Great Buddhist Stupas from the Indian Subcontinent

  • 09 Dec
    13 Dec

    Buddhist Aesthetics

    Pia Brancaccio

Great Buddhist Stupas from the Indian Subcontinent

Image: Relief Depicting Worship at the Saidu Sharif Stupa, from Butkara III, Swat
Credit: Italian Archaeological Mission in Pakistan

Stupas are the quintessential Buddhist monuments: they are not simple relic repositories and places of devotion, but receptacle of cultural memories and hubs of Buddhist identities. The lecture series will explore in details stupa sites and related artistic remains spanning from the Gangetic Valley to the Deccan, from ancient Gandhara to Sri Lanka to better understand the richness and diversity of early Buddhism, its art and communities across South Asia.

Day 1: The Stupa and the Buddha: Monuments from the Gangetic Valley
Day 2: Bharhut and Sanchi: The Blossoming of Early Buddhist Communities
Day 3: Taxila’s Dharamarajika and the great stupas of the Swat Valley, Pakistan: Buddhist Art and Patronage in the Northwest
Day 4: Amaravati and Kanaganahalli: Buddhism in Western Deccan
Day 5: The Stupas of Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka

Duration -

December 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 2019

Timing: 6:30 - 8:30 PM


Rs. 4,000 (For a 50% student discount, write to

Pia Brancaccio

Pia Brancaccio

Pia Brancaccio is Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Drexel University in Philadelphia, USA. She earned her Ph.D. in Indian Art History and Archaeology at the Universita’ degliStudi di Napoli ‘L’Orientale’ (Italy). She has done extensive research on Buddhist art in ancient South Asia with a special focus on the ancient regions of Gandhara and the Deccan plateau. Dr. Brancaccio’s publications include a monograph on The Buddhist Caves at Aurangabad: Transformations in Art and Religion (Brill Publishers, 2010), two edited volumes entitled Living Rock: Buddhist, Hindu and Jain Cave Temples in Western Deccan (Marg, 2013), and Gandharan Buddhism: Archaeology, Art and Text with Kurt Behrendt (UBC Press, 2006) as well as several book chapters and articles in conference proceedings and academic journals (Ars Orientalis, Archives of Asian Art, East and West, and South Asian Studies, among others). She is currently working on the topic on Buddhist Monumentality in early South Asia, and most recently she delivered the 2019 Distinguished Lecture on the Arts of South and Southeast Asia at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.