Skip to comments.In The Holy Caves of India [ Ajanta Caves ]
Posted on 11/20/2007 8:40:30 PM PST by SunkenCiv
The monument comprises a series of 29 caves that have been carved deep into this sheer face of a horseshoe-shaped cliff a few miles from the old walled town of Ajanta, hidden away in the deep gorge gouged in the high Deccan plains by the Waghora River about 300 miles inland from Mumbai. It is a Unesco World Heritage Site, designated as such back in 1983 as one of India's first, along with the Taj Mahal. And though Shah Jahan's famous memorial in Agra is far better known, the Ajanta Caves are hugely popular, particularly with Indians, who see them as eloquent testimony to their country's immense and unbroken history... About 2,200 years ago, when a dynasty of aristocrats known as the Satavahanas was in power in this corner of India... a group of wealthy merchants decided to sponsor the carving of a small number of cave monasteries and cave temples for the use of priests and mendicants... the Satavahanas eventually went into a decline... But by the fifth century A.D., all had changed once again. The Vakataka dynasty was in power, and the great emperor Harisena... supported the creation of yet more monasteries and places of worship, adding in his time a further 23 caves to the 6 already made... by A.D. 480 the period of carving and painting and creation was over... The Ajanta Caves languished, silent and forgotten and essentially unvisited, for almost a millennium and a half, until Captain Smith and his tiger hunters of the Madras Army fetched up there in the spring of 1819.
(Excerpt) Read more at query.nytimes.com ...
The photo (one of many) comes from the Shunya.net site. Had to recreate the thumbnail and link to this one.
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Posted on 07/12/2005 1:37:19 AM EDT by SunkenCiv
Thanks, I was beginning to think this would turn into another of my famous Lost Topics. ;’)
I have been there. In fact I have visited some caves not frequented by tourists.
Got any pics to post?
The best pic I had was that of a “vihara” where the stone walls and ceilings were painted such that it gives you the feel of the curvy interior of a shamiana tent.
I still remember the painting of a dark girl wearing a perl neckless. When soft light was focused at a particular angle inside the dark room, the perl neckless gave out a 3d holographic effect. I appeared to come out of the wall.
I also remember being haunted inside one of the caves where there were many facial painting with large poignant eyes and all of them appear to be looking at you no matter where you go.
Nice. I have to visit that someday.