Geographic magazine story and interactive map on Benoy K
Behl's documentation of ancient Indian art: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/2008-01/india-ancient-art/interactive-map.html
Article on the
history of Indian Art by Benoy K Behl
Book Record for being the most travelled photographer, as
well as for taking over 40,000 photographs of Indian monuments
and art heritage.
Consultant to Ministry of Tourism, Government of India for
the successful UNESCO World Heritage Listing of the Mahabodhi
Temple at Bodh Gaya.
Authored a major book published by Thames and Hudson, London
AJANTA CAVES, comprehensively illustrated with
colour plates of my photographs. The Literary Editor of
The Times, London writes, “The Ajanta Caves is one of the
most gorgeous and stimulating books of Indian art ever
produced.” The American edition is published by Harry
Abrams, New York.
' and ‘The Murals of India’ at Universities and Museums in
USA, UK, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and in
India. Also delivered illustrated talks on ‘History of
Indian Painting’, ‘The Compassionate Art of Buddhism’,
‘Ladakh: A Cradle of Buddhist Art’, ‘The Champa Temples
of Vietnam’ and ‘The Churches of Old Goa’ at
universities, museums and other cultural institutions in
repaired and conserved two important
(circa 11th and 13th centuries), with the support of UNESCO,
the Indian Army, leading scientists and the people of
THE UNSEEN JEWEL Photographed by Benoy K Behl
major exhibition of the photographs of the Ajanta paintings
created by the National Museum of India.
* The National Museum, New Delhi: 21-6-2002 to 4-8-2002,
inaugurated by the honourable Minister for Tourism & Culture,
Government of India.
* Lumbini: November–December, 2004, inaugurated by the
honourable Prime Minister of Nepal, held as part of the Second
International Buddhist Conference.
* Kathmandu: 5-1-2005 to 19-1-2005, Nepal Art Council.
* Bhutan: 2004
* Guwahati: March 2003
* Shillong: April 2003
REDISCOVERED: An exhibition of photographs of the Ajanta
* Hong Kong: The Fung Ping Shan Museum, 1995, inaugurated by H.E.
the Consul General of India
* Mumbai: Cymroza Art Gallery, March 1993, inaugurated by H.E.
the Governor of Maharashtra and Goa
of Indian and Asian mural paintings are on permanent display
in the Paintings Gallery of the National Museum, New Delhi.
Ajanta photographs are
on permanent display in the Media Room of the Ministry
of External Affairs, Government of India, South Block,
Secretariat, New Delhi.
* New Delhi,
Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Azad Bhavan, April
* Jakarta, on behalf of Indian Council for Cultural Relations,
* Kuala Lampur, Museum of Islamic Art, opened by Minister for
Communications and Culture, Government of Malaysia, held by the Museum,
the Indian High Commission and Reliance Investments,
Malaysia. October and November, 2010
* Colombo, Zahira College, March, 2012
* Colombo, JDA Perara Gallery, inaugurated by Sri Lanka
and High Commissioner of India, February 2012
* New Delhi, Jamia Milia Islamia University, December, 2012.
* Kuwait, held by the Government of Kuwait and the Embassy of
PATH OF COMPASSION, Photographs of Buddhist Monuments
and Art Heritage: An exhibition covering 48 major Buddhist
sites all over India and other Asian countries. This
exhibition has been sent to numerous countries around the
world by the Ministry of External Affairs (XP Division),
Government of India. It has also been held independently
by institutions in India and other countries.
University, 7-9-2004 to 27-9-2004, inaugurated by the
President, Otani University and H.E. the Ambassador of India.
University, International Cultural Centre, on permanent
Kyoto: Ryukoku University, on permanent display from
Matsushima: Zuiganji Temple, March 2005
Tokyo: Naritasan Temple, 1-4-2005 to 20-4-2005.
Tokyo: Komazawa University, May 2006
Bussho Gonenkai, Japan, 2005
Kyushu: Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, 2005
Koen-ji Temple: Gunma, Japan October 2005
Berlin: Embassy of India, 2-4-2008 to 14-4-2008.
