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The Caves at Ajanta in Maharashtra

The Ajanta Caves are situated north of Aurangabad, the district headquarters, in Maharashtra. These rock cut caves are famous for its murals and are the finest surviving examples of Indian art, particularly painting. The caves at Ajanta are excavated in the semi-circular scarp of a steep rock about 76 m high.

Total thirty excavations were hewn out, including the unfinished ones. Of which five caves (9, 10, 19, 26 and 29) are chaityagrihas (sanctuary) and the rest viharas (monastery). The caves at Ajanta are considered to be one of the finest examples of Buddhist rock-cut architecture. The earliest excavations here belong to the Hinayana phase of Buddhism.

These caves are datable to the pre-Christian era, the earliest among them being Cave 10 dating from the second century B.C. The object of worship is a stupa here and these caves exhibit the imitation of wooden construction to the extent that the rafters and beams are also sculpted even though they are non-functional. Shown in the video is the caves number 1 to 10 at Ajanta.