Information about Bagh Caves (Madhya Pradesh)

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Information about Bagh Caves (Madhya Pradesh)

The Bagh Caves are situated 97 kms from Dhar town in Madhya Pradesh. The Bagh Caves contain the sole surviving examples of ancient Indian wall paintings. The paintings at Bagh are believed to date back to a period between the fifth and seventh centuries A.D., the Golden Age of Indian Art.

The Caves have been excavated on the perpendicular rock face of a lofty hill which stands on the bank of the Bagh River. There were nine caves in all, but only five (No. 1 and 2 to 5) have survived the ravages of time, man and nature. The others have collapsed. All of them are Viharas or monasteries. A small chamber, usually at the back, forms a Chaitya or the prayer hall.

The most magnificent of the caves, No. 4, is known as Rang Mahal or the Hall of colors. It has a number of decorative friezes running along the face of its inner walls. There were numerous decorative panels on its ceiling and massive pillars and brackets. But these have been damaged beyond recognition by smoke and vandalism.

The exterior of the Rang Mahal had better fortune since little cooking was done outside the cave. Along the long wall of the verandah extending to a length  of forty-five feet and a height of six feet there is an excellent frieze on which is depicted a variety of scenes from life.

A scene shows four men engaged in a serious argument. The second figure from left has a highly ornamented crown and so has the person seated behind him. Presumably they are kings or deities and the other two figures are of ordinary people.

Outside the caves there is a colossal figure of Yaksharaj, a Hindu deity.

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