The iron pillar at Mehrauli, Delhi, is made of iron, 7.2 m high, and weighs over 3 tonnes. It was made about 1500 years ago as it is mentioned on the pillar with the name of a ruler named Chandra. The fact in this pillar is that it has not rusted in all these years.
The buildings known as stupas, which means a mound. Generally a small box is placed at the centre of the stupa. This may contain bodily remains of the Buddha or his followers or the things they used.
This box, known as a relic casket, was covered with earth and later a layer of brick on top. And then, the structure was sometimes covered with carved stone slabs.
Often, a path, known as the pradakshina patha, was laid around the stupa, this was surrounding with railings and Entrance through gateways. Devotees walked clockwise direction, The places were decorated with sculpture. Amaravati was a place where decorating the stupa by stone carving were made around 2000 years ago.
There are also artificial caves decorated with sculptures and painted walls elaborately. Some of the Hindu shrines of Vishnu, Shiva, and Durga were also built at this time. The chief deity’s image was placed in the room known as garbhagriha.
Often, as at Bhitargaon, a tower, known as the shikhara, was built on top of the garbhagriha, to mark this out as a sacred place. Most temples had a space known as mandap, where people assemble.
Mahabalipuram and Aihole are the place where the temples of finest stone were built.
Ajanta is a place where several caves were hollowed out of the hills over centuries. These were monasteries for Buddhist monks and some were decorated with paintings by unknown artists. The colours are vivid even after 1500 years were made of plants and minerals.
The best known epics were written during this period.
The Silappadikaram was a famous Tamil epic, composed by a poet named Ilango, around 1800 years ago. It is the story of a merchant named Kovalan. He lived in Puhar and fell in love with a courtesan named Madhav, neglecting his wife Kannagi. Later, he and Kannagi left Puhar and went to Madurai, where he was wrongly accused of theft by the court jeweller of the Pandya king. The king sentenced Kovalan to death. Kannagi, who still loved him, was full of grief and anger at this injustice, and destroyed the entire city of Madurai.
Manimekalai is also a Tamil epic composed by Sattanar around 1400 years ago. This describes the story of the daughter of Kovalan and Madhavi.
Purana mean old. The Purana contain stories about gods and goddesses, such as Vishnu, Shiva, Durga or Parvati. They also contain details on how they were to be worshipped. These were written in simple Sanskrit and were meant to be heard by everybody including women and shudras, who were not allowed to study the Vedas.
The Sanskrit epics, Mahabharata and Ramayana had been popular for a very long time. The story is very old but written down about 1500 years ago. Puranas and Mahabharata are supposed to have been compiled by Vyasa. The Bhagvat Gita also included in the Mahabharata.
Ramayana is about Rama. Valmiki is the author of the Sanskrit Ramayana.
Ordinary people composed these stories. The stories from the Jatakas were often shown on the railings of stupas and in paintings in places such as Ajanta.
Aryabhata was a mathematitician and astronomer. He wrote a book in Sanskrit known as the Aryabhatiyam. Also he stated that the day and night occurs because the earth rotates on its axis. Even though it seems as if the sun is rising and setting every day. And he developed a scientific explanation for eclipses as well. He also found a way of calculating the circumference of a circles, which is nearly as accurate as the formula we use today. Varahamihira, Brahmagupta, and Bhaskaracharya were some other mathematicians and astronomers who made several discoveries.