Give me details about sun temple konark,temples of khajuraho,ajanta and ellora caves,sanchi stupa.kailashnath?

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i want information on who built it ,ocation on the map,stories and legends associated,the need and how to preserve them .
Best Answer
  • Karma answered 8 years ago
Check out the link below

http://www.atributetohinduism.com/Hindu_...

It will give you an idea about these temples.
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Other Answers (1)

  • thesmartkidaroundhere answered 8 years ago
    Location: Located on the foot of a hill-- Sanchi is just 46 kms. from Bhopal. It is more of a village than a town. Sanchi is a religious place with historical and archaeological significance.

    Builder: Emperor Asoka (273-236 B.C.) built stupas in Buddha's honour

    Stories: "Sanchi was not hallowed by any incident in Buddha's life; not is it known to have been the focus of any significant event in the history of Buddhist monachism. Hiuen Tsang, who so meticulously recorded the details connected with Buddhist monuments, is silent about it. The only possible reference to it is contained in the chronicles of Sri. Lanka, according to which Mahendra, son of Asoka and his queen Devi, daughter of a merchant of Vidisa, (modern Besnagar near Bhilsa or Vidisha) whom Asoka had married during his halt there on his way to Ujjayani as a viceroy, is said to have visited his mother at Vidisa, and the latter took him up to the beautiful monastery of Vedisagiri built by herself. Mahendra had stayed there for a month before he set out for Sri Lanka."

    Features . This stupa is completely solid, with a smaller, older brick structure enclosed within (constructed at the orders of Emperor Askok, who converted to Buddhism). Over this ancient brick formation (belonging to the second to third century BC) an outer layer was added, faced entirely with stone. Right on top is the harmika of the stupa, the stone-tiered umbrella is protected, as a sacred sign, with a square railing from which spreads the immense expanding from of the stupa body or anda (referring to the egg, the promise of life).

    At the lower level is another railing, an elevated pradakshina patha or circumambulatory passage, which is approached by a flight of stairs. At ground layer is a similar high stone railing (3.2 meters) that encircles the stupa, with lozenge-like horizontal bars that fit into the pillar sockets of the upright posts. If one looks closely at the railing one cannot but marvel at the labor involved in making a rather simple wooden railing design out of stone.

    A number of inscriptions appear engraved on such railing posts which register gifts made by patrons and suggest that such widespread artistic activity was sponsored by a variety of patrons rather than by a single donor.

    Facing the four cardinal directions, encompassing all humankinds within the radius of Buddha's philosophy, are four gateways. These torans are the unchallenged, unsurpassed artistic achievement of Buddhist art at Sanchi. The gateway is staggered like a cattle gate, and consists of two upright pillars (8.5 meters high). Above and across the pillars are three separate horizontal, slightly bowed beams all minutely carved on the front and reverse sides. The crowning emblems of the toran are symbols of the ceaseless motion of the wheel of dharma, the law of life. The pillars of the gateway are divided into smaller panels, each carrying a story relating to the life of Buddha, while the horizontal beams have longer depictions of well-known Buddhist tales. There are four elephants with swaying trunks and robust figures, which hold up the beams of the toran. Besides the elephant are two backets figures, the most sensuous depictions of salabhanjikas or yakshis, sacred tree spirits.
    The sanchi stupa which still stand intact is well preserved and protected monument.

    PE: Sanchi stupa is 46 km north east of Bhopal. it is a hilly area, located on the Malwa plateau, and the land rises towards the Vindhya Range to the south. The summers are hot and the winters cold. It rains moderately during the rainy season.
    The municipality covers 286 square kilometres. It has two very beautiful lakes, collectively known as the Bhoj Wetland. These lakes are the Upper Lake (built by King Bhoj) and the Lower Lake. The catchment area of the Upper Lake is 361 km2 while that of the Lower Lake is 9.6 km2. The Upper Lake drains into the Kolans River.

    MU: The stupas at Sanchi are made of mud brick, brick and rubble, or encased masonry. Carved stone embellishments were used for both interior and exterior.





