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How to prepare for UPSC Prelims 2019 – Art & Culture (Blog 4)? | Shankar IAS Academy
2 January, 2019 7 1536
How to prepare for UPSC Prelims 2019 – Art & Culture (Blog 4)?

Blog 4 -Art & Culture

In continuation with series of blog on Strategy for History, here we will see how to approach the vastest yet important portion of this subject- Indian Art and Culture.

The past 10 years analysis shows that a total of 82-82 question have been asked from this section (170-175 including modern India) i.e 8-9 questions on an average which is quite a lot. Questions from ancient and medieval are more or less linked with art and culture.

The section is definitely massive and questions are massive, but a smart strategy will help you to sail through it.

Indian Religious Philosophy

  • UPSC makes sure to askat least one question from this sub-section each year.
  • One has to be through with basics of Buddhism, Jainism and other philosophies like Yoga, Samkhya etc.

Know about their various doctrines(Arya Satyami-Buddhism, Tri-Ratna-Jainism etc), Schools (Vajrayana, Hinayana etc) religious sects (Digambars, Lingayats etc), and important texts and make a comparative analysis between their philosophy.

Classical and Folk Dances

  • Be thorough with textual references highlighting dances, key terminologies like Nritta, Natya, Nritya, Aharya etc, patronage, dance themes example temple dance, bhakti dance etc, modern legends who revived this classical art(if they are in news) like Rukmini Devi Arundale.
  • Basics of Classical dances like their region, themes, dance costumes, dance themes and musical instrument used should be studied by every serious aspirants.

The folk dances section supposed to be very factualand dicey. Aspirants should focus on their regionof origin and art which is in news.

Classical Music

  • Very few question have been asked from this section so far, the most recent one is in 2018 prelims since 2012.
  • But it is good to know the basic difference between different style of music, key terminologies like Alap, Raga, Tala etc, patronage, different types of musical instruments.
  • Link this with current affairsto predict the question area to make your life easy J.

Architecture – Factual and Very Basic

  • The core of art and culture from where majority of question are asked.
  • Study this section Chronologically

  • Know key terminologies like Panchayatan, Viharas, Basadis, Gopurams etc
  • Know about the basic features of this architectures – We seriously mean only ‘Basics’ like
    • Material for construction- Granite, sandstone
    • Themes- Religious, secular
    • Patron or King who built them
    • Geographical location- State, city, region
    • Importance- UNESCO heritage site etc
    • Important monument, Statue names etc – Example Pancharathas of Mahabalipuram
  • Focus on important temple and their architecture, UNSECO heritage buildings and monuments in news


  • Focus on different school of paintings, their themes and patrons.
  • Important paintings from particular school like Bani thani from Kishangargh School-2018 prelims
  • Features like type of color used, geometric shapes etc.
  • Their location/originexample Warli School from Maharashtra

Summing Down

  • This vast and factual section should be tackled smartly by limiting your sources and increasing revisions.
  • Go through standard books (India’s Fine Art NCERT, Nitin Singhania’s Art and Culture), websites (CCRT), Newspaper (Friday Review from The Hindu) and link it with the syllabus.
  • Keep tab on cultural performance duringRepublic day paradeto know various art from different states.
  • Go through state tourism websites, any special focus/imitative for particular architecture to predict the question.
  • Check your preparation by enrolling for one of India’smost trusted test series for Prelimsby Shankar IAS Academy –Prestorming(Click here for taking the test)to get a clear understanding on nature of questions and important area to focus on.

All the Best ! Stay tune for next on Strategy on Ancient and Medieval India. Happy Learning !!!

Also read2928

  1. How to prepare for UPSC Prelims 2019? (Blog 1)
  2. How to prepare for UPSC Prelims – Indian Polity (Blog 2)
  3. How to prepare for UPSC Prelims – Modern India (Blog 3)

Visit www.iasparliament.com for daily current affairs for Prelims andCivilspediafor daily news analysis.

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