26th December, 2015 (MAINS)

TODAYs ANSWER WRITING CHALLENGE FROM GS-I

Q1. Mesolithic rock cut architecture of India not only reflects the cultural life of the times but also a fine aesthetic sense comparable to modern painting. Critically evaluate this comment. [12.5marks/2015/GS-1] 200 words.

Please write answer in the comments section for Q1.

  • KK

    Paintings basically depicts the aesthetic sense of people , the things which they encounter in daily life .With the advancement of human civilisation their sense of percieving nature also changes. The manner in which these paintings have survived have aided in predicting socio-cultural practices, dietary habits and get a snapshot of the ecological timeframe of the period. Mesolithic paintings have been found in the rock shelters of Vindhyan sandstone hills in central India, Bhimbetka, Adamgarh etc.

    salient features of mesolithic paintings are:

    1) Figures drawn are smaller in size
    2) They depicted scenes of everyday life like hunting, dancing, domesticated animals etc.
    3) Green,white. yellow and red colors were used. e.g. red color was used for depicting hunting scenes, green color for dancing scenes etc
    4) These paintings describe a phase where hunting communities had begun to settle down
    5) Since mesolithic age coincided with stone age .hunting was mainstay of their livelihood therefore we find animal figures on caves which were their dwelling place
    6) These painting were made for special purposes mainly mythical or inspirational or may act as nursery to train new hunters.
    7) Community dances was a common theme
    8) Archaeologists studying these artworks believe that they likely had magico religious significance.

    • http://shashidthakur23.blog.com Shashi Thakur

      good job…

    • http://shashidthakur23.blog.com Shashi Thakur

      good job.

  • Umesh Sachin

    2015 Mains question solved:
    Q1. Mesolithic rock cut architecture of India not only reflects the cultural life of the times but also a fine aesthetic sense comparable to modern painting. Critically evaluate this comment.

    Answer: It can be said that the Mesolithic rock cut architecture of India not only reflects the cultural life of the times but also a fine aesthetic sense comparable to modern painting because:
    1. Most of the rock-cut structures were related to various religious communities. Numerous caves were excavated by the Buddhist monks for prayer and residence purposes. The best examples of this are Chaityas and Viharas. Inside these rock-cut structures monks carved windows and balconies and gates in the shape of huge arch shaped openings.
    2. When Buddhist missionaries arrived, they naturally gravitated to caves for use as temples and abodes, in accord with their religious ideas of asceticism and the monastic life.
    3. As the Buddhist ideology encouraged involvement in trade, monasteries often became stopovers for inland traders and provided lodging houses along trade routes. As mercantile and royal endowments grew, cave interiors became more elaborate, with interior walls decorated in paintings, reliefs, and intricate carvings.
    4. Furthermore at the Ajanta Caves, a profuse variety of decorative sculpture, intricately carved columns and carved reliefs are found, including exquisitely carved cornices and pilaster. Skilled artisans crafted living rock to imitate timbered wood (such as lintels) in construction and grain and intricate decorative carving, although such architectural elements were ornamental and not functional in the classical sense.
    5. The Jogeshwari caves are characterized by Brahmanical influence for the shrines are isolated and stand in the centre of a cruciform hall with more than one entrance.
    6. The Karle Caves have the chaitya which is amongst the largest and the best-preserved in India. Its entrance, which is extremely imposing, is a kind of massive vestibule to the arcaded screen in its rear. The two giant pillars have a group of lions supporting a large wheel and though partly covered by debris they must once have been about 50 feet in height. The decorative railings and supporting elephants (half life-size and originally with ivory tusks) at each end indicate an advanced stage of ornamental work in which symbols were used repeatedly and alternately. The interior or the chaitya hall consists of a colonnade, vaulting and sun-window. The sun-window, a wonderful arrangement for the diffusion of light, deflected the rays of the sun in such a manner that soft light fell in the stupa and the screen, half-tones on the pillars and gloom in the aisles.

    • http://shashidthakur23.blog.com Shashi Thakur

      well tried. the question is a bit tricky. people are getting confused. my friends who wrote mains this time are not sure about this answer. lets see.

      • Umesh Sachin

        thanks.