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Venkateswarlu Nagineni

Art & Culture

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Indian Architecture

1. Architecture & Culture of India

2. Indus Valley Civilization (2900 – 1700 BC)

3. Mauryan Art and Culture

4. Post Mauryan Art and Culture

5. Gupta Age Art and Culture

6. Cave Architecture in India (Rock Cut caves)

7. Temples Styles in North India (Nagara Style)

8. Indo Islamic Architecture in Medieval India

9. Imperial Style during Islamic Era in India

10. Provincial Style During Islamic Era in India

11. Mughal Period Architecture

12. Deccan Style Architecture in Islamic Era

13. Medieval Architecture Styles (Other than Indo-Islamic)

14 Colonial Architecture – Modern India

Indian Paintings

1. Introduction to Indian Paintings

2. Miniature paintings

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3. Deccan School of Painting

4. Folk paintings of India Kalighat to Kalamkhari

5. Development of regional school of paintings: Rajasthani & Paheri

Literature in India

1. Role of Sanskrit in Indian Literature

2. Vedic literature : Vedas, Brahmanas & Aranyakas

3. Ramayana and Mahabharata

4. The Puranas

5. Buddhist and Jain literature in Pali, Prakrit and Sanskrit

6. Literature in Gupta period

7. Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu literature

8. Tamil or Sangam Literature

9. Development of Literature during the Mughal Period

10. Marathi literature and Kashmiri literature

11. Role of Christian missionaries in education

Philosophy of India

1. Schools of Philosophy in India : Orthodox & Heterodox

2. Heterodox philosophy: Jainism, Buddhism and Ajivikas

3. Advaita, Vishistadvaita, Sivadvaita, Dvaita, Dvaitadvaita &

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Miscellaneous Topics

1. Socio-religious reform movements in Muslims, Parsis & Sikhs

2. Calendars used by India

3. Drama/ folk dance/theatre

4. Puppetry in India

5. UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

6. Mathematics, Astronomy, Weights & measurements and Coinage in

Ancient India

Indian Music

1. Indian Music

2. Hindustani music

3. Carnatic music

Indian Dance

1. Indian Dance

2. Indian classical dances

3. List of Folk dances of India

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Indian Architecture

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Architecture & Culture of India

What is a ‘Culture‘?
 ‘Culture’ is derived from the Latin term ‘cult or cultus’ meaning tilling, or cultivating or
refining & worship.

 Means cultivating & refining a thing to such an extent that its end product evokes our
admiration & respect.

 In Sanskrit it is known as ‘Sanskriti’ & the term ‘Sanskriti’ has been derived from the
root ‘Kri‘(to do) of Sanskrit language.

 3 words came from this root ‘Kri; prakriti’ (basic matter or condition), ‘Sanskriti’
(refined matter or condition) and ‘vikriti’ (modified or decayed matter or condition)

 Simply when ‘prakriti’ or a raw material is refined it becomes ‘Sanskriti’ and when
broken or damaged it becomes ‘vikriti’.

 Culture is a way of life i.e. the food you eat, the clothes you wear, the language you speak
& the God you worship.

 Simply, it is the embodiment of the way in which we think & do things.

 All the achievements of human beings as members of social groups can be called

 It is the expression of our nature in our modes of living & thinking & seen in our
literature, in religious practices, in recreation and enjoyment.

Aspects of culture

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 Art,

 Music,

 Literature,

 Architecture,

 Sculpture,

 Philosophy,

 Religion & science.

 Also includes the customs, traditions, festivals, ways of living & one’s outlook on various
issues of life.

Culture has 2 distinctive components i.e.

 Material culture the material aspect of our life such as our dress, food, & household

 Non-material culture refers to ideas, ideals, thoughts & belief.

Understanding of Civilization & Culture


 Having better ways of living & sometimes making nature bend to fulfill their needs.

 Also includes organizing societies into politically well-defined groups working

collectively for improved conditions of life in matters of food, dress, communication, and
so on.

 One possessing wealth may be considered as ‘civilized’ but he may not be cultured’

 Sometimes it led to wars & holocausts, resulting in mass destruction of human beings.


 It refers to the inner being, a refinement of head & heart.

 Also includes arts & sciences, music & dance & various higher motions of human life.

 One who may be poor & wearing cheap clothes may be considered ‘uncivilized’, but still
he or she may be the most cultured person.

 Culture is the ‘higher levels of inner refinement’ of a human being.

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Cultural heritage
 The culture we inherit from our predecessors is called our ‘cultural heritage‘.

 Humanity as a whole has inherited a culture which may be called ‘human heritage‘.

 A nation also inherits a culture which may be termed as national ‘cultural heritage.

 It includes all those aspects or values of culture transmitted to human beings by their
ancestors from generation to generation.

Ex;-Taj Mahal, Swami Narayan Temple of Gandhinagar & Delhi, Red Fort of Agra, Delhi’s
Qutub Minar, Mysore Palace, Jain Temple of Dilwara, Nizamuddin Aulia’s Dargah, Golden
Temple of Amritsar, Gurudwara Sisganj of Delhi, Sanchi Stupa, Christian Church in Goa, India
Gate etc.,

 Besides the architectural creations, monuments, material artifacts, the intellectual

achievements, philosophy, treasures of knowledge, scientific inventions & discoveries are
also the part of heritage.

General characteristics of culture

 Culture is Learned & acquired

 Culture is Shared by a group of people

 Culture is Cumulative

 Culture Changes
 Culture is Dynamic

 Culture gives us a range of permissible behavior patterns

bichitra , various
 Culture is Diverse
aadorso rupayon
 Culture is Idealization

Importance of culture in human life

 Culture is made up of traditions, beliefs, and way of life, from the most spiritual to the
most material.

 It gives us meaning, a way of leading our lives.

 Human beings are creators of culture and, at the same time, culture is what makes us

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 3 eternal & universal values of Truth, Beauty and Goodness are closely linked with

Characteristics of Indian culture

• Due to its adaptability & comprehensiveness, Indian culture has survived through the ages.

• Unity in diversity is one of the major characteristics of Indian culture which makes it unique.

• A synthesis of various cultures came about through the ages to give shape to what is recognised
as Indian culture today.

• Spirituality & value based life style is the core of Indian culture but it has a scientific
temperament too.

Indian Architecture

 It is not a modern phenomenon, since as soon as the early cave man times.

 Combination of needs, imagination, capacities of the builders & capabilities of the


Understanding Architecture & Sculpture


 Architecture Design & construction of buildings with various type of material used like
Stone, wood, grass, metal etc.

 Involves engineering mathematics & depends upon measurement


 3 D work of art Made of single piece of material

 Involves creativity, imagination & may not depend on measurement

Classification of Indian Architecture

Ancient India

 Harappa Art (2500 – 1800 BC)

 Mauryan Art (300 BC)

 Post Mauryan Architecture

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 Gupta Age Art (3rd AD – 6th Century)

 South India Architecture

Medieval India

 Delhi Sultanate (1206 – 1526)

 Mughal Period (1526 – 18th Century)

Modern India

 Indo Gothic Style

 Neo Roman Style

Indus Valley Civilization (2900 – 1700 BC)

Also known as’ Bronze Age’ / ‘Saraswathi sindhu’ / ‘Harappan civilization’.

Seals Indus Valley Civilization

 Usually in Square, Rectangular, Circular & Triangular shapes with an average size of ‘2 x

 Engraved in pictographic script (Writing – Right to left) along with animal impressions
which are yet to be deciphered

 Made up of soft river stone, Copper, steatite, gold & ivory – mainly for trade &

 Averages of 5 signs are present on Seals.

 Decorated with animals’ pics like Unicorn, Bull, Rhinoceros, Elephant, Tiger, Bison,
Goat & Buffalo etc.

 No seal found with the image of cow till now.

 Indus seals found in Mesopotamia i.e. Sign of possible trade.

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Significance of Seal
 Used as an amulet i.e. to ward off the evil.

 Also used as an educational tool. Some seals have presence of pie sign.

 Prominent Seals; Pashupati, humped bull, elephant & rhinoceros.

Terracotta Sculptures Indus Valley Civilization

 It is a fire baked clay & is handmade using pinching method

 Ex: - Mother Goddess, Toy carts with wheels etc.

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Bronze Sculptures
 The technique used for casting is known as “Lost Wax Technique.”

Bronze dancing girl

 It is a naked girl wearing only ornaments which include bangles, armlets, necklace &

 The left hand is on the hip & made using “Lost Wax Technique.”

Lost Wax Technique

 wax figures are covered with a coating of clay and allowed to dry

 Then it is heated & the molten wax is allowed to drain out through a tiny hole at the
bottom of the clay

 The hollow mould is then filled with bronze or any other metal

 Once the metal is cooled, the clay is removed

 Ex:- ‘Dancing Girl’ & buffalo with its uplifted head, back & horns

Other stone Sculpture

 2 Stone male figures; Torso in red sandstone & Bust of a bearded man in steatite.

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Pottery – Indus Valley Civilization

 Mainly plain, red & black painted.

 Consists primarily of wheel- made wares, & very few being hand-made.

 Under red & black pottery, red color was used to paint background.

 While black colour to draw designs of trees, birds, human figures & geometrical patterns.

Use of Pottery

 For household purpose (storage of water, food grains etc.)

bodna, jahaj
 For decoration- Miniature vessels used for decoration (Less than 1/2 inch)
leaky, chhidro bahul
 Used as perforated pottery i.e. large hole at the bottom & small holes all over the wall,
& probably was used for straining liquor).

 Made of a large variety of materials like precious metals, gemstones, bone & even baked

 Necklaces, armlets & finger rings were common & worn by male & female. But
earrings wore only by females.

 Evidences of dead bodies buried along with ornaments have also been found.

 Conscious of Fashion

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 Cinnabar was used as a cosmetic lipstick; face paint & eyeliner were also known.

 Spinning of cotton & wool was common.

Extensive Town Planning

 Citadel / Acropolis at cities for member of ruling class (west side) & brick houses below
citadel in town for commoners

 Fortifications with gateways enclosing the walled cities shows that there may have been a
fear of being attacked

 Concept of two-storied houses was also present

 Large scale use of baked bricks as building material.

 Granaries in Citadels with strategic air-ducts, gives an idea of an organized collection &
distribution system

 Remarkable grid system of roads & Roads cutting at right angle to each other.

 Remarkable underground drainage system connecting all houses & streets covered by
bricks / stone slabs.

 Great Bath – public bathing place shows the importance of ritualistic bathing and
cleanliness in this culture.

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Mauryan Art and Culture

 Beginning of the Buddhist School of architecture in India.

 Ashoka, first Mauryan to “think in stone”.

 Most of the shapes & decorative forms employed were indigenous in origin, some exotic
forms show the influence of Greek, Persian and Egyptian cultures.

 Chinese traveler Fa-hien stated that “Ashoka’s palace was made by spirits” and that its
carvings are so elegantly executed “which no human hands of this world could

 Megasthenes, the Greek ambassador of Selucas Nikator who visited the Mauryan court
described Chandragupta Maurya’s palace as an excellent architectural achievement.

Mauryan Architecture divided into 2 categories;

1. Court Architecture (With State Initiative) Ex: - Pillars & Stupas

2. Popular Architecture (With Common Man Initiative) Ex: - Sculptures, Caves & Pottery

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Pillars / Edicts
 Monolithic Ashokan pillars are marvels of architecture and sculpture.

 Top portion carved with sculptured capitals (bull, lion, elephant etc.)

 Sarnath pillar – finest pieces of sculpture of the Ashokan period.

 Most important ones are located at Bharhut, Bodhgaya, Sanchi, Amravati and

 Ex: - Lion capital of Sarnath, Bull capital of Rampurva & Lion capital of Laurya

 The concept of Stupa started in the Vedic Period.

 It is a conventional representation of funeral cumulus, in which the ashes of the dead are

 It is a Buddhist monument which is a hemi spherical dome with Buddha’s relics & ashes

 Originally 9 stupas were built after the death of Buddha; 8 of them over the relics &
9thover the vessel in which the relics were originally deposited.

 King Ashoka the Great constructed more than 84,000 stupas in his reign.

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Sanchi stupas

 Hemispherical in shape with a low base.

 Symbolized the cosmic mountain.

 Inscription by the ivory carvers of vidisha on the southern gateway throws light on the
transference of building material from perishable wood & ivory to the more durable

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Amravati stupa

 Built in 2nd or 1st century BC was probably like the one at Sanchi.

 But in later centuries it was transformed from a Hinayana shrine to a Mahayana shrine.

Gandhara stupa

 Further development of stupas at Sanchi & Bharhut.

 The base, dome & the hemisphere dome are sculpted.

 Stupas of Nagarjunakonda in Krishna valley were very large.

 Maha Chaitya of Nagarjunakonda has a base in the form of Swastika, which is a sun

Caves – Mauryan architecture

 Earliest known examples in India of rock-cut method.

 Caves were used Viharas.

 Polished inside the cave.

 Carved at Barabar & Nagarjuna hills near Gaya.

Lomas Rishi Cave (300 BC)

 Facade of the Lomas Rishi cave is decorated with the semicircular Chaitya arch as the

 Elephant frieze carved in high relief on the Chaitya arch shows considerable movement

 Interior hall of this cave is rectangular with a circular chamber at the back.

 Entrance is located on the side wall of the hall.

 The cave was patronised by Ashoka for the Ajivika sect. The important features of the
caves of this period were;

 Carved out of the living rock

 Polishing inside the cave

 Development of artistic gateway

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 Northern Black polished ware (NBPW) & made of finely levitated alluvial clay.

 Highly lustrous polish.

 largely used for dishes & small bowls

 Large statues of Yaksha & Yakshini are found at many places like Patna, Vidisha &

 Highly polished surface

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Post Mauryan Art and Culture

Post Mauryan Architecture; Sculpture making art reached its climax during this period.

 Now 2 kinds of caves originated.

 1. Chaitya – (Prayer hall of monks) Ex:- Karla Chaitya in Maharashtra.

 2.Vihara – (Residence or Rest place of monks) Ex:- Nachik Vihar & Ajanta Caves (29
caves; 25 Viharas & 4 chaityas)

 Now, more enlarged stupas were built.

 A lower pradakshinapatha or circumbulatory path was added along with the upper one
at Stupa.

 All the 4 gateways were now carved with beautiful sculptures.

 Symbols continued to be used representing the Buddha

Sculpture (100 CE)

 In this age 3 schools were developed i.e. Gandhara (now in Pakistan), Mathura in India
& Amravati in Andhra Pradesh

 Buddha in the symbolic form got a human form in Mathura and Gandhara.

Gandhara School of art (50 B.C. TO 500 A.D.)

 Region extending from Punjab to the borders of Afghanistan was an important centre of
Mahayana Buddhism up to the 5th century A.D.

 Absorbed all kinds of foreign influences like Persian, Greek, Roman, and Saka &

 Origin can be traced to the Greek rulers of Bactria & Northwest India.

 During the reign of Kanishka that the art received great patronage.

 Also known as the Greco – Buddhist School of Art since Greek techniques of Art were
applied to Buddhist subjects.

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 Most important contribution- evolution of beautiful images of the Buddha and

Bodhisattvas’, which were executed in black stone and modeled on identical characters of
Greece-Roman pantheon.

 “Gandhara artist had the hand of a Greek but the heart of an Indian.”

 Most characteristic trait – depiction of Lord Buddha in the standing or seated positions.

 Seated Buddha is always shown cross-legged in the traditional Indian way.

 Typical feature – rich carving, elaborate ornamentation and complex symbolism.

 Tallest rock cut statue of Lord Buddha – Bamiyan (Afghanistan) 3 – 4 century AD.

Making 4 types of hand gestures (mudras) & this is a remarkable feature in this art.

1. Abhayamudra : Don’t fear

2. Dhyanamudra : meditation

3. Dharmachakramudra: a preaching mudra

4. Bhumisparshamudra: Touching the earth

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Mathura school of art (50 B.C. – 500 A.D.)

 Holy city of Mathura between1-3A.D.

 Established tradition of transforming Buddhist symbols into human form.

 Buddha’s first image can be traced to Kanishka reign (about 78 A.D.).

 Earliest sculptures of Buddha were made keeping the Yaksha prototype in mind.

 Strongly built – right hand raised in protection & left hand on the waist.

 Figures do not have moustaches & beards as in the Gandhara Art.

 Seated figures are in the padmasana posture.

 Not only produced beautiful images of the Buddha but also of the Jain Tirthankaras &
gods & goddesses of the Hindu pantheon.

 Purely indigenous in nature, reaching its zenith under the Kushanas, mainly Kanishka

 Guptas adopted, further improvised & perfected Mathura School of Art.

 Observed at – Sarnath, Sravasti & even as far as Rajgir in Bihar.

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 Buddha shown seated in Padmasana, Right hand in AbhayMudra (Indicate reassurance)

raised above shoulder, Left hand on left thigh (reflect muscularity), Protuberance on

 Famous for headless statue of Kanishka

 Material used was red sandstone mainly with a little use of terracotta.

Amravati school of art (200 B.C. – 200 A.D.)

 On the banks of the Krishna River in modern Andhra Pradesh.

 Main patrons – Satavahanas & Ikshvakus.

 White Marble (limestone) was used in this art

 Site of largest Buddhist stupa of South India.

 Theme: Buddha’s life & Jatakas tales.

 Curly hairs of Buddha; A feature that is influenced by the Greeks.

 Sculptural composition is more complex and characterized by intense emotions; bodies

are shown with three bents (i.e. tribhanga). Its ruins are preserved in the London

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Gupta Age Art and Culture

Gupta Age Architecture

 Known as “Golden Age of Indian Architecture”.

 Also marked as the climax stage of Buddhist caves & monasteries esp. in western central

 Nagara & Dravidian styles of Temple making evolved during this period.

 Mural paintings of Ajanta, which mainly depicted life stories of Buddha as in Jataka
stories belong to this period

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 Greatest development in this age is Cave paintings.

 Guptas were Brahmins by religion but they also showed their tolerance towards for both
Buddhism & Jainism.

 Issued Coins with king on one side & goddess on the other.

Under Hinduism, Mainly 3 deities were worshiped i.e.

 Vishnu – Vaishnavas (North & central part of India)

 Shiva – Shaivas (S.India)

 Shakti – Shaktis (S.W Malabar region & E.India)

 One new school was added i.e. Sarnath school of sculpture

 Noteworthy example is Sultanganj Buddha (7.5 ft in height) – (Near Bhagalpur in


 Buddha images in Sarnath have plain transparent drapery covering both shoulders

 Halo around the head has very little ornamentation

Gupta Temple Architecture

 Gupta period marks the beginning of Indian temple architecture.

 Manuals were written regarding how to form temples.

 Gupta temples were of 5 stages.

First stage

 Square building with flat roof

 Shallow pillared approach at the front

 Sanctum (garbhagriha) at the center of the temple

 On low platforms

 A single entrance & approach (Mandapa)

 Mandapa appears to originate 1st from here

 Vishnu Varaha temples at Eran (MP)

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Second stage

 Square temple with a squat tower (shikhara) above;

 Pillared approach, a high platform at the base

 On high platforms

 ladkhan at Aihole (Karnataka) & Parbati temple at Nachnabuthara in M.P

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Third stage

 An elaboration of the first type

 Addition of an ambulatory (paradakshina) around the sanctum

 Sometimes a second story is present

 Most unique achievement of this stage was “Curvilinear tower” i.e. “Shikhara”.

 “Nagara Style” temple making is said to be the success of third stage of temple making.

 Ex: - Dasavatara temple in Deogarh, U.P. & Durga temple at Aihole, Karnataka.

Fourth stage

 Rectangular temple & rest all features continued.

 Barrel-vaulted roof above

 Ex. Kapoteswara temple at Cezarla (Andhra Pradesh) & Ter temple at solapur.

Kapoteswara temple

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Fifth stage

 Circular temples with shallow rectangular projection

 Maniyar Math shrine at Rajgir, Bihar

Gupta Literature
 Sanskrit became primary language in Gupta period

 Ramayana & Mahabharata were compiled during this period

Kalidasa Abhigyanshakuntalam, Malvikagnimitram, Vikramorvasiya,

Kumarsambhava, Raghuvamsa, Ritusamhara, Meghaduta
Vishakadatta Mudrarakshash & Devi – Chandraguptam
Vishnusharma Panchtantra stories
Sudraka Mrich – chakatika (Little clay art or toy cart)
Amarsimha Amarkosha (Lexicon in Sanskrit)
Dandin Kavyadarsa & Desa – kumarcharita
Gupta Science & Technology
Aryabhatta Aryabhatiyam , Suryasidhhanta

Varahmitra Panch sidhhanta (5 astronomical system), Brihadsamhita, Brihadjataka


Vagbhata Ashtangasamgraha Summary of 8 branches of Medicine

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Cave Architecture in India (Rock Cut caves)

Ajanta Caves
 Near Aurangabad in Maharashtra.

 First mentioned by Chinese pilgrim Hiuen tsang.

 Discovered by the British officers while hunting in 1819.

 Total 29 caves; 5 caves are Chaitya-grihas, & rest 24 are Viharas.

 Discovered by the British officer while hunting a tiger in 1819 AD.

 Set into the rocky sides of a crescent shaped gorge in the Inhyadri hills of the Sahyadri

 Only surviving example of the paintings of the 1st century BCE & 5th century CE

 Caves are carved on a perpendicular cliff hence no courtyards

 All 3 forms of Art are combined in these caves: Architecture, Sculpture, Paintings

 Caves depict a large number of incidents from the life of the Buddha (Jataka Tales).

 Were first mentioned by Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang (He did not visit them though)

 Cave no. 9 & 10 attributed to Satavahana Kings

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Ellora caves
 Representing 3 major religion of India- Hinduism, Buddhism& Jainism.

 Lies on ancient trade route- ‘Dakshinpatha‘.

 34 Buddhist, Hindu & Jain caves.

 12 Buddhist caves(no.1-12), 17 Hindu Caves(no.13-29) & 5 Jaina Caves (no.30-34)

 All 3 forms of Art are combined in these caves: Architecture, Sculpture, Paintings

 Unique in terms of stylistic eclecticism, i.e. confluence of many styles at one place

 Ajanta also has the excavated double story caves but at Ellora, the triple story is a unique

 Ellora cave temples were carved out on the sloping side of the hill. Hence most of the
temples have courtyards.

 Cave no.16 is a rock cut temple, known as ‘Kailash leni‘ – carved out of a single rock
built by Rashtrakutas

Bhimbetaka caves
 Located in the raisen district, Madhya Pradesh.

 Discovered in 1958 by V.S. Wakanker.

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 Biggest prehistoric art depository in India.

 Excavations revealed history of continuous habitation from early stone age (about 10,000
years) to the end of stone age (c. 10,000 to 2,000 years)

Elephanta caves
 6th century Shiva temple in the Elephanta caves is one of the most exquisitely carved
temples in India.

 Central attraction here is a twenty-foot high bust of the deity in 3 headed form.

