History | Art and Culture for Civil Services Examination 2021

Important topics for History | Art and Culture for Civil Services Examination 2021.

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Buddhist Remains From a Millennium ago in Jharkhand

What is the News?

Earlier this year, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had discovered Buddhist Remains from Hazaribagh’s Sadar block located at the eastern side of Jharkhand’s Sitagarha hills.

What did the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) discover? ASI had discovered the remains of a Buddhist monastery along with some Shaivite remains which includes:

  • Four Statues of Taras, the “saviouresses” of the Thunderbolt Vehicle, displaying the Varada mudra(gesture of hand showing dispensing of boons).
  • Six statues of the Buddha in Bhumisparsha Mudra [gesture of hand showing five fingers of right hand towards the earth symbolising the Buddha’s enlightenment].
  • Remnants of a statue of the Shaivite goddess Maheswari. Also, with a coiled crown and chakra, it appears to suggest a degree of cultural assimilation at the site.

Earlier Discoveries at this Site:

  • The first archaeological discoveries on this site were made in 1992. A painted grey ware (PGW) pottery, a votive stupa, a black basalt apsara torso, and an “eight-petalled astadala lotus” inscribed on the stone were discovered.
  • It was estimated that these antiquities of Buddhism were from 300 BC from the period of the Palas (8th to 12th centuries AD) and the Sena (11th-12th centuries).

Significance of these discoveries:

  • These findings are significant since the monastery is on the old route to Varanasi. It is also 10 km from Sarnath where the Buddha gave his first sermon.
  • Further, the presence of statues of the deity Tara shows the possible proliferation of the Vajrayana form of Buddhism in this region.
    • Vajrayana is a form of Tantric Buddhism. It flourished in India from the 6th to 11th century.

Source: Indian Express

What are “Sattras”?

What is the news?

In Assam, the campaigns of political parties often include going to different Sattras to seek blessings or to glorify the teachings of Sankardeva.

What are Sattras?

  • Sattras are monastic institutions in Assam. They were created as part of the 16th century Neo-Vaishnavite reformist movement. Movements started by the Vaishnavite saint-reformer Srimanta Sankaradeva(1449-1596).
  • Why were they established? They were established to spread the Sankardeva’s unique “worship through art” approach. They are doing it presently with music (borgeet), dance (sattriya), and theatre (bhauna).
  • Features:
    • Each Satra has a naamghar (worship hall) as its nucleus and is headed by an influential “Satradhikar”.
    • Monks known as bhakats are inducted into Sattras at a young age. They may or may not be celibate depending on the kind of Sattra they are inducted into.
  • Satras in Assam: There are about 900 Sattras across Assam, but the main centers are Bordowa (Nagaon), Majuli and Barpeta. These institutions are of paramount importance and lie at the heart of Assamese culture.

What is Sankardeva’s philosophy?

  • Srimanta Sankardev (1449–1568) was a 15th–16th century Assamese saint, scholar, poet, and social-religious reformer.
  • He propagated a form of Bhakti philosophy called Eka Sarana naam Dharma. The philosophy had an influence on two medieval kingdoms—Koch and the Ahom kingdoms.
  • Key Features of the Philosophy:
    • Components: The four important components of the philosophy were deva (god), naam (prayers), bhakats (devotees), and guru (teacher).
    • Society: The philosophy espoused a society based on equality and fraternity, free from caste differences, orthodox Brahmanical rituals, and sacrifices.
    • Teachings: The teachings of the philosophy rejected idol worship and focused on devotion (bhakti) to Krishna. Devotion would be in the form of congregational listening and singing his name and deeds (Kirtan) and (sravan).

Source: Indian Express

Gwalior, Orchha on UNESCO World Heritage City List

News: The historical fort cities of Gwalior and Orchha in Madhya Pradesh have been included in the list of UNESCO’s world heritage cities urban landscape city programme.


  • Gwalior: It was established in the 9th century and ruled by Gurjar Pratihar Rajvansh, Tomar, Baghel Kachvaho and Scindias.The city is known for its palaces and temples, including the intricately carved Sas Bahu Ka Mandir temple.
    • The Gwalior Fort occupies a sandstone plateau overlooking the city and is accessed via a winding road lined with sacred Jain statues.Within the fort’s high walls is the 15th-century Gujari Mahal Palace, now an archaeological museum.
  • Orchha: It is popular for its temples and palaces and was the capital of the Bundela kingdom in the 16th century.The famous spots in the town are Raj Mahal, Jehangir Mahal, Ramraja Temple, Rai Praveen Mahal, and Laxminarayan Mandir.

Additional Facts:

  • UNESCO World Heritage Cities Programme: It is one of six thematic programmes formally approved and monitored by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
  • Aim: To assist States Parties in the challenges of protecting and managing their urban heritage.
  • Urban Landscape City Programme: It was adopted in 2011 at UNESCO’s General Conference.This programme approach to managing historic urban landscapes is holistic by integrating the goals of urban heritage conservation and those of social and economic development.

Source: Click here

Hampi stone chariot now gets protective ring

News: Archaeological Survey of India(ASI) has placed wooden barricades around the famous stone chariot at Vijaya Vittala Temple Complex in Hampi for protection.


  • Hampi Stone Chariot: It is an iconic monument located in front of Vijaya Vittala Temple in Hampi, Karnataka.Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Dedicated to: Stone Chariot is a shrine dedicated to Garuda, the official vehicle of Lord Vishnu.
  • Significance: Stone Chariot in Hampi is one of the three most popular stone chariots in India. Other two are in Konark (Odisha) and Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu).
  • Style: Built in Dravidian style, the stone chariot reflects skill of temple architecture under the patronage of Vijayanagara rulers who reigned from 14th to 17th century CE.

Additional Facts:

  • Vijaya Vittala Temple also known as Vittala Temple is dedicated to Lord Vitthala, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.The temple is located in Hampi, near the banks of the Tungabhadra River.
  • Built by: Temple was built in the 15th century during the reign of King Devaraya II of the Vijayanagara Empire. Several sections of the temple were expanded and renovated during the reign of Krishnadevaraya, the famous ruler of the Vijayanagara dynasty.

Source: Click here

Why Jharkhand is seeking a separate religious code for Sarna tribals

News: Jharkhand government has convened a special session and passed a resolution for the provision of a separate ‘Sarna Code’ for tribals.


  • What does the resolution say? The resolution seeks a special column for followers of the ‘Sarna’ religion in the Census 2021.
  • What is the Sarna religion? Sarna followers are nature worshippers who do not consider themselves Hindus and have been fighting for a separate religious identity for decades. At present, they are not classified as a separate religious entity.
  • Nature Worship in Sarna: The holy grail of the Sarna faith is “Jal, Jungle, Zameen” and its followers pray to the trees and hills while believing in protecting the forest areas.
  • Was there a separate code before? The protection of their language and history is an important aspect of tribals. Between 1871 and 1951, the tribals had a different code. However, it was changed around 1961-62.
  • Significance of Separate Code: The population of Sarna tribals in the State has declined from 38.3% in 1931 to 26.02% in 2011. One of the reasons for this was tribals who go for work in different states not being recorded in the Census. Therefore, the separate code will ensure the recording of their population.

Official Language Status for “Tulu Language” Demanded

What is the News? 

Several organizations have initiated a campaign in Karnataka and Kerala. They are demanding the official language status for Tulu.

About Tulu Language:

  • Tulu is a Dravidian language. It is mainly spoken in two coastal districts, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi of Karnataka and Kasaragod district of Kerala.
    • Kasaragod district is called the ‘Sapta bhasha Samgama Bhumi (the confluence of seven languages)’ and Tulu is one among the seven.
  • Thus, the Tulu speakers mainly from Karnataka and Kerala are requesting an official language status for Tulu by its inclusion in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution.

Tulu Art and Culture:

  • Tulu has a rich oral literature tradition with folk-song forms like paddana and traditional folk theatre yakshagana.
  • Tulu also has an active tradition of cinema, with around 5 to 7 Tulu language movies produced a year.
  • Moreover, Tulu films are screened every day in Mangalore and Udupi in at least one theater.

Why Should Tulu be included in the Eight Schedule?

  • Firstly, According to the 2011 Census, there are around 18 lakh native speakers of Tulu in India. This is more than the speakers of Manipuri and Sanskrit, which have the Eighth Schedule status.
  • Secondly, Robert Caldwell (1814-1891), in his book, “A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian Or South-Indian Family of Languages” has called Tulu as one of the most highly developed languages of the Dravidian family.
  • Thirdly, Article 29 of the Indian Constitution provides that a section of citizens with a distinct language, script or culture have the right to conserve the same.
  • Lastly, the Yuelu Proclamation made by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at Changsha, China in 2018 provides for the protection and promotion of linguistic diversity.

Advantages of including Tulu in Eight Schedule: If it is included in the Eighth Schedule, it would get the following benefits:

  • Recognition from the Sahitya Akademi.
  • Translation of Tulu literary works into other languages.
  • Members of Parliament (MP) and Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) could speak Tulu in Parliament and State Assemblies, respectively.
  • Option to take competitive exams in Tulu including all-India competitive examinations like the Civil Services exam.

Source: Indian Express

What is “Shigmotsav Festival” of Goa?

What is the news?

There is a rise in Covid-19 cases across a number of states in the country. However, the Goa government permitted the celebrations of the Shigmotsav Festival. Questions are being raised over the scale of celebrations of the festival in Goa.

