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Interesting Places PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 14 October 2010
goldline600pxl.jpg
The Ajanta Caves in India -
are a series of 29 Buddhist cave temples in Ajanta, India, some of which date from the
2nd centruy B.C., they preserve some of the best masterpieces of Buddhist art in India.

ajantacaves-panorama.jpg




The Ajanta Caves were carved in the 2nd century BC out of a horseshoe-shaped cliff
along the Waghora River. They were used by Buddhist monks as prayer halls
(
chaitya grihas) and monasteries (viharas) for about nine centuries, then abruptly
abandoned. They fell into oblivion until they were rediscovered in 1819
.

Today, a terraced path connects the cave, but in ancient times each was
independently accessed from the riverfront.
A viewing platform across the river affords an excellent view of the entire Ajanta site.

The natural beauty of the area makes it clear why the monks chose the site for their
spiritual pursuits.
Preserved inside the caves are many masterpieces of Buddhist art.
Some reflect the earlier Theravada tradition of depicting the Buddha only in symbolic form
such as a throne or footprints. Others, the Mahayana caves, feature colorful murals and
statues depicting the life (and former lives) of the Buddha and various Bodhisattvas.
The caves also depict scenes from everyday life and many include inscriptions indicating
a prince or noble who gifted the cave to the monks.

The Ajanta Caves are not easily accessible to visitors but, of course, that was the point.
The drive from the nearest major town, Aurangabad, takes between 2 and 3 hours.


ajanta_wtrfalls.jpg








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