Ajanta Caves – What To Know Before You Go 2019.
A UNESCO world heritage site, Ajanta, is Know for the Buddhist rock-cut cave temples, Chaityas (“chapels”) and Viharas (“monasteries”) . Beautiful detailed carvings on the walls, pillars and entrances as well as different set of paintings are some of the things that are really eye-catching. The intricate design of the chaitya pillars and fresco-type paintings of Ajanta are of prime interests.
The beautiful paintings in the premises show the legends of Buddha and other deities. The paintings that are found in Ajanta are very much similar to Sigiriya in Sri Lanka, Bamiyan in Afghanistan, temples of Tibet, Nepal, China and Japan. You can also refer to the Ajanta Travel Guide to get more information about the city. The caves were discovered by a British officer who was on the hunt and found these caves.
These caves were carved out by the monks by using some simple tools of that era. It is considered that the caves were built during 220 B.C to 650 A.D. Ajanta caves have a specific emphasis on Buddhist culture in their carvings. These caves fascinate people by their fine architecture and facades they house. To know more about this city, you can go through the travel guide Ajanta.
Country:- India, Maharashtra, Aurangabad – Ajanta Caves.
How to Reach:- Ajanta can be reached by Air, Road, Train.
Chikalthana airport of Aurangabad is the nearest airport in the city and it is linked with many major cities of India. There are regular flights from Mumbai, Pune, Delhi And Udaipur to Aurangabad and from there you can hire a bus or a taxi or Local TamTam for Ajantha
Jalgaon Railway Station is the nearest railway st., that is situated at a distance of 60km from Ajanta. Which is connected to Other Major cities of India Like Mumbai , Pune, Delhi etc. Jalgaon st. is best option to reach Ajanta if you are comfortable with rail Journey. Bhusaval Railway St is another railway st. which is near to Ajanta and it is second largest depot of railways in entire Asia. You can find trains for some of the major cities of the country right from Bhusaval railway station.
There is an efficient and well paved in and around Ajanta. Inter-city buses are available from the central bus stop ( Aurangabad ) for Ajanta. State buses are available from Aurangabad to Mumbai (340 km ), Pune (245 km ), Ahmedmagar ( 120 km ) And Dhule ( 150 KM ).
All days of Week Except Monday ( 9.00 AM – 5.30 AM )
Entry Fees :-
Child Below Age 15 – Rs. 00/-
Indian Adult – Rs. 10/-
Per Camera – Rs. 25/-
Foreign Adult – Rs. 250/-
What to See:-
The First Buddhist caves monuments at ajnta date from the 2nd and 1 st centuries B.C. during the Gupta Period ( 5th and 6th centuries A.D.) many more awesomely decorated caves were Added to the original Group. The painting and sculptures of Ajanta, considered masterpieces of Buddhist art, have had a considerable artistic influence.
Cave 1 – The most popular of the monastery caves at Ajanta. Every inch of the cave was originally painted, though much has worn away over the centuries. The doorway to the antechamber is flanked by murals of two great bodhisattvas. On the right, holding a thunderbolt, is Avalokitesvara (or Vajrapani), the most important bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism. On the left, holding a water lily, is the bodhisattva Padmapani.
The sidewalls of Cave 1’s antechamber show two scenes from the Buddha’s life: his temptation by Mara just before his enlightenment and the miracle of Sravasti, where the Buddha multiplied himself into thousand images.
Above the left porch of Cave 1 are friezes of the Three Signs (a sick man, an old man, and a corpse) that the Buddha saw on his fateful journey outside the palace that led him to become a monk. In the sanctum is a colossal sculpture of the Buddha in the preaching pose. Murals on the walls of the main hall depict numerous Jataka Tales, stories of the previous lives of Gautama Buddha.
Cave 2 – The façade of this Mahayana monastery cave shows the kings of Naga and their entourage. Inside, a glorious mandala dominates the ceiling, held by demons and decorated with birds, flowers, fruits and abstract designs. The ceiling gives the effect of a cloth canopy, right down to the sag in the middle.
Cave 3 – cave 3 is merely a start of an excavation , according to spink it was begun right at the end of the final period of work and soon abandoned. This is an incomplete monastery and only the preliminary excavations of pillared veranda exists. The cave was one of the very last projects to start at the site.
Cave 4 – Incomplete, but the largest of the Ajanta monasteries.
Cave 5- The ornate carvings on the frame has female figures with mythical makara creatures found in ancient and medieval era Indian arts. The cave’s construction was likely initiated about 465 CE but abandoned because the rock has geological flaws. The construction was resumed in 475 CE after Asmakas restarted work at the Ajanta caves.
Cave 6 – The cave work was most likely in progress between 460 and 470 CE, and it is the first that shows attendant Bodhisattvas. The upper cave construction probably began in 465, progressed swiftly, and much deeper into the rock than the lower level. The walls and sanctum’s door frame of the both levels are intricately carved. These show themes such as makaras and other mythical creatures, apsaras, elephants in different stages of activity, females in waving or welcoming gesture. The upper level of Cave 6 is significant in that it shows a devotee in a kneeling posture at the Buddha’s feet, an indication of devotional worship practices by the 5th century.
