Culture:- Brief for Prelims


  • Ugadi is celebrated as New Year’s Day in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The name Ugadi is derived from the name “Yuga Adi”, which means ‘the beginning of a new age’. It is celebrated on the first day of the Hindu month Chaitra, which marks the onset of spring.
  • The festival of Losar marks the beginning of New Year in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. Losar is Tibetan word for ‘new year’.
  • Gudi Padwa is celebrated as New Year’s Day in Maharashtra. It is celebrated on the same day as Ugadi i.e., the first day of the month Chaitra. Lord Brahma is worshipped on this day and the gudi, Brahma’s flag (also called Brahmadhvaj), is hoisted in every house as a symbolic representation of Rama’s victory over Ravana.
  • Vishu is celebrated as New Year’s Day in Kerala. It is celebrated on the first day of the Malayalam month of Medam (mid-April on the Gregorian calendar). Offerings to the divine called Vishukanni are neatly arranged on the eve of the festival and consist of rice, linen, cucumber, betel leaves, holy texts, coins and yellow flowers called konna (Cassia fistula). It is considered auspicious to see the Vishukanni first thing in the morning. On this day, people read the Ramayana and go to temples, Hindu places of worship. Children burst crackers, people wear new clothes and prepare special dishes and the elders of the house give out money to the children, servants and tenants. The money given is called Vishukaineetam

Everything about Ramappa Temple and World heritage site

Ramappa Temple for world heritage site

Details :

The news

  • Telangana is expected to get its first site, the Ramappa Temple at Palampet, included in UNESCO World Heritage Site in the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee.



  • India has already got 37 sites inscribed in the World Heritage List.
  • There are total 29 cultural sites, 7 Natural sites and 1 mixed site of India in the World Heritage list.
  • Moreover, around 42 sites from India including the Qutb Shahi monuments of Hyderabad, Golconda Fort, and Charminar from Telangana are on the tentative list of World Heritage Sites.
  • The Ramappa Temple was proposed to be included as part of ‘The Glorious Kakatiya Temples and Gateways’ along with the Thousand Pillar Temple, Swayambhu Temple and Keerti Thoranas of Warangal Fort since 2014.
  • Now, the temple is in the reckoning as a standalone world heritage site.



News Summary

  • The 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan.
  • The committee will decide on the inclusions of World heritage sites for 2019 in that session.
  • It is expected that the Ramappa Temple at Palampet near Warangal, Telangana could be selected for inclusion in the list of World heritage sites.


Significance of the inclusion

  • First in Telangana: It would be Telangana’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Prestige/Identity: The sites inscribed on the World Heritage List gains the prestige which often helps raise awareness among citizens and governments for heritage preservation.
  • Protection and conservation: Greater awareness leads to a general rise in the level of the protection and conservation given to heritage properties.
  • Financial Assistance: A country may also receive financial assistance and expert advice from the World Heritage Committee to support activities for the preservation of its sites.
  • Tourism: Once listed, it brings international attention to the site and hence, ensures economic benefits to the nation.
  • Protection during wartime: The site becomes protected under Geneva Convention against destruction or misuse during war.


About the Temple

  • Rudreswara (Ramappa) temple at Palampet near Warangal, got its name Ramappa because of its chief sculptor Ramappa.
  • It’s probably the only temple in the country to be known by the name of its sculptor.
  • The medieval Deccan Ramappa Temple which dates back to 1213 AD, was built by the patronage of the Kakatiya ruler Kakati Ganapathi Deva under the authority of his Chief Commander Rudra Samani.
  • Features of the temple
    • The Ramappa temple is a Shivalaya, crowned with a shikharam and surrounded by pradakshinapatha sits a 6 feet high star shaped platform.
    • The temple is built on a valley and it rests on bricks that are scientifically shown to float in water.
    • It has intricate carvings adorning the walls, pillars and ceilings unique to the time of Kakatiyan sculptors and empire.
    • The hall in front of the sanctum has numerous carved pillars that have been positioned to create an effect that combines light and space in a unique way.
    • The sculptural work of dance postures in the temple appear like a record of dances of the region in stone and was of great inspiration for the famous work ‘NrityaRatnavali’, by Jayapa Senani.
    • The postures pertaining to BharataNatya, Shrunga, Bharunga, Rathi, Perini Nritya , are engraved on the pillars.
    • The ‘Nagini’ and other eleven devanarthakis arranged as supporting beams on both sides of each entrance define the highly refined aesthetic sense of Kakatiya
    • The desi (local) varieties of dances such as Perini, Prenkana, SuddaNartana, Dandarasak, Sivapriya, Chindu and Kolata are some dance forms in the sculptural art of the temple.
  • This temple is described as the “brightest star in the galaxy of medieval temples of the Deccan” a repository of Kakatiyan creative genius.
  • The Ramappa temple is a best example of the love for art, music and dance as patronized by Kakatiyas.



