The following are 100 multiple choice questions of the ancient Indian history. These could be useful for the aspirants of UPSC and UGC. Readers are encouraged to solve them. To acquire answers of these questions and to submit any remarks or feedback, feel free to contact at firstname.lastname@example.org. Always mention the question paper code (given in bold letters) in any kind of correspondence.
Question Bank – 1 (Code – 14-02AJ001)
Ancient Indian History
1. The famous oriental scholar of Germany, Max Muller, belonged to the school of philologists of
a. 18 Century
b. 19 Century
c. 20 Century
d. 21 Century
2. Who wrote Ancient India from the Earliest Times to the First Century AD (1914 published)?
a. Max Muller
b. E.J. Rapson
c. Adolf Kaegi
d. E.B. Taylor
3. ‘Zend’ was the language of
a. Indian Aryans
b. European Aryans
c. Persian Aryans
d. Central Asian Aryans
4. Brahmavartta was the
a. Land between river Sarasvati and Drsadvati
b. Name of an Aryan king
c. Land in ancient Kabul
d. A noted prime minister in Mahabharata
5. Ariana is the name of
a. A book
b. A river
c. Earliest home of Aryans
d. None of them
6. Who said, ‘...the term Arya stands for an honoured person, and it does not have racial connotation’?
a. A.C. Das
b. Max Muller
c. Mortimer Wheeler
d. Romila Thapar
7. Among all seven rives of the Sapta Sindhu region, ______ was the greatest river.
a. Sindhu or Indus
b. Parusni or Ravi
c. Asikni or Cenab
8. Which of the following statements is incorrect?
a. Vedic Aryans followed deva culture.
b. Persian or Iranian Aryans followed asura culture.
c. Kuru people spread their kingdom in the Ganga-Yamuna doab region during the Later Vedic period.
d. Bharata, the son of Dusyanta, did not perform Asvamedha sacrifices.
9. Kiratas refers to
a. A mountain tribe of N-E India
b. A associate book of Rigveda
c. People living in Indus basin
d. Term used for monkeys
10. Dhammapala, the famous Buddhist commentator, flourished in
a. 4th Century AD
b. 5th Century AD
c. 6th Century AD
d. 7th Century AD
11. Who among the following stood for the social superiority of the Ksatriyas over the brahmanas?
c. Both A and B
d. None of them
12. Adi Purana was composed by
a. Dharmasena I
b. Jinasena III
13. The performance of marriage within the limits of varna system was strictly followed in order to:
a. Perpetuate the varna system
b. Maintain the social balance
c. Both A and B
d. None of the above
14. Which of the following correctly depicts the primary duties of brahmanas?
a. Study the Vedas, acquire the knowledge of sutras and teach them to others
b. Study the Vedas, acquire the knowledge of sutras, teach them to others, offer sacrifices
c. Study the Vedas, acquire the knowledge of sutras, teach them to others, offer sacrifices, accepts the gifts
d. Study the Vedas, offer sacrifices, accepts the gifts
15. Sudras constituted the lowest strata of the
a. Jain society
b. Buddhist society
c. Hindu society
d. All of the above
16. Venas were the
b. Workers in bamboo
c. Workers in leather
17. Complete the statement by marking the correct option: Both Mahavira and Buddha as true champions of social equality denounced the caste-system,....
a. ...but they also could not do away with age-old restrictions of caste.
b. ...and did perfectly well in eradicating caste-system.
c. ...had differences with regard to which castes to be merged with which castes.
d. ...faced opposition from the lower castes.
18. Regarding the marriage system, the Buddhist and Jain text say the following. Which of the following is the correct option?
a. The dowry system existed.
b. Divorce system and remarriage of men and women, including widows, prevailed.
c. The custom of sati was practised.
d. All of them are correct.
19. Who among the following constituted the main livestock of the ancient Indian people?
a. Cows and buffaloes
b. Cows, buffaloes and oxen
c. Cows, buffaloes, oxen and sheep
d. Cows, sheep and oxen
20. Which of the following statements is incorrect regarding the trade and commerce during the times of Buddha, and thereafter?
a. Guilds were well organised at that time.
b. Guilds played an important role in the economic life of the people.
c. Trades were carried only individually, not cooperatively.
d. The inland and foreign trade flourished side by side.