    Introduction

    Builders: Buddhists and Janis
    The caves depict the story of Buddhism, spanning the period from 200 BC to 650 AD. The 29 caves were built as secluded retreats of the Buddhist monks,

    Location:
    Ajanta Caves
    It was only in the 19th century, that the Ajanta group of caves, lying deep within the Sahyadri hills, cut into the curved mountain side, above the Waghora river, were discovered.

    Features
    In all there are 34 caves at Ellora, 12 Buddhist, 17 Hindu and 5 Jain. Most of the Buddhist caves are viharas or monasteries, except for No 10 the Viswakarma or 'carpenter's cave' which is a chaitya or temple cave. The cave takes its name from the ribs carved into the roof which look like wooden beams. A finely carved horseshoe shaped window lets light in and a huge seated Buddha stands before a 9 m high stupa.
    The monks carved these impressive figures using simple tools like hammer and chisel. These beautiful wall-paintings and sculptures speak volumes of the culture of our country. Many of the caves house panels depicting stories from the Jatakas. Images of nymphs and princesses amongst others, are also elaborately portrayed.
    The first cave contains some of the most well-preserved wall paintings which include two great Boddhisattvas, Padmapani and Avalokiteshvara. The second, sixteenth and seventeenth caves contain amazing paintings, while the first, fourth, seventeenth, nineteenth, twenty-fourth and twenty-sixth boast of some of the most divine sculptures. The flying apsara and the image of Buddha preaching are examples of unforgettable works of art.
    The Kailasa temple in Cave 16 is an architectural wonder, the entire structure having been carved out of a monolith. The abode of Lord Shiva, is the world's largest monolith, with the gateway, pavilion, assembly hall, sanctum and tower, all hewn out of a single rock. Amazingly, unlike other temple structures which are built base onwards, the sculptor started carving from the very top and the sides.



    Materials Used: The caves are sculpted out of a granite rock on the inner side of a 20 m long valley along the Waghora River. There are total of 30 caves including the incomplete ones at Ajanta. The Cave No. 9, 10, 19, 26 and 29 are the Chaitya Caves, i.e., Worship Halls and the rest are the Vihara caves, i.e., Monasteries.

    Stories associated: The 29 caves were built as secluded retreats of the Buddhist monks, who taught and performed rituals in the Chaityas and Viharas, the ancient seats of learning, and nerve centres of the Buddhist cultural movement.

    Ellora
    30 km. from Aurangabad are the 34 caves of Ellora, carved into the sides of a basaltic hill. They are one of the finest specimens of cave-temple architecture and house elaborate facades and exquisite interiors. These structures represent Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism and were carved between 350 AD to 700 AD. The 12 caves to the south are Buddhist, the 17 in the centre dedicated to Hinduism, and the 5 caves to the north are Jain.
    The sculpture in the Buddhist caves accurately convey the nobility, grace and serenity inherent in the Buddha. The sixth and tenth caves house images from the Buddhism and Hinduism under the same roof and the latter is dedicated to Vishwakarma, celestial architect. The Vishwakarma cave is both a Chaitya and a Vihara, with a seated Buddha placed in the stupa. Its two-storeyed structure contains a colourful pageant of dwarfs, dancing and making music.
    Gigantic and yet it remains one of the most delicate and intricate ancient works of art. The Dumar Lena cave dedicated to Lord Shiva resembles the famous cave - temple at Elephanta.
    The Jain caves are about a mile away from the Kailasa temple, amongst which one houses a beautiful shrine adorned with fine carvings of a lotus flower on the roof, and a yakshi on a lion under a mango tree. Another contains the grand statues of Parasnath. The other Jain caves sport the images of Tirthankaras, and one of them has a seated figure of Mahavira.
    These cave shrines are memorable for their invaluable contribution to the enormous wealth of Indian heritage.

    Physical Environment: its damp and moist… that place has a hilly terrain









    Konark- A Tribute To The Sun

    Konark is a small town in the state of Orissa, India, on the Bay of Bengal


    Builder Of Sun Temple: Narasimhadeva I (AD 1236- 1264)
    Location On The Map: (Together) Near Sea Shore
    Materials used: The 'Kalasha' was made of copper, most probably gilded, and the 'Amla' of stone. The Amla underneath it was made of several massive blocks of stone, clamped together by iron dowels.

