Pala and Pratihara Architecture

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Pala School of Art​:

The Pala School of Art (8th-12th centuries CE) flourished in Bengal and Bihar under the Pala and Sena rulers. Major centres of this art included Nalanda, Vikramashila, and Somapura Mahavihara. Pala Buddhist iconography is often characterised by sculptures with doubly crossed legs and the right hand touching the earth, symbolising the Buddha’s enlightenment. Notable examples of Pala School of Art include the bronze sculptures from Nalanda.

The stupas of Bengal were generally small and built with stone, brick, and bronze. They were often constructed by devotees for religious purposes. The bronze stupas of Paharpur (Rajshahi) and Jhewari (Chittagong) are notable examples of Pala-era stupas.

The Buddhist art of the Pala dynasty significantly influenced the artistic traditions of Nepal and other Southeast Asian countries, such as Myanmar, Thailand, and Indonesia.




Pratihara Architecture​:

The Pratiharas had an extensive empire during the 8th and 9th centuries A.D. The temples developed under this rule have certain common features and unique designs and decorative schemes. The Pratihara temples of Malwa are characterised by a low short plinth, a simple and relatively stunted spire and a wall decorated with a single band of sculptured niches . The group of temples at Naresar, Gwalior have a square sanctum with a curvilinear ‘tri-ratha’ and constitute the earliest temples of this style of architecture. The ‘Teli-Ka-Mandir’ at Gwalior, the ‘Mahadeva Temple’ at Amrol, the ‘Kutakeshvara Temple’ at Pathari and the Jain temples at Deogarh are outstanding examples of the Pratihara style of temples.



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