Ajanta Caves - Description of Caves



There are around 29 caves on the site and the description of each one is as per the following −

Cave 1 and Cave 2

Cave 1 is a religious community having a corridor with 14 cells. The corridor also have sanctuary and a verandah whose dimension is 10.5 x 2.82 x 4.1m. There is a courtyard with two cells, one on each side. There is a statue of Buddha that is seated in the mudra of dharma chakra parivartana

Ajanta-Cave-1

Cave 2 has the dimensions of 35.7 x 21.6. The cave includes cells, sanctuary, and subshrines. There is a statue of Buddha who is seated in the mudra of dharma chakra parivartan. Each sub-shrine has a painting of Yaksha known as Sankhanidhi and Padmanidhi. Alongside it, the figures of Panchika and Hariti can also be found. The ceiling is painted with Jataka tales.

Ajanta-cave-2

Cave 3 to Cave 5

Cave 3 has the dimensions of 10.08 x 8.78. The cave is an incomplete monastery and only a pillared verandah can be found here. Cave 4 is a monastery in square shape and has a hall, a sanctuary, and a pillared verandah. The components of the monastery is 35.08 x 27.65m.

cave4

The edge of the door is carved with Bodhisatva and eight incredible perils. Cave five is an incomplete monastery whose dimensions is 10.32 x 16.8m. The edge of the door is carved in a sophisticated manner. Female figures can also be found in the cave.

Cave 6

Cave 6 is a monastery having double storey and has the dimension of 16.85 x 18.07m. A sanctuary and a corridor can be found on the first floor. The second floor has a corridor with cells, sub-cells and sanctuary.

Cave6

Alongside these, there is a statue of Buddha introduced in both sanctuaries. The statue shows that Buddha is showing his disciples and followers. Paintings of Sravasti and Mara’s Temptation can likewise be found here.

Cave 7 and Cave 8

Cave 7 has the dimensions of 15.55 x 31.25m. The cave has a sanctuary along with a hall with two small verandahs. The ceiling of the hall is supported by pillars having octagonal shape and has eight cells. The sanctuary has a statue of Buddha preaching to his supporters. Paintings of Buddha under the presence and assurance of Nagamuchanda is additionally there.

Cave 8 has the dimensions of 15.24 x 24.64m. It is an incomplete monastery and is considered as one of the earliest caves. A few parts of the cave were ruined due to a landslide.

Cave 9 and Cave 10

Cave 9 is a chaitya griha having the dimensions of 18.24 x 8.04m and belongs to Hinayana sect of Buddhism. The cave has a door with two side windows, and a central corridor. The passageways in the passageways are separated by 23 pillars. The lobby also has a stupa for worshipping.

Cave9

Cave 10 has the dimensions of 30.5 x 12.2m having two aisles on each side which are separated by 39 octagonal pillars. There is also a stupa where the followers used to revere. The paintings in the caves depict the stories of Sama Jataka and Chhaddanta Jataka. One of the paintings belong to second century BC while the other belongs to fourth to eighth century.

Cave 11 and Cave 12

Cave 11 is a religious community having the dimensions of 19.87 x 1735m. The cave has a lobby with long bench and six cells. The verandah in the cave is pillared and has four cells. The statue of Buddha can be found in the sanctuary. An inadequate stupa can also be found in the cave.

Cave 12 is a Hinayana monastery having the dimensions of 14.9 x 17.82m. The corridor has twelve cells arranged on its side. The first wall of the hall has collapsed. An inscription on the wall tells that a merchant named Ghanamadada gifted this cave during the period of second century BC to first century BC.

Cave 13 to Cave 15

Cave 13 is a Hinayana monastery having a collapsed façade and a square corridor. Rock-cut beds can be found in the three cells. These cells are situated on each side of the corridor. Cave 13 is one of the earliest caves that was found during unearthing.

Cave 14 can be found above cave 13 and is a monastery whose dimensions is 13.43 x 19.28m. It is an early Mahayana Vihara which has sala bhanjikas on the corners of the doorway.

Cave 15 is a monastery that belongs to Hinayana group of Buddhism and was worked in fifth century AD. The dimensions of the cave is 19.62 x 15.98m. The cave has a verandah, a hall and a shrine having many pictures of Buddha.