    Stories Behind: Legend has it that Samba, the king of Krishna and Jambavati entered the bathing chamber of Krishna's wifes, and was cursed by Krishna with leprosy. It was decreed that he would be relieved of the curse by worshipping the sun God on the sea coast north east of Puri. Accordingly Samba reached Konaditya Kshetra and discovered an image of Surya seated on the lotus, worshipped him and was relieved of his curse.
    Local beleif has it that it was constructed in entirety, however its magnetic dome caused ships to crash near the seashore, and that the dome was removed and destroyed and that the image of the Sun God was taken to Puri.

    Features: The Konark temple is widely known for its architectural grandeur. The entire temple has been conceived as a chariot of the sun god with 24 wheels, each about 10 feet in diameter, with a set of spokes and elaborate carvings. Seven horses drag the temple. Two lions guard the entrance, crushing elephants. A flight of steps lead to the main entrance.
    The nata mandir in front of the Jagamohana is also intricately carved. Around the base of the temple, and up the walls and roof, are carvings in the erotic style. There are images of animals, foliage, men, warriors on horses and other interesting patterns. There are three images of the Sun God, positioned to catch the rays of the sun at dawn, noon and sunset.

    Dangers and protection:
    The temple is now partly in ruins, and a collection of its sculptures is housed in the Sun Temple Museum, which is run by the Archaeological Survey of India. The poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote of Konark: "here the language of stone surpasses the language of man".

    1)Developing pressure: Modernization and urbanisation affects the environmetn of the monument
    2)Environment pressure: Deforestation due to environment such as cyclones and human activities such as saline breeze, sand blasting, vehicular movement, microbiological growth
    3)Natural Disaster: Floods and Cyclone
    4)Tourism Pressure: 40% Increase in tourism
    5)Local Popualtion Growth

    Steps taken To Protect

    1)Management and factors affecting property, management of property by the ASI, buffer zone by Konark Administraion
    2)Future Action: 5 year prospective plan for conservation and maintainance is ready for execution.
    3)Tourist Plans has been developed to avoid over population.

    Need To Preserve Black Pagoda:
    It is necessary to conserve Sun Temple. It isn’t just a golden memory of our immortal ancistors but also a perfect reflection of rituals and beilieves of Indian History and Tradition through ages.
    As the technology progress, it is becoming need of the hour to modernise the temple. Not to mention, physical surrounding and environment affect tourism and moreover the scenic beauty of the monument. Insuitable and unhealthy environment may prove inhabitory for the monment.
    The Tsunami and such events have degraded and adveserly damaged the environment.
    Hence it is high time to wake up from our long lasting slumber and take some bold steps in order to protect one of the gems of India.








    Khajuraho

    Introduction: Khajuraho, once the great Chandela capital, is today a village of about a few thousand people in the interiors of central India, in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh. Tradition records the existence of eighty five temples, of which only twenty five, strewn amidst lakes and fields, have survived. The temples at Khajuraho, brilliant examples of medieval Indian architecture, were built under later Chandela kings between AD 950 and AD 1050. Each ancient structure in India has a fascinating story to tell. But few match the temples of Khajuraho.

    Materials used: The earliest temples of Khajuraho were built in coarse granite. However, the most famous ones - including the World Heritage monuments known as the Western Group of temples - are mostly built in fine-grained buff, pink and pale yellow sandstone, quarried from neighboring Panna. The temples belong to different religious sects like Shaiva, Vaishnava and Jain and mark the culmination of the northern Indian or Nagara style of temple architecture.

