R C Majumdar edited Indore plates of Bhulunda (Epigraphia Indica vol XV), issued from Valkha, and took the year 107 of an unspecified era to be that of the Gupta era and dates the grant to. V V Mirashi edited the same charter and took this unspecified era to be Kalchuri-Chedi era and dates the grant to 357 CE. Mirashi also took the year 117 of an unspecified era of Sirpur plates of Rudradasa, issued from Valkha, with the Kalchuri-Chedi era hence dates it to 367 CE. G S Ghai, while editing a grant of Maharaja Bhulunda (Epigraphia Indica vol XXXVII), identifies Bagh with the ancient Valkha region.
Discovery of the twenty-seven copper plate inscriptions at Bagh in 1982 showed light on few dark chapters of its past. All of these twenty-seven plates were issued from Valkha hence, With this discovery, it is clear that Bagh was known as Valkha in ancient time. Out of twenty-seven, thirteen refer themselves to the reign of Bhulunda, five to Svamidasa, five to Rudradasa, three to Bhattaraka and one to Nagabhatta.
These twenty-seven grants are dated between years 47 and 134 of an unspecified era. As mentioned above, there is a great confusion of the identification of this unspecified era. R C Majumdar, D C Sircar, G S Ghai, K V Ramesh, S P Tewari and other scholars take this as the Gupta era while V V Mirashi takes that as the Kalchuri-Chedi era.
Copper-plate charter of Subandhu found in cave 2 at Bagh is not dated however another grant, Barwani plates, from the same king is dated in year 167 of an unspecified era. R R Haldar while editing the Barwani grant (Epigraphia Indica vol XIX) of Subandhu takes the year 167 of an unspecified era as that of the Gupta era and hence assigns it to 487 CE. V V Mirashi however take that unspecified era as that of Kalchuri-Chedi era and assigns the record to 417 CE.
All the above donors are referred as Maharaja and meditating in the feet of Paramabhattaraka in their grants. This suggests their feudatory status and most probably the overlord to whom they were meditating would be the Imperial Gupta house. However, was the rule of the Guptas extended this region during year 47 of their era?
Samudragupta is known to have conquered the eighteen forest regions and probably Valkha could be one of these. However Mirashi does not agree with this possibility. He states that the rule of the Guptas in the south region of Narmada was not possible during this period as this region was under the Saka satraps as evident from their coins. The latest coins of Rudrasimha are dated to Saka year 310 (388 CE). During the rule of Chandragupta II, Saurashtra was under the Gupta sway as he exterminated the Saka rule from western India. His inscription dated to the Gupta year 82 is the earliest reference suggesting that Malwa region came under the Guptas during Chandragupta II.
S K Tiwari mentions that the first ruler Bhulunda is not a Sanskrit name hence it could be a name of some tribal chief. He suggests a possibility that when Samudragupta conquered this region, he placed Bhulunda who was the chief of this region under his patronage. However after the reign of Bhulunda, the next rulers like Svamidasa, Rudradatta etc were either of the Indo-Aryan origin or people from the same tribe but took Sanskrit names. No relationship between these rulers is specified in any of their grants, also no specific name of their overlord is given.
Tiwari further suggests that the tribal region of Valkha was located in the ancient Anupa country. The grants are donations of lands to an individual Brahmana, or a group of Brahmanas or to a deity. A land donation is recorded to a statue of a deity known as Bappa Pishachadeva which suggests that the worship of devils or evil spirit was prevalent in Valkha which further supports the habitation of the tribal population in the region. Another grant issued by Maharaja Bhulunda records a donation to land of mother goddess.
Bagh Caves – In the words of John Marshall, ‘Of the whole vast galaxy of monuments that antiquity has bequeathed to India, none are more remarkable or more interesting to the archeologists than her rock-hewn shrines and monasteries’. This history of this particular category of monuments extends over to a period of 1800 years, from 3rd century BCE to the 15th century CE.
Rock-cut shrines have their own unique importance in the archaeology line as unlike to the monuments built of perishable material, these rock-cut shrines has withstood the ravages of the time and still standing as the mute witness to the antiquity and history of this marvelous country. These have preserved the ancient plastic art styles and painting techniques of the bygone days which probably would not have come down to us if these rock-cut caves were not carved out.
When we talk about painting and murals, the caves of Ajanta pops up in our minds. There are only two group of cave temples where we see the murals of fifth century CE or before, one at Ajanta and another at Bagh. Ajanta and Ellora are well known sites and frequented by the common mass of India however there are few shrines which deserve the similar attention and the rock-cut shrines at Bagh are from this latter group. These have been into oblivion from the common people and are still hidden from their reach.
