Culture of india


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‘Culture’ is derived from Latin term ‘cult or cultus’ meaning cultivating or refining and worship. The term ‘Sanskriti’ has been derived from the root ‘Kri (to do).

prakriti’ (basic matter or condition),

‘Kri; ‘Sanskriti’ (refined matter or condition)

vikriti’ (modified/ decayed matter or condition)

When ‘prakriti’ is refined it becomes ‘Sanskriti’ and when broken/damaged it becomes ‘vikriti’.

  • Culture is a way of life.

  • Culture may be defined as the way an individual and especially a group live, think, feel and organize themselves, celebrate and share life.

  • Culture thus refers to a human-made environment which includes all the material and non-material products of group life that are transmitted from one generation to the next.

  • In deeper sense it is culture that produces the kind of literature, music, dance, sculpture, architecture and various other art forms as well as the many organizations and structures that make the functioning of the society smooth and well-ordered.

  • Culture is the expression of our nature in our modes of living and thinking.

Material (dress, food, and household goods)

  • Culture

Non-Material. (ideas, ideals, thoughts and belief)

  • Self restraint in conduct, consideration for the feelings of others, for the rights of others, are the highest marks of culture.


  • ‘Civilization’ means having better ways of living and sometimes making nature bend to fulfill their needs.

  • On the other hand ‘culture’ refers to the inner being, a refinement of head and heart.

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

  • One possessing huge wealth may be considered as ‘civlilized’ but he may not be cultured’

  • Civilization is advanced state of culture.


  • 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.

  • Culture is liable to change, but our heritage does not.

Architectural creations, material artifacts, the intellectual achievements, philosophy, pleasure of knowledge, scientific inventions and discoveries are parts of heritage.


  • Culture is learned and acquired:

  • Culture is shared by a group of people:

  • Culture is cumulative:

  • Culture changes:

  • Culture is dynamic:

  • Culture gives us a range of permissible behaviour patterns:

  • Culture is diverse:

  • Culture is ideational:


  • Culture is closely linked with life.

  • It is what makes us human. Culture is made up of traditions, beliefs, way of life, from the most spiritual to the most material.

  • Human beings are creators of culture and, at the same time, culture is what makes us human.
  • The three eternal and universal values of Truth, Beauty and Goodness are closely linked with culture.


  • Due to its adaptability and 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 and value based life style is the core of Indian culture but it has a scientific temperament too.


  • traced as far back as third millennium BC.

  • on the banks of the river Indus particularly at the bends that provided water, easy means of transportation of produce and other goods and also some protection by way of natural barriers of the river .

  • consisted of walled cities which provided security to the people.

  • rectangular grid pattern of layout with roads that cut each other at right angles.

  • used standardised burnt mud-bricks as building material.

  • evidence of building of big dimensions which perhaps were public buildings, administrative or business centres, pillared halls and courtyards.

  • no evidence of temples.

  • granaries which were used to store grains which give an idea of an organised collection and distribution system.

  • ‘Great Bath’ - public bathing place shows the importance of ritualistic bathing and cleanliness in this culture. It is still functional and there is no leakage or cracks in the construction.
  • most of the houses had private wells and bathrooms.

  • dominant citadal - treated as evidence of some kind of political authority ruling over the cities.

  • evidence also of fortifications with gateways enclosing the walled cities which shows that there may have been a fear of being attacked.

Dholavira , Rangpur, Rojdi, Lothal , Sarkotada , Kuntasi, Padri (Gujarat) Kalibangan (Rajasthan), Bhagwanpura, Banawali (Haryana), Diamabad (Maharashtra), Alamgirpur (U.P.), and Mauda (Jammu).


  • Ashoka, first Mauryan to "think in stone".

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

  • beginning of the Buddhist School of architecture in India.

  • monolithic Ashokan pillars are marvels of architecture and sculpture. These were lofty free standing monolithic columns erected on sacred sites. Originally there were about thirty pillars but now only ten are in existence, of which only two with lion capitals stand in situ in good condition at Kolhua and Laurya Nandangarh respectively.

  • Sarnath pillar - finest pieces of sculpture of the Ashokan period.

  • Two Ashokan edicts - found at Laghman, near Jalalabad ( Afghanistan).

  • most important ones are located at Bharhut, Bodhgaya, Sanchi, Amravati and Nagarjunakonda.

