Gandhara by Design

Gandhara by Design

  • 22 Nov
    23 Nov

    Indian Aesthetics

    Naman Ahuja

Gandhara by Design

Image: “Durga on Mahishasura in the form of a silver rhyton for ritual use; probably Turkoshahi, c.7th century CE, © Cleveland Museum of Art”

How have the extraordinary new discoveries in museums across the world, new photographs of the treasures from Kabul, and objects now in private collections enhanced our understanding of the art of Gandhara? Using the recent issue of Marg, Gandhara: A Confluence of Cultures, as a core text, in four detailed lectures Prof. Ahuja will explain how objects tell us a story of the history of conflict, how can their design and technique tell us about trade, society and religion.

Day 1:

  • Early history [BMAC, Swat graves and Bactrian Greeks]
  • The Cultural identity of a person from Gandhara [200 BCE- 200 CE]

Day 2:

  • Buddhism in Gandhara [1st- 4th century CE]
  • From Hindushahi Gandhara to Ghaznavid/ Ghorid Kandahar

Duration -

November 22, 23, 2019

Timing: 6:30 - 8:30 PM


Rs. 1,000 (For a 50% student discount, write to

Registrations Closed

Naman Ahuja

Naman Ahuja

Naman P. Ahuja is Professor of Indian Art and Architecture at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His book, The Making of the Modern Indian Artist-Craftsman: Devi Prasad (Routledge, 2011). Some of his other publications include: Divine Presence, The Arts of India and the Himalayas (Five continents editions, Milan, 2003, translated into Catalan and Spanish) and The Body in Indian Art and Thought (Ludion, Antwerp, 2013, also available in French and Dutch). He has held Fellowships, Visiting Professorships and curatorial charges at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, The British Museum, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of Zurich, the Kusnthistorisches Institut in Florence, amongst others. He has curated various acclaimed exhibitions, the most recent of which, The Body in Indian Art was shown at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels for Europalia.13 and, in 2014, at the National Museum, New Delhi. It explored the formation of the Arts and Crafts Movement and how it, in turn impacted the aesthetic and political influences of Coomaraswamy, Gandhi and Tagore as shown in the pedagogy of the institutions of Santiniketan and Sevagram.

His research and graduate teaching focus on periods of artistic / visual exchange in pre-modern societies like ancient Gandhara on the borderlands of Afghanistan and Punjab and in the manuscripts painted in the Sultanate period in India. His studies on early Indian terracottas, ivories and small finds have drawn attention to unique sources for Indian history that reveal much about the private world of Ancient Indians. These objects tell us about the trade and ritual cultures from a domestic sphere rather than what is normally understood only through public monuments.