ထီုဂမၠိုင် အဇန္တ

ထီုဂမၠိုင် အဇန္တ (အၚ်္ဂလိက်: Ajanta Caves) ဂှ် ဒှ်ထီုတၟအ် ဒတန်ဗုဒ္ဓဘာသာ ပ္ဍဲအိန္ဒိယ သီုဖအိုတ် နွံၜိုတ် ၃၀ ထီု၊ မကၠောန်လဝ် နူကဵု အကြာ ဘဳသဳ ၂ ဗွဝ်ကၠံ ကဵု အေဒဳ ၄၈၀ မနွံပ္ဍဲ ခရိုင်အုရန္ဂဗါဒ် (Aurangabad idstrict)၊ တွဵုရးမဟာရၐတြ (Maharashtra State)၊ ရးနိဂီုပံင်ကောံအိန္ဒိယ။[၁][note ၁] ပ္ဍဲထီုတအ်ဂှ် နွံကဵု ရုပ်ကသူ၊ ရုပ်ပါန်တၟအ် မဒှ်ရုပ် မလုပ်လၟိဟ် မခိုဟ်အိုတ် ပၞောဝ်ကဵု ရုပ်ခေတ်တြေံအိန္ဒိယ မသၟေဟ်ဒၟံင်တအ်တုဲ ဒှ်ပါန်ကွတ် မနွံကဵု ပရေင်ဒုင်စသိုင် သန္ထာန်၊ ဗီုပြင်နာနာသာ်ရ။[၃][၄][၅]

ထီုဂမၠိုင် အဇန္တ
ဒၞာဲ အာဲကၟာဲဂၠးတိ ယူနေတ်သကဝ်
Ajanta (63).jpg
ဒတန် အုရန္ဂဗါဒ်၊ အိန္ဒိယ
သၞောဝ်ဒကေဝ် မရုဲစှ် Cultural: i, ii, iii, vi
စၞောန် 242
မပစၟတ်သမ္တီ 1983 (Unknown ကောံဓရီု)
Buffer zone 78,676 ha
မပံင်တောဲလဝ် 20°33′12″N 75°42′01″E / 20.55333°N 75.70028°E / 20.55333; 75.70028
ထီုဂမၠိုင် အဇန္တ is located in ဍုင်အိန္ဒိယ
ထီုဂမၠိုင် အဇန္တ
Location of ထီုဂမၠိုင် အဇန္တ in ဍုင်အိန္ဒိယ
Cave 19, Ajanta, a 5th-century chaitya hall

ပါန်ကွတ် မဂွံဆဵုကေတ် နူကဵု ထီုတအ်ဂှ် ဒှ်ခတှ်ေမဟာ ပါန်ကွတ်ဗုဒ္ဓဘာသာ ဗွဲမဂၠိုင်ဂၠေင်ရ။[၆] ထီုတအ်ဂှ် နကဵုလညာတ်တၠပညာ ဗွဲကြဴဏအ်မ္ဂး ကၠောန်ဗဒှ်လဝ် ၜါကာလ၊ ကာလကိုပ်ကၠာဂှ် စကၠောန် နူကဵု ၜိုတ် ဘဳသဳ ၂ ဗွဝ်ကၠံ တုဲ ကာလဒုတိယဂှ် နူကဵု အကြာ အေဒဳ ၄၀၀-၆၅၀။[၇]ဒတန်ဂှ် စဵုဒၞာမင်မဲလဝ် နကဵု ဌာနပူရာန်အိန္ဒိယ (Archaeological Survey of India)၊[၈] ကေုာံ နူစ ၁၉၈၃ ဂှ် ထီုဂမၠိုင် အဇန္တ ဂှ် ဒှ်အာ ဒတန်အာဲကၟာဲဂၠးတိ ယူနေသကော (UNESCO World Heritage Site)။

ထီုဂမၠိုင် အဇန္တဂှ် ဒှ်လဝ် ဘာလကျာ် ကေုာံ ဇြပ်လ္ၚောဝ်ကျာ် ဗုဒ္ဓဘာသာ မပုတ်ကၠောန်လဝ် ပ္ဍဲကဵု ဗဒင်ဒဵုတၟအ် မနွံသမၠုင် 75-မဳတာ (246 ft)ရ။[၉][၁၀] ပ္ဍဲကဵုထီုတအ်ဂှ် ချူကၠောန်လဝ် ရုပ်ကသူ သုတ်ဇာတ်ကျာ် ကေုာံ ဗီုရုပ်ကျာ်မသၠးဂပ္ဘ အတိုင်မကၠုင် နူကဵု လိက်ဇာတကမာလာ၊ မဒှ်လိက် အာရဳသူရ (Āryaśūra) မချူလဝ်ဂှ်၊ တုဲပၠန် ပါန်တၟအ် မဆေင်ကဵု ဗုဒ္ဓဘာသာနာနာသာ်ဂှ် ဂွံဆဵုရ။[၉][၁၁][၁၂] အတိုင်လိက်စၟတ်သမ္တီဂမၠိုင် ထီုတအ်ဂှ် ကၠောန်ဗဒှ်လဝ် ပ္ဍဲအခိင်ကာလကသီု မဒှ်အခိင် ခမဳသင်တအ် လုပ်ဒဂိုန်တုဲ သီုဒှ်လဝ် ဒၞာဲဒတန် ခမဳတအ် မပဒတန်ကီု သီုကဵု ဒၞာဲဒါယကာတအ် မကၠုင်ဗဵုလ္ၚောဝ် ပ္ဍဲအခိင်အိန္ဒိယတမၠာတေအ်ရ။[၉] အတိုင်စၟတ်သမ္တီဝင်မ္ဂး ပ္ဍဲအိန္ဒိယဂှ် အသာ်တၟးတၟး ကေုာံ ရုပ်ကသူ ပ္ဍဲဗဒင်ဂှ် မဒးဒုင်ကၟာတ်လဒဵုလဝ်တုဲ ဒၞာဲဗွဲမဂၠိုင်ဂှ် ဒးဒုင်ပလီုပလာ်ထောအ်ကီုလေဝ် ပါန်ကွတ် ရုပ်ကသူ အိန္ဒိယခေတ်တြေံ ပ္ဍဲကဵု ထီုအဇန္တ စၟတ် ၁၆၊ ၁၇၊ ၁ ကေုာံ ၂ ဂှ် သှ်ေသၟေဟ်ဒၟံင် ဗွဲမဂၠိုင်ရ။[၁၃]

