Ajanta Caves

Ajanta Caves 2

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Ajanta Caves

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ajanta caverns is a well-known collection of 32 Buddhist caverns that is roughly 107 km away from Aurangabad. The Ajanta rock-hewn caves are either viharas (monasteries) or residential cells, or chaityas (shrine), chapels, or prayer halls.

The chaityas, or caves 9 and 10, are home to the oldest known examples of Indian painting remnants. The remaining caves are viharas, and caves 19, 26, and 29 are Mahayana chaityas. The Kushana-era Gandhara and Mathura schools of art, the Gupta-era Sarnath school of art, and the late Satavahana and Ikshvaku-era Amaravati school of art are all on show in Ajanta. 

The life of Lord Buddha is shown in the Ajanta paintings, along with his past incarnations and the stories found in the Jataka. The early Buddhist caves (c. 2nd century BCE to 1st century CE) and the Mahayana caves (c. 5th century CE) are the two chronological stages into which the caves are separated. 

Due to its location on the historic Dakshinapatha commerce route, traders provided the majority of funding for Ajanta’s early development. The Vakatakas were patrons of the second phase. These donors’ stories are painted and etched. Very fasc inating are the narrative paintings depicting Lord Buddha, Avadana stories of Bodhisattvas, Jataka stories, and panels with Mahayana themes drawn from the Vipulya Sutras. The monasteries continued to function until the 8th century CE, but they vanished and were forgotten until 1819. 

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The cradle of Indian art is Ajanta.

Ajanta-Caves

Located along the historic Dakshinapatha trade route, traders provided the majority of the funding for Ajanta’s early years. The Vakatakas were patrons of the second phase. The caverns have paintings and inscriptions telling the stories of these donors. This image is of the Ajanta Complex’s Cave 17.

The Kushana-era Gandhara and Mathura schools of art, the Gupta-era Sarnath school of art, and the late Satavahana and Ikshavaku-era Amaravati school of art are all on show in Ajanta. This image is of the Ajanta Complex’s Cave 2.

The Ajanta rock-hewn caves can be classified as residential cells, chapels or prayer halls, viharas (monasteries), or chaityas (shrines). The Complex’s Cave 8 is visible in this shot.

Cave 9, a chaityagriha connected to the Hinayana period of Buddhism, dates to the second century BC. It features a center hall, two side windows, an ornate entrance door, and a stunning facade etched with sculptures of Lord Buddha.

The architecture of this cave is characterized by octagonal pillars that curve inward.

The Ajanta monasteries operated until the eighth century CE, but they vanished and were forgotten until 1819.

Similar to Cave 9, this cave, Cave 10, is a chaitya. The earliest known examples of Indian painting remains can be found in these two caves of the Ajanta Complex.

The Mahayana period’s chaityas are Caves 19, 26, and 29. Every other cave is a vihara, or monastery.

The Jataka stories and the life of Lord Buddha, including his many incarnations, are shown in Ajanta art.

This is a chaitya, cave number 26, which has a sculpture of Lord Buddha in his eightieth year. Celestial creatures are shown celebrating the approaching arrival of Lord Buddha in the sky, while his pupils are pictured lamenting his departure in the sky.

There are fascinating stories to be told in the narrative murals in Cave 15 concerning Lord Buddha, Avadana stories of Bodhisattva, Jataka stories, and panels based on Mahayana themes from the Vipulya Sutras.

One of the most amazing buildings in the Ajanta Complex is Cave 17. It is decorated with exquisite paintings that show a princess getting cosmetics help from her attendants, Lord Buddha returning home to beg his wife, and his son staring in shock at his wife’s realization. A royal procession and apsaras worshiping Lord Buddha are two other attractions.

The breathtaking perspective of the rock-hewn Caves of the Ajanta Complex is provided by this panorama taken from the midway point of view.

Ajanta Caves are carved out of the volcanic lava of the Deccan Trap and are surrounded by untamed vegetation. They are arranged in a crescent shape in a Sahyadri ravine. 

Situated along the historic Dakshinapatha trade route, the caves are regarded as some of the best specimens of Buddhist sacred art.

A serene and scenic spot amidst hard rocks and lush landscape, the Waghora Waterfall emerges from the Waghur river. The river takes seven leaps and then plunges towards Cave 28, adding to the charm of the surroundings.

One of the Ajanta Caves’ unique two-story viharas, Cave 6 contains a picture of the sitting Lord Buddha. The shrine is accessible through a finely carved door.

Enormous murals and sculptures adorn the entryway of its upper story, which is encircled by cells.

One of the shrines in Cave 7 is special because it has a picture of Lord Buddha seated with a halo carved over his head.

Cave 19, a magnificent chaitya with a finely crafted front, is renowned for its ornate exterior and horseshoe-shaped windows. Along with other stunning sculptures that embellish the entrance, the main arch is flanked on either side by powerful and bulky yaksha guardians.

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