Introduction and History
The Ajanta Caves are a series of 29 Buddhist cave temples in Ajanta, India. Encompassing both Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist traditions, the Ajanta caves preserve some of the best masterpieces of Buddhist art in India. The caves “…numbered in an arbitrary sequence, are laid out in a great arc cut by the curving course of the Waghora river.”(p1, Spink) These caves were used as prayer halls by Buddhist monks for about 7 centuries until suddenly the monks disappeared and the caves were all that was left. Several theories exist as to why the caves had been abandoned but the most prominent and perhaps the most probable reason was the rise of Hinduism in the region. The caves were an accidental discovery made by a a group of British soldiers, in 1819.
Citations and Sources
- A link to sacred-destinations.com
- Ajanta: History and Development by Walter M. Spink ISBN:9004156445 (2007)