Monday, May 4, 2009

Ajanata and Ellora Caves of India

Ajanta Caves (Photo, left)

The Ajanta caves located in the hills in Aurangabad, India and dating back to 200 AD to 650 AD are cave shrines cut out of rock by hand, outstanding examples of ancient Indian architectural heritage. There are 29 caves at here, which were accidentally discovered by a British Army officer John Smith in 1819. Five caves were temples and the remaining 24 caves served as retreats for about 200 Buddhist monks and artisans, who carved out impressive figures on the walls of the caves depicting ancient stories. Several human and animal figures are carved out of the rock. As the caves were forgotten for over 1200 years and remained isolated, not much damage to the architecture has been caused by man. This site is now a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO.

Ellora Caves (Photo, right)

The Ellora caves or structures are located about 30 km from the Indian city of Aurangabad and they represent the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture. Out of nearly 100 caves dug side by side in the wall of a cliff, 34 cave monasteries and temples are the favored tourist attractions. The Ellora caves exhibit excellent specimens of cave-temple architecture carved during 350 AD to 700 AD. A clear assimilation of Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism is quite apparent. The 12 caves to the south are dedicated to Buddhism, 17 in the center to Hinduism, and the remaining 5 to the north to Jainism. The interiors are exquisitely adorned. The Buddhist caves display the nobility, grace, and serenity of Buddha. Dwarfs sporting colorful pageants dancing and singing are carved in the Vishwavakarma cave here. The Ellora caves were in proximity to the trade route and so were never lost to oblivion. A planned tour of the caves must include caves #10 16, 21, 32, and 34 to get a glimpse of the three religions.

Both the Ajanta and Ellora caves are maintained by the Archeological Survey of India.

Source: Google
Images: Google

2 comments on "Ajanata and Ellora Caves of India"

e-swastya on May 5, 2009 at 10:50 PM said...

Wonderful blog on differant places around the world. Thanks for the nice information. Keep in touch

G.Kannan on May 6, 2009 at 3:56 PM said...

Thanks for the comments.



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