The Mauryan Art
The period of the Mauryan Empire marks a new epoch in the history of India. It is said to be a period when chronology becomes definite. It was a period when chronology becomes definite. It was a period when politics, art, trade and commerce elevated India to a glorious height. A period of unification of the territories, which lay as fragmented kingdoms. Moreover, India contact with the outside world was established effectively during the period. The artistic remains of the Mauryan period come under the following heads.
Pillars and Sculpture
The best example is the Sarnath pillar the four lions standing back to back and the figure of four animals (lion, elephant, horse and the bull) in relief on the abacus the inverted lotus and sacred Dharma Chakra (with 24 Spokes) – all indicate a highly advanced form of art.
Animals Represented on the Top of Asokan Pillars
Lauriya nandangarh : Single lion, row of Brahmagiri geese
Rampurva: Single lion a bull
- The main purpose of building a Stupa was to enshrine some relics of Buddha or some great Buddhist monk. The best example of the Stupa is the Stupa at Sanchi.
- He enlarged the stupa of Kanakamana a “former Buddha”
- The caves primarily served as residence for monks or churches and assembly halls.
- Caves in Barabar hills are the finest examples.
- Lomas Rishi and Sudama Caves were denoted by Ashoka to Ajivikas.
- Excavations have revealed a Royal Palace in ruined condition near Kumrahar.
- Mother Goddesses in clay have been discovered at Ahicchatra. They are found commonly at sited extending from Pataliputra to Texila.
- Terracotta of Mauryan Period consists of primitive idols or images, votive reliefs with deties, toys, dice, ornaments and leads.
- The examples include Yaksha of Parkhram, Chamargrahini of Didarganj, and Yakshini of Besnagar. These statues are made of stone.
Significance of Mauryan rule
- The emblem of Indian Republic has been adopted from, the Lion Capital of Ashokan pillar at Sarnath.
- Many Gurukuls and Budhdhist monasteries (Taxila and Bannras) developed with royal patronage.
- Literary development: e.g., Arthashastra (Kautilya) ; Kalpasutra (Bhadrabahu) ; Kath Vatthu (Buddhist text); Bhagwati Sutra, Acharanga Sutra and Dasavalik (Jain Text)
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