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Author: Manuj Notebook: History

Created: 22 June 2015 at 3:20:54 PM

Updated: 13 March 2019 at 9:54:57 AM

Indian Architecture and Art Forms

Character of Indian Art:

Plastic, organic, and sculptural
India architecture is characterized by sculptural mass rather than a space
Sculpture, painting and architecture were intimately connected in ancient India, and
not treated separately as they are today.
If the Greeks excelled in the portrayal of the physical charm of the human body, the
Egyptians in the grandeur of their pyramids and the Chinese in the beauty of their
landscapes, the Indians were unsurpassed in transmitting the spiritual contents
into their plastic forms embodying the high ideals and the common beliefs of
the people.
Indian artists visualized the qualities of gods and goddesses mentioned
in their spiritual texts and infused these qualities into their images whose
proportions were based on idealized figures of men and women.
Indian art has been mostly inspired by religion. It is imagined and idealized and
not realistic as we understand in term soft Greek or Roman art.

Indus Valley Architecture and Art

The Great Bath

The Citadel — in every city except Chanudharo
City planning — grid system (roads at right angles), drainage system, well-
designed corbeled arches and bathrooms, use of burnt bricks.
The Great Granary
Sites: Harappa, Mohenjodaro, Ropar, Kalibangan, Lothal and Rangpur.

Fine Arts

Sculptures: Bronze, Stone and Terra-cotta

The Dancing Girl in Tribhanga position
The Great Bull
The Bearded Priest (stone)
The Male Torso (Stone)
Mother Goddess (terra-cotta)
Pasupati in meditation position, with animals and horn like head gear
Inscriptions on seals
Animals, birds etc. represented on the seals
Beads and Ornaments

Sites of Indus Valley Civilization

Dhaluvira, Kalibangan, Lothal, Rangpur, Rakhigarhi, Dholavira, Farmana, Kerela-no-

daro — India
Balakot, Mohenjodaro, Harappa, Sutkagen Dor, Chanudaro — Pakistan
Mauryan Period Arts

Pre-Maurya: Fortifications of Rajgir town (6th BC - 5th BC) in Bihar — made of very
rough, unadorned and simple stones piled onto of each other.
Erected all over the Mauryan empire
Top portion was generally carved with capital figures like the bull, the lion
and the elephant etc. These figures were carved on a circular or square
abacus base decorated with stylized lotuses.
Some of these capital pillars were found in Lauriya-Nandgarh, Rampurva
(bull), Sankisa, Sarnath (lion) and Basarah-Bakhira.
The Lion capital at Sarnath symbolizes the Dhammachakraparivartan
and became a symbol of the great event in the life of Buddha.
Yakshas and Yakshis were the major subject of monumental sculpture
building of those times.
Found in Patna, Vidisha and Matura.
Most had polished surfaces.
Famous example is Yakshi from Didarganj, Bihar
Rock-cut architecture
Lomas Rishi cave in the Barabar Hills of Bihar. An inscription proves that this
was excavated for the Ajivika sect in the time of Ashoka himself. The cave is
carved out of the living rock.
The entrance facade is decorated with semi-circular chatiya arch.
Interior hall of the cave is rectangular with a circular chamber at the
This is an excellent example showing the development from earlier
shapes in timber translated into stone. The period is the 3rd century
Stupas, Viharas and Chaityas — built by both Buddhist and Jaina patrons but
Buddhist ones are much larger in number
Bairat Stupa — Rajasthan (3rd C. BCE)
Grand stupa with circular mound and circumambulatory path.
Bharhut Stupa
Started by Mauryan king Asoka and carried on later by
other following kings and dynasties
Sanchi Stupa I
Earlier parts of Sanchi stupa started in Mauryan times.
Sisupalgarh (2nd BC - 1st BC) — These are more elaborate stone masonry
work using large blocks of stones to make a very well-made fort entrance that
could be closed with huge doors turning on hinges.
Wood continued to be a major source to build architecture until the time of Asoka.
Gradual transition, however, had begun from wood to stone.
In the subsequent century, stupas were elaborately built with certain additions like
the enclosing of the circumambulatory path with railings and sculptural decoration.
Buddha Representation:
During the early phase of Buddhism, Buddha is depicted symbolically
through footprints, stupas, lotus throne, chakra, etc
Later on, events from the life of Buddha, i.e. from the Jatakas became the
source of illustrations on Buddhist monuments, and stupa’s toranas, harmika
The main events associated with the Buddha’s life which were frequently
depicted were events related to the birth, renunciation, enlightenment,
dhammachakrapravartana, and mahaparinibbana (death).
Among the Jataka stories that are frequently depicted are
Chhadanta Jataka, Vidurpundita Jataka, Ruru Jataka, Sibi
Jataka, Vessantara Jataka and Shama Jataka.

Post-Mauryan Architecture and Arts (2nd c. BC onwards)

Post the Maurya kingdom, North India was occupied by a variety of kingdoms
including the Shungas, Kanvas, Kushanas, and the Guptas.
South and West India was occupied by: The Satavahanas, the Ikshavakus,
Abhiras, Vakataks.
Rise of Brahmanical sects such as the Vaishnavas and the Shaivas
Prominent sculpture found in: Vidisha, Bharhut, Bodhgaya, Jaggayyapeta,
Mathura, Khandagiri-Udaigiri (Odisha), Bhaja near Pune, Pavani near Nagpur.
Bharhut (MP)
Tall Yaksha and Yakshi figure sculptures
General stiffness in the body due to not-so-deep carving of these sculptures
at Bharhut
Overtime, deeper carving resulted in more realistic figures and more
naturalistic representation of human and animal bodies.
Sculptures at Bharhut, Bodhgaya, Sanchi Stupa-2, and
Jagayyapetta are good examples.
Narratives of many sculptures of Bharhut communicate stories effectively.
One such story is that of Queen Maya's, mother of Gautam Buddha, dream
of a descending elephant.
Another example is that of Ruru Jataka where the Bodhisattva deer is
rescuing a man on his back.
These were part of stupa decoration
One main characteristic in all the male images of first–second centuries BCE
is the knotted headgear. In many sculptures it is very consistent.
Sanchi (MP)
This is the next phase of sculpture development in stupas.
Upper and lower pradakshinapath or circumambulatory path were added
to the Stupa
Four beautifully sculpted tornados depicting various life scenes of Buddha
and Jatakas
No stiffness in the body like Bharhut
There are 24 buddhas but only the first one - Dipankar and the last 6 ones
are pictorially depicted.
Mathura School, Gandhara School and the Vengi School (Andhra Pradesh) — 1
c. AD Onwards
Emerged as important centers of art production
Buddha in the symbolic form got a human form in Mathura and Gandhara
Mathura School:
Use of red sandstone
The best example in this regard is the stupa sculptures found at
Sanghol in the Punjab.
The Buddha image at Mathura is modelled on the lines of
earlier Yaksha images whereas in Gandhara it has Hellenistic
These early Mathura work is less round, less fleshy and less
sensual than the later work.
Vaishnava sect's vishnu images (forms of vishnu) and Shaivite sect’s
Shiva images (lingas and mukhalingas) are also found in Mathura
school. But Buddha images are dominant.
Overtime, during the 2nd c. AD, the Matura images start becoming
more sensual, rotundity increases, they become fleshier.
Transparent quality in the robes of the Buddha images is evident. In
this period, two important schools of sculptures in northern India are
worth noting.
5th c. AD — 6th c. AD: The traditional centre, Mathura, remained the
main art production site whereas Sarnath and Kosambi also
emerged as important centres of art production.
Sarnath School (Gupta Age):
Many Buddha images in Sarnath have plain transparent drapery
covering both shoulders, and the halo around the head has
very little ornamentation whereas the Mathura Buddha
images continue to depict folds of the drapery in the Buddha
images and the halo around the head is profusely decorated.
One famous one is that of Sitting Buddha made of Chunar
Sandstone (creamy color) dating to 5th AD
Buddha is seated in padmasana. Represents
Gandhara School
The sculptural tradition in Gandhara had the confluence of Bactria,
Parthia and the local Gandhara tradition.
Deeply impacted by Hellenistic art forms. The Greek and the Roman
art had deep impact on the Gandhara School.
Early Temples
Brahmanical temples and sculptures also started getting constructed
overtime, starting around 3rd C. AD
The shrines of the temples were of three kind —
(i) sandhara type (with pradikshinapatha)
(ii) nirandhara type (without pradakshinapatha), and
(iii) sarvatobhadra (which can be accessed from all sides).
Temple at Deogarh in UP is an important temple of this time. Eran, Nachna-
Kuthara and Udaygiri near Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh.
These temples are simple structures consistingof a veranda, a hall and a shrine
at the rear.
Buddhist Monuments of South India
Vengi in Andhra Pradesh has many stupa sites like: Jagayyapetta,
Amravati, Bhattiprolu, Nagarjunakonda, Goli etc.
The Amravati stupa also has a pradakshinapath, enclosed with a
Torana of the Amravati stupa has disappeared over a period of
Developed in the 1st — 2nd c. AD
Sculptural composition is more complex that at Sanchi.