21. Which of the following trade centres was famous for the silken garments?
22. The capital of Anga was
23. During the Buddha’s times, which of the following was the chief centre of trade in cotton?
24. Divyavandana is a
a. Jain text
b. Tamil text
c. Buddhist text
d. Brahamanical text
25. During the Buddha’s times, the Indian merchants imported the best quality of sandalwood from:
26. Astadhyayi was
a. A small part of Pali Canon
b. Written by Panini
c. A big part of Jain sutras
d. A chapter in Arthashastra
27. Patanjali wrote
28. According to Manu, pratiloma marriages were the ones in which,
a. Husband’s caste was lower than that of the wife
b. Husband’s caste was higher than that of the wife
c. Both husband’s and wife’s castes were equal
d. None of the four varnas participated
29. The term used for the institution of family is
30. Shulka is the term used for
a. Arts and crafts
c. Taxation system
d. Weights and measures
31. In the age of Manu, what did Samgha mean?
a. Traders’ association
b. Both a religious and commercial organisation
c. Workers’ group
d. Craftsmen group
32. Which among the following is incorrect regarding the economic system during Manu’s times?
a. The king colonised bands of artisans in the metropolis or cities and made them work for himself for at least one day in a month.
b. The market system was not well organised.
c. The wage earners were called bhrtaka.
d. The trade and commerce were in a very flourishing stage.
33. During the times of Manu, the king used to impose fine on
a. Those shopkeepers who were found guilty of using false weights and measures
b. Those shopkeepers who were found guilty of cheating honest customers by charging higher prices than the fixed ones
c. Those shopkeepers who did not maintain high degree of business morality
d. All of the above
34. According to Manu, Rajata is the name of
35. During the times of Manu, transaction was mainly done through
a. Gold and silver coins
b. Silver and copper coins
c. Gold and copper coins
d. Gold, silver and copper coins
36. Manu has strongly defended the animal sacrifices performed in the Vedic tradition because
a. His basic philosophy was that the God had created animals for sacrifices.
b. He was patronised by kings.
c. He thought it would bring wisdom and appreciation.
d. This practice was a common thing.
37. Which of the following religious cults flourished during the II Century BC?
a. Jainism, Buddhism, Saivism
b. Saivism, Buddhism, Vaisnavism
c. Saivism, Jainism, Vaisnavism
d. Saivism, Buddhism, Jainism, Vaisnavism
38. The Hathigumpa inscription is of
a. King Kharvela
b. King Asoka
c. King Pusyamitra
d. King Vasudeva
39. Pusyavarman of Kamarupa (Assam) was the contemporary of
d. None of the above
40. Which of these were the main features of the Mature Harappan culture?
a. Agriculture and distinctive pottery
b. Agriculture, distinctive pottery and crafts
c. Agriculture, pastoralism, distinctive pottery and crafts
d. Agriculture, pastoralism, distinctive pottery, baked bricks
41. Harappan people did not know about which of the following metals?
42. As far as weights and measures are concerned, a bronze rod has been discovered at which of the following places?
43. What is the type of the Indus valley civilization script?
a. Pictographic writing
b. Alphabetical writing
c. Quasi-pictographic writing
d. Numerical writing
44. The Indus valley civilization cite Mehrgarh is situated
a. 150 miles to the North-West of Mohenjodaro
b. 250 miles to the North-West of Kalibangan
c. 100 miles to the South of Harappa
d. 50 miles to the North of Lothal
45. The essential ideological force of the Indus society was
d. Foreign relations
46. Which of the followings were called the forest books?
47. Which of the following is called the “Book of Chants”?
a. Rig veda
b. Samaveda Samhita
c. Atharva veda
d. Itihasa veda
48. The White Yajurveda contains
b. Commentary in prose
c. Shlokas in Pali
d. All of the above
49. Which of the following says that the human intellect cannot understand the reality?
50. Who wrote the Sankhya Darsana?
a. Kanada Rishi
51. The Nyaya Darsana was written by...
b. Gautam Rishi
52. Which of the following states that a person can be liberated from the circle of rebirth by the practice of concentration of mind?
a. The Sankhya Darsana
b. The Yoga Darsana
c. The Purva-Mimansa Darsana
d. The Nyaya Darsana
53. In Rig vedic times, who was a Vapta?
54. Which of the following is incorrect regarding the Rig vedic society?
a. The Aryans of Rig vedic India were nomads.
b. The carpenter played an important role in Rig vedic society.
c. There was a system of barter in Rig vedic society.
d. The cow was considered sacred.
55. In Rig vedic times, Varita was
a. Another name of Indra
b. The demon of drought
c. The god of rain
d. The god of thunder
56. The Srinjayas were the neighbours of Bharatas and occupied the
a. Territory of Panchala
b. Territory of Upper Kashmir
c. Territory of Madhya Pradesh
d. Territory of Maharashtra
57. The concord between the king and ...... was essential for the prosperity of the realm during the Vedic period.
58. Which of the following is incorrect regarding shudras?
a. The shudras were the servants of all the other three castes.
b. They could be expelled or killed at will.
c. They could not read Vedas.
d. They lived in far off places from the cities.
59. Which of the following deals with domestic sacrifices and rites to be performed by householders?
a. Nirukta of Yaska
c. The Grihya sutra
60. Who among the following is called Brahmavadini?
61. Who was called the protector of the people?
62. Naishthikas were
a. Special purohits
b. Students who devoted their whole life to study
63. Who was 23rd tirthankara of Jains?
64. .......... was the mother of Mahavira.
