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CBSE Class 12 History Sample Paper 2022-23

You may have noticed that CBSE Class 12 History Sample Paper 2022-23 has some case study questions. The text of these case studies is from NCERT books only. Although Class 12 History Sample Paper 2022-23 followed this pattern yet the annual exam may have case studies from other sources too.

History Model Question Paper 2023

Let’s have a look over the new model paper issued by CBSE, New Delhi. The board has given 34 questions this year. Here, question number 34 (the last question) is a map-based question.

There are 21 objective-type questions and most of them are pure MCQs. You can also find some assertion and reason type questions in the class 12 History sample paper.  Some statement and picture identification questions are also there.

Overall the question paper has mostly simple and straight questions. Only some MCQs and case studies have twisted questions. So, overall the paper is comparatively simple.

Class 12 History Sample Paper 2022-23

Here, we have added one sample paper with solution. If you wish to get more such question papers, you can get them from:

  1. myCBSEguide app
  2. Student Dashboard

Class 12 – History

Sample Paper – 01 (2022-23)

Maximum Marks: 80
Time Allowed: : 3 hours

General Instructions:

  1. Question paper comprises five Sections – A, B, C, D and E. There are 34 questions in the question paper. All questions are compulsory.
  2. Section A – Question 1 to 21 are MCQs of 1 mark each.
  3. Section B – Question no. 22 to 27 are Short Answer Type Questions, carrying 3 marks each. The answer to each question should not exceed 60-80 words.
  4. Section C – Question no 28 to 30 are Long Answer Type Questions, carrying 8 marks each. The answer to each question should not exceed 300-350 words
  5. Section D – Question no.31 to 33 are Source based questions with three sub-questions and are of 4 marks each
  6. Section-E – Question no. 34 is Map based, carrying 5 marks that include the identification and location of significant test items. Attach the map with the answer book.
  7. There is no overall choice in the question paper. However, an internal choice has been provided in a few questions. Only one of the choices in such questions has to be attempted.
  8. In addition, separate instructions are given with each section and question, wherever necessary.

  1. CBSE Class 12 History Sample Paper 2022-23 Section A

  2. Identify the emperor of the Maurya Empire with the help of the following information:
    • He was the first ruler who inscribed his messages to his subjects and officials on stone surfaces – natural rocks as well as polished pillars.
    • He used the inscriptions to proclaim what he understood to be dhamma.
    a) Asoka
    b) Bindusara
    c) Kautilya
    d) Chandragupta
  3. Who proposed Britishers to adopt the policy of Pacification with Paharias?
    a)  Lord Cornwallis
    b) Francis Buchanan
    c) William Hodges
    d) Augustus Cleveland
  4. Match the following:
    List IList II
    (a) Chaitya(i) Contains relics of Buddha.
    (b) Vihara(ii) Prayer hall for the Buddhist monks.
    (c) Sangha(iii) Dwelling place of Buddhist monks.
    (d) Stupa(iv) Organisation of monks.
    a) (a) – (i), (b) – (ii), (c) – (iv), (d) – (iii)
    b) (a) – (ii), (b) – (iii), (c) – (iv), (d) – (i)
    c) (a) – (iii), (b) – (iv), (c) – (ii), (d) – (i)
    d) (a) – (i), (b) – (iii), (c) – (iv), (d) – (ii)

    To practice more questions & prepare well for exams, download myCBSEguide App. It provides complete study material for CBSE, NCERT, JEE (main), NEET-UG and NDA exams. Teachers can use Examin8 App to create similar papers with their own name and logo.

  5. Who among the following had initiated the revolt of 1857?
    a) Sepoys
    b) Mughal Rulers
    c) Money lender
    d) Villege Panchayat
  6. Identify the given image from the following options:

    a) A fifteenth-century stone sculpture depicting Krishna
    b) A fifteenth-century stone sculpture depicting Shiva
    c) A fifteenth-century stone sculpture depicting Brahma
    d) A fifteenth-century stone sculpture depicting Mahavira
  7. The system in Bengal in which zamindars remunerated blacksmiths, carpenters, goldsmiths, etc. for their work by paying them a small daily allowance and diet money was known as:
    a) Jajmani system
    b) Miras system
    c) Peshkash
    d) Kharbandi
  8. Which language did Al-Biruni learn in Hindustan?
    a) Tamil
    b) Sanskrit
    c) Arabic
    d) Hindavi
  9. The foundation of Vijaynagar Empire was laid by
    a) Akbar
    b) Mohammad Tughlaq
    c) Babur
    d) Alauddin-Khiliji
  10. Consider the following events:
    1. Swaraj movement.
    2. Nehru report.
    3. Simon commission.
    4. Poorna swaraj demand.

