Art and Culture Book by Nitin Singhania -Chapter 1



Art and Culture By Nitin Singhania

Architecture •           Derived from the Latin word ‘tekton’ which means builder

•           Refers to the construction and designing of buildings

•           Depends primarily on on engineering and measurements

•           a mixture of various types of materials

Sculpture •          Derived from Proto-Indo-European (PIE) root ‘kel’ which means ‘to cut or cleave

•          Refers to smaller 3-dimensional works of art

•          Focuses more  on imagination and aesthetics

•          a single type of material

Classification of Indian Architecture Ancient India Medieval India Modern India
Harappan Art Delhi Sultanate Indo-Gothic style
Mauryan Art Mughal Art Neo-Roman style
Post-Mauryan Art
Gupta Age Art
South Indian Art
Harappan Art •           On the banks of river Indus.

•           In second half of the 3rd millennium BCE.

•           North-western and western India.

•           Harappa and Mohenjo-daro are the finest and earliest examples of urban ci›4c planning.

Important sites of the Indus Valley Civilisation •           Harappa — Pakistan — River Ravi Mother Goddess figure, sculpture of  dog  chasing  a deer  in bronze metal, mirror, copper scale etc.

•           Nlohenjo-daro — Pakistan River Indus The great bath, bronze statue of the Dancing Girl, the citadel, the great granary, a sculpture of bearded priest, Pashupati seal etc

•           Mehrq•arh — Pakistan Copper tools and pottery ( considered the forerunner of IVC)

•           Dholavira — Gujarat Unique water harnessing system, dams and embankments, giant water reservoir etc.

•           Lothal — Gujarat Had a Dockyard, practice of burial of cremated remainsfound, fire altars, modern day chess, terracotta figure of horse and ship, instruments for measuring 45, 90 and 180 degree angles etc. (Lothal was an important site for naval tirade)

•           Rakhigarhi — Harya na Granary, drains,  terracotta  bricks  etc.  (Rakhigarhi  is  the  largest  site  o1‘ IVC)

•           Ropar — Punjab — Sutlej Copper axe and dog buried with human oval pit burials

•           Balathal and Kalibangan Rajasthan Bones of  camel,  toy  factory,  decorated  bricks,  bangle  factory etc.

•           Surkatoda — Gujarat First actual remains of horse bone

•           Banawali — Harya na—Saraswati (dried-up) Lapis lazuli, barley grains et (only city with radial streets)

•           Alamgirpur — UP — Yamuna Impression of a cloth on a trough, ceramic items (eastern most site

ot’ IVC)

Harappan •          Towns were —› rectangular grid pattern.

•          Roads ran in north-south and east-west direction and cut each other at right angles.

Art and Culture By Nitin Singhania

Architecture •          3 types of’ building: dwelling houses, public buildings and public baths.

•          Use of burnt mud bricks of standardised dimensions.

•          City was divided into two parts:

o         An up raised citadel — In the western part was used for constructing larger buildings like granaries

o        1.ower-part – for the working class

•          Advanced drainage system- Drains were covered loosely and had cesspits

Harappan Sculptures •          Seals:

o         Mostly square but triangular, rectangular and circular seals were also found.

o         Steatite was commonly used but copper, faience, agate, terracotta seals have also been found.

o         Inscriptions in pictographic script- animals impressions were also present

o         common animal motifs- tiger, unicorn, humped bull, rhinoceros, elephant, buffalo, bison, ibex, crocodile etc.(No evidence of cow was found)

o         seals were extensively used for trade

o         Eg: Pashupati seal-

•          Bronze figures:

o         Bronze stames made using “lost wax technique” or “Cire Perdue” technique.

o         Eg: Bronze dancing girl of Mohenjo-daro

•          Terracotta  (fire  baked  clay): o        Used pinching method

o      Mostly found in Gujarat and Kalibangan

o         Use: to make animal figures, miniature carts, toys, wheels etc.

o         Eg: Figurine of Mother Goddes

•          Pottery:

o         Classified into two kinds — plain pottery and painted pottery (Red and Black pottery).

o         Uses: for household, decorative, straining liquor (perforated pottery)

•          Ornaments:

o       Material used — gemstones, precious metals, baked clay, bone

o       Both men and women wore ornaments

o       Produced in large scale- factories in Chanhu-daro and Lothal

o Fabric: Wool and cotto
•          Examples: red sandstone figure of a male torso, bust of the bearded priest etc.
Mauryan Art and Architecture Classified into two:

a.        Court art: Kings commissioned architectural works for religious and political reasons. These are referred to as court art.

o         Palaces: Palace of Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka’s palace at Kumrahar

o         Pillars Inscriptions on pillars- to commemorate battle victories or propagate imperial sermons and symbolised the state- mainly made of chunar sandstone- eg: Sarnath pillar near Varanasi

o         Stupa (b urial mounds) : Art of stupa reached its zenith  during the reign  of Ashoka-  Core of the stupa was made of unbtirnt brick-  Eg:  Sanchi  Stupa  in  Madhya  Pradesh-  Locations  of the 9 stupas built after the death of Buddha are: Rajagriha, Kushinagar, Pippa liva na,

Vaishali, Kapilavastu, Allakappa, Ramagrama, Vethapida and Pava

b.        Popular art (individual effort): Art and architecture developed by individual initiative

o         Caves: Emergence of rock-cut cave architectures- used as viharas- had decorative gateways- eg: Barabar and Nagarjuni caves in Bihar

o         Pottery: Referred to as Northern Black Polished Ware (NBPW)- black paint,  highly lustrous finish and used as a luxury good

o         Sculptures: Used to decorate stupas- Eg: Yaksha and Yakshi

Post Mauryan •           Northern India- Kushanas, Shungas, Shakas and Kanvas

•           Southern India- Satvahanas, Ikshavakus, Abhiras and Vakatakas

Indian Art and Culture

Art •          Sculpture reached its peak
Post Mauryan


•          Rock-cut caves:

o         Emergence of two types of rock caves — Chaitya (prayer halls were developed during the post mauryan times) and Vihar (residential halls built during the Mauryan times)- Eg: Karle Chaitya hall, Udayagiri (Hathigumpha inscription) and Khandagiri Caves, Odisha