Bangkok: Mahidol University, Thailand, May 24-31, 2007,
Southeast Asian Association for the Study of Culture and
Bangkok: National Gallery of Thailand, September-October, 2004
Bangkok: Mahidol University, August to December 2006
Bangkok: The Festival of India, 1996
Art Gallery, October 2003, inaugurated by the
honourable Minister for Human Resource Development, Education
Affairs, Government of Sri Lanka and the honourable Minister
Affairs, Government of India.
Kandy, Sri Lanka, International Buddhist
Conference, March, 2011
Butala Sri Lanka, February, 2011
Colombo: India Cultural Centre, March 27- April 3, 2008
Colombo, Indian India Cultural Centre, on permanent
Kandy: April, 2009.
Kandy: 4-10 February 2010
Almaty: National Library of Kazakhstan, October 2006.
Mandalay: Mahamuni Pagoda, 23-1-2005 to 15-3-2005, inaugurated
H.E. the Ambassador of India.
Myanmar: World Buddhist Summit, December 2004.
Myanmar: Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, on permanent display
Myanmar: Mahamuni Pagoda, Mandalay, on permanent display
Shanghai: Jade Buddha Temple, on permanent display from
Dun Huang Research Academy: On permanent display from
2006, inaugurated by Honourable Defence
Minister, Government of India.
Beijing: December 2004.
Beijing: 26-1-2005, Embassy of India, as part of the
celebrations of the
Republic Day of India.
Beijing: October, 2005, as part of the Festival of India in
Mt. Wutai: China, on permanent display from January,
Yungang Grottoes: China, on permanent display from
Ulaanbaatar: On permanent display from 2004.
Taiwan: Taipei Municipal Library, 10/01/2008 to 29/02/2008
Taiwan: India-Taipei Association, displayed in many
Taiwan, National Taiwan, University of Science and Technology
Taipei, Taiwan, National Central Library, August, 2010
The Government has also held this exhibition at Washington DC,
and Phnom Penh.
Moscow: 27-1-2004 to 9-2-2004, Oriental Center of Russia,
Moscow, Indian Embassy, on permanent display from 2008.
St. Petersburg, August, 2005
Ulan Ude, Fine Arts Museum, 2006.
Belgrade, Yugoslavia: Hyatt Regency Hotel, 3rd – 16th
Travelling exhibition in Yugoslavia, 2004
Cairo: Maulana Azad Centre for Culture, inaugurated by Dr.
Hosni, Minister of Culture of Egypt, 10-17,
Taj Mahal, Agra: 19-11-2002 to 15-1-2003, held by the
Survey of India.
Spiti: Tabo Monastery, on permanent display from March,
New Delhi: Hotel Ashok, 31-1-2003 to 28-2-2003, inaugurated by
honourable Minister for Tourism & Culture,
Government of India.
The National Museum, New Delhi: February-March, 2004,
by the honourable Minister for Tourism &
Culture, Government of India.
Varanasi: Buddha Mahotsav, 2000
Kuala Lumpur: Buddhist Maha Vihara, 7-5-2005 to 22-5-2005,
honourable Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports,
Kuala Lumpur, for Wesak Celebrations, May, 2009
Indian Cultural Centre, on permanent display from 2010.
Vientiane: April 4-10, 2006, National Cultural Hall, Laos.
Mithila Museum, Niigata will be holding the exhibition in
every part of
Japan at over 100 locations from 2005-2006
Seoul: SNU Museum and Jogeye Temple, October 2006. Is
also be held in many parts of South Korea for a period of
to October 2007.
Nalanda, February 2010, International Buddhist Conclave
China, going as part of the FESTIVAL OF INDIA, 2010
GOA, an exhibition of photographs of the churches of
Old Goa. This exhibition has been sent to numerous
countries around the world by the Ministry of External Affairs
(XP Division), Government of India. It has also been
held independently by institutions in India and other
Copenhagen: Asia House, 28-1-2005 to 2-2-2005, inaugurated by
Rome: Cineporto, “Roman Summer”, Festival of the City of Rome,
2004 to 18-7-2004, inaugurated by H.E. the
Ambassador of India.
