After discussing the political, economic and social aspects of post-Mauryan India, a brief review of certain themes of cultural developments including the influences from the foreign countries will be in order.

The general characteristics of this period are: substantial reduction in state patronage; increase in patronage by diverse social groups and consequent spread of art activities all over India; use of non-perishable material; constant integration with foreign art forms and consequent emergence of various schools of art; dominant inspiration from Buddhism and Jainism; emergence of regional patterns of script; widespread carving of images of worship in place of symbols etc.