    Features: A typical Khajuraho temple sits upon a lofty stone terrace called the adisthana or jagati, over which rise the jangha or walls of the inner compartments. It also has canopied windows with balconies to admit air and light into the interior. The roof comprises turrets of varying heights, culminating in the tall and graceful curvilinear shikhara suggesting rising mountain peaks. The Khajuraho temples are almost all aligned east to west, with the entrance facing east. A profusely carved arch leads to the oblong porch or ardhamanapa, behind which is the large assembly hall or mandapa, open on three sides, followed by the still larger hall mahamandapa, a closed hall with a corridor around it. This hall finally leads into the vestibule or the antarala. Beyond this is the garbhagriha or sanctum, entered through another ornate doorway, that houses the cult deity.

    Environment: Surely this millennium will have to be dedicated to caring for our common human heritage and our common human future. What is this heritage and future that all human beings share? A beautiful little jewel-like planet, with its waters, air, exquisitely diverse landscapes and all the species that inhabit and share it with us. The varied cultures of the world, the architecture, sculpture, painting, music, dance, theatre and crafts are examples of the enormous creativity that distinguish the human race from all other species.
    Need to preserve: In a world shattered by human destruction the arts of the world are enduring symbols of human creativity. We need to preserve our collective heritage as a reminder that human beings can be creative, caring and productive. The temples of Khajuraho, like all world heritage sites across the globe, remind us of the heights of imagination, skill and aesthetic beauty that human beings have achieved during the last few millennia.

    106 Bull Capital Rampurva Maurya 323 - 185 BCE
    The 8’9" Rampurva Bull capital comes from one of a pair of pillars found at the same site on the Gandak river, about half way from Pataliputra, the Maurya capital and Lumbini the Buddha’s birth place. It is carved in the light-coffee-colored sandstone of Chunar and likely carried from there. Its design is divided into the lotus bell base a narrow abacus of floral forms and the great bull zebu above. It was once finished in a fine polish, but years of weathering and possibly the time lying in bog where it eventually fell has worn off most.
    The lotus bell is a highly refined shape we find in a good number of other capitals and destined to become a stable of later Indian design. It is a full round shape bulging gently but firmly above to produce a double-curving silhouette. Its outer surface is finished in a set of ridges that alternate abstractly between angled ribs surrounded by rounded ones. Above the bell is a narrow necking finished in the form of a twisted rope. Above this is a wide abacus carrying a repeat pattern of three spread out flower and rosette forms.
    It is John Irwin’s contention that such animal capitals were originally made in wood or copper and then lashed with ropes to the tops of wooden pillars. If that is so this design may preserve in its alternating ribs the form of the ropes circling the base of the animal on top and hooking around pegs on the pole below.
    Atop the design we find the great bull. It has lost its horns and its neck folds, but otherwise stands in relatively fine shape after two-and-a-quarter millennia. The bull stand majestically erect. All four legs are planted firmly on the platform. The stone between its legs has been left intact. Its genitals marked strongly in relief. If it is an idealized image in its symmetrical precision, it is also a relatively naturalistic one with its careful attention to realistic proportions and anatomy. All in all the swelling of the belly and its contrast against the ridge of the haunch behind and the soft swelling of the shoulders and hump in front are quite effective.
    So what does Lee mean when he goes on to compare it with Hittite and Persian bulls? Why compare them to something from so far away in time and space? One of the Orientalist principles is to trace Indian designs to other supposed sources. The suggestion being that Indians could not create on their own. Since the Hittites were a thousand years earlier we can do best to see how this image compares with the Persian bulls, of the style that the Mauryas do actually share.


    KAILASHNATH


    Builder: Rajasimha Pallava. He built this sandstone temple, dedicated to lord in the late 7th century.

    Intro: The Kailasanatha Temple or Rajasimheswara temple is the largest and the most important of the temples built by Rajasimha Pallava.

    Features: . It is one of the earliest examples of Dravidian architecture and it is Kailasanatha means “Lord of Mount Kailash.” It is famous for its sculptures. Most famous of these is the sculpture of Ardhanariswara, who has a vina in her hand. This temple has sub-shrines around the main shrine. There are about 53 subshrines which are a double walled structure showing different aspects of Siva, with niches whose interiors are decorated with remarkable paintings. There are fresco-style paintings on the inner walls of the shrine. The architecture resembles that of the Shore Temple in Mamallapuram.
    At Kanchipuram there two monuments, both legacies of the Pallava period, the Kailashnatha and the Vaikuntha Perumal, both natural successors to Mahabalipuram. The Kailashnatha temple is undoubtedly one of the favourite monuments of any art historian and visitor (and if the Chalukyas liked it, so will we). It was so attractive that in the middle of the eighth century, when the Chalukyas saw it during their conquest, they imitated the plan in their Virupaksha temple at Pattadakal. The highlight of this temple is its thousand-pillared mandapam (hall).

