Buildings Paintings and Books

Q. What do you know about iron pillar at Mehrauli, Delhi?

Ans: The iron pillar at Mehrauli, Delhi, is a remarkable example of the skill of Indian crafts persons. It is made of iron, 7.2. m high, and weighs over 3 tonnes. It was made about 1500 years ago by Chnadra. Chandra probably belonged to the Gupta dynasty. What is amazing is the fact that the pillar has not rusted in all these years.
Q. Write a short note on stupas.
Ans: The word stupa means a mound. While there are several kinds of stupas, round and tall, big and small, these have certain common features. Generally, there is a small box placed at the centre or heart of the stupa. This may contain bodily remains (such as teeth, bone or ashes) of the Buddha or his followers, or things they used, as well as precious stones, and coins.
Q. What do you mean by garbhagriha?
Ans: The most important part of the temple was the room known as the garbhagriha, where the image of the chief deity was placed. It was here that priests performed religious rituals, and devotees offered worship to the deity.
Q. What is Shikharas and Mandapa?
Ans: Often, as at Bhitargaon, a tower, known as the shikhara, was built on top of the garbhagriha, to mark this out as a sacred place. Building shikharas required careful planning.
Most temples also had a space known as the mandapa. It was a hall where people could assemble.
Q. How were stupas and temples built?
Ans: There were several stages in building a stupa or a temple. Usually, kings or queens decided to build these as it was an expensive affair. But, some times when devotees came to visit the temple or the stupa, they often brought gifts, which were used to decorate the buildings. Among the others who paid for decorations were merchants, farmers, garland makers,perfumers, smiths, and hundreds of men and women.

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