Ancient Indian History MCQ with Answers


Ancient Indian History MCQ Questions with Answers


Q1. The earliest city discovered in India was

(a) Harappa

(b) Punjab

(c) Mohenjo Daro

(d) Sindh

Answer: (a) Harappa

Explanation: (i) Harappa is an important site of the Indus Valley Civilization.

(ii) It is situated in the present-day Sahiwal district of Punjab, Pakistan.

(iii) The first Harappan sites were discovered by Dr. D.R. Sahni and Dr. R.D. Banarjee in 1921.

Q2. The word ‘Hindu’ as a reference to the people of Hind (India) was first used by:

(a) The Greeks

(b) The Romans

(c) The Chinese

(d) The Arabs


Answer: (a) The Greeks

Explanation: The word Hindu was used by Greeks to denote the country and people living beyond the Indus River. The word Hindu is derived from the Sanskrit word Sindhu which is the ancient name for the Indus River.

Q3. The credit for the discovery of the first Paleolithic in India which opened the field of prehistoric studies in the country goes to ​

(a) ​Burkitt

​(b) ​De Terra and Paterson ​

(c) ​Robert Bruce Foote ​

(d) ​H D Sankalia


Answer: (c) ​Robert Bruce Foote

Explanation: Robert Bruce Foote was a British geologist and archaeologist who conducted geological surveys of prehistoric locations in India for the Geological Survey of India.

Q4. Which was the only Indus site with an artificial brick dockyard?

(a) Lothal

(b) Kalibangan

(c) Harappa

(d) Mohenjo Daro


Answer: (a) Lothal

Explanation: Lothal was the port city of the Indus Valley Civilization. It was located at Saragwala, Gujarat. A massive dockyard was found at Lothal which is supposed to be the earliest dock in the history of the world.

Q5. Horse remains are found in : ​

  1. ​Surkotada ​
  2. ​Kalibangan ​
  3. ​Dholavira ​
  4. ​Manda ​

Choose the correct answer from the following : ​

(a) ​1, 2 and 3 ​

(b) ​2, 4 and 1 ​

(c) ​1, 3 and 4

​(d) ​1 and 3


Answer: (a) ​

Explanation: S. Bokonyi, a paleontologist, discovered a horse skeleton in Surkotada. Archaeologist B.B. Lal has referred to several horse teeth and bones discovered from Kalibangan, Dholavira, and Lothal.

Q6. In Sanskrit plays written during the Gupta period women and Sudras speak:

(a) Sanskrit

(b) Prakrit

(c) Pali

(d) Sauraseni


Answer: (b) Prakrit

Explanation: In Sanskrit plays of the Gupta period women and Sudras speak Prakrit.

Q7. Which one of the following was a land measure?

​(a) ​Dharaka ​

(b) ​Karsha

​(c) ​Nivartana ​

(d) ​Vimsopaka



Answer: (c) ​Nivartana

Explanation: Nivartana was a land measure containing 400 square poles of ten cubits each, according to the Lilavati.

Q8. Match List-I with List-II and select the correct answer(using codes given below the lists)

List-I (Eras)List-II (Reckoned from)
A. Vikrama era1. 3102 B.C
B. Saka era2. 320 A.D
C. Gupta era3. 78 A.D
D. Kali era4. 58 B.C
5. 248 A.D


(a) A – 2; B – 4; C – 5; D – 1

(b) A – 1; B – 3; C – 2; D – 4

(c) A – 4; B – 5; C – 2; D – 3

(d) A – 4; B – 3; C – 2; D – 1


Answer: (d)

Explanation: 248 A.D. is the Kalachuri era. Vikram era was started by King Vikramaditya. The Shaka era was started by Kanishka. The Gupta era was started by Chandragupta-I.

Q9. Which of the following domesticated animals was absent in the terracottas of the Indus civilization?

(a) Buffalo

(b) Sheep

(c) Cow

(d) Pig


Answer: (c) Cow

Explanation: The terracotta figurines excavated at the Harappan site had images of oxen, buffaloes, pigs, goats, sheep, and humped bulls. The cow was famous in Vedic culture.