Rock cut cave site near Eluru
Rock cut caves and stupa have been made here
In these sites: Buddhist images of Boddhisattvas like Avalokiteshvara,
Padmapani (holding lotus), Vajrapani (holding vajra or
thunderbolt), Amitabha, and Maitreya Buddha started getting sculpted.
Cave Tradition of Western India
2nd. c. BC onwards, many Buddhist caves were excavated here.
Three architectural styles executed:
(i) Apsidal Vault Roof Chaitya Halls (Ajanta, Bhaja, and
(ii) Apsidal Vault Roof Pillarless Hall (Thana-Nadsur)
(iii) Flat roofed quadrangle hall with a circular chamber at the
back (found at Kondivite)
Semi-circular chaitya arch at the front of the chaitya
Ellora — Buddhist, Jain, and Brahmanical caves
Kailash Temple
Sitting Buddha in the chaitya hall
Triple stories were built here — only double at Ajanta
There are twelve Buddhist caves having many images belonging
to Vajrayana Buddhism like Tara, Mahamayuri,
Akshobhya, Avalokiteshwara, Maitrya, Amitabha, etc.
Buddhist caves are big in size and are of single, double and triple
No paintings are visibly left here anymore, only at Ajanta from the 1st
AD - 5th AD are left
Shaivite themes — Gajasur Shiva, Ravana shaking Mount
Kailash, Andhakasurvadha, Kalyanasundara are profusely
depicted whereas among the Vaishnavite themes, the different avatars
of Vishnu are depicted.
The Elephanta Caves located near Mumbai, were originally a Buddhist
site which was later dominated by the Shaivite faith. It is contemporary
with Ellora.
Eg: Maheshmurti (three heads of Shiva) or Trimurti
Badami (Chalukyas)
Aihole (Chalukyas)
Temple of Lad Khan
Pattadakal (Chalukyas)
Virupaksha temple
Tamil Nadu:
Mahabalipuram (Pallavas)
Arjuna’s Penance, Descent of the Ganges
5 Pandava Rathas
Andhra Pradesh:
Cave Traditions in Eastern India:
Guntapalle (Andhra Pradesh)
Structured stupas, viharas, and chaitya are excavated at one
place only
Odisha: Udaygiri-Khandagiri caves near Bhubaneswar
Inscriptions of Kharavela Kings found
Caves meant for Jain monks

Mural Traditions

The oldest surviving paintings from 1 c. AD - 5 c. AD have been discovered at

Padmapani and Vajrapani murals
Mural of various Jatakas
Plastered lime and then painted with organic colors on it
Badami (Chalukyas)
Capital of the western Chalukyan dynasty, which ruled from 543 B.C. to 598
The Chalukyas est. their power with the decline of the Vakataka rulers.
Chalukyan king Mangalesha patronized the excavation of caves in this
He was the younger son of Pulakesi I
The caves from this king were of Vaishnava affiliation
Many paintings also show palace and court scenes — one shows
Kirtivarman, the elder son of Pulakesi I seated inside the palace with his
wife and feudatories and watching a dance.
The sinuously drawn lines, fluid forms and compact composition exemplify
the proficiency and maturity the artists had achieved in the sixth century CE.
Eye sockets are large, eyes are half closed and lips are protruding — much
like Ajanta style
Mural under Pallava, Pandava and Chola Kings
The tradition of painting extended further down south in Tamil Nadu in the
preceding centuries with regional variations during the regimes of Pallava,
Pandya and Chola dynasties.
Mahendravarma I who ruled in the seventh century was responsible for
building temples at Panamalai, Mandagapattu and Kanchipuram.
Mahendravarma I is given different titles such as Vichitrachitta
(curious-minded), Chitrakarapuli (tiger among artists), Chaityakari
(temple builder).
Paintings of the Kanchipuram temple were patronized by Pallava king,
Sittanvasal — early Pandya period, ninth century AD.
Tirumalaipuram caves and Jaina caves — Here the paintings were patronized
by Pandyas
The tradition of building temples and embellishing them with carvings and
paintings continued during the reign of the Chola kings who ruled over the
region from the 9th-13th c. AD
But it was in the 11th century, when the Cholas reached their zenith of
power, that masterpieces of Chola art and architecture began to appear.
The temples of Brihadeswara at Thanjavur, Gangaikonda Cholapuram
and Darasuram were built during the reigns of Rajaraja Chola and his son,
Rajendra Chola.
Brihadeshwara temple has some of the most important Chola paintings
Two layers of paint was founded — the upper layer was painted later in the
17th century during the Nayak period.
The paintings of Cholas show aspects and narrations related to Shiva, Shiva in
Kailash, Shiva as Tripurantaka, Shiva as Nataraja, a portrait of the patron
Rajaraja and his mentor Kuruvar , dancing figures etc.
Ajanta Paintings
Padmapani and Vajrpani
Dying princess
Flying Apsara
Preaching Buddha
Vijaynagara Murals (Lepakshi, Trichy and Hampi):
Vijaynagara empire brought under its control area from Hampi to Trichy, with
Hampi as the capital.
The paintings at Tiruparakunram, near Trichy, done in the fourteenth century
represent the early phase of the Vijayanagara style.
In Hampi, the Virupaksha temple has paintings on the ceiling of its mandapa
narrating events from dynastic history and episodes from the Ramayana and the
Among the important panels are the ones which show Vidyaranya, the spiritual
teacher of Bukkaraya Harsha, being carried in a palanquin in a procession and
the incarnations of Vishnu.
Lepakshi: Brilliant examples of paintings on the walls of the Shiva temple
The style becomes more rectilinear and two dimensional compared to
the earlier Chola paintings. Elongated eyes, more compartmentalized
bodies were the primary features of this era.
This styles was adopted later by the Nayak period as well.
Nayak Paintings
The Nayaka paintings depict episodes from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana and
also scenes from Krishna-leela.
Mostly a continuation of the Vijaynagara paintings.
Kerela Paintings
Kerela painters (during 16th - 18th c. AD) adopted some elements from the
Vijanagara and some from the Nayak styles.
However, they developed a distinct pictorial language taking cues from contemporary
traditions like Kathakali and kalam ezhuthu using vibrant and luminous colours,
representing human figures in three dimensionality.
Most of the representations were based on Hindu stories popular in Kerela.
Mostly painted on temple walls and sometimes in palaces as well.
Artists must have derived these stories from local versions of Ramayana and
Dutch Palace in Kochi, Krishnapuram palace in Kayamkulam, and
Padmanabhapuram palace have these paintings.
Among the sites where one can see the mature phase of Kerala’s mural painting
tradition are Pundareekapuram Krishna temple, Panayanarkavu, Thirukodithanam,
Triprayar Sri Rama temple and Trissur Vadakkunathan temple.
Other Mural traditions:
Pithoro in parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat
Mithila or Madhubani paintings in norther Bihar region
Warli paintings in Maharastra
Temple Architecture and Sculpture

Early Temples in India (5th c. AD)

Central India

Ancient temples in UP, MP and Rajasthan share many traits.

