Friday, 12 February 2016



1 1.  Ashoka emerged as the most powerful king of the Mauryan dynasty who patronised the shraman tradition in the third century BCE.
   2. Religious practices had many dimensions and were not confined to just one particular mode of worship.
   3. Worship of Yakshas and mothergoddesses were prevalent during that time.
   4. So, multiple forms of worship existed.
   5. Nevertheless, Buddhism became the most popular social and religious movement.
   6.Yaksha worship was very popular before and after the advent of Buddhism and it was assimilated in Buddhism and Jainism.

Mauryan Art is divided into 2 :

1. Court Art – with state initiative eg. Pillars, stupas etc.
2. Popular art – With individual Initiatives eg. Caves, Sculptures and    pottery.


1.   Construction of stupas and viharas as part of monastic establishments became part of the Buddhist tradition.
2.   stone pillars.
3.   rock-cut caves and
4.   monumental figure sculptures were carved at several places.



 1.   The tradition of constructing pillars is very old and it may be observed that erection of pillars was prevalent in the Achamenian empire as well.
2.   But the Mauryan pillars are different from the Achamenian pillars.
3.   The Mauryan pillars are rock-cut pillars thus displaying the carver’s skills.
4.   whereas the Achamenian pillars are constructed in pieces by a mason.
5.   Stone pillars were erected all over the Mauryan Empire with inscriptions engraved on them.
6.   Bell shaped capitals have been taken from Persian.
7.   Mauryan Pillars were made up of Chunar sandstones
8.   Uniformity can be seens in the pillars .


 1.   The top portion of the pillar was carved with capital figures like the bull, the lion, the elephant, etc.
2.   The capital figure carved standing on a square or circular abacus.
3.   Abacuses are decorated with stylised lotuses.
4.   Some of the existing pillars with capital figures were found at Basarah-Bakhira, Lauriya- Nandangarh, Rampurva, Sankisa and Sarnath.
5.   The Mauryan pillar capital found at Sarnath popularly known as the Lion Capital is the finest example of Mauryan sculptural tradition. It is also our national emblem.

        Purpose of Pillars :

1.   as a symbol of the state
2.   To commemorate victory – eg.Lauria Nandangarh – Champaran in Bihar, Sarnath Pillars near Varanasi.


1.   Monumental images of Yaksha, Yakhinis and animals, pillar columns with capital figures, rock-cut caves belonging to the third century BCE have been found in different parts of India.
2.   It shows the popularity of Yaksha worship and how it became part of figure representation in Buddhist and Jaina religious monuments.
3.   Large statues of Yakshas and Yakhinis are found at many places like Patna, Vidisha and Mathura.
4.   These monumental images are mostly in the standing position.
5.   One of the distinguishing elements in all these images is their polished surface.
6.   One of the finest examples is a Yakshi figure from Didarganj, Patna, which is tall and well-built.


1.   Depiction of a monumental rock-cut elephant at Dhauli in Orissa shows modelling in round with linear rhythm.
2.   It also has Ashokan rock-edict.


1.  The beginning of rock cut architecture. Two features were added by      Mauryans Polishing inside the cave
2.  Development of artistic Gateway Examples = Barabar Cave(4) and   Nagrajuni cave(near gaya)(3) – called 7 sisters
3.The rock-cut cave carved at Barabar hills near Gaya in Bihar is known as the Lomus Rishi cave.
4.The facade of the cave is decorated with the semicircular chaitya arch as the entrance.
5.The cave was patronised by Ashoka for the Ajivika sect.
6.  The Lomus Rishi cave is an isolated example of this period.
7.But many Buddhist caves of the subsequent periods were excavated in eastern and western India.


     1.It is conventional representation of funeral cunrulus, in which ashes of the dead are buried.
    2.   It is a Buddhist monument which is hemispherical dome with Buddha’s relics and ashes inside.
    3. However the concept of stupas started in the vedic period
    4.stupas were constructed over the relics of the Buddha at Rajagraha, Vaishali, Kapilavastu, Allakappa, Ramagrama, Vethadipa, Pava, Kushinagar and Pippalvina.
    5. The textual tradition also mentions construction of various other stupas on the relics of the Buddha at several places including Avanti and Gandhara which are outside the Gangetic valley.
    6.Stupa, vihara and chaitya are part of Buddhist and Jaina monastic complexes but the largest number belongs to the Buddhist religion.
    7.One of the best examples of the structure of a stupa in the third century BCE is at Bairat in Rajasthan.
    8.Core of stupas were made of unburnt bricks and outer surface with burnt brick covered with a thick layer of a plaster.
    9.CHHATRAS represents TRIRATNAS(Buddhaenlightened, Dham Doctrine, Sangha –Order) of Buddhism – They are umbrella shaped.
    10.Maximum number of stupas were constructed by King Ashoka – 84000.
    11.    Examples of Stupas are – Sanchi Stupas built by Ashoka, Barhud Stupa By Shunga Dynasty, Oldest Stupa – Paprahawa in UP
    12.The great stupa at Sanchi  was built with bricks during the time of Ashoka and later it was covered with stone and many new additions were made.
    13.   VIHARA -  It originally meant "a secluded place in which to walk", and referred to "dwellings" or "refuges" used by wandering monks during the rainy season.
    14.   CHAITIYA- A chaitya is a Buddhist shrine or prayer hall with a stupa.

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