Friday, 1 March 2013

Ajanta Ellora- Month 5/ Itinerary- School Project

Ajanta Caves

After Agra I head to Maharashtra to go visit the Ajanta Caves. My flight from Agra will be 11 hours and 43 minutes, once I arrive at the Maharashtra airport I will be greeted by the my friend, Abani, who's house I will be staying at for a month. Her and I will be visiting all the caves, my trip to Maharashtra will to be focusing mainly on the Ajanta caves as I am very fascinated by ancient art. 

About Ajanta Ellora 

The first Buddhist cave monuments at Ajanta date from the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. During the Gupta period (5th and 6th centuries A.D.), many more richly decorated caves were added to the original group. The paintings and sculptures of Ajanta, considered masterpieces of Buddhist religious art, have had a considerable artistic influence. The Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, India are about 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments which date from the 2nd century BCE to about 480 or 650 CE. The caves include paintings and sculptures described by the government Archaeological Survey of India as "the finest surviving examples of Indian art, particularly painting", which are masterpieces of Buddhist religious art, with figures of the Buddha and depictions of the Jataka tales.

Cave 10 tempera

The Ajanta Caves are a series of 29 Buddhist cave temples in Ajanta, India, some of which date from the 2nd century BC. Encompassing both Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist traditions, the Ajanta caves preserve some of the best masterpieces of Buddhist art in India. Many visitors explore the Ajanta Caves in conjunction with the nearby Ellora Caves.

The caves are numbered from east to west 1 through 29. Today, a terraced path connects the cave, but in ancient times each was independently accessed from the riverfront. A viewing platform across the river affords an excellent view of the entire Ajanta site. The natural beauty. 

Must See Caves

Cave 26:

The entire facade of Cave 26 is covered in Buddhas and related images, many of which were probably added after Buddhabhadra's involvement with the cave. This overflow of intrusive imagery indicates regular use and popularity of the cave image. had a large courtyard, connecting the right and left wings to the main cave. The facade may have originally been more elaborate as well, with a deep porch (the cliff has crumbled away). The interior is also elaborately carved, with a frieze of Buddhas and attendants running along the corbel, and the "beams" carved and painted.
Pillar Sculpture

Cave 17

Ceiling of Cave 17
 Cave 17 has some of the most magnificent paintings of Ajanta. The porch is a stream of jataka narratives and early Buddhist themes in the graceful fifth century style. It is also connected with a cistern, from which you can still drink today. Many of the paints are from minerals which oxidize; therefore Ajanta painting may have looked very different when it was completed, than as we see it today. The ceiling of the Cave 17 porch is very elaborate, and beautifully executed. Through it we may imagine some of the other porch ceilings are that lost or direly damaged

Cave 19

Cave 19 is a magnificent chaitya hall, where monks would be circumambulated a stupa, from which emerges an image of the Buddha. The elaborate facade is partially due to intrusive addition,s but was originally intended to be a magnificent display. Paint still clints to the innner faces of the great arch.
Inside, the cornice and pillar capitals are covered with Buddhas. The various postures may make the Buddhas identifiable. The entire interior was painted, including these elaborate carvings.

Inside, the cornice and pillar capitals are covered with Buddhas. The various postures may make the Buddhas identifiable. The entire interior was painted, including these elaborate carvings.

My transportation to the Ajanta Caves will be by train from Jalgon. The Yellow dot is where the Ajanta Caves are

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