Around 250 AD the disintegration of political authority after the fall of the Great Kushanas spelt disaster for the empire. The administrative unity was disturbed. The Kushans kept up their precarious hold on a part and the Sassanian emperors imposed their suzerainty or authority over the other and greater part of the region (now included in Pakistan). As a result the economic prosperity of the earlier period declined. The rich profits from international trade no longer flowed into the above-mentioned region. The Ganges valley was cut off and its trade flowed through the ports on the western coast. The gold coins gave place to alloy coins in the beginning and then they too disappeared.
There is no evidence of the Gupta classical art exerting any influence on the contemporary art of Gandhara. The fact is that Gandhara art redmained on the go and did not die, as it is usually believed. There was Sassanian influence that did prevail in dress as well as through this art. However, as stone cutting was more costly, people took more and more interest in the medium of clay. Huge statues of the Buddha modeled in clay began to be decorated in the monasteries. In the same era, gigantic figures of Buddha meditating in a sitting pose on the rocks were created. The stupas continued to be erected and the older ones were enlarged. Throughout the country Buddhism was persistently in progress.
This article was last updated on Monday, Jan 03, 2005