 The maheshamurti is built deep into a recess & looms up from the darkness to fill the
full height of the cave.

 Image symbolizes the fierce, feminine & meditative aspects of the great ascetic & the 3
heads represent lord Shiva as Aghori, Ardhanarishvara & Mahayogi.

 Aghori is the aggressive form of Shiva where he is intent on destruction.

 Ardhanarishvara depicts lord Shiva as half-man/half-woman signifying the essential

unity of the sexes.

 Mahayogi posture symbolises the meditative aspect of the god.

 Other sculptures in these caves depict Shiva’s cosmic dance of primordial creation and
destruction and his marriage to parvati.

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Mahakali caves
 Rock-cut
cut Buddhist caves situated in udayagiri hills, Mumbai.

 Excavated during 200 BC to 600 AD and are now in ruins.

 Comprise
mprise of 4 caves on the southeastern face and 15 caves on the northwestern face.

 Cave 9 is the chief cave & is the oldest and consists of a stupa & figures of Lord Buddha.

Kanheri Caves, Mumbai

 Second largest Chaityagriha in India, after Karle caves.

 Lion Pillars at the Entrance like Karle caves.

 Podhis: water cisterns for rainwater harvesting

 Images of both Standing Buddha and sitting Buddha flanked by Bodhisattvas

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 Famous Satavahana king ‘Gautamiputra Satakarni’s‘name mentioned in the

inscriptions here.

Bhaja Caves, Pune

 Hinayana faith

 Has wooden ceiling over ‘Chaitya-griha‘.

 Stupa has a hole on top, for inserting wooden umbrella.

 Verandah has wooden reliefs showing royal women driving chariots over a demon.

Karle cave – Lonavala, Poona

 Carved from the living rock

 Columns are strong and bulky, surmounted by sculptured capitals

 A stupa with a wooden umbrella on top unharmed to this date

 Largest Chaitya-griha among all Buddhist monuments in India

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 Has a huge lion pillars in front of Chaitya-griha (only two caves have this design- Karla
and Kanheri)

Pandavleni Caves, Nasik

 24 Buddhist caves belonging to Hinayana Period of Buddhist architecture

 Dating back to the 1st Century CE

 Called as Pandu leni meaning group of caves

 Has nothing to do with the characters of Mahabharata (the Pandavas)

 Inscriptions mention Gautamiputra Satakarni’s mother ‘Gautami Balasri‘ had financed

the construction of 3rd cave

 Contains a panel depicting Buddha’s Mahaparinirvana

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Montepzir / Mandapeshwar Cave (Mumbai)

 Located in Mandapeshwar

 Dated to 8th century

 Probably the only Bramhanical caves to be converted into a Christian shrine

Bagh Caves – Near Gwalior

 Near Bagh river in Madhya Pradesh.

 Around 6th century CE (Gupta Period)

 Similar to Ajanta caves.

 9 sandstone Buddhist Caves with beautiful Frescos and sculptured work

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Junagadh Caves (Uparkot – Gujrat)

 Have many interesting Buddhist caves – site of a Buddhist monastery in ancient times.

 Its entrance, in the form of an archway is a fine specimen of Hindu ‘torana‘.

 Main feature: Uparkot

Temples Styles in India

Classification of Indian Temples

 Nagara (North India)

 Dravida (South India)

 Vesara style

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Nagara School of Architecture

 Nagara style popular in northern India.

 A square temple with a number of graduated projections (rathakas)

 A tower (sikhara) gradually curving inwards & capped by a spheroid slab with ribs round
the edge (Amalaka) give the elevation

 Nagara temples have 2 distinct features: In plan, the temple is a square with a no. of
graduated projections in the middle of each side giving a cruciform shape with a no. of re
entrant angles on each side.

 In elevation, a Sikhara, i.e., tower gradually inclines inwards in a convex curve in north
& eastern India magnificent temples were also constructed and the style followed by
them is referred to as the Nagara style.

 Most of them consisted of the shikaras (spiral roofs), the garbhagriha (sanctum) and
the mandap (pillared hall).

“Division of 3 subtypes of Nagara temples based on the shape of Shikhara”

Rekha Prasad

 Simple Shikhara; Square at the base & the walls curve inward to a point on the top.

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 Latina types are mainly used for housing the garbhagriha.

 Top is called ‘latina’ or the ‘rekha-Prasad‘type of Shikhara.


 They broader & shorter than Latina buildings.

 Roofs are composed of several slabs that gently rise to a single point over the center of
building, unlike the latina ones which look like sharply rising tall towers.

 Do not curve inwards; instead they slope upwards on a straight incline.

 In North Indian temples it is used for mandapa & Latina for Garbhgriha.


 Rectangular building with a roof that rises into a vaulted chamber.

 Usually called as wagon vaulted buildings

“3 sub schools developed under Nagara style”

Odisha School
 Located in ancient Puri & Konark.

 Shikhara, called deul in Odisha, is vertical almost until the top when it suddenly curves
sharply inwards.

 Deuls are preceded, as usual, by mandapas called ‘jagamohana‘in Odisha.

 Ground plan of the main temple is square, which, in the upper reaches of its
superstructure becomes circular in the crowning mastaka.

 Exterior of the temples are lavishly carved, their interiors generally quite bare.

 Usually have boundary walls.

 The sun temple at Konark was built in 13th century by the eastern Ganga ruler
Narshimha Deva I.

 The temple is dedicated to Sun & has been designed as a twelve-wheeled chariot.

 Ex: - Lingaraja temple built by the Ganga rulers & the Mukteshwara temple at
Bhubaneshwar & the Jagannath temple at Puri.

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Khujuraho School
 Khajuraho temples are known for their extensive erotic sculptures.

 Regarded as one of world’s greatest artistic wonders.

 Shaivite temple known as Kandariya Mahadev, built around 10th century by King
Ganda was the finest among them.

 Standard type of Khajuraho temple has a shrine room, an assembly hall, and an entrance

 Entities were treated as a whole, whereas in the Odishan style they were conceived as
separate elements.

 Sikhara is curved for its whole length, & miniature sikharas emerge from the central

 Halls & Porticos of the temple are also crowned with smaller towers which rise
progressively upto the main tower.

 Ex: - The temple complex at Khajuraho was built by Chandella rulers between the tenth
and eleventh centuries in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh. Most important
among them is the Kandariya Mahadev temple.

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Solanki School
 Patronized by Solanki rulers of Gujarat (11th to 13th century).

 Vimala, Tejpala & Vastupala temples at Mount Abu exhibit this style.

 These were built in pure white marble & adorned with exquisite sculpture.

 Ex: - Dilwara temple in Mt. Abu, dedicated to Jain Tirthankaras.

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Temple Architecture in South India – Dravida Style

Four stages of temple architecture had been observed in South India – Mainly during the
Pallava’s rule, around 6th century AD which are as follows:

Stage 1 Mahendra Group

 Marked the beginning of Rock cut cave architecture

 Word Mandap was used instead temple.

Stage II–Narsimha Group

 Major development during this period was initiation of Decoration in rock cut cave

 The architecture is represented by Monolithic rocks

 Mandap’s now became ‘Ratha’s’ which is a refined cave, famous for beauty.

 The biggest Ratha was called as Dharamraj Rath and smallest one was called as draupadi

 Dharamraj Rath is considered as precursor of Dravidian style of temple making.

Stage III–Rajsimha Group

 At this stage the real structural development of temple’s started and it moved outside the
cave, earlier temples were part of caves.

 Example: Shore temple at Mahabalipuram, (TN) Kailashnath temple at

Kanchipuram → largest single work of art ever undertaken in India

Shore temple at Mahabalipuram

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Kailashnath temple at Kanchipuram

Stage IV – Nandivarman Group

 It is said to be the declining stage of south Indian temple architecture and only small
temples were constructed in this period.

 Notable examples → Vaikundaperumal temple, Tirunelveli and Mukteswara temple

Dravida Style
 Deployed for Hindu temples in Tamil Nadu from the 7th to 18th century, characterized by
its pyramidal tower

 Unlike the Nagara temple, the Dravida temple is enclosed within a compound wall.

 The front wall has an entrance gateway in its centre, which is known as Gopura/

 Consists of a square-chambered sanctuary topped by a superstructure or tower (Vimana)

 Consists of an attached pillared porch or hall (Mandapa) which precede the door leading
to the nucleus cell

 The Vimana is like a stepped pyramid that rise up geometrically rather than the curving
shikhara of north India.

 Each story is delineated by a parapet of miniature shrines, and barrel-vault roofs at the

 The tower is topped by a dome-shaped cupola and a crowning pot and finial.

 A large water reservoir or a temple tank enclosed in the complex is general in south
Indian temples.

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Brihadeshwara temple at Thanjavur

 The origins of the Dravida style can be observed in the Gupta period.

 The earliest examples include 7th century rock-cut shrines at Mahabalipuram and a
developed structural temple, the Shore Temple at the same site.

 Finest examples are Brihadeshwara temple at Thanjavur, built about 1010 by Rajaraja 1,
& temple at Gangaikondacolapuram, built about 1025 by his son Rajendra Chola.

 Subsequently, a number of successive court enclosures, each with its own gateway
(Gopurams), were added.

 By the Vijayanagar period (1336–1565) the Gopurams had increased in size so that they
dominated the much smaller temples inside the enclosures.

Sub Styles of Dravida Temples

Vijaynagar Legacy

 They introduced the concept of enlarged high enclosure walls and more decoration on
these high enclosure walls and Gopuram’s.

 Sculpture or motif of supernatural horses was used very frequently.

 They also introduced the concept of secular buildings (Example-Lotus Mahal).

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 Typically Vijaynagar period structures in the temple are the Amman Shrine (male deity
of temple)

Lotus Mahal

Nayaka Style

 The Nayakas rose on the fall of Vijayanagara empire

 The most famous architectural landmark of this period is the Meenakshi- Sundareswara
temple at Madurai.

 The great temple complex has actually two shrines; the first one dedicated to Shiva as
Sundareswara and the second one to his wife Meenakshi.

 Have all the features of Dravidian style with an additional prominent feature known as

 Prakram’s are huge Corridore’s along with roofed ambulatory passageways. It served to
connect various parts of temple while enclosing certain areas.

 Intricate carvings are seen all across the temple walls.

 The large tank set slightly off the axis to the main temple is another impressive feature of
the temple.

 Surrounded by steps and a pillared portico, the tank was used for ritual bathing.

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Meenakshi- Sundareswara temple

Chola Sculpture: NATRAJ

 Shiva’s dancing position is associated with the end of the cosmic world

 Shiva has been shown balancing himself on his right leg and suppressing the apasmara,
the demon of ignorance or forgetfulness, with the foot of same leg.

 Shiva raises his left leg in bhujangtrasita stance, which represents tirobhava that is
kicking away the veil of maya from the devotee’s mind.

 His four arms are outstretched and lower right hand is posed in Abhayahasta mudra

 The upper right hand hold & Damaru

 The upper left hand is held in dola hasta and connects with the Abhaya hasta of the right

 His Hair flocks fly on both the sides touching the circular jwala mala or the garland of
flame, which surrounds the entire dancing figuration.

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Vesara Style/Chalukya Style/Karnataka Style

 This style has features of both Nagara and Dravidian style.

 It consists of two principle components like Dravidian style i.e. Vimana & Mandap.

 Departing from Dravidian style it does not have covered ambulatory around the sanctum.

 Example: Lad Khan temple at Aihole, Temples at Badami, Virupaksha temple –

Pattadakal, Hoysala temples at Karnataka

Virupaksha temple – Pattadakal Hoysala temple

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Indo Islamic Architecture in Medieval India

Indo Islamic / Indo Saracenic Style

 Advent of Islam in the Indian subcontinent around the 7th century

 Indo-Islamic architecture → a mixture of Indian, Persian, Arab and Turkish

 The early buildings of the Slave dynasty consisted of false domes and false arches

 Introduction of true arches and true domes started to appear with construction of Alai
Darwaza by the side of Qutub Minar (By Allaudin Khilji)

Distinguishing features of Indo-Islamic Islamic style incorporated many elements

architecture from the traditional Indian style viz.

 kiosks (chhatris)  Decorative brackets

 Tall towers (minars)
 Half-domed structure  Balconies
 Jali work, calligraphy, Pietra dura
 Pendentive decorations

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 As human worship and its representation is not allowed in Islam, the buildings and other
edifices are generally decorated richly in geometrical and arabesque designs

 These designs were carved on stone in low relief, cut on plaster, painted or inlaid. The
use of lime as mortar was also a major element distinct from the traditional building style.

 The tomb architecture is another striking feature of the Islamic architecture → Practice of
the burial of the dead

Features of Indo Islamic medieval art

 Arch & Dome method.

 Presence of Minor.

 Use of mortar as cementing agent.

 Avoided representation of Human being.

 Avoided Spaciousness, massiveness & Breadth.

 Generally decorated richly in geometrical & arabesque methods.

 Use of figures & animals discouraged.

 Use of geometry in terms of Symmetry & for drawing geometrical pattern.

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 Use of gates in the premises

ses in the form of courtyard pools & fountains.

 Charbagh style.

 Pietra dura technique.

 Foresightening technique.

Tomb Architecture
 The general pattern of the tomb architecture is consisted of

 a domed chamber (hujra)

 a cenotaph in its centre with a mehrab on
on the western wall
 the real grave in the underground chamber

 To this general tomb architecture, the Mughals added a new dimension by introducing
gardens all around the tomb.

 The Mughal tombs are generally placed at the centre of a huge garden complex, the latter
being sub-divided
divided into square compartments, known as char-bagh
char style

 Scholars trace the evolution of the char-bagh

char bagh pattern of gardening to the original land of
the Mughals, the Kabul Valley

 The Mughals are also credited to have introduced the double dome system of dome
architecture and the Pietra-dura
Pietra style of inlay decorations.

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Arabesque Designs
 Arabesque means geometricized vegetal ornament.

 It is characterized by continuous stem which splits regularly producing a series of counter

poised, leafy secondary stems

 Secondary stems split again into tertiary stems to be reintegrated into the main stem.

Prominent Indo-Islamic architectural styles

1. The Imperial Style (Delhi sultanate)

2. The Provincial styles (Malwa, Bengal, Jaunpur)

3. The Mughal Style (Delhi, Agra and Lahore)

4. The Deccani style (Bijapur and Hyderabad)

Imperial Style during Islamic Era in India

Slave dynasty (1206-1290)

 Also known as Ilbari dynasty, as all the ruler’s belonged to Ilbari tribe except Qutubuddin
Aibak. The Style developed by them is called Mamluk Style.

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 They started converting existing structures into the Mosque’s on Qila Rai Pithora (1st of 7
historical cities of Delhi)

 The Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque was constructed by Qutub-ud-din Aibak around 1192 AD

by the demolished material of Hindu and Jain temples

 Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque – first mosque built in Delhi after the Islamic conquest of India

 The Qutub Minar of Mehrauli was built around 1199 by Qutub-ud-din and finally
completed by his son-in-law and successor IItutmish (1210-35).

 Another well-known mosque is Adhai-din-ka-Jhonpra at Ajmer which was also

constructed from the material obtained after demolishing Hindu temples.

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Khilji Dynasty (1290-1320)

 The Style developed by them is called as Seljuk style

 Enlarged the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque and built a gateway known as Alahi Darwaja to
the enclosure of the mosque

 Allaudin Khilji also established the 2nd city of Delhi at Siri and dug a vast reservoir at
Hauz Khas (Hydraulically structured) around 1311AD

 Prominent features of Seljuk Style adopted by the Khiljis were –

 the true arch in the form of a pointed horseshoe

 broad dome, recessed arches under the squinch
 perforated windows, inscriptional bands
 use of red sandstone relieved by marble

Qutub Minar with Alai Darwaza


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 Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq (1320-1325
(1320 AD) built Tughlaqabad, the 3rd historical city of Delhi.

 Tomb of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq, built of red sandstone, is an irregular pentagon in its

exterior plan & is of the pointed or “Tartar” shape, crowned by a finial

 Tughlaqs introduced the concept of slopping walls known as “Battar”, combining the
principles of arch and the lintel as shown below

7 cities of Delhi:

1. Qila Rai Pithora by Rajput king Tomar

2. Siri by Alauddin Khilji

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3. Tughlaqabad by Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq.

4. Jahanpanah by Mohammad-bin-Tughlaq.

5. Firozabad by Feroz shah Tughlaq.

6. Delhi Sher shahi/ Shergad by Sher shah Suri

7. Shahjanabad by Shahjahan.

Delhi’s 4th city Jahanpanah was built by Mohammad-bin-Tughlaq in mid-14th century. Firoz
Shah Kotla ground is the only remnant of its past glory. He is also credited with founding the
fortified cities of Jaunpur, Fathehbad and Hissar.

 Arch of this period is heavy, massive, rugged and simple

 Used grey sandstone and employed minimum decoration

 This period was called as ‘crisis period of architecture’ because focus was on
strength rather than beauty


Sayyid Period
 The Sayyid period was too short to evolve elaborate buildings, but the octagonal tombs of
the time possess a distinct architectural character.

 The decorative features of these tombs consist of the use of blue enameled tiles
enhancing the color effect.

 The Lotus motif crowning the tomb and free use of Guldasta’s used in this period
considerably influenced the style of subsequent period.

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 The Tombs of Mubarak Sayyid (1434 AD), Muhammad Sayyid (1444 AD) and Sikander
Lodi (1517 AD) are all of the octagonal type.

Muhammad shah Sayyid

Lodi’s Style
 Enamel tile decoration tended to be richer and more lavish.

 The tomb architecture of this period is of two types, though both have grey granite walls.

 One is octagonal in design having a verandah; the other is square in plan, having no

 A spacious somewhat ornamental walled garden encloses the tombs, which gives the
whole ensemble elegance.

 Sikander Lodhi established the city of Agra and made it as his capital. He also repaired
Qutub- Minar.

Tomb of Sikander Lodi

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The Tomb of Isa Khan (1547 AD), the Tomb of Adham Khan (1561 AD), Moth ki Masjid
(c.1505 AD), Jamala Masjid (1536 AD) and the Qila-i-Kuhna Masjid (c.1550 AD) belong to the
final phase of the Delhi style of architecture.

Provincial Style During Islamic Era in India

Bengal School of Architecture

 Islamic monuments of Bengal are consistent in design as of other regions, with
distinguishing features such as material used & designs execution

 Brick was the chief building material with the use of stone being limited largely to pillars
for trabeate/Arcuate construction, mainly obtained from demolished temples.

 The so-called “Bengal” roof with sloping cornices, which originated from the bamboo
construction, was adopted by the Muslims and later it spread widely, even in other

 Covered brick & glazed tiles were usually pressed into service for decoration.

 Ex: - kadam Rasul mosque in gaur, Bengal & Adina Masjid at Pandna, Bengal.

Malwa School of Architecture (MP & Rajasthan)

 Followed arcade style majorly with elegant use of arch with pillar and beam;

 Lofty terraces approached by well-proportioned stairways,

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 Impressive size of buildings, use of various colored stones & marbles with minor use of
bright colored glazed tiles.

 Minaret is absent in this style

 Ex: - Rani Rupmati pavilion, Ashrafi Mahal, Hindola Mahal & Jahaz Mahal.

Rani Rupmati pavilion (Mandu)

Jaunpur School of Architecture (UP)

 Developed by Sharqi Dynasty hence also called as Sharqi style. It was influenced by the
buildings of Tughlaq period.

 During the rule of Shamsuddin Ibrahim (1402-1436 AD) Atala Masjid was built in 1378.

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Atalla Masjid

Gujarat School of Architecture

 Gujarat witnessed significant architectural activity for over 250 years starting from
Muzaffar Shah’s declaration of independence from Delhi & the formation of the
Sultanate of Gujarat in 1307 AD until the conquest of Gujarat by the Mughal Emperor
Akbar in 1500 AD.

 Ahmedabad is a city full of architectural masterpieces which include Sayyid Alam’s

mosque (1412), Teen Darwaza (1415), Tomb of Ahmed Shah (1440), Rani-ka-Hujra
(1440), the Jami Masjid.

 Qutubuddin’s mosque (1454), Rani Sipri Mosque (1505), Sidi Bashir’s Mosque (1510),
Rani Rupmati Masjid at Mirzapur (built between 1430 & 1440) & the Kankaria Lake,
constructed in 1451 by Sultan Qutb-ud-Din.

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Bihar School of Architecture

 Sasaram in Bihar – Sher Shah’s Tomb, tomb of his father, Hasan Sur Khan built in 1535,
tomb of his son Salim Shah & tomb of Alwal Khan, the chief architect of Sher Shah.

 Completion of the sixth city of Delhi called the Shergarh or Dilli Sher Shai around the
Purana Qila area in 1540s.

 Purana Qila has 3 main gates – the Humayun Darwaza, Talaqi Darwaza and
Baradarwaza. Qila-i-kuhna Masjid built by Sher Shah Suri in 1541 AD in the Purana

Deccan Style Architecture in Islamic Era

 Earliest period of architectural development started in 1347 when Allauddin Bahman
Shah constructed the Gulbarga Fort & the Jama Masjid at Gulbarga.

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 Second phase is represented by the architecture of Bidar initiated by Ahmed Shah (1422
1436), which includes the Bidar Fort, Mahmud Gawan’s Madrassa and the Ali Barid’s

Hyderabad School
 Qutub Shahi and Nizam Shahi dynasties contributed greatly towards the development of
the Deccan style
le of architecture.

 Charminar (1591) – Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah

 Mecca Masjid- started in 1614 by Abdullah Qutub Shah and completed in 1687 by

 Golconda Fort (1525) – Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah, was an impregnable fort of great
strategic importance to most of the rulers.

 Falaknuma Palace (1870) by Nawab Vikar-Ul-Ulmara,

Vikar Ulmara, is a rare blend of Italian and
Tudor architecture.

Bijapur School (Karnataka)

 Developed during the reign of Adilshah → most important example is Gol

 Gol Gumbaz of Bijapur is the mausoleum of Muhammad Adil Shah (1627

(1627- 57)

 It is the largest dome cubicle in the world covering a total interior surface of over
1600 sq. meters

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 Its underground vaults consist of a square grave chamber and a large single square
chamber above the ground

 Prominent feature → Large hemispherical dome surmounting it & seven storied

octagonal towers on its corners

 Each of its walls on the outside are divided into three recessed arches

 A 3.4 m wide gallery rests on its interior, known as the whispering gallery, as even a
whisper here reverberates as an echo under the dome.

 The large dome is hemispherical & is covered with a row of petals at the base.

Gol Gumbaz

Mughal Period Architecture

 Indo-Muslim architecture got striking improvement with the arrival of Mughals, as had
been declined significantly during the Lodi’s period

 Unlike Delhi Sultanate Sultans, Mughals mixed and mingled with the local population &
Rajput provinces

 Akbar followed the policy of conciliation to live in peace with his Hindu subjects. He
founded Din-i-illahi religion collecting good points of all prevailing religions

 Jahangir was half Hindu by blood, his mother, Jodhabai, being a Rajput princess.
Shahjahan too continued this policy of tolerance and respect for the Hindus.

