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by aspe

Maurya Dynasty
6th century BC is of great significance as an era of spirit of opposition to the dominating priests & Brahmins. Teachings of Mahavira (587 BC) & Buddha (623 BC 569 BC) formed the basis of 2 distinct religions Buddhist and Jainism. Buddhism blossom because of Askoka, Kanishka, Harshvardhana. Ashoka constructed 84,000 stupas. Stambas were constructed close to many stupas with religious teachings inscribed on them.

Development of Buddhist Architecture Under Maurya

Created Rock cut caves. Chaitya hall for prayer Viharas to live Architecture & Art developed & manifested on 7 forms Edicts inscribed on rocks Stupas Monolithic (Stambhas) Monolithic accessories to shrines Castles & Palaces Rock cut Chambers Buddhist monasteries

Great artistic value Boldly designed, finely proportioned, conceptually well balanced. Solely monumental. Capital & superstructure asthetically given more importance. Column = shaft + capital + superstructure Capital + superstructure = 7 height Shaft = 40 50 high 2 pieces joint together by copper bolt. Capital Inverted lotus or bell shaped Base pedestal Animals with or without Dharma-chakra


Two types Chaitya hal Viharas

Eg Lomesh rushi cave Sudama cave of Barabar hills

Ashoka built almost 84000 stupas to propagate Buddhism. Initially they were mounds erected on the tomb of Buddha and Buddhist saints Later these mounds were claded with bricks & stones to protect the stupas from natural decay. They were elongated , terrace & torna (entrance gate) were attached. Eg Stupa at Sachi. Originally half the size of what appears today. 70- diameter, 35 height, hemispherical in form. Resting on raised platform, timber vedica, stone canopy at apex.

1) Two school of thought
Hinayana Mahayana 2) Spread of Buddhist led to construction of several stupas & monolithic pillars through the country. 3) Use of permanent material for religious structures stone 4) Secular structures made up of perishable materials. 5) Timber construction details used during Vedic period were adopted in the rock cut Buddhist era.


During Shungas Saatvahanas period, art & architecture recorded a commendable development. The kings encourage Buddhism. Stone was used as building material. Maurya period religious symbols, palaces, temples. Shunga period Stupas & Viharas. Rock cut architecture initiated during Mauriyas & developed during the Shungas.
Eg Karli caves, Bhaja, Ajanta Mahayana belief started Architecture divided into- Rock cut caves Stupas Sculptures


Rock cut caves were constructured in Eastern as well as Western India. East India near Bhuvaneshwar Khandagiri & udaygiri hills. Western India Saihyadri hills Ajanta, Karli.
2nd century BC 7th century AD caves
2nd century BC 2nd century AD 3rd century AD 7th century AD

Art & Architecture at Ajanta development during this period i.e. 2nd century BC - &th century AD Ajanta Hinayana style 200BC 200 AD
- Mahayana style 300 BC 700 AD

In all 29 caves 4 Chaitya hall, 25 Viharas Cave no 10 oldest chaitya hall - 200 BC - 966 long - 413 wide - 360 high Dead end semacircular Stupa decorated Cave no 12 : oldest vihara , inner hall square 38 side flanked by colonnades on both sides. 4 chambers on each of the 3 sides of the hall.

One of the huge chaitya . Chaityagrih extremely beautiful. Main features Two upright pillars with lion capital at entrance. Double storied faade resting on columns. Chaitya window entrance faade. Pradakshinapath around the stupa. Stupa right at the centre , with hermica at its crown. In all 37 columns 15 column on two sides, 7 around garbhagrih. Circular barrel vaulted roof Wooden ribs on underside of roof.

Pillars with carved capitals. Octagonal shaft. Pitcher shaped pedestal. Capital elaborately carved , resting on inverted pots. Hall 124 long 456 wide 45 high Semicircular end , with 7 columns around.

Famous Ashokan built Stupas at Sachi, Bharhut, Buddthgaya were renovated & extended during the Shungas. Several new elements were added to these monuments. Initially a Stupa & a monolithic pillar were constructed by Mauryan emperor Ashoka. Extention, renovation & new construction was undertaken by Shunga king in mid 200 BC. Stupa was extended & cladded with stone, vedica constructed , stairway added, elaborately decorated torna.

The Stupa has following elements 3 tiered canopy at the summit of the hemispherical dome. Hermica surruonded by the vedica. elevated ambulatory path around the Stupa. Stairway towards the south. 4 ornate tornas. Diameter of stupa 120. Height of Stupa 54.

VEDICA Constructed early half of the 200 BC. Consist of stambha i.e. vertical post known as THABA. Horizontal post member known as SUCHI, all joint by tennon & mortise joint in stone. coping in stone. Vedica divided into 4 segments by 4 tornas facing the cardinal points. Relief work on torna scenes related to life of Buddha, various forms of Buddha & variou other scenes & ornamentation. Principles of wooden architecture have been adopted in totality.,

CONCLUSION Use of more permanent material. Details of timber construction seen in stone Rock cut architecture flourished in western region Subject matter of art & architecture from public life.