About Shigmotsav Festival:

  • Shigmotsav festival also known as Shigmo is a spring festival celebrated in the state of Goa.
  • The festival is the celebration of a rich, golden harvest of paddy by the tribal communities of Goa.
  • Communities: Agricultural communities including the Kunbis, Gawdas and Velips celebrate the festival.

Key Features of the Shigmotsav Festival:

  • Firstly, the festival begins with ‘Naman’. It means the invocation of the local folk deities on the village stage or the village ‘maand’.
  • Secondly, Instruments used: The percussion instruments like the Ghumat, Dhol, Mhadle and Tashe are used by the male folk. This is called the ‘romta mell’.
  • Thirdly, Folk Dances: Many dances performed by the participating communities. This includes Folk dances like Ghode Modni (a dance of equestrian(horse riding) warriors), Gopha and Phugadi, etc.
  • Lastly, during the festival, the Goa government organize float parades. This draw both domestic and international tourists.

Source: Indian Express

‘Jaapi’|’xorai’ |’gamosa’ in Assam

What is the News?

Decorative jaapi (field hats), hand-woven gamosa, and bell-metal xorais are making frequent appearances in Assam as the election is coming closer.

About Jaapi:

  • Jaapi is a conical hat. It is made of bamboo and covered with dried tokou leaves (Tokou is a palm tree found in the rainforests of Upper Assam).
  • Uses:
    • Jaapi is most often used in official functions in Assam to felicitate guests.
    • Farmers also use jaapi in Assam. They use them to protect themselves from the harsh weather, both sun and rain while working in the fields.

About Xorai:

  • Xorai is essentially a tray with a stand at the bottom with or without a cover. Every Assamese household has it.
  • Uses:
    • Xorai is primarily used as an offering tray during prayers. They are also used to serve tamale-paan (betel-nut) to guests.
    • It is also presented along with the jaapi and gamosa while felicitating someone.
  • Made of: The bulk of xorai in Assam are made in the state’s bell metal hub Sarthebari in the Bajali district.

About Gamosa:

  • Gamosa is an article of significance for the people of Assam. It is generally a white rectangular piece of cloth with primarily a red border on three sides and red woven motifs on the fourth.
  • Made: The most common material for making gamosa is cotton yarn. But on special occasions, they are also made from Pat silk.
  • Uses: It can be used at home as a towel (uka gamosa) or in public functions (phulam/floral gamosa). This is also used to felicitate dignitaries or celebrities.

Source: Indian Express

11th edition of “Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav”

What is the news?

The 11th edition of the Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav is being held in West Bengal this year.

Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav:

  • Nodal Ministry: It is a festival started by the Ministry of Culture in the year 2015.
  • Objective: It enhances mutual understanding and bonding between people of diverse cultures. Thereby it secures stronger unity and integrity of India.
  • Participation of Zonal Centres: The festival witnesses the active participation of Seven Zonal Culture Centres. These zonal centres play a key role in taking the vibrant culture of India to the masses.
  • Significance: The festival is instrumental in showcasing folk and tribal art, dance, music, cuisines & culture of one state in other states. It is reinforcing the cherished goal of “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” and at the same time supporting their livelihood.
  • The 10th edition of the festival was held in Madhya Pradesh in October 2019.

Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme:

  • It was launched by the Prime Minister in 2016. It will promote engagement amongst the people of different States/UTs to enhance mutual understanding and bonding between people of diverse cultures. Thereby it is securing stronger unity and integrity of India.
  • The states carry out activities to promote a sustained and structured cultural connect. Activities are taken in the areas of language learning, culture, traditions & music, tourism & cuisine, sports, and sharing of best practices.

Source: The Hindu 

National Tribal Festival “Aadi Mahotsav”

What is the News?

The Vice President of India has inaugurated “Aadi Mahotsav”, a National Tribal Festival.

  1. Aadi Mahotsav: It is an annual Tribal Festival that was started in the year 2017.
  2. Organized by: It is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India & Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED).
  3. Aim: It aimed to familiarise the people with the rich and diverse craft, and the culture of the tribal communities, in one place.
  4. Theme: “A Celebration of the Spirit of Tribal Crafts, Culture and Commerce”, which represents the basic ethos of tribal life.

Key highlights of the festival:

  1. Tribal Handicrafts: The festival showcased several tribal handicrafts such as:
    1. Maheshwari sarees of Madhya Pradesh
    2. Toda embroidery from Tamil Nadu
    3. Moga silk from Assam
  2. Tribal dishes: The festival also showcased several tribal dishes from different parts of the country namely:
    1. Dal Pitha, Dhooska, Chilka roti from Jharkhand
    2. Gurudi, Jowar papad and roti on Mahalpatta from Maharashtra, and
    3. Samai urundai, Ragi kali and Thenai rice preparations from Tamil Nadu.

