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Amazing Facts About Ajanta Caves
Situated in the state of Maharashtra, in Aurangabad City, Ajanta caves are a group of caverns situated in close proximity to one another.
They are a rich treasure of Indian Art and Architecture and a very famous tourist place in India.
Caves, the world over are known for their mystical and spiritual history.
Ajanta Caves are no exception.
We take a look at the interesting facts.
The caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
They were discovered by a British Officer during one of his hunting expeditions in the year 1819.
Each cave of the Ajanta has some interesting aspect associated with it.
The caves were developed in between 5th and 11th centuries by various guilds from TN, Vidharbha and Karnataka.
There are a total of 30 caves in the Ajanta.
Cave 1 is divided into 14 cells and describes the life of the Monarch.
It also narrates the tales from the Jataka (ancient Indian stories)
The second cave is divided in two parts.
It has sculpting from the 4th and the 5th centuries.
The 4th cave has the largest monastery and a dedicated hall, verandah and many paintings.
The 9th cave is well-known for its octagonal pillars and also has paintings from the 5th and 6th century.
Cave no 26 is a must-visit to see the statue of the reclining Buddha.
Cave number 3 is an incomplete monastery, the work of which was stopped after the death of Emperor Harisena.
Cave no 5 has no sculpture or other architectural elements.
Quick Information on the Other caves.
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Cave no 13, 14, 15 and 16 are small monasteries with room for the monks.
The caves are carved by using only a hammer and a chisel.
The carvings in the caves are a perfect mixture of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist cultures.
The caves have the inscription of the Buddhist Monks, under the rule of the Vakataka Kings.
The paintings and carvings in Ajanta has been done by a technique called Fresco Painting.
It is a kind of Mural Painting, used by Lime Plaster. Dry powder is merged with the water to create the base.
The mention of the Ajanta caves is found in the travel accounts of Chinese traveler Fa Hein and Hieun Tsang.
Carvings in Ajanta
The Ajanta caves are located against the beautiful backdrop of the Western Ghats.
The best time to visit the Ajanta caves is after the monsoon season is over i.e. from September to January.
The caves get decked up in the lush greenery around and is surely a treat to watch.
The rein of the Vataka empire ended in the 480 AD.
The caves were unfortunately abandoned after the death of King Harisena.
Today, the site is a protected monument under the Archeological Survey of India.