About UNESCO World Heritage site

  • A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area which is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
  • To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be an already classified landmark, unique in some respect as a geographically and historically identifiable place having special cultural or physical significance (such as an ancient ruin or historical structure, building, city, complex, desert, forest, island, lake, monument, mountain, or wilderness area.
  • It may signify a remarkable accomplishment of humanity, and serve as evidence of our intellectual history on the planet.
Section : History & Culture

What role did Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel play in the Dandi march of 1930? 

Headline : What role did Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel play in the Dandi march of 1930? 

Details : 

Context of the topic:

  • On the occasion of the 89th anniversary of the Dandi March, tributes have also been paid to the contributions made by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to the movement.



About Dandi March

  • Dandi March or Salt Satyagraha was a non-violent means of protest led by Mahatma Gandhi, which began on 12th March 1930 and ended on April 6th, 1930.
  • Mahatma Gandhi along with his followers walked from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi near coastal Surat to protest against the repressive salt tax imposed by the colonial government.
  • The march covering the distance of 390 km worked as a catalyst for India’s struggle for Independence.
  • The Salt March began with around 80 people, but as more and more people joined in for the 390 km-long journey, it grew into a strong force of 50,000 people.
  • Upon reaching the seashore in Dandi, Mahatma Gandhi broke the law by producing salt (which was illegal under the colonial laws).

Circumstances leading to Dandi March

  • During that time, the British had prohibited Indians from collecting or selling salt.
  • Indians were also forced to buy the salt from the British, who not only exercised monopoly over its manufacture and sale but also levied a heavy salt tax.
  • The Salt March was a collective beginning of a mass resistance movement against the British tyranny.



Role of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in the Dandi march

  • Sardar Patel played a significant role in mobilising people for the Dandi march.
  • Initially, Sardar Patel was not sure about the impact of salt as a satyagrahic weapon. But once the decision was taken, he not only plunged into the preparations but, gave the campaign its first propulsion.
  • The Sardar toured the area to determine the best route to the salt-laden coast and planned the route for the Dandi March.
  • He also alerted the peasantry, already ‘trained’ by the Bardoli satyagraha, for the coming campaign.

Arrest of Patel before Satyagraha

  • As Patel went about mobilising people for the march, he was arrested at village Raas on March 7, five days before the march was scheduled.
  • He was sentenced to three months imprisonment and lodged at Sabarmati jail in Ahmedabad.
  • The news of Patel’s arrest shook the entire population of Gujarat who rose up in protest against the government and in turn joined the Satyagraha.



Aftermath of Dandi March

  • The Salt March got national and international recognition and shook the British with its non-violent nature.
  • It got massive press coverage and drew the world’s attention towards the Indian Independence Movement.
  • This turned into a mass civil disobedience movement throughout India as millions broke salt laws by either making salt or buying ‘illegal’ salt.


Section : History & Culture

Prelims Program: Indus River System

Details :

Why it is important?

  • In view of the Pulwama attack, India is weighing its options for retaliation against Pakistan, who sponsored the attack.Out of many options, one big move that India can take is to abrogate the Indus Waters Treaty (which deals with river Indus and its five tributaries).