What is the significance of this festival?

  1. Tribes constitute over 8% of our population. However, they are among the most disadvantaged sections of society.
  2. Their crafts are characterised by natural simplicity, with a timeless appeal. The wide range of handicrafts which include hand-woven cotton, silk fabrics, wool, metal craft, terracotta, bead-work, all need to be preserved and promoted.
  3. Hence, TRIFED as the nodal agency is working to improve the income and livelihoods of the tribal people, while preserving their way of life and traditions.

Source: PIB

Kalrav festival at Nagi- Nakti bird sanctuaries in Bihar 

Why in News?  

‘Kalrav’, Bihar’s 1st state–level festival started at the Nagi-Nakti bird sanctuaries in the Jamui district, Bihar. 

About the festival: 

  • About the Festival: The festival is hosted by the department of forest, environment and climate change. 
  • Aim: The event is intended to create awareness about the conservation of birds and their habitat, the wetlands. 
  • Importance of Birds:  
  • Those who can understand a bird’s behavior can understand that it sends a signal of any impending natural calamity. 
  • Birds also help in the pollination of plant species. 
  • Hence, as a part of the bird conservation plan, the forest department has developed a bird ringing station at Bhagalpur 

 Nagi- Nakti Bird Sanctuaries: 

  • Nagi Dam and Nakti Dam are although two different sanctuariess but  they can be taken as one bird area due to their closeness. 
  • These sanctuaries are a home to wide variety of indigenous species and migratory birds that turn up during the winters from places like Eurasia, Central Asia, the Arctic Circle, Russia and Northern China. 
  • Birdlife International has declared it as an important bird area due to a rare phenomenon. I.e. appearance of Around 1,600 bar-headed geese which is about 3% of the global population of this variety, at this sanctuary. 
  • The sanctuary is unique for its rock formation, “tor” in Jamui area. In India, this rock formation is available only in Hampi in Karnataka. 

Article Source

1000-yrs Old Monpa Handmade Paper Industry revived

Source: PIB

News: Khadi and Village Industries Commission(KVIC) has revived the 1000 year old Monpa Handmade Paper of Arunachal Pradesh by commissioning a Monpa handmade paper making unit in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. The paper unit will also serve as a training center for the local youths to sustain the tradition.


  • Monpa Handmade Paper: It is an heritage hand paper artform of Arunachal Pradesh. This handmade paper is also called as Mon Shugu in the local dialect and is integral to the vibrant culture of the local tribes in Tawang.
  • Origin: The art of making originated among the Monpas over 1000 years ago. Gradually this art became an integral part of local custom and culture of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Why did it decline? Monpas paper used to be sold to countries like Tibet, Bhutan ,Thailand and Japan as no paper making industry existed in these countries at that time.
    • However, the local industry gradually began declining and the indigenous handmade paper was taken over by inferior Chinese paper.
  • How will it be made now? The fine-textured Monpa handmade paper will be made from the bark of a local tree called Shugu Sheng, which has medicinal values too. Hence availability of raw material will not be a problem.
  • Significance: The paper has great historic and religious significance as it is the paper used for writing Buddhist scriptures and hymns in monasteries.

Singapore’s beloved street hawker culture, now a UNESCO ‘Intangible Heritage’

Source: The Indian Express

News: Singapore’s vibrant street hawker culture has been designated as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO. street hawker centres are representative of Singapore’s multiculturalism with stalls selling cheap, delicious food of Chinese, Malay, Indian origins among others.


  • Intangible cultural heritage: It means the traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed through generations as a way of life.
    • These include oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe and the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts.
  • Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage : It was adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2003 and entered into force in 2006. India ratified it in 2007.
  • Purpose of the Convention
    • to safeguard the expressions of intangible cultural heritage that are endangered by the processes of globalization;
    • to ensure respect for the intangible cultural heritage of the communities, groups and individuals;
    • to raise awareness at the local, national and international levels of the importance of the intangible cultural heritage.
  • Intangible Cultural Heritage Sites from India: India has a total of 13 intangible cultural heritages included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:
    • These include: Kutiyattam, the tradition of Vedic chanting, Ramlila, Ramman, Mudiyettu, Kalbelia folk songs and dances, Chauu Dance, Buddhist chanting of Ladakh, Sankritana, Craft of the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru, Nowruz, Yoga, and Kumbh Mela.

“Buddha Miniature Sculpture” found in Karnataka

What is the News?

A miniature sculpture of the Buddha has been found in Badagabettu village in Udupi district of Karnataka.