•          Stupas:

o         Use of stone increased

o         Shunga dynasty introduced the idea of torans (Hcllcnistic influence).

o         Eg: Bharhut stupa in Madhya Pradesh

•          Sculpture:

Development of 3 important schools of sculpture- Gandhara, Mathura and Amaravati schools of sculpture

o         Gandhara School (Greco-Indian School of Art)

•          Western frontiers of Punjab (today’s Peshawar and Afghanistan)

•          Influenced by Greek and Roman traditions

•          Sculptures were based on the Greco-Roman pantheon

•          Two stages (50 B.C. to 500 A.): a) Early stage- use of bluish-grey sandstone b) Later period/stage- use of mud and stucco

•          Patronised by Kushanas

•          Focused on single images

•          Features of Buddha:

– shown in a spiritual state

– wavy hair
– fewer ornaments
– seated in the position of a yogi
– eyes half closed as in meditation
protuberance on the head (signifies his omniscience)
o         Mathura School

•          Banks on river Yamuna (1 — 3 century BC)

•          Developed in and around Mathura, Kankalitila and Sonkh

•          Influenced by Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism

•          Images based on Yaksha images found during the Mauryan times

•          Use of symbolism in the images

•          Made with spotted red sandstone

•          Patronised by Kushanas

•          Focused on single images

•          Features of Buddha:

– Shown in delighted mood

– smiling face
– body symbolises mascularity
– face and head shaven
– seated in padmasana with various mudras

Art and Culture By Nitin Singhania

– protuberance on the head

o         Amaravati School

Banks of Krishna river

•          Around Amaravati and Nagarjunakonda

•          Patronised by Satvahana rulers

•          Use of dynamic (not single) images or narrative art

•          Increasingly used the Tribhanga pose

•          Made with white marbles

•          Show life stories of Buddha and the Jataka tales

•          Difference between Greek and Roman art:

o         Greek art:

•          Art is idealistic in nature (idealism) – muscular portrayal of Gods and other men to show strength and beauty

Many used marble

o         Roman art:

•          Romans art is realistic in nature (realism)

•          Used concrete

Well-known for mural paintings

Mudras of


•          Bhumisparsha Mudra:

o         Portrays Buddha sitting in meditation with his left hand, palm upright, in his lap, and his right hand touching the earth.

o         Symbolises ‘Calling the Earth to Witness the Truth’

o         Shows the moment when Buddha’s attained enlightenment.

•          Dhyana Mudra (Yoga mudra):

o         Shows Buddha in meditation

o         Buddha with both the hands in the lap, with the back of the right hand resting on the palm of the left hand with fingers extended- many statues show the thumbs of both hands touching at the tips, forming a mystic triangle – symbolises attainment of spiritual perfection

•          Vitarka Mudra

o         Indicates teaching and discussion

o         The right hand is positioned at shoulder level and the left

hand at the hip level, in the lap, with palm facing upwards- tips of the thumb and index finger touch each other, forming a circle.

•          Abhaya Mudra

o         Shows fearlessness

o         Right hand is raised to shoulder height with arm bent – palm of the right hand faces outwards and the fingers are upright and joined. The left hand hangs downwards by the side of the body- shown by Buddha immediately after attaining enlightenment.

o         Symbolizes inner security and strength

•          Dharmachakra Mudra:

o         ‘Turning the Wheel of the Dharma or Law’

o         Posture involves both hands

o         Right hand is held at chest level with the palm facing outwards. A mystic circle is formed by joining the tips of the index finger and the thumb. The left hand is turned inward and the index finger and thumb of this hand join to touch the right hand’s circle.

o         Gesture shown by Buddha while he preached the first sermon in the Deer Park of Sarnath

•          Anjali Mudra:

o         Symbolises greetings, devotion, and adoration

o        Both hands close to the chest, palms and fingers joined against each other vertically (Namaste).

o    This mudra is for Bodhisattvas (who aim to attain perfect knowledge) and this pose should not be shown in Buddha statues.


Gupta Art and Architecture •          Gupta age – “Golden period of’ Indian Architecture”

•           Worshipped 3 principal — Vishnu, Shiva and Shakti

•          Gupta Architecture:


Use of mural paintings on walls of caves became an added characteristic Eg: Ajanta and Ellora caves

Ajanta caves:

between 200 B.C. to 650 A.D

series of rock-cut caves on river Waghora near Aurangabad 29 caves — 25 Viharas and 4 Chaityas

patronage of the Vakataka kings inscribed by Buddhist monks

figures done using fresco painting – outlines done in red   colour – absence of blue colour generally themed around Buddhism

Eg: Mahaparinirvana of Buddha Ellora caves:

between 5th and 1 lth centuries A.D.

In the Sahyadri ranges of Maharashtra

Group of 34 caves — 17 Brahmanical, 12 Buddhist and 5 Jain

–           Developed by guilds from Vidarbha, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka

–           Eg: Vishwakarma Cave or carpenter’s cave, Kailash temple “Raavan ki khai”

Bagh caves:

6th Century A.D

bank of river Bagh river in Madhya Pradesh group of 9 Buddhist caves

Junagadh Caves (Gujarat):

Presence of three different sites namely Khapra Kodiya, Baba Pyare and Uparko – Unique feature:

30-50 ft high citadel known as “Upar Kot” in front of the prayer hall.

