• Indian philosophy, encompassing Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, and other traditions, has had a profound impact on the art and architecture of the Indian subcontinent.
  • Throughout history, various periods and rulers embraced different philosophical ideas, which reflected in the design and construction of monuments and temples.

Impact of Indian Philosophy in the Ancient Period:

  • Harappan Period: The swastika, symbolizing spiritual significance, was found in Indus Valley excavations. The origins of the Hindu god Shiva can be traced back to this period, influencing later Shaivism.
  • Vedic Period: The Vedic people attributed divinity to natural forces, and fire altars became integral to their religious and social life.
  • Buddhism and Jainism: Caves like Ajanta and Ellora depicted the teachings and life cycles of Buddha and the images of 24 Jinas.

Ashoka Period and Gupta Period

  • Ashoka Period: Ashokan Pillars and Stupas were influenced by Buddhist philosophies, showcasing teachings and symbols associated with Buddhism.
  • Gupta Period: Hindu temple architecture began evolving, with styles like Nagara, Vesara, and Dravida, adorned with sculptures reflecting Hindu epics and mythologies. The Khajuraho temple’s layout symbolized Hindu cosmology.

Pallavas and the Cholas

  • Pallavas and the Cholas: These dynasties significantly developed temple traditions, and temples became central to societal communication.
  • Notable examples include the ‘ratha’ style temples at Mahabalipuram and the structural temples like Kailashanath and Vaikunthperumal temples.

Impact of Indian Philosophy in the Medieval Period

  • Mughal Emperor Akbar: Akbar’s attempt to synthesize elements of various religions led to the Divine Faith, a fusion of Islam, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Jainism, and Buddhism.
  • This cultural amalgamation birthed new philosophical and religious traditions, influencing various aspects of Indian culture.

Impact of Indian Philosophy in Modern India

  • British Colonial Period: European styles such as neoclassical, gothic revival, and baroque became prevalent, merging with Indo-Islamic styles to create the Indo-Saracenic style.


  • Indian philosophy has been a dominant influence on the architecture and interiors of monuments, representing traditions, values, and beliefs throughout history.
  • However, monuments were not solely shaped by philosophies; they also incorporated elements of trade and cultural interactions, reflecting the richness and diversity of India’s heritage.
Legacy Editor Changed status to publish February 28, 2024