  • Chinese traveller 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 accomplish". 

  • Its existence was pointed out during the excavations at Kumrahar, near Patna, where its ashes have been found preserved for several thousand years.
  • Megasthenes, the Greek ambassador of Selucas Nikator who visited the Mauryan court described Chandragupta Maurya’s palace as an excellent architectural achievement.



  • 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 and ivory to the more durable stone.


  • 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. 


  • further development of stupas at Sanchi and Bharhut. 

  • the base, dome and 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 symbol.



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

  • imbibed all kinds of foreign influences like Persian, Greek, Roman, Saka and Kushan.

  • origin can be traced to the Greek rulers of Bactria and Northwest India.

  • during the reign of Kanishka that the art received great patronage.

  • also known as the Graeco- Buddhist School of Art since Greek techniques of Art were applied to Buddhist subjects.  
  • most important contribution- evolution of beautiful images of the Buddha and Bodhisattavas, which were executed in black stone and modelled on identical characters of Graeco-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.

 MATHURA SCHOOL OF ART( 50 B.C. - 500 A.D.):

  • at the holy city of Mathura between 1-3 A.D. 

  • established tradition of transforming Buddhist symbols into human form.

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

  • earliest sculptures of Buddha were made keeping the yaksha prototype in mind.

  • strongly built - right hand raised in protection and left hand on the waist.

  • The figures do not have moustaches and 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 and gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon.

  • although of indigenous origin, but greatly influenced by the Gandhara School of Art.

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

  • observed at - Sarnath, Sravasti and even as far as Rajgir in Bihar.

  • on the banks of the Krishna River in modern Andhra Pradesh.  

  • largest Buddhist stupa of South India.  

  • construction began in 200 B.C. and was completed in 200 A.D.

  • stupendous stupa could not withstand the ravages of time

  • its ruins are preserved in the London Museum. 




Nagara temples have two distinct features :

  • In plan, the temple is a square with a number of graduated projections in the middle of each side giving a cruciform shape with a number of re-entrant angles on each side.

  • In elevation, a Sikhara, i.e., tower gradually inclines inwards in a convex curve.


  • Mahakaleshwar temple, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of India,

  • Kal Bhairava temple, finds a mention in the Skanda Purana, and

  • Mangalnath temple, regarded as the birthplace of Mars, according to the Matsya Purana.


  • flourished in Bengal and Bihar under the Pala and the Sena rulers.

  • Nalanda was its most active centre, whose influence was spread to Nepal, Myanmar and even Indonesia.  


  • Khajuraho justly famous for their graceful contours anderotic sculptures.

  • These 22 temples (out of the original 85) are regarded as one of world's greatest artistic wonders. 

  • Khajuraho Temples were built within a short period of hundred years from 950-1050 A.D.

  • Kendriya Mahadev temple is the largest and most beautiful of the Khajuraho Temples.   

  • Shiva Temple at Visvanath and Vishnu Temple at Chaturbhunj are other important temples at Khajuraho.


Dravidian style temples consist almost invariably of the four following parts:

  • The principal part, the temple itself, is called the Vimana (or Vimanam). It is always square in plan and surmounted by a pyramidal roof of one or more stories; it contains the cell where the image of the god is placed.

  • The porches or Mandapas, which always cover and precede the door leading to the cell.

  • Gate-pyramids or Gopurams, which are the principal features in the quadrangular enclosures that surround the more notable temples.

  • Pillared halls or Chaultris—properly Chawadis -- used for various purposes, and which are the invariable accompaniments of these temples.

  • Vesara is a combination of NAGARA & DRAVIDIAN temple styles

  • Hoysala temples at BelurHalebidu and Somnathpura are supreme examples of this style


AJANTA CAVES (2nd Cen BC to 7th Cen AD)

  • were first mentioned by Chinese pilgrim Huen Tsang - visited India between 629 - 645 AD.

  • discovered by the British officers while hunting a tiger in 1819 AD.

  • thirty cave temples at Ajanta are set into the rocky sides of a crescent shaped gorge in the Inhyadri hills of the Sahyadri ranges.  

  • 5 caves are Chaitya-grihas, & rest are Viharas(monasteries)

  • caves depict a large number of incidents from the life of the Buddha (Jataka Tales). 

