From the 2nd century bce to the 10th century ce, rock-cut temples and monasteries appeared at various sites in the subcontinent – most notably across the western Deccan. Carved on the edge of the basaltic plateau, the cave sites were strategically placed near ancient trade routes and fertile land, and showcased a variety of architectural spaces for different worship practices and monastic uses.Living Rock offers new perspectives into to this fascinating world of cave temples. With a wealth of extant material evidence, rather than a comprehensive survey of rock-hewn temples, it presents selected case studies that explore fresh avenues of investigation. The contributions by archaeologists, art historians, historians and scholars of religion trace the cultural and religious phenomena associated with the development of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain cave sites in the western Deccan. Some investigative models proposed in this book suggest new relationships between literary and visual evidence; others follow threads connecting cave centres to religious and artistic contexts located outside the western Deccan in an attempt to place the rock-cut monuments in a wider cultural landscape.Pia Brancaccio is Associate Professor of Art History at Drexel University in Philadelphia, USA. She has done extensive research on the Buddhist caves of the western Deccan, Gandharan art, and multiculturalism in the art of ancient South Asia. Her publications include: The Buddhist Caves at Aurangabad: Transformations in Art and Religion (2011) and Gandharan Buddhism: Archaeology, Art and Text (co-edited with Kurt Behrendt 2006).
MapIntroductionPia BrancaccioWhat’s in a Name? Rethinking “Caves”Phyllis GranoffEarly Historic Junnar: Archaeology and ArtVasant ShindeThe King and the Monastery: The Pandu Lena at NashikHimanshu Prabha RayGuntupalle: The Oldest Rock-Cut Buddhist Monastery in the Eastern DeccanAkira ShimadaShakyabhikshus at the Brazen Glen: Mahayana Reoccupation of an Old Monastery at PithalkhoraNicolas MorrisseyPost-Vakataka Monuments: The Legacy of AjantaWalter M. SpinkBuddhist Caves of the Deccan: Art, Religion and Long-Distance Exchange in the 5th and 6th Centuries Pia BrancaccioEllora Cave 16 and the Cult of the Twelve JyotirlingasBenjamin J. FlemingRelationships between Art, Architecture and Devotional Practices at ElloraLisa N. OwenIndexContributors