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Home > Indian Sculptures
Indian Sculpture
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Indian sculptures provide an important channel to realize the artistic wealth of India. Certainly, the complex cultural and philosophical systems that prevailed in India gave birth to India`s artistic tradition. The principal sculptural techniques used in India have undergone little changes throughout the ages. But carving in India is practiced for centuries with using varied materials such as stone or rock, wood, various metals, bone, and marbles also.

prist kingThe rich tradition of philosophy - both rational and spiritual - found its expression in the Indian sculptures and architecture as well. The important monuments like stupas and temples are incorporating a symbolic language that emphasizes on visual representations of all the important philosophical concepts.

These included the Chakra - the revolving wheel of time which is an symbolic presentation of the cyclical rhythms of the cosmos; the Padma - or the lotus symbol to show the prime symbol that represents the supernatural force and lingam and yoni - the male and female fertility symbols and many others.

The appearance of figures is so natural and realistic. The skills that were employed by the sculptors of that time are not only of excellent quality but it is astonishing. All respected deities were shown in the sculptures with multiple arms to signify energy or power. The dancing couples carved in postures maybe to suggest movement and as symbolic of the celestial dance.

The sculptural history of India begins with the Indus valley. The beginning of Indian art and sculpture dates back to the Indus valley civilization.sculture The roots of this civilization took place in the 2nd and 3rd millennium BC. And from that time the sculptural art had developed in a more refined form. The Indian sculptures from later period found its presentation in carvings on stupas, temples or in cave structures. Though it seems that the religious dominance in the art exist at greater extent, the depiction of ordinary life was also expressed through it. The term religion was used to encompass a huge concept. It was not based on sensual starvation like today but it was directed for well being of human society.

So, it can be said that India`s stupas and temples were not just religious monuments but also cultural centers showing the spiritual and secular significance. The secular nature of Indian sculptural art can be illustrated from the incorporation of various images from secular life. The Indian temple incorporated the images or figures of musicians, dancers, acrobats and romantic couples, with that of the deities. With all this features erotic themes also begin to make their mark in sculptures.

Sensuality and sexual appeal is shown without inhibition through the carvings on the temples of Khajuraho, or sun temple. The eroticism may be treated as shocking and scandalous to the Western art but it illustrates the fact that tantric ideas on the compatibility of human sexuality with human spirituality had entered the mainstream in that period. Due to this erotic desires were not considered as an antagonistic to spiritual liberation but instead of that it was considered as an important component of spiritual release.

Dancing girlAnd Indian sculpture is meant to take us to the journey of aesthetic ecstasy, which is India`s great aesthetician dignified with recognition as enlightenment. And the only road to that ecstasy is the dedicated absorption of all the suggestions, visual, sensuous, tactile and kinetic, that every work of art has to offer all human being. The important works of Indian sculptural arts includes the sculptures at temples of Khajuraho, Ajanta and Ellora caves, Stupa of Sanchi and Sarnath, Eleplanta caves etc. The list is long that shows the glorious past of sculptural art.
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