BHIMBETKA (8000 B.C.)
The Bhimbetka rock are an archaeological World Heritage site located in Raisen District in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The Bhimbetka shelters exhibit the earliest traces of human life in India; a number of analyses suggest that at least some of these shelters were inhabited by man for in excess of 100,000 years. Some of the Stone Age rock paintings found among the Bhimbetka rock shelters are approximately 30,000 years old.
MAURYA and SHUNGA PERIOD (Central India, 3rd – 1st century BC) 1. Column of Heliodorus
The Heliodorus pillar is a stone column that was erected around 110 BCE in central India in Vidisha near modern Besnagar, by Heliodorus, a Greek ambassador of the Indo-Greek king Antialcidas to the court of the Sunga king Bhagabhadra. The site is located only 5 miles from the Buddhist stupa of Sanchi. The pillar was surmounted by a sculpture of Garuda and was apparently dedicated by Heliodorus to the god Vasudeva in front of the temple of Vasudeva.
Sanchi, variously known as Kakanaya, Kakanava, Kakanadabota and Bota-Sriparvata in ancient times, has a singular distinction of having remarkable specimen of Buddhist art and architecture right from the early Mauryan period. Sanchi is famous in the world for stupas, monolithic Asokan pillar, temples, monasteries and sculptural
wealth.Sanchi became a pilgrimage site when Ashoka Maurya erected a stupa and column there in the middle of the 3d century BC. Later rulers enlarged the complex. After the decline of Buddhism in India, the ruins lay neglected until the 19th century. Restoration activity commenced in the early 20th century, with the rebuilding of the principal stupas and the creation of the present park and museum. Sanchi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
GUPTA PERIOD (Central India, 4th - 6th century AD)
Sarnath is the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma, and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna. Sarnath is located 13 kilometres north-east of Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh, India. Singhpur, a village one km away from the site, was the birth place of Shreyansanath, the eleventh Jain Tirthankar of the present age (Avasarpini), and a temple dedicated to him, is an important Jain pilgrimage.
Udayagiri is situated in Vidisha district, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. Udayagiri is best known for a series of rockcut sanctuaries and images excavated into hillside in the early years of the fifth century CE. The most famous sculpture is the monumental figure of Viṣṇu in his incarnation as the boar-headed Varaha. The site has important inscriptions of the Gupta dynasty belonging to the reigns of Chandragupta I (c. 375-415) and Kumaragupta I (c. 415-55). In addition to these remains, Udayagiri has a series of rock-shelters and petroglyphs, ruined buildings, inscriptions, water systems, fortifications and habitation mounds, all of which have been only partially investigated.
PRATIHARA PERIOD (West India, 8th - 11th century)
1. Jagat Temples
This little-known temple in Jagat village, about 50 km southeast of Udaipur, dates to 961 AD. Its numerous fine sculptures are in an excellent state of preservation. Ambika Mata is a Devi temple, with images of Durga and many other female divinities. Ambika, the principal image in the shrine, is a form of the mother goddess who is associated with Durga through her lion
2. Nagda and Osian Temples
Nagda, the 7th - 8th century capital of Mewar, is located about 20km northeast of Udaipur. Its paired temples, with their subsidiary shrines, date from the late 10th century and are dedicated to Vishnu. Rajasthan’s largest group of early Hindu and Jain temples lies strung out along the road at Osian, which from this point runs south 64 km to Jodhpur. The temples were mostly built in the Pratihara period, 8th - 9th century.
SATAVAHANA PERIOD (2 century...