Academic Reading Passage 1

IELTS Reading Passage 1 How to complete a table really quickly. Reading and picture about Stepwells in India

Tables can help you find answers quickly because of the layout and key words.

  • Find the paragraph with the key word
  • Use capital letters and/or italics to find the key words quickly.
  • Use numbers/dates to find your place
  • Use synonyms/similar words to find the sentence
  • Copy the answer exactly as it is in the text

The aim of breaking up the text like this is to help you see things that you may not see in the full text.

First do the True/False/Not Given and Open Questions. These relate to the first half of the text. Look at each question and read the blue text taken from the original passage. Write down your answer, then check the answers below.

Then go to the TABLE in the second half of the passage. 

I’m making a YouTube video to help you with this. Until then, listen to the podcast at the bottom to help with the explanations.

Stepwells

Questions 1–5

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the Reading Passage?

TRUE  – the statement agrees with the information

FALSE  –  the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN – there is no information on this

  1.  Examples of ancient stepwells can be found all over the world

Para 2: Unique to the region, stepwells are often architecturally complex and vary widely in size and shape.

  1.   Stepwells had a range of functions, in addition to those related to water collection. 

Para 2: During their heyday, they were places of gathering, of leisure, of relaxation and of worship for villagers of all but the lowest castes.

  1. The few existing stepwells in Delhi are more attractive than those found elsewhere.

Para 2: Most stepwells are found dotted around the desert areas of Gujarat (where they are called vav) and Rajasthan (where they are known as baori), while a few also survive in Delhi.

  1.  It took workers many years to build the stone steps characteristic of stepwells. 

Para 3: As their name suggests, stepwells comprise a series of stone steps descending from ground level to the water source (normally an underground aquifer) as it recedes following the rains.

  1. The number of steps above the water level in a stepwell altered during the course of a year. 

Para 3: When the water level was high, the user needed only to descend a few steps to reach it; when it was low, several levels would have to be negotiated.

Answers: Questions 1–5

  1.  Examples of ancient stepwells can be found all over the world. False

Unique to the region, stepwells are often architecturally complex and vary widely in size and shape.

  1.   Stepwells had a range of functions, in addition to those related to water collection. True

During their heyday, they were places of gathering, of leisure, of relaxation and of worship for villagers of all but the lowest castes.

  1. The few existing stepwells in Delhi are more attractive than those found elsewhere. Not Given

Most stepwells are found dotted around the desert areas of Gujarat (where they are called vav) and Rajasthan (where they are known as baori), while a few also survive in Delhi.

  1.  It took workers many years to build the stone steps characteristic of stepwells. Not Given

As their name suggests, stepwells comprise a series of stone steps descending from ground level to the water source (normally an underground aquifer) as it recedes following the rains.

  1. The number of steps above the water level in a stepwell altered during the course of a year. True

When the water level was high, the user needed only to descend a few steps to reach it; when it was low, several levels would have to be negotiated.

 

Questions 6–8 (ONE word only)

  1.   Which part of some stepwells provided shade for people? 

Para 4 they also included pavilions that sheltered visitors from the relentless heat.

  1.   What type of serious climatic event, which took place in southern Rajasthan, is mentioned in the article?  

Para 5 Their condition hasn’t been helped by recent dry spells: southern Rajasthan suffered an eight-year drought between 1996 and 2004.

  1.   Who are frequent visitors to stepwells nowadays

(Last Paragraph) Today, following years of neglect, many of these monuments to medieval engineering have been saved by the Archaeological Survey of India, which has recognised the importance of preserving them as part of the country’s rich history. Tourists flock to wells in far-flung corners of northwestern India to gaze in wonder at these architectural marvels from 1,000 years ago…

Answers Questions 6–8 (one word only)

  1.   Which part of some stepwells provided shade for people? Pavilions

Para 4 they also included pavilions that sheltered visitors from the relentless heat.

  1.   What type of serious climatic event, which took place in southern Rajasthan, is mentioned in the article?  Drought

Para 5 Their condition hasn’t been helped by recent dry spells: southern Rajasthan suffered an eight-year drought between 1996 and 2004.

  1.   Who are frequent visitors to stepwells nowadays? Tourists

(Last Paragraph) Today, following years of neglect, many of these monuments to medieval engineering have been saved by the Archaeological Survey of India, which has recognised the importance of preserving them as part of the country’s rich history. Tourists flock to wells in far-flung corners of northwestern India to gaze in wonder at these architectural marvels from 1,000 years ago…

THE TABLE

Questions 9-13

Complete the table below.

Choose ONE WORD AND /OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.

IELTS Reading - complete the gaps in a table
  1.  Para 6 Rani Ki Vav features 500 distinct sculptures carved into niches throughout the monument, depicting gods such as Vishnu and Parvati in various incarnations. Incredibly, in January 2001, this ancient structure survived a devastating earthquake that measured 7.6 on the Richter scale.
  2. Para 7 Surya Kund displays the hallmarks of stepwell architecture, including four sides of steps that descend to the bottom in a stunning geometrical formation.
  3. Para 7 Another example is the Surya Kund in Modhera, northern Gujarat, next to the Sun Temple, built by King Bhima I in 1026 to honour the sun god Surya. It actually resembles a tank (kund means reservoir or pond) rather than a well.
  4. Para 9. In the old ruined town of Abhaneri, about 95 kilometres east of Jaipur, is Chand Baori, one of India’s oldest and deepest wells. On the fourth side, covered verandas supported by ornate pillars overlook the steps.
  5. Para 10. Still in public use is Neemrana Ki Baori, located just off the Jaipur–Delhi highway. Constructed in around 1700, it’s nine storeys deep, with the last two levels underwater.

TABLE ANSWERS

  1.  Para 6 Rani Ki Vav features 500 distinct sculptures carved into niches throughout the monument, depicting gods such as Vishnu and Parvati in various incarnations. Incredibly, in January 2001, this ancient structure survived a devastating earthquake that measured 7.6 on the Richter scale.
  2. Para 7 Surya Kund displays the hallmarks of stepwell architecture, including 4 sides of steps that descend to the bottom in a stunning geometrical formation.
  3. Para 7 Another example is the Surya Kund in Modhera, northern Gujarat, next to the Sun Temple, built by King Bhima I in 1026 to honour the sun god Surya. It actually resembles a tank (kund means reservoir or pond) rather than a well.
  4. Para 9. In the old ruined town of Abhaneri, about 95 kilometres east of Jaipur, is Chand Baori, one of India’s oldest and deepest wells. On the fourth side, covered verandas supported by ornate pillars overlook the steps.
  5. Para 10. Still in public use is Neemrana Ki Baori, located just off the Jaipur–Delhi highway. Constructed in around 1700, it’s nine storeys deep, with the last two levels underwater.

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