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Indus River System

  • It is one of the most important rivers on the Indian subcontinent.
  • Origin: The Indus River originates near the Mansarovar Lake in the Tibetan plateau, on the northern slopes of the Kailash Mountain Range.
  • Length of the river: 3200 kilometer (2000 mile)
  • It passes through Ladakh district in Kashmir.
  • Subsequently, the river gets into Pakistan running across the North in a southward route down the whole span of Pakistan, to join the Arabian Sea.
  • Left- bank tributaries (joins the main river from left side): Zaskar river, Suru river, Soan river, Jhelum river, Chenab river, Ravi river, Beas river, Satluj river are its major left-bank tributaries.
  • Right- bank tributaries (joins the main river from right side): The Shyok river, Gilgit river, Hunza river, Swat river, Kunnar river, Kurram river and Kabul river are its major right-bank tributaries.
  • The name Punjab has been derived from these tributaries that collectively signify “five waters” or “land of five waters”. The five rivers or Panjnad after which Punjab is named are the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, and the Sutlej.


Five main tributaries of the Indus River:


  • Source: Spring at Verinag.
  • The river runs through the Wular lake and Srinagar in India, prior to moving into the Punjab province of Pakistan.
  • Important Dam: Uri dam (J&K)


  • Source: River Chandra and river Bhaga rise on the opposite sides of the Baralacha pass and meet at Tandi (H.P) to from Chenab.
  • In Himachal Pradesh, the river is also called the Chandrabhaga.
  • It flows parallely to the Pir Panjal Range.
  • The river cuts a deep gorge near Kistwar,
  • It enters the plain area near Akhnur in Jammu and Kashmir and is subsequently connected with the Jhelum.
  • It creates the border between the Rechna (between Ravi and Chenab) and the Jech (between Jhelum and Chenab) Doabs.
  • The Chenab also meets the Ravi and the Sutlej in Pakistan.
  • Imp Dams: Baglihar Dam (J&K), Dulhasti Dam (J&K), Salal Dam (J&K)

Sutlej (Satluj)

  • Source: Rakshas Tal or Rakas Lake, which is linked to the Manasarovar Lake with a watercourse in Tibet.
  • Through Shipkila pass the river Satluj enters India from Tibet
  • It cuts a gorge in Naina Devi Dhar, where Bhakra dam has been constructed. Later it enters the Punjab plains.
  • Beas joins the Satluj at Harike and in Pakistan, Ravi, Chenab and Jhelum rivers also adds their water into Satluj before it joins the Indus.
  • Imp Dams: Bhakra dam (H.P.) and Kol Dam (H.P.)


  • Source: Kullu hills near Rotang pass
  • The river drains the area between Pir Panjal and Dhaola Dhar ranges.
  • It enters plains near Madhopur (Punjab) and later enters Pakistan.
  • Imp Dams: Ranjit Sagar Dam(Punjab), Shahpur Kandi Dam(Punjab), Bassi Dam (H.P.), Chamera Dam (H.P.)


  • Source: Bias Kund near Rohtang pass.
  • The river flows across Kulu and Manali,
  • The Beas meets the Sutlej river close to Harika, after being connected with some tributaries.
  • River Beas lies entirely within the Indian territory.
  • Imp Dams: Pong Dam (H.P.), Pandoh Dam (H.P.),


Important Term

Doab: The tract of land lying between two converging, or confluent, rivers

Punjab Doabs

Each of the tracts of land lying between the confluent rivers of the Punjab region of India and Pakistan has a distinct name

The names (except for ‘Sindh Sagar’) are a combination of the first letters, in the Persian alphabet, of the names of the rivers that bound the Doab. For example, Jech = ‘Je'(Jhelum) + ‘Ch'(Chenab).



Section : Miscellaneous

Comparison between Nagara and Dravidian style of temple architecture

Consider the below statements with regard to Nagara and Dravidian Style of Temple Architecture:

Images such as Mithunas and the river goddesses as door keepers guarding the temple are common sight in the Dravida style of temple architecture.
The north Indian idea of multiple shikharas rising together as a cluster was not popular in dravida style.
A large water reservoir or a temple tank enclosed in the complex is general in south Indian temples.
Which of the statements above is/are correct?

a       3 only
b       1 and 3 only
c       2 and 3 only
d       1, 2 and 3

Solution (c)

Comparison between Nagara and Dravidian style of temple architecture

·         In north Indian temples we can see images such as Mithunas (erotic) and the river goddesses, Ganga and Yamuna guarding the temple. But in the Dravida style of temple architecture, instead of these sculptures, we can see the sculptures of fierce dvarapalas or door keepers guarding the temple.

·         A large water reservoir or a temple tank enclosed in the complex is general in south Indian temples.

