A Brief History of Ancient Indian Sculptures

ancient indian sculptures

Ancient Indian sculptures

The history of the lively Indian sculptures can be traced back to the dawn of the oldest empire in India i.e. the Maurya dynasty. Indian culture has been a blend of multiple cultures i.e. an intertwining of the three major religions i.e. Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism that were prevalent in the 3rd century BC. The sculptors during this era started to carve down scenes from day to day lives of people and also from the stories that were popular during those times.

Sites Preserving Ancient Indian Sculptures

The temples at Khajuraho, the Great Sanchi Stupa and the rock cut temples of Ajanta and Elora are some of the most prominent sites that hold ancient Indian sculptures from the history of Indian culture. There were great similarity between Hinduism and Buddhism in the earlier centuries. The Gandhara region which now falls in North -West Pakistan also preserves sculptures that are influenced by the Buddhist school of thought.

ancient indian sculptures

Indian Sculptures Of Sita seating with Rama

Since this region was open for trade with the Romans and the Greek their culture has also influenced the Gandhara school of thought quite significantly. Hence the Gandhara Sculptures are elegant manifestations of the Indian sculpture blending with Greek realism in art.

As Buddhism spreads out to Afghanistan from India, it continued to towards China, which gave a diversified variety of sculptures in Mahayana Buddhism. These legendary figures are carved in the caves of along the road. The pilgrims and merchants celebrated these Chinese sculptures. On the way to the ancient capital of Loyang, more than beautifully carved sculptures would magnetize anybody. There are as many as 97,306 separate figures to 142,289 carved.

Civilization emerged. The Indian ancient sculptures date back to this civilization when the most fundamental forms of stone carvings of the idols of deities and animals were excavated from this region. The bronze figurine of a dancing girl is also an example of the level of sophistication attained by sculptors such a long time ago.

Some of the popular Ancient India sculptures on stones and rocks are

  • Kangra Fort:
  • Dilwara Temple, Mount Abu,
  • Qutub Minar, Delhi
  • Mahabalipuram
  • Masjid at Champaran,
  • Hoysaleswara temple
  • Monolith carvings on rocks
  • Ajanta Caves
  • Akshardham, Delhi

Many of them are UNESCO World Heritage site, which offer beautifully carved sculptures which represent our past history and epics of Indian. In several temples the Mahabharata and other Indian epics are carved into a beautiful sculptures