Model Question and Answers for APSC | Discuss features of Mauryan architecture.

Discuss features of Mauryan architecture.

Model Question and Answers for APSC | Discuss features of Mauryan architecture.

Ans: The Great Mauryan ruler Ashoka embraced Buddhism (as a part of shramana tradition) and the immense Buddhist missionary activities that followed during his rule paved the way for the development of Mauryan sculptural and architectural styles. After the Harappan civilization, monumental stone sculpture and architecture appeared only in the Mauryan period.


Pillars & Sculptures:

Erection of pillars was common in the Achamenian Empire (Persian Empire) also. While the Achamenian pillars were constructed in pieces, the Mauryan pillars were rock-cut, displaying the superior skill of the carver.Example of pillars with capital figures: Sarnath, Basarah-Bakhira, Rampurva, Sankisa and Lauriya-Nandangarh.


Rock-cut architecture:

Rock-cut elephant at Dhauli, Odisha – shows modeling in round with linear rhythm. It also has an Ashokan edict. Lomus Rishi Cave – Rock-cut cave at Barabar Hills near Gaya.


Stupas, chaityas and viharas:

  1. Stupas and viharas were constructed as part of the Buddhist and Jaina monastic tradition but most of the constructions belong to to Buddhism.
  2. Some Brahmanical gods were also represented in the sculptures here.
  3. Stupas were constructed over the relics of the Buddha at Rajagriha, Kapilavastu, Vaishali, Ramagrama, Allakappa, Pava, Vethadipa, Pippalvina and Kushinagar.


Depiction of the Buddha:

  1. In the early periods, Buddha is represented through symbols like footprints, lotus thrones, chakras, stupas,
  2. Later on, stories were portrayed on the railings and torans of the stupas. These were mainly the Jataka
  3. The Jataka stories that find frequent depiction are Chhadanta Jataka, Sibi Jataka, Ruru Jataka, Vessantara Jataka, Vidur Jataka and Shama Jataka.