ဗဗဵုဇမ္ၚောဲ ထီုဂမၠိုင်အဇန္တ နူကဵု ဒဵုဗဒါဲဂှ် မွဲဒၞာဲ

ပရူထီုအဇန္တဂှ် ဂွံဆဵုကေတ် နူကဵု လိက်စၟတ်သမ္တီ လကျာ်ကရိကြုက်ဂမၠိုင် (လကျာ်သၟာတရဴကြုက်) မစိုပ်လဝ် အိန္ဒိယ ပ္ဍဲခေတ်လဒေါဝ်ဂှ်ကီု၊ ပ္ဍဲခေတ်မာဂဓ ၁၇ ဗွဝ်ကၠံလပါ်စတအ်ကီုရ။[၁၄] ကြဴနူဂှ် ထီုတအ်ဂှ် ဂြောပ်ဗဒန်ကၠေအ်ဒၟံင် အပ္ဍဲဂြိုပ်ဇၞော်ရ။ သၞာံ ၁၈၁၉ ဂှ် သၟိင်တၠကဝ်လဝ်နဳဗြိတိန် ကပ်တိုန် ဂျောန်သမိတ် (Captain John Smith) ဟိန်မဗက်လၟ ဗက်ဂၠာဲပန်စကၠဂှ် သီုဟွံစၟဳမွဲသာ် အာဆဵုကေတ်တုဲ ဂွံကလေင်တီကၠုင် ဒၞာဲဂှ်ပၠန်ရ။[၁၅] ထီုတအ်ဂှ် နွံပ္ဍဲဗဒင်ဒဵုတၟအ် လပါ်သၟဝ်ကျာ သမၠံက်ဗီုပြင်ဂ ကြုင်ဝဃူရ် (Waghur)[၁၆] ပ္ဍဲကဵု ဗလးဒဵု ဒေစန် (Deccan plateau)ရ။[၁၇][၁၈] အပ္ဍဲသမၠံက်ဂှ် နွံကဵု ဍာ်လဂေါဝ် (waterfall) ဗွဲမဂၠိုင်တုဲ အခိင်ဍာ်ဂၠိုင်မ္ဂး နူကဵုမ္ၚးထီုတအ်မ္ဂး ဂွံမိင်ကေတ် ရမ္သာင်စဟင်ဍာ်ရ။[၁၉]

ပ္ဍဲကဵု တွဵုရးမဟာရၐတြဂှ် ကရောမ် ထီုဨလ္လောရာ (Ellora Caves)ဂှ် အဇန္တဂှ် ဒှ်ဒၞာဲ ကရိတအ် (သၟာတရဴ) မကၠုင်ဗဵုဂၠိုင်မွဲရ။ အဇန္တဂှ် နူကဵု ဖါဒပူရ် (Fardapur) မ္ဂး နွံ 6 kiloမဳတာs (3.7 တိုင်s)၊ နူဍုင် ဇလဂေါန (Jalgaon) မ္ဂး နွံ 104 kiloမဳတာs (65 တိုင်s)တုဲ နူကဵု မုမ်ဗာဲ (Mumbai) လပါ်ဗမံက်မ္ဂး နွံ 350 kiloမဳတာs (220 တိုင်s)။[၉][၂၀] နူထီုဨလ္လောရာ မဒှ်ထီု ဟိန္ဒူဇိနဘာသာ ကေုာံ ဗုဒ္ဓဘာသာ မဒှ်ကြပ်တုပ် ကုအဇန္တဂှ်မ္ဂး အဇန္တဂှ် နွံခြာၜိုတ်100 kiloမဳတာs (62 တိုင်s)။ ဗီုပြင် အဇန္တဂှ် ပ္ဍဲအိန္ဒိယဂှ် ဒၞာဲတၞဟ် ဗီုကဵု ထီုElephanta Caves၊ ထီုAurangabad Caves၊ ထီုShivleni Caves ကေုာံ ထီုကျာ်Karnatakaတအ်လေဝ် ဂွံဆဵုကေတ် ကီုရ။[၂၁]

ဝင်ပြင်ဆင်

 
ဗီုတိ ထီုဂမၠိုင် အဇန္တ

ထီုဂမၠိုင် အဇန္တဂှ် တၠပညာဗွဲမဂၠိုင် တုပ်လဝ်စိုတ် ဒဒှ်ရ မကၠောန်လဝ် ၜါကာလ၊ ပထမကာလဂှ် ဒှ်အကြာ ၂ ဘဳသဳ ကဵု ၁ ဗွဝ်ကၠံအေဒဳ၊ တုဲ ဒုတိယကာလဂှ် ကၠောန်လဝ် ဗွဝ်ကၠံကြဴနူဂှ် ဗွဲမဂၠိုင်ရ။[၂၂][၂၃][၂၄]

ထီုတအ်ဂှ် သီုဖအိုတ် နွံ ၃၆ ထီု၊[၉] ဗွဲကိုပ်ကၠာဂှ် ဂွံဆဵုကေတ် ၂၉ တုဲ ကဵုလဝ် စၟတ်သမ္တီ နကဵု ဂၞန် နူ ၁ စဵုကဵု ၂၉။ ထီုမဂွံဆဵုကေတ် ဗွဲကြဴဏအ် မနွံအကြာ ဂၞန် ၁၅ ကဵု ၁၆ တုဲ စၟတ်သမ္တီလဝ် နကဵု ဗီုပြင် မစုတ်အက္ခရ် ကြဴဂၞန် ဗီုကဵု 15A ရ။[၂၅] ဗီုပြင်မကဵုလဝ် ဂၞန်ထီုတအ်ဂှ် ကဵုလဝ် အတိုင်လၟေင်ထီုတအ် မနွံတုဲ ဟွံဒုင်လဝ်သဇိုင် အာယုက်စမြိုင်ထီုတအ်ရ။[၂၆]

ထီုခေတ်ကိုပ်ကၠာ (ခေတ်သာဒဝါဟန)ပြင်ဆင်

 
ထီုဂၞန် ၉၊ မဒှ်ပထမကာလ ဗီုပြင် စေတဳဟိန္နယာန၊ မဒှ်ဇြပ်လ္ၚောဝ်ကျာ် မနွံကဵု စေတဳ၊ ဆဂး ဟွံမဲကုပဋိမာရုပ်

ထီု နူကဵုခေတ်ကိုပ်ကၠာအိုတ်ဂှ် ဒှ်ထီု ဂၞန် ၉၊ ၁၀၊ ၁၂၊ ၁၃၊ ကေုာံ ၁၅က။ ဗီုရုပ် မဂွံဆဵုကေတ် နူကဵု ထီုတအ်ဂှ် ချူလဝ် ပရူနူကဵု ဇာတ်ကျာ်ဂမၠိုင်ရ။[၂၆] ထီုကြဴနူဂှ်တအ်ဂှ် ပါန်ကွတ် မတုပ်ကဵု ခေတ်ဂုပ္တ၊[၂၆] ဆဂး ထီုကိုပ်ကၠာဂှ် မသြိုင်ကၠောန်လဝ် နူကဵုအခိင်ကာလလဵုဇေတ်တ်ဂှ် တၠပညာတအ် လညာတ်တၞဟ်ခြာ နွံဒၟံင်ညိညရ။[၂၇][၂၈] အတိုင်လညာတ် ဝလ်တေရ် သ္ပိန်ခ် (Walter Spink) မ္ဂး ထီုတအ်ဂှ် သြိုင်လဝ် ပ္ဍဲအခိင်ကာလ အကြာ ဘဳသဳ ၁၀၀ ကဵု အေဒဳ ၁၀၀၊ မဒှ်အခိင် သၟိင်ဟိန္ဒူပကင်ရင်ဍုင် ဒေသဂှ် လက်ထက်တၞောဝ်သၟိင် သာဒဝါဟန (၂၃၀ ဘဳသဳ - ၜိုတ် ၂၂၀ အေဒဳ)ဂှ်ရ။[၂၉][၃၀] အစာလ္ၚဵုဂှ် စှ်ေစိုတ် ထီုတအ်ဂှ် သြိုင်ကၠောန်လဝ် ပ္ဍဲခေတ်မဂဓ မဒှ်ခေတ်သၟိင်အသောက မကော်ဂး အေန်ပါယာမမောရ (Maurya Empire) (၃၀၀ ဘဳသဳ စဵုကဵု ၁၀၀ အေဒဳ)။ [၃၁] ပၞောဝ်တအ်ဂှ် ထီုဂၞန် ၉ ကဵု ၁၀ ဂှ် ပ္ဍဲဇြပ်လ္ၚောဝ်ကျာ် မကော်ဂး စေတဳယဂြိဟဂှ် နွံကဵု စေတဳ၊ တုဲ ထီု ဂၞန် ၁၂၊ ၁၃ ကေုာံ ၁၅က တအ်ဂှ် ဒှ်ဝိဟာရ် ဘာလကျာ်။[၂၅] ထီုခေတ်သာဒဝါဟနဂှ် ဟွံမဲ ကုပဋိမာရုပ်ဂမၠိုင်တုဲ စၞးဂှ် စွံအဓိက ကုစေတဳရ။

