Indian Art

Essay by rhydeHigh School, 10th gradeA+, January 2005

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Indian Art consists of many various forms of art including paintings, caves, temples, and stupas. Advancements in Indian architecture advanced from wood to stone/brick to iron.

Using stone was not an indication of cultural advancement; instead it occurred during a period of decline. Constructors switched to stone because wood was becoming scarce, and they were also influenced by the wooden structures.

Stupas were burial mounds which contained relics of Buddha in a beautifully adorned crystal casket. Stupas also contained the ashes of Buddha. During the period between the Mauryans and the Guptas, stupas were enlarged and beautified. The best example of a stupa is the Sanchi in Madya Pradesh.

Later, cave temples were introduced by the Buddhists, and were later followed by the Jains and Ajivikas. They were hewn into rock and they were places of religious meetings. Tasks were made easier by constructing a cave temple; no materials were needed, the stone was already there and all they needed to do was work from the top down- no scaffolding was needed.

These caves were based on wooden models, in other words, wooden structures served as a guide. Caves consisted of a main hall with adjacent rooms which served as a meeting hall.

The oldest deccan caves at Bhaja consist of a row of plain octagonal pillars with carved ribs as support on the top. At the end of these rows of columns was usually a stupa. Next to one particular cave, another cave was found which lead into cells in which the monks lived in.

As time passed on, the pillars became ornate. Once caves started getting too small for its inhabitants, new caves were cut nearby. At the Ajanta caves in Maharashtra, there is one series of caves which consist of twenty seven caves, some which go a...