(a) (iv) both (ii) and (iii)
According to the narrator, Maharana Pratap was able to establish so much within the short span of 25 years of his rule that he is considered immortal by many. The chief contributions made by him were adding to the grandeur of his kingdom Mewar, and symbolizing valour, sacrifice and patriotism through his actions and words. Hence, both these reasons must be considered as the reason behind the legendary Maharana Pratap being hailed as immortal.
(b) (iii) its small area and small population
As the narrator describes, the kingdom of Mewar was ruled by several kings before Maharana Pratap as well, along with the assistance of the nobles and subjects, who brought grandeur to the kingdom. It was for the small area and a small population of Mewar that it had to face several hurdles. Nonetheless, gallants like Maharana Pratap alleviated the kingdom beyond all odds.
(c) (iii) the flag of Mewar seemed to be lowered.
A thorny occasion is one which signifies struggle and harsh times. This means that thorny occasions for the kingdom of Mewar definitely implies some difficult times as well. As the narrator states, during the thorny occasions, the kingdom seemed compelled to lower its flag down. Therefore, this is the correct option.
(d) (iii) most of its rulers were competent
The passage states that the kingdom of Mewar had been lucky because most of its rulers were competent, leaving behind only very few non-competent ones. A competent ruler brings about grandeur and glory to his kingdom, like Maharana Pratap did, and is one of the best boons to a kingdom’s progress and state of affairs. This is also the reason why Mewar’s legacy continued for about 1500 years.
(e) The earliest king of Mewar, as mentioned in the passage, was Bappa Rawal, who reigned the legendary kingdom of Mewar almost 1500 years prior to the times of Maharana Pratap.
(f) Rana Kumbha was the king of Mewar about two generations prior to the rule of Maharana Pratap. His contribution to the glory of Mewar was massive, covering the domains of triumphs, development of the kingdom and proliferation of literature and art. Rana Kumbha, who was a writer himself, has composed several works that are revered to this day. The creation of an ambience for his subjects to produce quality work in art and literature is something Rana Kumbha is best remembered for, which his subsequent generations also attempted to sustain.
(g) The writer states that the people of Mewar were worth admiration because despite not having impressive physical attributes, they were able to contribute toward the well-being of their kingdom by virtue of their liberal and cheerful way of life. Their nature was pleasant and loving, and this was what reflected over time in their art and literature. This is something the writer finds worth admiration in the people of Mewar.
(h) Despite having several wars and bloodshed, the kingdom of Mewar has also proved to be a place for the proliferation of art and literature during the same span. The reason it got a chance to flourish was twofold – the encouragement and patronage by rulers like Rana Kumbha, who were inclined towards art themselves, and secondly, the pleasant, loving and liberal nature of the people of Mewar, which reflected in their art. A combination of the above two factors assisted in the simultaneous development and flourishment of art and literature in a land that was constantly fighting enemies.
(i) The rulers of Mewar showed that they cared for their subjects in three simultaneous ways. Firstly, they were brave warriors, who fought their way towards many victories in order to protect their subjects and their kingdom. Secondly, the rulers carried out a lot of development work for their subjects, in the form of public buildings and marvels of architecture such as the Kirti Stambha and the Vijaya Stambha, granting their people, as well as ones from beyond boundaries. Thirdly, they patronized several artists in order to encourage creative pursuits in art, literature as well as architecture to maintain the cheerful, pleasant and lovable nature and way of life of their subjects, even in the times of war and bloodshed. In this way, the rulers of Mewar showed to their subjects how they cared for them.
(j) The erection of the Vijaya Stambha and Kirti Stambha in the same fort signifies the closeness and proximity of the king with his subjects in the Mewar kingdom. The two Stambhas are marvellous pieces of architecture, and symbolize victory and fame respectively. The very fact that the two minarets are situated side-by-side, and are the outcome of brilliant workmanship in architecture of people of the kingdom and even beyond its boundaries signifies how the rulers of Mewar propagated art and architecture and provided an environment conducive to the development of soft arts in the people.
(k) (i) astonishing
The phrase “astonishing pieces of workmanship” can be referred to, where the word astonishing is used in similar meaning as surprising. The writer has tried to suggest that the kind of intricacy and quality of architectural wonders, which includes forts, palaces and public buildings, is quite surprising or astonishing.
The phrase “testimony to the fact” can be referred to in this regard, as it is used in similar meaning as “evidence”. The writer has tried to suggest here that the ruins of several buildings in present-day Mewar are a “testimony” or “evidence” of the fact that the kingdom was not only valued for its gallant warriors but was also an important seat of art and culture.
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