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Ajanta Caves

Target Tours India Pvt Ltd.Ajanta Caves are located in Maharashtra, India, and are cave shrines cut out of rock, by hand, containing painting and sculpture considered to be the masterpieces of Buddhist religious art. These caves were discovered by John Smith, an Army Officer in the Madras Regiment of the British Army in 1989, during one of his hunting expeditions.

The monument comprises a series of 30 caves that have been carved deep into this sheer face of a horseshoe-shaped cliff a few miles from the old walled town of Ajanta, hidden away in the deep gorge gouged in the high Deccan plains by the Waghora River about 300 miles inland from Mumbai.

Ajanta is world's greatest historical monument recognised by UNESCO World Heritage. They depict the story of Buddhism, spanning a period from 200 BC to 650 AD. Out of these 30 caves in Ajanta some are chaitya-grihas (9, 10, 19, 26 and 29) and the rest are monasteries. A first group of caves was created in the second century B.C. All paintings show heavy religious influence and are based on the Buddha and Bodhisattvas incidents from the life of Buddha and the Jatakas.

The paintings have a considerable artistic influence. The paintings on the walls, illustrate the events in the life of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism and in the more popular Jatakas stories pertaining to Buddha's previous incarnation. According to the older conceptions, the Buddha wrought many deeds of kindness and mercy in a long series of transmigration as a Bodhisattva, before achieving his final birth as the sage of sakyas.

The second group of caves was created at around fifth and sixth centuries A.D. They contain the scenes of semi-mythological history, the royal court and popular life of the ancient times, as told in romances and plays. By looking at some pictures, one can recall the Greek and Roman compositions and proportions, few late resemble to Chinese manners to some extent. And majority of them are purely Indian, as they are found nowhere else.



 

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