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 centres 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 Chaityagrjhas
Themes of Sculpture and Painting
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arch architectural astylar astylar hall Aurangabad auspicious motifs Avalokiteshvara back wall Bodhisattvas Brahmin Buddha Buddhism carved Cave 19 Cave 26 caves at Ajanta ceiling celestial cells century chaitya chaitya hall chaitya windows Chaityagriha couple courtyard creepers Deccan decorated deer depicted devotees Dipankara door doorway elephant Ellora entrance facade Fergusson and Burgess figures frieze front aisle gandharvas Gautama gods Hariti incidents Indra inscription Jalgaon Jataka king later phase left wall Litany of Avalokiteshvara lotus Maharashtra Mahayana Mara monastery monks Monuments Mumbai naga Nanda narrative Oxford India Paperbacks Padmapani palace patron phase at Ajanta Photo pilaster pillars Plan of Cave porch prayer hall preaching prince Purna queen rock rock-cut royal sanctum Sarvastivada Satavahana Saudasa Schlingloff and Zin seen sermon Shakya Shibi shows Shravasti Shravasti Miracle shrine Shyama Siddhartha Siddhartha Gautama sidewalls Simhala story stupa Sutasoma Vajrapani Vakataka verandah vestibule Vidhura Vidyadharas vihara Vishvantara World Heritage worship yakshas