Ajanta Caves

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The Ajanta Caves (Ajiṇṭhā leni; Marathi: अजिंठा लेणी) in Maharashtra, India are 31 rock-cut cave monuments which date from the 2nd century BC. The caves include paintings and sculptures considered to be masterpieces of both Buddhist religious art (which depict the Jataka tales)[1] as well as frescos which are reminiscent of the Sigiriya paintings in Sri Lanka.[2] The caves were built in two phases starting around 200 BC, with the second group of caves built around 600 AD.[3]

Since 1983, the Ajanta Caves have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The caves are located in the Indian state of Maharashtra, just outside the village of Ajinṭhā in Aurangabad district (20°31′56″N 75°44′44″E / 20.53222°N 75.74556°E / 20.53222; 75.74556).

Contents

First period

The first sanctuaries (known as chaytia-grihas) were built during the Satavahana dynasty in the canyons of the Waghora River. Murals preserved from this time belong to India

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