Hualin International Journal of Buddhist Studies: E-journal, Vol 1.2, Brancaccio

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Hualin International Journal of Buddhist Studies 1.2 (2018): 1–13;
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buddhist Arts)

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The Buddhist Caves in Western Deccan, India, between the Fifth and Sixth Centuries

Drexel University

Keywords: Deccan, Buddhist caves, trading networks, patronage, Indian Ocean

Abstract: This article examines the dynamics that led to the renaissance of Buddhist rock-cut architecture in Western Deccan between the fifth and sixth century. This was a transformative period in India as political, economic, and religious traditions underwent important changes; from a global perspective, this was also a time of tremendous international engagement both across the Indian Ocean and the northwestern regions of the Subcontinent. The artistic and architectural evidence from caves like Ajanta and Aurangabad will be examined in a global perspective, connecting these sites to the Buddhist networks leading to the Northwest of the Indian Subcontinent and Central Asia, and to renewed Indian Ocean trade.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.