Beauty Of Indian Cave Paintings

Indian history is rich and diverse. For centuries, cultural beauty of India has inspired music, religion, heritage and ancient caves. Tradition and culture followed across India is intricately portrayed through hidden paintings and sculptures in enormous rock-cut cave temples that have been guarding the heritage of India. These paintings have been highlighting the evolution in Indian dynasties and culture for ages. We are able to witness the true beauty of ancient art through these magnificent creations. Cave Paintings were not confined to certain decorations but were tales of growing habitation.

One of the most valued cave paintings in India known as Bhimbetka Cave Paintings in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh date back to 12,700 BC or earlier. Bhimbetka Caves was named after ‘Bhima’ – one of the five Pandavas of Mahabharat. It was declared UNESCO World Heritage site in 2003. These paintings exhibit the early human life. The inscriptions are monochromatic. Wild animals are shown like elephant, tiger, monkey with red and white color as the most commonly used with a rare hint of green and yellow color. There are more than 600 caves in this group of caves. Bhimbetka’s paintings artistically show culture and events.

Ajanta Caves located in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra are among the most commonly visited caves in India. These paintings were created in 1st Century BC. Ajanta Cave Paintings mainly depict the Mahayana Sector of Buddhism. The portraits and carvings are said to be masterpieces of Buddha’s life. Paintings and portraits are praised worldwide for its exceptional technique. Refined brush strokes and firm lines are breathtaking. This artwork is of spectacular extravagance. Meticulous representation of vivid human emotions like love, greed, compassion has left tourists awestruck.

Ellora caves date back to 600-100 CE, widely knowns as UNESCO World Heritage site. These caves are located in Maharashtra. Ellora Caves are also the world’s largest rock-cut monastery caves that symbolize Hindu, Jain and Buddhist traditions and culture. It conveys the message of secularism. Painting style adopted resembles painting style of Ajanta.

Kailasha or Kailasanatha is the largest temple in Ellora caves. Due to its huge breathtaking architecture, it is placed among the most remarkable temples. This temple is devoted to Lord Shiva. 12 caves of Ellora represent Buddhism and 5 cave temples represent Jainism.

Sittanavasal Paintings located in Tamil Nadu is a Jain Monastery site, also known as the ‘Ajanta of Tamil Nadu’. These paintings represent the era of Pandyan reign. Mostly, these paintings are about animals, ducks and dancing figures. Ardhamandapam ceilings are covered with exquisite murals. Murals are painted with vegetable dyes. It is seen that that artwork of Sittanaval is similar to that of Ajanta Caves.

Cave paintings symbolize Indian culture and traditions that feature the pre-historic human life from various reigns. But sadly, these portraits are damaged to a greater extent. Lack of maintenance of these treasures have destroyed their beauty. Over the years, the condition of cave paintings have deteriorated. Cautious attention has to be given to the restoration of the caves to preserve ancient history and art.

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