The Islamic Sculptures
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In 1191, the first of many dynasties ruled by Muslim sultans captured Delhi and, from there, governed northern India. Islam, the Muslim religion, prohibits making images of human or divine figures or of animals. Muslim patrons hired Indian sculptors to decorate mosques and other Muslim buildings with relief motifs (repeated designs) of geometric patterns, flowers, leaves, and ornate inscriptions. Even household items like utensils were also richly carved and ornamented to give it an exquisite look.

spoon During the period of Muslim rule, Hindu and Jain sculptors continued to decorate their own temples with figurative sculpture. The white marble Jain temples at Mount Abu were built during the 1100's and 1200's. Of the five shrines in this group, four are architecturally significant. They are built with white marble stones. Each has a walled courtyard. In the center of the courtyard is the cell with the image of the deity. Around the courtyard there are numerous small shrines containing one or more images of the Tirthankaras. All these temples seem to have been constructed by the ministers of the Solanki rulers of Gujarat.

The Vimala Vasahi temples was dedicated to Adinath, the first Jain tirthankaras. It was built in the year 1031 A.D. The special feature of this temple is its ceiling which is circular in 11 concentric rings richly carved. The ceiling culminates into a central pendant. Figures of 16 Vidya Devis (goddesses of knowledge) are carved on the ceiling. Magnificent Hindu temples were built in Vijayanagar in the 1500's. Vijayanagar favoured a sculpture that reflected imperial pomp in elephant processions, cavalcades, marching soldiery.

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