UPSC History Arts and Cultural Movements NCERT Extracts - The Making of Regional Cultures

NCERT Extracts - The Making of Regional Cultures

Category : UPSC

 The Making of Regional Cultures


  • In other regions, regional cultures grew around religious traditions. The best example of this process is the cult of Jagannatha (literally, lord of the world, a name for Vishnu) at Puri, Orissa.
  • In the twelfth century, one of the most important rulers of the Ganga dynasty, Anantavarman, decided to erect a temple for Purushottama Jagannatha at Puri.


The Story of Kathak


  • Kathak is a dance form associated with several parts of north India.
  • The term 'kathak9 is derived from 'katha, a word used in Sanskrit and other languages for story.
  • The kathaks were originally a caste of story-tellers in temples of north India, who embellished their performances with gestures and songs.
  • Kathak began evolving into a distinct mode of dance in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries with the spread of the bhakti movement.
  • The legends of Radha-Krishna were enacted in folk plays called rasa lila, which combined folk dance with the basic gestures of the kathak story-tellers.
  • Under the patronage of Wajid Ali Shah, the last Nawab ofAwadh, it grew into a major art form.
  • However, it survived and continued to be performed by courtesans, and was recognized as one of six “classical” forms of dance in the country after independence.
  • Other dance forms that are recognised as classical at present are:



Tamil Nadu









Andhra Pradesh





Painting for Patrons: The Tradition of Miniatures


  • Miniatures are small-sized paintings, generally done in water colour on cloth or paper-
  • The earliest miniatures were on palm leaves or wood. Some of the most beautiful of these, found in western India, were used to illustrate Jaina texts.
  • With the decline of the Mughal Empire, many painters moved out to the courts of the emerging regional states. As a result Mughal artistic tastes influenced the regional court of the Deccan and the Rajput courts of Rajasthan.
  • Besides, themes from mythology and poetry were depicted at centres such as Mewar Jodhpur, Bundi, Kota and Kishangarh.
  • Another region that attracted miniature paintings was the Himalayan foothills around the modem-day state of Himachal Pradesh.
  • By the late seventeenth century this region had developed a bold and intense style of miniature painting called
  • Nadir Shah's invasion and the conquest of Delhi in 1739 resulted in the migration of Mughal artists to the hills to escape the uncertainties of the plains.


Bengal: The Growth of A Regional Language


  • The first includes translations of the Sanskrit epics, the Mangalakavyas (literally auspicious poems, dealing with local deities) and bhakti literature such as the biographies of Chaitanyadeva, the leader of the Vaishnava bhakti movement.
  • The second includes Nath literature such as the songs of Maynamati and Gopichandra, stories concerning the worship of Dharma Thakur, and fairy tales, folk tales and ballads.
  • The Naths were ascetics who engaged in a variety of yogic practices.
  • Dharma Thakur is a popular regional deity, often worshipped in the form of a stone or a piece of wood.
  • Many of the modest brick and terracotta temples in Bengal were built with the support of several "low" social groups, such as the Kolu (oil pressers) and the Kansari (bell metal workers).
  • The temples began to copy the double-roofed (dochala) or four-roofed (chauchala) structure of the thatched huts.This led to the evolution of the typical Bengali style in temple architecture.
  • In some temples, particularly in Vishnupur in the Bankura district of West Bengal, such decorations reached a high degree of excellence.
  • The Brihaddharma Purana, a thirteenth-century Sanskrit text from Bengal, permitted the local Brahmanas to eat certain varieties of fish.
  • The Lilatilakam - A fourteenth-century text, dealing with grammar and poetics. It was composed in Manipravalam - literally, "diamonds and corals" referring to the two languages, Sanskrit and the regional language.

You need to login to perform this action.
You will be redirected in 3 sec spinner