    The correct chronological order of these events is.

    a) i, ii, iii, iv
    b) i, iii, ii, iv
    c) iv, ii, i, iii
    d) i, iv, iii, ii
  11. Assertion (A): Archaeologists suggest that the urban core areas may have been occupied by rich traders.
    Reason (R): Archaeologists have found fine Chinese terracotta clayware in some areas, including in the south-eastern corner of the urban core.

    a) Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A.
    b) Both A and R are true but R is not the correct explanation of A.
    c) A is true but R is false.
    d) A is false but R is true.
  12. Complete the following with the correct option:
    Muqaddam : Panchayat headman, Patwari : ________.

    a) Panchayat Police
    b) Panchayat Accountant
    c) Panchayat Farmer
    d) Panchayat Secretary
  13. Match the following:
    List IList II
    (a) There is one God.(i) Hajj
    (b) Giving alms(ii) Sawm
    (c) Fasting during the month of Ramzan(iii) Zakat
    (d) Performing the pilgrimage to Mecca(iv) Shahada
    a) (a) – (i), (b) – (iii), (c) – (ii), (d) – (iv)
    b) (a) – (ii), (b) – (iv), (c) – (i), (d) – (iii)
    c) (a) – (iv), (b) – (iii), (c) – (ii), (d) – (i)
    d) (a) – (iii), (b) – (i), (c) – (ii), (d) – (iv)
  14. Assertion (A): It’s possible that patriliny was particularly important among elite families.
    Reason (R): Daughters were viewed rather differently as per the concept of patrilineage and marrying them into families outside the kin was considered desirable.

    a) Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A.
    b) Both A and R are true but R is not the correct explanation of A.
    c) A is true but R is false.
    d) A is false but R is true.
  15. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about the subsistence strategies of Harappa?
    1. Archeologists have reconstructed dietary practices from finds of charred grains and seeds.
    2. Archaeo-botanists have studied grains found at Harappa like millets, barley, etc.
    3. Animals were hunted according to zooarchaeologists.

    Choose the correct option.

    a) (ii) only
    b) (i), (ii) and (iii)
    c) (i) and (ii) only
    d) (ii) and (iii) only
  16. When was the Subsidiary Alliance imposed on Awadh?
    a) 1857
    b) 1801
    c) 1880
    d) 1805
  17. The Constituent Assembly of India was passed and adopted on which of the following days?
    a) 26 November, 1949
    b) 29 August, 1947
    c) 26 January, 1950
    d) 24 January, 1950
  18. Which town in Indus Valley Civilisation had no Citadel?
    a) Chanhudaro
    b) Mohenjodaro
    c) Harappa
    d) Lothal
  19. Buddha was born in ________.
    a) Gaya
    b) Rajgriha
    c) Lumbini
    d) Vaishali
  20. In which year permanent settlement came into operation?
    a) 1893
    b) 1790
    c) 1793
    d) 1783
  21. Who was the President of the Constituent Assembly?
    a) Motilal Nehru
    b) Dr. Rajendra Prasad
    c) Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar
    d) Jawaharlal Nehru
  22. How many verses are there in Mahabharata?
    a) 20 thousand
    b) More than one lakh
    c) One Lakh
    d) 50 thousand
  23. CBSE Class 12 History Sample Paper 2022-23 Section B

  24. Who composed the original story of Mahabharata in oral form? Explain any four elements considered by Historians while analyzing Mahabharata.


    How do historians classify the subject matter of Mahabharata? Explain in brief.