Cave 15A and Cave 16

Cave 15A is the smallest cave in Ajanta. It has a central corridor with three cells, one on each side. There was an inscription on the front wall. The chaitya window in the hall is built according to vedica pattern.

Cave 16 is a monastery of Mahayana sect of Buddhism. There is a painting in which it is indicated that Princess Sundari is glad when she came to realize that her husband, Nanda, is going to become a monk. Nanda was the half-brother of Buddha.

Cave 17

Cave 17 is a monastery that belongs to Mahayana sect. The caves has many paintings on the doors, walls, and ceiling. The ceiling has the paintings of musicians and maidens while paintings of Buddha, lotus petals, goddesses and different paintings were made on the door.

One painting shows King Simhala battling with ogresses who ate humans. Another painting shows the flying gods with their apsaras. There are seven statues of Buddha seating with the future Buddha. Each statue is situated under a Bodhi tree.

Cave 18 and Cave 19

Cave 18 is rectangular in shape having the dimensions of 3.88 x 11.66m. The lobby has two pillars having shaped bases and octagonal shaft. Cave 19 is a chaitya griha whose dimensions is 16.05 x 7.09m.

Cave18

The stupa in the cave has a enormous statue of Buddha. There are two pictures of Yakshas that and each lies on either side of the arch. The walls in the hall are painted with the images of Buddha sitting in various postures.

Cave 20

Cave 20 is a religious community that belongs to Hinayana sect of Buddhism. The verandah of the cave has carved columns and bracket figures. There is a lobby in the cave having no pillars. People can go to the shrine through an waiting room attached to the hall. The waiting room has two chambers one on each side.

Cave 21

Cave 21 is a religious community whose dimensions is 28.56 x 28.3m. There is a lobby with twelve cells out of which four cells have pillared yards. Another element in the hall is the twelve pillars. Along with this, the cave has sanctuary and a pillared verandah. The sanctuary has a statue of Buddha which depicts that he is lecturing to his disciples.

Cave 22

Cave 22 is situated on the left side of cave 21. The cave is a vihara having a collapsed verandah and a lobby. The lobby has two incomplete cells on left and right side. A Buddha figure can be found inside the shrine.

Cave 23

Cave 23 is a religious community having the dimensions of 28.32 x 22.52m. The monastery has a hall with cells on its sides. Other structures found in the cave are a sanctuary, waiting rooms and a verandah.

Ajanta_Cave_23_outside_view

The development of the cave could not be done yet but still the pillars inside are well decorated. The cave additionally has pictures of naga depicted as doorkeepers. Alongside this, pilasters or rectangular columns can also be found in the cave.

Cave 24 and Cave 25

Cave 24 is a monastery having the dimensions of 29.3 x 29.3m. The cave has a lobby with a pillared verandah and a sanctuary. There is a house of prayer outside the verandah which is also pillared. There is a statue of Buddha having the posture of pralamba-padasana.

Cave 25 is a monastery having the dimensions of 11.37 x 12.24m. The cave has a courtyard, a corridor, and a pillared verandah. There are two cells on the left of the verandah but no cells are there in the hall. Another feature of the cave is that there is no shrine in the cave.

Cave 26

Cave 26 is a prayer hall of Mahayana sect. in which a enormous statue of Buddha is introduced. The statue shows the death of Buddha and below it are the statues of followers who are grieving for him. Above the statue of Buddha are statues of heavenly beings who are cheering as Buddha is coming back. There is also a stupa in the cave having a statue of Buddha.

Cave 27 to Cave 29

Cave 27 has two stories out of which one is partially collapsed. The cave is a religious community having a hall with four cells. Different structures in the cave are a sanctuary and an vestibule. There is a statue of Buddha in the sanctuary. The statue depicts that Buddha is showing his disciples.

Cave 28 is a religious community and has only a pillared verandah. Nothing much is excavated in this cave and furthermore it is not fully constructed. Cave 29 is a chaitya griha having the dimensions of 22.8 x 12.84m. The cave is situated between cave 20 and cave 21.





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