    Materials: The foundation of the temple is made of granite while the superstructure is carved out of sandstone.

    KAILASNATHA TEMPLE, KANCHIPURAM
    The Kailasnatha Temple (or Rajasimhesvara Temple) is the largest and the most important of the temples built by Rajasimha Pallava. He built this sandstone temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, in the late 7th century. It is the oldest temple and one of the most beautiful temples in Kanchipuram. This temple has sub-shrines around the main shrine. There are about 53 sub-shrines, which are a double walled structure, with niches whose interiors are decorated with remarkable paintings in vegetables dyes . Since vegetable dyes were used they got faded but some of them retain their splendor. Though we have lost a large scale of painting, the left ones speak the story of the excellence and technical skill in their making. The damage of paintings is considered to be due to the neglect and unawareness, as the paintings were found to be covered with thick layer of lime wash and even plaster. The existence of these paintings under lime plaster was first noted by Prof. Jouveau Dubreil. These paintings were made in fresco style and the ground for the painting has been prepared by a rough sand lime plaster which has been laid on the coarse-grained fine plaster to receive the paint . Yellow and red ochre’s, terrevete, ultramarine, lamp black and lime have been found in the pigments. Since the pigments used in these paintings are mainly earth and mineral colours they have retained their tonal intensities . The unawareness about the treatment carried out on the paintings like the coating of lime wash resulted in their loss which could have been averted. But now, with the development of material conservation we should not only try to conserve them for posterity but also restore it to regain the losses.
    Introduction:

    Indian Architecture in the Ancient and Medieval Times
    ajanta
    Cave 2, one of the beautifully painted viharas, dates to the late 5th century. This sculpture is from the right side-chapel at the rear of the hall. Hariti, with a child on her lap, was the goddess of smallpox, a child-eating ogress whom the Buddha converted into their protectress. To Hariti's left (in shadow) is her consort Panchika, also known as Kubera. Kubera is a yaksha, a god of wealth and the hidden treasures of the earth.