·         Subsidiary shrines are either incorporated within the main temple tower, or located as a distinct, separate small shrine besides the main temple.

·         The north Indian idea of multiple shikharas rising together as a cluster was not popular in dravida style.

·         At some of the most sacred temples in south India, the main temple in which the garbhagriha is situated has, in fact, one of the smallest towers.

·         This is because it is usually the oldest part of the temple.

·         When the population and the size of the town associated with the temple increased, it would have become necessary to make a new boundary wall around the temple (and also associated structures).

·         An example for this is the Srirangam temple at Thiruchirapally, which has as many as seven concentric rectangular enclosure walls, each with gopurams.

·         The outermost is the oldest while the tower right in the centre housing the garbhagriha is the oldest.

Do you know?

Just as the nagara architecture has subdivisions, dravida temples also have subdivisions. These are basically of five different shapes:

a)      Kuta or caturasra – square

b)      Shala or ayatasra – rectangular

c)      Gaja-prishta or vrittayata (elephant backed) –elliptic

d)      Vritta – circular

e)      Ashtasra – octagonal

Prelims 326

Consider the following pairs:
Committee Objective
1. Butler committee: to clarify the relationship between the British crown and the Princely states.
2. Hunter Committee: to involve more Indians in Civil Service
3. Hartog Committee: spreading English learning and female education in India
Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?
1 only
1 and 3 only
2 and 3 only
1, 2 and 3
Explanation :
The Indian states committee or Butler committee in 1927 was appointed to investigate and clarify the relationship between the paramount power and the Princes. Pair 1 is correct.
The Hunter Committee was formed to enquire the Punjab wrongs and actions of General Dyer, Hartog Committee was constituted in 1929 to assess the state of education. Pairs 2 and 3 are incorrect.
Sir Charles Wood, the President of the Board of Control of the English East India Company, had an important effect on spreading English learning and female education in India. In 1854 he sent the “Wood’s dispatch” to the Governor General Lord Dalhousie.
The Aitchison Commission (Public Service Commission) was set up in 1886 under the chairmanship of Sir Charles Aitchison to come up with a scheme for fulfilling the claims of Indians to higher and more extensive employment in public service.
Hartog Committee was appointed to survey the growth of education in British India. In 1929, the Hartog Committee submitted its report. It devoted far more attention to mass education than Secondary and University Education. The committee was not satisfied with the scanty growth of literacy in the country and highlighted the problem of ‘Wastage’ and ‘Stagnation’ at the primary level. The Hartog Committee had concentrated its attention more on primary and secondary education and less on university education.

Prelims 309

Which of the following decisions was/were taken at the Lucknow Session of Congress, 1916?
1. The extremists were readmitted into the Indian National Congress.
2. Indian National Congress accepted the demand of separate electorates by Muslim League.
3. The Home Rule League movement was to be discontinued.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
1 and 2 only
1 and 3 only
2 and 3 only
1, 2 and 3
Explanation :
At the Lucknow session of the Congress in December, 1916, the extremists were welcomed back into the Congress by the Moderate president, Ambika Charan Majumdar nearly ten years after the Surat split. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
The Lucknow Congress was significant also for the famous Congress League Pact, popularly known as the Lucknow Pact by which Muslim League and Congress agreed to separate electorate. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
The Home rule league was not discontinued by Lucknow Session of Congress. The league merged into Indian National Congress in 1920, to form an united political front. Hence, statement 3 is not correct.

