Mauryan Indian Early Temples

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  • the Puranas became part of narrative representation of the Brahmanical religion.

  • Each temple had a principal image of a god.

  • The shrines of the temples were of three kinds—

(i) Sandharatype (without pradikshinapatha),

(ii) Nirandharatype (with pradikshinapatha), and

(iii) Sarvatobhadra (which can be accessed from all sides).

  • The important temple sites of this period are Deogarh in Uttar Pradesh, Eran, Nachna-Kuthara and Udaygiri near Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh.

  • Simple structures consisting of a veranda, a hall and a shrine at the rear.

  • The important stupa sites outside the Gangetic valley is Devnimori in Gujarat.

  • Subsequent sculptures had little variations while slender images with transparent drapery remained a dominant aesthetic sensibility.

  • Buddhist Monuments of South India Vengi in Andhra Pradesh has many stupa sites like Jagayyapetta, Amaravati, Bhattiprolu, Nagarjunakonda, Goli, etc.

  • Amaravati has a mahachaitya and had many sculptures which are now preserved in Chennai Museum, Amaravati Stupa also has pradakshina patha enclosed within a vedikaon which many narrative sculptures are depicted.

  • The domical stupa structure is covered with relief stupa sculptural slabs which is a unique feature.

  • The torana of the Amaravati Stupa has disappeared over a period of time.

Image of Torana of The Amaravati Stupa

Image of Torana of the Amaravati Stupa

  • Events from the life of the Buddha and the Jataka stories are depicted. Sculptural form in this area is characterised by intense emotions.

  • Figures are slender, have a lot of movement, bodies are shown with three bents (i.e. tribhanga), and the sculptural composition is more complex than at Sanchi.

  • Linearity becomes flexible, dynamic movement breaks the static ness of form.

  • The idea of creating three-dimensional space in the relief sculpture is devised by using pronounced volume, angular bodies and complex overlapping.

  • The animated movement in the figures gets reduced in the sculptures of Nagarjunakonda and Goli in the third century CE.

  • Independent Buddha images are also found at Amaravati, Nagarjunakonda and Guntapalle. Guntapalle is a rock-cut cave site near Eluru.

  • Important site where rock-cut stupas have been excavated is Anakapalle near Vishakhapatanam.

  • In Karnataka, Sannati is the largest stupa site excavated so far.

  • Also has a stupa like the one in Amaravati decorated with sculptural relief?

  • Along with the images of the Buddha, other Buddhist images of Boddhisattvas like Avalokiteshvara, Padmapani, Vajrapani, Amitabha, and Maitreya Buddha started getting sculpted.

  • With the rise of Vajrayana Buddhism many Boddhisattva images were added as a part of the personified representations of certain virtues or qualities as propagated by the Buddhist religious principles for the welfare of the masses.

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