အတိုင်လညာတ် သ္ပိန်ခ်မ္ဂး ထီုတအ်ဂှ် ကၠောန်လဝ် ဗွဲကိုပ်ကၠာ ပ္ဍဲခေတ်သာဒဝါဟန၊ ဆဂး ဒၞာဲဂှ် ဟွံဇၞော်မောဝ် ပ္ဍဲအခိင်ဂှ် စိုပ်လဒေါဝ် ၅ ဗွဝ်ကၠံဂှ်ဟေင် ဇၞော်မောဝ်တိုန်ရ။[၃၂] ၜိုန်ဂှ်လေဝ်၊ ပ္ဍဲအခိင်ကိုပ်ကၠာ ဟွံဇၞော်မောဝ်တေအ်ဂှ်လေဝ် ထီုတအ်ဂှ် ဒှ်လဝ် ဒမံင်ဒတန် ခမဳသင်တအ်၊ တုဲပၠန် ဒါယကာမလ္ၚောဝ်ကျာ်တအ်လေဝ် ကၠုင်ဗဵုလ္ၚောဝ်ဒၟံင်ကီုရဂှ် ဂွံဆဵုကေတ် ပ္ဍဲကဵု လိက်စၟတ်သမ္တီ ညးမကၠုင်ဗဵုလ္ၚောဝ်ကျာ် ဂကူကြုင် မချူစၟတ်သမ္တီလဝ် ပ္ဍဲၜိုတ် ၄၀၀ ဘဳသဳဂှ်ရ။[၂၅]

ထီုခေတ်လက်ကရဴ (ခေတ်ဝါကာဋက)ပြင်ဆင်

အခိင်ကာလ မဆက်သြိုင်ကၠောန် ထီုဂမၠိုင် အဇန္တဂှ် စကၠောန် ပ္ဍဲကဵု မသုန်ဗွဝ်ကၠံ။ တၠပညာကိုပ်ကၠာတေအ် စှ်ေစိုတ် ထီုတၟိတအ်ဂှ် သြိုင်လဝ် အကြာအေဒဳ ၄ ကဵု ၇ ဗွဝ်ကၠံ၊[၃၃] ဆဂး ဗွဲကြဴ ဆက်လ္ၚတ်တုဲ ဖျေဟ်သ္ဂုတ်သွာတ် ထီုတၟိတအ်ဂှ် သြိုင်လဝ် ၜိုတ် အေဒဳ နူကဵု ၄၆၀ ကဵု ၄၈၀၊[၃၂] မဒှ်လက်ထက် သၟိင်ဟိန္ဒူဟရိရှန မဒှ်တၞောဝ်သၟိင်ဝါကာဋက။[၃၄][၃၅][၃၆]လညာတ်ဏအ်ဂှ် တၠပညာလ္ၚဵုတအ် ဟွံဒုင်တဲ ပါ်ပါဲနွံကီု၊[၃၇] ဆဂး လၟုဟ် တၠပညာဗွဲမဂၠိုင် ဥပမာ ဟုန်တိန်တောန် (Huntington) ကေုာံ ဟာရ်လေ (Harle) တအ် ဒုင်ကၠုင်တဲလညာတ်ဏအ်ရ။

 
ထီုမကၠောန်လဝ် ပ္ဍဲကာလဒုတိယတအ် ဗွဲမဂၠိုင်ဂှ် ကၠောန်လဝ် ပ္ဍဲလက်ထက်သၟိင်ဟရိရှန မပကင်ရင်ဝါကာဋက။

ကာလဒုတိယဂှ် ကၠောန်ဗဒှ်လဝ် နကဵုလညာတ် မဟာယာနဗုဒ္ဓဘာသာ၊[၂၆] or Greater Vehicle tradition of Buddhism.[၃၈][၃၉]ထီုကာလဒုတိယဂှ် ဒှ်ထီု ၁-၈၊ ၁၁၊ ၁၄-၂၉၊ လ္ၚဵုတအ်ဂှ် ဆက်လဟဵုပတိုန်လဝ် ထီုတြေံလေဝ် ဒှ်မာန်ကီုရ။ ထီု ၁၉၊ ၂၆ ကဵု ၂၉ တအ်ဂှ် ဒှ်စေတဳယဂြိဟ တုဲ၊ သၟေဟ်တအ်ဂှ် ဒှ်ဝိဟာရ် ဘာလကျာ်အိုတ်ရ။ ထီုမကၠောန်လဝ် ကွတ်စိစိစောန်န် ဗွဲမဂၠိုင်ဂှ် ကၠောန်ဗဒှ်လဝ် ပ္ဍဲကဵုကာလဏအ်၊ တုဲပၠန် ထီုတြေံဂှ်လေဝ် ကလေင်ပလေဝ်လဟဵု၊ ကလေင်ဓဇက်ရုပ်တၟိ ပ္ဍဲကဵုခေတ်ဏအ်ကီုရ။[၄၀][၂၆][၄၁]

သ္ပိန်ခ် ဟီု ရံင်ကဵု ဗီုကွတ်တဲစိစောန် ကဆံင်သမၠုင်တုဲ ဖျေဟ်သ္ဂုတ်သွာတ် ပိုင်ခြာ အခိင်ကာလဂွံရ။ လညာတ်ညးဂှ် ဆက်ဗၟံက်ထ္ၜးဏာ ဗွဲသၟဝ်ဝွံရ။ Spink states that it is possible to establish dating for this period with a very high level of precision; a fuller account of his chronology is given below.[၄၂] ၜိုန်ရ ပရေင်ပါ်ပါဲသ္ၚေဝ်ဂၠေပ် ဆက်ဒှ်ဒၟံင်ကီုလေဝ် လညာတ်သ္ပိန်ခ်ဂှ် မၞိဟ်ဒုင်တဲဂၠိုင်ရ။ ပ္ဍဲဝေပ်သာ် ဌာနပူရာန်အိန္ဒိယဂှ် ဆက်ချူဒၟံင် အတိုင်ဗီုတြေံ "ကာလဒုတိယဂှ် မကၠောန် အကြာ အေဒဳ ၅ - ၆ ဗွဝ်ကၠံ တုဲ ဆက်ကၠောန်အာ ဂတဂှ် ၜါဗွဝ်ကၠံ"။