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The Mughal empire, as well as Mughal architecture, flourished and rose to great
heights under their benign rule, but all this ended abruptly under the last of the great
Mughals, Aurangzeb, a puritanical Muslim, who tried to reverse the entire
conciliatory policy of his ancestors.

 He looked upon art, music, dance, painting and even architecture as an evil born of
worldly desire

 There was an abrupt decline and eventual downfall in aesthetic appreciation and
architectural enterprise.

 Babar, the founder of the Mughal Empire, was a man of culture and exceptional aesthetic

 For 4 years he ruled in India most of his time was spent in war.

 However, he was fond of formal gardens and a couple of gardens are ascribed to him.

 Ascribed to him are mosque of Kabuli Bagh at Panipat and Jami Masjid at Sambhal near

Humayun & Sur interregnum

After Babar’s death, his son, Humayun, succeeded him but he was driven out of India by Sher
Shah Suri and after taking asylum in Iran, he eventually returned and overthrew Sher Shah Suri,
and regained his throne.

Sher Shah’s own tomb (mausoleum), at Sasaram, in Bihar

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 Was made by modifying Lodi octagonal pattern with a verandah around it

 Each side pierced by arches and the halls surmounted by a large and wide dome.

 Surs made use of red and dark grey stone latticed screens, decorative turrets, painted
ceilings and colored tiles

Mausoleum of Sher Shah

 The Purana Qila and the Quila Kohna Masjid inside are also ascribed to Sher Shah Suri.

 Completed 6th historical city of Delhi called the Shergarh or Dilli Sher Shai around the
Purana Qila area in 1540s

The first distinct example of proper Mughal architecture is the tomb of Humayun, in Delhi,
built by his widow, Begha Begum.

 Provided the prototype for Mausoleum of Jahangir at Shahdara, Lahore

 Known as precursor of Taj Mahal, Agra

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Humayun’s tomb

Although Sikander Lodi’s tomb as the first garden tomb built in India, it is Humayun’s tomb
which strikes a new note.

 The tomb proper stands in the centre of a square garden, raised on a vast platform

 Garden is divided into 4 main parts by causeways (Charbagh), in the centre of which ran
shallow water-channels.

 The square, red, sandstone, double storeyed structure of the mausoleum rises over a high
square terrace, raised over a series of cells.

 The octagonal form of the central chamber containing the cenotaph is inspired by Syrian
and earlier Islamic models.

 First time that red sandstone was used along with white → the white is used cleverly to
emphasise, surround & underline doors and windows, strengthening the design.

The mausoleum is a synthesis of Persian architecture and Indian traditions, in the arched alcoves,
corridors and a high double dome as well as the kiosks (chhatris) which give it a pyramidal
shape from a distance.

Akbar’s made Agra his seat of power. His architecture reflects a blend of the Hindu and
Islamic creation

Agra Fort

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 Made of red sand-stone

 On the banks of the river Yamuna

 Begun in 1565 and completed in 1574

The city of Fatehpur Sikri was founded as a token of gratitude to Sheikh Salim Chisti who had
foretold that Akbar would have three sons who would survive after the sad demise of many
children in infancy.

 Fatehpur Sikri was begun in 1569 and completed in 1574, the same year in which the fort
at Agra was completed.

 Fatehpur Sikri was a town planned as an administrative unit consisting of public

buildings as well as private residence in close proximity.

 The city is a modest township, consisting of halls, palaces, offices, gardens, pleasure-
resorts, baths, mosques, & tombs

 Almost all the structures are based on trabeate construction

 Prominent Structures → Buland Darwaza, Panch Mahal , Dargah of Saleem Chisti,

Diwan-i-Khas, Diwan-i-Am, Jodha Bai Palace, Jama Masjid, Ibadat Khana

Panch Mahal

 The highest and the most impressive structure, called the palace of five stories with open
terraces on each story

 Based on the Hindu system of trabeate structure, consisting of pillared verandas,

architrave, and brackets

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 Build on the pattern of a Buddhist Vihara is the topmost domed pavilion, purposefully
thrown out of the centre that crowns the entire building.

 The tower was perhaps used for recreation by the emperor and members of the royal

Panch Mahal


 A complex structure, also known as Hall of Private Audience

 It is a square chamber with three openings on each side and a richly carved column in the
center supporting a magnificent flower shaped capital.

 Thorough ventilation is provided by placing on all sides perforated windows opposite

each other on every wall.

 The charming balcony supported by a circular top capital, runs round the halls whole
length of the four sides on the first floor level, supported by brackets.

 It is believed that the central place was occupied by the Emperor’s throne while his
Ministers sat at the corners or on the peripheral passage.

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 Introduced ‘Pietra Dura‘(decorating the walls with floral designs made of semi-precious
stones started) was started in his reign only.
 Ascribed with Shalimar Bagh on the banks of Dal Lake in Kashmir

 Built Akbar’s Tomb at Sikandra near Agra, which was completed in 1613.

 Jahangir’s Tomb at Shadera near Lahore, built by his wife Nur Mahal

 He also built Moti Masjid at Lahore & his own mausoleum at Shahdara (Lahore).

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Erected the most romantic building, Taj Mahal, the tomb of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal

 Tajmahal is a square tomb built on a raised terrace, with graceful tall minarets at its four

 As in Humayun’s tomb, the tomb chamber is octagonal, with subsidiary chambers at the

 The tomb is surmounted by a graceful double dome & made of white marble
(Substitution of red sandstone)

 There is profuse carving and beautiful inlay work with precious multicolor stones (Pietra
dura style) in its floral and arabesque pattern,

 Inscriptions in black marble, delicate traceries and trellis work are executed superbly
against the background of white marble.

Taj Mahal

 Shahjahan also constructed a number of elegant, lavishly decorated buildings viz. Khas
Mahal, Diwan-i-Khas, Moti Masjid, & Jama Masjid in Delhi

 Built Jami Masjid at Agra in 1648 in honour of his daughter Jahanara Begum & Wazir
Khan’s mosque in Lahore, 1634

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In 1638 Shahjahan shifted his capital from Agra to Delhi and laid the foundation of
Shahjanabad, the Seventh City of Delhi, containing his famous citadel, the Red-Fort, which
was begun in 1639 and completed after 9 years.

 Red Fort is an irregular octagon with its walls, gates, and a few other structures
constructed in red sandstone, and marble used for the palaces.

 It consists of a Diwan-i-Am, containing the marble canopy ornamented with beautiful

panels of Pietra dura work showing a few paintings.

Red Fort

Diwan-i-Khas (In Red Fort) is a high ornamented pillared hall, with a flat ceiling supported
on engraved arches.

 Its pillars contain Pietra dura ornamentation and the upper portion was originally gilded
and painted.

 It is also said that its marble dais once supported the famous Peacock Throne.

 Consists of the exquisite marble screen containing a representation of the scales of justice

 Walls of this marble palace is ascribed with the famous couplet claiming that “If there be
a paradise on earth it is this, it is this, it is this”.

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 The love of constructing magnificent buildings came to an end rather abruptly with the
last of the great Mughals, Emperor Aurangzeb.

 Built Bibi-ki-Maqbara (tomb of his wife Begum Rabia Durani) → a poor replica of the
Taj Mahal

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Mughal literature
 Abdul Qadir Badauni wrote Kitab-ul-Ahadish, Tarikh-i-Alfi & Muntakhab-ul-Tawarikh.

 Abul Fazal composed Ain-I-Akbari and Akbarnamah.

 Dara translated Upanishads & Bhagvadgita into persian.

 Jahangir composed his memoir, Tuzuk-I-Jahangiri (in Persian language), & patronized
the valuable dictionary, Farhang-I-Jahangiri.

 Khan Abdur Rahman translated Babur’s Tuzuk-I-Baburi from Turki to Persian during
Akbar’s reign.

 Mirza Mahammed Qazim wrote Alamgirnama.

 Ishwar Das Nagar wrote Fatuhat-i-Alamgiri.

 Persian language became widespread in the Mughal Empire by the time of Akbar’s reign.

Medieval Architecture Styles (Other than Indo-Islamic)

Rajput Architecture Style

 Rajput palaces – built as inner citadels surrounded by the city and enclosed by a fortified
wall as at Chittorgarh and Jaisalmer

 Some forts, such as those at Bharatpur and Deeg, were protected by wide ditch filled with
water surrounding the fort.

 Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Kota Palaces → Built approx. 17th to early
18th century

 Bikaner is encircled by 5.63 km long Stone wall made of rich pink sandstone with five
gates & three sally ports

 Jodhpur Fort dominates the city, which is surrounded by a huge wall nearly 9.5 km long
with 101 bastions

 Meherangarh fort stands on a cliff with a sheer drop of over 36 metres.

Man Mandir

 The largest palace in Gwalior, was built by Raja Man Singh Tomar (1486-1516)

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 Has two storey’s above, and two below ground level overhanging a sandstone cliff

 This gigantic cliff is punctuated by five massive round towers, crowned by domed
cupolas and linked by delicately carved parapets

Man Mandir


 Built by Jai Singh, represents a synthesis of Rajput and Mughal architectural styles.

 The city is enclosed by a wall and has bastions and towers at regular intervals.

Prominent structures at Jaipur

 Hawa Mahal (1799) has a five-storeyed symmetrical facade composed of 953 small
casements in a huge curve each with a projecting balcony and crowning arch.

 Jantar Mantar, the largest of five observatories built by Jai Singh II in the early
18thcentury, others being Ujjain, Mathura, Varanasi & New Delhi.

Hawa Mahal

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Jantar Mantar

Avadh Architecture Style

 Safdar Jung’s tomb, built in the honour of Safdar Jung (1739-1753)

 Bara Imambara → Built by the Nawab in 1784. Absence of pillars in the main hall
(Simple & symmetrical in design)

 Chattar Manzil → Main attractions are the underground rooms and a beautiful dome
surrounded by a gilt umbrella

 Kaiser Bagh → A quadrangular park with a baradari (pavilion) and yellow-coloured

buildings on three sides.

 Roshanwali Kotiand Begum Koti → Situated at Hazratgunj with Italian style being more

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Kashmir Style
 Typified by use of woodwork.

 log construction using deodar trees for the construction of wooden bridges called
kadals or the wooden shrines called ziarats

 Mosque of Shah Hamdan in Srinagar and the Jami Masjid at Srinagar built by Sikandar
Butshikan (1400 AD) – examples of the wooden architecture

 Fort of Hari Parbat, the Pattar Masjid (1623) and the Akhun Mulla Shah’s mosque (1649)
are illustrations of art of stone building in Kashmir.

Punjab Architecture Style

 Influenced by the Mughal Style

 Features → multiplicity of Chattris /kiosks, fluted dome generally covered with copper or
brass gilt and enrichment of arches by numerous foliations

 Notable example → Golden Temple at Amritsar (1764) built by the fourth Sikh Guru

Jain Architecture Style

 Prominent Feature → Chamukhs or four-faced temples.

 Four Tirthankars placed back to back to face four cardinal points.

 Entry into these temples is also from four doors

 Notable example includes Chamukh temple of Adinath (Ranakpur) (1618 AD)

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 Most spectacular of all Jain temples are found at Ranakpur and Mount Abu in Rajasthan

 Deogarh (Lalitpur, U.P.), Ellora, Badami and Aihole also have some of the important
specimens of Jain Art

Colonial Architecture – Modern India

Colonial Architecture – Portuguese style

 They adapted to India the climatically appropriate Iberian galleried patio house & the
Baroque churches of Goa.

 Portuguese used bricks as the main building material along with wooden roofs & stairs

 Se Cathedral & Arch of Conception of Goa were built in the typical Portuguese – Gothic

 St. Francis Church at Cochin in 1510 is believed to be the first church built by the
Europeans in India.

 Fort of Castella de Aguanda near Mumbai and added fortifications to the Bassein fort
built by Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat, in 1532 AD.

 Bassein fort is famous for the Matriz (Cathedral of St. Joseph), the Corinthian pillared
hall & the Porte da Mer (sea gate).

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Colonial Architecture – French style

 Gave a distinct urban design to its settlement in Pondicherry by applying the Cartesian
grid plans & classical architectural patterns.

 Church of Sacred Heart of Jesus (Eglise De Sacre Coeur De Jesus), Eglise de Notre
Dame de Angesand, Eglise de Notre Dame de Lourdes at Pondicherry have a distinct
French influence.

Colonial Architecture – British style

 British followed various architectural styles – Gothic, Imperial, Christian, English
Renaissance & Victorian being the essentials.

 Britishers used Red sandstone & coarse limestone as the main building material

 Church of St. John at Calcutta (1787) inspired by St. Stephens Church at Walbrooks.

 St. Mary’s Church in Fort St. George in Chennai.

 Law Courts, Presidency College and Senate House of Chennai.

 Gateway of India in Mumbai, Maharaja’s Palace at Mysore & M.S.University &Lakshmi

Villas Palace at Baroda.

 New Delhi – systematically planned city after made capital in 1911

 Constantia, a building erected by General Martin (British) at Lucknow, is the best

specimen of Palladian Style in India

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 Wittet designed the Gateway of India in Mumbai, borrowing several elements of

Mughal style

Constantia Lucknow Gateway of India, Mumbai

 Sardar Ram Singh, a master builder of Punjab, designed the Central Museum & the
Senate House at Lahore (in Pakistan)

 Victoria Terminus Station (Chhatrapati Shivaji station), Mumbai

 Designed by the British architect F. W. Stevens, the structure became the symbol of

 Based on late medieval Italian models, the terminal was built over 10 years, starting in

 An outstanding example of Victorian Gothic revival architecture in India

 Blended with themes deriving from Indian traditional architecture

 Bombay city was labelled as the ‘Gothic City’

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Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata

 Designed by William Emerson in late 19th century

 To perpetuate the memory of Queen Victoria in India

 Drew elements from the indigenous & Indo-Islamic architecture combined with the
Gothic revival & Neo-Classical styles

Revival of Delhi
 Transfer of capital from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911.

 Sir Edward Lutyens was made responsible for the overall plan of Delhi.

 He constructed India Gate & Rashtrapati Bhawan.

 Vice regal palace appeared with a huge dome on the lines of a Buddhist stupa,

 Represent some elements of Hindu ornamentation & Islamic symmetry

 Herbert Baker added South Block and North Block, which flank the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

 Englishman Robert Tor Tussell built the Connaught Place.

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Rashtrapati Bhawan India Gate

Some Famous Architects of Modern India

Laurie Baker

 Was called as the architect of the poor and the conscience keeper of India.

 He merged the buildings with the environment and utilized locally available materials.

 To reduce the consumption of steel and cement, he introduced filler slab construction.

 While designing he gave more importance to ventilation & thermal comfort.

 Revolutionized mass housing in Kerala.

Karl Heinz

 He was a German Architect and was commissioned with instructions to stay clear of
elements of British or Mughal Architecture

 Heinz used local materials like red sand stone and lime which were easily available.

 Prominent Feature → Red sandstone buildings with white domes, with big courtyards
and windows

 Architecture by him is known as modern style of architecture as it resembles today’s style



 He was a French Architect

 He designed the city of Chandigarh on the pattern of well-ordered matrix

 He conceived the Idea of sector as self-sufficient green belt

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 Designed regular grid system for fast moving traffic


 He was a Goan Architect & played pivotal role past independence.

 He placed special emphasis on prevailing resources, energy and climate as major

determinants in the ordering of space.

 He did pioneer work in urban issues and low cost shelter in the third world.

 Example: Planning of Navi Mumbai, Kanchenjunga apartment, Mumbai, British Council

building, New Delhi, etc.

Indo gothic style

 Also known as Indo sarsenic style

 Hybrid of Mughal, Gothic & Hindu style.


 Elaborate of carge construction.

 Confirmed of advanced British structural engineering standards.

 Thinner walls

 Pointed arches

 Large windows

 Gucified ground plan of churches.

Ex: - St.Paul’s cathedral at Kolkata, Victoria, Lakshmi vilas & Gateway of India

Neo Roman style

 Also known as Neo classical style.

 Ex:- Rashtrapati bhavan, Parliament, Supreme Court,

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Indian Paintings

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Introduction to Indian Paintings

 Earliest evidence of paintings on rocks.

 Bhimbetaka – 5000BC

 Known from Primitive rock paintings of Bhimbetaka, Mirapurs & Panchmarhi.

 Then came the painted pottery of Indus valley civilization.

 But the real beginning of paintings can be traced from Gupta times.

Pre – historic Paintings

 Were rock engravings known as Petroglyps.


 Bold lines

 Used colors like Ache red, Yellow earth or Soot black colors

 The rocks are first scratched with stone & then they were filled with colors.

 Figures of Hunting, Animals, humans, Dancing scenes & Riding scenes etc were very

Ex:- Bhimbetaka cave Paintings

 Discovered in 1957 – 58 by an Archaeologist V.S.Wakantar.

 They belong to 3 period’s i.e Upper Paleolithic, Mesolithic & Chalcolithic.

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Upper Paleolithic

 Used white, dark red & Green colors

 Depicting Large animals like Bison, Elephant, Rhinoceros & Tigers etc…

 Green used mainly for Dancing While red used for Hunting.


 Used mainly Red color

 Paintings are now smaller compared to Upper Paleolithic.

 Most common scenes: Group Hunting.

 Also depicting Grazing scenes, Riding scenes etc..


 Used mainly Green & Red colors

 Themes: Battle scenes, Men riding Horses & Elephant, Bow & Arrow scenes.

Classification of Paintings in India

 Mural paintings & Miniature paintings

Mural paintings

 Large works executed in form of paintings on the walls of large structures are known as
Mural paintings.

 Based on 3 religions; Buddhism, Jainism & Hinduism.

 Influence of Persian paintings


 Ajanta cave painting

 Ellora cave painting

 Bagh cave painting

 Lepakshi painting

 Sitannavasal painting

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Miniature paintings

 Very detailed & Very small paintings.

 Executed on a very small scale like paper, palm leaf, cloth & Glass etc..

 Composition, Perspective & colors are important.

 The term Miniature derived from Latin & Minium means Red lead paint used in
illuminated manuscripts during Renaissance.

Pre conditions:

 Must be larger than 25 sq. inch.

 Subject must be painted not mere than 1/6th of its actual style.

Ex:- Pala school, Ragmala paintings, Kishangad, Mughal & Apabramhsa.

Features of Miniature paintings

 Mostly human characters are seen with side profile.

 Bulging eyes, pointed nose & slim waist.

 Skin colors painted in brown.

 Women have long hair.

 Color of hairs & Eyes painted in black.

 Traditional Indian dress is painted.

 Men have turbans on head.

Gupta age paintings

 Kamasutra paintings were one of the paintings among 64 fine arts.

 Vatsayana speaks about 6 principles or limbs of paintings called ‘Sadangas of paintings’


 Rup Bheda; Knowledge of appearance

 Praman; Correct perception, measure & structure.

 Lawan Yogam; Inferior of grace & artistic representation.

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 Sadrisyam; Similarity.

 Varnika Bhanga; Manner of Using brush & color.

Ajanta cave paintings

 29 caves.

 Mural & Fresco paintings on the walls of caves


 Expression of emotions through hand postures.

 Different hair styles for each female.

 Even animals & birds are shown with emotions.

 Fresco method i.e on wet plaster.

 Tempera method i.e using pigments.

 Exclusively Buddhist, excepting decorative patterns on the ceilings & the pillars.

 Theme: Jatakas, recording the previous births of the Lord Buddha.

 Principal characters in most of the designs are in heroic proportions.

Ellora cave paintings

 Influence of 3 religions – Buddhism, Jainism & Hinduism.

 Theme: Themes of Ramayana &

Mahabharata etc..


 Sharp twist of the head,

 Painted angular bents of the arms,

 Concave curve of the close limbs,

 Sharp projected nose &

 Long drawn open eyes

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Lepakshi paintings in India

 Located in Lepakshi, Hindupur (Andhra Pradesh)

 Mural paintings executed on temple walls at Lepakshi during Vijayanagar period

 Themes: Secular themes.

 Complete absence of primary colors (particularly blue)

Sitannavasal paintings
 Cave & Mural paintings in Tanjore, Tamil Nadu.

 Wide open eyes of all the figures as compared to Ajanta tradition of half closed drooping

 Theme: Jain paintings.

Miniature paintings

Pala School of paintings

 Mostly manuscript paintings.

 Theme: Buddhism.

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 Executed on palm leaf or paper

Apabramhsa School of paintings

 Originated in Mewad, Rajasthan & Gujarat region.

 Theme: Jainism & Vaishnavism.


 Miniature paintings.

 Bulging eyes,

 Pointed nose & Double chin.

 Use of Bright & Gold colors.

 Stiff figure.

 Animals & Birds separated as toys.

Mughal period
 Influence of Indian, Persian & European styles.


 Used of Brilliant colors.

 Marked by supple naturalism

 Accuracy in line drawing.

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 Primarily aristocratic and secular.

 Ornamentation.

 Mostly of miniature paintings.

 Used Foresightening technique – Objects are in a way that they closer & Smaller than
they really are.

 Tuti-nama – first work of the Mughal School.

 Hamza-nama ( illustrations on cloth)- more developed & refined than Tuti-nama.


 Patronized a Persian painter named Bihzad.


 Brought 2 Persian painters; Abdus Sammad & Mir Saeed Ali.

 From now Persian influence started.


 Organised painting in imperial karkhanas & also introduced European style.

 Abdus Samad, Farrukh Beg, Khusro Kuli, Jamshed, Basawan, Daswanth, etc were the
prominent painters.

 Daswanth painted the Razm Namah (Persian Mahabharat).

 Hamznama, which consisted 1200 paintings. Indian colors such as peacock blue, Indian
red began to be used.


 3D figures

 Use of Foresightening

 use of Calligraphy in the Paintings

 Themes: Fares & Festivals


 Painting reached its zenith under Jahangir.

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 He was a Naturist & preferred the pictures of Flora & Fauna.

 Paintings have decorated margins.

 Bishan Das was a master of portraits while Ustad Mansur specialised in animal painting.

 Use of ‘Halo’ or Divine Lights started under Jahangir.


 Too much use of gold, silver & Bright colors in paintings.

 Reduced liveliness.

 Pencil slouching widely used.


 Discouraged paintings.

Deccan School of Painting

Ahmednagar school of Painting

 Female appearing in the painting belongs to the northern tradition of Malwa.

 Choli (bodice) & long pigtails braided & ending in a tassel are the northern costume.

 Colors used are rich and brilliant

 Persian influence – high horizon, gold sky and the landscape.

Bijapur school of Painting

 Ladies – tall and slender and are wearing the south Indian dress.

 Rich color scheme, the palm trees, animals and men and women all belongs to the
deccani tradition.

 Profuse use of gold color

 Some flowering plants and arabesques on the top of the throne are derived from the
Persian tradition.

