The Ajanta Caves is located in Maharashtra, Aurangabad district. India is not only rich with its culture but also has several shades of culture, so does its History has! India has about 30-rock cut caves which are Buddhist monuments. The Buddhist Monuments dated from 2nd century to about 480 BCE. Ajanta Caves are one of the rock-cut Buddhist monument described by the Archaeological Survey of India. The Ajanta Caves are magnificent surviving example of Indian art.
Today, the Ajanta Caves are noted as the finest piece of art of Buddhist religious art, it holds a figure of Buddha and illustration of Jataka tales. This cave was planned to build in two phases in the 2nd century BCE, while the second group built around 450-650BCE. At current period, the site is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India, which was then declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1983.
About Ajanta Caves
The Ajanta Caves is considered as a pride of Indian art that determined and influenced the role of the Buddhist community. The caves are situated northeast 100-km and 104km from Aurangabad. The caves are cut from the volcanic Lava in a forest of the Sahyadri Hills. The art carved on the walls of caves depicts the life of Buddha, while the aesthetic sculptures are considered as classical Indian art.
The 29-caves were excavated in 200BC, but were unrestricted in 650AD in favour of Ellora. Of the 30-rock cut caves, five are caves and 24-monasteries which were estimated to be occupied by 200-monks and artisans. This Ajanta caves were forgotten in the history of pages, until it was rediscovered by a Tiger-Hunting British party in the year 1819.
The caves are excavated in the shape of Horseshoe that bend on rock sort of surface with a height of 76-meters. The location of Ajanta Caves makes you feel calm and serene, as needful environment for Buddhist monks. The place was treated as secluded place during monsoon seasons. Each of the 30-caves are connected with stream of steps which are now destroyed, while few traces can be noticed. Of 30-caves, nine, tenth, nineteenth, 29th and 26th are chaityagrihas and the rest are viharas. The caves are categorized into two groups, while one belonged to the Hinayana Phase of Buddhism.
Artist touch in Ajanta:
Ajanta Caves has world’s most famous painting. The cave number 9 and 10, holds magnificent painting that depicts their heritage of art. The images of ornaments, bas-relief sculptures of Bharhut and Sanchi reflect true art. The II-Phase of painting were started from 5th to 6th century, which then got continued to next two centuries. The Cave number 1, 2, 7 and 6 have paintings of Vakataka period. The main theme of the painting which is followed by artist in this Caves are Jataka tales, Buddha’s life, social life and a few related incidents. The decoration on ceilings are adorned with floral and geometrical carvings.
How to Reach:
By Air: Aurangabad is the nearest Airport to reach Ajanta Caves. You can switch to Jet Airways and Indian Airlines and reach Aurangabad.
By Rail: if you are choosing Railway journey Jalgaon will be convenient, it is centre point which connects all major nearby stations. While Bhusaval is known as largest second depot of Railway around the Asia.
Note with the timing of Ajanta Caves before visiting, 9:00 -5:30 IST. The Caves remains closed on Mondays.