Architecture During Satavahanas

  • During their rule in South India from 2nd century B.C. to 2nd Century A.D Satavahana studded their empire with several splendid monuments.
  • The school of Buddhist art belonging to Satavahanas was known as the Amaravati School of Art. Features of Amaravati School of Art:
  • In the Satavahana phase, many Chaityas and Viharas were cut out of the solid rocks. The most famous of them is Amaravati and Nagarjunakonda.
  • Ashokan Stupas were enlarged, the earlier bricks & woodwork being replaced with stone works. The most famous of these monuments are the stupas,
  • Most famous among them being the Amravati Stupa & the Nagarjunakonda Stupa.
    • It is named after the renowned Buddhist Monk Nagarjuna (the famous Buddhist scholar and the contriver of Mahayana Buddhism) who imparted his summons over here.

Fig: Nagarjunakonda Stupa, Andhra Pradesh

Amaravati stupa. Model. Amaravati

Fig: Amaravati Stupa, Andhra Pradesh

  • The stupas at Amaravati are predominantly made of a distinctive white marble.
    • Amravati is full of sculptures depicting various scenes from the life of Buddha.
    • At Amravati, there is a beautiful scene showing Buddha’s feet being worshipped.
  • Secular images were also made in the form of female images, trees, animals, and birds.
  • Sculptures at Amaravati have a profound and quiet naturalism in human, animal, and floral forms.
  • Popular and famous Chaitya Hall built at Karle is another example of the magnificence of Satavahana Sculptures. The human figures are slender & slightly elongated.
  • Eroticism is also a predominant feature of these Satavahana sculptures.
  • White marble was extensively used for making images.
  • There are few Jataka scenes such as the Shibi, Nalagiri and Chhadanta Jatakas.
  • Amaravati school had started the practice of depicting the Buddha as a divine being & receiving worship.
  • Satavahana rulers are remarkable for their contributions to Buddhist art & architecture. They reflected the best and supreme quality in each area of cave temples & architecture.
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