They are mostly made of sandstone
Some of the oldest surviving temples are from Madhya Pradesh — Gupta period
These are modest shrines with four pillars supporting a small mandapa which looks like a
simple square porch, followed by a small garbhagriha.
Udaigiri temple on the outskirts of Vidisha
Another one is at Sanchi (part of larger Hindu caves)
Dasavatara Vishnu Temple at Deogarh (UP) — 5th c. AD
This temple is in the Panchayatana style of architecture
Sheshashayana is the form of Vishnu where he is shown reclining on the
sheshanaga called Ananta. Nara-Narayan shows the discussion between
the human soul and the eternal divine. Gajendramoksha is the story of
achieving moksha, symbolically communicated by Vishnu’s suppression of an
asura who had taken the form of an elephant

Later Temples in Central India (10th c. AD)

Dramatic development in temple styles in Nagara over the next 400 years or so. By the 10th
c. AD, elaborate and highly ornamented temples emerged in this style.
The Lakshmana temple dedicated to Vishnu is the grandest temple of Khajuraho, built in
954 by the Chandela king, Dhanga.
A nagara temple, it is placed on a high platform accessed by stairs. There are four smaller
temples in the corners, and all the towers or shikharas rise high, upward in a curved
pyramidal fashion, emphasising the temple’s vertical thrust ending in a horizontal fluted
disc called an amalak topped with a kalash or vase.
The crowning elements: amalak and kalash, are to be found on all nagara temples of this
period. The temple also has projecting balconies and verandahs, thus very different
from Deogarh.
Other notable temple is that of Khandariya Mahadev Temple at Khajuraho

Western India

Sun Temple at Modhera (Gujarat) — Solanki School

Built by Raja Bhimdev I of the Solanki Dynasty in 1026 AD
Solankis were a branch of later Chalukyas
Massive step tank known as Surya Kund in front of the temple
Jain temples built in Mt. Abu between 9-11th c. AD
Built of not only Sandstone but also other stones from local area such as granite and
East India

North-East, Bengal and Odisha

Terracotta was the main medium of construction in this area.
This was used to mould various deities.
Early influences of Gupta style as well in some remains in temples found.
Ahom style of temple architecture developed in Assam later.
Kamakhya temple, a Shakti peeth, is dedicated to goddess Kamakhya and was
built in the 17th c. AD.


The style of the sculptures during the period between the 9th-11th c. AD in
Bengal (including Bangladesh) and Bihar is known as the Pala style, named after the
ruling dynasty at the time, while the style of those of the mid-eleventh to mid-
thirteenth centuries is named after the Sena kings.
Local Vanga Style — used to build Buddhist temples in Bengal during Pala times.
Main architectural forms of Odisha temples are:
Most temples located in ancient Kalinga — modern Puri district including
the Bhubaneswar or ancient Tribhuvanesvara, Puri and Konark.
The temples of Odisha constitute a distinct substyle within the nagara order. In
general, here the shikhara, called deul in Odisha, is vertical almost until the top
when it suddenly curves sharply inwards. Deuls are preceded, as usual, by
mandapas called jagamohana in Odisha.
Konark Sun temple — majestic remain from 1240 — built in stone by Eastern
Ganga Dynasty’s Narasimhadeva I
Hill Areas
Unique style of temple architecture in hills as they were influenced by various other
Proximity to Gandhara resulted in influence from the Gandhara style
on these temples
Karkota period in 8th-9th c. AD is most important for temple development in
One of the most important temples is Pandrethan, which was built here
during this time
Pandrethan Temple
At several places in the hills, therefore, you will find that while the main garbhagriha
and shikhara are made in a rekha-prasada or latina style, the mandapa is of an
older form of wooden architecture. Sometimes, the temple itself takes on a pagoda

Basic form of a Hindu Temple:

The basic form of the Hindu temple comprises the following:

(i) a cave-like sanctum (garbhagriha literally ‘womb-house’), which, in the early temples,
was a small cubicle with a single entrance and grew into a larger chamber in time.
The garbhagriha is made to house the main icon which is itself the focus of much
ritual attention;
(ii) the entrance to the temple which may be a portico or colonnaded hall that incorporates
space for a large number of worshippers and is known as a mandapa;
(iii) from the fifth century CE onwards, freestanding temples tend to have a mountain
like spire, which can take the shape of a curving shikhar in North India and a pyramidal
tower, called a vimana, in South India;
(iv) the vahan, i.e., the mount or vehicle of the temple’s main deity along with a standard
pillar or dhvaj is placed axially before the sanctum.


Broad types of temples in the north and the south are known as the nagara style and the
dravida style respectively.
Sometimes, Vesara style is discussed which is formed by borrowing components from both
the styles.

Godess Ganga and Jamuna generally found at the entrance of the garbhagriha in a Nagara
temple, whereas, dvarapals (doorkeepers) are usually found on the gateways or gopurams
of David temples. Similarly, mithunas, navagrahas, yakshas are also placed at the gopurams.
Various forms or aspects of the main divinity are to be found on the outer walls of
the sanctum.
The deities of directions, i.e., the ashtadikpalas face the eight key directions on the outer
walls of the sanctum and/or on the outer walls of a temple. Subsidiary shrines around
the main temple are dedicated to the family or incarnations of the main deity. Finally, various
elements of ornamentation such as gavaksha, vyala/yali, kalpa-lata, amalaka, kalasha, etc.
are used in distinct ways and places in a temple

Nagara Style

Entire temple built on a platform known as the Pitha unlike the South Indian temples
Does not usually have elaborate boundary walls like the South Indian temples
Earlier temples generally had only one tower of shikhara, but later temples had many more
of these.
Types of Nagara Sikhara
Rekha-Prasada Type of Sikhara:
There are different names for the various parts of the temple in different
parts of India; however, the most common name for the simple shikhara which
is square at the base and whose walls curve or slope inward to a point on top is
called the ‘latina' or the rekha-prasada type of shikara.

Phamsana Type of Sikhara:

Tends to be broader and shorter than the Rekha-Prasada style.
Valabhi Type of Sikhara:
These are rectangular buildings with a roof that rises into a valued chamber.
The edge of the valued chamber is rounded, like the wooden or bamboo
wagons that would have been drawn by bullocks in ancient times.
Also known as “wagon-vaulted” buildings.
Designed after the more ancient type of buildings.
The Dravida Temples

Enclosed within a compound wall unlike the Nagara style

Front wall has an entrance gateway at the centre known as gopuram
Main tower shape is known as a vimana
The crowning element is known as the shikhara
Genrally, fierce dvarpalas or gatekeepers are found at entrances in dravida temples
instead of mithunas or Ganga and Jamuna as in nagara style
Common to find a large water tank within the complex.
Interestingly, the main temple garbagriha in South India may have the lowest or
smallest towers because usually they are the oldest part of the temple and others
were built around it later over a period of time.
This overtime development also resulted in multiple gopurams and concentric walls
around various shrines.
Example: the Srirangam temple in Tiruchirapally has as many as seven
‘concentric’ rectangular enclosure walls, each with gopurams.
Temples in South India were not only religious centers but also rich administrative
units around which the cities were built.
Sub-divisions of David temples:
Kuta — square
Shala or ayatasra
The plan of the temple and the shape of the vimana were conditioned by the iconographic
nature of the consecrated deity, so it was appropriate to build specific types of temples for
specific types of icons.
Capital at Kanchipuram
6th — 8th c. AD.
Mostly Shaivite
Also built Vishnu temples along with Shiva temples
Early building were rock cut and later were structural
Early buildings attributed to Mahendravarman I — a contemporary of the
Chalukyan King Pulakesin II of Karnataka.
640 c. AD: Narsimhavarman I also known as Mamalla, acceded the Pallava
throne and expanded the empire.
Inaugurated the building of most of the works at Mamallapuram or
Shore temple (Structural) at Mahabalipuram was built later during the reign of
Narasimhavarman II, also known as Rajasimha who reigned from 700 to 728 CE
This shore temple is unusual as it has three main shrines, and not just one as
usually found in temples.
The temple has a sculpture of Nandi, an early example of a gopuram.
Rajarajeshwara or Brihadeshwara Temple of Tanjore (Thanjavur)
Completed in 1009 by Rajaraja Chola
Largest and the tallest of all Indian temples
Bigger in scale than anything built by their predecessors, the Pallavas,
Chalukyas or Pandyas, this Chola temple’s pyramidal multi-storeyed vimana
rises a massive seventy metres (approximately two hundred feet), topped by
a monolithic shikhara which is an octagonal dome-shaped stupika.
Architecture in the Deccan (Western India)
Emergence of the Vesara style of temple architecture
By 750 AD, the Rastrakutas had taken control of the Western Deccan
region from the Chalukyas.
Greatest Achievement: The Kailashnath temple at Ellora

