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Art and Culture For UPSC Prelims and Mains Examination

Art and Culture UPSC Notes

On this website for art and culture, there are free study resources for the UPSC Prelims in 2023. The GS1 Paper will be a part of both the UPSC Prelims Examination in 2023 and the UPSC Main Examination in 2023. The majority of candidates find it tough to research Indian culture and heritage in order to prepare for the UPSC Civil Services Exam.

The evolution of a nation is influenced by its culture. A culture is a set of individuals who have similar values, aspirations, and behaviours. Culture and creativity can be found in practically every economic, social, and other endeavour. The various cultures of India represent the diversity of the country. One of the largest collections in the world is the “Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of humanity,” which includes songs, music, dance, theatre, folk customs, performing arts, rites & rituals, paintings, and literature.


Art and Culture Books for UPSC

The civil service exam includes a sizeable section on art and culture. The subject of art and culture is vast in and of itself, although only making up a minor portion of Indian history. Indian Culture: Salient Aspects of Art Forms, Literature, and Architecture from Ancient to Modern Times is listed in the UPSC Mains GS-I even though it isn’t officially covered in the IAS Exam Preliminary Syllabus. Read on to discover the best study strategy for the UPSC Exam as well as the best books for art and culture.

Art & Culture Books for IAS Exam
S.No Art & Culture Books & Other Resources
1. NCERT Class 11 – Living Crafts Traditions of India
2. NCERT Class 11 – An Introduction to Indian Art Part-I
3. NCERT Class 12 – Craft Traditions of India
4. Indian Art & Culture By Nitin Singhania
5. NIOS Art & Culture Notes
6. CCRT Books from the Ministry of Culture
7. Friday Review of The Hindu newspaper that covers Art & Culture segment

Art and Culture Syllabus for UPSC

The syllabus for General Studies I for the UPSC Civil Services Mains includes a section on Indian Art and Culture, one of the essential areas in the Civil Services preparation. The whole section in the UPSC curriculum that refers to the Indian art and culture syllabus is “Salient Features of Literature, Art Forms, and Architecture from Ancient to Modern Times.” Nevertheless, after carefully reviewing the UPSC past year examinations, we have created a list of important microtopics for the Art and Culture curriculum that should be studied for UPSC preparation.

The syllabus for Indian Art & Culture has been specified under the GS Paper 1 of UPSC Mains Exams. Following is the list of micro topics that have been covered in Indian Art & Culture

Art and Culture Syllabus for UPSC Topic-wise
Indian Art Forms
  • Indian Paintings
  • Classical Dance Forms
  • Folk Dance Forms
  • Classical Music
  • Puppetry
  • Pottery
  • Drama/Theatre
  • Martial Arts
  • Ancient Indian Literature
  • Classical Sanskrit Literature
  • Literature in Pali and Prakrit
  • Early Dravidian Literature
  • Medieval Literature
  • Women Poets of Bhakti
  • Trends in Medieval Literature
  • Modern Indian Literature
  • Harappan Architecture
  • Temple Architecture
  • Cave Architecture
  • Indo-Islamic Architecture
  • Medieval Architecture
  • Modern Architecture
  • Contribution of Buddhism & Jainism to the Development of Indian Architecture
  • Rock Cut Architecture
  • Colonial Architecture & the Modern Period

Art and Culture Preparation Strategy

In order to excel in the arts and humanities, a candidate may use a variety of strategies. The prelims test involves application of the studied concepts, whereas the mains exam examines analytical and conceptual knowledge, hence the preparation strategies for both the prelims and mains are different. By reading the sections that follow, aspirants can discover how to become ready for the UPSC.

Art and Culture Preparation Strategy For UPSC Prelims

For UPSC to ace the test, there needs to be a good art and culture plan. The following section discusses the UPSC preparation plan for arts and culture.

  • First Step: The first stage in the preparation approach for the preliminary test is to analyse the previous year’s papers from the previous ten years and make a list of the topics that are repeatedly questioned.
  • Second Step: After reviewing the papers from the previous year, a candidate can read the NCERTs and necessary textbooks (mentioned above in the section) to comprehend the subject. It is crucial to read the textbook and NCERTs while remembering the inquiries, subjects, and themes from prior years. Additionally, a candidate ought to underline similar subjects or ideas in the textbook or make notes for later revision.
  • Third Step: There are some particular subjects that demand additional focus, like the ancient Vijayanagara Empire’s art and architecture. Practically every year, it is asked in some capacity during the preliminary test. Therefore, it is essential to talk about this topic from a UPSC perspective.
  • Last and most Important Step: Multiple revisions are the finest preparation method for art and culture, but how do you modify art and culture? Let’s respond to this query in terms of the UPSC prelims. One primary source and one secondary source should be chosen by the candidate. Before the exam, it is recommended that you review the study materials several times. In order to master the material, it is equally crucial to practice UPSC Mock Tests/Test Series. For instance, a candidate might be required to rewrite a paper on Indian cave architecture. Try as many of the previous year’s papers and mock practice questions as you can till you achieve 90% correctness.