အတိုင်လညာတ် သ္ပိန်ခ်မ္ဂး ပရေင်ကမၠောန်သြိုင်ခၞံ ထီုဂမၠိုင်အဇန္တဂှ် သီုဟွံတုဲ ပ္ဍဲသၞာံ ၜိုတ် ၄၈၀ ကြဴနူသၟိင်အရိရှန စုတိတုဲ ဒးဒုင်ပဒေါအ်ထောအ် နကဵုသၟိင်တၠတအ်ရ။ ညးသ္ဂောအ်ဟီုဗီုဏအ်ဂှ် ညးရံင်ကဵု သက်သဳပထောင်ဒယိုင် ကၟာတ်လဝ် ပ္ဍဲသၞာံ ၄၈၀ ဂဟ်ရ။ ဆဂး ထီုတအ်ဂှ် ဆက်စကာအာဒၟံင် အခိင်ကာလ ၜိုတ်ဒးရးဏီရ။[၄၃] ပရေင်သြိုင်ခၞံ ကာလဒုတိယ ကေုာံ ကလေင်လဟဵုပတိုန် ပ္ဍဲအဇန္တဂှ် ဒှ်ကွတ်တဲယေန်သၞာင်အိန္ဒိယ ခေတ်တြေံ မစိုပ်ကၞောတ်အထောအ် (ဝါ) ဒှ်အခိင်ထဝ် အိန္ဒိယရ။[၄၄] ၜိုန်ဂှ်လေဝ်၊ ပ္ဍဲအခိင်ဂှ်၊ အေန်ပါယာဂုပ္တဂဟ် ဍိုန်လျစှ်ေဒၟံင် ဟိုတ်နူပြသၞာပရေင်ဍုင်ကွာန် ဗွဲအပ္ဍဲ ကေုာံ သၞဗွဲမ္ၚး ဟူဏတအ်ရ။ ဟိုတ်ဂှ်ရ ဝါကဋကဂှ် ဒှ်လဝ် အေန်ပါယာ အဝဵုသြဇာဇၞော်မွဲ ပ္ဍဲကဵုအေန်ပါယာအိန္ဒိယဂမၠိုင်ရ။[၄၅] ဂကူဟူဏလ္ၚဵုတအ်ဂှ် ဂွံပိုင်ပြဳအာ ဝူဒိုဟ်တအ်တုဲရ။ ပ္ဍဲအခိင်ဂှ် ထီုအဇန္တဂှ် ကၠောန်သြိုင်လဝ်တုဲဒှ်အိုတ်ရ။[၄၆]ပ္ဍဲအခိင်ဂကူဟူဏတအ် မပကင်ရင်လဝ် ဒေသကရေက်ဗယပ်အိန္ဒိယဂှ် ဟူဏဂှ် သ္ဒးဒှ်လဝ် ညးစၠောအ်ဒဒန်ယေန်သၞာင် အကြာဒေသဂန္ဓရ ကဵု ကရေက်လပါ်ပလိုတ် ဒေစ္စ (Deccan) မဒှ်အခိင်အဇန္တ (ဝါ) ထီုပတလ္ခောရ (Pitalkhora caves)မသြိုင်တုဲ ကယျိုင်ပယျေဝ်လဝ် နကဵုအခိုက်ဂန္ဓရ၊ ဗီုကဵု သ္ၚာကျာ်တြဲ မနွံဗီုပြင် abundant foldsဂှ်ရ။[၄၇]

နကဵုလညာတ် ရိချာဒ် ကောဟေန် (Richard Cohen) မ္ဂး ရံင်ကဵု လိက်စၟတ်သမ္တီ ကရိကြုက် Xuanzang ပ္ဍဲ ၇ ဗွဝ်ကၠံဂှ်တုဲ အဇန္တဂှ် ဒှ်ဒၞာဲမၞိဟ်မတီဂၠိုင် ခမဳသင်ပဒတဴနွံဒၟံင်၊ ဆဂး ဂကောံမၞိဟ်ဗုဒ္ဓဘာသာ ဟွံတန်ကြန်ကွေဟ်ဟ်ရ။[၁၄] The Ajanta caves are mentioned in the 17th-century text Ain-i-Akbari by Abu al-Fazl, as twenty four rock-cut cave temples each with remarkable idols.[၁၄]

ကလေင်ဆဵုပြင်ဆင်

ပ္ဍဲ ၂၈ ဨပြဳ ၁၈၁၉ သၟိင်တၠဗြိတိန် မနွံယၟု ဂျောန်သမိတ် (John Smith) သကိုပ်ဒပ်ချေဟ် စၟတ်၂၈၊ အဃောမဗက်ဂၠာဲပန်စကၠဂှ် သၟတ်ဗၠာဲညးဒေသမွဲ ကော်ပလံင်ဏာညးတေအ် ဇရေင်ပါင်ထီုဂၞန် ၁၀။ ထီုတအ်ဂှ် ညးဒေသတအ် တီဒၟံင်တုဲတုဲရ။[၄၈] ကပ္ပတိန်သမိတ် ဂွံဆဵုကေတ် ထီုဂှ်တုဲ ညးပြာပ်အာ ဇရေင်ကွာန်ဗဒါဲဂှ်တုဲ ကော်နင် ကောန်ကွာန်တအ် ကဵုကေတ်နင် မုဲ၊ မြ၊ ပၟတ်တဝ်ၜံင် ကေုာံ ထဗုင်ဒရမ် သွက်ဂွံ ၚးတးပသောင်တၞံဆုမတိုန်ကၟာတ်ဒၟံင်တုဲ ဂွံလုပ်ထီုတအ် လောဲသွာရ။[၄၈] တုဲ ညးတေအ် ခရက်ပလီု ချူစုတ် ယၟုညးတေအ် ကေုာံ စၟတ်တ္ၚဲ လတူရုပ်ကသူဗောဓိသတ်ရ။ ညးတေအ် ဒတဴလတူတိုင်ဒယိုင် မွဲဒကုတ် မနွံသမၠုင် မသုန်ပေတုဲ လိက်ညးတေအ် မချူလဝ်ဂှ် နွံဒၟံင် သမၠုင်မတ်မၞိဟ်ဇၞော်ဇၞော် တ္ၚဲဏအ်ရ။[၄၉] လိက်စံင် ပရူထီု အစာဝင် ဝဳလဳယာမ် ဨရ်သကိန် (William Erskine) ဗှ် ပ္ဍဲကဵု ဂကောံလိက်ပတ်ဗောမ်ဗေ (Bombay Literary Society) ပ္ဍဲသၞာံ ၁၈၂၂။[၅၀]

 
ယၟု ကေုာံ စၟတ်တ္ၚဲ မချူလဝ် နကဵု ဂျောန်သမိတ် ကြဴနူ ညးတေအ် မဂွံဆဵုကေတ် ထီု ဂၞန် ၁၀ ပ္ဍဲသၞာံ ၁၈၁၉

ပ္ဍဲပွိုင်ဗွဝ်စှ်ညိညဂှ် ထီုတအ်ဂှ် ယၟုမြဟ်တမ္ညဝ် ဟိုတ်နူကဵု ဒၞာဲဒတန်မနွံ၊ ကွတ်ဓဇဲ၊ ပါန်ကွတ် ကေုာံ ရုပ်ကသူမဒးအမ်သဝ်ခိုဟ်တအ်ဂှ်ရ။ ကြဴနူ မဂွံဆဵုကေတ်တုဲ ၜိုတ်မွဲဗွဝ်ကၠံဂှ် ကမၠောန်ဆာဲစၠောအ် ရုပ်ကသူတအ်ဂှ် စကၠောန်ကၠုင်ရ။ ပ္ဍဲသၞာံ ၁၈၄၈၊ နကဵု ဂကောံမဆေင်ကဵုအာရှ သၟိင်တၠ (Royal Asiatic Society) ဒက်ပ္တန် ကမ္မရှေန်ဘာကျာ်ဂိုဟ်ဗောမ်ဗေ (Bombay Cave Temple Commission) သွက်ဂွံ သအးဇ္ၚး ကေုာံ စၟတ်သမ္တီ ဒၞာဲဒတန် ပါန်ပုတ်ကိစ္စဇၞော်ဇၞော် မနွံပ္ဍဲကဵု ဗောမ်ဗေတုဲ ကမ္မရှေန်ဂှ် ဂျောန်ဝိလ်သောန် (John Wilson) မဒှ် ဥက္ကဌရ။ ပ္ဍဲသၞာံ ၁၈၆၁ ကမ္မရှေန်ဏအ် ဒှ်အာ ဂကောံလ္ၚတ်ပေါရာန် အိန္ဒိယ (ဌာနပေါရာန်အိန္ဒိယ) (Archaeological Survey of India)ရ။ [၅၁]