    Cave 9, an early chaitya hall, dates to the 1st century BC. Its entrance facade, like most of the chaityas, includes a large chaitya arch framing a window with imitation timber construction. The large window was usually the first feature to be cut into the rock of a chaitya.
    cave 16, another late-5th century painted vihara,
    Cave 7, Ajanta
    This sculpture represents a miracle at Shravasti, a city where the Buddha multiplied himself a thousand times in a showdown with his religious rivals (including Mahavira).
    Cave 7 is a late 5th century vihara.
    Cave 24, Ajanta
    This cave may not look like much at first glance, but is quite interesting because it was never finished. One sees the cave today just as it was left, when excavation was abandoned in the late 5th century.
    Cave 19, Ajanta
    Cave 19 is a fine late-5th century chaitya. The entrance is surmounted by a large chandrasala. The sculptural program on the outside is a bit obscure, but has to do with Buddha ordaining his successors.
    Cave 19, Ajanta
    A standing Buddha, with sheer drapery covering his body, appears on the front of the stupa, which is topped by an impressive three-tiered umbrella. A barrel-vaulted roof with stone ribs arches above the central hall. The band between the column brackets and the roof is decorated with sculpted panels of the Buddha.
    The interior is generally similar to cave 26.
    Cave 26, Ajanta
    The interior of cave 26 (late 5th century) is larger than, but similar to, cave 19. The Buddha on the front of the stupa is seated rather than standing, and is framed by a straight lintel rather than an arch. Seated Buddha
    Cave 26, Ajanta
    From the front of the stupa. Buddha is seated on a lion throne with legs apart, his left hand in vitarka mudra, his right forearm broken off. The Buddha's feet rest on a lotus footstool. He is flanked by riders and flying attendants.
    Cave 26, Ajanta
    A very striking sculpture in cave 26 is this very large (7m, or about 21 feet) reclining Buddha, in the pose which depicts his death or parinirvana. The peacefulness of Buddha's expression reflects his blissful leave-taking from the world of material existence.
    Ellora
    Cave 2, Ellora
    These columns are similar in form to the later ones at Elephanta. However, unlike the Elephanta columns, these at Ellora bear extensive decoration on their upper shafts.
    Cave 2 dates from the 7th century.
    Cave 6, Ellora
    The interior of cave 6 illustrates a typical vihara layout, which includes an open communal area, surrounded by columns, with low stone benches for seating. The monks' chambers are cut into the wall behind the columns. A shrine area with images of the Buddha, Bodhisattvas, and attendants occupies the far end of the cave.
    Cave 6 dates from the 7th century.
    Cave 6, Ellora
    A medallion with a seated couple, surrounded by vegetal arabesques, animates this doorpost at cave 6.
    Cave 10, Ellora
    The upper balcony doorway of this 8th century chaitya hall is topped by a characteristic gavaksha (horse-shoe shaped) arch and flying celestials
    Cave 10, Ellora
    The pillared chaitya hall contains a large shrine (resembling a stupa) with a larger-than-life-size figure of the seated Buddha as the principal focus of worship.
    Cave 12, Ellora
    Cave 12 is a three-story vihara, with a plain facade as seen here. The cave has sculptures and some remains of painted decoration inside (photos on following pages). This cave is dated to the 8th century.
    The cave contains a relief panel of twelve goddesses (three are shown here), seated on lotus pedestals.
    Seven buddhas flank each side of the entrance to the inner shrine. These are meditating buddhas in dhyana mudra. Such a multiplicity of buddhas is related, like the goddess figures also seen in this cave, to the development of esoteric doctrine.
    Cave 15, Ellora
    Originally a Buddhist vihara, cave 15 was converted in the 8th century to Shiva worship with the addition of a linga shrine and Hindu sculptures, many of which are actually Vaishnava (rather than Shaiva) in reference
    This fine Nandi faces the central linga shrine in the upper story of the temple.
    Kailasanatha Temple, Ellora
    The Kailasanatha temple, also called Kailasa or Kailash, is numbered prosaically as Cave 16 at Ellora. Founded in the last quarter of the 8th century by king Krishna I, it consists of a single enormous excavation almost 100 feet deep into the rock of the cliff.
    Lakshmi is lustrated by elephants in this large panel facing the gateway, just inside the temple. As elsewhere at Ellora, the sculptures appear unfinished because their fine details were completed in plaster, which has long since fallen off.
    Southeast Corner
    Kailasanatha Temple, Ellora
    A view from the southeast (rear) encompasses part of the temple base, "supported" by elephants, and extends past the first floor (note the people midway up at photo left) to the great tower which rises over 100 feet above the ground level.
    The name "Kailasanatha" refers to Mount Kailasa, the mountain home of Shiva and Parvati in Tibet, of which this temple is a symbolic model.
    This panel of the Ramayana (closeup, 491 kb) is situated at the southwest corner, ground floor level, of the temple.
    Cave 21, Ellora
    In this sculpture panel at the south base of the temple, a demon named Ravana (below, with multiple heads and arms) shakes Mt. Kailasa, annoying Shiva and Parvati in their mountain home. Shiva easily quells the earthquake by pressing down on the mountain with his toe.
    Rameshvara Temple (cave 21) was constructed in the late 6th century, making it earlier than many of the lower-numbered caves including Kailasanatha.
    Cave 21, Ellora
    Shiva and Parvati play dice, a favorite pastime, surrounded by a host of attendants. The story goes that when Parvati objects to his cheating at the game, Shiva's anger threatens to burn up the world until Parvati relents.
    Cave 21, Ellora
    Durga pulls up the head of the buffalo demon, just before delivering her killing blow. The treatment here is rather "posed" and static, considering the violence of the theme.
    Cave 21, Ellora
    The goddess Ganga, personification of the river Ganges, is identified by the makara on which she stands. Her left arm rests on a gana.
    Ravana Shakes Mt. Kailasa
    Cave 29, Ellora
    Here is yet another opportunity for comparison, this time between the present Ravana sculpture and that of Cave 21.
    Cave 29 also dates, like Cave 21, to the late 6th century.
    This stunning panel portrays Shiva as the slayer of the demon, Andhaka. Shiva dances in triumph beneath the the outstretched skin of the elephant demon Nila, one of Andhaka's allies, as a seated Parvati looks on admiringly. In another hand, photo right, Shiva holds a skull cap used to catch Andhaka's blood. The head of the elephant is barely visible behind Shiva's raised sword (photo left, upper corner).
    Mahavira
    Cave 32, Ellora
    The Jain tirthankara Mahavira, founder of the Jain religion, is flanked by divinities of prosperity (Matanga, male, photo left) and generosity (Sidaika, female, photo right).
    Cave 32 dates to the early 9th century. The similarity to Buddhist iconography is obvious, but Jain tirthankaras can be distinguished by the nudity of their figures.
    Matanga is the Jain god of prosperity.
    Sidaika is the Jain goddess of generosity.
    Columns
    Cave 32, Ellora
    Although different in detail from earlier examples (Elephanta and Ellora Cave 2), these columns share some overriding features including a square lower shaft and pincushion abacus. The circular upper shaft, however, is considerably truncated.
    Head of a Divinity
    Cave 32, Ellora
    The head of an unfinished statue rises evocatively from its bare matrix of stone. This is very much in line with the basic Indian concept, whereby every point in space is the potential locus of an emergence of the divine.

