story of Indian art and sculpture dates back to the Indus valley civilization of the 2nd
and 3rd millennium BC. Tiny terra - cotta seals discovered from the valley reveal carvings
of peepal leaves, deities and animals.
Emperor Ashoka (3rd Century BC) of Mauryan Empire,
had 85,000 stupas or dome-shaped monuments constructed with the teachings of
Buddhism engraved on rocks and pillars. The famous Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath in
Madhya Pradesh gleams in polished sandstone representing the hieratic art under the
Mauryan Empire. The lion capital of the pillar is now the official emblem of the Indian
Republic and the sacred wheel of law or the dharmachakra is symbolic of the first sermon
that Buddha delivered at Sarnath.
In 4th-6th century AD, during the Gupta Empire
innumerable images of Vishnu, Shiva, Krishna, the Sun-God and goddess Durga
Some of the more significant Sculptural sites
Ajanta/Elora : Near Aurangabad in
Maharashtra (4 th. century AD). These caves houses Hindu, Buddhist and Jain sculptures.
Khajuraho: In the central state
of Madhya Pradesh boasts of the best medieval temples in India, known all over the world
for their erotic sculptures.
Elephanta caves: Near Mumbai
(Bombay) these caves present an introduction to some most exquisitely carved Shiva temples
created by India's expert stone carvers of the sixth century.
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