Q10. Which one of the following is the smallest measure? ​

(a) ​Adhaka

​(b) ​Kumbha

​(c) ​Khari

​(d) ​Drona


Answer: (a) ​

Explanation: Adhaka is the smallest measure. Equal attention is given to the measurement of time, based on the device named the nalika, being the time taken for one adhaka of water to flow out of a pot through a hole of the same diameter as that of a wire 4 angulas long, made from 4 masas of gold.

Q11. The name by which Ashoka has generally referred to his inscriptions is:

(a) Chakravarti

(b) Dharmadeva

(c) Dharmakirti

(d) Priyadarsi


Answer: (d) Priyadarsi

Explanation: In the year 1915 near a village called Maski in Raichur District of Karnataka, a rock inscription was discovered on a hill. In this inscription, for the first time, the name of Ashoka was found with titles like Devanampriya and Priyadarshi. It was then certain that Devanampriya Priyadarshi was no other than Ashoka.

Q12. List A consists of some Harappan sites and list B consists of the measurements of the scales found at places mentioned in list A.  Match them correctly.

1.  Harappa(a)  25. 56 mm
2.  Mohenjodaro(b)  93. 4 mm
3.  Lothal(c)  6. 7056 mm

​Choose the correct answer : ​

(a) ​1-a, 2-b, 3-c ​

(b) ​1-a, 2-c, 3-a ​

(c) ​1-b, 2-c, 3-a

​(d) ​1-b, 2-a, 3-c


Answer: (c)

Explanation: ​3 specimens of scales have been found in the Harappan Civilization, from Harappa, Lothal and Mohenjodaro. The first, found at Mohenjodaro is made of shells, with gradations of size 6.7056 mm and a hollow circle made on one gradation, along with a solid dot on the fifth gradation. While the Lothal scale is calculated to be 25.56 mm, the Harappan scale measures around 93.4 mm.

Q13. Which of the following was not an ancient seaport? ​

(a) ​Tamralipti ​

(b) ​Bhrigukachchha ​

(c) ​Vidisha ​

(d) ​Shurparaka


Answer: (c) ​

Explanation: Vidisha was not an ancient seaport. Vidisha was an important trade center in the 6th and 5th centuries BCE, under the Sungas, Nagas, Satavahanas, and Guptas, and was mentioned in the Pali scriptures.

Q14. Which of the following were common to both Buddhism and Jainism?

  1. Avoidance of extremities of penance and enjoyment
  2. Indifference to the authority of the Vedas
  3. Denial of the efficacy of rituals
  4. Non-injury to animal life

Select the answer using the codes given below:


(a) 1, 2, 3 and 4

(b) 2, 3 and 4

(c) 1, 3, and 4

(d) 1 and 2



Explanation: Both denied the authority of the Vedas and the necessity of performing sacrifices and rituals. Both of them were opposed to animal sacrifices.

Q16. Given below are two statements :

Assertion (A): Mohenjodaro and Harappa cities are dead now.

​Reason (R): They were discovered during excavations.  ​

In the context of the above, which one of the following is correct? ​

(a) ​Both (A)  and (R)  are true and (R)  is the correct explanation of (a)  ​

(b) ​Both (A)  and (R)  are true, but (R)  is not the correct explanation of (a).

​(c) ​(A)  is true, but (R)  is false.

​(d) ​(A)  is false, but (R)  is true.


Answer: (a) ​

Explanation: Mohenjodaro and Harappa were the two main cities of the Indus civilization. They were discovered during the excavation made by Rakhaldas Banerji and Dayaram Sahni. Thus A and R both are true and R also explains A correctly.

