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Cave and Rock Art in India
A list of online resources

April 2016

Ancient paintings and figures made on the walls inside caves or on rock shelters are some of the oldest specimens of art or communication by early humans, often tens of thousands of years old. Many locations within India and South Asia have brilliant examples of such art. We provide here a list of links and resources where you may find images and write-ups about these specimens of art. The list is not in a particular order. Besides the examples from India, some links feature nearby regions like Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Ancient and medieval Indian cave paintings (Wondermondo)
Long list and descriptions of Indian cave sites

10 Prehistoric Cave Paintings (A listing of the world) Touropia

Prehistoric Cave Paintings - Picture Gallery

Prehistoric Era Art – Rock Paintings (Indian Culture Series – NCERT)

Prehistoric Rock Paintings of Bhimbetaka, Dr. K. L. Kamat

World Heritage Sites - Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (ASI)

Ancient cave paintings discovered near Palani, K. Raju

Jogimara Cave and Sita Bengra Cave
Here one can find one of the oldest theatre stages in the world. Interior of Jogimara cave is covered with paintings, including probably the oldest known love message.

Visit ancient India through cave art with Dr. Jean Clottes

ROCK ART SITES OF CHHATTISGARH (Culture department, Govt. of Chhattisgarh) Art Site In Chhattisgarh.htm

Rock Art Unit of The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA)

Kondane cave art depicts myth and daily life, T.S.Subramanian (The Hindu)

Rock art sites of India (Frontline) A Slideshow

Call to Save Fading Sitabhinji Cave Art (Odisha, The New Indian Express)

Bagh Caves - rock cut Buddhist temples, Wondermondo

Rock-cut Jaina temple, Sittannavasal (ASI)

Sittanavasal – The Legacy of Chitrasutra (Puratattva)

Sittanavasal - the zenith of painting

Indian Rock Art Archive (Bradshaw Foundation)

Also see,

Badami Cave Temples - four ancient rock cut temples

Bhaja Caves - rock cut Buddhist temples

Cave painting: Demons and depictions (Pakistan) Zulfiqar Ali Kalhoro

Threatened rock carvings of Pakistan, by Suhail Yusuf

The writing on the wall, Zulfiqar Ali Kalhoro

Dam to drown Gilgit-Baltistan’s vandalised rock art

Gandharan roots: Cave paintings depicted on a modern canvas, By Fazal Khaliq

Hunza Valley Petroglyphs

Rock art in the Swat Valley, Pakistan, Badshah Sardar

The Discovery of Rock Paintings in Sindh, Zulfiqar Ali Kolharo

Rock art in Sri Lanka

Sigiriya Frescoes, Sri Lanka

Indonesian cave paintings challenge Europe as cradle of art

Prehistoric Rock Art of India (OUP), Erwin Neumayer

The Ajanta cave murals: 'nothing less than the birth of Indian art', William Dalrymple, The Guardian


Do Indian Cave Paintings Show Prehistoric Alien Abductions? Paul Seaburn

International attention for Pachmarhi rock art, Sravani Sarkar, Hindustan Times

10,000-year-old rock paintings depicting aliens and UFOs found in Chhattisgarh, Rashmi Drolia

40,000-year-old Indonesian cave art oldest ever found in Asia (India Today)

Meet the keepers of India's oldest art gallery, Rachel Lopez, Hindustan Times

Sound Illusions: Eerie Echoes May Have Inspired Prehistoric Cave Art, by Stephanie Pappas, Live Science

Ceremonial use of rock art in Central India, Dr. Jean Clottes & Dr. Meenakshi Dubey Pathak

5000-year-old cave art in dating milestone, G.S. MUDUR, The Telegraph

What does cave art mean?

Wikipedia entries:

Cave paintings in India


Ellora Caves

Bhimbetka rock shelters

Armamalai cave

This list is in progress. Please let us know if you know of some good Oral history archive on the Internet which concerns us and we may have missed. Please report if you find any dead links.

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