Cultural Contributions

Contribution of Jainism can be seen through its Impact on Language and literature. Use of Prakrit for preaching led to growth of regional languages like Suraseni, which led to new regional languages – Marathi and Kannada. Jain literature comprises twelve angas and upangas, Mahapurana, Kalpasutra and Ratnamalika. Jain Impact on Art and Architecture can be seen in Hathi Gumpha caves and Cave Temples like Udayagiri Caves. Jain monasteries were built as Viharas, which were single or double storeyed. Jain Temples are situated in Ranakpur near Jodhpur, Dilwara temples at Mount Abu, Vimala Vasahi temple and Luna Vasahi temple.

Contribution of Buddhism is characterized by Changes in Buddhist Art. Buddhist Architecture is represented by Viharas and Chaityas. Chaitya at Ellora is famously known as Viswakarma. Famous Buddhist stupas include Sanchi Stupa and Bharhut Stupa. Buddhist Viharas were residential quarters of the monks. Buddhist Sculpture reached its excellence after 5th century CE. A twenty-five meter high copper statue of Buddha was found at Sarnath. Walls of Ajanta Caves have beautiful scenes from Buddha’s life. Ellora also has caves which were dedicated to Buddhism.

Schools of Architecture developed in ancient India includes Mauryan School, characterized by Monolithic Pillars built by Ashoka. A Capital is installed at the top of each pillar. Sarnath Pillar has a lion capital. Kushana School of art flourished in 1st century CE. Also known as Mathura School, its examples include headless statue of Kanishka and statue of standing Buddha. It belongs to 5th century CE, around same time as Sarnath School, whose masterpiece is statue of seated Buddha. Gandhara School of Art is a blend and synthesis of Indian art with Greco-Roman style.

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