    It is thought that the craftsmen who painted and sculpted in the Ajanta caves, were mostly Buddhist monks Perhaps many Hindu craftsmen of the lower castes had accepted the faith of the Buddha, the Craftsmen, in those days, were grouped together according to their profession, they learnt their skill from father to son and son to son. Some of them were great masters, who invented new techniques new tools and new ways of handling paint and chisel, in every generation.
    As the Buddhists began to scoop caves from the 1st century A.D. downwards, they evolved practical ways of working in the dark. The marshal, or stick torch, was smeared with vegetable oil and used for lighting dark corners. Also, large mirrors were used to reflect sunshine in to the interiors. And the walls were whitewashed smeared with lime plaster, before painting.

    The famous Ajanta caves are situated about 99-kms away from Aurangabad us Ajanta caves are situated about 99-kms away from Aurangabad district in the state of Maharashtra. These caves are regarded as a world heritage site and were carved out from the 2nd century BC to 6th century AD. They are placed in a horseshoe shape about 3.5 m away from the village. The river Wagura, a mountain stream flows along the bottom of the ravine. This river falls from a height of 200 ft, thus making a series of waterfalls. The sound of the waterfalls can be heard in the caves also.

    The intriguing Ajanta Caves are carved out of large rocks and are 30 in number. These caves are dedicated to Lord Buddha. The followers and students of Buddhism resided here to study this religion. They have decorated these caves with the help of their excellent architectural skills and artistic paintings.

    The carvings and the paintings in the caves depict the life stories of Lord Buddha. Along with this, several types of human and animal figures are also carved out of the rocks.

    Depiction of Contemporary Society

    The carvings and the murals in the Ajanta depicted the contemporary society of that period. These artistic pieces showed all kinds of people from kings to slaves, women, men and children interwoven with flowers, plants, fruits, birds and beasts. There are also figures related to the people of that time, some of them are 'Yakshas', 'Kinneras' (half human and half bird) 'Gandharvas' (divine musicians) and 'Apsaras' (heavenly dancers).

    Discovery The enchanting Ajanta caves were discovered accidentally by a company of British soldiers in the 19th century. Before the excavation of these caves they were hidden under the thick vegetation for a long time.

