Gupta age architecture

Timeline of Gupta age architecture was 4-6 AD.

  • Art, science and literature flourished greatly during Gupta age.
  • The iconographic canons of Buddhism, Jainism and Brahmanical divinities were perfected and standardised.

Two climax in Gupta age architecture

  • Architecture 

1. Cave Architecture.

2. Temple Architecture.

  • Sculpture of Gupta age architecture

1. Sarnath school of sculpture.

sarnath school of architecture, gupta age architecture

  •  Gupta age architecture also know as Golden period of architecture and sculpture.
  • state initiated for the art and culture in Gupta age. That’s why know as golden period of art and architecture.

Some facts about Gupta dynasty 

  • Gupta kings were Brahmanical in religion.
  • They showed tolerance towards Buddhism and Jainism.
  • They also din development of Hinduism too.
  • In the Gupta age mainly 3 deity of Hinduism was worshiped viz Vishnu (Northern and central India ), Shiva (Southern India), Shakti (Bengal and Eastern India, Malabar region of Kerala).

Cave architecture 

  • Earliest rock cut caves made by Ashoka (around 270 bc) and his grandson Dasaratha.
  • Early caves excavated On wooden models.
  • they were used as new standardised religious meeting place. E.g. Barabar caves, Nagarjuni caves.
  • inner walls were finely polished.
  • In west Deccan, under Satvahana  ruler largest and most famous caves were excavated.

Phases of Cave architecture

Cave architecture on Gupta age have in 3 phases-

  1. First phase and Earliest phase
  • This phase was exclusive related to Buddhism.
  • Buddha symbolically shown in this period.
  • Major excavations of chaitya and Vihar happened on this period.
  • Practised in less permanent material like wood.
  • E.g. Karla, Kanheri, Nasik, bhoj and bedsa cave.

2. Second phase 5th to 7th century (Gupta age)

  • Elimination of use of timber in this phase.
  • introduction of image of Buddha .
  • Chaitya remained same while some changes on vihara like housed the image of Buddha.

3. 3rd phase 7th to 10th century

  • The number of Hinduism and Jain caves extended.
  • The caves was modified according to suitability.

Dravidian cave Architecture 

  • Dominant feature
  1. The mandap- open pavilion excavated out of a rock simple columned hall with two or more cells.
  2. The Ratha- Monolithic shrine carved out of single rock.

dravidian cave architecture, gupta age architecture

Suitability of cave architecture 

  • Primarily developed in western ghats.
  • rock architecture was suited in India because India have plenty Rocky Mountain.
  • structure excavated In stones are most durable.

Bhimbetka cave

  • Near Bhopal M.P.
  • Buddhist site.
  • more than 700 shelters.
  • 2 groups founded there one is Bhimbetka group and other is Lekhajuar group.
  • Rock painting dated back to Stone Age era 30000 years ago.

bhimbetka cave

Kanheri caves

  • Near Mumbai.
  • Time period 2nd century to 9th century .
  • more than 100 caves.
  • Belong to first phase Hinayana Buddhism.
  • Image of Buddha in chaitya hall suggests later addition.
  •  Main feature was flights of connecting steps.
  • stone seats provided  for monks to rest on.

kanheri caves

Jageshwari caves

  • Situated within the island of Salsette.
  • Time period second half of 8th century.
  • Belongs to first stage mahayan Buddhist architecture.
  • Brahmanical influence in evident.
  • Shrine isolated and stand in the centre of cruciform hall with more than one entrance.

jageshwari cave

Mandapeshwar cave

  • Also known as Montepezir.
  • contemporary with jageshwari caves.
  • Brahmanical caves to be converted in Christian shrine.
  • ruins of old Portuguese church found.
  • Franciscan monastery nearby.
  • Caves have sculpture of Nataraja, Sadashiv and a splendid sculpture of Ardhnarishwara.
  • It contain a largest mandap and a priming garbhgrih.

mandapeshwar cave

Karle cave

  • Hinayana period.
  • main feature is its chaitya and entrance.
  • special arrangements of its sun windows.

karle cave

Bhaja Cave

  • 18 cave built for Buddhist nuns around 2 BC.
  • last sculpture found here  a prince sitting on a elephant and a dancing couple.

bhaja cave, gupta age architecture

Bedsa cave

  • Belongs to later period than bhoja cave and smaller chaitya than Karle but quite similar to it.

bedsa cave , Gupta age architecture

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