Prelims 306

With regard to philosophy of Advaitavada, consider the following statements:
1. It believed in dualism.
2. It rejected the path of Bhakti.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
1 only
2 only
Both 1 and 2
Neither 1 nor 2
Explanation :
Advaitavada philosophy propounded by Adi Shankara also called the doctrine of non-dualism, did not reject the path of bhakti , but rather the bhakt or the devotee had to first clean his heart through jnan or knowledge which can only be attained through Vedic scriptures. In other words, Sankara confirmed Vedas as the fountainhead of true knowledge. He propounded that God, soul & the created world are both one. At the practical level, there may appear to be differences but at the ‘parmarthik’ level there are no real differences. Hence, statement 1 and 2 is incorrect.
Advaita Vedanta believes that an enlightened guru, having the knowledge of both the scriptures and Brahman, is indispensable for anyone seeking salvation. Mandukya Karika of Gaudapada is considered to be the first available treatise on Advaita Vedanta, while the monumental works of Shankaracharya constitute its core literature.
Pramanas are the standards of ascertaining right knowledge, truth, or valid knowledge. In this world duality it is very difficult to know which is right knowledge and which is reliable for salvation or to ascertain truth. Advaita Vedanta recognizes six Pramanas, of which three were proposed by Shankaracharya and three by his followers. They are as stated below.
1. Pratyaksha: knowledge that comes through perception. This is objective knowledge which is experienced directly either through the senses or in deeper states of consciousness.
2. Anumana: knowledge that comes by means of inference. This is speculative knowledge based upon supposition or belief.
3. Upamana: Knowledge that comes by means of analogy, comparison and contrasting. This is relational knowledge.
4. Arthapatti: knowledge obtained by meaningful assumptions based on common sense and previous experience. This is hypothetical knowledge.
5. Anupalabdhi: Knowledge gained through negation.
6. Agama: Knowledge that comes through study of scriptures. This is pure theoretical knowledge.

Prelims 305

With reference to Indian classical music, consider the following statements:
1. While there exist various styles of singing in Hindustani music, Carnatic music is sung only in one style.
2. The number of ragas in Hindustani music is more than those in Carnatic music.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
1 only
2 only
Both 1 and 2
Neither 1 nor 2
Explanation :
While Carnatic music is sung and performed in only one style, there exist various style of singing and performing in Hindustani music. Each style of school is called a ‘gharana’. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
Carnatic Style employs Shrutis or semitones to create a Raga and thus have many more Ragas than the Hindustani style. Carnatic ragas differ from Hindustani ragas. The names of ragas are also different. However, there are some ragas which have the same scale as Hindustani ragas but have different names; such as Hindolam and Malkauns, Shankarabharanam and Bilawal. There is a third category of ragas like Hamsadhwani, Charukeshi, Kalavati etc. which are essentially Carnatic Ragas. They share the same name, the same scale (same set of notes) but can be rendered in the two distinctively different Carnatic and Hindustani styles. Hence, statement 2 is incorrect.

Prelims 304

Which of the following can be said to be the major reasons behind the decline of the Vijaynagara Empire?
1. Strain in the imperial structure following the death of Krishnadeva Raya.
2. The Battle of Talikota.
3. Invasion by the Mughals.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
1 and 2 only
2 and 3 only
1 and 3 only
1, 2 and 3
Explanation :
Statement 3 is incorrect because till that date Mughal had not expanded their Empire in the South.
The Vijayanagara kingdom was founded by Harihara and Bukka of the Sangama dynasty in 1336. Krishna Deva Raya (1509-30 A.D.) who was the greatest ruler of the Vijayanagar Empire. Under him, Vijayanagara emerged as the strongest military power in the south. Strain began to show within the imperial structure following Krishnadeva Raya’s death in 1529. His successors were troubled by rebellious nayakas or military chiefs. By 1542, control at the centre had shifted to another ruling lineage, that of the Aravidu, which remained in power till the end of the seventeenth century. During this period, as indeed earlier, the military ambitions of the rulers of Vijayanagara as well as those of the Deccan Sultanates resulted in shifting alignments. Eventually this led to an alliance of the Sultanates against Vijayanagara. In 1565 Rama Raya the chief minister of Vijayanagara, led the army into battle at Rakshasi Tangadi (also known as Talikota), where his forces were defeated by the combined armies of Bijapur, Ahmadnagar and Golconda. The victorious armies sacked the city of Vijayanagara. The city was totally abandoned within a few years. Now the focus of the empire shifted to the east where the Aravidu dynasty ruled from Penukonda and later from Chandragiri (near Tirupati).
The Battle of Talikota (1565) was a watershed battle fought between the Vijayanagara Empire and the Deccan sultanates. The battle took place at Talikota, today a town in northern Karnataka to the southeast from the city of Bijapur. The battle of Talikota ended the prominence of Viajaynagar kingdom in South Indian politics. The Kingdom of Mysore, Nayakas of Vellore, Nayakas of Keladi in Shimoga declared their independence from Vijayanagar.
Hence, statements 1 and 2 are correct.