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  • Writer's pictureYogesh Kardile

Ajintha : Cave paintings

How an artist envisioned Buddha in the rock formed out of Lava ? If you google Ajintha / Ajanta lots of pictures and informative posts can be found. So here I would like to see through different perspective along with you.

What surprise me the most is that Maharashtra is not majorly known for intricate carvings like Southern India nor Gujarat / Rajasthan / Khajuraho temples. But the state hosts World Heritage Sites like Ajintha and Verul and also multiple caves across the Sahyadri. The sheer volume and artistic works inside these caves is staggering.

The whole of Sahyadri mountain range in Maharashtra is dotted by Buddhist caves shrouded by the forest. Largest number of caves are found here in this state so does the forts.

It is not a coincidence but there must be a reason why so many caves similiar Ajintha are created. Far from being an Indologist or an archeologist; I am a traveller in love with my country.

But I feel once you see these caves cut through the hardest rock ( lava formed) you will salute the masters.

Also I understood how the kings must be who were patrons of great work of art dedicating for monks. No doubts traders were used to stopover here. But when a Art loving leader you have the culture and spirituality also thrives. There might be many doubts about the spirituality or conquering each other. Irrespective of all that everything is gone and what left is solid proof of art and spirituality.

Also when so many generations work on so many caves and temples. Indeed Bharat ( India) had largest number of artists far far skilled than their western counterparts like Leonardo da Vinci or Michael Angelo. What media sells you is one perspective where profit and advertisers interest is the top priority. But when a thing last for centuries and inspires the globe crossing boundary of culture , religion or age is a true work of art that goes closer towards real spirituality.

Working deep inside the forest where tigers and other wild animals used to roam around. And where a single mistake could have been fatal to the whole cave yet they managed it to the perfection.

Even after so many attacks on our art from invaders It survived. The silent expression on Buddha’s face soothes the soul. Thanks to those artist who were so much in sync with the vision of the master who blessed our land.

These paintings even after losing most of the portion gives the glimpse how the colourful these halls would have been those days.

How life was celebrated and each aspects of living and afterlife portrayed! The country was a powerhouse of art, culture, trade and balanced spirituality along with it. An evolved entity always on path of learning.

Ajintha is not a combination of caves , sculpture and paintings. It is a living testimony of the Era gone by where people were far more evolved than today to create masterpieces in the dense forest that we cannot mach now.

The work still standing strong irrespective of natural forces and human destruction. A person who loves art must visit Ajintha. Just do one thing is to sit quietly ; those rocks will unfold the story to you.

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