Arequipa: University of Arequipa,
Peru, December 2004
Agra: The Taj Mahal, 17-4-2003 to 16-5-2003, held by
of India, inaugurated by Bishop of Agra and Cultural
Delhi: Embassy of Portugal, November-December 2003,
H.E. the Ambassador of Portugal.
Delhi, Azad Bhawan Gallery, ICCR, August 2010
Kolkata: West Bengal Cultural Centre, 26-8-2003 to 9-9-2003,
inaugurated by H.E. the Ambassador of Portugal.
Goa: Mariott Resort, June 2003, inaugurated by H.E. the
Dublin: 11-4-2005 to 23-4-2005
Lima: March, 2005
Ica: March 2005
Paris: Chapelle, Missions Etrangeres de Paris, 11-03-2005 to
Lisbon: June, 2005, inauguration by the honourable Foreign
Government of Portugal.
Lisbon: Lusiada University of Lisbon, 16-05-2006 to
Carifuna, Ministry of Culture, the Guyana
National Museum and the Indian
High Commission, April 2010. Inaugurated by
Dr. Frank Anthony, Minister
of Culture, Youth and Sport, Government of
Sacramento: University of Sacramento, California, September
Washington DC: Embassy of India, May 2008.
Salvodor: National Palace, Brazil, 5-10-2005 to 31-10-2005.
Panama, February 2006
Bogota, Colombia, 2005
Havana: Cuba, September, 2005
permanent display at the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old
Mexico, going as part of the FESTIVAL OF INDIA, 2010
University Bulgaria, 18th to 30th April, 2011, inaugurated by
Mr. Divyabh Manchanda, Ambassador of India.
A CRADLE OF BUDDHIST CULTURE: An exhibition of photographs of
the monasteries of Ladakh, Photographed by Benoy K Behl.
* New Delhi: Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, 1997, along with a Seminar
on the Monasteries of Ladakh where the keynote paper and a
Proposed Action Plan for the Conservation of the Monasteries
of Ladakh were also presented.
* New Delhi: India Habitat Centre, 1998, inaugurated by the
honourable Minister for Defence, Government of India.
* New Delhi: India Habitat Centre, 1999,
sponsored by KPMG.
MURALS OF INDIA: An exhibition of photographs of the
scarcely-seen early wall
paintings of India.
* London: Nehru Centre,
permanent display of a selection of photographs
from January, 2005.
Rome: The National Museum of Oriental Art (G. Tucci), July 16-
11, 2009. Held by the Ministry of Heritage & Culture, Govt. of
Museum of Oriental Art and Indian Council for Cultural
Port Louis, Mauritius Indira Gandhi Centre for Indian Culture,
Commission of India and the Mauritius Museums Council,
2010. Inaugurated by Rt. Honourable Sir Anerood Jugnauth, GCSK,
QC, President of the Republic of Mauritius.
* Kolkata, Nandlal
Bose Gallery, ICCR, June 1-15, 2008
A CONFLUENCE OF CULTURE: An exhibition of photographs of
the multi-cultural heritage of India, photographed by Benoy K
Behl. To be held by the Ministry of Tourism, Government
of India at 11 cities, including the following:
London: 27-09-2005 onwards
Paris: 27-09-2005 onwards
Tokyo: 27-09-2005 onwards
New York: 27-09-2005 onwards
New Delhi: 27-09-2005 onwards
Mumbai: 27-09-2005 onwards
Chennai: 27-09-2005 onwards
* Kolkata: 27-09-2005 onwards
Parliament, 16th to 21st October,
* Frankfurt: Frankfurt Book
* New Delhi: 26th September, 2006, Ashoka Hotel, World
celebrations of the Government of India.
THE LEGACY OF AJANTA: The
classic murals of India and other countries of South Asia,
photographed by Benoy K Behl. An exhibition held by IGNCA
New Delhi: Indira Gandhi
National Centre for the Arts, 25-11-2005 to 10-12- 2005.
Rome, Embassy of India, 2009.
THE PATH TO NIRVANA:
Photographic exhibition to commemorate the 2550th
anniversary of the Mahaparinirvana of Lord Buddha, held by the
Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of India. (Two-thirds of the exhibition is my photographs).