  25. Give a brief description of the technology used in the agriculture during the Mughal period.
  26. How did the Paharias respond to the coming of outsiders?
  27. What was the role of cartridges covered with animal fat in the mutiny of 1857?
  28. Discuss whether the term royal centre is an appropriate description for the part of the city for which it is used.
  29. Describe any five peace evidences which reflect the decline and abandonment of mature Harappan sites by 1800 BCE.


    How can you say that Harappan people liked cleanliness?

  30. CBSE Class 12 History Sample Paper 2022-23 Section C

  31. Examine the significance of Al-Biruni’s book Kitab-ul-Hind in the study of Indian History.


    Explain the observations of Ibn-Battuta about the cities of India, with special reference to Delhi.

  32. Describe the Mauryan contribution to Indian art and architecture.


    Explain the main features of the Mauryan administration.

  33. What do private letters and autobiographies tell us about an individual? How are these sources different from official accounts?


    The Salt March of 1930 was the first event that brought Mahatma Gandhi to world attention. Explain the significance of this movement for Swaraj.

  34. CBSE Class 12 History Sample Paper 2022-23 Section D

  35. Read the text carefully and answer the questions:Prayer to Agni
    Here are two verses from the Rigveda invoking Agni, the god of fire, often identified with the sacrificial fire, into which offerings were made so as to reach the other deities: Bring, O strong one, this sacrifice of ours to the gods, O wise one, as a liberal giver. Bestow on us, O priest, abundant food. Agni, obtain, by sacrificing, mighty wealth for us. Procure, O Agni, forever to him who prays to you (the gift of) nourishment, the wonderful cow. May a son be ours, offspring that continues our line… Verses such as these were composed in a special kind of Sanskrit, known as Vedic Sanskrit. They were taught orally to men belonging to priestly families.

    1. What do we come to know through Rigveda?
    2. Outline the objectives of the sacrificial traditions prevailing during the Vedic age.
    3. The Rigveda consists of the hymns in praise of a variety of deities. Elaborate.

    To practice more questions & prepare well for exams, download myCBSEguide App. It provides complete study material for CBSE, NCERT, JEE (main), NEET-UG and NDA exams. Teachers can use Examin8 App to create similar papers with their own name and logo.

  36. Read the text carefully and answer the questions:Reverence for the Jogi
    Here is an excerpt from a letter written by Aurangzeb to a Jogi in 1661-62:
    The possessor of the sublime station, Shiv Murat, Guru Anand Nath Jio! May our Reverence remain in peace and happiness ever under the protection of Sri Shiv Jio! …. A piece of cloth for the cloak and a sum of twenty-five rupees which have been sent as an offering will reach (Your Reverence) …. Your Reverence may write to us whenever there is any service which can be rendered by us.

    1. From where has this excerpt been taken?
    2. What was the name of the Jogi? Which deity did he worship?
    3. Which aspect of Aurangzeb’s religious attitude does this excerpt indicate?
  37. Read the text carefully and answer the questions:The British element is gone, but they have Left the mischief behind
    Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel said:
    It is no use saying that we ask for separate electorates because it is good for us. We have heard it long enough. We have heard it for years, and as a result of this agitation, we are now a separate nation … Can you show me one free country where there are separate electorates? If so, I shall be prepared to accept it. But in this unfortunate country, if this separate electorate is going to be persisted in, even after the division of the country, woe betide the country; it is not worth living in. Therefore, I say, it is not for my good alone, it is for your own good that I say it, forget the past. One day, we may be united … The British element is gone, but they have left the mischief behind. We do not want to perpetuate that mischief. (Hear, hear). When the British introduced this element they had not expected that they will have to go so soon. They wanted it for their easy administration. That is all right. But they have left the legacy behind. Are we to get out of it or not?

    1. What did Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel say in opposition to the provision of separate electorates?
    2. What were the negative consequences of the separate electorate?
    3. What did he say while making an appeal to abolish separate electorates?
  38. CBSE Class 12 History Sample Paper 2022-23 Section E

    1. On the given political outline map of India locate and label any three from the following with appropriate symbols:
      1. Amritsar – an important centre of the National Movement.
      2. Chauri-Chaura – The place where Gandhiji called off Non-Cooperation Movement.
      3. Vijaynagara – City ruled by the Tuluva dynasty.
        Agra, a centre of the Revolt of 1857.
    2. On the same outline map, two places related to Matured Harappan sites have been marked as A, and B. Identify them and write their correct names on the lines marked near them.