Q17. Match List-I with List-II and select the correct answer:

A. Vishakhadatta1. Medicine
B. Varahamihira2. Drama
C. Charaka3. Astronomy
D. Brahmagupta4. Mathematics


(a) A – 1; B – 3; C – 4; D – 2

(b) A – 2; B – 1; C – 3; D – 4

(c) A – 2; B – 3; C – 1; D – 4

(d) A – 3; B – 4; C – 1; D – 2



Explanation: Vishakhadatta wrote a drama named “Mudra Rakshasa”.

Q18. Match List – I with List-II and select the correct answer from the codes given below the lists : [UP–PCS 2012]

List – I (Harappan Sites)List-II (Locations)
A.  Manda1.  Rajasthan
B.  Daimabad2.  Haryana
C.  Kalibanga3.  Jammu Kashmir
D.  Rakhigarhi4.  Maharashtra

​Code : A B C D

(a)  1 2 3 4

(b)  2 3 4 1

(c)  3 4 1 2

(d)  4 1 2 3


Answer: (c) ​

Explanation: These all are excavation sites in different states. Rakhigarhi in Haryana, Kalibanga in Rajasthan, Daimabad in Maharashtra and Manda in J&K.

Q19. Lord Mahavira died at

(a) Saravana Belagola

(b) Lumbini Garden

(c) Kalugumalai

(d) Pavapuri


Answer: (d)

Explanation: Lord Mahavira died at Pavapuri in 527 B.C

Q20. The Upanishads are the _______.

(a) Great Epics

(b) Story Books

(c) Source of Hindu Philosophy

(d) Law Books


Answer: (c)

Explanation: Upanishads are collections of text, spiritual and philosophical learning of Hinduism, written in the Sanskrit language. These are also known as ‘Vedanta’. There are

Q21. The practice of land grants to Brahmins and Buddhists was initiated by ​

(a) ​Sungas ​

(b) ​Satavahanas

​(c) ​Vakatakas

​(d) ​Guptas


Answer: (b)

Explanation: The beginning of the practice of land grants with fiscal and administrative immunities to Brahmins and Buddhist monks was made by the Satavahanas.

Q22. Who among the following is credited with authoring Brihatsamhita?

​(a) ​Brahmagupta ​

(b) ​Varahamihira

​(c) ​Bhaskara ​

(d) ​Aryabhatta


Answer: (b)

Explanation: ​Varahamihira is credited with authoring Brihat Samhita. Varahamihira also called Varahamira or simply Varaha, was one of the most celebrated scientists in South Asian history, having made substantial contributions to virtually all branches of the arts and sciences. he wrote three important books: Panchasiddhantika, Brihat Samhita, and Brihat Jataka. Brihat Samhita is a compilation of an assortment of topics that provides interesting details of prevailing beliefs. Brihat Jataka is a book on astrology.

Q23. Match List-I with List-II and select the correct answer using the codes given below the lists:

A. Gupta1. Badami
B. Chandella2. Panamalai
C. Chalukya3. Khajuraho
D. Pallava4. Deogarh


(a) A – 4; B – 3; C – 1; D – 2

(b) A – 4; B – 2; C – 3; D – 1

(c) A – 2; B – 3; C – 4; D – 1

(d) A – 3; B – 4; C – 1; D – 2




Explanation: Badami was also known as Vatapi in the Bijapur district of Karnataka. Panamalai or Kanchi in Tamil Nadu was the capital of Pallavas.

Q24. Who was the president of the first Jain council? ​

(a) ​Bhadrabahu ​

(b) ​Sthalabahu ​

(c) ​Devardhigan ​

(d) ​Nagarjuna Suri​


Answer: (b)

Explanation: The First Council was held at Pataliputra by Sthulabahu at the beginning of the third century BC and resulted in the compilation of 12 Angas to replace the lost 14 Purves.

Q25. Which one of the following statements regarding Ashoka stone pillars is incorrect?

(a) These are highly polished

(b) These are monolithic

(c) The shaft of pillars is tapering in shape

(d) These are parts of architectural structures


Answer: (d) These are parts of architectural structures

Explanation: Ashoka stone pillars were meant to spread his Dhamma (not part of the architectural structure.)

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