ELLORA CAVES(5th -13th Cen AD)

  • representing 3 major religion of india- Hinduism, Buddhism & Jainism.

  • Lies on ancient trade route- dakshinpatha.

  • 12 Buddhist caves(1-12)

  • 17 Hindu Caves(13-29)

  • 5 Jaina Caves(30-34)

  • Best example of Religious Harmony


  • located in the Raisen District -Madhya

  • discovered in 1958 by V.S. Wakanker, is the biggest prehistoric art depository in India.

  • Atop the hill a large number of rock-shelters have been discovered, of which more than 130 contain paintings.

  • Excavations revealed history of continuous habitation from early stone age (about 10000 years) to the end of stone age (c. 10,000 to 2,000 years)


  • 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 three-headed form.

  • The Maheshamurti is built deep into a recess and looms up from the darkness to fill the full height of the cave.

  • image symbolizes the fierce, feminine and meditative aspects of the great ascetic and the three heads represent Lord Shiva as Aghori, Ardhanarishvara and 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.


  • rock-cut Buddhist caves situated in Udayagiri hills, Mumbai.  

  • excavated during 200 BC to 600 AD and are now in ruins.  

  • comprise of 4 caves on the southeastern face and 15 caves on the northwestern face.  

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


  • second largest known cave after the Kailasa cave in Ellora

  • houses a Brahmanical temple dating back to the 6th century AD. 

  • Excavated between the 1st and 2nd centuries AD

  • Kanheri is a 109-cave complex located near Borivili National Park in Bombay.  
  • The Kanheri caves contain illustrations from Hinayana and Mahayana Buddhism and show carvings dating back to 200 BC.


  • About 50-60 kms away from Pune,

  • these are rock-cut Buddhist caves dating back to the 1st and 2nd centuries BC.

  • consist of several viharas and chaityas. 


  • 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.

  • Man Mandir, the largest palace in Gwalior, was built by Raja Man Singh Tomar (1486-1516).

  • Man Mandir has two storeys 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.

  • palaces of Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Kota represent the maturity of the Rajput style.

  • All of these palaces were built predominantly in the 17th and early 18th centuries.

  • city of Bikaner is encircled by 5.63 km long stone wall in rich pink sandstone. There are five gates and three sally ports.

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

  • Meherangarh fort stands on a cliff with a sheer drop of over 36 metres.
  • Built by Jai Singh, Jaipur represents a fusion of Eastern and Western ideas of town planning. The city is enclosed by a wall and has bastions and towers at regular intervals. City Palace is at the center of the walled city and is a spectacular synthesis of Rajput and Mughal architectural styles.

  • Hawa Mahal, or Palace of Winds, (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 18th century, others being Ujjain, Mathura, Varanasi & New Delhi.


  • The only variation in these temples was in the form offrequent chamukhs or four-faced temples.

  • four Tirthankars are be placed back to back to face four cardinal points. Entry into this temple is also from four doors.

  • Chamukh temple of Adinath (1618 AD) is a characteristic example of the four-door temple.

  • 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.


  • concept of arch or dome was not invented by the Muslims but was, in fact, borrowed and was further perfected by them from the architectural styles of the post-Roman period.  

  • used cementing agent in the form of mortar for the first time.

  • use of scientific principles helped not only in obtaining greater strength and stability of the construction materials but also provided greater flexibility to the architects and builders.

  • Islamic elements of architecture had already passed through different experimental phases in other countries like Egypt, Iran and Iraq before these were introduced in India.
  • typical mortar-masonry works formed of dressed stones.

  • Mosques and Tombs - religious architecture

  • Palaces and Forts - secular Islamic architecture.


  • basically an open courtyard surrounded by a pillared verandah

  • crowned off with a dome

  • mihrab indicates the direction of the qibla for prayer.

  • Towards the right of the mihrab stands the mimbar or pulpit from where the Imam presides over the proceedings.

  • Large mosques where the faithful assemble for the Friday prayers are called the Jama Masjids.


  • The Delhi or the Imperial Style of Indo-Islamic architecture flourished between 1191-1557 AD and covered Muslim dynasties viz., Slave (1191-1290), Khilji (1290-1320), Tughlaq (1320-1414), Sayyid (1414-1444) and Lodi (1451-1556). 

