Friday, August 28, 2009

Ajanta Cave History

Ajanta Cave\

The Ajanta Caves are 100 kms. away from Aurangabad are one of the must see places in India. The 29 caves not only contain remarkable sculptures but also very well preserved wall paintings. The caves are cut in a shallow horizontal strata of hard trap. Nearly 600 yards long the Caves are thirty to a hundred feet above the stream. Of the twenty-nine caves, five are Chaityas and the rest are Viharas. The caves belong to the Buddhist faith right from the earliest Caves of the second and first Century BC.

In the older "Chaityas", the Chaitya caves are about twice as long as they are wide or high and have almost always a rounded inner end. Their roofs are vaulted and two of them have wooden ribs, and in the others, the stone has been cut in imitation of the wooden ribs. The columns are plain eight sided pillars without capital or base. The later "Chaityas" have ornamented base and capitals as well as curved pillars. Within the semicircle end of the caves, we have a stupa. The Caves front is formed by a wall three doors or one door and two windows. The Viharas are usually square with low flat roofs and cell at the sides and ends. The resupported with a row of pillars. All these caves have front verandahs with cells at ends or a verandah with cells opening from the back of it.

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