Brill's Encyclopedia of Jainism Online

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Rock-Cut Caves
(3,111 words)

From the 2nd century BCE to the late medieval period, Jains have actively employed the rock-cut medium to create places for ascetic occupation and devotional activities. These spaces, carved into hillsides and large rock formations, can be found across the subcontinent and are diverse in their architectural features and sculpted imagery. Though this is the case, certain patterns emerge in terms of their design and function, particularly when the caves are examined in their chronological and regional contexts.

Some of India’s earliest ascetic residences are found in the so…

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Owen, Lisa N., “Rock-Cut Caves”, in: Brill's Encyclopedia of Jainism Online, Edited by: John E. Cort, Denison University, Paul Dundas, University of Edinburgh, Knut A. Jacobsen, University of Bergen, Kristi L. Wiley, University of California, Berkeley. Consulted online on 20 September 2019 <>
First published online: 2019
First print edition: 20180227

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