Mimi Schrimsher, Maggie Cushman, Mateo Alzate-Rodrigo
Faculty Sponsor: Rosaline Kyo
The goal of our museum exhibition, Cave Temples of Asia, is to provide viewers with a visual history of the construction of cave temples across Asia. The construction of cave temples originated in India around the 3rd century BCE as a means to promote Buddhist practices and worship. Eventually, as the Buddhist religion spread Westward through Buddhist images and depictions traded by way of the silk road, the construction of Buddhist cave temples became a popularized practice in China during the 5th century BCE. During this time, while Buddhism was spreading West towards China, cave temples were becoming a popularized architecture style among the Hindu religion. Although many Buddhist cave temples occupied sites of worship in India, as Hinduism grew in prominence the practice of constructing cave temples became associated with forms of Hindu worship as well. As cave temples became associated with both Buddhist and Hindu forms of worship, the construction of cave temples spread throughout countries of Central Asia. Within our exhibition we will focus on the spread of cave temples from India, to the Himalayan regions of Central Asia, and eventually on to China.