[Model Answer QP2022 GS1] Discuss the main contributions of Gupta period and Chola period to the Indian Heritage and Culture.

The Gupta period witnessed progress in all spheres: art, architecture, literature, science and technology, metallurgy and philosophy and hence is rightly called the golden period of Ancient history of India.

Contributions of Guptas

Literature1. Kalidasa, Bhasa, Shudraka, Harisena and many others adorned the courts of the Gupta kings.
2. Nine Gems of ChandraGupta II.
3. In addition to Sanskrit literature, Prakrit also had their patronage outside the court circle. 
Temple Building 1. Five groups of structural temples evolved during the Gupta period.
Science and Technology1. Aryabhatta, Varahamihira and Nagarjuna- important personalities.
2. Works in the field of Mathematics, Astronomy, Medicine, Metallurgy reached its peak.
6 schools of Philosophy1. Samkhya, Yoga, Mimamsa, Vaisheshika, Nyaya, Vedanta
Sculpture 1. Stone sculpture of Buddha from Sarnath.
2. Great Boar (Varaha) at the entrance of Udaygiri caves.
Painting 1. Mural paintings of Ajanta, Bagh and in other rock cut caves.
Puranas1. Originally composed of bards and finally came into the hands of priests and were rewritten in classical Sanskrit.
The Chola dynasty was a Tamil thalassocratic empire of southern India and one of the longest-ruling dynasties in world history.

Contributions of Cholas

Temple Building 1. The Dravidian style of architecture reached its peak. EX: Brihadeshwara Temple at Tanjavur.
Sculptures1. Stone and metal sculptures abound in Chola temples.
2. They depict Chola period socio-religious ideas. 
3. The Nataraja sculpture is famous not only for its beauty, but also for its spiritual significance.
4. Scenes from the Ramayanam Mahabharatam, Puranas, and the lives of the 63 Nayanmars are sculpted in narrative panels on temple walls.
Paintings 1. Figures were painted with realism. 
2. Scenes from Periyapuranam are beautifully depicted.
Music1. In every temple, Alwar and Nayanmar hymns were sung.
2. In the Brihadeeswarar temple, several musicians were appointed. 
3. Drums, udukkai, veena, and flute were well-known musical instruments.
Dance1. During the Chola period, two types of dances were performed: Bharatanatyam and Kathakali. 
2. Lord Siva was depicted as a performer of the Karana dance.
Drama1. During the festival, two dramas were performed: Rajarajeswara natakam and Rajarajavijayam.
2. One type of drama is Koothu. Ariyakuthu, Chakki koothu, and Santhi koothu are all mentioned in the inscriptions.

Further Reading :

Ancient India Simplified!

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