Art of the Magadha dynasties

The powers that arose in the Magadha region influenced India for centuries afterward.

4th century B.C.E. – 7th century C.E.

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Beliefs made visible: Buddhist art in South Asia
Beliefs made visible: Buddhist art in South Asia

Buddhism thrived in India for over a thousand years. Discover important sites in the life of the Buddha.

Beliefs made visible: Hindu art in South Asia
Beliefs made visible: Hindu art in South Asia

Described as a “museum of religions,” Hinduism encompasses many beliefs and accepts a pantheon of deities.

The Great Stupa at Sanchi
The Great Stupa at Sanchi

A mound of dirt or the body of the Buddha? These sacred sites give practitioners insight into the Four Noble Truths.

Images of enlightenment: aniconic vs. iconic depictions of the Buddha in India
Images of enlightenment: aniconic vs. iconic depictions of the Buddha in India

An empty throne, footsteps, and a wheel—rather than represent the Buddha directly, sculptors relied on symbols.

Bodh Gaya: center of the Buddhist world
Bodh Gaya: center of the Buddhist world

Siddhartha achieved enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree. Now a major pilgrimage site, it is covered in offerings.

Lion Capital, Ashokan Pillar at Sarnath
Lion Capital, Ashokan Pillar at Sarnath

Topped with lions and lotus flowers, these ancient stone columns provide early evidence of the Buddhist faith.

The Pillars of Ashoka
The Pillars of Ashoka

Topped with lions and lotus flowers, these ancient stone columns provide early evidence of the Buddhist faith.

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