Your Subtitle text



    Jawahar Lal Nehru once said "Ajanta takes us back into some distant dream like but a very real past".

        Ajanta rock art is a combination of three arts - architecture, sculpture and painting. Buddhist monks excavated rocks to form these caves for praying, for meditation and for residing. The serene natural surroundings of the area made Ajanta an ideal place for Buddhist monks to seek the "path" and for artisans to carve monuments dedicated to the Lord Buddha. 

        The art of Ajanta caves is well known for its creativeness and artistic excellence. It is perhaps, the greatest art centre of the Gupta period Buddhist creative visual enterprises of India. Nowhere else at one place, is shown such a grand display of the three disciplines- architecture, sculpture and painting in a highly mature and technically perfect state. In the realm of painting it is almost unique and unparalleled in the contemporary world of art.

         The importance of Ajanta in the history of Indian art is great. Any attempt to state it in precise terms would appear exaggerated and yet be inadequate. No other source including literature would be equal to it. A single picture of Ajanta can communicate the meaning better than a thousand words. It is a simple visual representation of Buddhist ideals and religious sentiments that are present in today’s world record of paintings in Asia.

        At a quiet secluded spot, at the edge of the Deccan plateau and on the border of Khandesh, in an atmosphere that is at once serene and yet vibrant with the vitality of nature. There are 29 rock cut Buddhist temples and monasteries, forming a majestic semicircular amphitheatre. Ajanta caves were discovered by British soldiers in 1819. The caves are in the form of a string of pearls around the waist of a mountain and are located near the source of river Vaghora near Aurangabad, a district town about 400 kms east of Mumbai. It turned out after some research that these were Buddhist monasteries. Soon after the discovery, the caves attracted attention of eminent archaeologists and art historians from all over the world. 

        Paintings in Caves 1,2,16, and 17 are not only beautiful, but are also a vivid record of life and the times in the fifth century.