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Aurangabad - II: Ajanta - Cave 19 to 26

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Aurangabad - II: Ajanta - Cave 19, 21, 23, 24, 26
Cave 19: This cave has the most beautiful façade of the all of Ajanta caves. This chaityagriha (16.05 X 7.09 m) was excavated in 5th century A.D of the Mahayana phase. The stupa is carved with a standing image of Buddha. The façade has a portico standing on two pillars, above this is a horse-shoe shaped chaitya arch-window. On either side of the chaitya window are the imposing sculptures of Yakshas which are notable for their ornate jewelry and interesting hair styles. There is Buddha images on either sides of the entrance and the whole façade is ornate with sculptures. This cave is one of the best specimens of Buddhist rock cut architecture. The entire cave was once painted including the pillars, walls and the vaulted ceiling. Traces of paintings can be see even today. The space between the vaulted ceiling and the pillars, is filled with beautiful sculptures.

The caves 20-25 are not of much importance and are sometimes unfinished. Cav…

Aurangabad - II: Ajanta - Paintings of Cave 16 & 17

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Aurangabad - II: Ajanta - Paintings of Cave 16, 17

Cave 15: Mahayana Buddhist cave standing without pillars, this is currently used as a shop.
Cave 16: According to an inscription found here, the excavation of this cave was caused by Varahadeva, the minister of Vakataka king Harishena (circa A.D. 475-500). The cave (19.5 X 22.25 X 4.6 m) which is a monastery consists of a central hall supported by 20 pillars, surrounded by 14 cells on three sides, vestibule and a sanctum for Buddha image.  The important painted themes depicted are the conversion of Nanda; death of princess, Miracle of Sravasti; Maya’s dream; and certain incidents from the life of Buddha. The Jataka stories depicted are Hasti, Maha-ummagga, Maha-sutasoma. Painted inscriptions can also be noted inside the caves.
Cave 17: This cave is famous for its beautiful paintings, next only to cave 1. A Brahmi inscription, on the wall of the courtyard records the excavation of this cave by a feudatory prince under Vakataka king Ha…

Aurangabad - II: Ajanta - Hinayana Caves 8 to 13

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Aurangabad - II: Ajanta - Hinayana Caves 8 to 13
Cave 8: 
Unfinished and of less importance. It is located at the lowest level. Major portion of the frontage has been swept away due to landslide. It was locked when we visited, must be housed with generators. Cave 9: The second oldest Chaitya griha (Prayer hall) belonging to Hinayana phase of Buddhism datable to 1st century B.C. The Chaitya with its well-balanced façade is divided into a nave, an apse and aisles by a colonnade of 23 pillars. At the center of the apse stands a plain globular Stupa on a high cylindrical base. The most beautiful part of this cave is its façade wall, decorated with a beautiful horse-shoe shaped chaitya-window and figures of Lord Buddha.
The paintings in this cave are done in two phases, one in 1st century B.C and the latter in 5th-6th century A.D. The pillars and ceilings are decorated with paintings of Buddha and floral decorations while the walls are decorated with figures of Lord Buddha, groups of vota…