Post Mauryan Trends In Indian Art And Architecture, Bharhut

Glide to success with Doorsteptutor material for IAS : Get detailed illustrated notes covering entire syllabus: point-by-point for high retention.

Download PDF of This Page (Size: 354K)

Image of Post Mauryan Trends In Indian For Indian Culture

Image of 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.

Image of East Gateway and Railings Bharhut Stupa

Image of 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.

Developed by: