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Indian Cave Paintings

Thursday, June 25th, 2009 | Author:

Last century witnessed lots of discoveries of cave paintings in India. In fact, this is not just an Indian phenomenon. Several countries have discovered cave paintings of pre-historic age. The tide turned in India in the year 1958 when Dr Wakankar discovered oldest Indian cave paintings at Bhimbetka caves in Madhya Pradesh. That was surely an archeological marvel that led to many more discoveries. The one found at Bhimbetka were as old as 20,000 years. Mostly primitive in nature, the cave paintings gave a certain indication of the time when Homo sapiens used in live in caves and were discovering the world.


This discovery was also significant in the light of the fact that we have no other records of our pre-historic ancestors. There are no written or oral records except these cave paintings. The discovery led to several other discoveries across the India. We also came to know a great deal about our ancestors. Places like Ajanta, Bagh, Ellora and Chhattisgarh have been found with historical cave paintings. Over 600 caves with paintings were found in Bhimabetka. The name Bhimabetka got its name from Bhima, one of the Pandava brothers.


The cave paintings of Bhimabetka clearly show usage of red and white color along with occasional green and yellow. Animal fat, vegetable dyes, colored earth and charcoal were used in paintings whereas brushes were made up of fibrous plants. The most surprising part was these paintings were still intact. Themes have been selected from everyday life like, hunting. Images of animals like elephants, tigers and wild boar etc can be seen in these cave paintings. Other themes include household occasions, dance and festivals. These cave paintings belong to seven different historical periods like upper Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Chaleolithic, Early historic and Medieval.

Cave Paintings

Saturday, May 16th, 2009 | Author:

India has always been very illustrious when it comes to creativity and artistry.

Cave painting or rock painting is one of the oldest forms of art in India. Caves of Bhimbetka, Ellora, Bagh, Sittanavasal and Ajanta are the landmarks of the Indian skill and expertise. Cave paintings are a casement to the history of our country. People then, used to live in these caves


Ajanta caves are one of the biggest tourism spots in India. There are around thirty caves that are a part of Ajanta caves. The Ajanta caves have attractive paintings on the walls. The detailed work on the caves is outstanding. The themes of the paintings on the Ajanta caves depict the life of Lord Buddha. Caligraphic lines like portraits, narrative illustration and ornamental embellishment are the main characteristics of these paintings.


Besides the Ajanta caves, the Ellora caves portray some exceptional art work. These caves are situated in the city of Aurangabad and depict the lives of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi. The Kailasa temple at Ellora caves is a splendid construction carved out of a solid rock and is one of the chief beauties of the Ellora caves.


Some of the other magnificent examples of cave paintings can be observed in the Bagh caves, Sittanavasa, Ramgarh hill caves, Bhimabetaka and many more. The Bagh caves exhibit the traditions of the Indian art forms whereas the Sittanavasa caves display the Pandyan period. The Bhimabetaka consist of rock paintings describing the intricacies faced by the native man.


Cave paintings are a representation of the pre-historic period in India and they also give us a picture of the talent and excellence of artistry and proficiency in India. Many organizations have come up to preserve and protect caves but it is our responsibility as a citizen to safeguard these symbols of history created by our ancestors.