NCERT Textbook: Arts of the Mauryan Period (Introduction to Indian Art) Notes | Study Must Read (Old & New) NCERTs for IAS Preparation - UPSC

UPSC: NCERT Textbook: Arts of the Mauryan Period (Introduction to Indian Art) Notes | Study Must Read (Old & New) NCERTs for IAS Preparation - UPSC

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 Page 1


S
IXTH century BCE marks the beginning of new
religious and social movements in the Gangetic valley
in the form of Buddhism and Jainism which were part of
the shraman tradition. Both religions became popular as
they opposed the varna and jati systems of the Hindu
religion. Magadha emerged as a powerful kingdom and
consolidated its control over the other regions. By the fourth
century BCE the Mauryas established their power and by
the third century BCE, a large part of India was under
Mauryan control. Ashoka emerged as the most powerful
king of the Mauryan dynasty who patronised the shraman
tradition in the third century BCE. Religious practices had
many dimensions and were not confined to just one
particular mode of worship. Worship of Yakshas and mother-
goddesses were prevalent during that time. So, multiple
forms of worship existed. Nevertheless, Buddhism became
the most popular social and religious movement. Yaksha
worship was very popular before and after the advent of
Buddhism and it was assimilated in Buddhism and Jainism.
Pillars, Sculptures and Rock-cut Architecture
Construction of stupas and viharas as part of monastic
establishments became part of the Buddhist tradition.
However, in this period, apart from stupas and viharas,
stone pillars, rock-cut caves and monumental figure
sculptures were carved at several places. 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. But the Mauryan pillars are different from
the Achamenian pillars. The Mauryan pillars are rock-cut
pillars thus displaying the carver’s skills, whereas the
Achamenian pillars are constructed in pieces by a mason.
Stone pillars were erected all over the Mauryan Empire
with inscriptions engraved on them. The top portion of the
pillar was carved with capital figures like the bull, the
lion, the elephant, etc. All the capital figures are vigorous
ARTS OF THE
MAURYAN PERIOD
Pillar capital and abacus
with stylised lotus
3
Page 2


S
IXTH century BCE marks the beginning of new
religious and social movements in the Gangetic valley
in the form of Buddhism and Jainism which were part of
the shraman tradition. Both religions became popular as
they opposed the varna and jati systems of the Hindu
religion. Magadha emerged as a powerful kingdom and
consolidated its control over the other regions. By the fourth
century BCE the Mauryas established their power and by
the third century BCE, a large part of India was under
Mauryan control. Ashoka emerged as the most powerful
king of the Mauryan dynasty who patronised the shraman
tradition in the third century BCE. Religious practices had
many dimensions and were not confined to just one
particular mode of worship. Worship of Yakshas and mother-
goddesses were prevalent during that time. So, multiple
forms of worship existed. Nevertheless, Buddhism became
the most popular social and religious movement. Yaksha
worship was very popular before and after the advent of
Buddhism and it was assimilated in Buddhism and Jainism.