These caves are located near the village which bears the same name, Bagh. These are situated at the southern slope of the Vindhya ranges on the left bank of a small tributary of Narmada – the river Bagh. This small rivulet runs for 35 km and meets Narmada at end. M C Dey refers this river with name Baghmati while Sukumar Dutt refers it as Baghani. Dey mentions that the name Bagh is given because of the abundance of tigers in this area after this area was included in the Gwalior state. However, these days there are no signs of any tiger around this region.
These caves are excavated into a singular sandstone cliff among the otherwise basaltic region of the Vindhya ranges. Above the sandstone is a deep layer of claystone which is probably the catalyst to the most of the damage caused to these caves. Probably, the excessive weight of this claystone layer and seepage of water through it was the main cause of the damage of these caves.
The caves at Bagh were first brought to light by Lieutenant Dangerfield who published his accounts in the Transactions of the Literary Society of Bombay vol II in 1818. Later Dr. E Impey visited these caves in 1854 and published a detailed account of these in 1856 in the Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society vol V. Colonel C E Luard improved upon the contents of Dr Impey with illustrations and photographs of the site when he visited these caves some time in 1907 or 1908. His accounts were published in the Indian Antiquary vol XXXIX in 1910.
After the article of Colonel Luard, A K Haldar made a visit to these caves in 1923 and published an article in the Burlington Magazine in the same year. M C Dey visited these in 1925. His writing is in form of a travelogue narrating his journey in a very interesting and romantic setting. He mentions Bagh as an oasis in middle of a desert as the village was quite green and well cultivated however the region around the village was arid and sandy.
When the Archaeological Department was set up at Gwalior, M B Garde started clearing and reinforcement job at these caves and prevented any further decay. A K Haldar with Nanda Lal Bose, Surendra Nath Kaur, A B Bhonsle, B A Apte, M S Bhand and V B Jagtap, all reputed artists of that time, were entrusted the job of preparing the copies of the paintings inside the caves. These are the best facsimile of the originals till date. These original copies are on display in Gujari Mahal Museum at Gwalior and copies of these are also displayed in the British Museum, London.
John Marshall visited the caves in 1927 and later was involved in the conservation work at the site. However, the unprofessional work carried out in previous conservation activities weakened the structure and ASI took up the conservation in 1981 saving fives caves which can be visited now. A bridge on the nearby river was constructed in 1982 making these caves approachable for common mass.
General Epigraphs – This section provides details of those epigraphs which cannot be assigned to a specific monument.
- Bagh Cave plates of Subandhu – Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum vol IV – written in Sanskrit, in the western variety of the South Indian alphabets – undated – the inscription refers itself to the reign of Maharaja Subandhu who granted a village situated in the pathaka of Dasilakapalli. The grant was made for providing the materials for the worship of Buddha and maintain an alms-house in the vihara called Kalyana, for repairing the broken and dilapidated portions of the vihara and for supplying clothing, food, medicines, beds and seats to the Community of Venerable Monks hailing from all the four directions. The vihara named Kalyana was said to be constructed by some Dattataka. This order was issued from Mahishmati which was evidently the capital of the king.
- Brahma image inscription – Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum vol VII part II – written in Sanskrit, script is Nagari – This statue was discovered by M B Garde in Bagh town and now it is housed in the Gwalior Archaeological Museum – dated to Vikrama year 1210 (1154 CE) – The object of the inscription is to install an image of Brahma by Bhabhini, a sister of the Mandalika Yashodhavala, on Thursday, the thirteenth of the bright half of Jyestha in the (Vikarama) year 1210. – H V Trivedi suggests that Yashodhvala could be the subordinate ruler under the Chalukya king Kumarapala
There were a total of nine caves at Bagh, out of which six have survived the toll of time. All these caves are purely monastic or vihara type, exclusively intended for the accommodation of the Buddhist bhikshus (monks). These caves belong to the transitional phase between the Hinayana and Mahayana. We find stupas at the rear ends of few viharas and in one we see a Buddha like figure with a Bodhisattva on either side.
Cave 1 – It is the first in line when you approach the site from the bridge and is referred as Griha by Marshall. Dey mentions that there was small verandah in front which supporting pillars were all fallen. The portico, once stood in front, however is entirely destroyed. Marshall reports a single chamber, 23 feet by 14 feet, supported on four pillars however this chamber is much ruined and pillars are no more seen. Dey suggests that this cave was probably excavated very late, and was used as the dwelling house of the head priest of the cave 2.
