Painting in Ajanta Caves

Ajanta Caves, originally uploaded by arupdutta.
This photo was taken at Ajanta Caves, which is recognised by UNESCO and included it in its World Heritage List in the year 1983. The famous Ajanta caves are situated about 100 kms away from Aurangabad district in the state of Maharashtra in India. The caves are cut from the volcanic rocks of the Deccan plateau in the forest ravines of the Sahyadri Hills and are set in beautiful sylvan surroundings. They were discovered accidentally by a British Captain, John Smith in 1819, while on a hunting expedition. These caves are dedicated to Lord buddha. The followers and students of buddhism treated these caves as mosoon retreats where they could come and study about the religion. These caves were carved out from the 2nd Century BC to the 6th Century AD. The caves can be basically divided into 2 categories - Chaitya Grihas and Viharas. Chaitya Griha as they were called is basically a prayer hall. Viharas are basically a monastry where the monks used to reside.

This photograph is one of the numerous paintings on the walls of the caves. One tends to wonder how in those era (2nd BC - 6th AD) people could paint with such rich colors inside dark caves with such perfection. Moreover the paintings have stood the test of time and are still there. Hats off to those guys......


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