From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Pandav leni complex
Mains level : Ancient buddhist cave architecture
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has found three more caves in the Trirashmi Buddhist cave complex, also known as Pandav Leni, near Nashik, Maharashtra.
Answer this PYQ first, in the comment box:
Q.There are only two known examples of cave paintings of the Gupta period in ancient India. One of these is paintings of Ajanta caves. Where is the other surviving example of Gupta paintings?
(a) Bagh caves
(b) Ellora caves
(c) Lomas Rishi cave
(d) Nasik caves
Pandav Leni Complex
- The Pandav Leni Complex or Nasik Caves are a group of 23 caves carved between the 1st century BCE and the 3rd century CE.
- Also called Trirashmi Buddhist caves, this complex was first documented in 1823 by Captain James Delamaine and is now an ASI- protected site.
- Though additional sculptures were added up to about the 6th century, it is a major landmark of changes in Buddhist devotional practices.
- Most of the caves are viharas except for Cave 18 which is a chaitya of the 1st century BCE.
- The style of some of the elaborate pillars or columns, for example in caves 3 and 10, is an important example of the development of the form.
- The “Pandavleni” name sometimes given to the Nasik Caves has nothing to do with the characters Pandavas, characters in the Mahabharata epic.
- Other caves in the area are Karla Caves, Bhaja Caves, Patan Cave, and Bedse Caves.