Class 12 – History Sample Paper – 01 Solution


  1. Section A
  2. (a) Asoka
    Explanation: Asoka
  3. (d) Augustus Cleveland
    Explanation: Augustus Cleveland purposed the Policy of Pacification.
  4. (b) (a) – (ii), (b) – (iii), (c) – (iv), (d) – (i)
    Explanation: (a) – (ii), (b) – (iii), (c) – (iv), (d) – (i)
  5. (a) Sepoys
    Explanation: Sepoys
  6. (a) A fifteenth-century stone sculpture depicting Krishna
    Explanation: A fifteenth-century stone sculpture depicting Krishna
  7. (a) Jajmani system
    Explanation: Jajmani system
  8. (b) Sanskrit
    Explanation: Al-Biruni learned Sanskrit from priests and Brahmans.
    To practice more questions & prepare well for exams, download myCBSEguide App. It provides complete study material for CBSE, NCERT, JEE (main), NEET-UG and NDA exams. Teachers can use Examin8 App to create similar papers with their own name and logo.
  9. (b) Mohammad Tughlaq
    Explanation: Mohammad Tughlaq
  10. (b) i, iii, ii, iv
    Explanation: Swaraj movement-1923, Simon commission-1928, Nehru report -1928 and Pooran swaraj -1929.
    Simon commission came first, Nehru report was created later in 1928.
  11. (c) A is true but R is false.
    Explanation: Archaeologists suggest that the urban core areas may have been occupied by rich traders because they found fine Chinese porcelain in some areas, including in the north-eastern corner of the urban core. This was also the Muslim residential quarter.
    The assertion is correct but the reason is incorrect.
  12. (b) Panchayat Accountant
    Explanation: Panchayat Accountant
  13. (c) (a) – (iv), (b) – (iii), (c) – (ii), (d) – (i)
    Explanation: (a) – (iv), (b) – (iii), (c) – (ii), (d) – (i)
  14. (b) Both A and R are true but R is not the correct explanation of A.
    Explanation: Under patriliny, sons could claim the resources (including the throne in the case of kings) of their fathers when the latter died. The elite families included the royal families or the families of the rich. The principle of patriliny would have been essential for them on the account that according to Dharmashastras, it is the son who carries forward the dynasty and daughters cannot do so. Sons were important for the continuity of the patrilineage, daughters were viewed rather differently within this framework, and marrying them into families outside the kin was considered desirable under the system of exogamy (literally, marrying outside).
    The concern with patriliny was not unique to ruling families. It is evident in mantras in ritual texts such as the Rigveda. It is possible that these attitudes were shared by wealthy men and those who claimed high status, including Brahmanas.
    Both the reason and the assertion are correct but the reason does not explain the assertion.
  15. (c) (i) and (ii) only
    Explanation: Archaeologists have been able to reconstruct dietary practices from finds of charred grains and seeds. These are studied by archaeo-botanists, who are specialists in ancient plant remains. Grains found at Harappan sites include wheat, barley, lentil, chickpea, and sesame. Millets are found from sites in Gujarat.
    Animal bones found at Harappan sites include those of cattle, sheep, goat, buffalo, and pig. Studies done by archaeo-zoologists or zooarchaeologists indicate that these animals were domesticated. Bones of wild species such as boar, deer, and gharial are also found but it is not clear whether the Harappans hunted these animals themselves or obtained meat from other hunting communities.
  16. (b) 1801
    Explanation: 1801
  17. (a) 26 November, 1949
    Explanation: 26 November, 1949
  18. (a) Chanhudaro
    Explanation: Chanhudaro is a tiny settlement (less than 7 hectares) as compared to Mohenjodaro (125 hectares), almost exclusively devoted to craft production, including bead-making, shell-cutting, metal-working, seal-making, and weight-making. It is an archaeological site belonging to the post-urban Jhukar phase of the Indus valley civilization. It was the only Indus city without a citadel.
  19. (c) Lumbini
    Explanation: Buddha was born in Lumbini.
  20. (c) 1793
    Explanation: Permanent settlement came into operation in 1793.
  21. (b) Dr. Rajendra Prasad
    Explanation: Dr. Rajendra Prasad
  22. (c) One Lakh
    Explanation: One Lakh
  23. Section B
  24. The original story of Mahabharata was composed by the charioteer- bards known as Sutas.
    Historians should keep in mind the following factor or elements while handling textual traditions:

