Indian Philosophy and tradition played a significant role in conceiving and shaping the monuments and their art in India. Discuss.

Indian Philosophy and tradition played a significant role in conceiving and shaping the monuments and their art in India. Discuss. (Answer in 250 words) 15


  • Introduction:
    • Present a concise overview of Indian Philosophy.
  • In the main section:
    • Explain the influence of Indian Philosophy on India’s Architecture and arts across different historical periods.
  • For the conclusion:
    • Discuss the dedication of individuals from various eras to express and transmit the principles, customs, and ideologies of Indian Philosophy.


Indian philosophy encompasses the philosophical traditions that originated in the Indian subcontinent, encompassing Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain philosophies, among others.

Art serves as a cultural medium through which individuals express their ideas, values, emotions, aspirations, and responses to life. Consequently, the interplay between philosophy and artistic monuments is deeply intertwined.


Monuments and their artistic expressions, from the pillars of Asoka to the Brihadeshwara temple of the Chola dynasty, have been significantly shaped by the prevalent philosophical and cultural traditions. During the early period, Buddhism and Jainism held sway over the artistic landscape, while Hindu influences gradually gained prominence from the Gupta era.

  • The Asokan Pillar and Stupas reflect the essence of Buddhist philosophies, illustrating teachings, narratives, and symbols associated with Buddhism. The Sarnath pillar’s Chakra signifies Dharmachakrapravartana, while the stupas’ Chattra embodies the Three Jewels of Buddhism.
  • For the ascetics of Ajivika, Jainism, and Buddhism, secluded spaces were crucial for meditation. Rock-cut caves such as Lomas Rishi, Ajanta, and Ellora were meticulously carved to serve as sanctuaries for monks and sages. The engravings, paintings, and sculptures within these caves vividly depict the teachings of these philosophies, portraying the life cycles of Buddha in the Ajanta caves and the images of 24 Jinas in the Ellora caves.
  • Jain temple architecture includes not only depictions of Jinas but also carvings of deities, yaksa, yakshi, and devout human followers. The cells of Jain viharas are deliberately austere and compact, designed to facilitate the rigorous asceticism practiced by Jain monks.
  • With the onset of the Gupta period, Hindu temple architecture began to flourish, showcasing three distinctive styles – Nagara, Vesara, and Dravida. Hindu temples’ architecture and walls are adorned with sculptures inspired by the rich tapestry of Hindu epics and mythologies.
  • The layout of the Khajuraho temple, forming three converging triangles that culminate in a pentagon, symbolically represents the Hindu concept of three realms (trilokinatha) and five cosmic elements (panchbhuteshvara).
  • Monolithic temples such as the 8th-century Kailasha temple in Ellora and the group of monuments at Mamallapuram (7th–8th century CE) narrate stories from Hindu religious texts like the Shivapurana and Mahabharata, thereby showcasing the deep-rooted influence of Hindu religion and mythology in their construction and embellishments.


Indian philosophy and traditions have significantly influenced the architecture and interiors of monuments. However, these structures were not exclusively molded by philosophical beliefs; they also incorporated elements stemming from activities like trade and cultural interactions.

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