ajanta caves

Topics: Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, Ajanta Caves Pages: 13 (4084 words) Published: August 5, 2014
Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra, India are a Buddhist monastery complex of twenty-nine rock-cut cave monuments containing paintings and sculpture considered to be masterpieces of both "Buddhist religious art"[1] and "universal pictorial art"[2] The caves are located just outside the village of Ajinṭhā in Aurangabad District in the Indian state of Maharashtra (N. lat. 20 deg. 30' by E. long. 75 deg. 40'). Since 1983, the Ajanta Caves have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Excavation of the caves began in the third-second century B.C.E., during the period when Dakshinapath was ruled by Satavahana dynasty, and activity at the complex continued until the fifth to sixth century C.E., when the region was ruled by Vakatakas. Both the Satavahanas and Vakatakas were followers of Brahmanism, but also patronized the Buddhist shrines. The walls, ceilings and columns of the caves were covered with complex compositions of the Jataka stories (the stories of the Buddha's former existences as Boddhisattva), and ornate floral and animal decorations. The exuberance and richness of the painting suggests that the artists were accustomed to painting secular as well as religious works. The paintings have a natural fluidity, depth and volume not found in later, more stylized Indian art.

Jataka tales from the Ajanta caves

Ajanta Caves - view from ticket officeAjanta Caves in Maharashtra, India are a Buddhist monastery complex of twenty-nine rock-cut cave monuments containing paintings and sculpture considered to be masterpieces of both "Buddhist religious art"[1] and "universal pictorial art"[2] The caves are located just outside the village of Ajinṭhā in Aurangabad District in the Indian state of Maharashtra (N. lat. 20 deg. 30' by E. long. 75 deg. 40'). Since 1983, the Ajanta Caves have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Excavation of the caves began in the third-second century B.C.E., during the period when Dakshinapath was ruled by Satavahana dynasty, and activity at the complex continued until the fifth to sixth century C.E., when the region was ruled by Vakatakas. Both the Satavahanas and Vakatakas were followers of Brahmanism, but also patronized the Buddhist shrines. The walls, ceilings and columns of the caves were covered with complex compositions of the Jataka stories (the stories of the Buddha's former existences as Boddhisattva), and ornate floral and animal decorations. The exuberance and richness of the painting suggests that the artists were accustomed to painting secular as well as religious works. The paintings have a natural fluidity, depth and volume not found in later, more stylized Indian art.

Jataka tales from the Ajanta caves

Ajanta Caves - view from ticket office

Horse shoe shaped Ajanta caves view from Caves Viewpoint some eight kms away Contents
[hide]
1 Description and History
2 Dating of the Caves
3 Structure of the Caves
o3.1 Cave One
o3.2 Cave Two
4 Paintings
5 See also
6 Notes
7 References
8 External links
9 Credits

Description and History
The Ajanta Caves are a Buddhist monastery complex consisting of 29 caves (as officially numbered by the Archaeological Survey of India), located in a wooded and rugged horseshoe-shaped ravine about 3.5 km from the village of Ajintha, which is situated in the Aurangābād district of Maharashtra State in India (106 kilometers away from the city of Aurangabad). Along the bottom of the ravine runs the Waghur River, a mountain stream. The caves, carved into the south side of the precipitous scarp made by the cutting of the ravine, vary from 35 to 110 feet in elevation above the bed of the stream. The monastic complex of Ajanta consists of several viharas (monastic halls of residence) and chaitya-grihas (stupa monument halls), adorned with architectural details, sculptures and paintings that, even in their partially damaged state, are considered one of the glories of world art.[3] Excavation of the caves began in the...

References: [edit]First period
According to Spink (2006), the first phase was the construction of sanctuaries (known as chaytia-grihas) built during the period 100 BCE to 100 CE, probably under the patronage of the Satavahana dynasty (230 BCE - c
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