ပ္ဍဲခေတ်ကဝ်လဝ်နဳဂှ် ဒတန်အဇန္တဝွံ ဒှ်လဝ် ဍုင်ဟဳဒေရဗာဒ် (Hyderabad) မဒှ်ဍုင်ဗၠးၜးမွဲတုဲ ဟွံလုပ်လၟိဟ် ဗြိတိန်အိန္ဒိယ။[၅၂] ပ္ဍဲတမ်သၞာံ ၁၉၂၀တအ်ဂှ် မိရ် သြသမာန် အလဳ ခါန် (Mir Osman Ali Khan) ညးမဒှ်သၟိင် ဟဳဒေရဗာဒ် လက်ကရဴအိုတ် ဗလးမၞိဟ် ကဵုကလေင်လဟဵုပတိုန် ပါန်ကွတ်၊ ဒၞာဲဂှ် ကၠောန်ဗဒှ် နဒဒှ် တိုက်ထၜးပျး၊ ကၠောန်ဂၠံင် ညံင်ကၟုဲတအ် ဂွံအာဗဵုလ္ၚတ် ထီုတအ်ဂွံ နကဵု င္ၚုဟ်မးရ။ ညးကၠောန်ဗဒှ်လဝ် နကဵုညးပလံင်ကၟုဲကီု သီုကဵု ကွဳစက် မပလံင်ဗစိုပ် နူကဵု သေန်ဒါကၟုဲ စဵုကဵု ထီုတအ်ရ။[၅၂]

ဒါရာ်တာ ဌာနပေါရာန် ခပတိုန် ညးတၠပညာ နူကဵု အဳတလဳ ၜါတၠ ပရောဖေဿာ လောရေန်ဇြော သေက်ကောနဳ (Professor Lorenzo Cecconi) ပံင်ကောံ ကု သြရ်သဳနဳ တုဲ ကလေင်ဗၟံက်ပ္တိုန် ရုပ်ကသူဂမၠိုင် ပ္ဍဲထီုတအ်ဂှ်ရ။[၅၃] ဒါရာ်တာ ဌာနပေါရာန် ဟီုကဵု လောရေန်ဇြော ကေုာံ သြရ်သဳနဳ -

ပလေဝ်ထီု ကေုာံ သအးဇ္ၚး ကေုာံ မင်မဲ ပါန်သူဂှ် သ္ဒးဒှ် နကဵုသဘဴဓဝ် ကေုာံ ကွတ်ပညာသိပ္ပံ မကလေင်ဂယိုင်ပတိုန် လမျီုမစုတိလဝ်တုဲ မွဲၜါဗွဝ်ကၠံတေအ်ရ။[၅၄]

ၜိုန်ဂှ်လေဝ် ဗီုရုပ်တအ်ဂှ် ကလေင်ဗဵုဂွံအာ မွဲဝါပၠန်ရ။[၅၄]

ထီုဂမၠိုင် အဇန္တ မွဲဟာန်ကေုာံ ထီုဨလ္လောရ ဂှ် ဒှ်ဒၞာဲကရိ (ညးအာတရဴ)ဂမၠိုင် မကၠုင်ဝေင်ဂၠိုင်အိုတ်မွဲ ပ္ဍဲကဵု မဟာရၐတြ၊ ပ္ဍဲတ္ၚဲကၟာတ်ရုင်မ္ဂး မၞိဟ်ၜေတ်ပေင်ဒၟံင်ရ။ ဗွဲတၟေင် မၞိဟ်တအ် မိက်ဂွံဗဵု ရုပ်ကသူဂမၠိုင်ရ။[၅၅]

ဒတန် ကေုာံ ဘာဂမၠိုင်ပြင်ဆင်

ဒတန်ပြင်ဆင်

 
ထီု ဂၞန်၂၄၊ ထီုဂမၠိုင် အဇန္တဂှ် ဒှ်ထီုမၜံက်ခါဲတၟအ်တုဲ ကၠောန်ဗဒှ်လဝ် ပ္ဍဲဓရံင်ဒဵု ဒေက်စန် (Deccan plateau)

ထီုတအ်ဂှ် ၜံက်ကၠောန်လဝ် ပ္ဍဲဇိုင်ကြုင် ဗဒင်ဒဵုတၟအ်၊ ပ္ဍဲသကုတ်ဒဵု ဒေက်စန်၊ ဒဵုတၟအ်ဂှ် ကတဵုဒှ်ကၠုင်လဝ် ပ္ဍဲအခိင်လအိတ် The caves are carved out of flood basalt rock of a cliff, part of the Deccan Traps formed by successive volcanic eruptions at the end of the Cretaceous geological period. The rock is layered horizontally, and somewhat variable in quality.[၅၆] This variation within the rock layers required the artists to amend their carving methods and plans in places. The inhomogeneity in the rock have also led to cracks and collapses in the centuries that followed, as with the lost portico to cave 1. Excavation began by cutting a narrow tunnel at roof level, which was expanded downwards and outwards; as evidenced by some of the incomplete caves such as the partially-built vihara caves 21 through 24 and the abandoned incomplete cave 28.[၅၇]

The sculpture artists likely worked at both excavating the rocks and making the intricate carvings of pillars, roof, and idols; further, the sculpture and painting work inside a cave were integrated parallel tasks.[၅၈] A grand gateway to the site was carved, at the apex of the gorge's horseshoe between caves 15 and 16, as approached from the river, and it is decorated with elephants on either side and a nāga, or protective Naga (snake) deity.[၅၉] Similar methods and application of artist talent is observed in other cave temples of India, such as those from Hinduism and Jainism. These include the Ellora Caves, Ghototkacha Caves, Elephanta Caves, Bagh Caves, Badami Caves, Aurangabad Caves[၆၀] and Shivleni Caves.

The caves from the first period seem to have been paid for by a number of different patrons to gain merit, with several inscriptions recording the donation of particular portions of a single cave. The later caves were each commissioned as a complete unit by a single patron from the local rulers or their court elites, again for merit in Buddhist afterlife beliefs as evidenced by inscriptions such as those in Cave 17.[၆၁] After the death of Harisena, smaller donors motivated by getting merit added small "shrinelets" between the caves or add statues to existing caves, and some two hundred of these "intrusive" additions were made in sculpture, with a further number of intrusive paintings, up to three hundred in cave 10 alone.[၆၂]

ဘာဂမၠိုင်ပြင်ဆင်

 
Cave 4: a monastery, or vihara, with its square hall surrounded by monks' cells

The majority of the caves are vihara halls with symmetrical square plans. To each vihara hall are attached smaller square dormitory cells cut into the walls.[၆၃] A vast majority of the caves were carved in the second period, wherein a shrine or sanctuary is appended at the rear of the cave, centred on a large statue of the Buddha, along with exuberantly detailed reliefs and deities near him as well as on the pillars and walls, all carved out of the natural rock.[၆၄] This change reflects the shift from Hinayana to Mahāyāna Buddhism. These caves are often called monasteries.

