Taken in October of 2014 in Maharashtra, Aurangabad District, near Fardapur
While these Buddhist caves look quite prominent now, in 1819, they’d been grown over by vegetation and were long forgotten until rediscovered by Captain John Smith, who was engaged in a tiger hunt at the time.
In the caves of Ajanta, many wall paintings have been preserved. As harsh light can damage these artworks, some of which have survived for centuries, flashes and outside lighting are prohibited. Therefore, it’s a challenge get decent photos, but here are a few attempts.
There are two types of caves at Ajanta; chaitya-grihas (a.k.a. sanctuary, prayer hall, or meditation hall) and sanghārāmas (a.k.a. vihāras or monasteries.) This is an example of the former, of which there are only a few. In fact, it (cave 26) is the most ornate of the Ajanta sanctuaries. Sanctuaries are distinguished by domed roofs and the presence of a stupa, which is a monument that is typically dome-shaped but need not be so flashy as this one–sometimes they are simply mounds. The sanctuaries also have fanlights (like a transom) that bring in more light than the monasteries.
Cave 26 also houses the carving of the reclining Buddha that I’m presently using for my header image.