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Golconda school of Painting

 “lady with the myna bird”, about 1605

 Colors are rich and brilliant

 Continued long after the extinction of the Deccan sultanates of Ahmednagar, Bijapur &

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Hyderabad school of Painting

 Belongs to the third quarter of the 18th century.

 Introduced by several Mughal painters who migrated to the Deccan during the period of
Aurangzeb and sought patronage there.

 Distinctive features: treatment of the ethnic types, costumes, jewellery, flora, fauna,
landscape and colors.

 Typical characteristics: rich colors, the deccani facial types and costumes

Tanjore school of Painting

 Developed by Chola rulers

 works on cloth stretched over wood

 Mostly glass paintings

 Style of painting: bold drawing, techniques of shading and the use of pure and brilliant

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 Flourished during the late 18th and 19th centuries.

 Style is decorative and is marked by the use of bright colors and ornamental details.

 Conical crown: a typical feature of the Tanjore painting.

Mysore school of Painting

 More subtle & done on paper, while the Tanjore works on cloth stretched over wood.

 Deal mostly with sacred icons painted for devotional purposes.

 Theatrical framing of the iconic paintings should be particularly noted.

Folk paintings of India Kalighat to Kalamkhari

Kalighat paintings – Kolkata

 Kalighat painting was a product of the changing urban society of the 19th century

 Group of artists evolved a quick method of painting on mill-made paper. Using brush and
ink from the lampblack, these artists defined figures of deities, gentry and ordinary
people with deft and vigorously flowing lines.

 Romantic depictions of women.

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 Satirical paintings lampooning the hypocrisies of the newly rich & the changing roles of
men and women after the introduction of education for Women.

Madhubani paintings – mithila, Bihar

 Women (mithila region,bihar) have painted colorful auspicious

 Images on the interior walls of their homes on the occasion of

 Domestic rituals since at least the 14th century.

 This ancient tradition, especially elaborated for marriages,

 Continues today.

 Used to paint the walls of room, known as kohbar ghar in which the newly wedded
couple meets for the first time.

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Phad scroll paintings – Bhilwada, Rajasthan

 Phad is a painted scroll, which depicts stories of epic dimensions about local deities and
legendary heroes.

 Bhopas(local priests) carry these scrolls on their shoulders from village to village for a

 Represents the moving shrine of the deity and is an object of worship.

 Most popular & largest phad – local deities’ devnarayanji and pabuji.

Kalamkari paintings , Andhra Pradesh

 Kalamkari is primarily used for the temple decorations.

 Festivals or as wall hangings.

 Stories from the epics Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Puranas

 Are painted as continuous narratives

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 Relevant telugu verses explaining the theme are also carried

 Below the artwork.

 Colors are obtained from vegetable and mineral sources.

 Gods are painted blue, Demons & evil characters in red and green.

 Yellow is used for female figures and ornaments.

 Red is mostly used as a background.

 A ritualistic design drawn at the threshold of households
and temples.

 Drawn everyday at dawn and dusk by women in south


 Kolam marks festivals, seasons and important events in a

woman’s life such as birth, first menstruation and

 Kolam is a free-hand drawing with symmetrical and neat

geometrical patterns.

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Development of regional school of paintings:

Rajasthani & Paheri

 Rajasthani & Paheri styles evolved.

Rajasthani style
 Deeply rooted in the Indian traditions, taking inspiration from Indian epics, Puranas, love
poems & Indian folk-lore.

 Mughal artists of inferior merit who were no longer required by the Mughal Emperors,
migrated to Rajasthan.

 Rajasthani style – bold drawing, strong & contrasting colors.

 Influenced by Mughal Paintings.

 Each school of painting has its distinct facial type, costume, landscape & color scheme.

Developed in 3 phases

 16th century – Mural paintings

 17th century – Sophisticated paintings

 17th – 18th century – Portrait paintings

 Themes: Mostly religious

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Sub branches of Rajasthani style

Mewad School

 Also known as ‘Ragamala paintings’ i.e paintings based of Raagas.

 Drawing is bold & the colors are bright & contrasting.

 Text of the painting is written in black on the top against the yellow ground.

Bundi School

 Close to the Mewad style

 Rich & glowing colors, the rising sun in golden color, crimson-red horizon, overlapping
and semi-naturalistic trees

 Mostly miniature paintings

 Mughal influence is visible in the refined drawing of the faces

Kishangad School

 Developed under the patronage of Raja Savant Singh (1748-1757 A.D.), who wrote
devotional poetry in praise of Krishna

 Master painter Nihal Chand who, in his works, has been able to create visual images of
his master’s lyrical compositions

 Theme: Love scenes of Radha & Krishna.


 Use of primary colors

 Liberal use of gold

 Faces of males & females are


 Krishna is painted in blue

 Narrow eye brows & Lotus petal

shaped eyes

 Miniature paintings

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Jaipur School

 Originated at Amber but later shifted to Jaipur, the new capital.

 Fairly large number of portraits of the Jaipur rulers.

 All features of Rajasthani style.

Pahari School
 Influence of both Rajasthani & Mughal styles

 Themes: Love scenes of Radha & Krishna &

Boyhood pranks of Krishna.


 Developed out of the Guler style

 Raja Sansarchand promoted this style

 Faces of women in profile have the nose almost

in line with the forehead, the eyes are long and
narrow and the chin is sharp

 No modeling of figures and hair is treated as a flat


Thanka School

 Famous in Ladakh region

 Chinese & Buddhist influence in paintings

 Use of Silk

 Mostly miniature paintings

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Literature in India

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Role of Sanskrit in Indian Literature

 Sanskrit is the mother of many Indian languages.

 The Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas & Dharmasutras are all written in Sanskrit.

 There is also a variety of secular & regional literature.

 Sanskrit is the most ancient language of our country.

 It is one of the 22 languages listed in the Indian Constitution.

 The literature in Sanskrit is vast, beginning with the most ancient thought embodied in
the Rig Veda, the oldest literary heritage of mankind, & the Zend Avesta.

 It was Sanskrit that gave impetus to the study of linguistics scientifically during the
18th century.

 The great grammarian Panini, analysed Sanskrit & its word formation in his unrivalled
descriptive grammar ‘Ashtadhyayi‘.

 The Buddhist Sanskrit literature includes the rich literature of the Mahayana school & the
Hinayana school also.

 The most important work of the Hinayana school is the “Mahavastu” which is a
storehouse of stories.

 While the Lalitavistara is the most sacred Mahayana text which supplied literary
material for the Buddhacharita of Asvaghosa.

 Sanskrit is perhaps the only language that transcended the barriers of regions &

 From the north to the south & the east to the west there is no part of India that has not
contributed to or been affected by this language.

 Kalhan’s Rajatarangini gives a detailed account of the kings of Kashmir whereas

with Jonaraja we share the glory of Prithviraj.

 The writings of Kalidasa have added beauty to the storehouse of Sanskrit writings.

 Other great literacy works, which marked the golden era of Indian literature include
‘Abhijanam Shakuntalam’ and ‘Meghdoot’ by Kalidasa, ‘Mrichakatika’ by Shudraka,
‘SwapnaVasavadattam’ by Bhasa, and ‘Ratnavali’ by Sri Harsha.

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 Some other famous works are Chanakya’s ‘Arthashastra’ and Vatsyayana’s


Vedic literature: Vedas, Brahmanas & Aranyakas

Vedic literature
 The Vedas are the earliest known Vedic literature in India & written in Sanskrit.

 The word ‘Veda’ literally means knowledge.

 In Hindu culture, Vedas are considered as eternal & divine revelations.

 They treat the whole world as one human family ‘Vasudev Kutumbakam‘.

 There are 4 Vedas, namely, the Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda & Atharva Veda.

 Each Veda consists of the Brahmanas, the Upanishads and the Aranyakas.

 The Rig Veda, Sama Veda and the Yajur Veda are collectively known a Traji.

 In later years the Atharva Veda was incorporated in this group.

 It is very difficult to determine the age of the Vedas and also the time they were written.

 Max Muller says that the Rig Veda was composed before 1000 B.C.

 While according to Lokmanya Tilak it appeared before 6000 B.C.

1. Rig Veda

 It is the earliest of the Vedas & collection of 1028 hymns in Vedic Sanskrit.

 The prayers are for seeking worldly prosperity & for the development of a highly
cultured society.

 Along with religion Rig Veda provides us knowledge about social, political and
economic condition of ancient India.

 Prominent rishis: Vasistha, Gautama, Gritasamada, Vamadeva, Vishvamitra & Atri.

 Prominent gods: Indra, Agni, Varun, Rudra, Aditya, Vayu, Aditi & the Ashwini twins.

 Prominent goddesses: Usha, Vak & Prithvi etc.

2. Yajur Veda

 Yajur means sacrifice or worship.

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 It concerned mostly with rites & mantras of different sacrifices.

 It gives directions for the performance of the yajnas.

 It has both poetic & prose renderings.

 Being a treatise on rituals, it is the most popular of the 4 Vedas.

 There are two major branches of Yajur Veda, namely Shukla & Krishna Yajur Veda.

 This text reflects on the social & religious condition of India at that time.

3. Sama Veda

 Sama means melody or songs.

 This Veda consists of 16,000 ragas & raginis or musical notes.

 Out of total 1875 verses only 75 are original & others are from the Rig Veda.

 It prescribes the tunes for the recitation of the hymns of the Rig Veda.

 It may be called the book of Chants (Saman).

 This book is an evidence of the development of Indian music during this period.

4. Atharva Veda

 It is also known as the Brahma Veda.

 It contains treatment for 99 diseases.

 The source of this Veda is traced to two rishis called Atharva & Angiras.

 It is of immense value as it represents the religious ideas at an early period of civilisation.

 It has 2 branches, the Paippalada & the Saunaka.

 This book gives detailed information about the family, social & political life of later
Vedic period.

 In order to understand the Vedas, it is necessary to learn the Vedangas or the limbs of the

 These supplements of the Vedas provide

education (siksha), grammar (vyakarana), ritual (kalpa), etymology (nirukta),
metrics (chhanda) & astronomy (Jyotisha).
 A good deal of literature grew around these subjects.

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 It was written in the form of precepts in the sutra style.

 A precept was called sutra because of its brevity.

 The most famous example of this is Panini’s grammar, Ashtadhyayi, which illustrates the
rules of grammar & also throws light on society, economy and culture of those times.

Brahmanas & Aranyakas


 After the 4 Vedas, a number of works called the Brahmanas were developed.

 These books gave a detailed explanation of Vedic rituals and instructions & deal with the
science of sacrifice.

 The latter portions of the Brahmanas were called the Aranyakas.

 The final parts of the Aranyakas are philosophic books named Upanishads which belong
to the later stage of the Brahmana literature.

Each of the 4 Vedas has their own Brahmana books;

1. Rig Veda had Kaushitaki & Aitreya,

2. Yajur Veda had Taitteriya,

3. Shukla Yajur Veda had Shatpath &

4. Atharva Veda had Tandav, Panchvish & Jaimaniya.


 Deals with soul, birth and death and life beyond it.

 These were studied and taught by men in Vanprastha i.e. Munis and the inhabitants living
inside the forests.

 All these works were in Sanskrit.

 Initially they were handed down orally and were put to writing much later.

The Upanishads
 The word Upanishad is derived from upa (nearby), and nishad (to sit-down), that is,
“sitting down near”.

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 Groups of pupil sit near the Guru to learn from him in the Guru-shishya parampara or

 The Upanishads mark the culmination of Indian thought and are the final parts of the

 As the Upanishads contain abstract and difficult discussions of ultimate philosophical

problems, they were taught to the pupils at the end.

 That is why they are called the end of Vedas.

 Vedas start with the worship of the manifest, as that is obvious and then slowly transform
to the knowledge of the unmanifest

 There are more than 200 known Upanishads.

 The Muktika gives a list of 108 Upanishads – this number corresponds to the holy
number of beads on a mala or Hindu rosary.

 The Upanishads form an important part of our literary legacy.

 They deal with questions like the origin of the universe, life and death, the material and
spiritual world, nature of knowledge and many other questions.

 The earliest Upanishads are the Brihadaranyaka which belongs to the Sukla Yajur Veda
and Chand yogya which belongs to the Sama Veda.

 Some of the other important Upanishads are the Aitareya, Kena, and Katha Upanishad.

Ramayana and Mahabharata

Indian Literature: Ramayana and Mahabharata


 One of two great epics of Indian society.

 The ‘Ramayana of Valmiki‘is the original Ramayana.

 It is called Adikavya and Maharishi Valmiki is known as Adi Kavi.

 It presents a picture of an ideal society.

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 It was written by Ved Vyas.

 Originally, it was written in Sanskrit & contained 8800 verses and was called “Jaya” or
the collection dealing with victory.

 These were raised to 24,000 and came to be known as Bharata, named after one of the
earliest Vedic tribes.

 The final compilation brought the verses to 100,000, which came to be known as the
Mahabharata or the Satasahasri Samhita.

 It contains narrative, descriptive and didactic material, relating to conflict between the
Kauravas and the Pandavas.

Bhagavad Gita

 The Mahabharata contains the famous Bhagavad Gita which contains the essence of
divine wisdom and is truly a universal gospel.

 Though it is a very ancient scripture, its fundamental teachings are in use even today.

 In the Bhagvad Gita, Krishna explains to Arjuna his duties as a warrior and prince and
elaborates on different Yogic and Vedantic philosophies with examples and analogies.

 This makes Gita a concise guide to Hindu philosophy and a parochial, self-contained
guide to life.

 In modern times Swami Vivekananda, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi and
many others used the text to help inspire the Indian independence movement.

 This was mainly because the Bhagvad Gita spoke of positiveness in human actions.

 It also spoke of duty towards God and human beings alike forgetting about the results.

 The Gita has been translated nearly in all the main languages of the world.

 The Puranas occupy a unique position in the sacred literature of the Hindus.

 They are regarded next in importance only to the Vedas and the Epics.

 There are said to be 18 Puranas and about the same number of Upapuranas.

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 Their origin can be traced as far back as the time when Buddhism was gaining
importance and was a major opponent of the Brahmanic culture.

The Eighteen Puranas

1 Brahma Purana 2 Vishnu Purana

3 Shiva Purana 4 Padma Purana

5 Shrimad Bhagwat Purana 6 Agni Purana

7 Narad Purana 8 Markandey Purana

9 Bhavishya Purana 10 Ling Purana

11 Varah Purana 12 Vaman Purana

13 Brahm Vaivertya Purana 14 Shanda Purana

15 Surya Purana 16 Matsya Purana

17 Garuda Purana 18 Brahmand Purana

 Puranas are mythological works which propagate religious and spiritual messages
through parables and fables.

 They have a potent influence in the development of the religious lives of the people.

 The Puranas follow the lines of the epics, and the earliest Puranas were compiled in the
Gupta period.

 They are full of myths, stories, legends and sermons that were meant for the education
of the common people.

 These Puranas contain important geographical information / histories and deal with the
mysteries of creation, re-creation and dynastic genealogies.

 This period also saw the compilation of various smritis or law books written in verse.

 The phase of writing commentaries on the smritis begins after the Gupta period.

 Amarasimha the Sanskrit Lexicographer, states that a Purana should describe five
topics; (1) Sarga (Creation) (2) Pratisarga (Secondary creation) (3) Vemsa (Geneology)
(4) Manvantara (Manu periods) and (5) Vamsanucarita (dynastic history)

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Buddhist and Jain literature in pali, Prakrit and Sanskrit

 The religious books of the Jains and the Buddhists refer to historical persons or

 The earliest Buddhist works were written in Pali, which was spoken in Magadha and
South Bihar.

 The Buddhist works can be divided into the canonical and the non-canonical.

 The canonical literature is best represented by the “Tripitakas”, that is, three
baskets; Vinaya Pitaka, Sutta Pitaka and Abhidhamma Pitaka.

 Vinaya Pitaka deals with rules and regulations of daily life. Sutta Pitaka contains
dialogues and discourses on morality and deals with Dharma
while Abhidhamma Pitaka deals with philosophy and metaphysics.

 It includes discourses on various subjects such as ethics, psychology, theories of

knowledge and metaphysical problems.

 The non-canonical literature is best represented by the Jatakas.

 Jatakas are the most interesting stories on the previous births of the Buddha.

 It was believed that before he was finally born as Gautama, the Buddha practicing
Dharma passed through more than 550 births, in many cases even in the form of animals.

 Each birth story is called a Jataka. The Jatakas throw invaluable light on the social and
economic conditions ranging from the sixth century BC to the second century BC. They
also make incidental reference to political events in the age of the Buddha.

 The Jain texts were written in Prakrit and were finally compiled in the sixth century AD
in Valabhi in Gujarat.

 The important works are known as Angas, Upangas, Prakirnas, Chhedab Sutras and

 Among the important Jain scholars, reference may be made to Haribhadra Suri, (eighth
century AD) and Hemchandra Suri, (twelfth century AD).

 Jainism helped in the growth of a rich literature comprising poetry, philosophy and
grammar. These works contain many passages which help us to reconstruct the political
history of eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

 The Jain texts refer repeatedly to trade and traders.

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Literature in Gupta period

Famous Sanskrit Authors of the Gupta Period

 The Gupta period was India’s golden age of culture and one of the greatest and most
glorious times. The Gupta kings patronized the classical Sanskrit literature.

 They helped liberally the scholars and poets of Sanskrit.

 In fact Sanskrit language became the language of cultured and educated people.

1. Kalidas

 Wrote many beautiful poems & plays.

 His works in Sanskrit are considered the gems of Literature.

 He wrote passionate plays and poems.

 His wonderful skill is exhibited in his poem Meghaduta, Ritusamhara, Kumar

Sambhavam and Raghuvamsa.

 His plays are Abhijan Shakuntalam, Vikramorvasiya and Malvikagnimitram.

2. Vishakadatta

 He was the great play writer of this period.

 He wrote two great historical plays like- Mudra Rakshas and Devi Chandra Gupta.

3. Shudraka

 He wrote an exciting play Mrichchha Katikam or the Toy Cart.

 It is a great source of socio-cultural conditions of that time.

4. Harisena

 He wrote poems praising the valour of Samudra Gupta.

 It is inscribed on Allahabad pillar.

5. Bhasa

 He wrote 13 plays which echo the lifestyle of the era along with its prevalent beliefs and

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Kushana period
The Kushana kings patronised Sanskrit scholars.


 He wrote the Buddhacharita which is the biography of the Buddha.

 He also wrote Saundarananda, which is a fine example of Sanskrit poetry.

 India produced great literary works on subjects like Math’s, Astronomy, Astrology,
Agriculture and Geography etc.

 Books on medicine were written by Charak and on surgery by Sushruta.

 Madhava wrote a book on pathology.

 Books written on astronomy by Varahamihira and Aryabhatta and on astrology

by Lagdhacharya had all achieved prominence.

 There is none that can compete with Varahamihiras Bhrihatsamhita, Aryabhatia and
Vedanga Jyotisha

 Somadeva’s Katha-sarit-sagar and Kalhan’s Rajatarangini are of historical

importance. It gives a vivid account of the Kings of Kashmir.

 The Geet Govinda of Jaidev is the finest poem of Sanskrit literature of this period,
besides numerous works on different aspects of art and architecture, sculpture,
iconography and related fields.

Other Sanskrit literature

 The law books called the Dharmasutras and smritis, together known
as Dharmashastras.

 The Dharmasutras were compiled between 500 and 200 BC.

 These lay down duties for different varnas as well as for the kings and their officials.

 They prescribed the rules according to which property had to be held, sold and inherited.

 They also prescribe punishments for persons guilty of assault, murder and adultery.

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 The Manusmriti tells us about the role of man and woman in society, their code of
conduct and relationship with each other.

 Kautilya’s Arthashastra is an important treatise of the Mauryan times. It reflects the state
of society and economy at that time and provides rich material for the study of ancient
Indian polity and economy.

 The works of Bhasa, Shudraka, Kalidasa and Banabhatta provided us with glimpses
of the social and cultural life of northern and central India in times of the Guptas and

 The Gupta period also saw the development of Sanskrit grammar based on the works of
Panini and Patanjali.

Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu literature

 The 4 Dravidan languages Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam developed their
own literature.

 Tamil being the oldest of these languages began writing earlier and produced the Sangam
literature – the oldest literature in Tamil.

Telugu Literature
 The Vijayanagara period was the golden age of Telugu literature.

 Nachana Somanatha, a court poet of Bukka I, produced a poetical work

titled Uttaraharivamsam.

Krishnadevaraya (1509-1529)

 The greatest of the Vijayanagara emperors, was a poet of great merit.

 His work Amukta Malyada is regarded as an excellent prabandha in Telugu literature.

 Eight Telugu literary luminaries, popularly known as “Ashtadiggajas” adorned his court.

Allasani Peddana

 Author of Manucharitram, was the greatest.

 He was known as Andhra kavitapitamaha.

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 The other 7 poets of the group were Nandi Timmana, the author
of Parijathapaharanam, Madayagari Mallana, Dhurjati, Ayyalaraju Ramabhadra
Kavi, Pingali Surana, Ramaraja Bhushana and Tenali Ramakrishna.

 Dhurjati, a devotee of Shiva, composed two poetical works of great merit known
as Kalahasteeswara Mahatmayam and Kalahasteeswara Satakam.

 Pingali Surana composed two works Raghavapandaviyam and Kalapuranodayam.

 In the former, he attempted a literary feat telling the story of the Ramayana and the
Mahabharata simultaneously.

 Tenali Ramakrishna, the court jester, was an interesting figure of the Krishnadevaraya’s

 His practical jokes on high-placed men of the time are recounted with pleasure even
today. Ramakrishna was the author of Panduranga Mahatmayam which was
considered one of the greatest poetical works of Telugu literature.

 Ramaraja Bhushana was the author of Vasucharitram. He was also known

as Bhattumurti.

 His other works include Narasabhupaliyam and Harishchandra Nalopakhyanam.

 It is a poetical work on the model of Raghavapandaviyam.

 One can read in it stories of Nala as well as Harishchandra.

 Madayagari Mallana’s work Rajashekharacharitra is a prabandha dealing with the wars

and loves of Rajashekhara, king of Avanti.

 Ayyalaraju Ramabhadra was the author of two works Ramabhyudayam and

Sakalakathasara Sangraham.

Kannada Literature
 Apart from Telugu, Vijayanagara rulers extended their patronage to Kannada and
Sanskrit writers as well.

 Many Jain scholars contributed to the growth of Kannada literature.

 Madhava wrote Dharmanathapurana on the fifteenth tirthankara. Another Jain scholar,

Uritta Vilasa, wrote Dharma Parikshe.

 The Sanskrit works of the period include Yadavabhyudayam by Vedanatha Desika and
Parasara Smriti Vyakhya of Madhavacharya.

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 Kannada language developed fully after the tenth century AD.

 The earliest known literary work in Kannada is Kavirajamang written by the Rashtrakuta
King, Nripatunga Amoghavarsha I.