    The Caves

    The incredible caves of Ajanta are dedicated exclusively to Buddhism. There are around 30 caves here and are divided into 'Chaitya-Grihas' (stupa halls) and 'Viharas' (dwelling halls). Around five of these caves (9, 10, 19, 26 and 29) are 'Chaitya-Grihas'. The rest of the caves are 'Sangharamas' or Viharas (monasteries). The caves 1, 2, 16 and 17 are important from the art point of view. They are great pieces of art compared to the contemporary art world.

    These caves have exotic paintings illustrating the life and incarnations of Buddha. The carvings and the paintings of the Ajanta caves tell us about the imagination and creativity of the artist. The murals on the walls of these caves are still in a good condition, maintaining the freshness of the color and spreading vibrancy in the atmosphere. Visitors will definitely enjoy watching these great historical pieces of art.

    The Viharas

    The Ajanta caves were divided into several viharas (dwelling halls) and chaitya-grihas (stupa halls), scooped out of the sloping rocks in the fifth century CE. The viharas consisted of a broad verandah. The roof of this verandah was supported by pillars and giving towards the interior on to a hall averaging in size about 35 ft. by 20 ft. Also there are dormitories to the left, right and back , opening on to this hall. The number of dormitories varied according to the size of the hall, and in the larger ones pillars supported the roof on all three sides, forming a sort of religious residence running round the hall.

    There is also a shrine of lord Buddha in a niche facing the entrance and sometimes facing the subsidiary shrines to the right or left of the entrance. With the help of carvings, the facades of the viharas were decorated and the paintings adorned the walls and ceilings.

    The Chaityas

    The chaitya-grihas are greater than the viharas. The largest chaitya-grihas being 94 1/2 ft. from the verandah to the back and 41 1/4 ft. across, including the cloister. Earlier, the chaitya-grihas at Ajanta had stupas, but later they had a standing or seated image of the Buddha in front of them.

    One of the signs of changing patterns of worship is the bodhisattva cult that was practiced at Ajanta. The Bodhisattvas are heavenly beings on the brink to Buddhahood. It is said that they chose to remain in the world to help others towards salvation. The figures off these bodhisattvas are carved at the entrance of a vihara or chaitya-griha or are painted on walls.

    The Wall-Paintings

    The Ajanta caves are divided into three groups. The oldest group is believed to belong to the period between 200 BCE to CE 200, the second group is believed to belong to the sixth and the third group to the seventh century. Almost all the interior walls and ceilings of the caves are covered with murals.

    At the time of discovery (1817), these paintings were in a better condition than now. But fortunately, the school of art in Bombay has the copied versions of the paintings which have now disappeared from the caves. These copies are the major evidence of pictorial art in India before the rise of Hinduism. Thus, they are valuable and need preservation.
    The caves depict the story of Buddhism, spanning the period from 200 BC to 650 AD. The 29 caves were built as secluded retreats of the Buddhist monks,

    Location:
    Ajanta Caves
    It was only in the 19th century, that the Ajanta group of caves, lying deep within the Sahyadri hills, cut into the curved mountain side, above the Waghora river, were discovered.

    Materials Used: The caves are sculpted out of a granite rock on the inner side of a 20 m long valley along the Waghora River. There are total of 30 caves including the incomplete ones at Ajanta. The Cave No. 9, 10, 19, 26 and 29 are the Chaitya Caves, i.e., Worship Halls and the rest are the Vihara caves, i.e., Monasteries.

    Stories associated: The 29 caves were built as secluded retreats of the Buddhist monks, who taught and performed rituals in the Chaityas and Viharas, the ancient seats of learning, and nerve centres of the Buddhist cultural movement.

    These cave shrines are memorable for their invaluable contribution to the enormous wealth of Indian heritage.

    Physical Environment: its damp and moist… that place has a hilly terrain

    Monsoons bring heavy rains from June to September, with temperatures reaching 39º C (102º F).

    The summers sizzle with maximum temperatures hitting 40°C in May and winters are warm, with maximum temperatures falling to approximately 29°C. You could also visit Aurangabad between October and March, when the weather is pleasant.
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