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8 hits

  • Thumbnail for Ajanta Caves, bridge over dry Waghora Riverbed
    Ajanta Caves, bridge over dry Waghora Riverbed

    The Ajanta Caves were carved out of the rocky hillside surrounding a bend in the Waghora River. During the dry season, the riverbed becomes a footpath but in the rainy season, people wade through the stream over slippery rocks.

  • Thumbnail for Ajanta Caves, panorama from the vantage of the first caves
    Ajanta Caves, panorama from the vantage of the first caves

    Standing near the first caves, one sees a series of caves carved out of the rocky hilllside. Some caves functioned as viharas or monasteries, while others were built as chaityas or prayer halls.

  • Thumbnail for Painted Bodhisattva on pillar, close-up
    Painted Bodhisattva on pillar, close-up

    The pillars inside this cave display many figures of Buddhist monks as bodhisattvas and buddhas. These monks wear the traditional monastic robe covering one shoulder. The bodhisattva holds the lotus, symbol of enlightenment.

  • Thumbnail for Auspicious figures on door lintel
    Auspicious figures on door lintel

    Carved auspicious figures frame the entranceways to several of the caves. These figures include amorous couples, apsaras and gandharvas, and leaping horses. These figures associate the caves with good fortune.

  • Thumbnail for Painted Bodhisattva on pillar
    Painted Bodhisattva on pillar

    The pillars inside this cave display many figures of Buddhist monks as bodhisattvas and buddhas. These monks wear the traditional monastic robe covering one shoulder. The bodhisattva holds the lotus, symbol of enlightenment.

  • Thumbnail for Auspicious figures on door lintel, amorous couple (detail)
    Auspicious figures on door lintel, amorous couple (detail)

    Images of amorous couples adorn the outer entrances to several of the caves. These couples are understood to be auspicious symbols of good fortune, fertility and prosperity.

  • Thumbnail for Auspicious figures on door lintel, amorous couple
    Auspicious figures on door lintel, amorous couple

    Images of amorous couples adorn the outer entrances to several of the caves. These couples are understood to be auspicious symbols of good fortune, fertility and prosperity.

  • Thumbnail for Buddha in lotus position behind doorway
    Buddha in lotus position behind doorway

    This Buddha figure was carved to appear seated on a pedastal behind an ornate doorway carved with bodhisattva figures in different poses, sitting and standing. This Buddha hands are held in the dharmacakra mudra, the gesture of teaching.