Cave Architecture UPSC

Ajanta Caves:

  • Located in Aurangabad District of Maharashtra developed from 300 BC to 500 CE.
  • It has 29 caves; out of this 4 are chaitya caves belonging to the earlier phase.
  • Large chaitya and vihara decorated with Mural paintings and sculpture( Buddha and bodhisattva [ any person who is in the path of Buddha] image).
  • The largest cave has a Mahaparinibbana image.
  • Have double stores cave.

Ellora Caves:

  • Most diverse cave of India located in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra; 100 km away from Ajanta cave.
  • Belong to Buddhism, Brahmanism, and Jain.
  • Developed from 500 CE to 100 CE.
  • Have 32 caves.
  • It has three stores.
  • Example, Kailash Temple, Seating Buddha.

 Elephanta Cave:

  • Mumbai
  • Originally belonged to Buddhists later dominated by Saivism faith.

Barabar Caves:

  • Location: Barabar hills ( Jehanabad) in Bihar.
  • Constructed during Mauryan Era.
  • Initially, it was constructed for the Ajivia sect( Nastic sect); one of the orthodox of Indian philosophy. Later it was enabled for Brahmanical, Buddhism, Jainism.
  • Sudama cave and Lomas rishi caves are in Barabar caves.

Udayagiri Caves:

  • Near Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh
  • Built around 500 CE
  • The cave contains features of Vaishnavism, Shaktism( Durga), and Shaivism.
  • Varaha Avatar ( Vishnu) famous image.
Badami Caves( 600 AD):
  • Located at Badami in northern Karnataka
  • Mainly related Hindu and Jain subjets.
  • For example, 
    • Tandava dancing Shiva as Natarajana
    • Vishnu seating on sesh nag
    • Bahubali Jaina
    • Trithankar Parashnath


Pancha Rathas or Pandava caves:

  • Single rock architectures and UNESCO heritage sites.
  • Located in Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram in coromandal coast.
  • Made by Narasimhavanam -1; 630 AD


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