Pillars, Sculptures and Rock-cut Architecture
Construction of stupas and viharas as part of monastic
establishments became part of the Buddhist tradition.
However, in this period, apart from stupas and viharas,
stone pillars, rock-cut caves and monumental figure
sculptures were carved at several places. 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. But the Mauryan pillars are different from
the Achamenian pillars. The Mauryan pillars are rock-cut
pillars thus displaying the carver’s skills, whereas the
Achamenian pillars are constructed in pieces by a mason.
Stone pillars were erected all over the Mauryan Empire
with inscriptions engraved on them. The top portion of the
pillar was carved with capital figures like the bull, the
lion, the elephant, etc. All the capital figures are vigorous
ARTS OF THE
MAURYAN PERIOD
Pillar capital and abacus
with stylised lotus
3
AN INTRODUCTION TO INDIAN ART 20
Yaksha, Parkham
and carved standing on a square or circular abacus. Abacuses
are decorated with stylised lotuses. Some of the existing pillars
with capital figures were found at Basarah-Bakhira, Lauriya-
Nandangarh, Rampurva, Sankisa and Sarnath.
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. It is
carved with considerable care—voluminous roaring lion
figures firmly standing on a circular abacus which is carved
with the figures of a horse, a bull, a lion and an elephant
in vigorous movement, executed with precision, showing
considerable mastery in the sculptural techniques. This
pillar capital symbolising Dhammachakrapravartana (the
first sermon by the Buddha) has become a standard symbol
of this great historical event in the life of the Buddha.
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. It shows the popularity of Yaksha worship and
how it became part of figure representation in Buddhist
and Jaina religious monuments.
Large statues of Yakshas and Yakhinis are found at many
places like Patna, Vidisha and Mathura. These  monumental
images are mostly in the standing position. One of the
distinguishing elements in all these images is their polished
surface. The depiction of faces is in full round with pronounced
cheeks and physiognomic detail. One of the finest examples
is a Yakshi figure from Didarganj, Patna, which is tall and
well-built. It shows sensitivity towards depicting the human
physique. The image has a polished surface.
Terracotta figurines show a very different delineation of
the body as compared to the sculptures. Depiction of a
monumental rock-cut elephant at Dhauli in Orissa shows
modelling in round with linear rhythm. It also has Ashokan
rock-edict. All these examples are remarkable in their
execution of figure representation. The rock-cut cave carved
at Barabar hills near Gaya in Bihar is known as the Lomus
Rishi cave. The facade of the cave is decorated with the
semicircular chaitya arch as the entrance. The elephant
frieze carved in high relief on the chaitya arch shows
considerable movement. The interior hall of this cave is
rectangular with a circular chamber at the back. The
entrance is located on the side wall of the hall. The cave
was patronised by Ashoka for the Ajivika sect. The Lomus
Rishi cave is an isolated example of this period. But many
Buddhist caves of the subsequent periods were excavated
in eastern and western India.
Page 3


