Preparation Tips for Art, Culture and Architecture Section of IAS Mains General Study Paper-1

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Culture, Art and Architecture section is most difficult part for preparation point of view because huge amount of material is available for this subjects and generally students get confuse what to refer so here we have solution for all this confuse students.

Preparation Tips

  • First of all it՚s not necessary how much you read but its important that what you have to read, so don՚t read too much books its only increase nervousness and might your confidence will goes down so read quality not quantity, for that we have also mentioned best material that you should refer at the end of article.
  • Second important thing is don՚t mug up because it՚s not good way to secure higher score, if you understand anything it will be memories for life time and if you mug up then its memory life is too small.
  • Pay attention to reflective study which include study of News, articles etc.

Important Topics for Culture

  • Indian Culture
  • History and Culture through the Ages
    • Ancient India
    • Medieval India
    • Modern India
  • Languages and Literature
  • Religion and Philosophy in ancient and Medieval India , and Religious Reform Movements in Modern India
  • Science and Technology in India, Scientists of Ancient India, Science and Scientists of Medieval India and Scientists of Modern India
  • Education in India
  • Social Structure of India, Socio-Cultural Issues in Contemporary India and Spread of Indian Culture Abroad

Important Topics for Architecture

  • Famous Temples constructed during the reign of different Empires
  • Their location
  • Different styles of Temples like Dravida, Nagara, Vesara, Panchayatan
  • Rock cut temples, specific features of temples- Garbgriha, Shikhara etc.
  • Gupta Era – Golden age of Indian Architecture- Caves- Ajanata and Ellora- Religious aspects of these caves
  • Temple Architecture in South India – Nayaka, Vesara, Dravidian and Vijayanagara etc
  • Sculpture – Chola- Nataraja etc.
  • Other school of arts – Pala, Rashtrakuta and Hosala etc. Their religious themes
  • Indo-Islamic Architecture – Decoration, Dome etc, Difference between Indo-Islamic and ancient architecture

Important Topics for Art

Post Mauryan Art

  • School of Art- Gandhara, Mathura, Gupta, Amravati
  • Difference and similarities among them
  • Significant features associated with each School


  • Prehistoric Paintings like Bhimbetka Rock paintings
  • Wall Paintings
  • Mural Paintings (Badami)
  • Cave Paintings at Ajanta and Ellora
  • Themes associated with these paintings
  • Special features/styles associated with different
  • Their locations

Miniature Painting

  • Pala School of Painting
  • Western Indian Paintings (Rajasthan, Gujrat and Malwa)
  • Mughal School of Painting
  • Deccan School of Painting (Tanjore, Ahemadnagar, Bijapur etc)
  • Pahari School of Paintings (Basholi, Kangra and Guler etc)
  • Special features/styles associated with different paintings
  • Similarities and Differences
  • Their Location

Modern Painting

  • Bengal School of Painting
  • Santiniketan school
  • Specific personalities like Raja Ravi Verma, Rabindranath Tagore՚s, Amrita Shergil and their works etc.

From Where to Study?

  1. Ancient and Medieval India (Old NCERT)
  2. Art & Heritage book - NCERT
  3. NCERT Fine Arts books of class XI and XII and NCERT History books from Class VI to X
  4. For visual arts for dance, drama, music etc. referred videos and documentaries on You Tube.
  5. Spectrum Series