Cave 2 – This cave has been referred as Gonshai Gumpha by Haldar & Dey owing to the fact that a sadhu of that name was living there. It has been referred as Pandavonki gupha or the Pandava’s cave by Marshall who visited this site after Haldar. This is the best preserved and most elaborate among the group. The purpose of the cave was purely residential. It has a square hall of 86 feet side, fourteen and a half feet height, with cells on three sides, six each side, with a portico in front and a stupa at the rear end. The overall measurement from front to back is little more than 150 feet. The portico is no more there however the bases of the pillars on which it was once supported can still be seen at the site. The hall is supported on 24 pillars.
There are two niches on the either side of the portico, left and right, sunken into the projecting face of the rock. One to the left has a much ruined figure, probably of Buddha or some Naga, while the one on right has a modern image of Ganesha. This Ganesha image is made of mud plastered over an original image, traces of which can still be seen at the back wall. The access to the hall was through three doorways. Two windows were provided for light and air.
There are a total of twenty cells including the two niches on the either sides of the portico. These cells are small chambers with no ornamentation except a niche for a lamp. These are almost square in measurements, 8 feet side. The stupa chamber at the rear end of the hall is approached through a vestibule, twenty feet by twelve feet, supported on two columns. The walls of the vestibule has two sculpture panels in relief, showing a group of three standing statues.
Both the panels are very similar, the only difference is in the height of the statues. J Ph Vogel states that the these more than life-size statues depicts Buddha with two attending Bodhisattvas.The southern wall panel is described here. The Buddha statue is about 10 feet 4 inches high shown standing above a lotus pedestal. His one arm is stretched out while the other arm is in varada-mudra. He is holding the hem of his garment in one hand, a regular feature seen in Gandhara and Mathura style. His robe is covering one shoulder only, leaving other bare. His drapery is shown with usual schematic folds. The two Bodhisattva on either side are standing on a lotus pedestal, the one on Buddha’s right is about 9 feet high while the other one is 8 feet 3 inches in height. The right Bodhisattva holds a fly-whisk in his one hand while the one left is holding a bunch of lotus-buds.
Vogel mentions that it was the intention of the sculptor to differentiate the two attending figures as the one wears a crown and holds a fly-whisk while the other does not wear a crown and holds lotus-buds. In medieval times, these two attending figures are Avalokiteshvara and Maitreya however the distinctive features of these two Bodhisattvas are missing in the Bagh panel. He further suggests that it has been observed in Gandhara art and Sarnath style that Buddha is placed between a simple attired Brahmana and crown bearing personage. This simple attired Brahmana might have been later transformed into Maitreya, the future Buddha while the crown bearing figure transformed into Avalokiteshvara.
Two dvarpala figures adorn on the entrance of the stupa chamber which measures twenty feet by seventeen feet. The figure on right is richly ornamented and Vogel indentifies it with some Yaksha. This figure is wearing many ornaments over his chest, arms and wrists. The figure on left has an elaborate jata-makuta with a Buddha figure seated in center. Burgess identifies this figure with Avalokiteshvara however Vogel states that this Buddha figure is seated in abhaya-mudra while the figure for Avalokiteshvara should be in dhyana-mudra.
The stupa has a hemispherical drum, supporting a harmika and parasol above it. It rests on a cylindrical drum which is decorated with modillion cornice, which in turn is placed on an octagonal plinth with bold moldings. Vogel mentions that the Hindu pilgrims identify the two dvarpalas with Yudhishthira and Krishna, the panels on either side with Kunti accompanied with Bhima and Arjuna and Draupadi accompanied with Nakula and Sahadeva.
The recess on the northern end of the verandah of this cave has a group of figure carved on the back wall of the cell. Though the figures are much ruined however it may be said that the central figure is of some Naga (snake) whose traces of hood can still be seen. He is shown seated in lalitasana pose on a simhasana (lion throne). The two attending figures would be female figures which usually are seen with Nagas. The objects held by these attendants are not clear due to much damage caused to the statues. A chiatya arch with two flying celestials is present above this group.
The cell on the opposite end of this verandah would have similar figure however at present it has a seated idol of Ganesha. This idol is made up of mud and, as Haldar reported, was the work of a sadhu who was living here for some time. However, the ancient carvings are still visible beneath this modern mud image. A chaitya-arch with two flying celestials is also present in this cell. The walls of the hall are decorated with paintings, which as Dey mentioned, have been terribly injured by the smoke and soot from the fires of the sadhus who stayed there.