S
IXTH century BCE marks the beginning of new
religious and social movements in the Gangetic valley
in the form of Buddhism and Jainism which were part of
the shraman tradition. Both religions became popular as
they opposed the varna and jati systems of the Hindu
religion. Magadha emerged as a powerful kingdom and
consolidated its control over the other regions. By the fourth
century BCE the Mauryas established their power and by
the third century BCE, a large part of India was under
Mauryan control. Ashoka emerged as the most powerful
king of the Mauryan dynasty who patronised the shraman
tradition in the third century BCE. Religious practices had
many dimensions and were not confined to just one
particular mode of worship. Worship of Yakshas and mother-
goddesses were prevalent during that time. So, multiple
forms of worship existed. Nevertheless, Buddhism became
the most popular social and religious movement. Yaksha
worship was very popular before and after the advent of
Buddhism and it was assimilated in Buddhism and Jainism.
Pillars, Sculptures and Rock-cut Architecture
Construction of stupas and viharas as part of monastic
establishments became part of the Buddhist tradition.
However, in this period, apart from stupas and viharas,
stone pillars, rock-cut caves and monumental figure
sculptures were carved at several places. 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. But the Mauryan pillars are different from
the Achamenian pillars. The Mauryan pillars are rock-cut
pillars thus displaying the carver’s skills, whereas the
Achamenian pillars are constructed in pieces by a mason.
Stone pillars were erected all over the Mauryan Empire
with inscriptions engraved on them. The top portion of the
pillar was carved with capital figures like the bull, the
lion, the elephant, etc. All the capital figures are vigorous
ARTS OF THE
MAURYAN PERIOD
Pillar capital and abacus
with stylised lotus
3
AN INTRODUCTION TO INDIAN ART 20
Yaksha, Parkham
and carved standing on a square or circular abacus. Abacuses
are decorated with stylised lotuses. Some of the existing pillars
with capital figures were found at Basarah-Bakhira, Lauriya-
Nandangarh, Rampurva, Sankisa and Sarnath.
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. It is
carved with considerable care—voluminous roaring lion
figures firmly standing on a circular abacus which is carved
with the figures of a horse, a bull, a lion and an elephant
in vigorous movement, executed with precision, showing
considerable mastery in the sculptural techniques. This
pillar capital symbolising Dhammachakrapravartana (the
first sermon by the Buddha) has become a standard symbol
of this great historical event in the life of the Buddha.
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. It shows the popularity of Yaksha worship and
how it became part of figure representation in Buddhist
and Jaina religious monuments.
Large statues of Yakshas and Yakhinis are found at many
places like Patna, Vidisha and Mathura. These  monumental
images are mostly in the standing position. One of the
distinguishing elements in all these images is their polished
surface. The depiction of faces is in full round with pronounced
cheeks and physiognomic detail. One of the finest examples
is a Yakshi figure from Didarganj, Patna, which is tall and
well-built. It shows sensitivity towards depicting the human
physique. The image has a polished surface.
Terracotta figurines show a very different delineation of
the body as compared to the sculptures. Depiction of a
monumental rock-cut elephant at Dhauli in Orissa shows
modelling in round with linear rhythm. It also has Ashokan
rock-edict. All these examples are remarkable in their
execution of figure representation. The rock-cut cave carved
at Barabar hills near Gaya in Bihar is known as the Lomus
Rishi cave. The facade of the cave is decorated with the
semicircular chaitya arch as the entrance. The elephant
frieze carved in high relief on the chaitya arch shows
considerable movement. The interior hall of this cave is
rectangular with a circular chamber at the back. The
entrance is located on the side wall of the hall. The cave
was patronised by Ashoka for the Ajivika sect. The Lomus
Rishi cave is an isolated example of this period. But many
Buddhist caves of the subsequent periods were excavated
in eastern and western India.
ARTS OF THE MAURYAN PERIOD 21
Due to the popularity of Buddhism and Jainism, stupas
and viharas were constructed on a large scale. However,
there are also examples of a few Brahmanical gods in the
sculptural representations. It is important to note that the
stupas were constructed over the relics of the Buddha at
Rajagraha, Vaishali, Kapilavastu, Allakappa, Ramagrama,
Vethadipa, Pava, Kushinagar and Pippalvina. 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.
Stupa, vihara and chaitya are part of Buddhist and Jaina
monastic complexes but the largest number belongs to the
Buddhist religion. One of the best examples of the structure
of a stupa in the third century BCE is at Bairat in
Rajasthan. It is a very grand stupa having a circular mound
with a circumambulatory path. The great stupa at Sanchi
(which will be discussed later) was built with bricks during
the time of Ashoka and later it was covered with stone and
many new additions were made.
Subsequently many such stupas were constructed which
shows the popularity of Buddhism. From the second
century BCE onwards, we get many inscriptional evidences
mentioning donors and, at times, their profession. The
pattern of patronage has been a very collective one and
there are very few examples of royal patronage. Patrons
range from lay devotees to gahapatis and kings. Donations
by the guilds are also mentioned at several sites. However,
there are very few inscriptions mentioning the names of
artisans such as Kanha at Pitalkhora and his disciple
Balaka at Kondane caves. Artisans’ categories like stone
carvers, goldsmiths, stone-polishers, carpenters, etc. are
also mentioned in the inscriptions. The method of working
Elephant, Dhauli Lomus Rishi cave-entrance detail
Page 4


