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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Explain the role of geographical factors towards the development of Ancient India. (150 Words, UPSC Mains 2023)

    06 Nov, 2023 GS Paper 1 Indian Heritage & Culture


    • Begin with a brief introduction that sets the context for your answer. Mention the significance of geography in shaping the course of history in ancient India.
    • Provide a concise overview of India's geographical features and discuss how each geographical factor contributed to the development of ancient India.
    • Conclude Suitably


    Geographical factors played a pivotal role in shaping the development of ancient India. These factors encompassed the country's diverse terrain, climate, and natural resources, which in turn influenced settlement patterns, agricultural practices, trade routes, etc.


    Major geographical factors and their impacts:

    • River systems: Perennial rivers like the Indus and Ganges fueled urban civilizations like the Harappan, supported agriculture, ensured food security, and promoted trade and communication in India.
    • Mountain ranges: The Himalayas in the north acted as a natural defense, supplied river water, and influenced climate, yet passes like Khyber and Bolan fostered cultural exchanges and migrations.
    • Coastal plains: The Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal coasts boosted trade with Southeast Asia, West Asia, and Africa. Cities like Lothal and Muziris thrived as trade hubs.
    • Forested regions and plateaus: Dense forests supplied timber, medicine, and animals. Mineral-rich areas like Chotanagpur boosted metallurgy and mining. Forested zones like Nalanda and Bodh Gaya thrived as Buddhist hubs.
    • Desert and semi-arid regions: The Thar Desert acted as a natural barrier against invasions and fostered trade centers like Bikaner and Jaisalmer despite its arid conditions.


    Ancient India's geography shaped its civilization, culture, economy, and society, influencing interactions with the world and enriching its heritage.

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