Nasik Caves:

1″‘ century AD

24 Buddhist caves (Pandav Lcni) excellent system of water management

Mandapeshwar Caves (Montperir caves):

Developed as a Brahmanical cave but later converted into a Christian cave Udavagiri caves (Vidisha, Madhva Pradesh)

5th century AD

Under the patronage of Chandragupta II

sculptures on hill walls – one of the earliest Hindu sculptures can be found Stupas:

Decline in the development of stupas in this period

Eg: Dhamek stupa at Sarnath


Development of a new school of sculpture around Sarnath.

use of cream coloured sandstone and metal- sculptures perfectly dressed- halo was decorated Eg: Sultanganj Buddha

Ancient Edicts and Inscriptions •           Sohgaura Copper Plate:

o        Earliest known copper-plate – a Mauryan record that mentions famine relief efforts

o        One of the rare pre-Ashoka Brahmi inscriptions in India

•          Ashokan Edicts:

o         Collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka, cave walls and boulders

o         Represents the first tangible evidence of Buddhism- represent Ashoka’s view on dharma

o         Division of edicts into: Pillar edicts, major rock edicts and major rock inscriptions

o         focuses on social and moral principles rather than specific religious practices or the philosophical dimension of Buddhism

o         Ashoka refers to himself as Devanampiyadasi (“Beloved servant of the God”)

•          Rummindei Pillar Edicts (Lumbini):

o         Minor Pillar Inscription—s      written in Brahmi script

o         Inscriptions mention Ashoka’s visit to Lumbini (Rummindei) in Nepal

•          Prayag-Prashasti:

o    Name given to the Allahabad Pillar

Crux Notes of Standard              Art and Culture Book By Nitin Singhania

o      An Ashokan Stambh but has 4 different inscriptions i.e.

Ashokan inscriptions in Brahmi script

–     Queen’s edict

Samudragupta’s inscriptions written by Harisena Jahangir’s inscriptions (Persian)

•          Mehrauli Inscription:

o      Mehrauli Iron Pillar (rust resistant) is located in Delhi

o      Chandragupta-II- in the honour of Lord Vishnu

o      credits Chandragupta with conquest of the Vanga countries

•          Kalsi Inscription:

o      Kalsi a town on the banks of river Yamauna

o      Only place in North India where Ashoka has inscribed a set of the fourteen rock edicts

o      Portray Asoka’s human approach in his internal administration after converting to Buddhism- commitment to non-violence

•          Maski Inscription (Karnataka):

o      First edict of Emperor Ashoka that contained the name Ashoka

o      Tells people to follow the principles of Buddhism

•          Kalinga Edicts (Odisha):

o      Comprise eleven out of the well known fourteen Rock Edicts of Ashoka

o      Magadhi Prakrita and early Brahmi script

o      Kalinga Edicts have been incorporated to pacify the people of Kalinga after its conquest.

•          Aihole Inscription (Karnataka):

o      Inscription found at Meguti Temple is known as Aihole inscription

o      Written in Sanskrit (Kannada script)

o      Mentions the shifting of capital from Aihole to Badami- defeat of Harshavardhana by Pulakeshin II

•          Hathigumpha Inscription:

o      Known as Elephant Cave Inscription from Udayagiri- Khandagiri caves in Odisha

o      inscribed by King Kharavela- gives information about King Kharavela, as a patron of culture , conqueror etc



Temple Architecture

•          Progression from the flat-roofed, monolithic temples in the initial stages to the sculptured shikhara’ in the later years

Five staees of develojiment

•          Stage 1

–  Temples had flat roof

–  square in shape

–  portico on shallow pillars

–  structure on low platforms

•          Stage 2

–  Platforms were higher or upraised

– Some were two-storied temples

–  A covered ambulatory passageway around the sanctum sanctorum or garbhagriha was an addition in this phase.

•          Stage 3

Emergence of shikharas in place of a flat roof


Introducion  of  Panchavatan  style of temple  making i.e. presence of four    subsidiary shrines along

Crux Notes of Standard              Art and Culture Book By Nitin Singhania

with the temple of the principal deity Eg: Durga temple at Aihole

•         Stage 4

–  The main shrine became more rectangular

•        Stage 5

–  Circular temples with shallow rectangular projections were introduced

Styles of temple


•          Different styles of temple architecture emerged in different parts of the country. They are: o            Nagara style

o        Dravidian style

o        Nayaka style

o        Vesara style

o        Hoysala style

o        Vijayanagara style

o        Pala and Sena school

•          Basic characteristics of a Hindu temple include:

o        Sanctum Sanctorum (G arbhagriha):Houses the principal deity of the temple

o        Mandapa: Entrance to the temple- may be a portico/hall to accommodate a large number of worshippers.

o        Shikhara : Mountain like spire-pyramidal to curvilinear.

o         Vahana:Mount or vehicle of the main deity-placed just before the sanctum sanctorum

•          Nagara School of Architecture

o         5t‘ century A D- Northern India

o         Features of Nagara stvle are:

•        Generally followed the Panchavatan st› Ie

•        Presence of assembly halls or mandaps

•        Outside the garbhagriha, images of the river goddesses, Ganga and Yamuna, were placed.

•         No water tanks or reservoirs present in the temple premises.

•        Generally built on upraised platforms

•         Porticos had a pillared approach

•        Shikharas were generally of three types:

Latina or rekha-prasad: square at the base and the walls curve inward to a point on the top

Phamsana : broader base and were shorter in height than the Latina ones

Valabhi: rectangular base with the roof rising into vaulted chambers

•          Vertical end of the shikhara ended in a horizontal fluted disc, known as the Amalak- a spherical shape known as kalash was placed on top of the Amalak

•          the  wall  inside  the temple was divided  into three  vertical planes called rathas  known  as  triratha


•          Ambulatory passageway or the pradakshina path around the sanctum sanctorum was covered.

