Monday, April 3, 2017

Ajanta Caves - Part 1 - Exteriors

Thursday, 23 March 2017

We took an early morning (5:15 AM, “jeldi-jeldi”) flight to Aurangabad to visit the Ajanta and Ellora Caves. The flight to Aurangabad is only about 30 minutes, but it replaces an 8-hour drive!

The drive to Ajanta from Aurangabad takes about 2 hours and involves going over two “ghats” (mountains). Indian trucks go uphill very slowly!
Ajanta Caves are a set of 30 rock-cut Buddhist temples (“chaityas”) and monasteries (“viharars”) carved into a basalt cliff in a horseshoe bend in the Waghora River. The caves were abandoned before the last ones were finished, and were hidden by thick jungle overgrowth until they were happened upon by a British cavalryman in 1819. This photo is of the western end of the caves, which were made in the 5th and 6th century CE.
This view looks back at the caves in the eastern part of the site, most of which date to the 1st and 2nd century BCE. When they were created, each cave was a separate entity. The connection walkways are a modern addition.
Cave 19, a chaitya (temple) cave with a large arch over the entrance.
An elephant outside Cave 16 shows quartz veins running through the basalt.

No comments:

Post a Comment