* New Delhi: Vigyan Bhawan,
13-05-2006, inaugurated by Dr. Manmohan Singh, Honourable
Prime Minister of India.
* New Delhi: National
Museum, May and June, 2006.
THE SANCHI STUPAS & THE BEGINNINGS OF BUDDHIST ART: On
permanent display at M.P. Tourism hotel at Sanchi, from
New Delhi, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, April – May 2009.
DIVERSITY: REDISCOVERING INDIA’S ANCIENT LEGACY OF
COMPASSION: Govt. of India celebrations of India @ 60 at
New York, 22nd – 28th September,
OF COMPASSION, on the monuments of many faiths in India :
London, Nehru Centre, 2009.
Berlin, Embassy of India, 2009
Madrid, Embassy of India, 2009
Valladolid, Spain, Casa de la India, 2009
MONASTERIES OF RINCHEN ZANGPO, in India and Tibet: Held by
India International Centre, as part of IIC Festival of the
Arts, October 2007.
Miranda House College, Delhi University, November, 2008.
Qutub Minar, New Delhi, February and March, 2009 held by the
Survey of India, Delhi Circle.
Ulan Ude: as part of the Festival of India, July, 2009.
Moscow: as part of the Festival of India, August, 2009.
New Delhi: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, 15th
Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, September 24 –
Delhi, Azad Bhawan, ICCR, 24th September to 20th October, 2009
THE GREATEST TEMPLE CITY.
New Delhi, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, January-February 2010.
ARCHITECTURE OF INDIA
Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Azad Bhavan, April
Jakarta, on behalf of Indian Council for Cultural
Relations, May, 2010
* Kuala Lampur, Museum of Islamic Art, opened by Minister for
Information, Communications and Culture, Government of
Malaysia, held by the Museum, the Indian High Commission and
Reliance Investments, Malaysia. October and November, 2010
and directed acclaimed documentary films on subjects of Indian
art and culture. These include:
PAINTINGS OF INDIA" a series of 26
documentaries made for DOORDARSHAN, on the tradition of
painting in India, from pre-historic times till the present
day. This series addresses the entire subject for the
first time and includes filming of ancient painted caves and
temples and in museums across the world.
films have been screened for educational purposes by
University of London; University of Hamburg; University of
Ireland; Otani University, Kyoto; Victoria and Albert Museum,
London; Asian Art Museum, San Francisco; Rubin Museum of Art,
New York; Boston College, Boston; Wellesley College, MA;
British Library, London; Chester Beatty Library, Dublin; Nehru
Centre, London; India Habitat Centre, New Delhi; National
Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai; St. Stephen’s
College, Delhi; Gargi College, Delhi; Delhi College of Art;
Spic Macay; Government Museum, Chennai and C.P.Ramaswami Aiyar
Many sites of mural paintings have been photographed and
documented for the first time in this project, all over
India and also in other countries of Asia. Over 2,500
selected masterpieces of miniature paintings have also been
archived for the first time. The Limca
Book of Records has listed this shooting schedule
as the most extensive shooting which has ever been carried
out. The series is the first documentary series to be
telecast on Sunday morning primetime on the National Channel
of Doordarshan. The DOORDARSHAN: PRASAR BHARATI
(Broadcasting Corporation of India) calendar for 2003 was on
the theme of the series THE PAINTINGS OF INDIA.
series of documentaries made for DOORDARSHAN, on the World Heritage Monuments
of India made for television, as part of the celebration of 50 years of
List of subjects photographed
photography of the previously-unphotographed 10th century
Chola and 17th century Nayaka paintings in the narrow and dark
confines of the inner ambulatory of the BRHADISVARA temple at
Thanjavur, on behalf of the Indira Gandhi National Center for
the Arts. Also made archaeological discoveries of
numerous sculptural figures while carrying out this assignment.
Pioneering photography of remote but important sites of mural
painting in India, Sri
Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar.
Carried out first-ever photography of the mural paintings in
the early monasteries of Bhutan.
