The topography of the Western Ghats along with the political patronage suited to the development of Buddhist Caves in many of the hills, ravines and cliffs of the Sahayadris."Discuss giving salient examples.

The topography of the Western Ghats along with the political patronage suited to the development of Buddhist Caves in many of the hills, ravines and cliffs of the Sahayadris. The earliest example of excellent rock cut architecture in Western Ghats are Kanheri (Krishnagiri originally) Caves (109 in number) which are located north of Borivali in Mumbai within the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.
The earliest caves were excavated in the 1st and 2nd century BC. These caves were continuously occupied by the Buddhist monks as well as inland traders as stopovers till 7th century AD. With the increase in the royal patronage and mercantile sponsorships, the interiors of these caves were made more and more decorated.
At Kanheri, there are Chaityas and Viharas. While creating them, the elements of wooden construction have been retained.
The caves at Kanheri present the last expressions of the early rock-cut tradition of western India. Simultaneously, this site heralds developments in iconography of the Buddhist art of the later period.

Question for UPSC Mains:
The topography of the Western Ghats along with the political patronage suited to the development of Buddhist Caves in many of the hills, ravines and cliffs of the Sahayadris.” Discuss giving salient examples.

Published: May 1, 2016 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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