Ajanta Caves: The World’s Greatest Historical Monument

Ajanta Caves
recognised by UNESCO is the world’s greatest historical monument and located 40kms from Jalgaon city of Maharashtra, India. There are 30 caves in Ajanta of which 9, 10, 19, 26 and 29 are chaitya-grihas and the rest are monasteries. Ajanta Caves were discovered in AD 1819 but built up in the earlier 2nd century BC-AD.

All paintings in this Caves show heavy religious influence and centre around Bodhisattvas, Buddha, incidents from the life of the Jatakas and Buddha. In the tempera technique, the paintings are executed on a ground of mud-plaster.

As secluded retreats of the Buddhist monks, the 29 caves were built who taught and performed rituals in the Viharas and Chaityas, the ancient seats of learning and nerve – centers of the Buddhist cultural movement. Using simple tools such as chisel and hammer, the monks carved out the impressive figures adorning the walls of these structures.

The paintings on its walls illustrate the events in the life of Prince the founder of Buddhism, Gautama Buddha and in the famous Jatakas stories. According to the older conceptions, the Buddha wrought several deeds of mercy and kindness in a long series of transmigration as a Bodhisattva, before achieving his final birth as the sage of sakyas.

So, this is really the world’s greatest historical monument.

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