The writings of Sabarasvamin and Vatsyayana are good specimens of
Sanskrit prose. The extant prose literature may be divided into two classes,
romance and fable. The prose-romances are of two main types, viz.
Akhyayika and Katha. Dasakumoracarita of Dandin (7th century AD) was a
work of the Akhyayika type. Subandhu (early 7th century AD) wrote
Vasavadatta. Banabhatta is undoubtedly the greatest of Indian prose-writers;
he wrote Harshacharita (Harsha’s biography) and Kadambari (love-story of
Chandrapida and Kadambari in their several births).
    The short stories belong to three different categories: popular tales, beast-
fables and fairy-tales. The best collection of popular tales was the
Brihatkatha, a Prakrit work of great importance, now lost to us. Fortunately,
however, the story of the lost work has survived in some of the early
medieval works like Budhasvamin’s Slokasamgraha (8th-9th century AD),
Kshemendra’s Brihatkathamanjari (AD                   1037) and Somadeva’s
Kathasaritsagara (AD 1063-68). The Panchatantra attributed to
Vishnusharman is an important work on beast-fable.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
Early Religious Architecture
The growth of Buddhism and Jainism and the rise of theistic cults gave a
great impetus to the growth of architecture. Buddhism was particularly
associated the stupa, a domical structure of brick or stone masonry. Shrines
(chaityas) and monasteries (viharas, sangharamas) were also essential
features of Buddhist religious establishments. The early sanctuaries of the
Jainas have perished, but cave dwellings for recluses still survive. The Bhakti
doctrine and its offshoot, the cult of the divine image, created a great impulse
for the erection of temples enshrining images. An abundance of building
activity marks the later centuries of the pre-Christian era. Structural
monuments of this early phase, seemingly in perishable materials, have not
survived. An unbroken movement may be traced in respect of the stupa and
other architectural forms connected with cave excavations. In course of time,
there was an increasing use of