Art India

The Cave Temples and Monasteries at Ajanta

The facades of the temples are known for their murals, paintings and sculptures.   These striking rock cut temples, more than 30 located in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, western India, date from the 2nd century BCE to about 480CE.  These Buddhist temples today are a UNESCO World Heritage Site protected by the Archaeological Survey of India, The temples were covered by jungle when first discovered in 1819 by a group of British Army Officers lead by John Smith who found the entrance to Cave #10.  After their discovery the caves were numbered 1 to 29 in order of their discovery, not their inception.


A treasure of Buddhist art, it’s believed today that they were constructed in two phases over five centuries. Several of the caves are still residences of Buddhist monks.  The paintings represent the several lives and rebirths of Buddha. Some of the caves contain some of the largest ancient Indian wall painting.

amanita painting