    1. They examine whether the text was written in Pali or Sanskrit or in any other language.
    2. Whether the Mantras learned and chanted by a ritual specialist.
    3. They must get knowledge about the author as his attitude, and views.
    4. The author must be kept in his mind about the taste and interest of the readers.
    5. While analysing the text they were awarded that did not go on the face value of the evidence.
    6. They compared the verses from each manuscript.finally they selected the verses that were appeared common to most versions.


    Historians classify the subject matter of Mahabharata into two parts. These are narrative sections and didactic Sections. In a narrative, section stories are included, while in didactic section prescription about social norms are included. This classification of Mahabharata was not watertight. It is because the narrative section also conveys some social messages on one hand and on the other hand in the didactic section, there are also some social messages. Most historians now believe that the Mahabharata was a dramatic and moving story. The didactic portion is an afterwards addition. The studies indicated that the ideas contained in Sanskrit text were on the whole recognised as authoritative. They were also questioned and historians believed that everything laid in the texts cannot be taken on its face value.

  25. There was a constant expansion of agriculture during the Mughal Period. It depended mainly on the monsoons. But artificial systems of irrigation were also devised. There are many instances to prove it such as follows:
    1. The state undertook the digging of new canals (Nahar or Nala).
    2. The state also undertook the repair of old canals like the Shah-Nahar in Punjab.
    3. The farmers used those technologies which harnessed animal power.
    4. There was the use of a wooden plough which was light. It had an iron tip or coulter.
    5. There was also the use of a drill. It was pulled by a pair of giant oxen used to plant seeds.
    6. A narrow iron blade with a small wooden handle was also used to hoe and weed.
  26. The Paharias response to the coming of outsiders was as:
    1. The settling of the Santhals on the peripheries of the Rajmahal hills was initially resisted by the Paharias.
    2. But ultimately they were forced to withdraw deeper into the hills.
    3. They were now confined to the more barren and rocky upper hills. This severely affected their lives.
    4. Their economy was dependent on shifting cultivation which was no longer feasible leading to their impoverishment.
    5. As forests began to be cleared to facilitate cultivation the Paharia hunters also faced problems.

    Thus, the lifestyle of the Paharias underwent a great change with the coming of the outsiders.

  27. One of the alleged causes of the Indian rebellion of 1857 were rumours that new cartridges were coated with animal fat. New Enfield rifles were given to the Indian sepoys, the cartridges of its bullets were said to be coated with the fat of cows and pigs. The soldiers had to peel them out with their teeth before using them. Biting those bullets would corrupt their caste and religion. The British tried to explain to the sepoys that this was not the case but the rumour had spread like wildfire across the sepoy lines of North India. Therefore, the Hindu and the Muslim soldiers refused to use these cartridges and they revolted against the British to preserve their faith.
  28. The term “royal centre” is appropriate because it had more than 60 temples. Most of these temples were constructed by the ruler of the Vijayanagara Empire to express their supremacy. The royal centre had 30 palaces. These were made of perishable material. A brief description of the building of the Royal centre are as given below:
    1. One of the most beautiful buildings in the royal centre is the Lotus Mahal. It was named by British travellers in the nineteenth century. It was argued that the buildings might be used as council chambers for meetings. But none sure about the purpose.
    2. Most temples were located in the sacred centre. The most important was Hazara Rama which was used by the royal family.
  29. Many pieces of evidence have been found that the Harappan civilization developed in the region of Cholistan in 1800 BCE. Later on, these sites were abandoned. In its places, there was an expansion of population at new settlements in Gujarat, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh. There is evidence that some of the Harappan sites remained occupied even after 1900 BCE.
    At most of the Harappan sites, there was a transformation of material culture such as:

    1. After 1900 BCE. there appears to have been a transformation of a material culture marked by the disappearance of the distinctive artefacts of the civilisation weights, seals, special beads.
    2. Writing, long-distance trade and craft specialisation also disappeared.
    3. Generally, far fewer materials were used to make far fewer things.
    4. There was a deterioration in the techniques of house construction.
    5. The construction of large public structures had come to an end. All the settlements had adopted a rural way of life. All these cultures were called Late Harappan or Successor Cultures.


