Ancient India Art                         PAGE DEVELOPED BY: Angela Mihajlovska 2007

There were many major themes of Indian Art, some of which emerged as early as the Harappen Period (2500 BC).

The conquest of Alexandra the Great (320's BC) also had a very important impact on the India artistic ways. There was an attraction of Greek sculptors, such as Greek-style carvings.

•Above: The Buddha

• Around 500 BC, Buddashim took over much of the population of India and because of this it brought a new artistic theme as well. Legends of the Budda inspired much of India's art, in particularly towards sculptures and literature.

• Islamic faith and Islamic conquers in 100 AD brought iconoclasm

• During the Gupta Period (500 AD) the great cave temples of Ajanta and Ellora were carved and because of this, Buddha Statues became popular.

• Small Persian-style painting became popular as well


• The housing in the prosperous villages were huts made out of mud and straw.

• Above : The Ajanta Cave in Lenapur Village

Famous Architectures

• Hindu Akshardham Temple in South Delhi

•The Great cave Temples of Ajanta and Ellora. Ajanta is one of the most popular and aesthetically acclaimed heritages of India.

• Virupaksha Temple, Pattadakal

• The Monastic University at Nalanda

• Pillars in a Rock Temple

• Iron Pillar at Mehrauli. The pillar represents the victories of the kind Candragupta II.




• Above: Ellora Cave in Maharashtra, India


•One of the reasons why the Gupta Rulers were memorable was because they Flourished the art. This had named golden age on India.

• Music, dance and drama were cherished in both the cities and the villages.

• The sculptures were distinctive with stone and bronze.

• Paintings, most of which did not survive, were rich with colours and movements.

•Above: The Virupaksha Temple, Pattadakal (a huge complex of temples)


Famous Arts

•The Frescoes from the cave shrines of Ajanta

• Sculptors of gods and goddesses

     • The Vishnu God

     • The Brahma God

     • The Shiva God

     • The Mahavira God

     • The Buddha


Key Terms/ Definitions:

•Gupta Era:  " a Hindu empire ruled by the Gupta dynasty in ancient India from around 320 to 550 AD." -www.dictionary.com

•Harappen Period: " The Indus Valley  Civilization, 2800 BC–1800 BC, was an ancient civilization thriving along the Indus River and the Ghaggar-Hakra river in what is now Pakistan." - www.google.ca


Historical Significance
• The Historical Significance of Ancient Indian art is that it is the only aspect of the civilization that gives us knowledge of India, some of which includes the statues, carvings and the relief's.





•Above: The Famous Hindu Akshardham Temple in South Deli


•Above: The Vishnu God

Related Articles:
•History - Ancient

Link:   http://www.goindiago.com/history/ancient.htm

•Architecture of India

Link:  http://www.boloji.com/architecture/index.htm





"Ajanta Caves." UNESCO World Heritage Centre. 16 Feb. 2007. 12  Feb. 2007 <http://whc.unesco.org/pg.cfm?cid=31&id_site=242>.

"India Art - History for Kids." Kidepede - History for Kids. 10 Nov. 2006. 12 Feb. 2007 <http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/india/art/index.htm>.

Newman, Garfield. Echos From the Past - World History to the 16th Century. Toronto: Patty Pappas, 2001. 320-321.

Singh, Rajesh. "Ajanta." Ignca. 2002. 13 Feb. 2007 <http://www.ignca.nic.in/nl002801.htm>.



  1. What other Ancient Civilization had an important impact on the Ancient India architecture?
    1. Greece
    2. Egypt
    3. Inca
    4. Maya

  2. What were the two cave temples names?
    1. Gupta and Ajanta
    2. Vishnu and Ellora
    3. Ajanta and Ellora
    4. Buddha and Gupta

  3. 3.  Why was the Iran Pillar at Mehrauli made?

    1. For the world
    2. For all of India
    3. For Alexandra the Great
    4. For King Candragupta II

4.     What is the historical significance of Ancient India art and architecture?

        1. It's interesting to look at!!!

        2. It's valuable!!!

        3. It's the most of our knowledge of India!!!

        4. It's historical!!!


5.  How were the paintings created?

  1.         Mostly with rich colours and movements
  2.         With coal
  3.         With paint
  4.         With cave shrines