  • earliest construction work was began by Qutubuddin Aibak, who started erecting monumental buildings of stone on Qila Rai Pithora, the first of the seven historical cities of Delhi associated with Prithviraj Chauhan.

  • The Qutub Mosque (1192 AD) is one such building, whose arcaded aisles were composed of pillars carved in the Hindu style. Named as the Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid, it is considered as the earliest mosque in India.

  • Qutub-ud-din Aibak also started the construction of Qutub Minar in 1192 (which was eventually completed by Iltutmish in 1230). The Qutub Minar, built to commemorate the entry of Islam, was essentially a victory tower, decorated with several calligraphic inscriptions.
  • Adhai-din-ka-Jhopra, located beyond the Ajmer darga in Rajasthan. It was constructed in 1153 AD and converted into a mosque in 1198 AD.

  • Allauddin Khilji established the second city of Delhi at Siri, built the Alai Darwaza near the Qutub Minar and dug a vast reservoir at Hauz Khas around 1311AD.

  • Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq (1320-1325 AD) built Tughlaqabad, the third city of Delhi. Tomb of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq, built of red sandstone, is an irregular pentagon in its exterior plan and its design is of the pointed or "Tartar" shape and is crowned by a finial resembling the kalasa and amla of a Hindu temple. 

  • Delhi's fourth 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, Fathabad and Hissar.

  • Kali Masjid, Khirki Masjid and Kalan Masjid also belong to this period, the last two being raised on a tahkhana or substructure of arches.

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

  • The square tombs are represented by such monuments as the Bara Khan Ka Gumbad, Chota Khan Ka Gumbad, Bara Gumbad (1494 AD), Shish Gumbad, Dadi Ka Gumbad and the Poli ka Gumbad.

  • 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.


  • Under the Sharqi dynasty Jaunpur became a great centre of art, culture and architectural activity.  

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


  • Gujarat witnessed significant architectural activity for over 250 years starting from Muzaffar Shah's declaration of independence from Delhi and 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 (built by the city’s founder Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1423), Qutubuddin's mosque (1454), Rani Sipri Mosque (1505), Sidi Bashir's Mosque (1510), which is famous for its “shaking minarets”, Rani Rupmati Masjid at Mirzapur (built between 1430 and 1440) and the Kankaria Lake, constructed in 1451 by Sultan Qutb-ud-Din.


  • earliest period of architectural development started in 1347 when Allauddin Bahman Shah constructed the Gulbarga Fort and the Jami Masjid at Gulbarga.  

  • The 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 Tomb.


  • Qutub Shahi and Nizam Shahi dynasties contributed greatly towards the development of the Deccan style of architecture.

  • Charminar (1591) - Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah.
  • Mecca Masjid- started in 1614 by Abdullah Qutub Shah and completed in 1687 by Aurangzeb.

  • 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, is a rare blend of Italian and Tudor architecture.


  • Gol Gumbaz built by Mohammad Adil Shah, which is largest masonry dome in the world.


  • 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.


  • Sasaram in Bihar - Sher Shah's Tomb, tomb of his father, Hasan Sur Khan built in 1535, tomb of his son Salim Shah and 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 three main gates - the Humayun darwaza, Talaqi darwaza and Baradarwaza. Qila-i-kuhna masjid built by Sher Shah Suri in 1541 AD in the Purana Qila.



  • mosque at Kabuli Bagh at Panipat and Jami Masjid at Sambhal near Delhi, both constructed in 1526, are the surviving monuments of Babar.


  • Persian influence - result of Humayun's observance at the court of Shah Tahmasp during the period of his exile.

  • Humayun's Tomb at Delhi, (1564) by his widow Haji Begum as a mark of devotion, eight years after his death.


  • Use of red sandstone.

  • Construction of a huge fort at Agra.

  • Massive sandstone ramparts of the Red Fort, New Delhi.

  • Buildings at Fatehpur Sikri blended both Islamic and Hindu elements in their architectural style. Buland Darwaza, Panch Mahal and Dargah of Saleem Chisti are the most imposing of all the buildings of Fatehpur Sikri. Diwan-e-Khas in the complex which was designed for private audiences.


  • Shalimar Bagh on the banks of Lake Dal in Kashmir.

  • 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


  • Substitution of marble for the red sandstone.

  • Marblized Diwan-i-Am and Diwan-i-Khas build by Akbar at Red Fort, Delhi.