    Following points indicate towards the Harappan people’s interest in cleanliness:

    1. There was a bathroom in almost every house.
    2. There was a proper arrangement of the disposal of wastewater. Streets were covered with drains on sides and had stone lids to keep them close.
    3. The drainage system in Harappan cities is best known for its perfection. It involved brickwork that prevented water from leaking.
    4. People used to do some kind of a special ritual bath in the Great Bath.

    Hence, the arrangement of drains, wide roads and houses with toilets and drains shows a sense of cleanliness.

  30. Section C
  31. The Kitab-ul-Hind: Al-Biruni’s Kitab-ul-Hind, written in Arabic, is simple and lucid. It is a voluminous text, divided into 80 chapters on subjects such as religion and philosophy, festivals, astronomy, alchemy manners and customs, social life, weights and measures, iconography, laws, and metrology.
    Al-Biruni’s description of India:

    1. Political Condition: It is clear from AlBiruni’s account that the country was divided into many small parts at that time. More famous among them being Kannauj, Kashmir, Sind, Malwa, Gujarat, and Bengal. In the south also there were many small kingdoms in India. All these kingdoms were independent, jealous of each other and were constantly engaged in quarrels against one another. About the Indian judicial system, he writes that criminal law was mild in India and the Brahmins were exempted from death punishment. The limbs of serious offenders were amputated. The judges dispensed justice on the basis of the evidence of the witnesses. The punishment was given according to the cost of the theft committed. About the land system and taxation Al-Biruni mentions that the king was not the owner of the land. He took only the land tax. The king took from the peasants l/6th of the produce as tax but the Brahmins were exempted even from this tax.
    2. Social Condition: Al-Biruni writes that contemporary Indian society was ridden with a rigid caste system. The country was suffering from many evil practices of child marriage, the prohibition of widow remarriage, Sati and Jauhar. There was no feeling of unity and equality in Indian society. In this Tehkikat-I-Hind he mentions the narrow outlook of Indians saying that Hindus are of the belief that there is no country like India, no king like theirs and no science like theirs. The caste system has reached its peak during the time of Mahmud’s invasions. Al-Biruni mentions that in society only brahmins had the right to attain salvation. Apart from getting his posts, Brahmins were exempted from payment of taxes.
    3. Religious Conditions: Al-Biruni account tells us that time idol worship was prevalent in the country and there was lots of wealth in the temples. Common people believed in many Gods but the scholars and educated people believed in the unity of Godhead. AlBiruni writes about this that the Hindus believed in one God which is permanent, all-powerful and all-pervading.
    4. Indian Philosophy: Al-Biruni has unreservedly praised Indian philosophy. He was especially impressed by the Upanishads and the spiritual philosophy propounded in the Bhagwadgita. But he also mentioned that Indians did not evince much taste for writing chronological history. According to him, the Indians know very little about the chronology of historical events and if pressed too much, they start narrating stories. He also points out the fact that Indians do not give much importance to the exchange of knowledge. He writes, ‘‘Hindus are very miserly in giving their knowledge with great difficulty even amongst their own community what to talk of foreigners.”


    There is no doubt that the description of Ibn-Battuta is quite helpful in understanding the lifestyle of the Indian cities. His description is quite clear and extensive. It seems as if the true picture emerges before our eyes trading in a variety of goods. They were occasionally disturbed because of wars or invasions.