Cave 3 – Marshall refers this cave as hathikhana, means ‘elephant stable’. This is also a residential unit like cave 1 however presence of mural paintings suggest that these were meant for superior members of the fraternity. The whole cave measures about sixty feet by forty feet and fifteen feet high. There are two halls inside, one with a row of cells on each side and another without any cell. The first hall from entrance is twenty-eight feet square and its roof is supported on six octagonal pillars arranged in two rows.
At the end of the first hall, three doors lead a visitor to the next hall. This hall is about thirty-nine feet square and is supported on two rows of four broad square pillars. The angles of the cave are not well cut which probably suggest that it was not finished completely. On the left side of the second hall is a verandah in which a small cell opens. This cell seems to be the stupa chamber and a painting of Buddha’s feet over a lotus with kneeling attendants on its walls supports this surmise. Haldar reports the presence of an inscription on the intervening walls of the these two halls. He mentions that the inscription is twenty-five feet long and seven feet high and written in characters unknown to that day archaeologists.
Cave 4 – Marshall and Dey refer this cave as Rang-Mahal or colored-hall because of the paintings adoring its walls. These paintings are the finest among the group. This cave has three entrances with two intervening windows similar to cave 2. However it is much bigger in measurements than cave 4 and in fact it’s the largest cave among the group. The hall inside is a ninety-four feet square across, and is supported on 38 pillars. This hall has eight cells each on its three sides and the rear side is left for a stupa.
The stupa chamber has a stupa in middle however devoid of any vestibule as that of the cave 2. Also there are no relief panels here unlike those found in cave 2. The pillars have decorated bracket capitals above these depicting various kinds of figures mostly animals some with riders and some without. This scheme of the pillars and pilasters is much evolved in comparison to the pillars of the cave 2.
The central doorway, fifteen feet high and eight feet broad, is profusely carved. It gradually recessed to nine feet by six feet. Its T-shaped lintel is adorned with a row of nine seated Buddhas and chaitya windows with a head popping out. The terminals of the lintel have a female figure standing above makara. Both are in similar postures, holding a branch of tree by one arm and another arm is rested on a gana. These terminals were used to house river goddesses during the early Gupta period, however here both the female figures are shown standing on makara hence either both depicts Ganga or just a form of shalabhanjika as seen in many Buddhist shrines. The bottom of the doorjambs also has two females on either sides.
There is deep niche of about 15 feet height at the north-east end of this cave. On the rear wall of this cell, there is a panel depicting a personage of divine nature. This relief is very much deteriorated and only traces of sculpture are left. The figure is of some very corpulent male whose left foot is placed on the ground while the other foot was probably in lalitasana posture. There is a halo behind his head which suggests that he is of divine nature. Vogel says that it could be a figure of Yaksharaja as seen at Ajanta and Ellora as well.
There is a Naga shrine at the north-east end of the verandah. He is shown seated in lalitasana pose which one arm resting on his thigh. His another arm was holding some object which has no more survived. Traces of a hood can be seen behind and above his head. Above the niche is a chaitya arch having a stupa inside. There are two flying celestials on either side of this stupa. A little left to this arch, there is another bigger arch showing another stupa inside it.
Cave 5 – Marshall writes that in front of cave 4 and 5, once there stood a common portico of 220 feet in length supported on twenty-two pillars of fourteen feet height. Dey refers this splendid colonnade as the Pathshala or the school room. He mentions that such magnificence is unrivalled and unequalled in any known Buddhist cave. The whole façade of this colonnade was once painted with magnificent paintings traces of which can still be seen.
This cave was probably used as an oratory as mentioned by Marshall. It is a rectangular hall of 95 feet by 44 feet. The hall is divided into three aisles with two rows of pillars.
Cave 6 – This cave is connected with cave 5 via a broad passage. The cave has a hall of 46 square with five cells. Three of these are in the rear end of the hall. Though this cave can be accessed from the cave 5 but it has a doorway and two windows in front for access from outside.
Cave 7, 8 and 9 – All these caves have been already collapsed when Marshall visited this site. Dey writes that the cave 7 is a facsimile of the cave 2, with its eighty-six feet square hall. Cave 8 is connected to cave 7 via a small cell. However both these caves along with cave 9 are in such a state of collapse that it is impossible to enter into them, Dey reports. The debris are beyond any clearance hence these cannot be restored back to their original or somewhat acceptable state.
