Nowadays, Indian painters (चित्रकार – Chitrkaar) are world renowned and have got accolade from international community. Are they new comer to the world of painting or they have some legacy of their own?
The evidences from the history (इतिहास – Itihas) suggest the latter. Let me show you some of evidences or I would say, beautiful examples of historical cave paintings across India.
1. Bhimbetka Rocks Paintings
Bhimbetka Rock Shelters (भीमबेटका पाषाण आश्रय – Bhimbetka Pashaan Aashray) are located in central India in the state of Madhya Pradesh and are home to one of the oldest paintings known to mankind. They house Stone Age rock paintings which are approximately 30,000 years old . These rock shelters have some interesting paintings which not only show the lives and time of people, including scenes of childbirth, communal dancing and drinking, and religious rites and burials, as well as the natural environment around them but also the scenes of hunting, music, horse and elephant riders, various animal, animal fighting, honey collection, decoration of bodies, disguises and masking, household scenes as well as religious signs (धार्मिक प्रतीक – Dharmik Pratik) . These caves have received the status of World Heritage Site.
2. Ajanta Caves Paintings
The Ajanta Caves (अजंता की गुफाएं – Ajanta ki Gufayein) in Aurangabad city of western Indian state of Maharashtra. These cave date back to 2nd century BCE. This cave houses some of the finest paintings of early medieval period (मध्यकालीन – Madiyakalin) of India. Painting are seen on walls, pillars and ceilings frescoes. Many paintings are from Buddhist religion depicting Gautam Buddha. Many expert believes that the techniques (तकनीक – Taknik) used to produce such paintings are not see in any other civilization (सभ्यता – Sabayata), an another proof of their uniqueness. These caves have received the status of World Heritage Site.
3. Ellora Caves Paintings
Ellora Caves (एल्लोरा की गुफाएं – Ellora ki Gufyein) are also located near to Ajanta Caves and in Aurangabad city. These caves are known for the monumental caves and have earned the status of a World Heritage Site. These caves house also have some of the amazing paintings from the early medieval era of India. These painting depicts the life of people and traditions of Hinduism, Buddism as well as Jainism religion. These caves have received the status of World Heritage Site.
4. Bagh Caves Paintings
Bagh Caves (बग्ह की गुफाएं - Bagh ki Gufyein) are a group of nine rock-cut monuments located in the central India in Dhar district (जनपद – Janpad) in Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. These caves are known for its fine mural paintings of ancient India (प्राचीन भारत – Prachin Bharat).
These caves also houses many painting from Buddhism tradition of early medieval period. Many of the paintings have transformed to fragments because of time related damage. Other paintings are now shifted to the Gwalior Museum (संग्रहालय – Sangrahlaya) to avoid damage and now open for public viewing.
5. Sittanavasal Caves Paintings
Sittanavasal Caves (सित्तनवासल की गुफाएं, Sittanavasal ki Gufyein) is located in the south Indian state, Tamil Nadu. These caves are from Jainism tradition contains remnants of marvelous frescoes which date from 7th century. These frescoes are finest examples of medieval Indian paintings after Ajanta and Ellora frescoes. The interesting point being that many murals paintings have been painted in variety of colors which are made from vegetable (वनस्पति – Vanaspati) and mineral dyes.