The Buddhist caves converted into temples are a spectacular piece of ancient Indian art,” said Director of Institute of Action Archaeology and Heritage Studies, Bengaluru, Dr S Nagaraju here on Wednesday.
He was speaking after inaugurating a lecture on ‘Rock-cut architecture of Western India’ organised by the Department of History and Archaeology as part of centenary talk series at its seminar hall.
He said that rock-cut architecture occupied an important place in the history of Indian architecture. They differed from traditional buildings in many ways and were related to various religious communities. Caves have long been regarded as plac-
es of sanctity in our country. Moreover, caves that were enlarged or entirely man-made were considered to hold the same sanctity as that of natural caves. Chaityas and Viharas are rock-cut structures that were hewn out for Buddhist and Jain monks. Chaityas were places of worship whereas Viharas were residence of monks. This throws light on the great skill of Indian craftsmen, he added.
Further, he said that the Buddhist and Jain monks usually stayed away from the towns therefore they developed Chaityas and Viharas in the hillside. Most of the Chaityas and Viharas were constructed in Western India. However, in India most of these sculptures were found in the state of Maharashtra and the carvings made out by the Buddhist monks were a spectacle and people used to treat them like temples and palaces.
Director of Folk Encyclopaedia Karnataka Folklore University, Hayed, Dr H T Krishnegowda, Chairman of Department of Studies in History and Archaeology Dr V Shobha were present.