About Buddha Miniature Sculpture:

  • The sculpture is made out of soft sandstone. It is around nine centimetres high, five centimetres wide and two centimetres thick.
  • Style: The sculpture is in the Gupta style. It looks like a replica of the Sarnath Buddha.
  • Features:
    • The Buddha is seated on a lotus pedestal in Dharma Chakra Pravartana Mudra.
    • Below the seat, six disciples are seated on either side of the Dharma Chakra.
    • The Lord wears clothes and earrings. A small Ushnisha (three-dimensional oval at the top of the head) is also shown on the top of the head. In the back of the head, a beautifully carved round lobe is seen.
    • On the top corners, two Yaks has and on either side of his back, two-winged horses have also been carved out.

Significance of this discovery:

  • Traditionally, ancient Tulu Nadu was said to be ruled by the Kadamb of Bananas. The Guptas and the Kadamb of Banavasi had matrimonial relations.
  • Hence, the discovery of the Buddha sculpture is not an uncommon thing. But, it has thrown open a new chapter in the history of the Udupi district and in the study of Buddhism in South India.

Source: The Hindu

Climate Change impact on Cave Arts of Sulawesi Island of Indonesia

What is the News?

A new Australian study has suggested that climate change may be accelerating the degradation of Pleistocene-era rock paintings located in the Sulawesi Island of Indonesia. It is the world’s oldest cave art.

About the study:

  • Australian and Indonesian archaeological scientists conducted the study. 
  • The scientists examined around 11 caves and rock-shelters in the Maros-Pangkep region in Sulawesi Island of Indonesia.
  • These are Pleistocene-era rock paintings dating back to 45,000-20,000 years ago.

Which are those ancient cave arts of Indonesia? Some important artworks include:

  • Firstly, the world’s oldest hand stencil (almost 40,000 years ago): It was created by pressing the hand on a cave wall and spraying wet red-mulberry pigments over it.
  • Secondly, the world’s oldest depiction of an animal (almost 45,500 years ago): The animal depicted is a warty pig painted on the wall.
  • Lastly, one of the caves contains what researchers describe as possibly the earliest known narrative scene in prehistoric art depicting a hunting scene.

Key Findings of the study:

 Salts on Rocks:

  • The researchers studied the flakes of rock that have begun to detach from cave surfaces.
  • It found salts such as calcium sulphate and sodium chloride on three of the cave samples.
  • These salts also form crystals on rock surfaces, causing them to break.

Change in Temperature and Humidity:

  • The artworks made with pigments are decaying due to a process known as haloclasty.
  • Haloclasty is a type of physical weathering caused by the growth of salt crystals. It occurs due to repeated changes in temperature and humidity, caused by alternating wet and dry weather in the region.

Natural Disasters:

  • Indonesia has also experienced several natural disasters in recent years, which have quickened the process of deterioration.


  • Firstly, Researchers have recommended regular physical and chemical monitoring of the sites to reduce environmental degradation.
  • Secondly, preservation efforts undertaken at the French and Spanish prehistoric cave art sites such as Lascaux and Altamira should also be implemented here.

Source: Indian Express

Webinar on “Khajuraho Temples” Under Dekho Apna Desh

What is the News? 

The Ministry of Tourism organizes a webinar on “ Khajuraho Temples of Architectural Splendour” under Dekho Apna Desh.

About Dekho Apna Desh webinar

The Ministry of Tourism launched the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ webinar series in April 2020. Its objective is to create awareness about and promote various tourism destinations in India. It is also an effort to showcase India’s rich diversity under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.

About Khajuraho Temples:

  • Khajuraho Group of Monuments is a group of Hindu and Jain temples in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Built by: the Chandella rulers between AD 900 and 1130.
  • Situated in: within the Vindhya Mountain range in Central India.
  • UNESCO Site: The temple got the status of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in 1986.
  • Style: The temples are famous for their Nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures.
  • Temples: The temples are categorized into three groups that are Eastern, Western and Southern.
    • To name a few temples are Kandariya Mahadev Temple, Chaunsat Yogini Temple, Brahma Temple, Chitragupta Temple, Devi Jagdamba Temple, Lakshmana Temple, Matangeshwar Temple, Parsvanath Temple.
  • Significance: These temples are famous for intricate & exceptional carvings and surprising architectural skills. The first documented mention of Khajuraho was made in 641 by Xuanzang, a Chinese pilgrim.
    • Later, Khajuraho temples also found mention by Abu Raihan al Biruni in AD 1022 and the Arab traveler Ibn Battuta in AD 1335.
  • Government Initiatives: The Ministry of Tourism included Khajuraho Temples as one of the sites under the “Iconic Tourist Sites Initiative”.
    • Iconic Tourist Sites Initiative announced in Budget 2019-20. It aims to develop the selected sites into world-class tourist destinations to serve as a model for other tourism sites.

Note: The 10th-century Bhand Deva Temple in Rajasthan was built in the style of the Khajuraho monuments and is often referred to as ‘Little Khajuraho’.

