Monday, January 6, 2014

Cave No. 17, Ajanta

This beautifully painted monastery, Cave No. 17 in Ajanta is donated by a feudatory prince Upendragupta under Vakataka King Harishena in the late 5th century A.D. 



It has some of the most magnificent paintings of Ajanta. The porch is a stream of jataka narratives and early Buddhist themes. Over the door are eight Buddhas, including Maitreya, the next Buddha to come. Even the sculptures on the door frame are beautiful.



The left end of the porch once had a magnificent kalachakra - the Wheel of Rebirth, showing the different possibilities of reincarnation according to your actions, and the possibilities of elevation.



It consists of a spacious hall surrounded by 17 cells on three sides, a vestibule and a sanctum containing the image of Buddha. The hall supported by twenty octagonal pillars and is pierced with three doors and two windows.  The cave houses some of the well preserved paintings. Even though the ceilings are beautifully painted.



One famous Jataka tale called the Matropaksha Jataka tells the story of a Bodhisattva born as a six tusked white elephant that is attacked by warriors commissioned by the queen of Banaras. The Elephant-Bodhisattva removes his own tusks to present them to the queen.

37 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Rajesh, the monastery is beautiful. The paintings and pillars are amazing. Wonderful photos!

Poetic Shutterbug said...

These shots are extraordinary, just beautiful

Karen Harvey Cox said...

How magnificent.

Ileana said...

Interesting post . Beautiful photos. I love elephants!
Have a nice week!

Gemma Wiseman said...

Intriguing collection of photos. The wheel of rebirth is especially fascinating.

Kim Hkiss said...

It's a beautiful painting. Seems like it depicts an old way of living. Thanks for sharing.

Kim,USA

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

Fascinating photos, and tale of the elephant.

Mama Zen said...

These are amazing!

Team G Square said...

Lovely paintings. Happy new year.

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

The cave drawings and carvings are very beautiful.
The story of the turning Bodhisattva into a six tusked elephant is interesting Rajesh.
Each country has our own folk tales that make up who we are and where we have come from.
Thank you for showing us these wonderful sites in India.
I am your newest follower.
Shane

Cloudia said...

ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
> < } } ( ° >

R Niranjan Das said...

The paintings are mind blowing!

Our photos said...

Beautiful!!!

Muza-chan said...

Interesting place..

Ramakrishnan Ramanathan said...

Magnificent cave paintings.

Gypsy Rose said...

I love the culture your blog provides, Thank You for sharing!

Lowell said...

I find all of this fascinating even though I don't understand some of it. So, there have been many Buddhas? And some in animal form?

Carver said...

Beautiful art and architecture.

islandwonder said...

Such interesting photos. I like the idea of reincarnation.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

These were all very intricate and beautiful murals!

Barb said...

As always I'm intrigued by how well these paintings and sculptures have withstood the test of time. They are marvels of creativity and preservation.

ladyfi said...

What a wonderful old cave!

Photo Cache said...

very intersting murals.

Vineeta Yashswi said...

Lovely architect...

aliasgarmukhtiar mukhtiar said...

Just Beautiful

Leovi said...

Definitely wonderful, too bad he's so damaged!

OurJaipur.Com said...

I always wanted to go there, might be in future anyway nice clicks. . . . . and have a Nice Day. . . :)

Mary Howell Cromer said...

These are so beautiful!

Asep Haryono said...

WOnderful photos. I wish I could visit to your country real soon

I follow your blog already.
Hope to follow each other

Greetings from Indonesia

Asep Haryono
simplyasepenglish.blogspot.com

Marisol@TravelingSolemates said...

Beautiful images, Rajesh. The paintings are very exquisite. It's mind boggling how old they are. It's a dream of mine to visit Ajanta caves someday. Thanks for taking me there virtually for now.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

That is an amazing tale (the six-tusked elephant...) and this monastery is wonderful. Your photos are so beautiful. It is hard to imagine that this is in a cave.

Gillena Cox said...

fantastic!!!have a nice Tuesday

much love...

Al said...

I love it - this really does look ancient.

RIZALENIO said...

So beautiful! I envy you for seeing this masterpiece up-close and personal.

Sridharan Srinivasan said...

Beautiful..

lisa hermanson said...

What beautiful imagery and craftsmanship.

Nima Das said...

wow interesting pictures.