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The Art of India: 4 early cave paintings in India

These are the oldest artworks known to man. Some have been rated by UNESCO as World Heritage sites because of their prehistoric art. Come read and have a look at these ancient art galleries.


1. Ajanta Cave paintings


Ajanta Caves has the oldest Indian paintings. Interestingly, these paintings are made around the 1st century BC. Interestingly, Ajanta Cave was built in two phases. One around the 2nd century BC and the other around 400-650 BC. Buddhism sprang in the Indian context and Ajanta caves, situated about 100 km from Aurangabad, remain to substantiate the same. The Portraits owe their life primarily to the Mahayana sector of Buddhism. Buddha’s life is depicted in the form of various images, drawings, and other artistic depictions. They are universally called masterpieces of Buddhist art.





2. Ellora Caves

Ellora is a very well-known UNESCO World Heritage site, which is located in Maharashtra. There are almost 100 caves at the site, all excavated from the basalt cliffs of Chandigarh, out of which only 34 are open to the public. In addition, it is one of the world’s largest rock-cut monastery cave which features the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain temples, and artworks that dates back to the 600 – 1000 CE period.


You would not want to miss the famous Kailasha or Kailasanatha, the largest of the rock-cut Hindu temples at the Ellora caves. Due to its size, architecture, and sculptural treatment, it is considered one of the most remarkable cave temples in the world. These are the above reasons why Ellora Caves top the list of top 4 Cave Paintings in India.




3. Elephanta Caves


These caves are located in the Elephanta islands of Maharashtra. The colonial Portuguese named it Elefante – which morphed into Elephanta after they found elephant sculptures on the island. The paintings were made in the 8th century and were very impressive in detail. It is a collection of various cave temples, predominantly dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva. Today, several people hire ferries from the Mumbai coast to reach the island and after a few minutes of trekking get to explore the cave lined with brightly coloured paintings.




4. Bhimbetka Caves


The word Bhimbetka derived from Bhim Bhatika was named after Bhima, one of the five Pandavas from Mahabharata. This cave is found in Bhopal, dating back to 12,700 BC or earlier. It exhibits the earliest traces of human life. It shows paintings and drawings of wild animals such as bison, tiger, elephant, rhinoceros, and many more.


This cave community has over 600 separate caves which were primarily shelters. The most frequently used colours in the art are red and white. The oldest painting in this region is around 12,000 years old. The ceiling decoration in one of the caves is the greatest aspect of the entire community of caves. The ceiling is quite high, and yet prehistoric men found a tool to display their art.


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