Ancient Indian Art

In India, like in many parts of the world, each era comes with is unique and distinctive culture. Indian art in all its forms has also continuously evolved in its own way over thousands of historically interesting years.

All across India, the various forms of art like architecture, sculpture, or paintings have also evolved in their own way over the years. Ancient India’s Art History started out with all sorts of prehistoric, highly interesting rock paintings. The most interesting rock paintings are found in the paintings of Bhimbetaka that go back all the way to prehistoric times.

A surprisingly advanced and well-developed town planning can be found in Mohenjadaro and Harappa where centrally-planned cities offer an early indication of the architecture of an advanced level. One more remarkable and unique example of sculpture dating back to the Harappan civilization is the dancing girl at Mohenjodaro.

In India, using symbolic forms in India is just a practice as old as the seals of Harappan and also the fire altars with their mathematical and astronomical significance that date back to the Vedic period, are playing a crucial role in the development and evolution of latter-day Indian temples as can be seen in one of my favorite places to visit in south India, Coorg. If you think about visiting India, be wise and don’t forget to visit this magnificent place on your trip.

After this period, there came a time in the Indian art history that was important for temple architecture and rock-cut caves. The Buddhists initially started the art of rock-cut caves, followed by Jains and Hindus who began to imitate this at Aihole, Badami, Ellora, Elephanta, Salsette,  Mahabalipuram, and Aurangabad. Rock-cut art practices continuously improved and evolved to serve various purposes, religious and social contexts, and differences in regional applications.

Of all wonderful “spiritual” places found in India, the one that has impressed me most was probably the holiest site of the Sikh, the Amritsar Golden Temple. This is my true love for India. The tranquility and holy atmosphere of the Harmandir Sahib were unlike at any of the other temples I’d visited. Pilgrims were taking dips in the sacred pool, the Amrit Sarovar, at the sacred golden temple while verses from Sikhism’s Holy Book (Guru Granth Sahib) could be heard all say at the temple. For more information on South India Temples, click here.

Besides the art forms such as paintings, sculpture, and architecture we’ve seen many changes, evolvements, transformations, in traditional tribal and folk art all across India. Many of these forms of art are the expressions of people that belong to different social and cultural groups found all over India. For information about Odisha Art, check out this post.

They are the expressions of people whose lives are tuned to the rhythm of the laws of nature and its cyclic change. Their lives are tightly knotted with the various forms of natural energy. All through India’s history, it has been the tradition that legends and gods will appear in transformed shapes into contemporary familiar images and forms and shapes. Local deities, festivals, and fairs are playing vital roles when it comes to developing these forms of arts. See also this post about Indian Elephant Art.

Rock cave Art is an art form where creativity is inseparably combined with all aspects of life. These forms of tribal arts contain a rather unique sort of sensitivity, as these tribal people had a very intense awareness that set them apart from urbanized and settled people. The minds of these artistic people are intensely supple with legends, myths, and snippets from multitudinous, epic gods that were born from fantasy and dreams. This sort of art is an intense expression of these people’s lives and is a great example of their love for mystery and passion. Read more about Hindu Art and Architecture here.