The central square space of the interior of the viharas is defined by square columns forming a more-or-less square open area. Outside this are long rectangular aisles on each side, forming a kind of cloister. Along the side and rear walls are a number of small cells entered by a narrow doorway; these are roughly square, and have small niches on their back walls. Originally they had wooden doors.[၆၅] The centre of the rear wall has a larger shrine-room behind, containing a large Buddha statue.

The viharas of the earlier period are much simpler, and lack shrines.[၆၆] Spink places the change to a design with a shrine to the middle of the second period, with many caves being adapted to add a shrine in mid-excavation, or after the original phase.[၆၇]

The plan of Cave 1 shows one of the largest viharas, but is fairly typical of the later group. Many others, such as Cave 16, lack the vestibule to the shrine, which leads straight off the main hall. Cave 6 is two viharas, one above the other, connected by internal stairs, with sanctuaries on both levels.[၆၈]

ဇြပ်လ္ၚောဝ်ကျာ်ဂမၠိုင်ပြင်ဆင်

Top: Interior of Ajanta chaitya hall, Cave 26, photo by Robert Gill (c. 1868); Bottom: James Fergusson painting of Cave 19 worship hall.

The other type of main hall architecture is the narrower rectangular plan with high arched ceiling type chaitya-griha – literally, "the house of stupa". This hall is longitudinally divided into a nave and two narrower side aisles separated by a symmetrical row of pillars, with a stupa in the apse.[၇၁][၇၂] The stupa is surrounded by pillars and concentric walking space for circumambulation. Some of the caves have elaborate carved entrances, some with large windows over the door to admit light. There is often a colonnaded porch or verandah, with another space inside the doors running the width of the cave. The oldest worship halls at Ajanta were built in the 2nd to 1st century BCE, the newest ones in the late 5th century CE, and the architecture of both resembles the architecture of a Christian church, but without the crossing or chapel chevette.[၇၃] The Ajanta Caves follow the Cathedral-style architecture found in still older rock-cut cave carvings of ancient India, such as the Lomas Rishi Cave of the Ajivikas near Gaya in Bihar dated to the 3rd century BCE.[၇၄] These chaitya-griha are called worship or prayer halls.[၇၅][၇၆]

The four completed chaitya halls are caves 9 and 10 from the early period, and caves 19 and 26 from the later period of construction. All follow the typical form found elsewhere, with high ceilings and a central "nave" leading to the stupa, which is near the back, but allows walking behind it, as walking around stupas was (and remains) a common element of Buddhist worship (pradakshina). The later two have high ribbed roofs carved into the rock, which reflect timber forms,[၇၇] and the earlier two are thought to have used actual timber ribs and are now smooth, the original wood presumed to have perished.[၇၈] The two later halls have a rather unusual arrangement (also found in Cave 10 at Ellora) where the stupa is fronted by a large relief sculpture of the Buddha, standing in Cave 19 and seated in Cave 26.[၆၆] Cave 29 is a late and very incomplete chaitya hall.[၇၉]

The form of columns in the work of the first period is very plain and un-embellished, with both chaitya halls using simple octagonal columns, which were later painted with images of the Buddha, people and monks in robes. In the second period columns were far more varied and inventive, often changing profile over their height, and with elaborate carved capitals, often spreading wide. Many columns are carved over all their surface with floral motifs and Mahayana deities, some fluted and others carved with decoration all over, as in cave 1.[၈၀][၈၁]

ကသူပြင်ဆင်

 
Painted ceiling depicting Life circle of Lord Buddha

The paintings in the Ajanta caves predominantly narrate the Jataka tales. These are Buddhist legends describing the previous births of the Buddha. These fables embed ancient morals and cultural lores that are also found in the fables and legends of Hindu and Jain texts. The Jataka tales are exemplified through the life example and sacrifices that the Buddha made in hundreds of his past incarnations, where he is depicted as having been reborn as an animal or human.[၈၃][၈၄][၈၅]

Mural paintings survive from both the earlier and later groups of caves. Several fragments of murals preserved from the earlier caves (Caves 10 and 11) are effectively unique survivals of ancient painting in India from this period, and "show that by Sātavāhana times, if not earlier, the Indian painters had mastered an easy and fluent naturalistic style, dealing with large groups of people in a manner comparable to the reliefs of the Sāñcī toraņa crossbars".[၈၆] Some connections with the art of Gandhara can also be noted, and there is evidence of a shared artistic idiom.[၈၇]

Four of the later caves have large and relatively well-preserved mural paintings which, states James Harle, "have come to represent Indian mural painting to the non-specialist",[၈၆] and represent "the great glories not only of Gupta but of all Indian art".[၈၈] They fall into two stylistic groups, with the most famous in Caves 16 and 17, and apparently later paintings in Caves 1 and 2. The latter group were thought to be a century or later than the others, but the revised chronology proposed by Spink would place them in the 5th century as well, perhaps contemporary with it in a more progressive style, or one reflecting a team from a different region.[၈၉] The Ajanta frescos are classical paintings and the work of confident artists, without cliches, rich and full. They are luxurious, sensuous and celebrate physical beauty, aspects that early Western observers felt were shockingly out of place in these caves presumed to be meant for religious worship and ascetic monastic life.[၉၀]

The paintings are in "dry fresco", painted on top of a dry plaster surface rather than into wet plaster.[၉၁] All the paintings appear to be the work of painters supported by discriminating connoisseurship and sophisticated patrons from an urban atmosphere. We know from literary sources that painting was widely practised and appreciated in the Gupta period. Unlike much Indian mural painting, compositions are not laid out in horizontal bands like a frieze, but show large scenes spreading in all directions from a single figure or group at the centre.[၉၀] The ceilings are also painted with sophisticated and elaborate decorative motifs, many derived from sculpture.[၈၉] The paintings in cave 1, which according to Spink was commissioned by Harisena himself, concentrate on those Jataka tales which show previous lives of the Buddha as a king, rather than as deer or elephant or another Jataka animal. The scenes depict the Buddha as about to renounce the royal life.[၉၂]

In general the later caves seem to have been painted on finished areas as excavating work continued elsewhere in the cave, as shown in caves 2 and 16 in particular.[၉၃] According to Spink's account of the chronology of the caves, the abandonment of work in 478 after a brief busy period accounts for the absence of painting in places including cave 4 and the shrine of cave 17, the later being plastered in preparation for paintings that were never done.[၉၂]

Spink's chronology and cave historyပြင်ဆင်

Walter Spink has over recent decades developed a very precise and circumstantial chronology for the second period of work on the site, which unlike earlier scholars, he places entirely in the 5th century. This is based on evidence such as the inscriptions and artistic style, dating of nearby cave temple sites, comparative chronology of the dynasties, combined with the many uncompleted elements of the caves.[၉၈] He believes the earlier group of caves, which like other scholars he dates only approximately, to the period "between 100 BCE – 100 CE", were at some later point completely abandoned and remained so "for over three centuries". This changed during the Hindu emperor Harishena of the Vakataka Dynasty,[၃၄] who reigned from 460 to his death in 477, who sponsored numerous new caves during his reign. Harisena's rule extended the Central Indian Vakataka Empire to include a stretch of the east coast of India; the Gupta Empire ruled northern India at the same period, and the Pallava dynasty much of the south.[၃၂]