 Pampa, known as the father of Kannada wrote his great poetic works Adi Purana and
Vïkramarjiva Vijaya in the tenth century AD.

 Pampa lived in the court of Chalukya Arikesari.

 In his poetic skill, beauty of description, delineation of character and development of

rasa, Pampa is unrivalled.

 Ponna and Ranna were two other poets who lived during the reign of Rashtrakuta
Krishna III.

 Ponna wrote an epic named Shanti Purana and Ranna wrote Ajitanatha Purano.

 Together Pampa, Ponna and Ranna earned the title ratnatraya (the three gems).

 In the thirteenth century new feats were achieved in Kannada literature.

 Harishvara wrote Harishchandra Kavya and Somanatha Charita whereas Bandhuvarma

wrote Harivamshabhyudaya and Jiva Sambodhana.

 Under the patronage of later Hoysala rulers, several literary works were produced.

 Rudra Bhata wrote Jagannathavijaya.

 Andayya’s Madana Vijaya or Kabbïgara Kava is a work of special interest in pure

Kannada without the mixture of Sanskrit words.

 Mallikarjuna’s Suktisudharnava, the first anthology in Kannada and Kesirja’s

Shabdamanidarpana on grammar are two other standard works in the Kannada language.

 Kannada literature flourished considerably between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries
under the patronage of the Vijayanagara kings.

 Poets of all religious groups made important contribution to it. Kunura Vyasa wrote
Bharata and Narahari wrote Tarave Ramayana.

 This is the first Rama Katha in Kannada composed on the basis of Valmikis Ramayana.

 Lakshamisha who lived in the seventeenth century wrote Jaïmini Bharata and earned the
titled of Kamata-Karicutavana-Chaitra (the spring of the Karnataka mango grove).

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 The other eminent poet of this period was the great Sarvajna, popularly known as the
people’s poet. His aphoristic tripadi (three-lined) compositions serve as a source of
wisdom and ethics.

 A special mention may be made of Honnamma, perhaps the first outstanding poetess in

 Her Hadibadeya Dharma (Duty of a Devout Wife) is a compendium of ethics.

Malayalam Literature
 Malayalam is spoken in Kerala and the adjoining areas.

 The language of Malayalam emerged around the eleventh century AD.

 By fifteenth century Malayalam was recognised as an independent language.

 Bhasa Kautilya, a commentary on Arthashastra and Kokasandisan are two great


 Rama Panikkar and Ramanuj an Ezhuthachan are well known authors of Malayalam

 Though it developed much later compared to other South Indian languages, Malayalam
has made a mark as a powerful medium of expression.

 Now a large number of journals, newspapers and magazines are published in Malayalam.

 When people read and write in their own language, they enjoy it more.

 This is because language is a part of their culture.

 It is so well inter woven in their social life that they can express and feel their emotions
as well in their own language.

Tamil or Sangam Literature

 Tamil as a written language was known since the beginning of the Christian era.

 It is, therefore, no wonder that considerable Sangama literature was produced in the
early four centuries of the Christian era, although it was finally compiled by 600 AD.

 Poets who in these assemblies were patronised by kings and chieftains produced the
Sangama literature over a period of three to four centuries.

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 Poets, bards and writers, authors came from various parts of South India to Madurai.

 Such assemblies were called “Sangamas”, and the literature produced in these
assemblies was called “Sangama literature”.

 The contributions of Tamil saints like Thiruvalluvar who wrote ‘Kural’ which has been
translated into many languages are noteworthy.

 The Sangama literature is a collection of long and short poems composed by various
poets in praise of numerous heroes and heroines.

 They are secular in nature and of a very high quality.

 Three such sangams were held.

 The poems collected in the first Sangam have been lost.

 In the second Sangam about 2000 poems have been collected.

 There are about 30,000 lines of poetry, which are arranged in eight anthologies
called Ettuttokoi.

 There are two main groups – the Patinenkil Kanakku (the eighteen lower collections)
and Pattupattu (the ten songs).

 The former is generally assumed to be older than the latter, and considered to be of more
historical importance.

 Thiruvallurar’s work ‘Kural’ is divided into 3 parts.

 The first part deals with the epics, the second part with polity and government and the
third part with love.

 Besides the Sangama texts, we have a text called Tolkkappiyam, which deals with
grammar and poetry.

 In addition, we have the twin epics of Silappadikaram and Manimekalai.

 These 2 were composed around the sixth century AD.

 The first is considered as the brightest gem of Tamil literature and deals with a love story.

 The second epic was written by a grain merchant of Madurai.

 These epics throw light on the socio-economic life of Tamils from second century to
sixth century AD.

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 From the 6th to 12th century AD, the Tamil devotional poems written by Nayanmars
(saints who sang in praise of Shaivism) and Alvars herald the great Bhakti movement
which engulfed the entire Indian sub-continent.

 During this period, Kambaramayanam and Periya Puranam were two Tamil literary
classic writers.

Development of Literature during the Mughal Period

Babur and Humayun were lovers of literature.


 He was a great scholar of Persian.

 He wrote a book known as Tuzek-e-Babari which is highly esteemed by the Turkish



 He got the treatise translated into Arabic.

 He too was a lover of learning and had established a big Library.

 Humayun Nama tops the books written in his times.


 ‘Akbar Nama’, Sur Sagar, Ram Charitamanas are prominent among the books written
during his time.

 Malik Muhammad Jayasis Padmavat and Keshav’s Ram Chandrika were also written
during the same period.


 He greatly patronized literature.

 He too was a scholar of a high caliber and wrote his life story.

Shah Jahan

 Well known scholar named Abdul Hameed Lahori.

 He wrote “Badshah Nama”.

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 The literary activities suffered during his time.

 Urdu literature started developing during the last days of the Mughal emperor.

 This credit goes to Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan and Mirza Galib.

 The language of Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan was very simple and impressive.

 His compositions inspired the other Urdu writer Mirza Galib, who was a famous poet of
his time.

 He made an important contribution to uplift Urdu poetry.

Marathi literature and Kashmiri literature

Marathi literature
 Maharashtra is situated on a plateau where a large number of local dialects were in use.
Marathi grew out of these local dialects.

 The Portuguese missionaries started using Marathi for preaching their gospel.

 The earliest Marathi poetry and prose is by Saint Jnaneshwar (Gyaneshwar) who lived
in the thirteenth century. He wrote a long commentary on the Bhagavad Gita.

 He was the one who started the kirtan tradition in Maharashtra.

 He was followed by Namdev (l 270- 1350), Gora, Sena and Janabai.

 All these sang and popularised the Marathi language.

 Their songs are sung even today by the Verkari pilgrirns on their way to Pandharpur

 Almost two centuries later, Eknath (l533-99) came on the scene. He wrote the
commentaries on the Ramayana and the Bhagawat Purana. His songs are very popular all
over Maharashtra.

 Then come Tukarama (1598-1650). He is supposed to be the greatest Bhakti poet of

them all.

 Ramdas (1608-81), who was the guru of Shivaji, is the last of these hymn writers. He
was the devotee of Rama. He inspired Shivaji.

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 The closing years of the nineteenth century saw an upsurge in the Marathi literature.

 It was a nationalist movement that made Marathi prose popular and prominent.

 Bal Gangadhar Tilak (l 857-1920) started his Journal Kesari in Marathi.

 This helped the growth of Marathi literature. But the role of Keshav Sut and V.S.
Chiplunkar was no less.

 Hari Narayan Apte and Agarkar wrote novels which became very popular.

 All these prose writers made great contribution to the development of Marathi literature.

 The name of H.G Salgaokar is remembered for writing inspirational poetry.

 Besides, the names of M.G. Ranade, K.T. Telang, G.T. Madholkar (poet and novelist) are
no less important.

Kashmiri literature
 Kashmir shot into literary prominence, when Kalhana wrote Rajatarangini in Sanskrit
But this was in the language of the elite.

 For locals, Kashmiri was the popular dialect.

 Here also the Bhakti movement played its role.

 One Lal Ded, who lived in the fourteenth century, was probably the first to sing in the
Kashmiri language. She was a Shaivite mystic. After Islam spread in this area, the Sufi
influence also came to be visible.

 Haba Khatoon, Mahjoor, Zinda Kaul, and Noor Din also known as Nund Rishi, Akhtar
Mohiuddin, Sufi Ghulam Mohammad and Dina Nath Nadim wrote devotional poetry in

 These people contributed to the growth of Kashmiri literature.

 The Western influence did not reach Kashmir till the end of the nineteenth century.

 In 1846, after the first Sikh War, the Dogras of Jammu became the rulers there.

 The Dogras were more interested in Dogri language than in Kashmiri. There were hardly
any schools or education.

 There was widespread poverty and economic backwardness.

 All these led to a lack of good literature in Kashmir.

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 Though the list of Modern Indian languages can have many languages, the constitution of
India has originally about 15 languages as national languages i.e. Assamese, Bengali,
Gujarati, Hindi, Kashmiri, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Urdu, Tamil,
Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam.

 Three more languages i.e. Nepali, Manipuri and Konkani have been added now to the list.

Role of Christian missionaries in education

 With the coming of the Europeans to India various foreign languages like English,
French, Dutch & Portuguese were introduced here which greatly enriched Indian
languages as they added many new words to their vocabulary.

 The contribution of the Christian missionaries in the development of Indian literature was
no less significant.

 First of all, they published dictionaries and grammar in several local languages.

 The books written by them were meant for the newly arrived clergymen from Europe.

 These books helped these missionaries as much as they helped the writers in the local

 They could easily turn to the dictionaries to find a suitable word or see if the word was
grammatically correct.

 The second fact is the role of lithographic printing press, which was introduced in India
in the beginning of the nineteenth century.

 The foreigners had established these presses for printing literature in local languages for
the benefit of the new, or would-be converts.

 Therefore, the role of printing press in the development of literature cannot be ignored.

 The third important fact is the establishment of schools and colleges by the missionaries.

 Here, besides English, the missionaries also taught the local languages.

 Perhaps their aim was to spread Christianity but they also produced a newly educated
class, who had a desire to read their literature.

 Thus, the role of missionaries cannot be ignored while writing the history of Indian
languages and literature.

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Main Writers of English Literature in India

 In India there were many writers of the English literature.

 The Indians started writing work in English after 1835, when English was made the
medium of instruction.

 Many Indian writers composed their literature in English.

 Some of them showed their interest in the field of poetry, while some others showed their
keen interest in prose writing.

 Michael. MadhuSudan Dutta, Taradutta, Sarojini Naidu and Ravindranath Tagore made
important contribution in the field of English Poetry.

 Surendra Nath Banerjee, Firoze Shah Mehta and Jawahar Lal Nehru showed interest in
English prose.

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Philosophy of India

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Schools of Philosophy in India: Orthodox &Heterodox

There are 2 types of Schools of Philosophy in India:

1. Orthodox – Accepted the authority of Vedas & Believed in God. Ex: Shad Dharshanas

2. Heterodox – Questioned the authority of Vedas & Didn’t believed in God. Ex: Buddhism
& Jainism philosophy

“Shada darshana” of Indian philosophy

 During the later Vedic period that definite ideas and philosophies about the true nature of
soul or Atman and the cosmic principle or Brahman who represented the ultimate reality
were developed.

 These Vedic philosophical concepts later on gave rise to six different schools of
philosophies called Shada darshana.

 They fall in the category of the orthodox system as the final authority of the Vedas is
recognised by all of them.

1. Samkhya System
 The Samkhya philosophy holds that reality is constituted of two principles one female
and the other male i.e. Prakriti, Purusha respectively.

 Prakriti and Purusha are completely independent and absolute.

 According to this system, Purusha is mere consciousness; hence it cannot be modified or

changed. Prakriti on the other hand is constituted of three attributes, thought, movement
and the change or transformation of these attributes brings about the change in all objects.

 The Samkhya philosophy tries to establish some relationship between Purusha and
Prakriti for explaining the creation of the universe.

 The profounder of this philosophy was Kapila, who wrote the Samkhya sutra.

 In fact Samkhya school explained the phenomena of the doctrine of evolution and
answered all the questions aroused by the thinkers of those days.

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2. Yoga
 Yoga literally means the union of the two principal entities.

 The origin of yoga is found in the Yogasutra of Patanjali believed to have been written
in the second century BC.

 By purifying and controlling changes in the mental mechanism, yoga systematically

brings about the release of Purusha from prakriti.

 Yogic techniques control the body, mind and sense organs. Thus this philosophy is also
considered a means of achieving freedom or mukti.

 This freedom could be attained by practicing self-control (yama), observation of rules

(niyama), fixed postures (asana), breath control (pranayama), choosing an object
(pratyahara) and fixing the mind (dharna), concentrating on the chosen object
(dhyana) and complete dissolution of self, merging the mind and the object (Samadhi).

 Yoga admits the existence of God as a teacher and guide.

3. Nyaya
 Nyaya is considered as a technique of logical thinking.

 According to Nyaya, valid knowledge is defined as the real knowledge, that is, one
knows about the object as it exists.

 For example, it is when one knows a snake as a snake or a cup as a cup.

 Nyaya system of philosophy considers God who creates, sustains and destroys the

 Gautama is said to be the author of the “Nyaya Sutras”.

4. Vaisheshika
 Vaisheshika system is considered as the realistic and objective philosophy of universe.

 The reality according to this philosophy has many bases or categories which are
substance, attribute, action, genus, distinct quality and inherence.

 Vaisheshika thinkers believe that all objects of the universe are composed of five
elements–earth, water, air, fire and ether.

 They believe that God is the guiding principle.

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 The living beings were rewarded or punished according to the law of karma, based on
actions of merit and demerit.

 Creation and destruction of universe was a cyclic process and took place in agreement
with the wishes of God.

 Kanaada wrote the basic text of Vaisheshika philosophy.

 A number of treatises were written on this text but the best among them is the one written
by Prashastapada in the sixth century AD.

 Vaisheshika School of philosophy explained the phenomena of the universe by the

atomic theory, the combination of atoms and molecules into matter and explained the
mechanical process of formation of Universe.

5. Mimamsa
 Mimamsa philosophy is basically the analysis of interpretation, application and the use of
the text of the Samhita and Brahmana portions of the Veda.

 According to Mimamsa philosophy Vedas are eternal and possess all knowledge, and
religion means the fulfillment of duties prescribed by the Vedas.

 This philosophy encompasses the Nyaya-Vaisheshika systems and emphasizes the

concept of valid knowledge.

 Its main text is known as the Sutras of Gaimini which have been written during the third
century BC. The names associated with this philosophy are Sabar Swami and Kumarila

 The essence of the system according to Jaimini is Dharma which is the dispenser of fruits
of one’s actions, the law of righteousness itself.

 This system lays stress on the ritualistic part of Vedas.

6. Vedanta
 Vedanta implies the philosophy of the Upanishad, the concluding portion of the Vedas.

 Shankaracharya wrote the commentaries on the Upanishads, Brahmasutras and the

Bhagavad Gita.

 Shankaracharya’s discourse or his philosophical views came to be known as Advaita


 Advaita literally means non-dualism or belief in one reality.

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 Shankaracharya expounded that ultimate reality is one, it being the Brahman.

 According to Vedanta philosophy, ‘Brahman is true, the world is false and self.

 Brahman are not different, Shankaracharya believes that the Brahman is existent,
unchanging, the highest truth and the ultimate knowledge.

 He also believes that there is no distinction between Brahman and the self.

 The knowledge of Brahman is the essence of all things and the ultimate existence.

 Ramanuja was another well known Advaita scholar.

 Vedanta philosophy teaches that all these different religions are like so many roads,
which lead to same goal.

 Vedanta (the end of the Vedas or knowledge) refers to the Upanishads which appeared at
the end of each Veda with a direct perception of reality.

Charvaka School of philosophy

 Brihaspati is supposed to be the founder of the Charvaka School of philosophy.

 It finds mention in the Vedas and Brihadaranyka Upanishad.

 Thus it is supposed to be the earliest in the growth of the philosophical knowledge.

 It holds that knowledge is the product of the combination of four elements which leaves
no trace after death. Charvaka philosophy deals with the materialistic philosophy.

 It is also known as the ‘Lokayata Philosophy’ – the philosophy of the masses.

 According to Charvaka there is no other world.

 Hence, a death is the end of humans and pleasures the ultimate object in life.

 Charvaka recognises no existence other than this material world.

 Since God, soul, and heaven, cannot be perceived, they are not recognised by Charvakas.

 Out of the five elements earth, water, fire, air and ether, the Charvakas do not recognise
ether as it is not known through perception.

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Heterodox philosophy: Jainism, Buddhism and


Jain philosophy
 Like the Charvakas, the Jains too do not believe in the Vedas, but they admit the
existence of a soul.

 They also agree with the orthodox tradition that suffering (pain) can be stopped by
controlling the mind and by seeking right knowledge and perception and by observing the
right conduct.

 The Jaina philosophy was first propounded by the Rishabha Deva.

 The names of Ajit Nath and Aristanemi are also mentioned with Rishabha Deva.

 There were 24 Tirthankaras who actually established the ‘Jaina darshan‘.

 The first tirthankar realised that the source of Jaina philosophy was Adinath.

 The 24th and the last tirthankar was named Vardhaman Mahavira who gave great impetus
to Jainism. Mahavira was born in 599 BC.

 He left worldly life at the age of thirty and led a very hard life to gain true knowledge.

 After he attained Truth, he was called Mahavira and he strongly believed in the
importance of celibacy or brahamcharya.

Jain Theory of Reality: 7 Kinds of Fundamental Elements

 The Jains believe that the natural and supernatural things of the universe can be traced
back to seven fundamental elements.

 They are jiva, ajivaa, astikaya, bandha, samvara, nirjana, and moksa.

 Substances like body which exist and envelope (like a cover) are astïkaya.

 Anastikayas like ‘time’ have no body at all.

 The substance is the basis of attributes (qualities). The attributes that we find in a
substance are known as dharmas.

 The Jains believe that things or substance have attributes. These attributes also change
with the change of kala (time).

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 From their point of view, the attributes of a substance are essential, and eternal or
unchangeable. Without essential attributes, a thing cannot exist. So they are always
present in everything.

 For example, consciousness (chetana) is the essence of the soul; desire, happiness and
sorrow are its changeable attributes.

Philosophy of the Buddhism

 Gautama Buddha, who founded the Buddhist philosophy, was born in 563 BC at
Lumbini, a village near Kapilavastu in the foothills of Nepal.

 A the age of29, Gautama Buddha renounced family life to find a solution to the world’s
continuous sorrow of death, sickness, poverty, etc.

 He went to the forests and meditated there for six years. Thereafter, he went to Bodh
Gaya (in Bihar) and meditated under a pipal tree.

 It was at this place that he attained enlightenment and came to be known as the Buddha.
He then travelled a lot to spread his message and helped people find the path of liberation
or freedom.

 Gautama’s three main disciples known as Upali, Ananda and Mahakashyap

remembered his teachings and passed them on to his followers.

 It is believed that soon after the Buddha’s death a council was called at Rajagriha where
Upali recited the Vinaya Pitaka (rules of the order) and Ananda recited the Sutta
Pitaka (Buddha’s sermons or doctrines and ethics).

 Sometime later the Abhidhamma Pitaka consisting of the Buddhist philosophy came into

Main Characteristics

 Buddha presented simple principles of life and practical ethics that people could follow

 He considered the world as full of misery. Man’s duty is to seek liberation from this
painful world.

 He strongly criticised blind faith in the traditional scriptures like the Vedas.

 Buddha’s teachings are very practical and suggest how to attain peace of mind and
ultimate liberation from this material world.

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Realization of Four Noble Truths

1. Suffering in human life

 When Buddha saw human beings suffering from sickness, pain and death, he concluded
that there was definitely suffering in human life.

 There is pain with birth. Separation from the pleasant is also painful.

 All the passions that remain unfulfilled are painful.

 Pain also comes when objects of sensuous pleasure are lost. Thus, life is all pain.

2. Cause of suffering

 It is desire that motivates the cycle of birth and death.

 Therefore, desire is the fundamental cause of suffering.

3. Cessation of suffering

 Tells that when passion, desire and love of life are totally destroyed, pain stops.

 This Truth leads to the end of sorrow, which causes pain in human life.

 It involves destruction of ego (aham or ahamkara), attachment, jealousy, doubt and


 That state of mind is the state of freedom from desire, pain and any kind of attachment.

 It is the state of complete peace, leading to nirvana.

4. Path of Liberation

 Starting with pessimism, the Buddhist philosophy leads to optimism.

 Although there is a constant suffering in human life, it can be ended finally.

 Buddha suggests that the way or the path leading to liberation is eight-fold, through
which one can attain nirvana.

Eight-fold Path to Liberation (Nirvana)

(i) Right Vision

 One can attain right vision by removing ignorance.

 Ignorance creates a wrong idea of the relationship between the world and the self.

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 It is on account of wrong understanding of man that he takes the non-permanent world as


 Thus, the right view of the world and its objects is the right vision.

(ii) Right Resolve

 It is the strong will-power to destroy thoughts and desires that harm others.

 It includes sacrifice, sympathy and kindness towards others.

(iii) Right Speech

 Man should control his speech by right resolve.

 It means to avoid false or unpleasant words by criticizing others.

(iv) Right Conduct

 It is to avoid activities which harm life.

 It means to be away from theft, excessive eating, the use of artificial means of beauty,
jewellery, comfortable beds, gold etc.

(v) Right Means of Livelihood

 Right livelihood means to earn one’s bread and butter by right means.

 It is never right to earn money by unfair means like fraud, bribery, theft, etc.

(vi) Right Effort

 It is also necessary to avoid bad feelings and bad impressions.

 It includes self-control, stopping or negation of sensuality and bad thoughts, and

awakening of good thoughts.

(vii) Right Mindfulness

 It means to keep one’s body, heart and mind in their real form.

 Bad thoughts occupy the mind when their form is forgotten.

 When actions take place according to the bad thoughts, one has to experience pain.

(viii) Right Concentration

 If a person pursues the above seven Rights, he will be able to concentrate properly and

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 One can attain nirvana by right concentration (meditation).

 Except for Charvaka school, realisation of soul has been the common goal of all
philosophical schools of India.

Ajivika Philosophy
 A related philosophy which some classify under the heterodox system is Ajivika

 The Ājīvikas may simply have been a more loosely-organized group of wandering
ascetics (shramanas or sannyasins).

 Some of its prominent figures were Makkhali Gosala and Sanjaya Belatthaputta.

 This was an ascetic movement of the Mahajanapada period in the Indian subcontinent.

Advaita, Vishistadvaita, Sivadvaita, Dvaita,

Dvaitadvaita & Suddhadvaita

 The major religious movements were brought about by the mystics.

 They contributed to the religious ideas and beliefs.

 Bhakti saints like Vallabhacharya, Ramanuja, Nimbaraka brought about new

philosophical thinking which had its origin in Shankaracharya’s Advaita (non-dualism)

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1. Advaita of Shankaracharya
 Shankaracharya’s discourse or his philosophical views came to be known as “Advaita

 Advaita literally means non-dualism or belief in one reality.