Source: PIB

Prime Minister calls for e-marketing of “Channapatna toys”

What is the News?

The Prime Minister has called upon to explore the possibility of e-marketing of Channapatna toys across the country and the world, during the India Toy Fair 2021,

The PM advised the artisans to make use of advanced information technology (IT) technology to popularize toys across the world.

About Channapatna Toys:

  • Channapatna toys are a particular form of wooden toys (and dolls). Artisans of the town Channapatna in Karnataka manufactures them.
  • In Kannada, Channapatna is also called “Gombegala Ooru”, which means toy town in English.
  • Origin: The origin of these toys can be traced to the reign of Tipu Sultan. He invited artisans from Persia to train the local artisans in the making of wooden toys.
  • The Father of the Channapatna toy is Bavas Miyan. He is known for his commitment to helping the local artisans with the art of toy-making and bringing in new technologies to improvise the toys.
  • Wood Used: The Channapatna toys are made of specific wood, called “Aale Mara or the ivory wood”. Vegetable dyes are used for colors that are safe to use and environment-friendly.
  • GI tag: This traditional craft is protected as a geographical indication(GI) under the World Trade Organization(WTO).

Other Traditional Indian Toys of Different States:

  • Kerala- Kathakali dance dolls, animal-shaped toys, and Woodcraft Toys
  • TamilNadu- Thanjavur Thalaiyatti Bommai , Choppu saman Toys
  • Punjab- Folk toys, Handwai, Chankana, Lattu, Ghuggu
  • Telangana: Nirmal Toys
  • Madhya Pradesh– Adivasi Gudia Hastashilpa (Dolls), Betel Nut’s Toys, and Tin Toys.
  • Uttar Pradesh- lacquered toys and miniature utensils Toys.
  • Jammu & Kashmir- Walnut wood carving toys
  • Chhattisgarh- Clay & Terracotta, Dhokra Metal Casting, Wood Carving, Metal Craft toys.
  • Daman & Diu- Tortoise Shell toys and crafts,
  • Andaman & Nicobar Island- Timber Toys, Coconut shell toys

Source: The Hindu

Social media is giving a boost to the “Kinnal craft”

What is the news?
Social Media has given a boost to the artisans of the Kinnal Craft and their wooden dolls. It allowed them to advertise their products online and sell them.

Kinnal Craft:

  • Kinnal Craft or Kinhal Craft is a traditional wooden craft local to the town of Kinhal or Kinnal in Koppal District, Karnataka. The craft was awarded the Geographical Indication tag in 2012.
  • Artisans: The traditional artisans of the craft are known as chitragars. They use a local variety of wood called Polki Marran which grows in and around Jabbalgudda village (near Koppal).
  • Origin: The craft dates back to the 15th or 16th century. It is thought to have gained prominence and patronage under the Vijayanagara Empire, and later, the Nawabs of Koppal. The intricate carvings on the famous Hampi chariot are believed to be the handiwork of the Kinnal artisans.
  • Colours Used: The craft is painted using water-colours or enamel, the signature colours of Kinnal are red, green, yellow and black.
  • Themes: The themes are mainly mythological — idols of deities including Hanuman, Garuda, Gowri and Durga are among Kinnal’s signature creations.
    • Many of the artisans are also involved in making larger idols for the local village festivals, or ooru habba, along with paraphernalia such as palanquins, cradles and chowkis.
  • Significance: Kinhal toys also have a signature gold and silver colour which is done using a special technique called “Lajawara” method. It is prepared by hand-beating sheets of tin which results in a powder that when processed further yields silver and then gold paint. It is a very expensive and tedious process.

Source: The Hindu

PM Praises “Pattachitra Painting”

What is the News?

The Prime Minister has praised the Odisha pattachitra painting in the Mann Ki Baat.

About Patachitra Painting

  1. Pattachitra or Patachitra Painting: The name Pattachitra has evolved from Sanskrit words patta meaning canvas and chitra meaning picture.
  2. It is a traditional, cloth-based scroll painting based in Odisha and West Bengal.

Odisha Pattachitra:

  1. Based on: These paintings are based on Hindu mythology. They are especially inspired by Jagannath and the Vaishnava sect.
  2. Colours: All colors used in the Paintings are natural. Material like Gum of tree, shells, and lam soot, etc. are used for making the color.
  3. Paintings are made fully in the traditional way by Chitrakaras, i.e. Odiya Painter.
  4. Style: The style is a mix of both folk and classical elements but leaning more towards folk forms. The dress style has Mughal influences.
  5. Popular Themes: Some of the most popular themes represented through this art form are
    1. Thia Badhia – depiction of the temple of Jagannath;
    2. Krishna Lila – enactment of Jagannath as Lord Krishna displaying his powers as a child;
    3. Dasavatara Patti – the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu;
    4. Panchamukhi – depiction of Lord Ganesh as a five-headed deity.

