Articles on Indian Art by Benoy K. Behl

Bodhisattva at Ajanta
Bodhisattva at Ajanta


For those of you who enjoyed the short documentaries by Benoy K. Behl last night and would like to read some of his writings I am including here a number of articles he has contributed to the Indian magazine Frontline which were kindly sent to me by the author himself.

These are a wonderful resource for any study or overview of Indian painting and sculpture, and he is a fine photographer also so that all the articles are richly illustrated.

He is evidently one of the most sensitive writers and historians working on Indian art at present, and I also appreciate the recognition that the art of the Sramana sects was the fountainhead of all that came later.

Please note that Benoy has a book called The Ajanta Caves: Ancient Paintings of Buddhist India which is available from Amazon.


The first set of five articles are about the development of Buddhism and Buddhist art from the earliest times up and to the diffusion of Buddhism across Asia just before it died out in its homeland.

  1. Culture of peace
  2. Sacred stupas
  3. Vehicles of peace
  4. Himalayan home
  5. Great Diffusion

The next two trace the Buddhist art works in South-East Asia and up to its most northerly settlement in Buryatia (Siberia).

The next series concentrates on Indian Painting from its origins at the Buddhist caves at Ajanta and then on to its spread across the continent.

  1. Ajanta, the fountainhead
  2. The Legacy of Ajanta
  3. Trans-Himalayan Murals
  4. The Western impact
  5. India as Inspiration for the Continent

These are a few separate articles on various aspects of Indian art.

And finally his most extensive series of articles on the development of art in India from its earliest manifestations in the Sramana art of the Buddhists, Jainas and Ajivikas, and on to the later developments with the great temples of the middle ages and beyond.

  1. Eternal India
  2. Birth of classic form
  3. Harmony set in stone
  4. Grandeur in caves
  5. Of divine forms
  6. Valley of stupas
  7. Mind over matter
  8. Ajanta caves, Simply grand
  9. Temples of perfection
  10. Living rocks of Mamallapuram
  11. Royal shrines
  12. Miniature cosmos
  13. Ellora’s rock-cut caves
  14. Orissa: Tradition of grace
  15. Thought and images
  16. Chola marvels
  17. Tradition in bronze
  18. Mountain magic
  19. Colour of peace
  20. Beauty of devotion
  21. Glorious blend
  22. Sun temple at Konark
  23. Hampi: Images of change
  24. Sacred spaces of the south
  25. Temples of peace in Gujarat & Rajasthan


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