Art & Architecture
 
 
Introduction
   

The Indian art spans a period of five millenniums from 3000 BC to the present. There are some discontinuities, since India's artist craftsmen usually work in perishable materials. Clay figures that are readily broken or dissolved by water have been the most common objects of popular worship. Many are meant for a single brief occasion.

However, they have influenced the works in metal and stone. Wood is favored for houses, places and temples and for the sacred images of the altars. All the ancient masterpieces have vanished. The earliest Indian monuments known are a series of brick ruins unearthed in Indus Valley, the most extensive sites being at Mohenjo-daro and Harappa. A number of steatite seals bearing animal symbols and inscriptions have not yet been deciphered.

Due to absence of information storage media, no primary reference is available for perishable art forms before Indus valley civilization. The ancient era spreads through various dynasties. The Maurya period ranging from Khaiber to Deccan

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from 322 to 185 B.C. Sculpture includes carvings of Sarnath. In the Sunga period 185-72 BC, the Buddhist art enjoyed one of its great creative periods . The stupa or simple burial mounds were constructed in the era, the early Andhra Period 72-25 BC. The original Stupa of Sanchi founded at the time of Mauryan emperor.

Ashoka was enormously enlarged by the patronage of the Andhra Dynasty.Chaitya Halls at Kanheri and Nasik on the west coast were formed in this time span.The era of art under the Kushan is witness to the Greek Roman influences on form and Indian iconography. They represent various phases such as Gandhara, Mathura, Buddhist art in Afghanistan and Turkasthan.

The later Andhra dynasty 25 BC to 320 AD. carvings at Nagarjun Conda and Amaravati are the examples of art in this period. In Gupta period Budhhism underwent a process of intellectual absorption into Hinduism. The last phase of Buddhist art was produced under the patronage of Pala and Sena period (730-1197 AD). The Buddhist era and their influence came to an end due to invasion of white Huns in north India and in the south the rise of Hinduism.

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