- The Pallava dynasty was the pinnacle of Rock-Cut architecture, with a massive rock carved out in various shapes and sizes. In this context, trace the evolution of Pallava architecture. (Answer in 150 words) 10
- The increased frequency and intensity of climate extremes in the Indian subcontinent can have grave implications. Comment. Also, suggest some measures that can be taken towards building climate-resilience in India. (Answer in 250 words) 15
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1. The Pallava dynasty was the pinnacle of Rock-Cut architecture, with a massive rock carved out in various shapes and sizes. In this context, trace the evolution of Pallava architecture. (Answer in 150 words) 10
- The Pallava dynasty existed between the 3rd and 9th centuries CE. The tradition of direct patronization of the temples began with the Pallavas. Starting with rock-cut temples, Pallava sculptors later graduated to free-standing structural shrines which inspired Chola temples of a later age.
About Pallava Architecture
- Monuments created by Pallavas during their rule through rock excavation have garnered worldwide admiration for its beauty and the skills displayed by the artists.
- Pallava sculpture shows greater details of workmanship, lighter anatomy and more developed artistic finishing.
- They were the pioneers of Dravida art and architecture.
Evolution of architecture of Pallavas
- Pallava architecture can be now sub-divided into two phases – the rock cut phase and the structural phase.
- Rock cut phase:
- The rock cut phase lasted from the 610 to 668 AD and consisted of two groups of monuments – the Mahendra group and the Mamalla group.
The Mahendra group is the name given to monuments constructed during the reign of Mahendravarman I
- The monuments of this group are invariably pillared halls hewn out of mountain faces.
- These pillared halls or mandapas follow the prototype of Jain temples of the period.
- The best examples of Mahendra group of monuments are the cave temples at Mandagapattu, Pallavaram and Mamandur.
The second group of rock cut monuments belong to the Mamalla group .
- During this period free-standing monolithic shrines called rathas were constructed alongside pillared halls.
- Some of the best examples of this style are the Pancha Rathas and Arjuna’s Penance at Mahabalipuram.
- Free standing temples:
- The second phase of Pallava architecture is the structural phase when free-standing shrines were constructed with stone and mortar brought in for the purpose.
- The Rajasimha group encompasses the early structural temples of the Pallavas when a lot of experimentation was carried out.
- The best examples of this period are the Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram and the Kanchi Kailasanathar Templeat Kanchipuram both constructed by Narasimhavarman II who was known as Rajasimha.
- The best example of the Nandivarman group of monuments is the Vaikunta Perumal Temple at Kanchipuram.
- During this period, Pallava architecture attained full maturity and provided the models upon which the massive Brihadeeswarar Temple of the Cholas at Thanjavur and Gangaikonda Cholapuram and various other architectural works of note were constructed.
- The recent announcement of 11 ancient temples in Kanchipuram making it to the UNESCO’s tentative list of world heritage sites opens an avenue for the region to be back on the tourism map. This will ensure better care of the structures as the final honour brings with it international recognition.
2. The increased frequency and intensity of climate extremes in the Indian subcontinent can have grave implications. Comment. Also, suggest some measures that can be taken towards building climate-resilience in India. (250 words)
- As per “Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region” report, the Indian subcontinent has witnessed climate extremes-(any one data can be taken)
- Average temperature has risen by around 0.7° C during 1901-2018.
- Rainfall in summer monsoon declined by 6% during 1951 to 2015.
- Drought affected area increased by 1.3% per decade during 1951-2016.
- Sea surface rise in the North Indian Ocean has accelerated to 3.3 mm per year between 1993 and 2007.
Increased frequency and intensity of climate extremes can have grave implications:
- Food Security: These changes can disrupt rainfed agricultural food production which accounts for 60% of agricultural GDP of India.
- Water Security:
- Frequent droughts and floods hinders surface and groundwater recharge.
- Rising sea level leads to intrusion of saltwater in the coastal aquifers contaminating the groundwater. E.g. in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Lakshadweep etc.
- Retreat of glaciers in the Hindukush Himalayan region may impact the water supply in the major rivers and streams.
- Energy demand: Rising temperatures are likely to increase energy demand for cooling.
- Human Health: Risk of heat strokes, cardiovascular and neurological diseases, stress related disorders.
- Spread of vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever etc.
- Biodiversity: Many species may face increasing threats, particularly those species which are adapted to narrow environmental conditions. Ex- coral reefs.
- The loss in productivity by 2030 because of heat stress could be the equivalent of India losing 34 million full-time jobs (ILO).
- According to the Union Government, Desertification, land degradation and drought cost India about 2.5% of gross domestic product in 2014-15.
- Sea-level rise increases the vulnerability of some large cities located on the coastline.
- Social issues:
- Climatic disasters such as droughts, cyclones and floods induce large scale migration.
- Repeated crop failures add to the burden of already distressed farmers who then commit suicides.
Major initiatives of the Government towards combating climate change:
- National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC): The Action plan covers eight major missions.
- State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC): to align climate strategies with the eight National Missions under the NAPCC.
- International Solar Alliance (ISA): To provide a dedicated platform for cooperation among solar resource rich countries.
- FAME Scheme for E-mobility: Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles (FAME) – India Scheme to boost sales of eco-friendly vehicles in the country.
- Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for Smart Cities.
- Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana: The scheme provides LPG connections to poor people.
- UJALA scheme: target of replacing incandescent lamps with LED bulbs.
- Swachh Bharat Mission: The campaign seeks to clean the streets, roads and infrastructure of the country.
- International agreements like the Kigali agreement and Paris Climate deal (India’s Panchamitra).
Following steps can be taken towards building climate-resilience in India:
- Make vulnerability assessment central to long-term planning for developing region and sector-specific adaptation and mitigation strategies
- Greater emphasis on widening observational networks, sustained monitoring, expanding research on regional changes in climate and their impacts.
- Ex- networks of tide gauges with GPS along the Indian coastline would help monitor local changes in sea level.
- Afforestation efforts: Helps to mitigate climate change through carbon sequestration
- To improve resilience against droughts, protecting coastal areas and supporting native wildlife and biodiversity.
- Building community awareness: Strategies should be formulated to effectively engage citizens by disseminating public messages through media outlets
- Utilising traditional knowledge: The in-depth traditional knowledge of land and nature can be used as a reference while formulating the climate-resilient strategy.
- For example – Kuttanad Below Sea Level Farming System in Kerala.
- Equity and social justice should be ensured for building climate resilience since the most vulnerable people such as the poor, the disabled, outdoor labourers and farmers will bear the brunt of climate change impacts. or
- India needs to take a leading role in bringing developed as well as developing and underdeveloped nations on common platforms to build climate resilience.