihira wrote an encyclopaedia of science called the Brihat Samhita.

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