Complete dravida building with a Nandi Shrine — since the temple is

dedicated to Shiva — a gopuram like gateway, surrounding cloisters,
subsidiary shrines, staircases, and an imposing tower or vimana rising
to thirty meters.
All of this is carved out of a living rock.
Southern Deccan
In Karnataka region of the Deccan plateau, the most experimental
vesara types of architecture is to be found.
Pulakesin I established the early western Chalukya kingdom at Badami in
The early western Chalukyas ruled most of the Deccan till the mid-eighth
century when they were superseded by the Rashtrakutas.
Early Chalukyan activity also takes the form of rock-cut caves while later
activity is of structural temples.
The earliest is probably the Ravana Phadi cave at Aihole which is known for
its distinctive sculptural style.
One of the most important sculptures at the site is of Nataraja.
This is distinctly different from contemporary western Deccan or
Vakataka styles seen at places such as Paunar and Ramtek

Hybridization and incorporation of several styles is the hallmark of the

Most elaborate temple of the Chalukyas: The Virupaksha temple
at Pattadakal made in mid-eighth century by Queen Loka Mahadevi

At the same time the Durga temple at Aihole is unique having an even
earlier style of an apsidal shrine which is reminiscent of Buddhist chaitya
halls and
Lad Khan Temple at Aihole
Inspired by wooden roofed temples of the hills, except that it is
constructed out of stone.

Hoysalas of Karnataka
With the waning of the powerful Chola and Pandyas, the Hoysalas arose to
power in Karnataka region.
They were based out of Mysore
Most important Hoysala temples:
The Hoysaleshvara temple (Lord of the Hoysalas) at Halberd
was built in dark schist stone in 1150 AD. Dedicated to Shiva.
Chennakesava Temple at Belur
They are easily distinguishable from other medieval temples by their
highly original star-like ground-plans and a profusion of decorative
Plan of these Hoysala temples starts looking like a Star instead of a simple
square as planned earlier. — hence known as the Stellate plan
Extremely complex, with many projecting angles, and intricately carved
Founded in 1336, Vijayanagara, literally ‘city of victory’, attracted a number of
international travellers such as:
the Italian, Niccolo di Conti
the Portuguese Domingo Paes, Fernao Nuniz and Duarte Barbosa
the Afghan Abd, al- Razzaq.
Emperors ruled from Harihara-I to Sadasiva Raya.
A large number of royal buildings were raised by Krishnadeva Raya (AD
1509-30), the greatest ruler of the dynasty.
He suppressed the rebellion of ummatur and created a new province
with Seringpatnam as the capital.
He defeated the Gajpati ruler of Odisa and conquered the whole of
Eight eminent luminaries in literature known as “asthadiggajas” were
at his court.
Various Sanskrit and Telugu works document the vibrant literary tradition of this
Architecturally, Vijayanagara synthesizes the centuries-old dravida
temple architecture with Islamic styles demonstrated by the neighboring sultanates.
Large number of pillars and piers are present in a complicated manner in
Vijaynagar PILLARS
Horse was the most common animal depicted on these pillars.
They have open mandapam or open pavilion with a raised platform generally.
Their sculpture too, although fundamentally derived from, and consciously seeking
to recreate Chola ideals, occasionally shows the presence of foreigners.
Their eclectic ruins from the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries preserve a
fascinating time in history, an age of wealth, exploration and cultural fusion.
Jaina and Hindu Temples present in the Hampi Complex
The Krishna temple, Pattabhirama temple, Hazara Ramchandra,
Chadrasekhara temple
Temples of this city are noted for their large dimensions, florid ornamentation,
bold and delicate carvings, stately pillars, magnificent pavilions and a great
wealth of iconographic and traditional depictions which include subjects from
the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
PAMPAPATI The largest extant temple is that of Pampapati (now in worship) was
extensively renovated. Its magnificent entrance tower was caused by Krishnadeva
VITTHALA The Vitthala temple is an excellent example of Vijayanagara style.
Largest Nandi in Lepakshi
The monolithic statues of Lakshmi, Narasimha and Ganesa are noted for their
massiveness and grace.
Majority of these temples were provided with widespread bazaars flanked on either
side by storeyed mandapas. Among secular edifices mention may be made of the
Zenana enclosure wherein a massive stone basement of the Queen's palace and
an ornate pavilion called 'Lotus-Mahal are only remnants of a luxurious
antahpura. The corner towers of arresting elevation, the Dhananayaka's enclosure
(treasury), the Mahanavami Dibba carrying beautifully sculptured panels, a variety
of ponds and tanks, mandapas, the elephant's stables and the row of pillared
mandapas are some of the important architectural remains of this city.

Buddhist and Jain Architectural Developments 5th c. AD onwards

Bodhgaya is a pilgrimage site since Siddhartha achieved enlightenment here
and became Gautama Buddha.
While the bodhi tree is of immense importance, the Mahabodhi Temple
at Bodhgaya is an important reminder of the brickwork of that time.
The first shrine here, located at the base of the Bodhi tree, is said to have been
constructed by King Ashoka; the vedika around it is said to be post-Mauryan, of
about 100 BCE;
Many of the sculptures in the niches in the temple are dated to the eighth
century Pala Period
The actual Mahabodhi temple itself as it stands now is largely a Colonial
Period reconstruction of the old seventh century design.
The design of the temple is unusual. It is, strictly speaking, neither dravida or
nagara. It is narrow like a nagara temple, but it rises without curving, like
a dravida one.
Complex of many monasteries — mahavihara
Most information about Nalanda comes from Xuan Zeng or Hsuan Tseng which states
that the foundation of the monastery was laid by Kumargupta I in 5th c. AD.
Later monarchs continued to build it and it became a world-class university.
All three Buddhist doctrines: Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana were taught here.
Nalanda school of art developed later by 9th c. AD. due to the combination of the
Sarnath Gupta art and the Central Indian style.
Nalanda bronze sculptures form a large portion of the discovery and belong to the
Pala period.
Buddha, bodhisattvas etc. represented in these.
Jain Sites
Oldest pilgrimage sites in Bihar
Deccan: Ellora, Aihole
Central India: Deogarh, Khajuraho, Chanderi, and Gawlior — excellent Jain temples
Karnataka has a rich heritage of Jain shrines and at Sravana Belagola the famous
statue of Gomateshwara, the granite statue of Lord Bahubali which stands
eighteen metres or fifty seven feet high, is the world’s tallest monolithic free-
standing structure.
It was commissioned by Camundaraya, the General-in-Chief and Prime
Minister of the Ganga Kings of Mysore
Mount Abu
Jain temples built by Vimal Shah
Simple exterior but exuberant marble interiors, rich sculptural
decorations that gives appearance of lace like creations.

Indian Bronze Sculpture

The cire-perdu or the lost-wax technique present as early as the Indus Valley
civilization and used until the present day by many artists
Bronze, the alloy of copper, zinc and tin is made to cast beautiful sculptures.
Many Buddhist, Hindu and Jain sculpture made of bronze have been discovered
dating back the 2nd c. AD until the 16th c. AD.
Images of Jain tirthankaras — remarkable representation of Adinath and
Vrishabnath, Mahavira and Parshavnath
Buddha (in abhay mudra) and bodhisattava images
Features such as the “sanghati” or the monk’s robe is wrapped to
cover the shoulders which turns over to the right arm, while other end
of the drapery is wrapped over the left arm.
Sarnath Style: Buddha image in Bronze from Sultanganj — a
monumental sculpture
Later, images of Tara became common and popular
Shiva as Nataraja is common, Vishnu images as well
Female images as Yakshinis
Bronze statue making reached high levels of refinement in the Medieval Era in
South India
Some of the most beautiful works were produced in Chola period from 10-12th c.
This art is practiced very vigorously in the area known as Kumbakonam.


