Discuss the changes in the Indian architecture and sculpture after demise of the Maurya rule. How this art was different from the Maurya art?
After the crumbling of Mauryan dynasty, the Sungas and Kushans came to power in the North and the Satvahanas in the south. During their rule, plenty of cave-temples, chaityas and stupas were built. The stupas of Bharhut, Bodhgaya and Sanchi and the amazing cave art of Udaygiri and Khandagiri remind us of the heights reached in sculpture. Human figures, dakshas-yakshas, figures of birds and beasts, plants and creeper were made in wonderfully intricate patterns.
Spiritually and formally the Sunga-Kanva art was opposed to Maurya art and stood for different motive and direction. The bas-reliefs of Bharut, Bodh Gaya, Sanchi, Amaravati, etc., provide an illuminating commentary on the contemporary Indian life and attitude to life. These bas-reliefs were charana-chitras translated into stone.
The artists of the Sunga-Kanva period seem to have a special knack in depicting figures in all conceivable shapes, positions, and attitudes. If in Bharut the figures show the great efforts of the artists Bodh Gaya distinctly shows the figures as work of better skill, more free and lively. Gaya was a step forward from Bharut.
In the Sunga-Kanva period majority of the terracotta work consisted of female figures, richly dressed, well-disciplined body, magnificently modelled busts and elaborate hair-dressing.
E-Book: 003 - Indian Architecture