Building, Paintings and Books (Class 6 History Chapter 11 Notes)

The Iron Pillar
The Iron Pillar
The Iron Pillar
  1. The Iron Pillar at Mehrauli (Delhi) is an exemplar of Indian craftsmanship.
  2. It is made of iron, 7.2. m high, and weighs over 3 tonnes.
  3. It was built around 1500 years ago by a Gupta dynasty ruler Chandra.
  4. It has not rusted till date.

Building in brick and stone

  1. Stupa literally means a mound and usually round in shape.
  2. In the heart of stupa, a box filled with either ashes of Buddha or his follower pyres or any belonging related to them is kept. This box is known as relic casket.
  3. Often a circular path known as pradakshina patha is built around the stupa and this path is surrounded by the railings. Entrance and exit to the path is through one single gateway. The railing and gateway is often decorated with scripture.

  1. Caves are another important structure in the Buddhist architecture as they were used as monasteries by the buddhist bhikkus and bhikkunis.

Hindu Temples
  1. Some of the earliest Hindu temples of Shiva, Vishnu and Durga was built around 2000 years ago.
  2. The most important part of a temple is garbhagriha, where the image of chief diety presides. It is the place where priest performs the rituals.
  3. Often a tower known as shikhar is built over the garbhgriha to mark its sacredness.
  4. There is also an open space known as mandapa where devotees can sit together.

How were stupas and temples built?
  1. Usually, Kings or Queens commissioned the construction of a temple or stupa as they were expensive to build.
  2. The construction generally include selection of a location, finding the quality and adequate building material and final construction work.
  3. Additional financial support for decoration is given by shrenis or merchant groups.
  4. Among others who paid for decorating temples are farmers, garland makers, perfumers, smiths  and  hundreds  of  men  and women.

  1. Paintings shed light on the maturity and stability of the society.
  2. Paintings in the Ajanta caves are one such example. These paintings are still lively even 1500 years after their creation.
  3. The colours were made by plants and minerals.

  1. Epics are the long poems about heroic men and women. Sometimes these epics include stories of gods.
  2. Silappadikaram by Ilango and Manimekal by Sattnar are two such Tamil epics.
  3. In Sanskrit, Meghaduttam is one such epic composed by Kalidasa.

Recording and preserving Old Stories
  1. A number of Hindu stories and text that were passed down orally, were recorded for the first time. Puranas, Mahabharata and Ramayana were such example.
  2. Both Puranas and Mahabharata were compiled by Vyasa and Ramayana on other hand was composed by Valmiki.
  3. Jataka and Panchatantra stories were also written down this time. These stories shed light on inner workings of the society.

  1. Aryabhatta discovered day and night were caused by the rotation ofthe earth on its axis. He also developed the explanation for solar and lunar eclipses. He is credited with the invention of zero. He mentioned his discoveries in his book Aryabhattam.
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