What changes were brought in by the Sungas in the Maurya sculpture? Discuss.

Published: May 1, 2016

Shunga period marked the beginning of sculptural idiom in the Indian sculpture wherein the physical forms were becoming more realistic, refined and expressive. The sculptors started mastering the art especially of the human body wherein it was carved in high relief and with vigour and heaviness.
The Ashokan stupas were enlarged and the brick and wood works were replaced with stone work. For instance the Sanchi stupa was enlarged and elaborate gateways were added. The Sungas reconstructed the railings around the Barhut stupa. They also built Torans and gateways around the stupa.
There is an inscription at the Barhut stupa which states that the Toran was constructed by the Sungas. The Torans indicate the influence of Hellenistic school and other foreign schools in Sunga architecture.

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