  • Shah Jahan built the Jami Masjid at Agra in 1648 in honour of his daughter Jahanara Begum & Wazir Khan's mosque in Lahore,1634.

  • Taj Mahal - a memorial to his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal.


  • Bibi-ki-Maqbara, tomb of Aurangzeb's wife Begum Rabia Durani, a poor replica of the famous Taj Mahal

  • a fine example of Mughal architecture in the Deccan region.



  • Safdar Jung's tomb, built in the honour of Safdar Jung (1739-1753), who was the nephew of the first Nawab of Oudh.

  • Bara Imambara built by the Nawab in 1784. Absence of pillars in the main hall and simplicity of style and symmetry are its unique features.  

  • Chattar Manzil - main attractions are the underground rooms and a beautiful dome surrounded by a gilt umbrella.

  • Kaiser Bagh is a quadrangular park with a baradari (pavilion) and yellow-coloured buildings on three sides.  

  • Roshanwali Koti and Begum Koti at Hazratgunj -  Italian style is more prominent.


  • developed under the influence of the Mughal style. 

  • characterised by certain indigenous features like the multiplicity of chattris /kiosks, use of fluted dome generally covered with  copper or brass-gilt and enrichment of arches by numerous foliations.  

  • Golden Temple at Amritsar(1764) built by the fourth Sikh Guru Ramdas.



  • Portuguese adapted to India the climatically appropriate Iberian galleried patio house and the Baroque churches of Goa. 

  • Se Cathedral and Arch of Conception of Goa were built in the typical Portuguese-Gothic style.  

  • St. Francis Church at Cochin( 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 and the Porte da Mer (sea gate).


  • French gave a distinct urban design to its settlement in Pondicherry by applying the Cartesian grid plans and 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.


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

  • 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.

  • Victoria Memorial Hall-Calcutta(1921),designed by Sir William Emerson.

  • Gateway of India in Mumbai, Maharaja's Palace at Mysore and M.S.University and Lakshmi Villas Palace at Baroda.

  • New Delhi - systematically planned city after made capital in 1911

  • Sir Edward Lutyens made responsible for the overall plan of Delhi and constructed India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhawan. 

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

  • Englishman called Robert Tor Tussell built the Connaught Place.


Painting - expresses human thoughts and feelings through the media of line and colour.

Method Of Paintings

  • True Fresco Method- the paintings are done when the surface wall is still wet so that the pigments go deep inside the wall surface.

  • Tempora or Fresco-­Secco- method of painting on the lime plastered surface which has been allowed to dry first and then drenched with fresh lime water.

Cave dweller

  • painted rock shelters to satisfy his aesthetic sensitivity and creative urge

  • primitive records of wild animals, war processions, birds & marine creatures

  • human images, dancing images and hunting scenes.

  • Bhimbetka caves in the Kaimur Range, MP.


  • exclusively Buddhist, excepting decorative patterns on the ceilings and the pillars.

  • associated with the Jatakas, recording the previous births of the Lord Buddha.

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


  • out in rectangular panels with thick borders. 

  • most important characteristic features

  • sharp twist of the head,

  • painted angular bents of the arms,

  • concave curve of the close limbs,
  • sharp projected nose and

  • long drawn open eyes


  • Tanjore, Tamil Nadu

  • wide open eyes of all the figures as compared to Ajanta tradition of half closed drooping eyes

  • dancing girl from Brihadeshwara temple of Tanjore

MUGHAL SCHOOL (1560-1800 A.D.)

  • synthesis of the indigenous Indian style of painting and the Safavid school of Persian painting.

  • marked by supple naturalism

  • based on close observation of nature and fine and delicate drawing.

  • high aesthetic merit.

  • primarily aristocratic and secular.

  • Tuti-nama - first work of the Mughal School.

  • Hamza-nama( illustrations on cloth)- more developed and refined than Tuti-nama.

  • Under Jahangir, painting acquired greater charm, refinement and dignity.

  • Under Shah Jahan - painting maintained its fine quality.

  • Under Aurangzeb- Painting declined and lost much of its earlier quality.



  • female appearing in the painting belongs to the northern tradition of Malwa.

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

  • colours used are rich and brilliant

  • Persian influence - high horizon, gold sky and the landscape.


  • ladies - tall and slender and are wearing the South Indian dress.