Comprehensive photo-documentation of KOODIYATTAM,
the ancient Sanskrit classical dance-drama and oldest
performing art of India, on behalf of PARISAR, Government of
Detailed photo-documentation of the ancient CHAM
TEMPLES and sculptures all over VIETNAM, as well as
the small Cham community who still survive in that country,
for the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Government of
India. These monuments and culture are what is left of the
Champa kingdom that ruled most of Central and South Vietnam
from the 2nd to the 16th centuries.
Carried out documentation of the sites associated with the
LIFE OF THE BUDDHA and the development of Buddhism, in India and
other Asian countries. An exhibition of the photographs
entitled THE PATH OF COMPASSION has been held in many
cities around the world. .
Detailed documentation and study of the paintings
of the BUDDHIST
MONASTERIES OF LADAKH , SPITI AND KINNAUR in the Indian Himalayas.
These are a very important link between the previous Buddhist
art of India and the later art to follow in other Asian
countries. This work has been presented in illustrated
lectures held by the India International Centre, New Delhi;
The India Habitat Centre, New Delhi; The Japan Foundation, New
Delhi; The National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai;
The National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai; the Department of
Fine Arts of the University of Hong Kong; and the Mahidol
Images of selected masterpieces of Ajanta paintings have been
digitally restored. This has been carried out with extreme
care and intimate knowledge of the paintings. Graffiti has
been removed and faded color restored. The work has been done
in a minimal manner with due ethics and care.
Research and documentation of the ancient Buddhist monasteries
in the State of Arunachal Pradesh and drawn up a report for
their proposed conservation as an Advisor to the State
Special workshops in ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHY on behalf of the
Government of India, for the students of premier educational
institutions, including the National Institute of Design, the
M.S. University Baroda, the School of Architecture and others.
on BUDDHIST SITES & ART HERITAGE produced for the Ministry
of Tourism & Culture, Government of India.
Prepared reports for the Departments of the Government of
India on subjects related to HERITAGE CONSERVATION and presented
papers at International and National Conferences on Conservation
and on DIGITAL IMAGING TECHNOLOGY.
Made major breakthroughs in the photography
important and ancient paintings which are in the dark confines
of caves and temples in India and were previously not
photographed with accuracy. This has been done with the
development of a technique of photographing accurately in
conditions of extremely low light. In fact, it has been
noted by eminent experts world-wide that this technique has
captured the colours and details much more vividly that
conventional photography with the use of strong lights.
the words of the Director General of the Archaeological Survey
of India “I have a feeling of pride on your successful
achievement. You have really conquered the darkness.”
Sadashiv V. Gorakshkar, Director, Prince of Wales Museum of
Western India,. Bombay says about these Ajanta photographs
that they “reveal a lot more than met the eye. There
is no doubt that his work will compel a re-evaluation of the
art and style of Ajanta paintings.”
Milo C. Beach, Director, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery & Freer
Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., USA
states “You have provided the most thorough and the best
documentation of Ajanta that I have ever seen, and I hope it
will inspire new study of the wall-paintings at the site.”
OF BIRTH : 10th September, 1956.
QUALIFICATIONS : Indian School Certificate Examination,
1972. Mount St. Mary's School. Delhi Cantt.
(Honours in English), 1976, St. Stephen's College, Delhi
Integrated Course in Cinema, The Film & Television Institute
of India, Pune, 1981.
Fellow of the Department of Culture, Government of India
Advisory Board, National Academy of Art (Lalit Kala
of National Committee on Eco-Tourism and Mountains, Government
to Ministry of Tourism, Government of India for the
successful UNESCO World Heritage Listing of the Mahabodhi
Temple at Bodh Gaya.
Heritage Committee, Government of Andhra Pradesh.
Behl and the Ecstasy of Aesthetics - Hindustan Times,
August 10, 2001
a mission for Indian art - Mumbai Midday, September
the Art Divide - India Today, March 18, 2002
Around to Preserve Cultural Heritage - The Times
of India, October 2, 2001
colours, different strokes - The Hindu, Delhi, May
sheds light on dark inner sanctum - Hongkong Standard,
February 19, 1995
in night photography - Indian Express, New Delhi,
September 29, 1991
pat for photo feat
- The Hindustan Times, March 6 1992
in the times of war
search for forgotten monasteries
spelling: Binoy K Behl / Benoy K Bahl / Benoy Behl /