The Ajanta Caves

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The Ajanta Caves

Postby mirjana » Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:00 pm

The Ajanta Caves in India are 31 rock-cut cave monuments carved in the 2nd century BC out of the horseshoe shaped cliff along Waghora River. The second group of caves was built around 600AD. The caves, numbered from 1 to 29, include paintings and sculptures considered to be masterpieces of both Buddhist religious arts.
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.
The Jātaka Tales compromises 547 poems and only last 50 are without commentary. Others are with a commentary providing the context for the verses. Many of the stories found in Jataka have been found in other languages and media such as the story of Rabbit in the Moon, Jataka Tales 316.
They were used by Buddhist monks as prayer halls and monasteries for about nine centuries. Then they were abandoned until 1819 when they were rediscovered.
This video shows many wonderful indoor and outdoor pictures and gives a lot of information about The Ajanta caves that from 1893 belong to UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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