Post Mauryan Trends in Indian Art and Architecture, Bharhut

Get top class preparation for competitive exams right from your home: get questions, notes, tests, video lectures and more- for all subjects of your exam.

Post Mauryan Trends in Indian for Indian Culture
  • From the second century BCE onwards, various rulers established their control over the vast Mauryan Empire:
  • The Shungas, Kanvas, Kushanas and Guptas in the north and parts of central India; the Satvahanas, Ikshavakus, Abhiras, Vakataks in southern and western India.
  • the prominent examples of the finest sculpture are found at Vidisha, Bharhut (Madhya Pradesh) ,
  • Bodhgaya (Bihar) , Jaggayyapeta (Andhra Pradesh) , Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) , Khandagiri – Udaigiri.
  • (Odisha) , Bhaja near Pune and Pavani near Nagpur (Maharashtra) .


  • Sculptures are tall like the images of Yakshaand Yakshini in the Mauryan period, modelling of the sculptural volume is in low relief maintaining linearity.
  • Images stick to the picture plane.
  • Narrative panels are shown with fewer characters but as the time progresses, apart from the main character in the story, others also start appearing in the picture space.
  • At times more than one event at one geographical place is clubbed in the picture space or only a single main event is depicted in the pictorial space.
  • Sculptures at Bharhut, Bodhgaya, Sanchi Stupa-2, and Jaggayyapeta are good examples.
East Gateway and Railings Bharhut Stupa
  • In one such narrative, showing Queen Mayadevi՚s (mother of Siddhartha Gautam) dream, a descending elephant is shown.
  • The queen is shown reclining on the bed whereas an elephant is shown on the top heading towards the womb of Queen Mayadevi.
  • Ruru Jataka where the Bodhisattva deer is rescuing a man on his back.
  • Interestingly, with the rise in the construction of stupas in various parts of the country, regional stylistic variations also began to emerge.
  • One main characteristic in all the male images of first – second centuries BCE is the knotted headgear.
  • Found at Bharhut are displayed in Indian Museum, Kolkata.