Notes of Chapter 11 Buildings, Paintings and Books Class 6th History

The Iron Pillar

• The iron pillar at Mehrauli in 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 built 1500 years ago by a ruler named Chandra of the Gupta dynasty.

• The unique feature of the pillar is that it has not rusted till date.

Buildings in brick and stone


• The word stupa means a mound.

• Generally, there is a small box placed at the centre or heart of the stupa.

• A small box placed at the centre or heart of the stupa which contains bodily remains or objects used by the Buddha or his followers.

• A path, known as the pradakshina patha, was laid around the stupa surrounded with railings.
→ Both railings and gateways were often decorated with sculpture.

Hindu Temples

• Deities such as Vishnu, Shiva, and Durga were worshipped in these shrines.

• The most important part of the temple was the room known as the garbhagriha, where the image of the chief deity was placed.

• Often, a tower, known as the shikhara, was built on top of the garbhagriha, to mark this out as a sacred place.
→ Most temples also had a space known as the mandapa where a hall where people could assemble.

How were stupas and temples built?

• Usually, kings or queens decided to build the stupas and temples.

• First, good quality stone had to be found, quarried, and transported to the place chosen for the new building.
→ These rough blocks of stone had to be shaped and carved into pillars, and panels for walls, floors and ceilings.
→ These had to be placed in precisely the right position.

• Devotees often brought gifts which were used to decorate the buildings.


• Ajanta is a place where several caves were hollowed out of the hills over centuries.

• Most of these were monasteries for Buddhist monks, and some of them were decorated with paintings.

• The colours, which are vivid even after 1500 years, were made of plants and minerals.

The World of Books

• Epics are grand, long compositions, about heroic men and women, and include stories about gods.

• Some of the famous epics written during this period are:

→ The Tamil epic Silappadikaram was composed 1800 years ago by a poet, Ilango.

→ Manimekalai, another Tamil epic, was composed by Sattanar 1400 years ago.

→ Meghduta was written by Kalidasa in Sanskrit.

Recording and preserving Old Stories

→ Valmiki was the author of Ramayana.

→ Puranas contained old Hindu religious stories about gods and goddesses which were written in simple Sanskrit and were meant to be heard by everybody.

→ Mahabharata and Puranas were compiled by Vyasa.

→ Mahabharata also includes the Bhagavad Gita.

→ The stories of ordinary people were collected in the form of Jatakas and the Panchatantra.

→ Aryabhata wrote a book called Aryabhatiyam in Sanskrit. He put forward scientific theories for the cause of day and night and eclipses.

NCERT Solutions of Chapter 11 Buildings, Paintings and Books

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