Art & Architecture


  • Drainage system
  • Rectangular intersecting roads
  • Sanitary system


  • Monolithic Pillars
  • Finely carved capitols – Bull capitol and Sarnath capitol
  • Stupas start during this period – 4 gateways
    • Surface built with bricks
  • Viharas and Chaityas
    • Barabar Caves

Shunga – Satvahanas

  • Early classic architecture
  • Carved railings and gateways around Buddhist shrines


  • Sculpture developed
  • The emperor himself was a divine authority
  • Buddha was first time given a human form during this time

Gupta period

  • Beginning of Hindu temples – temple at Deoghar, Udaigiri caves in Orissa
  • Vaishnavite temple in Vidisha


  • Mandaps, Rathas and finely carved panels and pillars
  • Shore temple at Mahabs is a structural temple
  • Ratha temple is a rock cut temple
  • Kanchipuram also has temples
    • Panels depict shiva as Natraja
    • History of Pallavas


  • Tanjaur Temple: 65 m tall vimana
  • Pillared halls and sculptures depicting Bharata’s natyashastra
  • Fine paintings


  • Built high outerwalls and gopuram
  • Their gopurams can be seen from long distances


  • Belur and Halebeed temples
  • Profusion of manifold pillars with rich and intricate carvings
  • Panels depict gods and goddesses

Orissa Temples

  • Lingraja temple
    • 40 m high
  • Sun Temple

Nagara, Dravida and Visara


Table 1

Nagara Dravida Visara
Temples called PRASADA Combination of Dravida and Nagara (Chalukyas).
Shikhara is curvilinear Shikhara pyramidal
No role of pillar Pillar important
No tank Tank may be there
No enclosure Enclosure and gopuram
Mahadeva Temple Brihadeshwara Eg Some in Khajuraho, Sirpur etc


Cave architecture

Progressed in three phases

  • Buddhist Jain Ajivika caves (3rd BC to 2nd AD)
    • Kaneri, Nashik, Udaigiri
  • Ajanta Ellora Cave (5th to 7th AD)
  • Elephanta Ellora and Mahabs (7th to 10th)




Two major schools

  • Gandhara
    • Greco-Roman Style
    • North West India
    • Stone and stucco
  • Madhura
    • Indigenous style
    • UP Bihar
    • White spotted red sandstone used
    • Forms of Brahmanical deities crystallised for the first time in this art form

Themes of Buddha and Bodhisatvas in Both


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