Wednesday, June 7, 2023
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Ajanta Caves

Ajanta caves, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, is situated 106km from Aurangabad in an inner folder of the Sahyadri hills. These historical manmade caves containing paintings on the walls and ceilings primarily depict the life of the Buddha before his enlightenment and illustrating tales from Jatakas (Buddhist fables). The 30 rock-cut caves at Ajanta are of two basic designs called 'Chaitya grihas' and 'Viharas'. Chaitya grihas are large, rectangular chambers separated by rows of pillars into a central nave, surrounded by aisles on three sides. Viharas or monasteries are rectangular shaped halls with series of small cells attached on two sides. Out of the 30 caves, 5 of the caves are Chaityas (Buddhist cathedrals) while the other 25 are Viharas (monasteries). In Chaitya caves the Buddha is represented only in symbols and in Viharas Buddha is represented in human form.

Cave 1 contains the most popular painting of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara and Bodhisattva Padmapani (one with the lotus in his hand). Cave 2 is remarkable for its ceiling decorations and murals, narrating the birth of Buddha. Cave 4 is the largest monastery at Ajanta and is supported by 28 pillars. Among the Chaitya caves the most important caves are 9 and 10 and among vihara caves they are 8, 12, 13 and 15. A number of unfinished caves were abandoned mysteriously.

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›› Ellora Ajanta Aurangabad Festival
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›› Grishneshwar Temple
 Picture Gallery
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