 
Buddhist monks praying in front of the Dagoba of Chaitya Cave 26

According to Spink, Harisena encouraged a group of associates, including his prime minister Varahadeva and Upendragupta, the sub-king in whose territory Ajanta was, to dig out new caves, which were individually commissioned, some containing inscriptions recording the donation. This activity began in many caves simultaneously about 462. This activity was mostly suspended in 468 because of threats from the neighbouring Asmaka kings. Thereafter work continued on only Caves 1, Harisena's own commission, and 17–20, commissioned by Upendragupta. In 472 the situation was such that work was suspended completely, in a period that Spink calls "the Hiatus", which lasted until about 475, by which time the Asmakas had replaced Upendragupta as the local rulers.[၉၉]

Work was then resumed, but again disrupted by Harisena's death in 477, soon after which major excavation ceased, except at cave 26, which the Asmakas were sponsoring themselves. The Asmakas launched a revolt against Harisena's son, which brought about the end of the Vakataka Dynasty. In the years 478–480 CE major excavation by important patrons was replaced by a rash of "intrusions" – statues added to existing caves, and small shrines dotted about where there was space between them. These were commissioned by less powerful individuals, some monks, who had not previously been able to make additions to the large excavations of the rulers and courtiers. They were added to the facades, the return sides of the entrances, and to walls inside the caves.[၁၀၀] According to Spink, "After 480, not a single image was ever made again at the site".[၁၀၁] However, there exists a Rashtrakuta inscription outside of cave 26 dateable to end of seventh or early 8th century, suggesting the caves were not abandoned until then.

Spink does not use "circa" in his dates, but says that "one should allow a margin of error of one year or perhaps even two in all cases".[၁၀၂]

Hindu and Buddhist sponsorshipပြင်ဆင်

The Ajanta Caves were built in a period when both the Buddha and the Hindu gods were simultaneously revered in Indian culture. According to Spink and other scholars, the royal Vakataka sponsors of the Ajanta Caves probably worshipped both Hindu and Buddhist gods.[၃၄][၁၀၃] This is evidenced by inscriptions in which these rulers, who are otherwise known as Hindu devotees, made Buddhist dedications to the caves.[၁၀၄] According to Spink,

That one could worship both the Buddha and the Hindu gods may well account for Varahadeva's participation here, just as it can explain why the emperor Harisena himself could sponsor the remarkable Cave 1, even though most scholars agree that he was certainly a Hindu, like earlier Vakataka kings.

— Walter Spink, Ajanta: History and Development, Cave by Cave,[၁၀၃]

A terracotta plaque of Mahishasuramardini, also known as Durga, was also found in a burnt-brick vihara monastery facing the caves on the right bank of the river Waghora that has been recently excavated.[၁၀၅][၁၀၆][၁၀၇] This suggest that the deity was possibly under worship by the artisans.[၁၀၅][၁၀၆] According to Yuko Yokoschi and Walter Spink, the excavated artifacts of the 5th century near the site suggest that the Ajanta caves deployed a huge number of builders.[၁၀၈][၁၀၉]

Individual cavesပြင်ဆင်

 
Ajanta Caves panorama with cave numbers. The caves are numbered from right to left, except for the later discovered cave 29, located high above Cave 21. Also, cave 30 is located between caves 15 and 16, nearer the river bed (cave invisible here). Chaitya halls are boxed (9, 10, 19, 26), and minor caves are indicated by a smaller type.

Cave 1ပြင်ဆင်

 
Front of Cave 1
Cave 1, interior

Cave 1 was built on the eastern end of the horseshoe-shaped scarp and is now the first cave the visitor encounters. This cave, when first made, would have been a less prominent position, right at the end of the row. According to Spink, it is one of the last caves to have been excavated, when the best sites had been taken, and was never fully inaugurated for worship by the dedication of the Buddha image in the central shrine. This is shown by the absence of sooty deposits from butter lamps on the base of the shrine image, and the lack of damage to the paintings that would have happened if the garland-hooks around the shrine had been in use for any period of time. Spink states that the Vākāṭaka Emperor Harishena was the benefactor of the work, and this is reflected in the emphasis on imagery of royalty in the cave, with those Jataka tales being selected that tell of those previous lives of the Buddha in which he was royal.[၁၁၀]

The cliff has a more steep slope here than at other caves, so to achieve a tall grand facade it was necessary to cut far back into the slope, giving a large courtyard in front of the facade. There was originally a columned portico in front of the present facade, which can be seen "half-intact in the 1880s" in pictures of the site, but this fell down completely and the remains, despite containing fine carvings, were carelessly thrown down the slope into the river, from where they have been lost.[၁၁၁]

 
The frieze over the frontage of Cave 1 front shows elephants, horses, bulls, lions, apsaras and meditating monks.

This cave (35.7 m × 27.6 m)[၁၁၂] has one of the most elaborate carved façades, with relief sculptures on entablature and ridges, and most surfaces embellished with decorative carving. There are scenes carved from the life of the Buddha as well as a number of decorative motifs. A two-pillared portico, visible in the 19th-century photographs, has since perished. The cave has a frontcourt with cells fronted by pillared vestibules on either side. These have a high plinth level. The cave has a porch with simple cells on both ends. The absence of pillared vestibules on the ends suggests that the porch was not excavated in the latest phase of Ajanta when pillared vestibules had become customary. Most areas of the porch were once covered with murals, of which many fragments remain, especially on the ceiling. There are three doorways: a central doorway and two side doorways. Two square windows were carved between the doorways to brighten the interiors.[၁၁၃]

Each wall of the hall inside is nearly 40 ပေs (12 m) long and 20 ပေs (6.1 m) high. Twelve pillars make a square colonnade inside supporting the ceiling, and creating spacious aisles along the walls. There is a shrine carved on the rear wall to house an impressive seated image of the Buddha, his hands being in the dharmachakrapravartana mudra. There are four cells on each of the left, rear, and the right walls, though due to rock fault there are none at the ends of the rear aisle.[၁၁၄]

The paintings of Cave 1 cover the walls and the ceilings. They are in a fair state of preservation, although the full scheme was never completed. The scenes depicted are mostly didactic, devotional, and ornamental, with scenes from the Jataka stories of the Buddha's former lives as a bodhisattva, the life of the Gautama Buddha, and those of his veneration. The two most famous individual painted images at Ajanta are the two over-life-size figures of the protective bodhisattvas Padmapani and Vajrapani on either side of the entrance to the Buddha shrine on the wall of the rear aisle (see illustrations above).[၁၁၅][၁၁၆] Other significant frescos in Cave 1 include the Sibi, Sankhapala, Mahajanaka, Mahaummagga, and Champeyya Jataka tales. The cave-paintings also show the Temptation of Mara, the miracle of Sravasti where the Buddha simultaneously manifests in many forms, the story of Nanda, and the story of Siddhartha and Yasodhara.[၁၁၇][၈၅]

Cave 2ပြင်ဆင်

Outside view and main hall with shrine, Cave 2.