S
IXTH century BCE marks the beginning of new
religious and social movements in the Gangetic valley
in the form of Buddhism and Jainism which were part of
the shraman tradition. Both religions became popular as
they opposed the varna and jati systems of the Hindu
religion. Magadha emerged as a powerful kingdom and
consolidated its control over the other regions. By the fourth
century BCE the Mauryas established their power and by
the third century BCE, a large part of India was under
Mauryan control. Ashoka emerged as the most powerful
king of the Mauryan dynasty who patronised the shraman
tradition in the third century BCE. Religious practices had
many dimensions and were not confined to just one
particular mode of worship. Worship of Yakshas and mother-
goddesses were prevalent during that time. So, multiple
forms of worship existed. Nevertheless, Buddhism became
the most popular social and religious movement. Yaksha
worship was very popular before and after the advent of
Buddhism and it was assimilated in Buddhism and Jainism.
Pillars, Sculptures and Rock-cut Architecture
Construction of stupas and viharas as part of monastic
establishments became part of the Buddhist tradition.
However, in this period, apart from stupas and viharas,
stone pillars, rock-cut caves and monumental figure
sculptures were carved at several places. 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. But the Mauryan pillars are different from
the Achamenian pillars. The Mauryan pillars are rock-cut
pillars thus displaying the carver’s skills, whereas the
Achamenian pillars are constructed in pieces by a mason.
Stone pillars were erected all over the Mauryan Empire
with inscriptions engraved on them. The top portion of the
pillar was carved with capital figures like the bull, the
lion, the elephant, etc. All the capital figures are vigorous
ARTS OF THE
MAURYAN PERIOD
Pillar capital and abacus
with stylised lotus
3
AN INTRODUCTION TO INDIAN ART 20
Yaksha, Parkham
and carved standing on a square or circular abacus. Abacuses
are decorated with stylised lotuses. Some of the existing pillars
with capital figures were found at Basarah-Bakhira, Lauriya-
Nandangarh, Rampurva, Sankisa and Sarnath.
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. It is
carved with considerable care—voluminous roaring lion
figures firmly standing on a circular abacus which is carved
with the figures of a horse, a bull, a lion and an elephant
in vigorous movement, executed with precision, showing
considerable mastery in the sculptural techniques. This
pillar capital symbolising Dhammachakrapravartana (the
first sermon by the Buddha) has become a standard symbol
of this great historical event in the life of the Buddha.
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. It shows the popularity of Yaksha worship and
how it became part of figure representation in Buddhist
and Jaina religious monuments.
Large statues of Yakshas and Yakhinis are found at many
places like Patna, Vidisha and Mathura. These  monumental
images are mostly in the standing position. One of the
distinguishing elements in all these images is their polished
surface. The depiction of faces is in full round with pronounced
cheeks and physiognomic detail. One of the finest examples
is a Yakshi figure from Didarganj, Patna, which is tall and
well-built. It shows sensitivity towards depicting the human
physique. The image has a polished surface.
Terracotta figurines show a very different delineation of
the body as compared to the sculptures. Depiction of a
monumental rock-cut elephant at Dhauli in Orissa shows
modelling in round with linear rhythm. It also has Ashokan
rock-edict. All these examples are remarkable in their
execution of figure representation. The rock-cut cave carved
at Barabar hills near Gaya in Bihar is known as the Lomus
Rishi cave. The facade of the cave is decorated with the
semicircular chaitya arch as the entrance. The elephant
frieze carved in high relief on the chaitya arch shows
considerable movement. The interior hall of this cave is
rectangular with a circular chamber at the back. The
entrance is located on the side wall of the hall. The cave
was patronised by Ashoka for the Ajivika sect. The Lomus
Rishi cave is an isolated example of this period. But many
Buddhist caves of the subsequent periods were excavated
in eastern and western India.
ARTS OF THE MAURYAN PERIOD 21
Due to the popularity of Buddhism and Jainism, stupas
and viharas were constructed on a large scale. However,
there are also examples of a few Brahmanical gods in the
sculptural representations. It is important to note that the
stupas were constructed over the relics of the Buddha at
Rajagraha, Vaishali, Kapilavastu, Allakappa, Ramagrama,
Vethadipa, Pava, Kushinagar and Pippalvina. 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.
Stupa, vihara and chaitya are part of Buddhist and Jaina
monastic complexes but the largest number belongs to the
Buddhist religion. One of the best examples of the structure
of a stupa in the third century BCE is at Bairat in
Rajasthan. It is a very grand stupa having a circular mound
with a circumambulatory path. The great stupa at Sanchi
(which will be discussed later) was built with bricks during
the time of Ashoka and later it was covered with stone and
many new additions were made.
Subsequently many such stupas were constructed which
shows the popularity of Buddhism. From the second
century BCE onwards, we get many inscriptional evidences
mentioning donors and, at times, their profession. The
pattern of patronage has been a very collective one and
there are very few examples of royal patronage. Patrons
range from lay devotees to gahapatis and kings. Donations
by the guilds are also mentioned at several sites. However,
there are very few inscriptions mentioning the names of
artisans such as Kanha at Pitalkhora and his disciple
Balaka at Kondane caves. Artisans’ categories like stone
carvers, goldsmiths, stone-polishers, carpenters, etc. are
also mentioned in the inscriptions. The method of working
Elephant, Dhauli Lomus Rishi cave-entrance detail
LION CAPITAL, SARNATH
AN INTRODUCTION TO INDIAN ART 22
Page 5