Bengal Patachitra

  1. Pattachitra has been a component of an ancient Bengali narrative art. It originally served as a visual device during the performance of a song.
  2. Based on: The paintings are mostly based on mythological, religious stories, folklore, and social. The artist of the Bengal Patachitra is called Patua.
  3. Colour: Use of natural color is one of the characteristics of the Bengal Patachitra.
  4. The Kalighat Patachitra, the last tradition of Bengal Patachitra is developed by Jamini Roy.
  5. Buddhist Literature: Bengal Patachitra is referred to in the Buddhist literature in Haribansha(1st century A.D), Abhigyan Shakuntalam(2nd century A.D) and Malavikagnimitra (4th century), Harshacharita (6th Century).

Source: Hindustan Times

World’s oldest known cave painting (a wild pig image) found in Indonesia

News: Archaeologists have discovered the world’s oldest known animal cave painting in Indonesia – a wild pig – believed to be drawn 45,500 years ago.


Source: Indian Express

  • About Cave Painting: The cave painting uncovered in South Sulawesi in Indonesia consists of a figurative depiction of a warty pig, a wild boar that is endemic to this Indonesian island.
  • Technique used: The researchers used a technique called uranium-series dating to analyse a mineral formation that overlapped part of the image and that must have formed after the cave art was produced. The mineral formation is at least 45,500 years old suggesting the artwork itself could be much older.
  • Significance: The painting provides the earliest evidence of human settlement of the region.
  • Is it the oldest human produced art? The painting may be the world’s oldest art depicting a figure, but it is not the oldest human-produced art. In South Africa, a hashtag-like doodle created 73,000 years ago is believed to be the oldest known drawing.

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The proposal to demolish the Louis Kahn’s IIMA building is an act of cultural vandalism

Synopsis- IIMA decision to demolish historic dormitories designed by architect Louis Khan, this would constitute an act of cultural vandalism.  


  • Louis Kahn, a world-famous architect, called in 1960s to Ahmedabad to design various buildings, and the IIMA was one of the iconic structures built by him.
  • Works of this excellence belong to both national and universal heritage.
  • However, the administration of the Indian Institute of Management decided to demolish 14 dormitories on the IIMA campus as they turn unsafe.
  • It led to the protests in the campus and reconsideration of the decision. 

Why the proposal to demolish the dorms of IIMA represent as cultural vandalism? 

Having supported the restoration of the entire campus for years, the administration claimed that as this work was not ‘satisfactory’ the whole lot should be pulled down, which is an act of cultural vandalism against an architectural masterpiece which is not only of great importance to India but to the world. 

  • Current laws in India provide national heritage protection only to buildings and sites more than 100 years old. This leaves Kahn’s IIM- Ahmedabad in extremely vulnerable positions.  
  • capitalism, political corruption and land speculation pose threats to ancient and modern works of quality. 

Fortunately, many organizations and individuals both within the country and abroad have written to the institute, urging the management to reconsider the decision. 

What is the significance of Louis Kahn IIMA Architecture? 

Kahn built two projects on the Indian subcontinent, the Assembly Complex in Dhaka, Bangladesh and the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad (IIMA). Both reflect his response to the cultures, climates and traditions of their respective places. 

Significance of IIMA building- 

  • The complex is built mainly in brick, with some interventions of concrete for lateral bracing and tie bars.
  • With its interweaving of space and form, light and shade, orthogonal and diagonal geometries, the dormitory complex is a virtuoso demonstration of Kahn’s immense skill as a designer.
  • A citadel of learning, replete with cylindrical towers, shaded streets and squares, it is not unlike a tight-knit Indian fortified town.

Way forward- 

  • First, there is a need to reshape national heritage laws to protect 20th-century buildings. 
    • Heritage should be assessed on the basis of long-term quality rather than the cut-off date of a hundred years.
  • Second, IIMA Director and Board need to live up to their responsibilities by restoring and protecting Kahn’s work in its totality, so that the future generations may be inspired by it. 

Thus, the leaders of IIMA should be persuaded to complete the restoration of Kahn’s buildings at the highest possible level, and perhaps attain the same World Heritage status 

The signature of Kahn and other foreign architects on Indian cities

Source: The Indian Express

News: A controversy has erupted over a decision by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad to bring down 18 dormitories built by legendary American architect Louis Kahn on the old campus and replace them with a new building. In this Context, let us look at the contributions of different architects on Indian Cities,