Two most common forms of Nataraja dance are: Lasya and Tandava.
Lasya (the gentle form of dance), associated with the creation of the world, and
the Tandava (the violent and dangerous dance), associated with the destruction of
weary worldviews – weary perspectives and lifestyles.
In essence, the Lasya and the Tandava are just two aspects of Shiva's nature; for
he destroys in order to create, tearing down to build again


An essential significance of Shiva's dance at Tillai, the traditional name

of Chidambaram, can be explained as:
First, it is seen as the image of his rhythmic play which is the source of all
movement within the universe. This is represented by the circular or
elliptical frame surrounding the Lord.
Secondly, the purpose of his dance is to release the souls of all men from
the snare of illusion.
Lastly, the place of the dance, Chidambaram, which is portrayed as the
center of the universe, is actually within the heart.
Islamic Architecture Styles in India
The study of Indo-Islamic architecture is conventionally categorised into the following:

1. The Imperial Style (Delhi Sultanate)

Qutab Minar
Old Fort built by Sher Shah in Delhi
2. The Provincial Style (Mandu, Gujarat, Bengal, and Jaunpur)
3. The Mughal Style (Delhi, Agra, and Lahore)
Taj Mahal
Red Fort at Agra — started by Akbar and finished by Shah Jahan, buildings
such as Diwan-i-aam and khas, and Moti Masjid
Fateh-Pur Sikri monuments such as the Panch Mahal, Bland Darwaza,
Jodhabai’s palace.
Salim Chisti’s tomb — intricate jali work
Humayun’s Tomb
Akbar’s tomb constructed by Jahangir near Agra in Sikandra
Itmaud-daula’s tomb constructed by Noor Jahan in Agra
4. The Deccani Style (Bijapur, Golconda).
Gol Gumbaz in Bijapur

Philosophy in Ancient India:

Six Major Schools of Philosophy:
By and large these 6 schools had a more idealist view of life. While Samkhya and
Vaisheshsika school proposed materialist views of life, they diluted later to believe and
focus on the attainment of salvation through spiritual means.

1. Samkhaya
Literally means “Count”
At beginning, Samkhaya was materialist philosophy; Creation of the world is
not necessarily due to the divine
World owes its creation to nature or Prakriti than to god; In 4th AD, Purusha
(spirit) was added to Prakriti as an element in the Samkhaya system, hence it
came to be more spiritualistic now
Believed that the answer to the cause of human suffering was not divine but
Knowledge of the self and of the nature OR real knowledge can lead to
attainment of moksha
This could be acquired through perception (pratyaksha), inference
(anumana), and hearing (shabda)
Scientific apporach
2. Vaishehsika
Discussion of material elements of dravya
Study of earth, fire, water, air and sky
It propounded the atom theory and said that material objects are made up of
Marked the beginning of physics in India
However, scientific thinking was diluted by belief in heaven and God and
hence the school puts its focus on those as well
3. Nyaya
School of analysis was developed as a system of logic
Salvation could be attained by the acquisition of knowledge
Understanding of logic, inference and systematic thinking
4. Yoga
Person can attain salvation through meditation and physical application
Physical exercises called asanas are prescribed
5. Vedanta
Literally means the end of Vedas
The Brahmasutra of Badarayana forms its basic text
Shankara and Ramanuja also write commentaries on it
Shankara considered knowledge of jnana to be the chief means of salvation
however Ramanuja considers practicing devotion and faith as means to
It believes that salvation can be achieved by gaining knowledge of the self or
the atma which leads to knowledge of the brahma
Theory of karma came to be linked to Vedanta philosophy - punarjanma
came from here
6. Mimasa
Literally means the art if reasoning and interpretation
But reasoning to provide justification of various vedic rituals
Believes that Vedas contain the ultimate trusth
It was promoted by the Brahmins to gain significance in the society through
propagation of rituals and their supremacy over its conduct
Materialist Ideology

Main proponent - Charvaka

This philosophy came to be known as Lokayata - ideas derived from the local

Other facts etc.

Under Hinduism, three main deities worshipped:

1. Vishnu: Vaishnavas — Northern and Central parts of India

2. Shiva: Shaivas — Southern Parts of India
3. Shakti: In the southwest Malabar region and eastern India.


1. Natyashastra — Bharat Muni

Treatise on dance, drama and music
Known as the 5th Veda
According to the author, he has taken words from the Rig Veda, Music from
Sam veda, Gestures from Yajur veda, and emotions from Atharvaveda
Dance and music are inextricable parts of Drama
Dance has three aspects:
Natya — “dramatic element” — presented in Kathakali
Nrtiya — “expressional”, to convey the meaning and theme of the idea
Nritta — pure dance where body movements do not convey any
moods or amy emotions
To communicate Natya and Nritya effectively, a dancer must be trained in
Shringara (Love)
Mirth (Hasya)
Compassion (Karuna)
Valour (veera)
Roudra (Anger)
Bhanayak (Fear)
Bibhatsa (Disgust)
Adbhuta (Wonder)
Shaanta (peace)
Two modes of Natya
Natyadharmi — formalized presentation in theatre
Lokadharmi — folk
2. Abhinaya Darpan — Nadikesvara
Source of technique and grammar of body movement in Bharatnatyam
3. Bharatnatyam — Tamil Nadu
1. Chidambaram temple — poses of this dance on the walls as sculptures
2. Also referred to as Sadir Dashiattam and Tanjavur Natyam
3. “Ekharya” — one dancer takes many roles in a single performance
4. Devadasi families — Bala Saraswati
5. Carnatic Music use mostly
6. Leans heavily on “Abhinaya” or mime aspect of dancing — the nritya —
dancer explains the sahitya through dance and mime
7. Languages used: Sanskrit, Tamil and Kannada
8. Stages:
1. Invocation song
2. Alarippu — to adorn with flowers, contains our dance or nritta and
recitation of sound syllables
3. Jatiswaram — pure dance or nritta
4. Shabdam — song in adoration of the Supreme being
5. Varnam — both nritta and nritya (ost beautiful)
6. Tillana — ends in tillana which has origins in tarani of Hindustani
7. Mangalam — end
9. Episodes from lives of Rama, Siva, Vishnu etc.
10. Orchestra: Mrindangam, violin or veena, a flautist and a cymbal players
11. Person who conducts the dance recitation is known as Nattuvanar
4. Kathakali — Kerela
1. “Ballot of east”
2. Blend of dance, acting and music
3. combination of natya, nritya, and nritta
4. Textual sanction from: Balarama Bharatam and Hastalakshana Deepika
5. Kathak — Northern India, UP
1. Story tellers — kathakars
2. Bhakti and Vaishnavite cult contributed to new lyrics and musical forms in
3. Raslila, durbar scenes
4. Knees not bent like in Bharatnatyam
5. Golden age under Wajid Ali Shah — Nawab of Oudh
1. Est. Lucknow Gharna — focus on bhava — expression of moods and
2. Jaipur Gharana — known for layakari or rhythmic virtuosity
3. Benares Gharna
6. Oddisi — Odisa
1. Odhra Magadha — precursor to Odisi, mentioned in Natyashastra
2. Evidence found in Udaygiri and Khandagiri caves near Bhubneshwara
3. Religious dance also patronized by Kharavela (Jain king)
4. Represents Radha-Krishna love, Dasavatara, Jagannath’s philosophy
5. Sun Temple Konark walls representing many forms of this dance
6. Odissi is a highly stylised dance and to some extent is based on the
classical Natya Shastra and the Abhinaya Darpana. In fact, it has derived a
great deal from the Abhinaya Darpana Prakasha by Jadunatha Sinha,
the Abhinaya Chandrika by Rajmani Patra, and the Abhinaya Chandrika by
Maheshwara Mahapatra.
7. Mahari — devadasi tradition, Nartala— royal courts, Gotipua — Young boys
7. Sattriya — Assam
1. 15th c. AD by Vaishnava saint and reformer of Assam, Mahapursha
2. Satires are vaishnava maths or monasteries
3. Ojapali — another dance prevalent in Assam before Sattriya
4. Forms of Ojapali still prevalent — Sukananni or Maroi Goa (Shakti cult), Vyah
Goa Oja (vaishnava cult)
5. Vyah Goa Oja was used by Shankaradeva in Sattriya
6. Devadasi, another form of earlier Assam dance also had impact on Sattriya
7. Folk Dances: Bihu, Bodo etc. also influenced Sattriya
8. Kuchipudi — Andhra Pradesh
1. Name of a village in Andhra
2. Other generic form of dance in Andhra known as Yakshagana
3. Kuchipudi style of Yakshagana was conceived by Siddhendra Yogi in 17th c.
4. Carnatic music
5. Natya, Nritta and Nritya all used
9. Manipuri — Manipur
1. Lord Shiva and Parvati dance in the valleys of Manipur accompanied by local
people “Gandharvas”
2. Lai Haraboa — earliest form of dance performed in festivals “merrymaking
of the gods”
3. Later with coming of Vaishnavism, new forms introduced in the dance as
10. Mohiniattam — Kerela
1. Mohini — beautiful woman, attam - dance
1. Vishnu appeared as Mohini
2. Solo, also groups now
3. Lasya aspect dominates — focus on feminism
4. Love and devotion towards lord krishna
5. Carnatic music
6. Use of Kerela drum known as Maddalam