•          Generally, no elaborate boundary walls or gateways in the temple premises

•          Three sub-schools under Nagara school:

o      Odisha School: Developed in the Kalinga empire Features:

•         Exterior walls lavishly decorated but interior walls were plain.

•         No use of pillars in the porch.

•        Shikharas known as rekhadeuls (almost vertical roofs which

•        suddenly curved inwards sharply)

•         Mandap known as jagmohan

•        Ground plan of the main temple was square.

•         Surrounded by a boundary wall similar to Dravidian style

•         Eg: Sun Temple at Konark (Black Pagoda)

o         K hajuraho School (Chandel school):

Developed by the Chandels rulers in the central part of India Features:

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•          Both the interior and exterior walls were lavishly decorated with carvings.

•          Sculptures generally erotic- drew inspiration from Vatsyayana’s Kamasutra

•          Made of sandstone

•          3 chambers — garbhagriha, mandapa and ardha-mandapa

•          Generally north or east facing

•          Used Panchayatan style- even subsidiary shrines had rckha- prasad shikharas

•          built on relatively high platform– belong to Hindu as well as Jain religion

•          E     Laksliina n temple  at Khajuraho o      Solanki School (Maru-Gurjara style):

Patronage of the Solanki rulers — developed in the north-western parts of India including Gujarat and

Rajasthan Features:

•          No carvings on temple walls

•          Garbhagriha is connected with the mandapa both internally and externally

•          Porticos have decorative arched gateways known as torans.

•          Unique feature- presence of step-tank, known as surya-kund

•          Steps of the tank are full of small temples- wooden carvings present in these temples

•          Variety of material used- sandstone, black basalt and soft marble

•          Most temples are east-facing

•          Eg: Modhcra Sun temple in Gujarat

•          Temple Architecture  in South India

Emerged in peninsular India – began under the Pallava ruler Mahendravarman Classified into four stages chronologically:

o      Mahendra group:

•          First stage of Pallava temple architecture

•          Temples were basically rock-cut temples

•          Temples were known as mandapas

o      Narasimha group:

•          Second stage – rock-cut temples were decorated by intricate sculptures

•          Mandapas divided into separate rathas- Dharmaraja ratha (biggest) and Draupadi ratha(smallest)

•          Design of a temple in the Dravidian style of architecture is a successor of the Dharmaraia ratha.

o      Rajsimha group:

•          Third stage- Rajsimhavarman

•          Development of real structural temples started  in  place of rock-cut  temples-  Eg: Shore  temple at M ahabalipuram

o      Nandivarman group:

•          Fourth stage — under Pallavas

•          Temples were smaller in size – similar to the Dravidian style of temple architecture

Temple architecture acquired a new style under the Chola kingdom, known as the Dravidian stvJe. In the later periods, three other styles emerged— Vesara style, Nayaka style and Vijaynagar style.

•          Architecture at Mahabalipuram

o         7th century- Pallavas- declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984

o         Sites include: Ratha temples or Pancha Ratha, Rock-cut caves, Open Air Rock Reliefs and Shore Temple complex

•          Chola Art

o      Dravidian Style of Temple Architecture

Continuation of the previous Pallava architecture- known as the Dravidian oi Chola style of temple architecture


•          Surrounded by high boundary walls

•          Front wall had a hich entrance eatewav known as the eonuram

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•          Premise laid out in the panchayatan style with a principal temple and four subsidiary shrines.

•          The spire is in the form of a stepped pyramid that rises up linearly rather than curved– known as


•          Crowning element shaped in the form of’ an octagon, known  as shikhara-  similar  to the kalash of the Nagara temple, but not spherical.

•          Only one vimana top of the main temple– subsidiary shrines do not have vimanas

•          Assembly hall connected with the garbhagriha by a vestibular tunnel known as aiitarala

•          Entrance of the garbhagriha had sculptures of Dwaarpal, mithun and yakshas.

•          Unique feature- presence of a water tank inside the temple enclosure

•          Eg: Brihadesu’ara temple at Tanjore (Raja Raja I in 1011 A.D.) o        Chola Sculpture

Important piece of Chola sculpture was the sculpture of Nataraj a in the Tandava dance posture


•          Upper right hand holds the drum– signifies the sound of creation

•          Upper left hand holds the eternal fire, which represents destruction

•          Lower right hand is raised in the gesture of abhav mudra- signifies benediction reassures  the devotee to not be afraid

•          Lower left-hand points towards the upraised foot – indicates the path of salvation

•          Shiva is dancing on the figure of a small dwarf- dwarf symbolises ignorance and the ego of an individual

•          Matted and flowing locks of Shiva represent the how of river Ganges

•          One ear of Shiva has a male earring while the other has female– represents fusion of male and female and is often referred to as ardhanarishwar

•          Snake twisted around the arm of Shiva-snake symbolises the kundalini power, which resides in the human spine in dormant stage- if aroused, one can attain true consciousness

•          Nataraja surrounded by a nimbus of glowing lights which symbolises the vast unending cycles of time

•          Other Schools of Art

o      Nayaka School (Madurai school):

•          Flourished under the Nayaka rulers- between 16th – 18th century A.D.

•          Similar to the Dravidian style- also influenced by Islamic swle

•          Features:

Presence of Prakarms or huge corridors in the portico, around the garbhagriha, along with roofed ambulatory passageways.

gopurams built under the Nayaka rulers were

built some of the largest gopurams

Eg: Meenakshi temple, Madurai

o     Vesara School (Karnataka school):

•          Conceptualised by later Cha lukya rulers – mid-seventh centur y A.D.

