Situated about 106 kilometers from Aurangabad in Maharashtra, Ajanta rock cut caves are creations of about 700 years, roughly from 200 BC to AD 525. This glorious Buddhist art of the Deccan was discovered in 1819, and given a World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1983. The most striking characteristic of Ajanta art is that architecture, sculpture and painting--the three expressions of fine art--all articulate at one place. Ajanta paintings give us graphic insights into the history of Buddhism in India. The caves also help us reconstruct the interrelationship between such centers in Central Asia and China, as also those in Buddhist countries like Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, which have similar specimens, but from a later period.
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ARCHITECTURE OF VIHARAS AND CHAITYAGRIHAS
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aisle Ajanta animal approached arch architectural attendants Aurangabad Avalokiteshvara back wall became become birth Bodhisattvas bottom Brahmin Buddha Buddhism carrying carved Cave 17 Cave 19 Cave 26 ceiling cells century chaitya chapel completed consists couple court decorated deer depicted devotional door doorway earlier early elephant enters entrance example extreme fašade figures followed four front gives gods hall human important incidents India Indra inscription Jataka king later phase leading Lord lotus lower Maharashtra middle Miracle monastery monks Monuments motifs naga Nagaraja namely narrative offer paintings palace patron period Photo pilaster pillars popular portion prayer hall present prince queen reaches rendered rock royal sanctum scene Schlingloff sculpture seated seen shows Shravasti shrine Siddhartha side significant standing stone story stupa supported temple theme University upper Vakataka verandah vestibule wall worship yakshas