The Gupta age constituted a new epoch in the history of Indian architecture


The Gupta age constituted a new epoch in the history of Indian architecture. Though we are left with very few specimens of Gupta architecture, for most of it were destroyed by Muslim invaders, yet the few surviving monuments speak volumes. The brick temple of Bhitarigaon in Kanput district, the Dashavatara temples of Deogarh in Jhansi district and the temple at Sanchi are a few surviving specimens. These small unimposing structures with square sanctuaries, small porticoes and flat roofs were executed excellently and the stones were held together without any mortar.

Some also comes across a few shrines with Shikhara on the roof. Though these temples of the Gupta period were neither imposing in dimensions nor very beautiful in design yet they marked the beginning of temple architecture, properly so called in north India.

According to S.K. Saraswati, “The temple at Sanchi though modest in dimensions, its structural proprety, symmetry and proportion, appreciation for plain surfaces and restraint in ornamentation may very well compare with best creations of classical architecture of Greece.”


Few monuments of India can equal the workmanship of Dashavatara temple of Deogarh. The other important temples of the period include the Vishnu temple of Tigawa, Jabalpur, Siva temple of Bhumra, Madhya Pradesh, Parvati temple of Ajaigarh.

The period also produced some important stupas as at Mirpurakhas in Sindh, Dhamekh at Sarnath (39.5 meter high) and two stupas at Rajgir.

The rock-cut architecture of Ajanta, Ellora and Aurangabad are remarkable for the variety and beauty of their pillars and the fresco paintings with which the walls and ceilings are decorated. It contained the two conventional types – the Chaitya hall, i.e. the shrine proper and the Vihara, the monastery.

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