Cave 7 – The sanctum Buddha is shown in preaching posture. There are many art panels narrating Buddhist themes, including those of the Buddha with Nagamuchalinda and Miracle of Sravasti. Cave 7 has a grand facade with two porticos. The veranda has eight pillars of two types. One has an octagonal base with amalaka and lotus capital. The other lacks a distinctly shaped base, features an octagonal shaft instead with a plain capital.
Cave 8 – Theravada monastery cave.
Cave 9 – One of the earliest prayer hall caves, notable for its arched windows that let softly diffused sunlight in the cave. This Theravada cave also features a large stupa.
Cave 10 – Theravada prayer hall, thought to be the oldest cave temple at Ajanta, dating to the 2nd century BC.
Cave 15, 13, 12 – Theravada monastery caves.
Cave 16 – A Mahayana monastery featuring a beautiful painting of the princess Sundari fainting after learning that her husband (the Buddha’s half-brother, Nanda) was going to become a monk.
Cave 17 – A Mahayana monastery covered with many well-preserved wall paintings. Maidens and celestial musicians are on the ceiling, and Buddhas, celestial guardians, goddesses, lotus petals and scroll work adorn the doorway.
Cave 18 – Cave 18 is a small rectangular space with two octagonal pillars and its joins into another cell.
Cave 19 – This is a worship hall datable to the fifth century CE. the hall shows painted Buddha, depicted in different postures.
Cave 20 – This cave is Vihara consist of a sanctum, four cells for monks.
Cave 21,22,23, & 24 – Cave 21,22,23, & 24 are all monasteries, representing the Final Phases of Ajanta’s Construction. The carvings on the pilaster include those of animals & Flowers. The pillars feature reliefs of apsaras, Nagraja and Nagrani as wellas devotees bowing with Namaste Mudra.
Cave 25 – Cave 25 is a Monastery. its hall is similar to other monasteries, but has no sanctum, includes an enclosed courtyard.
Cave 26 – A Mahayana prayer hall (chaitya). The highlight is a large carved statue of the reclining Buddha, representing his moment of death. Below him, his followers mourn his passing; above, celestial beings rejoice. The cave also contains a stupa with an image of the Buddha in a pavilion.
Caves 27,28 and 29 – Caves 27, 28 & 29 is monastery some of it are unfinished monastery.
Cave 30 – Cave 30 may actually be the oldest cave of Ajanta Caves. the cell door lintels show lotus and garland carvings. the cave has two inscriptions in an unknown script.
CAVES NO 16&17
Ajanta Caves are mentioned in historical account of Budhist traveller to india in early seventeen centuries.Earlier It was covered by dense forest due to which no one had had ever imagined that there will be such a beautiful caves.It was accidentally discovered and brought in attention in 1819 by colonial British officer Captain John Smith on tiger hunting party.
Out of these 30caves five(caves no.9,10,16,19&29) caves are chaityagrahas and rest are viharas. From these caves 6caves belongs to Earlier phase and rest belongs to this phase.First phase are named as satavahana period whereas second phase is know as vakatak period. Caves 10 object is mainly known for Stupta.
STUPA CAVES WITH ART ON PILLRRS
There is one cave in Ajanta where you can see sleeping statue of Buddha,It is known for mystery cave and Mystery is that when we measure length of Buddha statue from head to feet and when we measure it from feet to head it shows different number.
SLEEPING STATUE OF BUDDHA
IMPORTANT CAVES TO VISIT AT AJANTA
Best work finds in caves 1,2,16,17&19.
Best sculpture finds in 1,4,17,19,24&26.
WATERFALL VIEW FROM VIEW POINT
Most important attraction most tourist misses when visiting Ajanta caves are Saptakunda or Waghora waterfall which is on either side of cliff and view point of Ajanta caves from where single view panoramic clicks are possible.
If you are real adventurous photographer and want to click beautiful panoramic views then you must visit to Ajanta view point which is 13km from parking area of caves.
REPLICA OF AJANTA CAVES
Today,the Ellora caves along with Ajanta caves are a major tourist attractions in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra and a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India.
-Carry Torch to see inside paintings in caves.as there will dark inside the caves.
-You can buy book to collect information about caves if you Don’t want to hire guide.
-Ajanta caves are closed on all monday.
-Ajanta caves along with Ellora caves in one day is not possible as Ajanta itself will take 5-6hours and distance between Ajanta and Ellora is 100km.
-Explor Ellora with other sightseeings places like Daulatabad fort,Grishneshwar temple,mhaismal hill station,Bhadra maruti temple and Bibi ka maqbara which are on route and easily accessible by autos.
-There are hotels available near caves to stay.
Do Visit Ajanta Caves Once In a Life Specially For the Cave Paintings.
Also Read More about Ajanta Caves & Ellora On ” The Glorious Ajanta & Ellora”