Post-Mauryan Trends in Indian Art and Architecture
Category: Art and Culture
Topic: Post-Mauryan Trends in Indian Art and Architecture – Part I
NCERT notes on important topics for the UPSC civil services exam preparation. These notes will also be useful for other competitive exams like banking PO, SSC, state civil services exams and so on.
After the decline of the Mauryan Empire in the second century BC, various rulers controlled the regions which were once under the Mauryas, like the Shungas, Kanvas, Kushanas and Guptas in the north and central India; and the Satavahanas, Abhiras, Ikshvakus and Vakatakas in the south and western India.
This period also saw the emergence of Brahmanical sects like the Shaivas and the Vaishnavas.
Chief examples of fine sculpture are found at Bharhut and Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh); Mathura (Uttar Pradesh); Bodhgaya (Bihar); Jaggayyapeta (Andhra Pradesh); Bhaja and Pavani (Maharashtra); and Khandagiri and Udaigiri (Odisha).
Sculptures are tall like the Yakshas and Yakshinis of the Mauryan era.
The illusion of three-dimensionality is present.
Narratives or stories are represented pictorially.
Space is utilised to the maximum extent.
Initially, the carvings were shown with flat images, i.e., projection of hands and feet were not possible, but later on, they emerged with deep carvings and a much-naturalised representation of human and animal forms.
One important sculpture at Bharhut: Queen Mayadevi (the Buddha’s mother) dreaming of an elephant descending towards her womb.
Jataka tales are also seen.
A common characteristic of all the male images after the first and second centuries is the knotted headgear.