05 May Indian Iconography and sculptural art
In time with the varied religious practices iconography was developed into a specialized art with appropriate iconometry.
The earlier rock cut temples and the later exquisitely built temples of brick and stone speak volumes of knowledge of building material, construction techniques and unique artistry in addition to the harmony of geometry.
The musical pillars of the temple at Hampi, whispering gallery in Gol Gumbaz in Bijapur exemplify the numerous triumphs of the Indian builders.
From time inmemmorial Hinduism has adopted several iconic symbols, forming part of Hindu iconography, that are imbued with spiritual meaning based on either the scriptures or cultural traditions.
The exact significance accorded to any of the icons varies with region, period and denomination of the followers. Over time some of the symbols, for instance the Swastika has come to have wider association while others like Aum are recognized as unique representations of Hinduism.
Other aspects of Hindu iconography are covered by the terms murti, for icons and mudra for gestures and positions of the hands and body.
The crown of Visnu and other deities is absent in earlier form, which were very popular in sculptures of later period.
The construction of divine images and their subsequent meditation and worship brought pureness in thinking and gave mental peace to the human being. Iconography means depiction on images through different artistic style.
In Indian sculptural art, images are the symbolic representations of divinity whose origin and end is expressed through the religious and spiritual beliefs.
Ancient Indian art in diverse mediums (stone, terracotta, stucco, bone, ivory, metal, etc.): Maurya, Sunga, Satavahana, Kushan, Gupta, Vakataka, Pallava, Chalukya, and Rashtrakuta art traditions with special reference to different art centres / schools, e.g. Amaravati, Bharhut, Sanchi, Mathura, Gandhara, Sarnath, Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram, Badami, Aihole, Ajanta, Ellora and Bhubaneswar.