•          Combined features of Na•qa i a a nd Dravidian school (h v bridised style)

•          3 important prominent dynasties who made Vesara style temples are: Chalukyas of Badami and Kalyani

Rashtrakutas (750-983AD) Hoysala Dynastv (1050-1300 AD)

•          Eg: Doddabasappa temple at Dambal

o      Vijayanagara School:

•          Rulers of Vijayanagara Empire (1335-1565)

•          Combined features of Chola, Hoysalas, Pandyas, Chalukvas architectural stvles

•          Influenced by the I ndo-Islamic style ol‘ Bijapur

•          Features:

Walls of the temples were highly decorated with carvings and geometrical pattern

Gopurams were now built on all the sides Monolithic rock pillars

Temple pillars have a mythical creature- Yali (Horse) engraved Larger enclosing walls

More than one mandap

Crux Notes of Standard            Art and Culture Book By Nitin Singhania

Central mandap known as kalyan mandap

Introduction of the concept of secular buildings inside the temple

–     Temple complex enclosed by boundaries

Eg: Vittalsami temple, Virupaksha temple in Hampi, Raghunatha Temple in Hampi etc.

o      Hoysala Art:

•          1050-1300 A.D – important seats being Bclur, Halebid and Sringcri

•          Features:

M ultiplc shrines built around a central pillared hall

Shrines led out in the shape of an intricately designed star known as the Stellate plan Material used: Soft sope stone (Chorite schist)

Immense importance on decoration of the temple through sculptures All the chambers had Shikharas

Built on an upraised platform known as Ja2ati

–     Walls and stairs followed a zigzag pattern Eg: Hoyasaleswara temple at Halebid

o      Pala and Sena School ( Bengal region):

•          between 8t‘ and 12th century A.D.

•          Influence of both Hinduism and Buddhism- Palas ( Buddhist rulers) and Senas (Hindus)

•          Monuments under Pala rulers: Universities of Nalanda, Vikramshila etc.

•          Monuments under Sena rulers: Dhukcshwari temple in Bangladesh

•          Features:

Buildings had a curve or sloping roof(“Bangla roof’) – later adopted by Mughal architects Burnt bricks and clay known as terracotta hricks used

had a tall, curving shikhara crowned by a large amalaka, similar to the Odisha School Stone (major component) and metal used

Figures had high lustrous finish

Eg: Siddliesvara Mahadeva temple in Barakar

•          Famous Universities of Ancient India

o Vikramshila:

•          Present-day Bhagalpur, Bihar

•          Established primarily as a Buddhist learning centre by King  Dharmapala of  Pala  dynasty-  to spread Buddhist teachings- taught Tantric teachings, logic, Vedas, astronomy, urban development, law, grammar, philosophy etc

o      Valabhi:

•          Sa urashtra, G ujarat- Centre of learning for the Hinayana Buddhism

•          Administration and statecraft, laws, philosophy etc were taught

o      Nalanda:

•          Was in existence during Gupta period- gained eminence under Harshavardhana’s reign and Pala kings

•          Major site for Mahayana Buddhist teachings

•          All three Buddhist doctrines taught – Vedas,  fine  arts,  grammar,  philosophy,  logic,  medicine,  etc were also taught

•          Had S separate compounds and even had dormitories for students

•          Deeply influenced Tibetan B tiddhism

•          Scholar—s     Nagarjuna  (M adhyamika  Sh unyavad) and Aryabhatta

•          Hsuan Tsang and I-Tsinq

o      Takshashila:

•          Modern-day Pakistan-existed around 5′h century

•          Believed that Chanakya composed the Arthashastra here

•          Buddhist and Hindu theologies, Political Science, Hunting, medicine, law, military tactics were taught

•          Eminent teachers and students: Chanakya, Charaka, Panini, Jivaka, Prasenajit etc

o     Sharada Peeth:

•          Present-day Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir- has a Sharda Devi temple

Crux Notes of Standard              Art and Culture Book By Nitin Singhania
Important place for Sanskrit scholars

•          List of prominent temples in India

o         Venkateswara Temple (Temple of Seven Hills)- Andhra Pradesh

o         Sri Bramarambha Mallikarjuna Temple — Andhra Pradesh

o         Sri Ranganthaswami Temple — Andhra Pradesh

o         Kamakhya Temple (Kamrup Kamakhya) — Assam

o         Somnath Temple- Gujarat

o         Dwarkadheesh Temple- Gujarat

o         Nageshvara Jyotirlinga- Gujarat

o         Modhera Sun Temple- Gujarat

o         Durga Temple- Aihole, Karnataka

o         Virupaksha Temple — Hampi, Karnataka

o         Vittala Temple — Hampi, Karnataka

o         Padmanabhaswamy Temple – Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

o         Sabarimala Temple — Kerala (Periyar Tiger Reserve)

o         Omkareshwar Temple – Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh

o         Mahakaleshwar Temple – Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh

o         Vitthal Temple (Vithoba temple) — Maharashtra

o         Trimbakeshwar Temple – Nashik, Maharashtra

o         Konark Sun Temple — Odisha

o         Lingaraja Temple — Odisha

o         Thousand Pillar Temple — Hanamakonda, Telangana

o         Shore Temple — Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

o         Meenakshi Temple – Madurai, Tamil nadu

o         Murugan Temple – Palani Tamil Nadu

o         Brihadeeswarar temple – Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu

o         Ranganathaswamy Temple – Srirangam, Tamil Nadu

o         Vishvanath Temple – Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

o         Dakshineswar Temple – Kolkata, West Bengal


Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Índia

•           Mahabodhi temple, Bodh Gaya (Bihar)

•           Mahaviharas at Nalanda, Vikramshila, Jagaddala, Odantapuri, Pushpagiri etc.