Folk Dances:

Chhau — UNESCO intangible

Mask Dance
Represent daily chores of women
Male artists mostly
Chhau means shack or shadow area
Involves martial movements
Mythological theme
Performed usually in chaitra month
Performed in Odisa (Mayurbhanj / Baripada Chau), West Bengal (Puruliya
chau), Jharkhand (Saralkela chau)
Stories from Mahabharata, Ramayana, Puranas, temple rituals etc.
Vocal music not used
Sankirtana — Manipur
Bihu — Assam
Dumhal — Kashmir
Koodiyattam — Kerela
Theyyam — Kerela
Thullal— Kerela
Kalbelia Folk Dance — Rajasthan (UNESCO intangible heritage)

Classical Dances:


Tamil Nadu, Kerela, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka


Rest of the country

Styles: Dhrupad, Khayal, Dhamar, Thumri, Sadra and Tappa

Theatre Forms
Kuttiyatam — Kerela, ancient Sanskrit theatre, UNESCO intangible heritage, oldest
living theatre form in India (synthesis of Sanskrit and local traditions in Malayalam)
Mudiyettu — Kerela, folk theatre (Nov-Dec) — UNESCO intangible heritage
for purification of the community
after summer crops are harvested — a week long festival
Floor design known as kalam is drawn
Krishnattam — Kerela, 17th c. AD, 8 plays on 8 consecutive days
Dashavatara — Konkan and Goa regions, 10 incarnations of vishnu
Yakshagana — Karnataka, mahabharata based
Therukoothu — Tamil Nadu, street play
Tamaasha — Maharastra
Bhaona — Assam
Maach — MP
Nautanki — UP
Bhand Pather — Kashmir
Swang — Haryana
Bhavai — Gujarat
Jatra — Bengal


Ancient Hindu philosophers have paid the greatest tribute to puppeteers. They have
likened God Almighty to a puppeteer and the entire universe to a puppet
stage. Srimad Bhagavata, the great epic depicting the story of Lord Krishna in his
childhood says that with three strings- Satta, Raja and Tama, the God manipulates
each object in the universe as a marionette.
The earliest reference to the art of puppetry is found in Tamil classic
‘Silappadikaaram’ written around the 1st or 2nd century B.C.
Natyashastra, the masterly treatise on dramaturgy written sometime during 2nd
century BC to 2nd century AD., does not refer to the art of puppetry but the
producer-cum-director of the human theatre has been termed
as ‘Sutradhar’ meaning the holder of strings. The word might have found its place in
theatre-terminology long before Natyashastra was written but it must come from
marionette theatre. Puppetry, therefore, must have originated in India more than 500
years before Christ.
Author: Manuj Notebook: History
Created: 24 June 2015 at 1:00:10 PM
Updated: 11 November 2015 at 3:39:59

Important Sites, and the UNSECO World Heritage Sites —

UNSECO World Heritage Sites in India

1. Agra Fort —built by Akbar

Jahangir Palace
Khas Mahal
Shish Mahal
Two mosques — Moti Masjid (Shah Jahan) and the Nagina Masjid
Musamman Burj (tower) — Shah Jahan died here
2. Ajanta Caves
30 caves
25 are viharas and 5 are chaityas
Dating around 2 c. BC to about 650 AD
Paintings on their walls are the most striking examples of ancient mural
Indian paintings
Only Buddhist, earlier caves from Hinayana phase of Buddhism (around the
Satavahanas time) and later ones from the Mahayan phase (around the
Vakataka time (300 AD - 400 AD), contemporaries of the Guptas).
A Chaityagriha at Ajanta caves:
Dignaga — a controversial Buddhist monk lived in the Ajanta caves as per
Xuanzang, a Chinese scholar
Reclining Buddha — Buddha in Mahiparinirbana (Grandest), and
assault of Mara on the same wall (sculpture on wall in stone)
Buddha is seated position, i.e., in Dharmachakrapravartana mudra in
the main Chaitya
Bodhisattava as a reliever of Eight Great Perils in Cave 4 (sculpture)
Paintings: Ruru Jataka, The pantings of Padmapani and
Vajrapani, Temptation of Mara and Depiction of Miracle of Srasvati
Indian Painting: Lepyachitras, lekhachitras and Dhulichitras. The first was the
representation of folklore, the second one was line drawing and painting on textile
while the third one was
painting on the floor.
Paintings Text: Buddhist text Vinayapitaka (4th BC - 3rd BC), play Mudraraksha (5th
c. AD), Kamasutra by Vatsyana, Vishnudharmottara purana (7th. c. AD) has section
called chitrasutra.
3. Ellora Caves
Locally known as “Verul Leni”
Brahmin (17) > Buddhist (12) > and Jaina (4) caves
Great Kailashnath Temple of the Rastrakutas excavated here.
Never lost unlike the Ajanta caves as they are located on an ancient trade
Mentioned by Al-Masudi in the 10th c. AD
Sultan Hasan Gangu Bahmani also camped here in 1352 AD
Water Cisterns:
Each and every cave contains of provision for storing water by
harnessing it from the rain
Three storied complexes found in Ellora — unique “Teen thal"
Buddha in Bhumisparsa mudra. In front of this Buddha image is Sujata
offering Payasa , the episode reminding just before the events of the
Enlightenment Siddhartha before he became Buddha.
17 Brahmanical caves:
Abode of Ravana or Ravana ki khai (Cave 14)
Walls consists of mahisasur mardini (the slaying of the buffalo-
Lord Shiva as Nataraja performing the celestial dance
Ravana shaking Mt. Kailasa
Gajasamhara murti — Shiva slaying the elephant demon
Many more
Das avatar or ten incarnations of Vishnu (Cave 15)
Many hindu gods including Shiva, Parvati, Surya, Durga etc.
The Kailashnath Temple (Cave 16)
Largest cave excavation in India and probably the world.
Rashtrakutas, Krishna I
Rameshwara (Cave 21)
Dedicated to lord Shiva
Dumar Lena
Near the Sita-ki-nahani or a pool created by a waterfall in the
Various episodes connected to Lord Shiva — Ravana shaking
Mt. Kailasa, Kalyanmurti, killing of demon Antaka, Lakulisa
4 Jaina Caves:
Indra Sabha cave
Series of shrines dedicated to Mahavira
Manastambha — huge monolithic pillar
At the center of the shrine is the Sarvatobhadra, a concept in
Jainism of worshipping the four important tirthankaras, viz.,
Adinatha or Rshibhanatha (1st), Parsvanatha (22nd), Neminatha
(23rd) and Mahavira (24th).
Jagganath Sabha cave
Chhota Kailasa Cave (resembling Mt. Kailasa)
4. Elephanta Caves
1. Dateable from 6-7 c. AD
2. Brahman caves and Buddhist caves
3. Sculpture: “Ardhnarisvara” — half woman form of Shiva, Siva and Parvati
playing chausar (sculpture), Mahesh-murti (three heads of Shiva)— the
aghora, turbulent, and fearsome; the tatpurusha (benign), vamadeva (lovable
and pleasing), cosmic dance of Nataraja, Kalyansundara murty, Ravana
Shaking Kailasa
4. Elephant sculpture known as Jijamata Udayaan
5. Taj Mahal
Shah Jahan
Ustaad Ahmad Lahori was the main architect
Pietra Dura
6. Mahabalipuram monuments
Built by the Pallavas
Pallava king Narsimhavarman I (630 AD - 668 AD)
9 monolithic temples:
Five Rathas — known after the five Pandava brothers (monolith
Shore temples (three) — house reclining vishnu or ananthshayana
Temple of Rivage
Varaha Mandapa, Adivaraha cave temples
Sculpture: Arjuna’s Penance, Descent of the Ganges led by Bhagiratha
Caves of Govardhanadhari and Mahisasurmardini
Jal-Sayana Perumal temple
7. Sun Temple at Konark
Built in the 13th c. AD (by Narsimhadeva I of Eastern Ganga Dynasty)
River — Chandrabhaga
Sculptures of Balarama, Varaha, and Trivikarma
Mayadevi temple — one of the wives of Surya
Vaishnava temple
8. Churches and Convents of Goa
Church of Bom Jesus (most important)
Tomb of St. Francis Xavier
Monument influential in spreading Manueline, Mannerist and Baroque art
to Asia
Alfonso de Albuquerque conquered Goa in 1510 and the Portuguese held till
The Se Cathedral
Chapel of St. Catherine
Convent of St. Francis of Assisi
St. Gagtan
"Our Lady of the Rosary" church
Tower of St. Augustine
Church of St. Cajetan
9. Fatehpur Sikri
Built by Akbar
Daulat Khana
Panch Mahal
Palace of Birbal
Palace of Jodha Bai
Buland Darwaza
Tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisthi
Khass Mahal
Here practically, all Mughal institutions such as the ‘Ibadat-Khanah’, ‘Din-i-Ilahi’, ‘Tarikh-i-
Ilahi’ , Jharokha-Darshan, the doctrine of Sulh-i-Kul and policy of liberal patronage to
indigenous arts and literatures, were founded. It was also here that workshops of various
handicrafts were established.
10. Hampi monuments (Vijaynagara)
14th-16th c. AD
Krishna Temple Complex
Narasimha, Ganesh and Hemakuta complex of temples
Achyutaraya temple complex
“Vijay” Vitthala temple complex — most exquisite; contains Kalyan
Mandapa, Utsava Mandapa
56 carved pillars emitting musical notes
Pattabhirama temple
Lotus Mahal
Adopted islamic features in independent buildings such as the Queen’s bath
and Elephant Stables — multi-religious and multi-ethnic society
Raya Gopura was first built here
11. Khajuraho monuments
Chandellas (950-1050 AD)
Ibn Batuta noted them in 1335
Nagara style — Mountain Kailasa representation
Lakshmana temple, Kandriya Mahadev, Nandi temple etc.
12. Chola Temples
11th c. AD — 12th c AD temples
Brihadeshwara temple at Thanjavur — Rajaraja I
inscriptions of Dakshin Meru
The temple of Gangaikondacholapuram — Rajendra I
Solar Altar, the lotus altar with eight deities
The Airvatesvara temple at Darasuram — Rajaraja II
13. Pattadakal monuments (Karnataka)
Chalukya Dynasty
Hindu + Jain temples
The Temple of Virupaksha — built by Queen Lokmahadevi
Aihole, Badami and Pattadakal (city of crowned rubies) — Chalukya sites
Vesara style developed here
Temple of Papanath
Aihole (“laboratory of Chalukyan architecture”) — Temple of Ladkhan
14. Sanchi Buddhist monuments
15. Humayun’s tomb
16. Qutb Minar
17. Mountain Railways of India
18. Mahabodhi complex at Bodh Gaya
19. Bhimbetka rock shelters
20. Champaner-Pavagadh Archeological Park
Kalikamata temple on top of pavagadh hill
Structures in the area are blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture, specially
the Great Mosque (Jami Masjid) — model for later mosque architecture in
21. Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus)
22. Red Fort Complex
23. The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur
24. Hill Forts of Rajasthan
25. Rani-ki-vav (the Queen’s step well) at Patan, Gujarat
Built during reign of Solanki dynasty
Maru-Gurjara architectural style
Inverted temple
26. Western Ghats
27. Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area
28. Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks
29. Sundarbans National Park
30. Mans Wildlife Sanctuary
31. Keoladeo National Park
32. Kaziranga National Park

