Important Topics on Indian Heritage and Culture for Civil Services

‘Indian Heritage and Culture’ is an important part of UPSC Syllabus and it spans across the entire length and breadth of Indian History. Candidates need to study aesthetics, customs, social and economic aspects of art. This article gives the list of 14 most important topics that need to be covered under Indian Heritage and Culture.

Aspirants would find this article very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.

Indian Heritage and Culture –  14 Important Topics

Below are some important topics within ‘Indian Heritage and Culture’ that must be covered by Civil Services aspirants.

  1. Stone Age
  2. The Harappan Civilization
  3. Mauryan Period
  4. Post- Mauryan Phase: The period of Shungas, Kanvas and Satavahanas
  5. Kushana Period
  6. Gupta Dynasty
  7. Temple Architecture Styles
  8. Literature and Philosophy
  9. Medieval Period
  10. 15-16th Century Regional Kingdoms
  11. Mughal Period
  12. The decline of Mughals and Rise of Provincial Kingdoms
  13. Modern Period
  14. Dance, Music, Paintings, Literature, Food, Fairs and Festivals

Different Types of Art

It is important to note that just like how there are important markers in Indian History, there are important markers in ‘Indian Heritage and Culture’ as well. For example,

  1. Harappan art is often called ‘Utilitarian Art’. This was because, the art of this period largely had functional utility. Decorations were bare and not on an extravagant level.
  2. The art that flourished during the Mauryan Period, was largely ‘Court Art’. It is called so because the art of this phase enjoyed royal patronage. For example, Emperor Ashoka popularized art in this period.
  3. The art that flourished during the Post-Mauryan Period was largely ‘Popular Art’. This is so because, even common people started participating in several activities involving art. We find a large number of donors, who donated their personal wealth to certain Buddhist and Jain monasteries.
  4. Then we find that during the Gupta Period, art becomes largely ‘Religious Art’. After the Gupta Period, we find that new forms of art developed during the Sultanate Period. During this period we find that several mosques, tombs and Mausoleums were constructed. After the Sultanate period, we find a period of interaction and mutual enrichment. The local art of India gets enriched due to its interaction with foreign art.
  5. Later, with the coming of the Mughals, we find the Golden period of Indian architecture. Then, we find Colonial art and architecture, which was yet another phase of interaction and enrichment. Indian artists learnt new things from foreign influences. Finally, the art of post-independent India largely speaks of a self-sufficient country.

The nature and scope of this subject is very vast. Thus candidates find it difficult to prepare this subject. At BYJU’s we have addressed this key concern with comprehensive coverage of the entire syllabus under ‘Indian Heritage and Culture’, that proceeds in a clear, chronological manner, appreciating developments in art, architecture, culture, etc. in each phase.

Civil Service Exam aspirants can refer to the list of UPSC Books given in the link, to augment their preparation.

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