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Question

With reference to the art and archaeological history of India, which one among the following was made earliest?
(a) Lingaraja Temple at Bhubaneswar
(b) Rock-cut Elephant at Dhauli
(c) Rock-cut Monuments at Mahabalipuram
(d) Varaha Image at Udayagiri

Answer:

B

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Explanation:

The Rock-cut Elephant at Dhauli is indeed the earliest among the given options. It is a Buddhist sculpture that was constructed by Ashoka, the Mauryan emperor, in the 3rd century BCE (272-231 BC). The sculpture features carved elephant faces and is considered one of the earliest Buddhist sculptures in Odisha.

To provide further context:

(a) Lingaraja Temple at Bhubaneswar was created during the 11th century CE (615 to 657 CE or around 11th AD). It is one of the oldest temples in Bhubaneswar, dedicated to Lord Shiva.

(c) Rock-cut Monuments at Mahabalipuram were founded by Pallava Mahendravarman-I in the 6th century CE (600-630 or 6th century AD). The monuments consist of rock-cut temples and sculptures located in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu.

(d) Varaha Image at Udayagiri in Madhya Pradesh, India, was the personal temple of King Chandra Gupta II, who ruled from 376-415 CE (around the 5th century AD). The Varaha Image depicts an avatar of Lord Vishnu in the form of a boar.

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