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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Inside the Ajanta Temples

The centuries old Ajanta Caves on the outskirts of Aurangabad are some of the most well maintained ancient archaeological world heritage sites in India. These 30 rock-cut caves are quite magnificent from the inside although the sculptures have chipped away and colours faded. The fact that they have been preserved since the fifth century B.C. is a miracle. One of the reasons could be that they are inside a horseshoe shaped gorge. The caves mainly represent Buddhism and are a great example of ancient Buddhist architecture. These images present a glimpse as to what the interiors are like and are just a sample. In actuality there are more than just 30 temples, because the temples often consist of several shrines and can be double storeyed.

In this picture you can see the large stone hall inside the temple. The pillars and ceiling is intricately decorated with sculptures. The Buddha can be seen inside the main shrine.

ajanta temple hall

Here is another temple hall which appears plain by contrast. However most of the artwork has simply been eroded away by time. On the pillars you can see the remnants of the coloured paintings. One can only imagine how spectacular the temple must have looked when it was just made.
ajanta temple hall with painted pillars

The inside of one of the main caves at Ajanta. The ceilings, walls and pillars are all elaborately sculptured and painted.
decorated temple cave at Ajanta in Aurangabad

A look at the inner sanctum where the figure of Buddha is kept.
Buddhist shrine at Ajanta

A passageway or corridor with Buddha sculptures at the side of the main hall.
temple corridor at Ajanta in Aurangabad

You might also like View from Ajanta - scenery of rocks, caves and hills which is a panoramic view of the hills surrounding Ajanta caves. Or you can check out Ajanta Caves exterior images which reveal the horseshoe shaped gorge and the temples carved into it.
Or see all the carvings, sculptures and paintings at Ajanta or Ellora, where you will find photographs of both the Ajanta and Ellora caves and the art or try any of the labels below this post which will take you to art from all over the world.


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