20 November 2023, 06:30 pm
Programme Type
Conference Room I, IIC main building


Curator: Prof. Himanshu Prabha Ray

Early Buddhist Art at Sanchi: Power and Piety in Uruvela Narrative Cycle

Illustrated lecture by Prof. Seema Bawa who specializes in the History of South Asian Art and Culture, Department of History, University of Delhi. Books written by her include Gods, Men and Women: Gender and Sexuality in Early Indian Art and Religion and Art of the Chamba Valley, A.D. 700-1300. The areas of research focus on Indian Art, Ancient Indian Art and Iconography; Western Himalayan Art and Religion and Modern and Contemporary Indian Art. She was a recipient of DAAD Fellowship at the University of Bonn


This presentation focuses on the physical and imagined landscapes and locale within the visual narratives in early Buddhist art at Sanchi. The Uruvela or Uruvilva cycle, depicted on the pillar of the Eastern gateway at Sanchi Stupa 1, illustrates the interaction between the Kasyapa brothers and the aniconic presence indicating the Buddha. The fact that this is also a story that is based on the contestation between the established ideology of yajna and the emergence of Buddha as a proselytizing force makes nuanced reading of this visual even more interesting.