How Indian kings used to preserve their heritage with Art!
By Kinjal Trivedi
The Architecture of Ancient India gives us guidance of the natural phenomena of the earth’s life force and functional use of these structures.
~ The mystery of Ajanta caves.
~ Taj Mahal ~ The Humayun Tomb.
the grandeur of the Vijayanagara Empire- ~ Hampi.
~ Lord Buddha gained enlightenment- Mahabodhi Temples.
~ An ode to Sun God, where even stones speak up in prayer- Konark Temple.
~ A land surrounded by misfortune, beautified by architecture- Champaner- Pavagadh Archaeological Park.
~ A portal to the historic and prehistoric era- Bhimbetka Shelters.
~ The integral land of three beliefs, The Ellora Caves.
~ Where the walls sing and sculptures dance, the Chola temples.
Indian Dance dates back to the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. The Natyashastra, the earliest Indian text on the subject, speaks of ekaharya (solo dance) and the anekaharya (dance as performed by more than one person). Written between 200 BC – AD 200 by Bharatamuni. The evolution of Indian theatres can also be traced back during the time when Bharatamuni wrote the Natyashastra. The word ‘Natya’ means drama and ‘Shastra’ means science.
This form of expression was used to spread messages and feelings throughout the community.
Textile, Jewelry and Metalsmith:
One of the ancient Indian jewelry that remains dates back to the Harappan civilization. By 1,500 B.C.
The residents of the Indus Valley were already adorning themselves with gold, and creating ornamental pieces such as necklaces, earrings, bracelets, crowns, amulets, pendants, and rings.
Gold, bronze, silver wires were used to make intricate embroidery on textiles made of pure natural cotton or silk to adorn the royalties.
Metal smith was one of the major forms of art that was used to make functional objects like massive water storage pots, treasure chests, amulets, weapons and statues.
Portraits and Artwork:
Archaeologists have found evidence of prehistoric rock art in India, an early art form consisting of carvings or drawings on cave rocks. The oldest examples are the Bhimbetka petroglyphs found in central India and believed to be at least 290,000 years old. Rock art continued to be created as cave paintings, representing animals and humans. The oldest examples of these paintings date from about 7000 BCE.
After many years of experimenting on methods of drawing art, to leave an impression of the royalties and visitors, kings and their families used to invite artists to make portraits of themselves. This was stored in palaces as well as passed down generations or given as gifts to visitors. At first, they used natural elements and after years of discovering semi precious stones, they crushed these raw materials and painted on metal, wood or fabric.
There were several forms of expression and methods to preserve the evolution of our culture and these are a few ways.
Next time we will see how the art of other kingdoms look. If they have any similarities to Indian Culture or are they totally different.