Art in India

Temples as the realm of the gods, breathtaking garden tombs, and awesome stories in stone — there is much to see and learn in India.

Bodh Gaya: The Site of the Buddha’s Enlightenment
Bodh Gaya: The Site of the Buddha’s Enlightenment

Bodh Gaya is the place where the Buddha attained enlightenment—over millennia it has been reconstructed and reimagined.

Rajarajesvara temple, Tanjavur
Rajarajesvara temple, Tanjavur

At 216 feet high, the Rajarajesvara temple is a sight to behold.

An Indus Seal
An Indus Seal

A lord and beasts from the third millennium B.C.E.

The Cave of Shiva at Elephanta
The Cave of Shiva at Elephanta

The many forms of Shiva at Elephanta island.

Durga Slays the Buffalo Demon at Mamallapuram
Durga Slays the Buffalo Demon at Mamallapuram

The great goddess Durga slays the buffalo demon Mahishasura in a 7th century rock-cut temple in Mamallapuram, India.

Shore Temple, Mamallapuram
Shore Temple, Mamallapuram

A temple with three shrines, this majestic complex faces the sea and features a rich sculptural program.

The Great Relief at Mamallapuram
The Great Relief at Mamallapuram

This extraordinary carving is one of the largest relief sculptures in the world. Scholars still debate its meaning.

The Great Stupa at Sanchi
The Great Stupa at Sanchi

A mound of dirt or the body of the Buddha? These sacred sites give practitioners insight into the Four Noble Truths.

The Meenakshi Temple at Madurai
The Meenakshi Temple at Madurai

This legendary complex draws thousands of visitors per day. Its bewildering spaces delight—and overwhelm—the eye.

Bodh Gaya: center of the Buddhist world
Bodh Gaya: center of the Buddhist world

Siddhartha achieved enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree. Now a major pilgrimage site, it is covered in offerings.

The Caves of Ajanta
The Caves of Ajanta

Cut into a mountainside, this monastic complex is hard to see but offers a breathtaking glimpse of ancient India.

The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal

This huge white-marble mausoleum is recognized the world over for its splendor, symmetry, and stunning gardens.