Buddhist caves in India, great pieces of rock-cut architecture: Expert

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.




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