  • Antonin Raymond & George Nakashima: Golconde, India’s first reinforced concrete buildings built between 1937 and 1945 in Puducherry was designed and completed by them.
  • Otto Königsberger: He was the chief architect and planner of Mysore State between 1939 and 1948.Later, he was commissioned by Tata & Sons to develop the industrial township of Jamshedpur in the early 1940s.He also later designed the master plan for Bhubaneswar(1948) and Faridabad(1949).
  • Albert Mayer and Mathew Nowicki: They designed the city of Chandigarh.
  • Le Corbusier: He was a Swiss-French architect. He designed many of Chandigarh’s civic buildings from courts to housing.He is often called the “father of modern Indian architecture”.
  • Patrick Geddes: He wrote town planning reports from 1915 to 1919, for 18 Indian cities including Bombay and Indore.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright: He was an American architect. He never built a structure in India but his influence was unmistakable.His students, Gautam and Gira Sarabhai were the founders of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.
  • Buckminster Fuller: He is known for his geodesic domes – large-span structures made of a network of triangles. Gautam Sarabhai inspired by Fuller designed the Calico Dome in 1962 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat at the same site that served as a mill shop.
  • Joseph Allen Stein: He was an American architect.He is known for designing important buildings in India most notably in Lodhi Estate in Delhi nicknamed Steinabad after him.He is also famous for being the architect of the scenic Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode’s campus.
  • Louis Kahn: He was an American architect.He designed the old campus of IIM Ahmedabad.The plan’s most distinctive features are the numerous arches, and square brick structures with circles carved out in the façade.

Who are the Tharu tribals?

Source : Click here

Uttar Pradesh government has embarked upon a scheme to take the unique culture of its ethnic Tharu tribe across the world.The intention is to put Tharu villages on the tourism map and to create jobs and bring economic independence to the tribal population.


  • Tharu: They are an ethnic group indigenous to the Terai in southern Nepal and northern India.
  • Origin: The word tharu is believed to be derived from sthavir, meaning followers of Theravada Buddhism.
  • Worship: They worship Lord Shiva as Mahadev, and call their supreme being “Narayan”, who they believe is the provider of sunshine, rain, and harvests.
  • Occupation: Most of them are forest dwellers and some practice agriculture.
  • Language: They speak various dialects of Tharu, a language of the Indo-Aryan subgroup, and variants of Hindi, Urdu and Awadhi. In central Nepal, they speak a variant of Bhojpuri, while in eastern Nepal, they speak a variant of Maithili.

Additional Facts:

  • Theravada Buddhism: The name means ‘the doctrine of the elders’ – the elders being the senior Buddhist monks.It is strongest in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. It is sometimes called ‘Southern Buddhism’.

Govt approves inclusion of four indigenous sports in Khelo India Youth Games 2021

Source: Click here

News: Sports Ministry has approved the inclusion of four indigenous Games to be a part of Khelo India Youth Games 2021.The games include Gatka, Kalaripayattu, Thang-Ta and Mallakhamba.


  • Gatka: It is a traditional martial art form originated from Punjab. It is associated with the Nihang Sikh Warriors and is used both as self-defense as well as a sport.
  • Kalaripayattu also known as Kalari is an Indian martial art that originated in Kerala. It is believed to be the oldest surviving martial art in India.
  • Thang-Ta also known as Huyen Lallong is a martial art form of Manipur and has been practised by the Meiteis. It is dedicated to fighting skill and worship.
  • Mallakhamba: It is a traditional sport from Indian subcontinent and has been well-known in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. It involves gymnasts performing aerial yoga or gymnastic postures and wrestling grips in concert with a vertical stationary or hanging wooden pole, cane, or rope.

What is Khelo India?

  • Khelo India Programme: It was introduced by the Ministry of Sports and Youth affairs.
  • Aim: To revive the sports culture in India at the grass-root level by building a strong framework for all sports played in our country and establish India as a great sporting nation.
  • Objectives:
    • Mass participation of youth in annual sports competitions through a structured competition;
    • Identification of talent
    • Guidance and nurturing of the talent through existing sports academies and new set up either by the central Government or State Government or in PPP mode.
    • Creation of Sports Infrastructure at mofussil, Tehsil, District, State levels among others.
  • Merger: The scheme is a merger of three schemes namely:
    • Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan: Infrastructure in rural areas and encouraging sports through competitions
    • Urban Infrastructure Scheme: Development of Infrastructure in urban areas.
    • National Sports Talent Search: Identifying sports talent.
  • Key Features of the Scheme:
    • Under the scheme, Talented players identified in priority sports disciplines at various levels by the High-Powered Committee will be provided annual financial assistance of INR 5 lakh per annum for 8 years.
    • State wise budget allocation is not made and projects are sanctioned based on their viability. Funds are released project wise.
  • Verticals: To meet the objectives of Khelo India, the entire programme is divided in 12 verticals as mentioned in the below picture:

Note: Sports being a State subject, the responsibility of promotion of sports, including identification of young talent and its nurturing rests with State Governments. Government of India supplements the efforts of State Governments through its various schemes.

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