Learning about art and architecture in UPSC exams

Image That Represents The Indian Art & Culture

UPSC Exams- Score Higher With Art And Architecture!

If you are taking training for UPSC exams, you should be aware of what to cover in Indian art and architecture subject. It is an important topic both in Mains and UPSC Prelims. Once you obtain a rough idea regarding what not to study and what to study in the Indian art and architecture section, the topic will become easy to cover. Chinmaya – Best IAS Coaching Centre in Chennai has briefed complete guidance regarding essential topics of Indian culture and also about the free study materials or books necessary for learning Indian culture.

Topics That Speak About Indian Culture
In civil services exam (both mains and prelims), it is common to see Indian art and architecture based questions. According to the recent UPSC syllabus, Indian culture topic covers the main features of Architecture, Literature, and Art Forms from early to recent times. It will be asked under UPSC civil services exam main general studies 1st paper. Check Here about the tips to be followed to study Indian culture.
Chinmaya IAS Academy comments what you should learn about Indian Art. Indian Art is divided into three sections. They are literary arts, visual arts, and performing arts. Some arts developed could be a combination of one or more of these sections.
Beautiful Textual Representation of Indian Culture

Performing Arts- The Heartbeat Of Indian Culture

Performing arts are further classified as puppets, theater, music, and dance

    1. Dance of India- Regional, classical- Classical dances of India are Sattriya, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Manipuri, Kathak, Kathakali, and Bharatanatyam. Also, ensure to learn about Indian traditional dances. 
    2. Music of India- Regional, Carnatic, and Hindustani music – There are three kinds of music. They are regional music, Carnatic classical music, and Hindustani classical music.
    3. Musical instruments
      • The stringed instruments include Chordophones or the Tata Vadya
      • The wind instruments include Aerophones or the Sushira Vadya
      • The percussion instruments include Membranophones or the Avanaddha Vadya
      • The solid instruments that do not need tuning include Idiophones or the Ghana Vadya
    4. Theatre styles of India – There are two theatre forms, like modern and traditional. Ensure to learn about various puppet styles of India. It consists of glove puppets, rod puppets, shadow puppets, and string puppets.

Know what to cover in the visual arts sections!
In the visual arts section, you need to learn about Indian painting, sculpture, and architecture.

  • Indian architecture
  • Modern architecture
  • Indo-Islamic architecture
  • Temple architecture
  • Buddhist architecture
  • Indus civilization
  • Pre-historic
  • Indian painting
  • Modern Indian painting
  • Miniature painting
  • Indian wall paintings
  • Indian sculpture
  • Modern Indian sculpture
  • Primitive school of sculpture
  • Gupta sculpture
  • Buddhist sculpture
  • Indus civilization
  • Pre-historic

What is the topic should be covered in literary arts?

  • Contemporary literature
  • Use of mythology
  • Dalit literature
  • The Indian literary prospect after independence
  • Search for modernity
  • Making of contemporary theatre
  • Progressive literature
  • The beginning of Mahatma Gandhi
  • Indian romanticism
  • The literature of revivalism, reformism, and nationalism
  • Modern Indian literature
  • Other developments in medieval literature
  • Women writers of Bhakti
  • Medieval literature
  • Early Dravidian literature
  • Literature in Prakrit and Pali
  • Classical Sanskrit literature
  • The Purana
  • Ancient Indian literature

Books To Prepare For UPSC Exams

Since visual arts consists of architecture and fictional arts consist of literature, you should know that Indian culture is a complete study of arts from the UPSC perspective. There are various other priority areas like Indian philosophies and religion; however, each section should be read separately.

Which is the best book to learn Indian culture and art for the IAS exam?
It is recommended to read Nitin Singhania’s Indian culture and art as it covers the complete syllabus of Indian culture and heritage. Moreover, the author has included extensive knowledge based on topics like architecture, music, paintings, and Indian art with the guidance of numerous diagrams and pictures. The content is supported with several questions which will guide the students in preparing for the IAS examination.

How many questions will be asked in Indian culture and art topic?
It is best to refer to the last year exam question paper. This way, you get a rough idea about the number of questions and marks allotted for Indian culture topic. It is hard to identify the exam number since every year it keeps changing. By referring the previous 5 years question papers, you can get an idea of how it will be drafted in the forthcoming year.

Do they ask questions related to current affairs?
No. The questions will be combined well from medieval India, current affairs, and ancient India.

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