Art pervades every facet of Hindu life, and is found on every byway of Indian Civilization. Hindu art in its purest form is aimed to serve God and be in communion with Him. May art forms like dance and music are embibed in scriptures like the Natya Shastra whereas sculpture, architecture and placement are traced to scriptures like the Shilpa Shastra
Hindu artists have celebrated and immortalized the beauty of human bodies in bronze and stone for more than 5,000 years. We do not know the name of a single genius among the many who brought gods to life in the Ellora, Ajanta or Elephanta, Karli caves or those who created the Chola Natarajas as magnificent as any work by Benvenuto Cellini. The great Rodin was possibly the most sensitive and perceptive of the admirers of Indian art.
The creation of Hindu temples is most dramatically and powerfully depicted at Ellora, where an entire mountain has literally been scooped out over several centuries by patient devoted artists and architectural geniuses, who envisioned and “extracted” Lord Shiva’s Mount Kailasha temple inside that enormous rock dome. Ellora’s Kailasantha cave temple remains one of the true “wonders” of the world of art and a unique monument to Hindu devotion. Captain Philip Meadows Taylor (1808-1876) author, says: “the carving on some of the pillars, and of the lintels and architraves of the doors, is quite beyond description. No chased work in silver or gold could possibly be finer. Bu what tools this very hard, tough stone could have done wrought and polished as it is, is not at all intelligible at the present day.”
Indian art is so intimately associated with Hindu religion and philosophy that it is difficult to appreciate it fully unless one has some knowledge of the ideals that governed the Indian mind. In Indian art there is always a religious urge, a looking beyond. From the exuberant carvings of the Hindu temples to the luminous wall-paintings of Ajanta, to the intriguing art of cave sites and sophisticated temple-building traditions, the Indian subcontinent offers an amazing visual feast.