•           Lalitagiri, Vajragiri and Ratnagiri in Odisha

•           Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh

•           Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh

•           Sanchi and Bhar hut in Madhya Pradesh

•           Nagapattinam  in Tamil Nadu

•           Bhaja  & Karla  caves, Pune

•           Ajanta, Ehora and Pithalkora caves, Maharashtra

•           Kan heri caves, Pandavleni caves, Maharashtra

•           Ghum monastery, West Bengal

•           Rumtek, Pemayangtse and Enchay Monastery, Sikkim

•           Alchi Monastery, Spituk Monastery, Shey Monastery etc, Ladakh

•           Dhankar Monastery, Nako Monastery (Kinnaur), Kye Monastery, Tabo Monastery(Spiti valley) etc, Himachal Pradesh

•           Tawang Monastery, Boindila Monastery in A runachal Pi-adesh

•           Namdroling Monastery, Bylakuppe, Karnataku

•           Rock-cut elephant and Ashokan edicts at Dhauli, Odisha

Jain pilgrimage sites in I ndia •           Palitana temples, Shatrunjay hills in Kathiawar, Gujarat (considered the holiest site, especially by Svetambara sect)

•           Shikarji, Parasnath in Jharkhand.

•           Girnar temples, Junagadh in Gujarat

•           Pawap uri, Nalanda in Bihar (M ahavira was cremated here a iter attaining Moksha)

•           DÎlwara temples, Mount Abu in Ra jaSthan: 5 marvellous temples built of marble with intricate carvinzs- Vimal Vasahi temple (oldest) built bv Vimal Shah (11″ centurv AD)- other temples are

Crux  Notes of Standard             Art and Culture Book By Nitin Singhania

Luna Vasahi, Pittalhar, Parshvanath and Mahavir Swami (13th-17″ century AD)

•           Shravanabelagola in Karnataka: Gomateswara statute is of Lord Bahubali, (son of the first Jain Tirthankar)- built by Chamundaraya, a minister in Ganga dynasty empire (10″ century AD)

•           Shantinath temple complex in Deogarh, Uttar Pradesh

•           Bawangaja, Barwani in Madhya Pradesh

•           Kankali Tila, near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh

•           Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves in Odisha:

•           Nasiyan Temple in Ajmer (Soniji Ki Nasiyan)- dedicated to Lord Rishabhdev

•           Sittanavasal Caves in Tamil Nadu

•           Mangi-Tungi located near Tahrabad in Maharashtra (considered as a gateway to the state of enlightenment)

Architecture in Medieval India •          Confluence of Persian style with the Indian style, also known as Indo-Islamic architecture or Indo- Saracenic architecture.

•           Features:

o         Use of arch and domes, known as ‘arcuade’ style of architecture gained importance and replaced the traditional Trabeat style of architecture

o         Use of minars around the mosques and the mausoleums began

o         Mortar used as a cementing agent in constructions.

o         Avoided the use of human and animal figures- introduced spaciousness, and breadth to architecture- used calligraphv as means of decoration

o         Arabesque method also used for decoration i.e. use of geometrical vegetal


o         Used the principles of geometry – from decorative pattern to imbibing sense of symmetry

o         Had intricate jaali works -signifies the importance of light in Islamic religion

o         use of water in the premises- in the form of courtyard pools, fountains and small drains — water used primarily for 3 purposes: religious, cooling the premises and decorative purpose

o         Introduced the Charbagh style of gardening, where a square block was divided into four adjacent identical gardens

o         Use of the pietra-dura technique for the inlay of precious stones and gems into the stone walls

o         Use of foreshortening technique in the buildings, such that the inscriptions appear to be closer than

it really is.

Difference between Arcuade Style and Trabeat Style  

•          Trabeat Style:

o         Entrance: Use of Lintel

o         Use of shikhara on top of the temples- generally conical or curvilinear

o         Minars are absent

o         Material: Stone was the primary component

•           Arcuade Style:

o         Entrance: Use of arches and domes

o         Use of domes on top of mosques — generally hemispherical

o         Minars are present on four corners of mosques

o         Material: Brick, lime plaster and mortar

Architecture during Delhi Sultanate Period •           Delhi Sultanate period- 1206-1526 A.D.

•           Architecture classified into two:

o    Imperial Style:

Patronised by the rulers of the Delhi- from 1191 to 1557 A.D under various dynasties:

•          Slave dynasty (Ilbari dynasty):

1206 to 1290

Style of architecture was known as the Mameluke style of architecture

Most of the constructions were remodellings of the existing Hindu structures Eg: Quwat-ul-Islam mosque in the Qutub Minar premises

•          Khilji dynasty (1 290 A.D. to 1320 A.D.):

Established the Seljuk style of architecture- use of red sandstone-prominence of Arcuade stvle began- mortar used as a cementing agent

Crux Notes of Standard              Art and Culture Book By Nitin Singhania

Eg: Alai Darwaza by Ala-ud-din Khilji

•          Tughlaq dynasty:

Crisis period for architecture- some construction works undertaken- used grey sandstone focus more on strength of the building and less emphasis on decoration

Introduced a style of construction called “batter”     characterised by sloping walls to give more strength to the building

Eg: Cities of Tughlaqabaad, Jahaanpanah and Ferozabad

•          Lodi dynasty:

Only tombs were commissioned

Introduction of double domes- consisted of a hollow dome inside the top dome- double domes built to give strength to the structure and lower the inner height of the dome

No lavish decorations on tombs Eg: Lodi gardens

o    Provincial Style: Patronised by local rulers and fiefs

Indo-Islamic style influenced local architectural styles

•          Bengal School:

use of bricks and black marble

Mosques continued to use of sloping ‘Bangla roofs’( previously used for temples) Eg: Adina mosque in Pandua

