Art and Architecture of the Mauryans

The Mauryas were famous for their art and architecture. The Pillar at Saranath is very famous historical monument. The lion capital depicts an inverted lotus or bell is a round drum, decorated with four wheels, Dharma Chakra, with 24 spokes and figures of animals like the lion, horse, bull and an elephant. Above the drum are four lions seated back to back. The glory of this piece of mauryan art is so great it has been adopted as the National Emblem of our Country. Our currency and coins carry this symbol. The Dharma Chakra has found place in our National Flag.

The Sanchi Stupa

The Sanchi Stupa is another famous piece of Mauryan architecture, it was built with bricks. Its Height is 23 meters and it has 41 meters high entranes of all four sides. The Stupas at Sanchi the pillar at Saranath and Ajnta Caves are fine examples of Mauryan art.

Decline of the Mauryans

The Mighty empire of the Mauryas began to decline after the death of Asoka.

The causes for Mauryan Downfall

1. After the Kalinga war, Asoka gave up war. Therefore training in fighting and military system became neglected. The Mauryan army became weak and inefficient.
2. Asoka’s successors were not strong enough to protect and maintain the large empire.
3. Pataliputra lost its central position due to the vastness of the Empire. It encouraged revolts by various governors.
4. Lack of quick transport made it impossible to hold the vast empire untied.
5. The last Mauryan king, Brahadratha was killed by his minister Pushyamitra Sunga. It put an end to the Mauryan Empire.

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