S
IXTH century BCE marks the beginning of new
religious and social movements in the Gangetic valley
in the form of Buddhism and Jainism which were part of
the shraman tradition. Both religions became popular as
they opposed the varna and jati systems of the Hindu
religion. Magadha emerged as a powerful kingdom and
consolidated its control over the other regions. By the fourth
century BCE the Mauryas established their power and by
the third century BCE, a large part of India was under
Mauryan control. Ashoka emerged as the most powerful
king of the Mauryan dynasty who patronised the shraman
tradition in the third century BCE. Religious practices had
many dimensions and were not confined to just one
particular mode of worship. Worship of Yakshas and mother-
goddesses were prevalent during that time. So, multiple
forms of worship existed. Nevertheless, Buddhism became
the most popular social and religious movement. Yaksha
worship was very popular before and after the advent of
Buddhism and it was assimilated in Buddhism and Jainism.
Pillars, Sculptures and Rock-cut Architecture
Construction of stupas and viharas as part of monastic
establishments became part of the Buddhist tradition.
However, in this period, apart from stupas and viharas,
stone pillars, rock-cut caves and monumental figure
sculptures were carved at several places. 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. But the Mauryan pillars are different from
the Achamenian pillars. The Mauryan pillars are rock-cut
pillars thus displaying the carver’s skills, whereas the
Achamenian pillars are constructed in pieces by a mason.
Stone pillars were erected all over the Mauryan Empire
with inscriptions engraved on them. The top portion of the
pillar was carved with capital figures like the bull, the
lion, the elephant, etc. All the capital figures are vigorous
ARTS OF THE
MAURYAN PERIOD
Pillar capital and abacus
with stylised lotus
3
AN INTRODUCTION TO INDIAN ART 20
Yaksha, Parkham
and carved standing on a square or circular abacus. Abacuses
are decorated with stylised lotuses. Some of the existing pillars
with capital figures were found at Basarah-Bakhira, Lauriya-
Nandangarh, Rampurva, Sankisa and Sarnath.
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. It is
carved with considerable care—voluminous roaring lion
figures firmly standing on a circular abacus which is carved
with the figures of a horse, a bull, a lion and an elephant
in vigorous movement, executed with precision, showing
considerable mastery in the sculptural techniques. This
pillar capital symbolising Dhammachakrapravartana (the
first sermon by the Buddha) has become a standard symbol
of this great historical event in the life of the Buddha.
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. It shows the popularity of Yaksha worship and
how it became part of figure representation in Buddhist
and Jaina religious monuments.
Large statues of Yakshas and Yakhinis are found at many
places like Patna, Vidisha and Mathura. These  monumental
images are mostly in the standing position. One of the
distinguishing elements in all these images is their polished
surface. The depiction of faces is in full round with pronounced
cheeks and physiognomic detail. One of the finest examples
is a Yakshi figure from Didarganj, Patna, which is tall and
well-built. It shows sensitivity towards depicting the human
physique. The image has a polished surface.
Terracotta figurines show a very different delineation of
the body as compared to the sculptures. Depiction of a
monumental rock-cut elephant at Dhauli in Orissa shows
modelling in round with linear rhythm. It also has Ashokan
rock-edict. All these examples are remarkable in their
execution of figure representation. The rock-cut cave carved
at Barabar hills near Gaya in Bihar is known as the Lomus
Rishi cave. The facade of the cave is decorated with the
semicircular chaitya arch as the entrance. The elephant
frieze carved in high relief on the chaitya arch shows
considerable movement. The interior hall of this cave is
rectangular with a circular chamber at the back. The
entrance is located on the side wall of the hall. The cave
was patronised by Ashoka for the Ajivika sect. The Lomus
Rishi cave is an isolated example of this period. But many
Buddhist caves of the subsequent periods were excavated
in eastern and western India.
ARTS OF THE MAURYAN PERIOD 21
Due to the popularity of Buddhism and Jainism, stupas
and viharas were constructed on a large scale. However,
there are also examples of a few Brahmanical gods in the
sculptural representations. It is important to note that the
stupas were constructed over the relics of the Buddha at
Rajagraha, Vaishali, Kapilavastu, Allakappa, Ramagrama,
Vethadipa, Pava, Kushinagar and Pippalvina. 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.
Stupa, vihara and chaitya are part of Buddhist and Jaina
monastic complexes but the largest number belongs to the
Buddhist religion. One of the best examples of the structure
of a stupa in the third century BCE is at Bairat in
Rajasthan. It is a very grand stupa having a circular mound