•          Malwa School (Path an School):

Cities of Dhar and Mandu became prominent seats of architecture Use of different coloured stones and marbles

Large windows (could be as result of European influence)- decorated by a stylised use of arches and pillars- minars not used

one of the finest specimens of environmental adaptation- had large windows, lightly arched, artificial reservoirs (baulis), use of locally available materials and use of batter system

Eg: Raani Roopmati pavilion

•          Jaunpur School (Sharqi style):

Patronised by the Sharqi rulers- avoided the use of minars

Unique feature- use of bold and forceful characters painted on huge screens in the centre and side bays of the prayer hall

•          Bijapur School:

Patronage of Adil Shah- Deccan style of architecture

use of 3-arched facade and bulbous dome– use of cornices

Unique feature: treatment of its ceilings i.e. without any apparent support- use of Iron clamps and a strong plaster of mortar to give strength- walls decorated bv rich carvings — Ez: Gol Gumbai



•           Babur

o    Constructed mosques in Panipat and Rohilkhand- 1526 A.D.

•           H umay un

o         Laid the foundation of a city named Dinpanah

o         Persian style became prominent

•           Sher Shah

o         Built Qila-e-Quhunah (Mosque of the Old Fort) mosque in Delhi, Sher Shah Suri Masjid in Patna in Afghan style

o         re-construction and extension of an old Mauryan route – renamed it as Sadak-e-Azam (Grand Trunk


•          Akbar

o         Introduced the use of ‘Tudor arch’ (four centred arch)

o         Use of red sandstone

o         Important construction works include:

Crux  Notes of Standard          Art and Culture Book By Nitin Singhania

•          Agra Fort: Started by Akbar – most of the structures inside the fort were done during the reign of Shah Jahan- important buildings here include: Diwan-i-aam (Hall of Public audience) and Diwan-i- khas (Hall of Private audience) by Shah Jahan, Sheesh Mahal (Turkish Bath) etc- gardens inside the fort built using the Charbagh style

•          Fatehpur Sikri: Called a “frozen moment in history” as the buildings here represent a unique blend of Hindu and Persian styles

Important buildings inside the city incude: Buland Darwaza, Salim Chisti’s tomb, Panch Mahal, Jodha Bai’s palace or Mariam-uz-Zamani’s palace, Ibadat Khana, Pachisi Court and Hiran Minar Akbar built temple of Govind Dev in Vrindavan

•          Jahangir:

o Focused more on paintings and other forms of art rather than architecture- built Shalimar Bagh in Kashmir, oversaw the construction of Akbar’s tomb in Sikandra- tomb of Itmad-ud-daulah (work undertaken by wife Noor Jahan)

•          Shah Jahan

o Taj Mahal:

•          Bulit in the memory of Arzuman Bano Begum (Mumtaz Mahal) – use of calligraphy, pietra dura works, foresightening technique, Charbagh stvle gardens and the use of water in the premises- extremely fine jaali work- carvings on the marble were low relief

o Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Shalimar Bagh in Lahore, City of  Shahjahanabad  and  construction  of Peacock Throne

•           Aurangzeb: Mughal architecture declined

•           Muhammad Azam Shah:

o Built Biwi-ka-Maqbara (Begum Rabia Durani) in Aurangabad, Zinat Mahal in Delhi

•           Two other styles of architecture developed in the region of Rajasthan and Punjab in the Mughal period

o Sikh Stvle (in modern dav)Pun jab: 

Heavily influenced by the Mughal style of architecture Features:

•          Use of multiple Chhatris or kiosks on the top of the construction

•          Use of shallow cornices

•          Had fluted domes, were generally covered by brass and copper guilds for decoration and support

•          Arches decorated by the use of numerous foliations

•          Eg. Harmandir Sahib or Golden temple

o      Rajput Stvle:

Influenced by the Mughal style Features:

•          Introduction of the concept of hanging balcony

•          Cornices were built in the shape of an arch

Architecture in Kashmir •          Kashmiri architecture can be broadly divided into: Early medieval Hindu phase and 14th century onwards Muslim rule

•          Temples in Kash mir

o         Reached its peak under the rulers of Karakota dynasty and Utpala dynasty

o         Features:

•          Trefoil arches (Gandhara influence) – Cellular layout and enclosed courtyard- Straight-edged pyramidal roof- Column walls (Greek influence)- Triangular pediments (Greek influence) –

Relatively more number of steps

o      M artand Sun Temple: Anantnag, Kashmir

•           8″ century AD – Karkota Dynasty ruler Lalitaditya Muktapida

•          Synthesis of various schools of architecture i.e. Gandhara, Chinese and Gupta

•          Carvings of gods like Vishnu, goddess Ganga and Yamuna, and Sun God.

o      Temples at Awantipora:

Crux  Notes of Standard              Art and Culture Book by Nitin Singhania
•          Two temples namely Avantisvamin for Lord Vishnu and Avantisvara dedicated to Lord Shiva

•          built by king Awantivarman of Utpala dynastv– 9th century AD

•          Influenced by Roman and Gandharan styles

o      Pandrcthan Temple (Meru Vardha Swami):

•          Early 10″ century-Srinagar

•          Dedicated to Vishnu, but Shiva images also exist

o      Mamlcshwara Shiva temple:

•          Built in around 400 AD-located in Pahalgam

o      Monuments in Paraspore

•          Built by Lalitaditya Muktapida- dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Parihaskesana  had  few Buddhist monastries

•          Architectural development under Islamic rule

o         Blend of existing Kashmiri style and Islamic style

o         Made of wood, brick and stone masonry- Multi levelled sloping roofs and tall spires can be seen instead of domes

o         Eg: Jama Masjid, Srinagar, Aali Masjid, Srinaqar, Pari Mahal etc.