    1. According to Ibn-Battuta, Delhi was a vast city. It had a lot of population and was the largest city in India. Another big city was Daultabad in Maharashtra which challenged Delhi in size.
    2. The markets and bazaars of the Indian cities were not only the places of economic transactions but also the centres of social and cultural activities. Most of the bazaars had a mosque and a temple. They also had fixed places for public performances by dancers, musicians and singers.
    3. Ibn-Battuta found that many towns derived their wealth and prosperity through the appropriation of surplus from villages.
    4. According to Ibn-Battuta, Indian agriculture was very productive. The farmers cultivated two crops a year because the land was very fertile.
    5. The goods of India were in great demand in both West Asia and south-east Asia. So artisans and merchants earned huge profits. The sub-continent was well integrated with Inter-Asia networks of trade and commerce.
  32. During the Mauryan period, significant progress was made in the fields of craft, architecture, sculpture, stone polishing, engineering and jewellery making, etc.
    1. Craft and Architecture: The grand palaces built by the Mauryan emperors struck foreign travellers with amazement. As most of these structures were built of wood so none of their fine specimens has survived to this day.
    2. Sculpture: The greatest stride was made by the art of chiselling stone columns, the beautiful icons and caves. Asokan pillars are the best specimen of Mauryan art. Their pillars are 50-60 feet high weighing about 50 tons. It is amazing how such huge pillars were carved from a single rock. In spite of their huge size, these pillars have a capitol head carved with the unique figures of birds and animals. The four-headed iron capital at Sarnath, which has been adopted as the official seal or national emblem of India, is the living example of Mauryan art.
    3. The art of polishing: The art of polishing hard-rock was so advanced during the Mauryan period that even today we are far behind in this field. The cave walls near Gaya are so well polished that they shine like a mirror. The Asokan pillar in Firozshah Kotla at Delhi was mistaken by an English Bishop Heber, as made of metals. It was all because of its mirror-like shine.
    4. Engineering Skill and Technology: Huge rocks were cut, preserved and chiselled into pillars that were as high as 50 feet and as heavy as 50 tons. These huge rocks were cut probably from the Chunar Hills and from here they were carried to distant destinations. It was a marvellous feat to transport such huge rocks to such distances. It can be easily imagined from the fact that in 1356 A.D., King Firoz Tughlak desired to carry on Asokan pillar from Topara in Ambala to Delhi.
    5. Jewellery: The art of jewellery was also advanced. Some ornaments of Asokan period (250 B.C.) have been found during the excavation at Taxila. They testify the skill of the Mauryan craftsmen and goldsmiths.


    Features of Mauryan Administration:

    1. Capital and provisional centres: There were five major political centres in the empire i.e. the capital Pataliputra and the provincial centres of Taxila, Ujjayini, Tosali, and Suvarnagiri, that are all mentioned in Asokan inscriptions.
    2. Due to the Vastness of the empire’s administrative system of this empire was not uniform. It is likely that administrative control was strongest in areas around the capital and the provincial centres. These centers were carefully chosen, both Taxila and Ujjayini being situated on important long-distance trade routes, while Suvarnagiri (literally, the golden mountain) was possibly important for tapping the gold mines of Karnataka.
    3. Structure of the military: Megasthenes mentions a committee with six subcommittees for coordinating military activity. Of these, one looked after the navy, the second managed to transport and provisions, the third was responsible for foot-soldiers, the fourth for horses, the fifth for chariots and the sixth for elephants. The activities of the second subcommittee were rather varied-arranging for bullock carts to carry equipment, and recruiting servants and artisans to look after the soldiers.
    4. Dhamma: Ashoka was the first ruler who inscribed his messages to his subjects and officials on stone surfaces- natural rocks as well as polished pillars. He tried to hold his empire together by propagating Dhamma, the principles of which were simple and virtually universally applicable. This, according to him, would ensure the well-being of people in this world and the next. Special officers, known as the Dhamma Mahamatta, were appointed to spread the message of Dhamma.
  33. Private letters and autobiographies are important sources of an individual’s life and views.
    Many of our freedom struggle leaders wrote autobiographies and letters and today they are our great record about them and history too.
    The autobiographies and letters tell us the following things about an individual.