 He expounded that ultimate reality is one, it being the Brahman.

 According to Vedanta philosophy, ‘Brahman is true; the world is false and self.

 Brahman are not different, Shankaracharya believes that the Brahman is existent,
unchanging, the highest truth and the ultimate knowledge.

 He also believes that there is no distinction between Brahman and the self.

 The knowledge of Brahman is the essence of all things and the ultimate existence.

“I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world tolerance and universal
acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true.” –
Swami Vivekananda at Parliament of world Religions in Chicago 1893.

2. Vishistadvaita of Ramanujacharya
 Vishistadvaita means modified monism.

 The ultimate reality according to this philosophy is Brahman (God) and matter and soul
are his qualities.

3. Sivadvaita of Srikanthacharya
 According to this philosophy the ultimate Brahman is Shiva, endowed with Shakti.

 Shiva exists in this world as well as beyond it.

4. Dvaita of Madhavacharya
 The literal meaning of dvaita is dualism which stands in opposition to non-dualism and
monism of Shankaracharya.

 He believed that the world is not an illusion (maya) but a reality full of differences.

5. Dvaitadvaita of Nimbaraka
 Dvaitadvaita means dualistic monism.

 According to this philosophy God transformed himself into world and soul.

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 This world and soul are different from God (Brahman).

 They could survive with the support of God only.

 They are separate but dependent.

6. Suddhadvaita of Vallabhacharya
 Vallabhacharya wrote commentaries on Vedanta Sutra and Bhagavad Gita.

 For him Brahman (God) was Sri Krishna who manifested himself as souls and matter.

 God and soul are not distinct, but one.

 The stress was on pure non-dualism.

 His philosophy came to be known as Pushtimarga (the path of grace) and the school was
called Rudrasampradaya.

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Indian Music

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Indian Music
 Origin of Indian Music: Traced from Sama Veda & its Upaveda, Gandharva Veda

 In Puranas Narada is the reference of Music & First one who heard this revelation.

 Tambru was the first musician.

 Nād or sound is supposed to be the basis of all creations.

 Bharat muni’s Natya Shastra contains several chapters on music.

 He defined music as a combination of Artya gayana & vadana.

3 Pillars of Indian Musical system:

 Swara,

 Rāga &

 Tāla

 In general sense ‘Swara’ means tone or pitch.

 The primitive sound “OM” gave birth to Swara.

 ‘Saptaswaras‘ or 7 swaras: Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Tha & Ni

 ‘Shruti’ is a theoretical interval of which the scale contains 22.

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 In Carnatic Music, swaras have prakruti and vikruti swaras.

 The vikruti swaras are Ri, GA, Ma, Da and Ni.

 The rest are prakruti swaras i.e SA & PA.

Swara meanings

Swara Sanskrit Meaning Animal Chakra God

Sa Shadja six peacock mūlādhāra Ganapati

Re Rishabha bull Bull svādhiṣṭhāna Agni

Ga Gandhara sky goat maṇipūra Rudra

Ma Madhyama middle dove anāhata Vishnu

Pa Panchama fifth cuckoo viśuddha Naarada

Dha Dhaivata earth Horse ājñā Sadasiva

Ni Nishadam hunter elephant sahasrāra Surya

 Basis of melody

 Combination of tone or Swara or notes

 Minimum 5 notes in every raga.

3 kinds of Rāgas

 Odava Rāga: 5 notes,

 Shadava Rāga: 6 notes &

 Sampurna Rāga: 7 notes.

There are 6 principle Rāgas in Hindustani music & are time specific, season specific & mood

 Basis of timed Rhythm.

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 Arrangement of beats in cyclical manners.

 Range of Tāla is 3 to 108 beats.

 As per Natya Shastra, they are 32 types.

 Most popular Tāla is ‘Teental’ has 16 beats.

Note: Classification of Indian Music; 2 distinct styles i.e Hindustani & Carnatic.

Hindustani music
 Hindustani music has 10 main forms of styles of singing & compositions: dhrupad,
dhamar, hori, khayal, tappa, chaturang, ragasagar, tarana, sargam and thumri.

 Nowadays ghazals have become very popular as the ‘light classical’ form of music.


 Oldest & perhaps the grandest form of hindustani vocal music.

 Sanskrit & Vedic origin.

 Also called as ‘temple music’ (Emerged from temples)

 Raja Man singh of Gwalior popularised it.

 Performance consists of 2 parts i.e ‘Alap’ & ‘Bandish’

 Theme: Religious & Devotional theme.

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 Khayal literally means ‘a stray thought’, ‘a lyric’ & ‘an imagination’.

 Most prominent genre of hindustani vocal music depicting a romantic style of singing.

 It is dependent to a large extent on the imagination of the performer & the improvisations
he is able to incorporate.

 It is composed in a particular raga & tala and has a brief text.

 6 main gharanas in khayal: delhi, patiala, agra, gwalior, kirana & atrauli-jaipur.

 Gwalior gharana is the oldest & is also considered the mother of all other gharanas.


 Originated in the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh, mainly in lucknow and Benares, around
the 18th century.

 Believed to have been influenced by hori, kajri & dadra.

 Supposed to be a romantic & erotic style of singing and is also called “the lyric
of Indian classical music”.

 Compositions are mostly of love, separation and devotion.

 Its most distinct feature is the erotic subject matter picturesquely portraying the various
episodes from the lives of lord Krishna and Radha.

 Usually performed as the last item of a khayal concert.

 There are 3 main gharanas of thumri — Benares, lucknow and patiala.


 Close resemblance to the thumri.

 The texts are as amorous as those of thumris.

 Major difference is that dadras have more than one antara and are in dadra tala.

 Singers usually sing a dadra after a thumri.


 Compositions are similar to dhrupad but are chiefly associated with the festival of holi.

 Compositions are specifically in praise of lord Krishna.

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 This music, sung in the dhamar tala, is chiefly used in festivals like janmashthami,
ramnavami & holi. These compositions are mainly based on the love pranks of Radha-


 Developed in the late 18thcentury from the folk songs of camel drivers.

 Tappa literally means ‘jump’ in persian.

 They are essentially folklore of love & passion and are written in Punjabi.


 Consists of different parts of musical passages in different ragas as one song composition.

 Compositions have 8 to 12 different ragas & the lyrics indicate the change of the ragas.

 Depends on how smoothly the musical passages change along with the change of ragas.


 Consisting of peculiar syllables woven into rhythmical patterns as a song.

 It is usually sung in faster tempo.


 Denotes 4 colours or a composition of a song in 4 parts: fast khayal, tarana, sargam and a
“paran” of tabla or pakhwaj.


 Mainly a poetic form than a musical form, but it is more song-like than the thumri.

 Described as the “pride of Urdu poetry” & Originated in Iran in the 10th century.

 It never exceeds 12 shers (couplets) & on an average, ghazals usually have about 7 shers.

 Found an opportunity to grow and develop in India around 12th century ad when the
Mughal influences came to India & persian gave way to Urdu as the language of poetry
and literature.

 Developed & evolved in the courts of Golconda &Bijapur under the patronage of Muslim

 The 18th & 19th centuries are regarded as the golden period of the ghazal with delhi &
lucknow being its main centres.

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Carnatic music
 Tamil classic of the 2nd century.

 Silappadikaram contains a vivid description of the music of that period.

 The Tolkkappiyam, kalladam & the contributions of the saivite and vaishnavite saints of
the 7th & 8th centuries also serve as resource material for studying musical history.

 Flourished in deogiri the capital city of the yadavas in the middle ages.

 The entire cultural life of the city took shelter in the Carnatic empire of Vijayanagar
under the reign of Krishnadevaraya. Thereafter, the music of south India came to be
known as Carnatic music.

 After Purandaradasa, Tallapakam Annamacharya, Narayana tirtha, Bhadrachalam

Ramdasu & kshetranja made contributions to the wealth of compositions.

 Outstanding feature is its raga system & highly developed and intricate tala system.

Birth of the musical trinity – Tyagaraja, Muthuswami dikshitar & Syama sastri – at tiruvarur
between the years 1750 to 1850.


 Simplest type of composition.

 Taught to beginners of music, the Gitam is very simple in construction, with an easy.

 Melodious flow of music.

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 Very much like the Gitam in musical structure.

 Arrangement, the suladis are of a higher standard than the Gitam.


 A beautiful creation of musical craftsmanship of a high order, combining in itself all the
characteristic features of the raga in which it is Composed.

 Practice in Varnam singing helps a musician to attain mastery in presentation &

command over raga, tala and bhava.


 Learnt after a course in gitams.

 More complicated than the gitas, the svarajati paves the way for the learning of the

 Theme is either devotional, heroic or amorous.


 Very similar to the svarajati in musical structure, this form- jatisvaram – has no sahitya or

 The piece is sung with solfa syllables only.


 Had its birth about the latter half of the 14th century.

 It is valued for the devotional content of the sahitya.

 Clothed in simple music, the kirtanam abounds in bhakti bhava.

 It is suited for congregational singing as well as individual presentation.


 A development from the kirtana.

 It is a highly evolved musical form.

 The highest limit of aesthetic excellence is reached in the kriti composition.

 The raga bhava is brought out in all the rich and varied colours in this form.

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 Scholarly compositions in telugu & tamil.

 Though they are composed mainly as dance forms, they are also sung in concerts, on
account of their musical excellence & aesthetic appeal.

 The music is slow-moving & dignified.


 Composition belonging to the sphere of light classical music.

 Sung both in concert programmes & dance concerts, the javalis are popular because of
the attractive melodies in which they are composed.

 In contrast to the padas which portray divine love, javalis are songs which are sensuous in
concept and spirit.


 Corresponding to the tarana of hindustani music is a short and crisp form.

 It is mainly a dance form, but on account of its brisk and attractive music, it sometimes
finds a place in music concerts as a conclusion piece.


 Most important branch of creative music.

 Branch of manodharma sangeeta, that the musician has ample opportunities of displaying
his or her creative talents, imaginative skill, & musical intelligence.


 A branch of raga alapana in madhyamakala or medium speed.

 There is perceptible rhythm in this.

 The rhythmical flow of music, flowing in fascinating patterns, makes tanam singing the
most captivating part of raga exposition.

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Musical instruments of India

Main categories on the basis of how sounds are produced.

1. Taal vadya

 Chordophones; stringed instruments

 Ex: - Guitar, Veena, Sitar, Santum, Piano & Hormonium etc…

2. Sushira vadya

 Aerophones; wind instruments

 Flute, Whistle, Saxophone, Nadeshswaram & Pungi etc…

3. Avanaddha vadya

 Membranophones; percussion instruments

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 Have to strike it to generate sound.

 Tabla, Drum, Dhol & Longo etc…

4. Ghana vadya

 Idiophones; solid instruments.

 Ghunglu, Dandiya, matlu & Jal tarang etc…..

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Indian Dance

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Indian Dance
 Indian Dance is of ‘Divine origin’ i.e it was a ritual form of worship at the temples.

 Principles of Indian classical dance are derived from “Natya Shastra” of Bharat Muni.

 Natya includes dance, drama & music.

 Bharat Muni traces its origin from Brahma & Brahma created 5th Veda known as ‘Natya

From Vedas:

1.’Pathya’ (words) taken from Rig-Veda

2.’Abinaya’ (gestures) from Yajurveda

3.’Geet’ (music) from Samaveda

4.’Rasa’ (Emotions) from Arthavanaveda

 Nataraja represents destruction, creation, preservation, release from bondage & the cycle
of Life & Death.

 Dance is considered to be a complete art because it enfolds in its range, other art forms
too – music, sculpture, poetry & drama.

 In every dance, the presence of mudra & rasa is must.

 108 Mudras & 9 Rasas are there.

2 basic aspects of dance; Tandava & Lasya.

 Tandava denotes movement on rhythm i.e it emphasis on male characteristics of power,

strength & firm aspect.

 Lasya denotes grace, bhava, rasa, & abhinaya which are more feminine.

Nritta vs. Natya

 Nritta: consists of dance movement in their basic form.

 Natya: Includes expressions, through eye, hand & facial movements.

 Combination of ‘nritta’ & ‘natya’ becomes “Nritya.”

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 Earliest evidence: Bronze dancing girl, Bhimbetka caves, Ajanta & Ellora caves.

 The classical dances are governed by rules of Natya Shastra & based on “Guru –
Shishya parampara”

 Sangeeta Natya Academy has given the status of 8 classical dances.

Indian classical dances

The Sangeeta Natak Academy currently confers classical status on eight Indian classical dance
styles: Bharatanatyam (Tamil Nadu), Kathak (North, West and Central India),
Kathakali (Kerala), Kuchipudi (Andhra Pradesh), Odissi (Odisha), Manipuri (Manipur),
Mohiniyattam (Kerala), and Sattriya (Assam).

1. Bharatanatyam – Tamil nadu

 Oldest among all classical dances.

 Bharatanatyam – where one dancer takes on many

roles in a single performance.

 Style was kept alive by the devadasis, who were young

girls ‘gifted’ by their parents to the temples and who
were married to the gods.

 Devadasis performed music & dance as offerings to

the deities, in the temple courtyards.

 As a solo dance, Bharatanatyam leans heavily on the

abhinaya or mime aspect of dance – the nritya, where
the dancer expresses the sahitya through movement
and mime.

 Varnam – most important composition of the

Bharatanatyam repertoire, encompasses both nritta and
nritya & epitomizes the essence of this classical dance

What is Bharatanatyam??

 Bha – Bhaav

 Ra – Raag

 Ta – Taal

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 Natya – Dance (in Tamil)

 Bhava or rasa is woven into the sahitya & then expressed by the dancer.

 Bharatanatyam performance ends with a tillana which has its origin in the tarana of
Hindustani music.

 The finale of the piece is a series of well designed rhythmic lines reaching a climax.

 The performance ends with a mangalam invoking the blessings of the Gods.

 The accompanying orchestra consists of a vocalist, an mridangam player, violinist or

Veena player, a flautist and a cymbal player.

 The person who conducts the dance recitation is the Nattuvanar.

 Sanskrit, Tamil & Kannada are traditional languages of Bharatanatyam.

 Exponents: Rukmini Arundale, Radha Krishnamurthy & Sonal Mansingh.

2. Kathak- Uttar Pradesh

 Kathakars or story-tellers are people who narrate stories largely based on episodes from
the epics, myths and legends.

 It probably started as an oral tradition. Mime & gestures were perhaps added later on to
make the recitation more effective.

 Vaishnavite cult which swept North India in the

15thcentury & the resultant bhakti movement
contributed to a whole new range of lyrics and musical

 Dance in Rasleela, however, was mainly an extension

of the basic mime and gestures of the Kathakars or
story-tellers which blended easily with the existing
traditional dance.

 In both Hindu & Muslim courts, Kathak became highly

stylized and came to be regarded as a sophisticated
form of entertainment.

 Under the Muslims there was a greater stress on nritya

and bhava giving the dance graceful, expressive &
sensuous dimensions.

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 Being the only classical dance of India having links with Muslim culture, it represents a
unique synthesis of Hindu & Muslim genius in art.

 Further, Kathak is the only form of classical dance wedded to Hindustani or the North
Indian music.

 Exponents: Lacchu Maharaja, Birju Maharaja & Sitara Devi

3. Kuchipudi – Andhra Pradesh

 Named after the village of Kuchipudi.

 Introduced by a yogi called ‘Siddendra‘

 ‘At times, even though the dramatic situation

did not demand, solo dancing was being
presented to punctuate the presentation and to
enhance the appeal.

 One such number is tarangam inspired by the

Krishna-leela tarangini of Teerthanarayana

 Acrobatic dancing became part of the


 There are now 2 forms of Kuchipudi; the

traditional musical dance-drama & the solo

 A recital of Kuchipudi begins with an invocatory number, as is done in some other

classical dance styles.

 Earlier the invocation was limited to Ganesha Vandana. Now other gods are also

 It is followed by nritta, that is, non-narrative and abstract dancing. A Kuchipudi recital is
usually concluded with tarangam.

 Music that accompanies the dance is according to the classical school of Carnatic music
& is delightfully syncopation.

 Orchestra – mridangam, violin / Veena & cymbal.

 Exponents: Radha & Raja Reddy (wife & Husband), Yamini Krishnamurthy and Indarani

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4. Kathakali- Kerala
 Comparatively recent origin.

 Chakiarkoothu, Koodiyattam, Krishnattam

and Ramanattam are few of the ritual
performing arts of Kerala which have had
a direct influence on Kathakali in its form
and technique.

 Kathakali is a blend of dance, music and

acting and dramatizes stories, which are
mostly adapted from the Indian epics.

 Kathakali is a visual art where aharya,

costume and make-up are suited to the
characters, as per the tenets laid down in
the Natya Shastra.

 The face of the artist is painted over to

appear as though a mask is worn.

 The lips, the eyelashes and the eyebrows

are made to look prominent. A mixture of
rice paste and lime is applied to make the
chutti on the face which highlights the
facial make-up.

 The characters in a Kathakali performance are broadly divided into satvika,

rajasika &tamasika types.

 Satvika characters are noble, heroic, generous & refined.

 A large oil-fed lamp is placed in front of the stage and two people hold a curtain called
Tirasseela on the stage, the main dancers stand behind it before the performance.

 The movement of the eyebrows, the eye-balls and the lower eye-lids as described in the
Natya Shastra are not used to such an extent in any other dance style.

 Exponents: Kalamandalam Gopi & Kalamandalam Murli.

5. Odissi – Odisha
 Archaeological evidence of this dance form dating back to the 2nd century B.C. is found
in the caves of Udayagiri and Khandagiri near Bhubaneshwar.

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 With Hinduism taking roots in Orissa by about the 7th century A.D., many imposing
temples were erected.

 The Sun Temple at Konark, built in the 13th century,

with its Natya mandap or Hall of dance, marks the
culmination of the temple building activity in Orissa.

 These dance movements, frozen in stone, continue to

inspire Odissi dancers even today.

 The maharis, who were originally temple dancers,

came to be employed in royal courts which resulted in
the degeneration of the art form.

 Around this time, a class of boys called gotipuas were

trained in the art, they danced in the temples and also
for general entertainment.

 Many of today’s gurus of this style belong to the

gotipua tradition.

 Facial expressions, hand gestures and body

movements are used to suggest a certain feeling, an emotion or one of the nine rasas.

 orchestra – pakhwaj , flute, sitar / violin and manjira

 In each performance, even a modern Odissi dancer still reaffirms the faith of the
devadasis or maharis where they sought liberation or moksha through the medium of

 Exponents: Kalicharan Patnayak, Sonal Mansingh, Sharan lower (U.SA) & Myrla Barve

6. Sattriya- Assam
 Introduced in the 15th century A.D by the great Vaishnava saint & reformer of Assam,
‘Mahapurusha Sankaradeva‘as a powerful medium for propagation of the Vaishnava

 There were 2 dance forms prevalent in Assam before the neo-Vaishnava movement such
as Ojapali & Devadasi with many classical elements.

 2 varieties of Ojapali dances are still prevalent in Assam i.e. Sukananni or Maroi Goa
Ojah & Vyah Goa Ojah. Sukananni Ojah paali is of Shakti cult and Vyah Goa Ojah paali
is of Vaishnava cult.

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 Sankaradeva included Vyah Goa Ojah into his daily rituals in Sattra. Till now Vyah Goa
Ojah is a part of rituals of the Sattras
of Assam.

 The dancers in an Ojah paali chorus

not only sing & dance but also
explain the narration by gestures and
stylized movements.

 As far as Devadasi dance is

concerned, resemblance of a good
number of rhythmic syllables and
dance postures along with footwork
with Sattriya dance is a clear
indication of the influence of the
former on the latter.

 Other visible influences on Sattriya dance are those from Assamese folk dances namely
Bihu, Bodos etc.

 Sattriya dance tradition is governed by strictly laid down principles in respect of

hastamudras, footworks, aharyas, music etc.

 Exponents: Bapuram Barbayan Atai & Pradip chaliha.

7. Manipuri – Manipur
 Lai Haraobav (merrymaking of
the gods) is one of the main
festivals still performed in
Manipur which has its roots in the
pre-Vaishnavite period.

 The principal performers are the

maibas and maibis (priests and
priestesses) who re-enact the
theme of the creation of the

 With the arrival of Vaishnavism

in the 15th century A.D., new
compositions based on episodes
from the life of Radha and

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Krishna were gradually introduced.

 Manipur dance has a large repertoire, however, the most popular forms are the Ras, the
Sankirtana and the Thang-Ta.

 There are five principal Ras dances of which four are linked with specific seasons, while
the fifth can be presented at any time of the year. In

 Manipuri Ras, the main characters are Radha, Krishna and the gopis.

 A short fine white muslin skirt is worn over it. A dark coloured velvet blouse covers the
upper part of the body and a traditional white veil is worn over a special hair-do which
falls gracefully over the face.

 Krishna wears a yellow dhoti, a dark velvet jacket and a crown of peacock feathers.

 The Kirtan form of congregational singing accompanies the dance which is known as
Sankirtana in Manipur.

 The martial dancers of Manipur – the Thang-ta – have their origins in the days when
man’s survival depended on his ability to defend himself from wild animals.

 The main musical instrument is the Pung or the Manipuri classical drum.

 Besides the Ras and other leelas, each stage in one’s life is celebrated with Sankirtana
performances – child birth, upanayanam, wedding and shradha are all occasions for
singing and dancing in Manipur.

 The whole community participates as song and dance form part of daily life expressions.

 Exponents: Thaveri sisters (4); Nayana, Suvarna, Ranjana & Darshana

8. Mohiniyattam- Kerala
 Mohini means beautiful women & Attam means dance.

 Literally meaning the Dance of the Enchantress, it is deeply rooted in femininity,

GRACE (Lasya) and BEAUTY (Sringara) forming the quintessence of this dance form.

 Of all the classical South Indian styles, Mohiniyattam can be singled out with admirable
distinction, for its characteristic body movements, marked by the graceful sway of the

 The traditional costume worn in Mohiniyattam is white with a gold border, and gold
ornaments are worn.

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 The regional system of music that

Mohiniyattam follows is the SOPANA style
which in its lyricism is evocative of the spiritual

 Exponents: Madhavi amma, Chinnavi amma &

Sunanda Nair

List of Folk dances of India

1. Mathuri (koppu), Telangana
 Performed by the inhabitants of the Umji and Indravelli forest areas of Utnoor Tehsil in
Adilabad district of Telangana.

 It is traditionally performed during Krishna

Janmashtami celebrations and the themes are
taken from the Mahabharata.

 Though both men and women perform this

dance, the pace is different.

 Women dance in slow rhythmic movements,

while the men dance at a more vigorous pace.

 The Nagara is the main instrument used.

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2. Bihu, Assam
 One of the most colourful folk
dances of India.

