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The Independence Day Quiz: Volume Pi

Hi,

In order to celebrate the forthcoming Independence Day, a dedicated Quiz on Indian History is being conducted here in two volumes.

Pattern:
There will be two rounds with 15 questions each. First volume will be posted on 13th night and the answers will be posted on 15th night. The second volume will be posted on 19th night and the cumulative winner will be declared on the 21st night.

Marking Scheme:
Questions will fetch one mark each unless mentioned otherwise. But some of them have multiple variables and hence will fetch as many marks.

Mode of Answering:
Put your answers as comments. They are being moderated and they will not be visible unless they are approved after the deadline.

Prizes:
There are small token prizes in the shape of Flipkart e-vouchers worth Rs 300, 200 and 100 for cumulative winners in order to encourage participation from younger quizzers. In case you think the amount can be passed off to newer participants, you can mention that you are “Non-Comp” along with your answers.

Request:
Please like the FB page on the right side box or +1 this post to show support so that such drives can be continued in the future.

A Quiz By
Jitaditya & Vikas

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Independence Day Quiz: Questions

1. Connect

2. X & XY both are mythical entities. XY is more popularly known by his surname Y. But there is a theory that X is the same person as XY. But it may also be a coincidence that they shared the same first name. X was a celebrated monarch who is said to have divine protections and his son was the victor of a famous battle among Vedic tribes. On the other hand XY is the founder of certain branch of practical knowledge and learning that has endured the test of time till date. Identify X and XY. (2 marks)

3. P is a peculiar entity in Indian mythology who has seen a fall from grace over ages in his own pantheon. During the early days, P is also supposed to have aided X from the previous question in vanquishing his arch rival by demolishing multiple fortifications and thus earning the epithet, Q. P and some of his cognates also find mention in other ancient mythologies and was a major deity in the pantheon of R, an ancient state that is believed to have flourished somewhere in Asia Manor and Levant. Identify P, Q and R. (3 marks)

4. A Google friendly one. Three major trade routes passed through this ancient city.

• The northern road which connected Gandhara in the west to the kingdom of Magadha in the Ganges valley in the east.
• The northwestern route through Bactria, Kapisa and Pushkalavati
• The Sindhu route from Kashmir and Central Asia to the Silk Road in the north and also to the Indian Ocean in the south.

This city was also a capital of the state that supported Alexander against Puru during his campaign. Nevertheless, it is more famous till date for another reason. Identify.

5. There is no clear information about the rise of this important center of trade in ancient India. Some experts claim that it existed as early as the 7th century BC although the claims lack material evidence. But even Mahabharata mentions the place on various occasions, thus suggesting its antiquity. Even Periplus Maris Erythraei attests its burgeoning trade with China and South East Asia. It slowly began losing its prominence due to various factors and finally went into oblivion. It is generally agreed that a nondescript present day town with less than 50000 populations is the site of that legendary spot. Which place?

6. Just connect (exhaustive list)

7. It is considered to be a masterpiece in Arabic literature although it was actually a translation. The Arabic version differs considerably from the original book owing to the cultural and religious differences between two countries and the fact that Arabic version was never directly translated. The Arabic version was the source for all European versions until 18th century. Parallel versions exist in Tibet, China and much of South East Asia. What am I talking about?

8. Certain places have been depicted here either through maps or historical monuments. They follow a chronological pattern as suggested through arrows. Explain how they are connected.

9. A certain new testament apocrypha mentions the meeting of X and Y that lead to an event that was “first” of its kind in the subcontinent. But archeological and numismatic evidences suggest that actually X might have predated the event and it may be one of his successors adopting the same name. Identify X and Y. (2 points)

10. This historical site derives its name from Sanskrit word Nagar. Now serving a different religion than what it was built for, its design was based on a certain geographical entity in Indian mythology. It has such a passionate connect with its people that recently a rumor about the site caused riots in the country. Identify.

11. X is believed to be one of the earliest as well as celebrated dramatists in the history of Sanskrit literature. Not much is known about his early life but his oeuvre is replete with classic tragedies. As his works do not always follow the rules of Natya Shastra, we can assume that he even predated Bharata Muni himself. Y is arguably his most famous work which was believed to have been lost forever till it was rediscovered in Kerala in the early 20th century. X & Y? (2 points)

12. Identify the three characters.

13. X and Y differ by approximately 134 years and were started to celebrate two similar events. Still much in use in South Asia and officially endorsed by two different countries, they also gave birth to parallel traditions in India and South East Asia. What are X & Y? (2 points)

14. During his heyday, X was considered to be among the greatest rulers of the ancient world along with his Chinese, Byzantine and Caliphate counterparts by some of the travelers. He belonged to the Y dynasty and is believed have one of the longest reigns in history. X & Y? (2 marks)

15. P was a lesser known frontier king who is known to have prevented at least two invasions from powerful western invaders, finally succumbing to a third one. While much information about him is not available, he is believed to have used scorched earth policy to weaken Q’s army before getting into a real battle and defeating Q comprehensively. This incident finds mention in a rock inscription that is named R after a certain local myth regarding Lord Krishna. The event is also described by historian S in his seminal work T which is considered one of the major sources of those times. Identify P, Q, R, S and T. (5 marks)

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The Answers:

1. A generic connect to start with. The Indust Valley Civilization.

First train of East Indian Railway, Pashupatinath Temple and Ghaggar-Hakra River basin.
It was during the laying of Lahore-Karachi railway line by East Indian Railway company, ancient ruins of Indus Valley Civilization were found in city of Brahimabad.
One of the seals of the civilization has been interpreted as that of Shiva (Pashupatinath) although its debated by some historians.
Ghaggar-Hakra river basin is believed to be the remnant of dried up Saraswati river by many Historians. The drying up of Saraswati river is considered one of the reasons of the ultimate downfall and end of it.