Other Important Things:

Only two living remains of Gupta period paintings: (1) Ajanta caves (2) Bagh Caves
Other caves:
Pandav leni (or Trirasmi caves)
3rd BC - 2nd AD
Hinayana Buddhist caves
Nothing to do with Pandavas or Mahabharata
All Buddhist
Ratnakara was ancient name of Indian Ocean
The four Asharam stages were not mentioned in vedic scriptures, and only post-
vedic (proper mention)
Somapura Mahavihara — Pala Buddhist Vihar (Palas were patrons of Buddhism)
Pala means “protector"
Alas from 8th AD onwards — 10 c AD
Nalanda and Vikramashila flourished under them.
Dharampala and Devapala — great rulers
Pala School of Miniature paintings and distinct school of art
“Gauda riti” style developed during their reign
1. The last Mauryan ruler, Brihadratha was assassinated by his
commander-in-chief, Pushyamitra Sunga.
2. The last Sunga king, Devabhuti was assassinated by his
Brahmana minister Vasudeva Kanva who usurped the throne
3. The last ruler of the Kanva dynasty was deposed by the Andhras.
1. Narasimha Saluva ended the Sangama dynasty and seized the throne for himself
and started the Saluva dynasty.
2. Vira Narasimha deposed the last Saluva ruler and seized the throne for himself.
3. Vira Narasimha was succeeded by his younger brother, Krishnadeva Raya.
4. Krishnadeva Raya was succeeded by his half-brother, Achyuta Raya.
Mudras of Buddha:
mentioned in the Gandhara scriptures as a “preaching” mudra at
Buddha’s first sermon in Sarnath
Word “Hindu” first used as a reference to people of India by: Arabs
Brahmavadini — “expounder” of the Vedas are those women who composed any
hymns of Vedas
Lopmudra (wife of sage Agasthya), Viswawara, Sikta, Ghosa, Maitreyi
Bronze icons of Nataraja during Chola period
“Yavanapriya” — pepper loving Greeks
“Anuvrata” — small vows taken by household to observe non-violence, not to kill
any life.
Yugas (four aeons): Krita, Treta, Dvapara, Kali
Jain literature:
Gometshwara statue at Shravanbelagola built by Chamundaraya (Western Ganga
feudatory of the Rashtrakutas)
“Kevala Jnana”
Arihant — human being who destroys all passions and desires
Ajivikas was a Saiva sect
Travelers to India
Megasthenes from court of Seleucus to the court of Chandragupta Maurya
Wrote Indica
Fa-Hien (Faxian) in the court of Chandragupta II during Gupta reign
Pilgrimage to Lumbini
Hieun-Tsang (Xuanzang)
Visited Harsha’s court
Presided over a Buddhist council in Kannauj
Also traveled south to Amravati and Nagarjunakonda and then Kanchi
of Pallavas
I-tsing (Yijing) or I-ching or Zhang Wen Ming
Visited the Srivijaya empire
Visited Nalanda University in India
Explored almost every aspect of Indian life
Came with Mahmud of Ghazni in around 1000 AD
Ibn Battuta
Moroccon explorer
In around 1330 AD, he came to India
During the reign of Muhammad Bin Tuglaq
Scientists and writes:
Baudhayan: Mathematics, Sulva Sutra (pythagoras theorem known as
Baudhyan theorem, value of pi)
Aryabhatta: Mathematician (5th c.AD) and Astronomer, Aryabhatiya
Number Theory
Khagol observatory at Nalanda (Aryabhatta studied here)
Earth is round and rotates on its axis
Brahmagupta: 7th c. AD, Mathematics; wrote Brahm Sputa Siddantika —
postulated that all things gravitate towards the earth.
Bhaskaracharya: 12th c. AD, Mathematics, wrote: Siddhanta Shiromani
Mahavircharya: wrote Ganit Sara Sangraha (850 AD)
Kanad — Vaisheshika School, “kana” — atomic theory
Varahmira: 587 AD — Astronomy — wrote: Brhat-Samhita
Nagarjuna: 10th c AD scientist. Alchemist. Treatise: Rasaratnakar
Atreya Samhita is the treatise on Ayurveda
Charka: Medicine — Rajya Vaidya of Kaniska, Charak Samhita (Ayurveda)
Susrutha (1200 BC -600 BC): Medicine (Susruta Samihta), plastic surgery
and removal of cataract — use of medical and surgical instruments.
Yoga and Patanjali, Yoga derived from Sanskrit word Yoktra. Its literal
meaning is “yoking the mind to the inner self after detaching it from the
outer subjects of senses”.
Physical yoga is called Hathyoga. Generally, it aims at removing a
disease and
restoring healthy condition to the body.
Rajayoga is mental yoga. Its goal is self realization and liberation from
bondage by achieving physical mental, emotional and spritiual
In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Aum is spoken of as the symbol of God. He
refers to Aum as a cosmic sound, continuously flowing through the ether, fully
known only to the illuminated.
Besides Yoga Sutras, Patanjali also wrote a work on medicine and worked on
Panini’s grammar known as Mahabhasaya
Controls in Yoga
Yama — Practicing self-control
Niyama — Observation of the rules
Asana — fixed postures
Pranayam — breath control
Pratyahara — choosing the object
Dharna — fixing the mind
Dhyana — concentrating on a chosen object
Samadhi — complete dissolution of the self, merging mind and
the object
12 Angas
12 Upanga agamas
6 Chedasutras
4 Mulasutras
10 Prakirnaka Sutras
2 Culikasutras
Asvaghosa: Buddha Charita (80 AD - 150 AD)
Vasubandhu: founder of Yogacharya form of Buddhism (4 c. AD)
Shudraka: Literature — wrote: Mricchkatika (Gupta time)
Bhasa: 13 Plays
Visakhadutta: Literature — wrote: Devi Chandraguptam and Mudrarakshasha
(court intrigues of chandragupta mauryas time) [9th. c. AD]
Kalidasa: Anijanshakuntalam
Amarsimha: Amarkosha
Banbhatta: Literature — wrote: Harshacharita (Asthana Kavi in court of
Bilhana: Literature — wrote: Vikramankadevacharita and
Charupanchashika (11th c. AD Kashmiri Poet)
9 Gems of Chandragupta II
Vetala Bhatta
9 Gems of Akbar
Todar Mal
Raja Man Singh
Abdul Rahim Khan-i-khana
Fakir Aziao-Din
Mulla Do-Piyaza
Abul-Fazl ibn Mubarak
Krishna Deva Raya’s important courtiers named Astadiggajas — the eight
Pallava — Panamalai (city), Kanchipuram and Mamallapuram, Mahablipuram
Name of Asoka mentioned by which Edict: Maski edict
Silver coins by Guptas known as “Rupaka"
First gold coins in India introduced by Indo-Greeks (Kushans)
Avalokiteshvara also known as Padmapani
Corporation of merchants in ancient India: Manigrama
Eight Fold Path forms the theme of: Dharma Chakra Pravartana Sutra
Ashokan Pillars telling us about Sangam period: II and XIII
Invasions in Indian history:
Alexander the Great 326 BC (not really invasion though)
White Huns
Mahmud of Ghazni
Mohammad of Ghor — Ghurid Dynasty
Timur (1398 AD)