Art and Culture Preparation Strategy For UPSC Mains

To score good marks in art and culture subjects in the mains examination an aspirant needs confidence and that confidence comes from a good strategy and regular implementation of that strategy. Let’s discuss the Art and Culture Preparation Strategy For UPSC Mains.

  • Find and evaluate the questions from the prior year.
  • Make a note of the significant subjects that have come up time and time again. Create 250-word summaries of those topics and spend as much time as you can reviewing them before the exam.
  • The NCERTs and textbooks can be used to prepare the notes. As you read textbooks, try to make a note or bookmark a question from a prior exam next to the relevant topic to make the review easier.
  • To gain a thorough understanding of that subject, practice writing answers in the same format as the UPSC main exam.
  • Some significant subjects that can be examined using this method include the List of Historical Monuments in India, the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritages in India, and Art and Culture under the Delhi Sultanate which can be studied with the linked article.
  • Identify current affairs-related questions and try to answer them by referring to newspapers and magazines.

Art and Culture Free Study Material

For the subject of art and culture in the UPSC Exam, many websites offer Free study materials. You may also find free study materials for the UPSC Exam by watching YouTube videos and downloading NCERT notes. StudyIQ On its official website, UPSC offers free study materials for art and culture. Candidates can visit the StudyIQ website if they are studying for the UPSC and are looking for the best notes for the UPSC Art and Culture Subject.


What comes under Art and culture UPSC?

The UPSC syllabus mentions the Indian art and culture syllabus in just one line “Salient features of Literature, Art Forms, and Architecture from ancient to modern times”.

Which GS paper is Art and culture in?

Art and Culture Mains Questions are asked in GS Paper 1 of the UPSC Mains exam. Literature, Indian Art Forms & Architecture are the major parts of the Art and Culture PYQ UPSC Mains

Is Art and culture important for UPSC Prelims?

Important Study Topics for UPSC Exam! India's Art and Culture have deep roots in the country's ancient and medieval history. Art and culture are an integral part of UPSC Prelims GS Paper 1 and Mains GS Paper 1.

Is it necessary to read Nitin Singhania?

Nitin Singhania for Art & Culture is a comprehensive book and is sufficient for this paper if you practice all the previous years' questions that are asked in Prelims or Mains. Make sure to complete NCERT of Class XI before starting with this book.

Is Nitin Singhania Art and Culture enough?

Yes, the Nitin Singhania art and Culture book is a must-read book and highly recommended book by the UPSC Toppers. It covers a wide range of topics in a clear and concise manner, and the language of the book is very easy to understand.

Is art culture in prelims?

UPSC Art and Culture Questions covers various art movements, classical dance forms, ancient and medieval architectural styles, and the contributions of notable artists and patrons. In the Prelims GS Paper 1 of UPSC IAS Exam, on average, around 10-15 Questions are asked from Art and Culture.

Which is good Nitin Singhania or ramesh singh?

Both Ramesh Singh and Nitin Singhania are well-known authors on Indian economy and both provide detailed and comprehensive analysis of the subject. It is advised to go through both books and pick the one that meets your requirements.

What is the best source for Art and culture UPSC?

List of Important UPSC Art & Culture Study Material
Newspapers – The Hindu & The Indian Express (Art & Culture Section)
Monthly Current Affairs.
India Year Book.
NCERT Class 11 Books – Living Crafts Traditions of India, An Introduction to Indian Art Part-I.
NCERT Class 12 Books – Craft Traditions of India.

How many days to complete Art and culture for UPSC?

Art and culture cannot be ignored for prelims. To effectively manage time, you may do the following: NCERT textbook- introduction to Indian Art. You can finish it in a week's time.

Which state is famous for art and Culture?

The state of Karnataka in Southern India is a storehouse of varied art forms, diverse cultures and unique traditions. Its artistic activities can be traced back to the prehistoric times.

Why should we study art and Culture?

Learning through and about the arts enriches the experience of studying while at school as well as preparing students for life after school. Arts subjects encourage self-expression and creativity and can build confidence as well as a sense of individual identity.