India | Orissa

Orissa Murals

Orissa has a long history of wall paintings, dating back to 1st century B C. Early evidences can be found in the paintings on the walls of the Khandagiri and Udayagiri caves.

Paintings of a later period can be found in the Ravanachhaya rock-shelter at Sitabinj in Keonjhar District. This painting style, belonging to the Gupta era (4th century), is reminiscent of the paintings in the Ajanta Cave. The famed Jagannath Temple in Puri contains murals belonging to the period between 17th and 20th centuries. They are marked by their linear characteristics. Paintings of later period exist in the Biranchi Narayan Temple in Ganjam District.

Wall paintings in Orissa show a strong influence of religion. The Khandagiri and Udayagiri caves contain paintings of Jain theme. The earlier paintings were mostly of the Buddhist style. The later period saw a shift towards Hinduism, with the adoption of the themes belonging to the Shaiva, Shakti and Vaishnava movement.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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