come from stable agrarian conditions and the consolidation of political
powers in different areas of the subcontinent. This has particularly been
demonstrated by the study of urban centres in the eastern Deccan which were
backed by rich agrarian output and brisk trade – overland, riverine and sea-
I. Gandhara School
Period, Place and Patrons It flourished from about the middle of the first
century BC to about the fifth century AD in the Gandhara region (northwestern
India) and hence known as the ‘Gandhara School’. It owed its origin to the
Indo-Greek rulers, but the real patrons of the school were the Sakas and the
Kushanas, especially Kanishka. Owing to its intimate connection with
Mahayana Buddhism, it is also called the ‘Graeco-Buddhist School’.
Gandhara Sculpture Specimens of Gandhara sculpture have been found
extensively in the ruins of Taxila and the various ancient sites in Afghanistan
and north-western India. They were executed in black stone. Gandhara school
has the following main features.
A tendency to mould the human body in a realistic manner with great
attention to accuracy of physical details, especially the delineation of
muscles, the addition of moustaches, curly hair, and the like.
The representation of thick drapery with large and bold fold lines; and
Rich carving, elaborate ornamentation and complex symbolism.
    Gandhara Architecture excelled mainly during the construction of
monasteries and stupas.
Buddhist Monasteries A very large number of Buddhist monasteries were
built in the early centuries of the Christian era. Ruins of about 15 monasteries
have been found in the neighbourhood of Peshawar and Rawalpindi. while in
the Kabul valley alone there are some 50 examples.
Buddhist Stupas The Graeco-Roman architectural impact modified the
structure of the stupa. The orthodox Indian design of the stupa was developed