From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Ikshavaku dynasty, Stucco
Mains level : Ancient Buddhist art
- Archaeologists in Telangana have unearthed a rare treasure in the form of a life-sized stucco sculpture from a Buddhist site at Phanigiri.
What is stucco?
- Stucco is a material made of aggregates, a binder, and water. Stucco is applied wet and hardens to a very dense solid.
- It is used as a decorative coating for walls and ceilings, and as a sculptural and artistic material in architecture.
- Stucco may be used to cover less visually appealing construction materials, such as metal, concrete, cinder block, or clay brick and adobe.
About the Bodhisattva statue
- It is the biggest stucco sculpture found in the country so far.
- The life-size figurine found in the excavations is thought to represent one of Bhodhisattva in Jathaka Chakra.
- The stucco is about 1.73 metres in height and 35 cm in width, thus the biggest stucco sculpture found in the country so far
- Apart from the life-sized stucco, these excavations brought to light a Mahastupa, apsidal chaitya grihas, votive stupas, pillared congregation halls, viharas, platforms with staircases at various levels.
- It also had sculptural panels with Brahmi inscriptions, belonging to Satavahana period from first century BC, continued with Mahayana till the end of Ikshvaku period and others in third-fourth century AD.
About Ikshvaku Dynasty
- The Ikshvaku dynasty, in Puranic literature, was a dynasty founded by the legendary king Ikshvaku. The dynasty is also known as Sūryavaṁśa (the Solar dynasty).
- Lord Rama belonged to the Ikshavaku dynasty.
- Twenty-two out of the twenty-four Jain Tirthankara belonged to this dynasty.
- Rishabha is present in both Hindu as well as Jain mythology. Both refers to the same person.
- According to the Buddhist texts, Prince Siddhartha belonged to this dynasty.
- The Buddhist text, Mahavamsa traces the origin of the Shakyas to king Okkaka (Pali equivalent to Sanskrit Ikshvaku) and gives their genealogy from Mahasammata, an ancestor of Okkaka.