A walk through the Ajanta Caves – photo feature
The Ajanta caves are about 30 in number and have been carved out of sheer rock. They are from two distinct periods: 2nd century B.C. to the 1st century A.D and 5th – 6th century A.D. and represent the Buddhist form of architecture. The venue chosen is a beautiful and isolated one, a horse-shoe shaped gorge about 2 hours drive from Aurangabad. The place is a sacred place, and at one time was a place of worship and meditation for Buddhists.
The photograph below, which I made by combining 3 photos into one shows the curve of the gorge. You can see the caves at the left and the right.
It’s a long walk if you want to see all the caves and can easily take up to 3-4 hours, if not longer. It depends how long you want to spend in each cave. There are those who spend a whole day examining the various paintings and sculptures.
The photograph below has an inset of the entrance of a temple. Some of the carvings are quite intricate, both outside and inside.
You can see the remnants of the beautiful paintings here. This corridor is outside the temple and despite that parts of the painting have been preserved.
It is very dark inside the temples (the Buddhists used water and reflectors to light it up) and it is difficult to take photographs although small dim lights have been placed at strategic places. The use of the flash is not allowed as this ruins the paintings.
A slightly detailed view of the paintings is given in a box at the bottom left.
Even the roof was painted.
The temple below is one of the larger ones and looks beautiful with the glowing lights.
The carvings are breathtaking and awesome, just like the paintings.
The statue of the Sleeping Buddha is famous.
The paintings and sculptures represent the events from the life of the Buddha. Many of the stories depict great tales which preach Buddhism and the path to Nirvana.
The statue below is said to be the best preserved statue of the Buddha at Ajanta.
(All photographs are copyrighted to me)
It’s best to avoid Aurangabad in summer as it’s very hot! Difficult to take for someone who is not used to heat and the sun. There is a lot of walking to do!
Related Seeing/Reading:The cave temples of Ellora
Aurangabad caves, Bibi-ka-maqbara and the Daulatabad Fort – photo feature
Aurangabad in pictures
Other travel articles with photos
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