Intangible World Heritage

1. Thatheras of Jandiala Guru, Punjab — traditional brass and copper craft

2. Sankirtana — ritual singing, drumming and dancing Manipur (Vaishnava)
3. Buddhist Chanting of Ladakh
Four major sects:
Each sect has several types of chanting etc.
4. Chhau dance — Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisa
1. Seraikela — Jharkhand
2. Purulia — WB
3. Mayurbhanj — Odisa
5. Kalbelia Folk Dance and songs in Rajasthan
1. expression of traditional way of life
2. use of Khanjari percussion instrument and Poongi (bein), a woodwind
6. Mudiyettu Sanskrit theatre in Kerela
7. Novruz
March 21
8. Ramman, religious festival and ritual theatre of Garhwal Himalays
Late April celebrated in honor of BHUMIYAL devta
9. Kutiyattam, Sanskrit theatre in Kerela
10. Ramlila
11. Traditional Vedic Chanting
1. Rig Veda: vedic hymns
2. Sama Veda: musical arrangements of hymns
3. Yajur Veda: prayers and sacrificial formulae
4. Atharva Veda: Incantations and Spells and magical stuff

Buddhist Literature:

Tirukkural by Thiruvaluvar

Bhakti Movement — literature — 12 Alvars (Andal women poet) started it and spread

Vira Shaivas
Basava founded Vir Shaiva school or virshaivism that rejected he caste
system, denied the supremacy of the Brahmins and condemned ritual
Akka Mahadevi was an important figure in this movement.
Tamil Nadu
Devotion to Lord Vishnu
5th -10th c. AD
12 in number
Andal is a female in the 12 (only one)
Group of 63 saints in 6th c AD to 8th c AD devoted to Shiva Bhakti in Tamil
Their names first complied by Sundrar
Most important were three: Sambandar, Appar, Sundrar
Sambandar is most important
From different backgrounds
From Tamil Nadu
Rama Bhakti
Ramananda was the leader of Rama Bhakti
Lived in 15th c. AD
Ashram in Varanasi
Renounced Sanskrit
The Shaiva Siddhanta school is a form of Shaivism found in the south. It
incorporates the teachings of the Shaiva nayanars and espouses the belief
that Shiva is Brahman and his infinite love is revealed in the divine acts of the
creation, preservation and destruction of the universe, and in the liberation of
the soul
Vaishnava Bhakti
Ramanujacharya (1017–1137)
Madhvacharya (1199–1278)
Nimbarka (13th Century)
Vallabhacharya (1479–1531)
Srimanta Sankardeva (1449–1568)
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486–1534)
Swaminarayan (1781-1830)

Important Battles Medieval India:

1. Battle of Tarain (First)(1191)

This battle was fought at Tarain near Thaneswar. Prithviraj of Chauhan
Dynasty defeated the Mohaammad of Ghor
2. Second Battle of Tarain(1192)
It was fought at same Tarain battlefield as in the first Tarain battle. This was
fought by Mohammad Ghori against Prithvi Raj Chauhan. This time Prithvi
Raj was defeated.
3. Battle of Chandawar (1194)
Ghori defeats Jaichandra
4. Battle of Panipat (1526)
In this battle Babur defeated the Army of Afghans and killed their king Ibrahim
5. Battle of Haldighati(1576)
This was started between Akbar and Rana of Mewar Pratap. Decisive Mughal
6. First Carnatic War(1745–48)
This war was fought by British and French armies. French occupied Madras,
later returned it to British.
7. Second Carnatic War(1749–54)
French army under the command of Duplex fought with British and British
won. In 1755 they made a provisional treaty.
8. Third Carnatic War(1756–63) — Battle of Wandiwash
In 1758 French occupied Fort Saint David. But defeated at Wandiwasi(1760).
Britishers won.
9. Battle of Plassey(June-1757)
British Army under the command of Robert Clive fought with Bengal Nawab
Siraz-ud-daula and British won and Mir Jafar was made Nawab. Siraz-ud-
daula,while he was unarmed was killed mercilessly by Muhammad Beg,a
person who was under his assylum.
10. Battle of Buxar(1764)
British army under the command of Major Manri defeated the combined army
of Mir Kasim nawab of Bengal, Shuja-ud-daulah nawab of Awadh, Shah
Alam, Mughal emperor.

Importance Stuff

South Africa admitted last in 2010
Russia current chair
7th summit in Ufa, Russia 2015
2016 in New Delhi, India
First summit at Yekaterinburg, Russia in 2009
New Development Bank creation mooted in 2013, Durban meeting
At St. Petersburg, 2013, China pledged $41 bn to New Development Bank
Bank Created in Fortaleza summit in Brazil with a reserve currency pool of
$100 bn
Documents on cooperation between BRICS export credit agencies and an
agreement of cooperation on innovation were also inked.
"Fragile Five"
India, Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey and South Africa — due to their vulnerable
In March 2015, India and Indonesia have escaped the fragile five
MINT: Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey
Next 11 or N-11:
Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines,
Turkey, South Korea and Vietnam
CIVETS: Columbia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa
Economic Cooperation Organization:
Eurasian political and economic organization
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)
China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
India and Pakistan membership has been approved in July 2015
(technically by next year)

Vellanvagai - land of non-Brahmana peasant proprietors brahmadeya - land gifted to

Brahmanas shalabhoga - land for the maintenance of a school devadana,
tirunamattukkani - land gifted to temples pallichchhandam - land donated to Jaina

Vetti and Kadamai are taxes by Cholas