Paintings – In the words of Marshall, ‘Yet it may well be doubted if the paintings even of Polygnotus or Zeuxis would have been more illuminating for the general history of Art, than the paintings of Ajanta and Bagh. For the school which these paintings represent was the source and fountain head from which half the art of Asia drew its inspiration, and no one can study their rhythmic composition, their indistinctive beauty of line, the majestic grace of their figures, and the boundless wealth of their decorative imagery without realizing what a far-reaching influence they exerted on the art, not of India alone and her colonies, but of every other country to which the religion of Buddha penetrated’.
He further adds that nor are these paintings to be appraised only in relation to the art in Asia, they will bear comparison with the best that Europe could produce down the time of Michael Angelo. Marshall mentions that this statement might look too bold that many will at once raise to contest however this is also the opinion of the greatest living authority on Italian fresco paintings, Signor A. Cecconi.
Marshall states that as at Ajanta, the paintings at Bagh are executed in tempera but not in fresco as often been assumed. The process and colors are the same at both the sites. However the difference is seen in the first coat of plaster. At Bagh this coat is done with less care and as a consequence this coat is less tenacious than at Ajanta. Marshall mentions that there is very little to choose between the pictures of Bagh and Ajanta as both exhibit the same poetry in motion, same feeling for colors and same strong yet subtle line-work.
One major advantage of Bagh paintings is that all of these were executed at the same time while those at Ajanta were commissioned at different times. Marshall mentions that the paintings at Bagh were conceptualized and executed in a well planned pattern. Dey mentions that the paintings at Bagh are incomplete in comparison to that of Ajanta. The last stroke of black, which was used for details like hair, eyebrows etc is missing from Bagh.
Painting Techniques at Bagh – The paintings of Bagh are executed in tempera. The ground prepared was a reddish-brown gritty and thick mud plaster laid out on the walls and ceilings. The mud plaster is not uniform in thickness but smoothes the rock surface for the painting. Over the plaster was lime-priming on which were executed paintings. Analyzing the technique Marshall writes, ”At Bagh, as at Ajanta, the paintings are done in Tempera, not as has been often stated in Fresco and the process and colors employed at both places seems to be have been the same. At Bagh, however less care has been taken over the preparation of the first rough coat (Rinfazzo).”
- Malini vastu of the Mahavastu Avadana – Princess Malini and her companion are seated in a pavilion on the rooftop. Two blue pigeons are cooing to one another at the roof top. The lady sitting to the left with high ornamentation is princess Malini. The second lady is shown overwhelmed with grief and has covered her face with upper garment. Princess Malini of Benaras (Varanasi) was devoted to monks Tishya, Kashyapa and Bhardwaja. Because of her devotion and faith on Buddha and Buddhism, she became an eyesore for the Brahmins. The Brahmins hatched a conspiracy to remove her from their way. So they sent an ultimatum to the king to choose either Malini or the Brahmins. Unwillingly, the king decided to discard Malini. In the painting, Malini’s companion is shown in grief when this news was broke out to Malini by her.
- Vidur Pandita Jataka – Four seated male figures are engaged in a discussion in this painting. As per the story, there were four Brahmins of Benares (Varanasi) who have renounced the world. Because of their good deeds and desire in their next birth, they were born as Shakra, the king of gods, the king of Nagas, the king of Suparna and the king of Kurus. Once they happened to meet in a garden and a discussion that who is more virtuous started. As they couldn’t reach a decision so took help from Vidura Pandit, the minister king of Kurus. He praised all in some way and hence said that all are virtuous in their respective fields. The person, second from right, without any ornamentation is Vidura. To his left is King Dhananjay of Kurus. The figure in front of Vidur is Shakra. King behind Shakra is the king of Nagas. The small child like figure is shown in front of the king of Nagas is Suparna.
- Miracle of Buddha – Once requested by monk Kaludayi, Buddha agreed to visit Kapilvastu and accordingly along with his 20,000 followers he arrived at Kapilvastu. They were received by the Shakyas with all respect but the elderly Shakyas were in dilemma that the Buddha or Siddhartha is like their son or nephew so they need not have to pay homage. Buddha rose to sky and sprinkle foot dust, hence proving that he is beyond the previous relationships and the age gaps. The main figure at the center with the right hand in varada mudra, surrounded by five monks is Buddha. Monk Kaludayi is in white.