•          Gardens in Kashmir

o      Inspired by the Persian designs- Char Bagh style- includes water streams, fountains and trees

•          Eg: Chasm-e-Shahi, Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh, Badamwari Garden in Srinagar, Verinaq, Kokernag and Achabal Garden in Anantnag etc.

Temples of Parsi community in India •           Atash Behram

•           Eight Atash Behrams (Fire Temples) in India are:

Sun Temples in India •           Modhera Sun Temple, Gujarat- 1 lth century

•           Konark Sun temple, Odisha- by Narasimhadeva I, l3th century; shape of “Rath”(Chariot)

•           Brahmanya Dev Temple, Unao (Madhya Pradesh)

•           Suryanaar   Kovil,   Kumbakonam   (Tamil   Nadu)-       11th century; Dravidian style; also has ‘Navagraha’

•           Suryanarayana Swamy temple, Arasavalli (Andhra Pradesh)- by Kalinga king in 7th century.

•           Dakshinaarka Temple, Gaya (Bihar)- by King Prataparuda of Warangal; l3th century  AD;  has Surya Kund (water reservoir).

•           Navalakha Temple, Ghumli (Gujarat)- 11t‘ century; Solanki & Maru-Gurjara style.

•            Surya Pahar Temple, Goalpara (Assam)

•           Martand Sun temple, Kash mir



Portugese Influence

•           Iberian style of architecture.

•           patio houses’ &‘Baroque style’

•           late-l6th century in Europe to express the strength of the Church.

•           Involved contrasting colours.

•           Notable constructions:

Sé Cathedral in Goa- completed in 1619 AD; Portuguese late-Gothic style; has a large bell called “Golden Bell”.

Basilica of Bow Jesus (Holy Jesus), Goa- World Heritage Site; built in Baroque style & completed in 1604 AD; body of revered St Francis Xavier.

•           Castella de Aguanda in Mumbai.

•           St Paul’s Ch urch, Diu- built in Baroque style; completed in 1610 AD.

•           Diu Fort- 1535 AD on coast of Diu island.

•           Church of St. Anne, Talaulim in Goa- 1695 AD; in Baroque style.

French influence

•           Urban city planning with them.

•           French towns- Pondicherrv & Chandernagore (Chandannagar, West Bengal) were built using

Crux Notes of Standard             Art and Culture Book By Nitin Singhania

Cartesian grid plans and scientific architectural designs.

•          Concept of anonymous architecture

•          Developed coastal towns of Mahe (Kerala), Karaikal (Tamil Nadu) & Yanam (Andhra Pradesh).

•           Example: Church of Sacred Heart of Jesus in Puducherry, the Sacred Heart Church of Chandannagar

British Influence:

•           Gothic style of architecture. It

•           Merged with Indian architecture to result in lndo-Gothic style

•           Post-1917 Neo-Roman architecture emerged. Indo-Gothic Style

•           Victorian style

•           blend of Indian, Persian & Gothic architecture

•          Extremely large & elaborate construction with tliiniier i›ull› and pointeJ rirr hey and /oiy¿e win‹low›.

•           Churches had a ‹’I-u‹’ihe‹l grouli J plam.

•           Example: Victoria Memorial in Kolkata, Gateway of India in Mumbai, etc.

•           Difference between Iberian and Gothic ArchitecturNeo-Roman Style

•           Adopted post-1911

•           Architecture of New Delhi, done by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker- finest example of this style- “Rome of Hindustan”.

•           Features: constructions were anonymous & without any interesting features.

•           Congested & cramped the space of artistic expression.

•           Circular buildings & overuse of oriental motifs to realise western architectural designs.

•           Upturned dome- Supreme Court and Rashtrapati Bhavan, was introduced.

Post-independence Architecture

•           After 1947, two schools of architecture emerged — Rcvivalist & Modernist.

•           Both had colonial hangover.

•           Punjab government hired Le Corbusier, a French architect to design the city of Chandigarh.

Laurie Baker

•           “Architect of the poor”

•           Responsible for mass housing concept in Kerala.

•           2006- nominated for Pritxker Prize dubbed as Nobel Prize for architecture.

•           Features: Construction of buildings by using locally available material; filler slali construction; emphasis on ventilation & thermal comfort arrangements.

Charles Correa

•           urban architecture & spatial planning.

•           Designed- Madhya Pradesh Assembly building, Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Museum in Ahmedabad, LIC building, Connaught Place in Delhi,

•           Padma Vibhusan in 2006.


Crux Notes of Standard             Art and Culture Book By Nitin Singhania

•          Uttarabodhi Mudra:

o         Implies supreme enlightenment- symbolises perfection- charges one with energy

o         Holding both hands at the level of the chest, intertwining all the fingers except index fingers, extending index fingers straight up and touching each other.

•          Varada Mudra:

o         Shows charity, compassion or granting wishes

o         Signifies five perfections: generosity, morality, patience, effort and meditative concentration, through the five extended fingers.

o         The right arm is extended in a natural position all the way down, with the palm of the open hand facing outwards towards onlookers. If standing, the arm is held slightly extended to the front. Can be a left-hand gesture as well.


•          Karana Mudra:

o         Symbolises warding off evil- helps to remove obstacles such as sickness or negative thoughts

o         Hand is stretched out, either horizontally or vertically, with the palm forward- thumb presses the folded two middle fingers but the index and little fingers are raised straight upwards.

•          Vajra Mudra

o         Implies knowledge

o         Erect forefinger of the left hand is held in the fist of the right hand

o         Gives importance to knowledge or supreme

o         wisdom. Knowledge is represented by the forefinger and the fist of the right hand protects it.


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