    1. Autobiographies and letters throw light on the interests of an individual. Let us take an example, Nehru wrote letters to his daughter Indira describing the events of world history, today it is known as the book, “Glimpses of the World History”. These letters show that Nehru had a great interest in history. These letters show also the views of the author. For example, Nehru talks highly of the socialist government of USSR in his autobiography.
    2. These autobiographies and letters are a good source of information of the social life of those days in India. Dr. Rajendra Prasad has given a vivid description of the village life that he saw as a child in his village.
    3. Above all these autobiographies and letters are a great source of history too. Nehru in his autobiography has explained in details about the obstinate approach of the Moslem League towards solving the minority problem in India.

    These sources were different from the official accounts. This is manifested in the following points:

    1. The official accounts are done by individuals but they work under the guidelines of the government. Thus, views that run against the government remain stifled. In addition, the author would not have the freedom of a focused area. He would be required to write only on topics already defined. However, in autobiographies and letters, one can choose anything of personal interest. Dr Rajendra Prasad gives a vivid description of his school and college days in his autobiography. This is not possible in any government account.
    2. The autographic letters throw light on the personal life of individual leaders and show these events shaped the thought process of these leaders in future life. Mahatma Gandhi described how he was thrown out of the first class compartment of the train in South Africa because he was not a white man. He describes the struggle inside on how to protest and later how he took to non -violent means of protest.


    1. Salt Satyagraha:
      1. Soon after the observance of this “Independence Day” (it means 26 January 1930) Mahatma Gandhi announced that he would lead a march to break one of the most widely disliked laws in British India, which gave the state a monopoly in the manufacture and sale of salt.
      2. The state monopoly over salt was deeply unpopular, by making it his target. Gandhiji hoped to mobilize a wider discontent against British rule. On 12 March 1930, Gandhiji began walking from his ashram at Sabarmati towards the ocean. He reached his destination three weeks later, making a fistful of salt he did and thereby making himself a criminal in the eyes of the law. Meanwhile, parallel salt marches were being conducted in other parts of the country.
      3. The progress of Gandhiji’s march to the seashore can be traced from the secret reports filed by the police officials deputed to monitor his movements. These reproduce the speeches he gave at the villages on route, in which he called upon local officials to renounce government employment and join the freedom struggle.
    2. Importance: The Salt March was notable for at least three reasons:
      1. It was this event that first brought Mahatma Gandhi to world attention. The march was widely covered by the European and American press.
      2. It was the first nationalist activity in which women participated in large numbers. The socialist activist Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay had persuaded Gandhiji not to restrict the protests to men alone. Kamaladevi was herself one of the numerous women who courted arrest by breaking the salt or liquor laws.
      3. Perhaps most significant, it was the Salt March which forced upon the British the realization that their Raj would not last forever, and that they would have to devalue some power to India.
    3. Government’s Reaction: British Government took stringent measures to crush the movements of people. Thousand of nationalists were put behind the bars all over the country. Gandhiji was arrested. So, Salt March left a deep impact on our national struggle for freedom.

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  34. Section D
    1. We come to know several pre-existing traditions of thought, religious belief, and practice, including the early Vedic tradition through the Rig Veda.
    2. The following were the objectives of the sacrifice during the Vedic age: To procure abundant food, wealth, cattle, sons, good health, long life, etc.
    3. The Rig Veda consists of hymns in praise of a variety of deities. They are dedicated to deities like Agni, Indra, and sons. Many of these hymns were chanted at the time of yajnas ow when sacrifices were performed for social and personal welfare.
    1. This excerpt has been taken from a letter addressed to a Jogi by Aurangzeb. This letter was written in 1661-62.
    2. The name of the Jogi was Guru Anand Nath. He worshipped Lord Shiva.
    3. This excerpt shows the generous attitude of Aurangzeb towards other religions.
    1. Sardar Patel stated that there was no provision for separate electorates in any free country of the world.
    2. The provision of separate electorates was not good for the country. It led to the partition of the country. It has brought woes to the people.
    3. According to Sardar Patel, the provision of separate electorates was like poison in the political system. It had turned one community against another. It had divided the nation and caused bloodshed.
  35. Section E
    1. A – Dholavira
      B – Lothal
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