2. X= Dibodasa, an ancient kind mentioned in the early vedic literature. He was the father of Sudas, the victor of the Battle of Ten Kings.
XY= Dibodasa Dhanvantari, more popularly known as Dhanvantari, the founder of Ayurveda

3. P= Indra, the powerful vedic deity who no longer enjoys the prominence in Hindu pantheon.
Q= Purandar (Destroyer of the cities). Apparently Indra destroyed a hundred fortifications belonging to Divodasa’s enemy who was apparently a non-Indo-Aryan entity.
R= Mittani, a Hurrian speaking state that flourished for a short period around 1200 BC in Syria and Anatolia. They surprisingly worshipped deities such as Indra and Varuna and thus giving rise to a speculation that the local population was ruled by an Indo-Aryan ruling class.

4. Takshashila/ Taxila.

5. Tamralipti, a port city that flourished in the ancient times due to the maritime trade with the South Eastern markets but got buried under silt over time and lost its importance. Present day Tamluk in West Bengal is supposed to be the same place.

6. Symbols of 24 Jain Tirthankaras. The number 24 was the key here in case people counted.

7. Panchatantra. Arabic version is named as Kal?la wa Dimna. Arabic version was adopted in 750 AD from Persian translation that happened in 570 AD. It was exported (probably both in oral and literary formats) north to Tibet and China and east to South East Asia by Buddhist monks on pilgrimage. These led to versions in all Southeast Asian countries, including Tibetan, Chinese, Mongolian, Javanese and Lao derivatives.Intrestingly, a German translation, Das Der Buch Beyspiele, of the Panchatantra was printed in 1483, making this one of the earliest books to be printed by Gutenberg’s press after the Bible.

8. Locations of The four Buddhist Councils.
Rajgriha. The map shows the present day Rajgir, which used to be Rajgriha, the first capital of Magadha.
Vaishali. The pic shows ruins of the single lion capitol of Ashoka in that place.
Pataliputra. The pic of ancient remains near Patna.
The location of the fourth is unsure. It is believed to be Jalandhar or somewhere in Kashmir.

9. X= Gondophares, the Indo-Parthian King, the first Indian royalty to have converted to Christianity.
Y= St. Thomas
Mentioned in the Acts of Thomas, the 3rd century New Testament apocrypha.

10. Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Angkor is derived from Nagar. A temple complex built by King Suryavarman II in 12th Century, now it functions as a Therveda Budhdhist temple. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology. It is cultural symbol of Cambodia and appears on its national flag. Cambodians are so attached to it that in 2003 riots started in Phnom Penh when a false rumor circulated that a Thai soap opera actress had claimed that Angkor Wat belonged to Thailand.

11. X= Bhasa, Y= Swapnabasavadutta, He was also known for certain tragic plays such as Urubhanga, a sympathetic tale of Duryodhan.

12. OM in Balinese, Tamil Grantham and Tibetian scripts.

13. Vikram Samvat(started 56 BC) and Saka Samvat(also known as Shalivahan Samvat and started 78 AD). Vikrama Samvat was founded by the emperor Vikramaditya of Ujjain[1] following his victory over the Sakas and the Satavahana king Shalivahana is credited with the initiation Saka to celebrate his victory against the Sakas in the year 78 CE. Vikaram samvat is official calendar of Nepal and Saka of India.

14. X= Amoghavarsha, Y= Rashtrakuta. Certain travelers of those times considered him to be the fourth greatest monarch in the world after the Roman
Emperor in Constantinople, The Chinese Emperor and the Khalifa of Baghdad.

15. Had to ask an Assam related question and this was it. Din’t expect too many cracks and in fact it goes uncracked. My intention was to shed some light to the matter as it is largely unknown and neglected.
P= Prithu
Q= Bakhtiya Khilji, the conqueror of Bengal.
R= Kanai boroxi boa xil (The rock where Lord Krishna fished)… The rock-inscription found in north Guwahati records the defeat of the Turuska or the Turks in the hands of the local ruler of Kamrupa on March 27 in 1206 AD.
S= Minhaj-i-Siraj
T= Tabaqat-i-Nasiri
Some more info can be found here. Start with Page 133.

Thanks for playing. The scores will be counted after the second volume next weekend.

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Scores after the first volume:
(I’ve been lenient unlike most of the teachers and professors I’ve endured)

Total Marks: 26

Daktar Vinay 10
Nikhil Kulkarni 4
Harsha VS 9
Kapinjal Choudhury 7
Mit Choudhury 1
Shekhar Shengar 5
Vedanuj Goswami 14
Anadi Mishra 1
Ritwik K 8
Arindam Phukan 12