- Dance sequence – Male figures with dressed spotted garment, female dancing around. A dance group with half naked women around a male dancer where the latter is supposedly in some Persian looking attire. Dey puts the subject as very frivolous for any Buddhist monastery.
- Flower Creepers – There are many paintings where flower and creeper decoration is used. These are used as a border to some painting with different central theme or sometimes as central these itself. Birds, bulls and other animals are also depicted along with trees, vines, creepers and various other flowers. There are many such paintings, some are large enough to fill a substantial portion of the wall.
- Royal Procession – While describing the royal procession of elephants and cavalcade of nobles, E B Havell writes, ‘The very precious fragments of the grand school of Indian mural painting here illustrated are in one respect unique; for not even at Ajanta is there found a similar scene conceived on so large a scale and designed with so much freedom and spaciousness’.
ASI Museum – There is a small museum at the site where paintings and other findings from Bagh region are displayed. Out of the museum are standing replica statues of the left and right side screens of the cave 2. Unfortunately, photography is not allowed without prior permission from ASI office.
Comparative study of Ajanta and Bagh – To understand the architectural plan of Buddhist monastic complexes, it will be worthwhile to compare contemporaneous caves of Bagh and Ajanta. Monastic complexes at both the sites differ considerably not only in the layout but also in their composition. At Ajanta, we find examples of Chaitya, Viharas and combination of both, but in Bagh all the caves are of Vihara-cum-chaitya type only.
Chronologically, cave numbers 11, 7, 6 and number 15 to 20 of Ajanta are contemporaneous to Bagh caves. Cave 6 and 7 at Ajanta are of chaitya-cum-vihara style but they differ in their plan and layout with Bagh caves. Bagh caves are uniform in style, however cave 6 at Ajanta is double storeyed and cave 7 has two small porches which leads to verandah at rear side. This kind of plan is not seen in any of the Bagh caves.
Caves at Ajanta are apsidal in design however caves at Bagh are oblong or square in shape. Looking at the plan at Bagh, it seems that all the caves were excavated at the same time, with fewer addition later on. Each cave has a definitive purpose. There are about ninety extant residential cells at Bagh, smaller in strength of Ajanta, however it is not possible to find the exact strength of monk community here.
Except for cave 5 and 6, all the caves are planned as residential cum worship place. Cave 5 and 6 are the only caves in the whole group which are connected via a small passage. Cave 2 and 4 follow more or less uniform plan. This includes a large pillared hall, almost square, with cells on three sides. The wall facing the entrance has an antechamber housing the stupa.
How to Reach – M C Dey has written his exertion to Bagh in a very interesting manner. He travelled in a tanga from Mhow to Bagh via Dhar and Sardarpur. Not much is changed in this route, as I also took the same route because this is the only route if you coming from Indore or Mhow. However lot has been changed about the towns.
Dey mentioned Sardarpur as a small village comprises of ten-twelve mud houses, now Sardarpur is a town of considerable importance. However not much is changed about Bagh, except the Bagh print industry which has given Bagh is due importance in recent times. Many residents are employed in this industry however agriculture is still the main occupation of the people.
Bagh is about 97 km from Dhar, a major town in Madhya Pradesh, and about 150 km from Indore. If you try to use public transport then you need to change at many places to reach Bagh village. There is no transport from the village to the caves. It is advisable to take your own conveyance. The nearest railway-head and airport is Indore.
- Chattopadhyaya, Brajadulal (2005). Studying Early India – Archaeology, Texts and Historical Issues. Orient Blackswan. New Delhi. ISBN 9788178241432.
- Dey, M C (1925). My Pilgrimage to Ajanta and Bagh. Thornton Butterworth. London.
- Dutt, Sukumar (1962). Buddhist Monks and Monasteries of India. Motilal Banarasidas. New Delhi. ISBN 9788120804982.
- Fergusson, James (1880). The Cave Temples of India. Munshiram Manoharlal. New Delhi. ISBN 9788121502511
- Haldar, A K (1923). The Buddhist Caves of Bagh, published in the Burlington Magazine vol 43.
- Marshall, John (1927). The Bagh Caves. Swati Publications. New Delhi.
- Mirashi, V V (1944). An Ancient Dynasty of Khandesh published in the Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute vol XXV. Pune.
- Tiwari, S K (2002). Tribal Roots of Hinduism. Sarup and Sons. New Delhi. ISBN 9788176252997.
- Verma, Archana (2007). Cultural and Visual Flux at Early Historical Bagh in Central India. Archaeopress. Oxford. ISBN 9781407301518.