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Activity Discussion History Write about the architecture of Gupta dynasty

  • Purba

    June 21, 2023 at 10:21 pm
    Not Helpful

    The age of Guptas is often considered as a classical age in the sphere of cultural developments. Earlier Buddhists Gupta rulers continued with Buddhist architectures and in the later phase emergence of temple architecture under the patronage of Hindu rulers represented Gupta era as “Golden Period Of Indian Architecture” in the ancient Indian history.

    Religious tolerance was shown but Gupta kings were Brahmanical by religion. This period showed development of three deities in different regions:

    1.Vishnu : North and Central India

    2: Shiv : South India

    3. Shiv : Bengal


    One of the finest example of Mural paintings were shown in the caves of Ajanta and Ellora.

    1. Ajanta Caves:

    There are a total of 29 rock cut caves of which 25
    were used as Viharas or residential caves while 4 were
    used as Chaitya or prayer halls.
    The Ajanta caves were inscribed by the Buddhist monks-under the patronage of Satvahana (Hinayana phase) and Vakataka (Mahayana phase)dynasty.

    2. Ellora Caves:

    It has 34 Buddhist, Brahmanical and Jain caves,

    Caves 1–12: Buddhist

    Caves 13–29: Hindu

    Caves 30–34: Jain (Digambara sect)

    3. Another important cave architectures are-Bagh Caves (Very similar architectures as Ajanta), Nasik Caves, Junagarh Caves (e presence of a high citadel known as “Upar Kot” in front of the prayer hall) etc.


    The Gupta age saw a decline in the development of
    stupas. However, Dhamek stupa at Sarnath near
    Varanasi is a fine example of stupa developed during
    this period.


    1. The early stone temple:

    i) Vishnu temple at Tigwa (MadhyaPradesh), Parvati Temple at Nachna-Kuthara (Madhya Pradesh) etc.

    ii) One of the famous stone made temple was Dasavatar Temple at Deogarh (Jhasi) where first time Shikhar was constructed.

    2. The early brick temple:

    Bhitaragaon at Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh), Sirpur at Raipur (Chattisgarh).

    3. Evolution of Temple Architecture:

    i) 1st Phase:

    Square temple with flat roof. Its built on a small and low platform. Portico was developed on shallow pillars.

    ii) 2nd Phase:

    Double storey with very high platform. Same features as earlier.

    iii) 3rd Phase:

    Development of Shikhar with emergence of Panchayatan Style (from subsidiary shrines along with the main deity complex of temples).

    iv) 4th Phase:

    Rectangular temple with Shikhar and Panchayatan.

    v) 5th Phase:

    Circular temple with shallow rectangular projections.

    4. Styles of Temple Architecture:

    In Gupta era Nagara style was adopted in the architecture of the North India, where an entire temple is built on a stone platform with steps leading up to it.


    i. It has 3 types of Shikharas

    A) Curvilinear.

    B) Conical.

    C) Rectangular with vaulted chambers.

    ii. Square or rectangle temple.

    iii. Garbagriha is located directly under the tallest tower.

    iv. Pillared halls present but tanks absent.

    v. does not usually have elaborate boundary walls or gateway.

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