 The dance is an integral part of the

Bihu Festival celebrated to mark
the advent of spring and the
Assamese New Year.

 Bihu ushers in the sowing time

and also the season of marriage.

 The dance has been noted for

maintaining authenticity and at the same time displaying the traditional Assamese
handlooms and handicrafts in their glory and beauty by the dancers.

3. Jhijhiya, Bihar
Jhijhia is usually performed by a group of young
women dancers and portrays the offering of
prayers to please the King of Gods; Lord Indra for
a good monsoon & a rich harvest.

4. Gaur madia, Chhattisgarh

 Basically performed on the occasion of
marriage by Gaur Madia of Abhujmar
plateau of Bastar in Chhattisgarh & is
called Gaur after Bison.

 It may appear to be a hunt-dance with

only the imitation of the frisking,
jerking movements of the animals.

 However, a sense of ritual and deep

sanctity underlies the perfect
synchronization of the dance.

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5. Kaksar, Chhattisgarh
 Kaksar is performed by the Abhuj Maria
tribes of Bastar in Chhattisgarh to seek
the blessings of the village deity Kaksar
for a good harvest.

 Performed by a group of young boys

and girls dressed in their best, this dance
also provides a platform to young
people for choosing their life partners.

6. Choliya, Uttarakhand
 Prevalent in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, the
Chholiya dance has elements of martial craft & is
associated with the Kirji Kumbh celebrations.

 Kirji Kumbh is a poisonous flower which blossoms

every 12 years.

 Villagers march in a procession to destroy the flower

before it sheds its poison into the mountain streams.

7. Samai, Goa
 The metal lamps are traditional handicrafts of Goa & the Samai dance is performed with
these traditional metallic lamps or deepaks.

 The men & women balance the samai on their heads & perform various movements.

 During religious gatherings the dance is

performed to the accompaniment of slow

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8. Garba, Gujarat
 Garba is one of the most popular dance forms of Gujarat, which is linked with the
worship of “Shakti”.. The word “Garbo” has
originated from Sanskrit word “Garbhdeep”,
an earthen pot with circular holes is
popularly known as “Garbo”.

 The pot is the symbol of the body & the

lighted lamp inside the pot signifies the
divine soul.

 Garba is performed during Navratri

Nav and
during weddings.

 It is essentially performed by women, dancing in circular motion clapping their hands to

the beats of the Dhol.

9. Dandiya ras, Gujarat

 Ras is one of the ancient and yet most popular dance
form of Gujarat.

 Its origin has been traced

raced to Lord Krishna.

 The graceful dance of Lord Krishna with Gopis in

Vrindavan is known to all as Krishnaleela.

 Ras is a unique synthesis of folk dance, folk art, colour

and folk music.

 Circular movements with speed and grace are the main

features of Ras.

 The roar of the Dhol, the colourful gorgeous costumes, speed together with vigour and
gusto of dancers leaves audience spell bound.

10. Daang, Gujarat

 Daangis hail from South Gujarat on the border of Maharashtra.

 This dance is usually performed during

durin Holi and other festivals.

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 Daang dance centers around the social life, feasts, fairs, festivals, ceremonies and rituals
connected to worship.

 It is vigorous, as most tribal dances are, and highly


 Interesting circular formation is created centering on

the accompanists who stand in the middle of an open

 The men hold their arms round the women’s shoulders

and women clasp the men by their waists.

 The dance builds up gradually and acquires a fast

tempo in the end. The women climb on the shoulders
of men and form a human pyramid.

 The two and three tier formation moves clockwise and anti clockwise.

11. Siddhi dhamal, Gujarat

 The siddhies migrated to India from Africa
about 750 years ago.

 They settled in the coastal parts of Gujarat like

Bharuch, Bhavnagar, and Junagarh & Surat.

 They follow Muslim religion & dance to the

beat of drum on the eve of the Urs of their
prophet baba gaur.

 The dancers gradually pick up tempo & get into

trance breaking tossed coconut on their heads.

 Just like their ancestors from Africa, siddhies are master of rhythm dancing to the tune of
huge drums.

12. Ghoomar, Haryana

 Ghoomar is a dance performed by the girls of border areas of Rajasthan and Haryana at
various festivals like holi, gangaur puja and teej.

 The girls form semi-circles and start singing and clapping.

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 The Dancers then form a circle and the tempo of

the dance is accelerated.

 The movements are made by holding body

weight on one foot and moving forward.

 As the tempo increases towards the end, the

dancers whirl around in pairs.

 The accompanying songs are full of satire and

humour and refer to contemporary events.

13. Kinnauri nati, Himachal Pradesh

 This dance is in the veins of the kinnauris.

 Their movements of the natural world

around them & their music echo the sound
of the breeze blowing through forests.

 Important amongst the dances of the

kinnauris is Losar shona chuksam.

 It takes its name from losai meaning New


 The dancers recreate movements of all the

agricultural operations of sowing and
reaping ogla (barley) and phaphar (a local

 Slow movements with soft knee dips with accentuation of torso are the key step of this

14. Paika, Jharkhand

 ‘Paika’ is a typical dance of the munda community of
Jharkhand, & thematically represents rituals connected
with preparations for war.

 With chest blades, multi-coloured headgear, anklets,

bows, arrows, spears, swords and shields the dancers

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enact battle scenes, symbolizing the great war of the mundas against the British.

 The fast beat of the madal, along with the use of other musical instruments like dhol,
nagara, shehnai, and ranbheri make Paika dance performances truly captivating.

 Though performed on various occasions, the Paika dance is most readily associated with
the dussehra celebrations.

15. Rouff, Jammu & Kashmir

 Rouff is the most popular dance in the Kashmir valley and is performed by the women

 The dance is performed during harvesting season but the most essential occasion is the
month of ramzan when every street and corner in Kashmir resounds with the Rouff songs
& dance.

 The girls wear colourful

phirans-kashmir cloaks and
kasaba-the head gear.

 The girls form two rows facing

each other and putting their
arms around the waist of the
next dancer. They start with
rhythmic movements of the
feet and weave a few patterns
swaying and swinging

 Traditionally, no musical
accompaniment is used with
Rouff songs as they are sung while doing the daily chores.

 The folk instruments like noot, tumbaknari, rabab etc are used when it is performed on
the stage or in some gathering.

16. Jabro, Jammu & Kashmir

 Jabro is a community dance of the nomadic people of Tibetan origin living in Ladakh.

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 Jabro is performed by both men and

women during Losar- the Tibetan new
year celebrations- & also on other
festive occasions.

 Because of the extreme cold, the

dancers wear heavy gowns made of
sheep skin, lamb skin caps & long
leather shoes.

 Performers stand in two facing rows,

holding each other’s hands, and dance
gracefully with slow, gentle
movements as Jabro songs are sung to the accompaniment of the Damien-a stringed
guitar-like instrument and flute.

17. Veerbhadra, Karnataka

 The exotic cultural tradition of Veerbhadra was brought to Karnataka by the south Indian

 This ritual is equally popular in some parts

of Karnataka.

 Veerbhadra is performed on chaitra

purnima and the dhalo festival.

 The person enacting the role of

Veerbhadra is dressed in a warrior’s

 He wields swords as he dances.

 According to legend, Veerbhadra is supposed to get possessed by a divine spirit.

 The invocation of Veerbhadra is recited in Kanaada even today.

18. Dholu kunitha, Karnataka

 Dholu kunitha is a drum dance performed by the men folk of the shepherd community
known as kurubas.

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 This dance is noted for its powerful

drumming and vigorous dancing which is
replete with acrobatic elements.

 The dancers during the course of

performance make attractive formations of all
sorts. It provides both spectacular variety &
complexity of skills in the process of

 The high pitch of tala, tappadi, trumpets,

gong and flute reinforce the rich vibrations of

 This dance is popular in some parts of north and south Karnataka.

19. Oppana, Kerala

 This is a bridal dance performed by Muslim
girls of north Kerala and Lakshadweep on
wedding occasions.

 There are separate dancers for the bride and

bridegroom. Brides and grooms are mentally
prepared for marriage & the nuptial night by
their close friend through a sequence of dance
and music.

 This is an occasion of great celebration and

merriment and all arrive attired in gorgeous

20. Purulia chhau, West Bengal

 Chhau dance of Purulia in West Bengal is one of the most vibrant and colourful folk art

 Emanating from martial practice, Purulia chhau is a vigorous form of dance-drama

drawing its themes from the two great Indian epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata.

 Masks and elaborate head gears are the ornamental apparels of the chhau dancers.

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 The dance commences with an invocation of lord Ganesha before movements begin as
per the story.

 In chhau dance, the fight between good &

evil always culminates in the triumph of
good over destructive evil.

 Powerful movements, immense

concentration, the dazzling costumes, the
rhythmic drum beating & the shehnai
characterize the chhau dance form. This
dance is popular in Jharkhand also.

21. Badhai, Madhya Pradesh

 A typical folk dance of Madhya Pradesh, Badhai is performed to thank goddess sheetala
for safeguarding people from natural calamities & ailments and to seek her blessings on
happy occasions like weddings and childbirth.

 Accompanied by folk musical instruments,

the performers dance gracefully to a
rhythm, creating a lively and a colourful

 This particular rhythm is known as Badhai

from which this folk dance has acquired its

 Animals also take part in Badhai nritya and

in many villages; mares (female horses) are
seen at such performances.

22. Baredi, Madhya Pradesh

 It is closely related to the cattle-farm culture of the country, especially of the
Bundelkhand region (mp). The Baredi folk songs and folk dances are presented during
the fortnight commencing from deepawali (kartik amawasya) to kartik purnima.

 They wear a typical attractive dress specially meant for this occasion.

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 One of the performers with a rhythm

sings two lines from the poem called
Baredi and the other participants present
a vigorous and sprightly performance, the
Baredi dance.

 This dance is presented with a worship of

govardhan parvat.

 It is believed that the lord Krishna

himself participated in these Baredi
dances along with his gal mates.

23. Raee, Madhya Pradesh

 Raee dance is popular in Bundelkhand
regions of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar

 This dance originated during ancient

times for celebrations when the armed
forces returned victorious after war.

 This dance was performed in merriment

celebrating victory.

 Danced throughout the year, it conveys

the spirit of joy & exuberance of the
people of Bundelkhand.

 It is primarily, a female dance, where the dancers with veils on their faces, move their
feet and whirl body in rhythm to the accompaniment of vocal and instrumental music.

 Algoza, mridanga and dhapali are the main musical instruments used in this dance.

24. Lavani, Maharashtra

 Traditionally an integral part of the tamasha folk theatre of Maharashtra, Lavani is the
most popular & best known folk dance form of the state.

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 Although, there is no restriction regarding the choice of themes for a Lavani

performance, this art form is at its best when dealing with themes of bravery, pathos, love
and devotion, music, poetry, dance & drama intermingle with such perfection in the
rendering of Lavani, that it is almost impossible to separate their various components.

25. Dhol cholom, Manipur

 ‘Dhol cholom’, traditional folk dance of
Manipur, is performed usually on
religious occasions to the accompaniment
of songs and dhol (large drum)-the most
important component of this dance form.
Usually performed during the yaoshand
festival (or the festival of colours), the
dance expresses love and creativity, with
an intricate interplay of dhols and fire

 Dhol cholom belongs to the Manipur

Sankirtana traditions.

26. Lezim, Maharashtra

 The traditional Lezim dance is performed by the artistes on religious and social events.

 Especially it is having base in an akhada (martial art) tradition of Maharashtra.

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 It is performed in every corner of


 This Lezim dance includes ghuti Lezim,

ghoongroo Lezim, dakhani Lezim and
palita Lezim.

 This dance is occasionally performed in

Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat also.

 The instruments used in this dance are

dhol, Tasha and jhanj etc.

27. Lewatana, Meghalaya

 Lewatana is a folk song and
dance of hajong tribe of

 Hajongs observe various

festivities of the Hindus.

 The Lewatana is usually

performed by the hajong
during the diwali festival.

 In this dance, the young men

& women form a group and
while dancing and singing
various folk songs, they compare man with nature.

28. Cheraw, Mizoram

 Cheraw is a lively and a uniquely attractive traditional dance of Mizoram.

 Performed on all festive occasions, it is also known as the bamboo dance, as bamboo
forms an integral part of this folk form.

 Two long bamboo staves are kept crosswise and horizontally, parallel to ground and the
male dancers clap the staves, resultantly producing a sharp sound setting the rhythm for
the dance.

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 The female dancers, on the other

hand, attired in colourful traditional
costumes-puanchei, kawrchei, vakira
and thinna-step in and out from
between bamboo beats with
tremendous skill and precise timing,
maintaining all the while their
elegant poise.

 In addition to the musical pattern

created by the clapping of bamboo
staves, drums and gongs are also
used for effect.

29. Gotipua, Odisha

 Gotipuas, the young boys dressed up
as girls sing devotional love songs of
Radha- Krishna and perform gotipua

 In the present form, the gotipua

dance is more precise and systematic
in its conception.

 The repertoire of the dance includes

vandana-prayer to god or guru,
sarigama-a pure dance number,
abhinaya-enactment of a song, and
bandhya nritya-rhythms of acrobatic
postures, a unique presentation where gotipuas dance and compose themselves in
different acrobatic yogic postures creating the images of radha-krishna.

 Musical accompaniment is provided by mardala-a pakhawaj, gini-small cymbals,

harmonium, violin and flute.

30. Ranappa chaddhaiya, Odisha

 Ranappa dance is popular in the coastal areas of ganjam district of Odisha.

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 This is a martial art form of dance

where the dancers walk & dance
on sticks (Ranappa) with special
gestures on rhythms of drums.

 This is an imitation of mock fight.

 This is something unique; the

dancers exhibit their skills in
balance on sticks.

 Chaddhaiya is a part of the famous

‘danda nata’ of Odisha.

 Performed in the month of chaitra, it is associated with the worship of Shiva and akin to
the mayurbhanj chhau.

 The dedicated worshipers participate in the dance holding a ‘danda’ (pole) and a ‘pasa’
(knot) symbolic of a devout shaivite, they dance vigorously to the accompaniment of
drums and ‘mohri’ displaying various elements of martial practices.

31. Bhangra, Punjab

 Bhangra is the most popular folk
dance of Punjab, performed by men on
festive occasions, at weddings and
fairs and to celebrate Baisakh or the
harvest festival.

 Dressed in brightly coloured plumed

turbans, traditional tehmats, kurtas and
waistcoats, the dancers perform to the
robust rhythms of dhols, bolis-
typically rustic Punjabi folk songs & other traditional instruments.

 Energetic and infectiously lively, Bhangra is a spectacular dance, the popularity of which
has crossed the borders of Punjab.

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32. Giddha, Punjab

 Giddha is the favourite dance of Punjab in which women dance at weddings, at the time
of birth of a child, the teej festival and other happy occasions.

 The dance consists of singing, clapping,

enacting the boli as well as pure dance.

 The dancers form a circle and

participating in pairs, take turns to come
centre stage and perform a boli.

 Towards the end of the boli they dance

vigorously in sheer abandon, while those
in the circle sing & clap in unison.

 The refrain is sung 3 – 4 times, and then

the performers withdraw to be replaced by another pair and a new boli.

 The boli deals with the day–to–day life situations of rural folk. Giddha is accompanied by
the dholak (drum) or gharah (earthen pot).

33. Kalbelia, Rajasthan

 This fascinating dance is performed by the
women of the nomadic Kalbelia community
whose primary occupation is rearing snakes
and trading in snake venom.

 On festive occasions, as traditional songs are

sung to the plaintive notes of the ‘been’ and
the ‘daf’, the dancers belonging to the ‘nath’
sect dressed in their traditional black swirling
skirts perform this dance.

 The dance highlights the unparalleled virtuosity of the dancers often reminiscent of the
graceful and supple movements of the snake.

34. Chakri, Rajasthan

 The Chakri dance is performed by the women of the kanjar community of Rajasthan.

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 The dancers whirl around in circles in

colourful skirts appearing like
spinning tops thus deriving its name
Chakri, which means moving in
circles, or spinning.

 Usually performed at weddings and on

festive occasions, Chakri is
accompanied by the rhythm of daph,
manjira and nagara.

 Most famous chakari dancers come

from baran kola district in hadauti area of rajasthan but are popular in district of Kota and
Bundi also.

35. Tamang selo, Sikkim

 Tamang selo is a sikkimese folk dance of the Tamang community.

 It is also known as damphu as it is

performed to the accompaniment of a
native musical instrument called

 Usually performed during dasain or

dussehra, it depicts the colourful
lifestyle of the hill people, amply
reflected through their lavish festive
celebration and dances full of fun and

 Tamang selo is performed by traditionally attired young men and women.

36. Kavadi, Tamil nadu

 This dance was supposed to be performed by a giant named idumban – with a pole slung
across his shoulder.

 At the two ends of the pole he was supposed to carry the favourite hills of muruga, the
popular deity of Tamil nadu.

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 The carrying of Kavadi by pilgrims is symbolic of idumban with the hillocks poised on
the pole.

 There are several kinds of kavadis.

 Under the spell of the hypnotic

music provided by the drums,
nadaswaram and thavil, the
devotees proceed to the shrine by
singing the song “Kavadi chindu”
with quick and vigorous

 The Kavadi is never touched by the

dancer while dancing.

37. Karagam, Tamil nadu

 A folk dance of Tamil nadu, Karagam originated as a ritual dedicated to the worship of
mariamman, the goddess of rain and health.

 The ritual is performed during the month of

august when the idol of mariamman is carried in

 A ritual pot filled with water is adorned with

beautiful decorations, several feet high, and is
carried by the priest.

 The colorfully attired performers carry decorated

vessels vertically on their heads and dance to the
tune of nagaswaram, thavil, muni, udukkai and pambai and also perform acrobatic feats
as they follow the procession.

 The Karagam dance is very popular in Tamil nadu, puducherry, Karnataka and Andhra

38. Hozagiri, Tripura

 Hozagiri dance is the most popular and spectacular dance of the reang community of

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 The occasions in which reang women

perform Hozagiri are known as
mailuma and maiktah, signifying the
festival of new harvest & worship of
Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and

 The reangs believe that when the

goddess is pleased by entertaining
with dance and songs, she blesses
them with bumper crops.

 Thus, the theme of this dance is mostly connected with cultivation.

 Standing on the pitcher, they move the metal plates while dancing on it while keeping the
bottle on the head atop which is a oil lamp alight or pick up a flower from the ground
bowing their body back.

 All along the dance they twist their waist with much finesse.

39. Dhobia, Uttar Pradesh

 The dhobia dance is performed on the occasion of birth, marriages and festivals like
dussehra & holi, the dance is popular among the dhobi (washermen) community of
eastern Uttar Pradesh in which only
male dancers participate.

 The dance is basically in the form

of a dance-drama. It usually begins
with the recital of a couplet in
praise of the almighty.

 Amongst the dancers, one person

wearing a royal costume enters the
arena riding a dummy horse
followed by other dancers.

 The group of musicians also stands behind the dancers playing their instruments.

 The dance begins with the music provided by drums, cymbals and ghunghroos which are
tied on waist and ankles.

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 A traditional wind instrument, called ransingha, which is the centre of attraction plays a
significant role in boosting up the tempo of the dancers.

 Hori, kajri, chaiti, kaharwa, lachari, thumari, and dadra and nirgun songs are adopted in
dhobia dance.

 The dance is accompanied by Bhojpuri and Awadhi folk songs.

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Miscellaneous Topics

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Socio-religious reform movements in Muslims,

Parsis & Sikhs

Muslim Reform Movements

Aligarh Movement
 Founded by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.

 Started for the social and educational advancement of

Muslims in India.

 Other prominent members of the movement were

Altaf Husssain Hali, Dr. Nazir Ahmed, Nawab
Mushin-ul-Mulk, Chirag Ali, etc.

 Established 2 madarasas at Muradapur & Gazipur.

 In 1870 published Tahzib ul Akhalaq & Asbad-i-


 Condemned the system of Piri and Muridi.

 In 1866, he started the Mohammadan Educational

Conference as a general forum for spreading liberal ideas among the Muslims.

 In 1875, he founded a modern school at Aligarh to promote English education among the
Muslims & later it grown into the Mohammadan Anglo Oriental College & then into
the Aligarh Muslim University.

Deoband Movement
 The orthodox section among the Muslim Ulema organised the Deoband movement
which began after the foundation of the Dar-ul-Ulum at Deoband in 1866 by Maulana
Hussain Ahmad and others with the aim of resuscitating classical Islam and improving
the spiritual and moral conditions of the Muslims.

 It was a revivalist movement where objectives were to propagate among the Muslims, the
pure teachings of the Quran and the Hadis and to keep alive the spirit of Jihad against
the foreign rulers.

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 The Ulema under the leadership of Mohammad Qasim Wanotavi and Rashid Ahmad
Gangohi founded the school of Deoband in the Saharanpur district of UP in 1866.

 The school curriculum shut out English education.

 Deoband School welcomed the formation of the Indian National Congress in 1885.

 In 1888 Deoband Ulema issued a religious decree against Syed Ahmad Khan’s

Deoband School

 Orthodox section among the Muslim Ulema organised the Deoband Movement.

 Ulema under the leadership of Mohammad Qasim Wanotavi & Rashid Ahmad Gangohi
founded the school of Deoband in the Saharanpur district of UP in 1866.

 School curriculum shut out English education.

 Welcomed the formation of the Indian National Congress in 1885.

 In 1888 Deoband Ulema issued a religious decree against Syed Ahmad Khan’s


(i) To propagate among the Muslims the pure teachings of the Koran & the Hadis

(ii) To keep alive the spirit of jihad against the foreign rulers.

Ahrar Movement
 Founded in 1910 under the leadership of Maulana Muhammad Ali, Hakim Ajmal Khan,
Hasan Imam, and Maulana Zafar Ali Khar & Mazhar-ul-Haq in opposition to the loyalist
policies of the Aligarh movement.

 Moved by modern ideas of self-government its members advocated active participation

in the nationalist movement.

Ahmadia Movement
 Also known as the Qadiani movement & founded by Mirza Gulam Ahmad at Qadiani
in Punjab.

 Objective of reforming Islam & defending it against the onslaught of Christian

missionaries & the Arya Samajists.

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 Gave religious recognition to modern industrial & technological progress.

Parsi Reform Movement

 The Parsi Religious Reform Association was founded at
Bombay by Furdunji Naoroji& S.S. Bengalee in 1851.
Advocated the spread of women’s education.

 Criticized elaborate ceremonies at betrothals, marriages &


 Opposed infant marriage & the use of astrology.

 Furdunji published a monthly journal, Jagat Mithra.

 In this background, Furdunji edited in 1840s the Fam-i-

Famshid, a journal aimed at defending the cause of Zoroastrianism.

Sikh Reform Movements

Nirankaris Movement
 Founded by Baba Dayal Das.

 He called for the return of Sikhism to its origin & emphasized the worship of one God
&nirankar (formless).

