Arts and culture

Cave Architecture in India

There are several examples of cave architecture in India, but the best cave temples are Buddhist. Buddhism, and more specifically Buddhist cave temples, occupy the largest chunk of the approximately 1200 cave temples that still exist today. Buddhist cave temples include Karla Caves, Bhaja Caves, and Kanheri Caves, while Hindu caves are extensions of Buddhist cave temples. Hindu cave temples are similar to Buddhist cave temples, but depict themes from the great Hindu epics. They feature elaborate architectural structures such as the Ratha (chariot) and mandate (cave-temple).

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This cave, a site of great beauty, features arched entrances and vaulted interiors. There is also a Hindu temple in Cave number 15 named Dashavtara, which is devoted to the god Vishnu. Although it was originally built as a Buddhist Vihara, this temple later evolved into a Hindu temple. Among its many stunning features, it features a statue of Lord Shiva and various incarnations of the Hindu deity.

In terms of design, cave churches differ from traditional stone buildings. While the original structure is the same as a rock-built church, there are several advantages of rock-cut architecture. It is much cheaper than other building materials and only requires digging tools. In addition, three people can carve out a small church in less than a week. And because the rock is naturally earthquake-proof, it does not decay and is therefore long-lasting.

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