This is the second part of a series of short films about Buddhism and especially its artistic and cultural contributions in India and surrounding countries by the renowned Indian cultural historian Benoy H. Behl, whose films I have featured many times on this website.

This film looks at the early Buddhist stūpa monuments, and the way they depict the spiritual and material aspects of life in India in the Sunga period, which followed the fall of the Mauryans.

As always Behl shows his usual sensitivity to the material he is examining, which is amongst the earliest and also the most significant in Indian architecture: the stūpa at Barhut, now in the Indian Musem in Kolkata; and the Sañchi stūpas in Madhya Pradesh.

We see how these art forms developed over the years, what the artists were attempting to portray, and how they influenced works that were yet to come in Indian architecture.


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