 Rejected idolatry & also prohibited eating meat, drinking liquor, lying, cheating, etc.

 Laid emphasis on Guru Nanak & on Sikhism before the establishment of Khalsa by Guru
Gobind Sing at Anandpur and this separated them from the Namdaris.

Namdharis Movement
 Founded by Baba Ram Singh in 1857.

 Set of rituals modeled after Guru Gobind Singh’s founding of the Khalsa with the
requirement of wearing the five symbols but instead of the sword the followers were
supposed to carry a stick.

 Made consumption of beef was strictly forbidden as protection of cattle was important.

 In 1873 the Singh Sabha Movement was founded at Amritsar.

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Akali Movement
 Main aim to purify the management of the Sikh Gurudwaras or shrines by removing the
corrupt priests.

 Enactment of the new Sikh Gurudwara Act by the British in 1925.

 Removed corrupt priests through the act and also through the Shiromani Gurudwara
Prabhandhak Committee (SPGC).

Kuka Movement
 Founded by Bagat Jawaharmal, popularly known as Sian Sahib.

 Started with the aim of Sikh reform & restoration of Sikh sovereignty in Punjab by
driving the British away.

 Kukas recognised Guru Govind Singh as the only true Guru of the Sikhs.

Calendars used by India

In India 4 types of calendars followed

 Vikram Samvat

 Saka Samvat

 Hijri calendar

 Gregorian calendar

1. Vikram calendar
 Date back to 57 BC by king Vikramaditya to mark his victory over the Saka rulers

 That means 57 B.C = Zero year

 It is a Lunar calendar i.e based on movement of moon

 It has 12 months & each month divided into 2 phases.

 Shuklapaksha (15 days) – Starts new moon & ends full moon

 Krishnapaksha (15 days) – Starts full moon & ends new moon

 Month begins with a ‘dark half’

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 There are 354 days in a year

 Hence every 3rd & 5th year in a cycle of 5 years has 13 months – Adhik mass

2. Saka calendar
 Zero year 78 AD

 Started by Saka ruler to mark victory over Kushsans

 365 days

 Also known as ‘Indian national calendar’ introduced in 1957 based on the traditional
Hindu calendars


There are 12 months in Hindu lunar calendar

1. Chaitra

2. Vaiśākha

3. Jyeṣṭha

4. Āṣāḍha

5. Śrāvaṇa

6. Bhādrapada, Bhādra or Proṣṭhapada

7. Ashvin

8. Kārtika

9. Agrahāyaṇa, Mārgaśīrṣa

10. Pauṣa

11. Māgha

12. Phālguna

Purshottam Maas is an extra month or thirteen in the Hindu calendar.

3. Hijri calendar

 The Islamic calendar, Muslim calendar or Hijri calendar (AH) is a lunar calendar
consisting of 12 months in a year of 354 or 355 days.

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 Being a purely lunar calendar, it is not synchronized with the seasons.

 With an annual drift of 10 or 11 days, the seasonal relation repeats about every 33 Islamic
years (every 32 solar years).

 It is used to date events in many Muslim countries (concurrently with the Gregorian

 Also used by Muslims everywhere to determine the proper days on which to observe the
annual fast (Ramadan), to attend Hajj, and to celebrate other Islamic holidays and

 The first year was the Islamic year beginning in AD 622 during which the emigration
of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina, known as the Hijri, occurred.

4. Gregorian calendar

 Used throughout most of the world & also known as “Universal calendar”

 It began to be used from 1582.

 It replaced the previous Julian calendar because the Julian calendar had an error: it added
a leap year (with an extra day every four years) with no exceptions.

 The length of the Julian year was exactly 365.25 days (365 days and 6 hours), but the
actual time it takes for the Earth to go around the Sun once is closer to 365.2425 days
(about 365 days, 5 hours and 49 minutes).

 This difference is about eleven minutes each year.

Performing art – drama/ folk dance/theatre

1. Bhand pather – Kashmir

 Unique combination of dance, music and

 Satire, wit and parody are preferred for

inducing laughter.

 Music is provided with surnai, nagaara

and dhol.

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 Since the actors are mainly from the farming community, the impact of their way of
living, ideals and sensitivity is noticeable.

2. Swang – Haryana
 Mainly music-based.

 Gradually, prose too, played its role in the


 Softness of emotions, accomplishment of rasa along

with the

 Development of character can be seen two

important styles are from rohtak & haathras. In the
style belonging to rohtak, the language used is
Haryanvi (bangru) and in haathras, it is brajbhasha.

3. Nautanki – Uttar Pradesh

 Most popular centres – Kanpur, Lucknow
and haathras.

 The meters used in the verses are: Doha,

chaubola, chhappai, Behar-e-tabeel.

 Nowadays, women have also started taking


4. Raasleela- Uttar Pradesh

 Based exclusively on lord Krishna legends

 Believed that nand das wrote the initial

plays based on the life Of Krishna.

 Dialogues in prose combined beautifully

with songs and scenes from Krishna’s

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5. Bhavai – Gujarat
 Main centers of – Kutch and Kathiawar.

 Instruments used are: bhungal, tabla, flute, pakhawaj,

rabaab, Sarangi, manjeera, etc.

 There is a rare synthesis of devotional and romantic


6. Jatra – Bengal
 Fairs in honour of gods, or religious rituals and ceremonies have

 Within their framework musical plays are known as Jatra.

 Krishna Jatra became popular due to chaitanya prabhu’s Influence.

 Earlier form of Jatra has been musical & dialogues were added at later stage.

 The actors themselves describe the change of scene, the place of Action, etc.

7. Bhaona (ankia naat) – Assam.

 Cultural glimpses of Assam, Bengal Orissa,
Mathura and Vrindavan can be seen.

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 The sutradhaar, or narrator begins the story, first in Sanskrit and Then in either Brajboli
or Assamese.

8. Maach – Madhya Pradesh

 Maach is used for the stage itself as
also for the play.

 Songs are given prominence in

between the dialogues.

 The term for dialogue in this form is

bol and rhyme in narration is Termed

 The tunes of this theatre form are known as rangat.

9. Tamaasha – Maharashtra
 Evolved from the folk forms such as gondhal, jagran
and kirtan.

 Female actress is the chief exponent of dance

movements in the play & she is known as murki.

 Classical music, footwork at lightning-speed, and vivid


 Make it possible to portray all the emotions through dance.

10. Dashavatar – Konkan & Goa

 Personify the ten incarnations of lord Vishnu-
the god of Preservation and creativity.

 The ten incarnations are Matsya (fish), Kurma

(tortoise), Varaha (boar), Narsimha (lion-man),
Vaman (dwarf), parashuram, Rama, Krishna (or
balram), Buddha and kalki.

 Apart from stylized make-up, the dashavatar

performers wear masks of wood and papier

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11. Krishnattam – Kerala

 Came into existence in the middle of 17th century A.D. under the patronage of king
manavada of Calicut.

 Krishnattam is a cycle of eight plays performed for

eight consecutive days.

 The plays are avataram, kaliamandana, rasa krida,

kamasavadha, Swayamvaram, bana yudham, vivida
vadham, and swargarohana.

 Episodes are based on the theme of lord Krishna –

his birth, childhood pranks and various deeds
depicting victory of good over evil.

12. Mudiyettu – Kerala

 Celebrated in the month of vrischikam (november-
december). Performed only in the kali temples of
Kerala, as an oblation to the goddess.

 Depicts the triumph of goddess bhadrakali over

the asura darika.

 Seven characters in mudiyettu-shiva, narada,

darika, danavendra, Bhadrakali, kooli and
koimbidar (nandikeshvara) are all heavily made-up.

13. Theyyam – Kerala

 ‘Theyyam’ derived from the Sanskrit word
‘daivam’ meaning god.

 Hence it is called god’s dance.

 Performed by various castes to appease and

worship spirits.

 Distinguishing features – colourful costume and

awe-inspiring headgears (mudi) nearly 5 to 6 feet

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high made of areca nut splices, bamboos, leaf

sheaths of areca nut & wooden planks and dyed
into different strong colours using turmeric, wax
and areca.

14. Koodiyattam – Kerala

 Based on Sanskrit theatre traditions.

Characters of this theatre form are:

 Chakyaar or actor,

 Naambiyaar, the instrumentalists and

 Naangyaar, those taking on women’s


 The sutradhar or narrator and the

vidushak or jesters are the

 Vidushak alone delivers the


 Emphasis on hand gestures and eye movements makes this dance and theatre form

15. Yakshagaana – Karnataka

 Based on mythological stories and Puranas.

 Most popular episodes are from the

Mahabharata i.e. Draupadi Swayamvaram,
subhadra vivah, abhimanyu vadh, karna-arjun
yuddh and from Ramayana i.e.
Raajyaabhishek, lav-kush yuddh, baali-
sugreeva yuddha and panchavati.

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16. Therukoothu – Tamil nadu

 Literally means “street play”.

 Mostly performed at the time of

annual temple festivals of
mariamman (rain goddess) to
achieve rich harvest.

 There is a cycle of eight plays

based on the life of draupadi.

 Kattiakaran, the sutradhara gives

the gist of the play to the audience

 Komali entertains the audience

with his buffoonery.

17. Karyala- Himachal Pradesh

 Deals with serious question of life & death briefly
and with simplicity of expression & diction, all
enveloped in humor.

 Indeed, audience is given essence of our cultural

heritage of viewing the world as a stage and as an
unsubstantial pageant which is to be negotiated and
lived by rising above it.

 There is often stylistic diversity, which strengthens

their identity from swang, Nautanki, bhagat, etc.

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List of Puppet forms of India

 Puppetry is a form of theatre or performance that involves the manipulation of puppets.

 Some scholars trace the origin of puppets to India 4000 years ago, where the main
character in Sanskrit plays was known as “sutradhara”, and “the holder of strings”.

 Ancient Hindu philosophers have likened god almighty to a puppeteer and the entire
universe to a puppet stage.

 Themes are mostly based on epics and legends.

There are 4 major forms of puppets in India. They are

1. String Puppets
Kathputli, Rajasthan

 Carved from a single piece of wood

 Large dolls – colourfully dressed.

 Costumes and headgears are designed in the

medieval Rajasthani style of dress, which is
prevalent even today.

 Accompanied by a highly dramatised version

of the regional music.

 Oval faces, large eyes, arched eyebrows and large lips – distinct facial features.

 Wear long trailing skirts and do not have legs.

 Puppeteers manipulate them with two to five strings which are normally tied to their
fingers and not to a prop or a support.

Kundhei, Orissa

 Made of light wood

 Have no legs but wear long flowing skirts.

 Have more joints and are, therefore, more versatile, articulate and easy to manipulate.

 Use a triangle shape wooden prop, to which strings are attached for manipulation.

 Costumes resemble those worn by actors of the Jatra traditional theatre.

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 Music – regional music & Odissi dance’s music.

Gombeyatta, Karnataka

 Puppets – styled and designed like the characters of Yakshagaana

 Highly stylized and have joints at the legs, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees.

 Manipulated by five to seven strings tied to a prop.

 Complicated movements are manipulated by two to three puppeteers at a time.

 Music – beautifully blends folk and classical elements.

Bommalattam, Tamil nadu

 Combine the techniques of both rod and

string puppets.

 Made of wood and the strings for

manipulation are tied to an iron ring which
the puppeteer wears like a crown on his

 Few puppets have jointed arms and hands,

which are manipulated by rods.

 These puppets are the largest, heaviest and

the most articulate of all traditional Indian

2. Shadow Puppets
 Shadow puppets are flat figures.

 Cut out of leather, which has been treated to make it translucent.

 Pressed against the screen with a strong source of light behind it.

 Manipulation between the light and the screen make silhouettes or colourful shadows

 Found in Orissa, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil nadu.

Togalu Gombeyatta, Karnataka

 Puppets are mostly small in size.

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 Puppets however differ in size according to their social status, for instance, large size for
kings and religious characters and smaller size for common people or servants.

Tholu Bommalattam, Andhra Pradesh

 Puppets are large in size and have jointed

waist, shoulders, elbows and knees.

 Coloured on both sides, throwing

coloured shadows on the screen.

 Music – influenced by the classical

regional music

 Themes are drawn from the Ramayana,

Mahabharata and Puranas.

Ravanachhaya, Orissa

 Puppets are in one piece and have no joints.

 Not coloured, hence throw opaque shadows on the screen.

 Manipulation requires great dexterity, since there are no joints.

 Puppets are made of deer skin and are conceived in bold dramatic poses.

 Apart from human and animal characters, many props such as trees, mountains, chariots,
etc. are also used.

 Puppets are smaller in size

 Create very sensitive and lyrical shadows.

3. Rod Puppets
 An extension of glove-puppets, but often much larger & supported and manipulated by
rods from below.

 Found mostly in west Bengal & Orissa.

Putul nautch, West Bengal

 Carved from wood

 Costumed like the actors of Jatra, a traditional theatre

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 Puppets have mostly three joints.

 Heads, supported by the main rod, is joined at the neck and both hands attached to rods
are joined at the shoulders.

 Bamboo-made hub is tied firmly to the waist of the puppeteer on which the rod holding
the puppet is placed.

 Puppeteers each holding one puppet, stand behind a head-high curtain and while
manipulating the rods also move and dance imparting corresponding movements to the

 Puppeteers themselves sing and deliver the stylized prose dialogues & a group of
musicians provide the accompanying music with a drum, harmonium and cymbals.

 Music and verbal text have close similarity with the Jatra theatre.

Orissa rod puppets

 Mostly three joints, but the hands are tied to strings instead of rods.

 Elements of rod and string puppets are combined in this form of puppetry.

 Most of the dialogues are sung.

 Music blends folk tunes with classical Odissi tunes.

 Puppets of Orissa are smaller than those from Bengal or Andhra Pradesh.

 More operatic and prose dialogues are seldom used.

Yampuri, Bihar

 Made of wood.

 Puppets are in one piece and have no joints.

 Requires greater dexterity.

4. Glove Puppets
 Also known as sleeve, hand or palm puppets.

 Head is made of either papier mache, cloth or wood,

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 Hands emerge from just below the neck.

 Rest of the figure consists of a long flowing skirt.

 Controlled by the human hand – first finger inserted in the head and middle finger and
thumb are the two arms of the puppet.

 In Orissa, the puppeteer plays on the dholak with one hand and manipulates the puppet
with the other.

 Delivery of the dialogues, the movement of the puppet and the beat of the dholak are well
synchronised and create a dramatic atmosphere.

Pavakoothu, Kerala

 Head and the arms are carved of wood and joined together with thick cloth, cut and
stitched into a small bag.

 Faces of the puppets are decorated with paints, small and thin pieces of gilded tin, the
feathers of the peacock, etc.

 Manipulator puts his hand into the bag and moves the hands and head of the puppet.

 Musical instruments: chenda, chengiloa, ilathalam and shankha the conch.

 Theme: based on the episodes from either the Ramayana or the Mahabharata.

 Delivery of the dialogues, the movement of the puppet and the beat of the dholak are well
synchronized and create a dramatic atmosphere.

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List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

 There are 35 (27 cultural and 7 natural sites and 1 mixed) World Heritage Sites in India
that are recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) as on July 2016.

 These are places of importance of cultural or natural heritage as described in the

UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972.

 The Convention concerning the protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage
was adopted on 17 November 1997 following the General Conference of the UNESCO
held from 17 October 1972 to 21 November 1972.

 India’s first two sites inscribed on the list at the 7th Session of the World Heritage held in
1983 were the Agra Fort and the Ajanta Caves.

 Over the years, 33 more sites have been inscribed, the latest being the Archaeological
Site of Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University) in Bihar and Khangchendzonga
National Park in Sikkim in 2016.

 Of these 35 sites, 27 are cultural sites,7 are natural sites and one is mixed site. A tentative
list of further sites/properties submitted by India for recognition includes 51 sites.

List of Cultural heritage sites of India

Sr. Name Region


01 Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary Assam

02 Manas Wildlife Sanctuary Assam

03 Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya Bihar

04 Humayun’s Tomb Delhi

05 Qutb Minar and its Monuments Delhi

06 Red Fort Complex Delhi

07 Churches and Convents of Goa Velha Goa, Goa

08 Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park Gujarat

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09 Group of Monuments at Hampi Ballari dist.,Karnataka

10 Group of Monuments at Pattadakal Bagalkot dist.,Karnataka

11 Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi Madhya Pradesh

12 Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka Madhya Pradesh

13 Khajuraho Group of Monuments Madhya Pradesh

14 Ajanta Caves Maharashtra

15 Ellora Caves Maharashtra

16 Elephanta Caves Maharashtra

17 Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Maharashtra

18 Sun Temple, Konark Puri dist. ,Orissa

19 Keoladeo National Park Bharatpur, Rajasthan

20 Jantar Mantar, Jaipur Jaipur, Rajasthan

21 Great Living Chola Temples, Brihadeeswarar Tamil Nadu

temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram

22 Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram Tamil Nadu

23 Agra Fort Uttar Pradesh

24 Fatehpur Sikri Uttar Pradesh

25 Taj Mahal Uttar Pradesh

26 Mountain Railways of India, Darjeeling West Bengal

Nilgiri Mountain Railway (2005)Ooty Tamil Nadu

Kalka-Shimla Railway Himachal Pradesh

27 Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Chamoli dist., Uttarakhand


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28 Sunderbans National Park West Bengal

29 Western Ghats Agasthyamalai Sub-Cluster

30 Hill Forts of Rajasthan Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh,

Ranthambhore & Jaisalmer

31 Rani ki vav (The Queen’s Stepwell) Patan, Gujarat

32 Great Himalayan National Park Himachal Pradesh

33 Nalanda Bihar

34 Khangchendzonga National Park Sikkim

35 The Architectural Work Of Le Corbusier Chandigarh

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Mathematics, Astronomy, Weights & measurements

and Coinage in Ancient India

Mathematics in Ancient India

 The town planning of Harappa based on measurement and geometry provides an
evidence of existence of Mathematics.

 The earliest book on Mathematics was SatraSutra by Baudhayan (6th century)

 In this book there is a mention of “Pi” and Pythagorean Theorem.

 Apastanbha (2 cen BC) gives the reference of acute, obtuse and right angles.

 There is also a mention of rotation system, decimal system and the use of Zero.

Aryabhatta role in Mathematics

 Aryabhatta in around 499 AD wrote Aryabhatta in which the concepts of mathematics as

well as astronomy were mention. It has 4 sections: 1.) Method of denoting by big
Decimal numbers by alphabets 2.)Geometry, Trigonometry, Algebra 3.) Number theory
and 4.) On Astronomy

 Astronomy was called Khagol Shastra and Khagol was the famous astronomical
observatory at Nalanda where Aryabhatta studied.

 Aryabhatta stated that earth is round and rotate in its own axis.

 He formulated area of triangle and also discovered Algebra.

 The value of “Pi” by Aryabhatta was 3.1416 and it was much more accurate than that
Greeks given.

 Arabs called Mathematics as Hindisat or the Indian art which was learnt by them from

Brahmagupta (7th century)

 He wrote Brahmagupta Siddhantha and it was the first book which mentioned Zero as a

 He introduced Negative numbers and described them as Debts and Positive numbers as

 Mahavir (9th century) Wrote Ganitha Sangraha about arithmetic.

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Bhaskaracharya (12th century)

 He wrote a book “Siddhantha Shiromani” – divided into 4 sections: 1.Leelavathi deals

on Arithmetics, 2.Bej Ganitha deals on Algebra, 3.Goladhayaya about Spheres and
4.Grahaganitha deals on Planets.

 He introduced cyclic method of Solve Algebra equation and Europeans called it as

“Inverse style”

 In Medieval India many translations were done

 Akbar courtesan Faizi translated Bhaskaracharya’s Bejganitha.

 Leelvathi was translated by James Taylor in 19th century to English.

Astronomy in Ancient India

 Aryabhatta wrote Aryabhatiyam which contains 121 verses. It contains method of
determining movements of Planets, Calculation of Eclipse.

Astronomy in Medieval India

 Feroz shah Tughlaq established an observatory at Delhi.

 Feroz shah Bahmani established an observatory at Daulatabad.

 Both Lunar and Solar calendars used.

 Sawai Jai Singh II setup 5 astronomical observatories at Delhi, Jaipur, Varanasi, Ujjain
and Mathura.

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Weights and measurements in Ancient India

Measures of weight in Ancient India

 The basic weight used in ancient India was Raktika, a bright red seed from the gunja.

 1 raktika = 0.118 grams.

 5 ratikas = 1 masa,

 16 masas = 1 karsa, tolaka, or suvarna.

 4 karsas = 1 pala (37.76 gm)

 10 palas = 1 dharana.

 16 palas = 1 prastha (600 gm)

 16 Prastha = 1 drona (9.6 kg)

Measurements of length in Ancient India

 8 yava (barleycorns) = 1 angula (.75 inches)

 12 angulas = 1 vitasi (9 inches)

 2 vitastis = 1 hasta or aratni (18 inches)

 4 hastas = 1 danda (6 feet)

 2,000 dandas = 1 krosa (2.5 miles)

 4 krosas = 1 yojana (about 9 miles)

Measurements of time in Ancient India

 18 nimesas = 1 kastha (about 3.2 seconds)

 30 kasthas = 1 kala (about 1.6 minutes)

 15 kalas = 1 nadika (about 24 minutes)

 2 nadikas = 1 muhurta (about 48 minutes)

 30 muhurtas = 1 aho-ratra (about one day and night, or 24 hours)

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Coinage in Ancient India

 Early punched coins were minted around the 6th century B.C.E., and they were made up
of Copper and Silver. Rarely gold coins used

 Satamana was the largest coin and was shaped like a small bent bar. 1 satamana would
weigh about 180 grains.

 Karaspana was the basic silver punched coin and kakinis was the basic copper coin.

 Indo-European coins were also made of gold, silver, and copper.

 The Indo-European coins came from Rome during their expansion southward into the
area of Afghanistan.

 Silver coins, drachm and obol, were the most abundant, copper coins, their metrology is
not clear, the second most abundant, and gold coins were also very rare.

 Kusana coins were only made of gold and copper and copper coins were large.

 Dinaras or suvarnas were based on Roman denarius and they were also double and
quarter dinaras.

 The Pre-Gupran coins were made of silver and copper and the coins were not uniform in
weight or size and were made by the native king.

 Satavahanas of the Deccan, were the first to issue lead and potin coins.

 The Guptas also made gold coins called dinara and were made in relation to Kusana

 The Indian standard of coin was the copper coin called the karasapana, and the silver
coin, rupaka, was based on the Sakas of Ujjayini.

 The Medieval coins were also made of gold, silver, and copper.

 The gold coins were called suvarna or tanka and were only minted in a few dynasties in
the 11th century.

 The silver coins (dramma, tanka) also conformed to this standard, and coins of 3/4, ½,
and ¼ dramma are attested.

 Silver Tanka and Copper Jital coins issued by Illutumish (1210 – 36)

 Mohammed bin Tughluq issued Token currency.

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