65. According to Kalpasutra, Mahavira had ....... Ganadharas or chief disciples.
66. Vallabhi, where a Jaina council was held, is located in the present-day
a. Madhya Pradesh
c. Andhra Pradesh
67. The Jain literature ‘Prabandhas’ deals with
a. Stories of sages
b. Lives of Jain monks
c. Jain laws
d. Account of spread of Jainism outside India
68. Which of the following is attributed to Hemchandra, the greatest Jaina writer?
a. A number of handbooks, history of Gujarat and a work on yoga sutra
b. All items included in option A + he was the court pandit of Chalukya king Jayasimha Siddharaja
c. All items included in option B + he complied two lexicons and wrote his famous Prakrit grammar
d. All items included in option C + he also wrote books on lives of Jaina saints
69. Sarnath is situated near
70. Which of the following is incorrect?
a. Buddha’s conception of religion was purely ethical.
b. Buddha encouraged worship and rituals.
c. He emphasised on conduct.
d. He thought that saintliness and contentment were to be found not in knowledge of the universe and God but selfless and virtuous labour.
71. First Buddhist council was held at
72. Third Buddhist council was held in Patliputra in the reign of
73. How many ways of attaining nirvana have been suggested by Buddha?
74. Buddha used to travel a lot to spread Buddhism except during
a. Summer season
b. Winter season
c. Rainy season
d. Spring season
75. Which of the following did not exist before the advent of Buddhism?
a. People used to go to jungles for self-realization.
b. Religious system
c. Monastic system
76. Which of the following is incorrect?
a. Buddhism gave a popular religion without any complicated unintelligible ritual.
b. Buddhism tried to appeal masses and succeeded in doing so.
c. Buddhism created a vast and varied literature in the spoken language.
d. Buddhism helped establish un-cordial contact between India and foreign countries.
77. Who wrote Nitisara?
78. The Shantiparva of Mahabharata deals with
a. Raja dharma
b. Griyahast dharma
c. Geeta upadesh
d. Krishna’s raasleela
79. Who wrote Rajnitiprakash?
d. Mitra Misra
80. Who among the following was the prime minister of Ajatsatru?
81. According to Sukra, Pradvivaka was the
a. In-charge of army
b. In-charge of expenditure
c. In-charge of horses
d. In-charge of judicial department
82. Which of the following titles were held by King Kharavela?
a. Adhipati, Chakravartin, Maharaja
b. Adhipati and Chakravartin
c. Sarvabhauma and Maharaja
d. Chakravartin and Sarvabhauma
83. Kalpasutra is a
a. Buddhist text
b. Jain text
c. Hindu text
d. Secular text
84. Atthakatha describes
a. The constitution of Lichchhavis
b. The story of Buddha attaining nirvana
c. The biography of Kanishka
d. The economic system of Rig vedic people
85. The capital of Kosala was
86. Champa was the capital of
87. Which of the following events happened at Pava, one of the capitals of republic of Mallas?
a. Mahavira was born there
b. Buddha died there
c. Buddha took his last meals and was taken ill there
d. Buddha met a courtesan who tried to woo him over there
88. Mathura was the capital of
89. In the economic matters, Bali was a
d. Finance officer
90. Who among the following was known as the village headman?
b. Grama Bhojaka
c. Grama Vriddha
91. The Nesadas used to live by
a. Hunting and fishing
b. Making iron objects
92. Sage Ghor Angirasa was the
a. Guru of Buddha
b. Guru of Mahavira
c. Guru of Krishna Vasudeva
d. Guru of Ajatshatru
93. It is stated that Bimbesara of Magadha sent his physician Jivak to cure the king of ............, who was suffering from jaundice.
94. The Nandas were the successors of which of the following?
a. Haryanka dynasty
b. Sisunaga dynasty
c. Mauryan dynasty
d. Gupta dynasty
95. According to Kautilya, which of the following is true?
a. The council of ministers is an important component of state administration.
b. The calamity of a king is more serious than that of a minister.
c. The size of the council of ministers should depend upon the circumstances of the case and needs of the country.
d. All of the above
96. Who among the following mentions that the Magadha king was guarded by women bodyguards?
d. None of the above
97. The city of Patliputra was built at the confluence of two rivers. Which were these two rivers?
a. Ganga and Chambal
b. Ganga and Brahmaputra
c. Ganga and Son
d. Ganga and Mahanadi
98. Mudrarakshas of Visakhadatta is a
99. Who was Pushpagupta?
a. Chandragupta Maurya’s governor of Saurashtra
b. Independent king of Lower Burma
c. A great philosopher
d. Father of Chandragupta Maurya
100. Who among the following has been given the title of ‘Amitraghat’?
a. Chandragupta Maurya