with a circumambulatory path. The great stupa at Sanchi
(which will be discussed later) was built with bricks during
the time of Ashoka and later it was covered with stone and
many new additions were made.
Subsequently many such stupas were constructed which
shows the popularity of Buddhism. From the second
century BCE onwards, we get many inscriptional evidences
mentioning donors and, at times, their profession. The
pattern of patronage has been a very collective one and
there are very few examples of royal patronage. Patrons
range from lay devotees to gahapatis and kings. Donations
by the guilds are also mentioned at several sites. However,
there are very few inscriptions mentioning the names of
artisans such as Kanha at Pitalkhora and his disciple
Balaka at Kondane caves. Artisans’ categories like stone
carvers, goldsmiths, stone-polishers, carpenters, etc. are
also mentioned in the inscriptions. The method of working
Elephant, Dhauli Lomus Rishi cave-entrance detail
LION CAPITAL, SARNATH
AN INTRODUCTION TO INDIAN ART 22
The Lion Capital discovered more than a hundred years ago
at Sarnath, near Varanasi, is generally referred to as Sarnath
Lion Capital. This is one of the finest examples of sculpture
from the Mauryan period. Built in commemoration of the
historical event of the first sermon or the Dhammachakrapravartana
by the Buddha at Sarnath, the capital was built by Ashoka.
The capital originally consisted of five component parts:
(i) the shaft (which is broken in many parts now), (ii) a lotus
bell base, (iii) a drum on the bell base with four animals
proceeding clockwise, (iv) the figures of four majestic addorsed
lions, and (v) the crowning element, Dharamchakra, a large
wheel, was also a part of this pillar. However, this wheel is
lying in a broken condition and is displayed in the site museum
at Sarnath. The capital without the crowning wheel and the
lotus base has been adopted as the National Emblem of
Independent India.
Now kept in the archaeological museum at Sarnath, the
capital has four lions firmly seated back to back on a circular
abacus. The lion figures of the capital are very impressive and
massive. The monumentality of the image is easily noticeable.
The facial musculature of the lions is very strong. The inversed
lines of the lips and its subsequent effect of projection at the
end of the lips show the sculptor’s observation for naturalistic
depiction. The lions appear as if they have held their breath.
The lines of the mane are sharp and follow the conventions
that were in practice during that time. The surface of the
sculpture is heavily polished which is typical of the Mauryan
Period. Their curly manes have protruding volume. The weight
of the body of each lion is firmly shown by the stretched muscles
of the feet. The abacus has the depiction of a chakra (wheel)
having twenty-four spokes in all the four directions and a bull,
a horse, an elephant and a lion between every chakra is finely
carved. The motif of the chakra becomes significant as a
representation of the Dhammachkra in the entire Buddhist art.
Each animal figure, despite sticking to the surface, is
voluminous, its posture creating movement in the circular
abacus. Despite having limited space between each chakra,
these animal figures display considerable command over the
depiction of movement in a limited space. The circular abacus
is supported by an inverted lotus capital. Each petal of the
lotus is sculpted keeping in mind its density. The lower portion
has curved planes neatly carved. Being a pillar image, it was
conceived to be viewed from all the side, thus there are no
boundations of fixed view points. A lion capital has also been
found at Sanchi but is in a dilapidated condition. The motif of
lion-capital-pillar continued even in the subsequent period.
ARTS OF THE MAURYAN PERIOD 23
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Objective type Questions

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NCERT Textbook: Arts of the Mauryan Period (Introduction to Indian Art) Notes | Study Must Read (Old & New) NCERTs for IAS Preparation - UPSC

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past year papers

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MCQs

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NCERT Textbook: Arts of the Mauryan Period (Introduction to Indian Art) Notes | Study Must Read (Old & New) NCERTs for IAS Preparation - UPSC

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Important questions

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practice quizzes

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ppt

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Extra Questions

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Previous Year Questions with Solutions

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Exam

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study material

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mock tests for examination

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