English Test 48
Directions for Questions from 1 to 4:
India nurtured various cultures in ancient times. Along with literature, fine art, music, dance and drama, architecture too, in all its grandeur, rose to
great heights. It is not easy to explain Indian architecture; it is entirely different from that of Europe.
Indian civilization begins with the Indus civilization that dates back about 4000 years. The famous cities of Harappa and Mohenjadaro are now in
Pakistan, while the ruins of Lothal are in India. Aryans from the west settled in India and developed “Vedic” literature as part of the Brahman
religion. These became the Holy Books of the religion, which later came to be known as Hinduism. During the 5th-6th centuries BC, Gautama
Siddharta became Buddha and started Buddhism and Vardhamana became Mahavira and started Jainism. Buddhism had the support of the royal
class and was adopted by the masses. As Buddhism spread across the country, so did its monasteries and temples. As Hinduism re-established
itself strongly, the Buddhist presence disappeared from India in the 13th century. Cave temples typically represent the architecture of Ancient
Times. Naturally there must have been castles, palaces and houses during that time, but none of those remain, because buildings constructed of
wood, rotted or burned easily. Temples were built of bricks, but when Buddhism died out, these were destroyed or pulled down due to a lack of
protectors. However, cave temples and monasteries still exist today because they were carved out of rock - a much stronger material. There are
around 1,200 such cave temples and monasteries left and 75 per cent of them belong to Buddhism.
As they were not satisfied with cave temples, entire sculpted rock temples were built during the Middle Ages.A few still exist unto the present day.
In contrast to the rock temples that imitated wooden temples of ancient times, the stone temples, built by laying cut stones one on top of another,
came to be the model of sculpted stone construction