  • rich colour scheme, the palm trees, animals and men and women all belongs to the Deccani tradition.

  • profuse use of gold colour

  • some flowering plants and arabesques on the top of the throne are derived from the Persian tradition.


  • "Lady with the Myna bird", about 1605 A.D

  • colours are rich and brilliant

  • continued long after the extinction of the Deccan Sultanates of Ahmednagar, Bijapur and Golconda.


  • 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 colours.

  • style of the painting is decorative.

  • typical characteristics - rich colours, the Deccani facial types and costumes


  • works on cloth stretched over wood.

  • style of painting - bold drawing, techniques of shading and the use of pure and brilliant colours

  • flourished during the late 18th and 19th centuries.

  • style is decorative and is marked by the use of bright colours and ornamental details.

  • conical crown - a typical feature of the Tanjore painting.


  • more subtle and 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.


  • 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 and contrasting colours.

  • treatment of figures is flat without any attempt to show perspective in a naturalistic manner.

  • surface of the painting is divided into several compartments of different colours in order to separate one scene from another.

  • each school of painting has its distinct facial type, costume, landscape and colour scheme.

  1. MALWA

  • use of contrasting colours, refinement of drawing due to the influence of the Mughal painting

  • ornaments and costumes consisting of black tassels and striped skirts.

  1. MEWAR

  • drawing is bold and the colours are bright and contrasting.

  • text of the painting is written in black on the top against the yellow ground.

  1. BUNDI

  • very close to the Mewar style

  • rich and glowing colours, the rising sun in golden colour, crimson-red horizon, overlapping and semi-naturalistic trees

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

  1. KOTAH

  • very much akin to the Bundi style

  • Themes of tiger and bear hunt were very popular at Kotah.

  • most of the space is occupied by the hilly jungle which has been rendered with a unique charm.


  • this school of painting originated at Amber but later shifted to Jaipur, the new capital.

  • There is a fairly large number of portraits of the Jaipur rulers


  • executed in a primitive and vigorous folk style

  • completely uninfluenced by the Mughal style. 

  • A large number of miniatures comprising portraits, court scenes, series of the Ragamala and the Baramasa, etc. were executed from the 17th to 19th centuries at several centres of painting like Pali, Jodhpur and Nagour etc. in Marwar.


  • Bikaner had close relations with the Mughals.

  • Some of the Mughal artists were given patronage by the Bikaner court
  • responsible for the introduction of a new style of painting having much similarity with the Mughal and the Deccani styles. 


  • 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


  • comprises the present State of Himachal Pradesh, some adjoining areas of the Punjab, Jammu and Garhwal in UP.

  • this area was ruled by the Rajput princes and were often engaged in welfare.

  • centres of great artistic activity from the latter half of the 17th to nearly the middle of the 19th century.


  • characterised by vigorous and bold line and strong glowing colours.

  • There is a change in the facial type which becomes a little heavier and also in the tree forms which assume a somewhat naturalistic character, which may be due to the influence of the Mughal painting.
  • general features - use of strong and contrasting colours, monochrome background, large eyes, bold drawing, use of beetles wings for showing diamonds in ornaments, narrow sky and the red

2.GULER (Jammu)

  • consisting of portraits of Raja Balwant Singh of Jasrota (a small place near Jammu) by Master Nainsukh.

  • He worked both at Jasrota and at Guler.

  • paintings are in a new naturalistic and delicate style marking a change from the earlier traditions of the Basohli art.

  • colours used are soft and cool.

  • inspired by the naturalistic style of the Mughal painting.


  • third phase of the Pahari painting in the last quarter of the 18th century.

  • developed out of the Guler style.

  • the 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.

  • There is, however, no modelling of figures and hair is treated as a flat mass.


  • a folk style of painting, mainly inspired by the local tradition.

  • style is marked by bold drawing and the use of dark and dull colours.

  • Though influence of the Kangra style is observed in certain cases yet the style maintains its distinct folkish character.



  • Kalighat painting was a product of the changing urban society of the 19th century Calcutta.

  • 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.

  • satirical paintings lampooning the hypocrisies of the newly rich and the changing roles of men and women after the introduction of education for women.


  • 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 meet for the first time.


  • 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 performance

  • represents the moving shrine of the deity and is an object of worship.
  • most popular & largest Phad - local deities Devnarayanji and Pabuji.

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