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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Paintings and Murals from Cave 1 of Ajanta

These are photographs of murals and paintings from Cave No. 1 of the Rock Caves of Ajanta, near Aurangabad. Many modern designs, drawings and patterns are based on this ancient work, and the style is called Ajanta Art. Ajanta Art comprises of different styles from different periods of time, from the 2nd century BC to the 5th century AD. These paintings influenced Art in India for many centuries.

There are 31 caves cut out of rock, dating back to the second century BC. Cave 1 depicts scenes from the life of Buddha. There are sculptures and frescoes as well as paintings, but in this post I am showing mostly pictures of the ornate ceiling and wall murals.

These pictures are from Cave 1. Paintings from Cave 2 and also sculptures are in other posts, links to which are below this post.

This spot is a World Heritage site.

Ajanta wall and roof painting

These paintings are Buddhist in origin and narrate tales from the life of the Buddha and his teachings. They are found on the walls and on the ceiling of the caves. Naturally,  colors have faded and tourists are not allowed to use the flash. The lighting is also dim, to preserve the colours. Getting sharp photos were almost impossible with the camera I had, a Canon digital.

Ajanta wall painting

The bluish green is not a colour cast, but the actual light in the caves, and it has something to do with preserving the paintings. One can only imagine how breathtaking these caves must have been before they vanished from all human contact for hundreds of years.
Ajanta ceiling painting

Ajanta ceiling painting

Ajanta ceiling painting

Ajanta ceiling painting

The light in these caves is very dim, and the ancient ones had no electricity. How did they draw such intricate paintings on the walls and ceilings of the rock caves? Well, they found an ingenious way out. There are long narrow water canals on the floor of the caves, and these enhanced the limited light.
Close-up Ajanta wall painting

Ajanta ceiling painting

Close-up Buddha painting Ajanta wall

Ajanta porch painting and frescoes

Ajanta wall painting

Ajanta ceiling painting

These caves were tucked away deep in the jungle and that is why Mughal invaders did not find them. They remained, and are a feast for our eyes today. More information on this cave is given here.

For more images of Buddha try this post: Golden Buddha Statue  and for pencil drawings of Buddha: Sketches and drawings of Buddha

Other related images: Ajanta Temple Paintings and Murals from Cave 2 or check out the sculpted art of Ajanta here: Buddha statues, frescoes and sculptures at Ajanta Caves or simply click on the label Ajanta.

For images from Ellora try these posts: Kailashnath Temple at Ellora or Ellora Temples sculpted exteriors or simply click on the label Ellora.

1 comment:

  1. I am grateful for finding these images, as its been some time now that I was searching for some detailed images of Ajanta Cave1, especially the roof. I have downloaded some of these and intend to keep it for my personal reference. But I will be happy to post the link if I post any of them to my Facebook or Twitter account. Thanks and have a good day.


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