Home ARCHAEOLOGY AND HISTORY Caves are the illustration of various Jataka stories

Caves are the illustration of various Jataka stories

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ajanta

C a v e s   are the illustration of various Jataka stories

 

  • The most of  theme of paintings in the caves is the illustration of various Jataka stories and events from the life of Buddha.
  • As a binding agent , binding material used in the paintings was glue. Thus, the paintings at Ajanta are not frescoes as they are painted
  •  There is a rough layer of  ferruginous earth mixed with rock-grit or sand, vegetable fibres, paddy husk, grass and other fibrous material of organic origin.on the base of paintings on walls and ceilings
  • The second coat was of mud and ferruginous earth mixed with fine rock-powder or sand and fine fibrous vegetable material. This surface was finally worked with a thin coat of lime wash.
  • The colors and shades used were red and yellow ocher, terra verte, lime, kaolin, gypsum, lamp black and lapis lazuli.
  • The paintings depicted in the caves also belong to two different phases. The fist phase paintings belong to 2nd century B.C. while the second phase paintings belong to 5th – 6th centuries A.D.
  • Stupas are the object of worshiping  in these caves.
  • Ajanta caves were excavated between 2nd century and 6th century. 
  • All the caves were connected to the stream with flight of stairs, which are mostly wiped out. 
  • There are in total 30 excavations found at the site, including an unfinished one. 
  • Out of the total, five caves are chaityagrihas (stupa monument halls) while the rest are viharas (monastic halls of residence).
  • With regard to date and style, the earliest excavations belong to Hinayana sect of Buddhism. This comprises of total five caves, i.e. 9 & 10, which are chaityagrihas while 8, 12, 13 & 15 A are viharas
  • Ajanta caves date back to the pre-Christian era, with Cave 10 being the earliest, dating from the second century B.C. 
  • The caves have been carved such that they seem to imitate the intricacies of wooden construction. 
  • The second phase of cave construction is different from the earlier one in terms of pattern and layout. It involves depiction of Buddha image, both in sculpture and painting. 
  • Over the lime washed surface, outlines were drawn boldly and spaces were filled with requisite colors in different shades and tones to achieve the effect of rounded and plastic volumes.
  • Ajanta caves were listed amongest the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1983. 
  • Ajanta caves were discovered by an Army Officer in the Madras Regiment of the British Army in 1819. 
  • Ajanta caves are excavated in a horse shoe shaped rock surface. 
  • The height of the caves rises up to 76 m, overlooking the Waghora stream.
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