Ajanta Caves

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Year : 2nd Century | State : Maharashtra | City : Aurangabad

The sculptures and paintings at Ajanta are masterpieces of Buddhist religious art and artistic superiority. Located in Aurangabad District of Maharashtra State, the style of Ajanta cave bears exceptional testimony to the evolution of Indian art, determining Buddhist intellect in the period of Gupta and immediate successors. Hundred km north-east of Ellora, 104 km from Aurangabad and 52 km from Jalgaon Railway Station, Ajanta Caves thrill tourists with worth wondering artistic work.

The Ajanta Caves, 30 rock-cut cave monuments have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983. Many scholars disagree about Ajanta Caves being from second period. Recently researcher Walter M. Spink declared that most of the work of caves is from 460 to 480 CE, during the reign of Harishena of the Vakataka dynasty. After fall of Harishena, these caves got hidden in the unvisited and undisturbed jungle. The Ajanta Caves were forbidden until British rediscovered them in 1819. These caves contain magnificent carvings that are considered the opening of classical Indian art, depicting existence of Buddha.

The site encompasses thirty caves that can be reached by a road, along a terrace midway up. A first group of caves was created in the 2nd century BC with doorways overcame by a horse-shoe shaped bay. Second group of caves was created in 5th and 6th centuries AD, far later than first caves group by the Gupta and post-Gupta kings. The architectural formulas in cave are infinitely richer with unequalled decoration attained. The paintings on the walls of Ajanta achieve sensitivity, becoming most striking artistic achievement of Indian classical art.

Map of Ajanta Caves