Cave 2, adjacent to Cave 1, is known for the paintings that have been preserved on its walls, ceilings, and pillars. It looks similar to Cave 1 and is in a better state of preservation. This cave is best known for its feminine focus, intricate rock carvings and paint artwork yet it is incomplete and lacks consistency.[၁၂၃][၁၂၄] One of the 5th-century frescos in this cave also shows children at a school, with those in the front rows paying attention to the teacher, while those in the back row are shown distracted and acting.[၁၂၅]

Cave 2 (35.7 m × 21.6 m)[၁၁၂] was started in the 460s, but mostly carved between 475 and 477 CE, probably sponsored and influenced by a woman closely related to emperor Harisena.[၁၂၆] It has a porch quite different from Cave 1. Even the façade carvings seem to be different. The cave is supported by robust pillars, ornamented with designs. The front porch consists of cells supported by pillared vestibules on both ends.[၁၂၇]

 
Colonnades with high-reliefs in the veranda

The hall has four colonnades which are supporting the ceiling and surrounding a square in the center of the hall. Each arm or colonnade of the square is parallel to the respective walls of the hall, making an aisle in between. The colonnades have rock-beams above and below them. The capitals are carved and painted with various decorative themes that include ornamental, human, animal, vegetative, and semi-divine motifs.[၁၂၇] Major carvings include that of goddess Hariti. She is a Buddhist deity who originally was the demoness of smallpox and a child eater, who the Buddha converted into a guardian goddess of fertility, easy child birth and one who protects babies.[၁၂၄][၁၂၅]

The paintings on the ceilings and walls of Cave 2 have been widely published. They depict the Hamsa, Vidhurapandita, Ruru, Kshanti Jataka tales and the Purna Avadhana. Other frescos show the miracle of Sravasti, Ashtabhaya Avalokitesvara and the dream of Maya.[၈၅][၈၄] Just as the stories illustrated in cave 1 emphasise kingship, those in cave 2 show many noble and powerful women in prominent roles, leading to suggestions that the patron was an unknown woman.[၁၂၈] The porch's rear wall has a doorway in the center, which allows entrance to the hall. On either side of the door is a square-shaped window to brighten the interior.

Cave 3ပြင်ဆင်

Cave 3 is merely a start of an excavation; according to Spink it was begun right at the end of the final period of work and soon abandoned.[၁၃၁]

This is an incomplete monastery and only the preliminary excavations of pillared veranda exist. The cave was one of the last projects to start at the site. Its date could be ascribed to circa 477 CE[၁၃၂]ထာမ်ပလိက်:Full citation needed, just before the sudden death of Emperor Harisena. The work stopped after the scooping out of a rough entrance of the hall.[နွံပၟိက် ဗၟံက်ထ္ၜးတင်နိဿဲ]

Cave 4ပြင်ဆင်

Exterior view and interior hall of Cave 4
Ajanta hall door (left) and cave pillars

Cave 4, a Vihara, was sponsored by Mathura, likely not a noble or courtly official, rather a wealthy devotee.[၁၃၃] This is the largest vihara in the inaugural group, which suggests he had immense wealth and influence without being a state official. It is placed at a significantly higher level, possibly because the artists realized that the rock quality at the lower and same level of other caves was poor and they had a better chance of a major vihara at an upper location. Another likely possibility is that the planners wanted to carve into the rock another large cistern to the left courtside for more residents, mirroring the right, a plan implied by the height of the forward cells on the left side.[၁၃၃]

The Archaeological Survey of India dates it to the 6th century CE.[၁၁၂] Spink, in contrast, dates this cave's inauguration a century earlier, to about 463 CE, based on construction style and other inscriptions.[၁၃၃] Cave 4 shows evidence of a dramatic collapse of its ceiling in the central hall, likely in the 6th century, something caused by the vastness of the cave and geological flaws in the rock. Later, the artists attempted to overcome this geological flaw by raising the height of the ceiling through deeper excavation of the embedded basalt lava.[၁၃၄]

 
Cave 4: The Buddha in a preaching pose flanked by bodhisattvas

The cave has a squarish plan, houses a colossal image of the Buddha in preaching pose flanked by bodhisattvas and celestial nymphs hovering above. It consists, of a verandah, a hypostylar hall, sanctum with an antechamber and a series of unfinished cells. This monastery is the largest among the Ajanta caves and it measures nearly 970 စတုရံ မဳတာs (10,400 sq ft) (35m × 28m).[၁၁၂] The door frame is exquisitely sculpted flanking to the right is carved Bodhisattva as reliever of Eight Great Perils. The rear wall of the verandah contains the panel of litany of Avalokiteśvara. The cave's ceiling collapse likely affected its overall plan, caused it being left incomplete. Only the Buddha's statue and the major sculptures were completed, and except for what the sponsor considered most important elements all other elements inside the cave were never painted.[၁၃၄]

Cave 5ပြင်ဆင်

Cave 5, an unfinished excavation was planned as a monastery (10.32 × 16.8 m). Cave 5 is devoid of sculpture and architectural elements except the door frame. The ornate carvings on the frame has female figures with mythical makara creatures found in ancient and medieval era Indian arts.[၁၁၂] The cave's construction was likely initiated about 465 CE but abandoned because the rock has geological flaws. The construction was resumed in 475 CE after Asmakas restarted work at the Ajanta caves, but abandoned again as the artists and sponsor redesigned and focussed on an expanded Cave 6 that abuts Cave 5.[၁၃၅]

Cave 6ပြင်ဆင်

A view of the entrance and two storeys (left), upper-level hall, and artwork on sanctum's door frame

Cave 6 is two-storey monastery (16.85 × 18.07 m). It consists of a sanctum, a hall on both levels. The lower level is pillared and has attached cells. The upper hall also has subsidiary cells. The sanctums on both level feature a Buddha in the teaching posture. Elsewhere, the Buddha is shown in different mudras. The lower level walls depict the Miracle of Sravasti and the Temptation of Mara legends.[၁၁၂][၁၃၆] Only the lower floor of cave 6 was finished. The unfinished upper floor of cave 6 has many private votive sculptures, and a shrine Buddha.[၁၃၁]

The lower level of the Cave 6 likely was the earliest excavation in the second stage of construction.[၇၀] This stage marked the Mahayana theme and Vakataka renaissance period of Ajanta reconstruction that started about four centuries after the earlier Hinayana theme construction.[၇၀][၁၃၇] The upper storey was not envisioned in the beginning, it was added as an afterthought, likely around the time when the architects and artists abandoned further work on the geologically-flawed rock of Cave 5 immediately next to it. Both lower and upper Cave 6 show crude experimentation and construction errors.[၁၃၈] The cave work was most likely in progress between 460 and 470 CE, and it is the first that shows attendant Bodhisattvas.[၁၃၉] The upper cave construction probably began in 465, progressed swiftly, and much deeper into the rock than the lower level.[၁၄၀]

The walls and sanctum's door frame of the both levels are intricately carved. These show themes such as makaras and other mythical creatures, apsaras, elephants in different stages of activity, females in waving or welcoming gesture. The upper level of Cave 6 is significant in that it shows a devotee in a kneeling posture at the Buddha's feet, an indication of devotional worship practices by the 5th century.[၁၃၆][၁၄၁] The colossal Buddha of the shrine has an elaborate throne back, but was hastily finished in 477/478 CE, when king Harisena died.[၁၄၂] The shrine antechamber of the cave features an unfinished sculptural group of the Six Buddhas of the Past, of which only five statues were carved.[၁၄၂] This idea may have been influenced from those in Bagh Caves of Madhya Pradesh.[၁၄၃]

Cave 7ပြင်ဆင်

External view of Cave 7, and inside shrine

The Cave 7 is also a monastery (15.55 × 31.25 m) but a single storey. It consists of a sanctum, a hall with octagonal pillars, and eight small rooms for monks. The sanctum Buddha is shown in preaching posture. There are many art panels narrating Buddhist themes, including those of the Buddha with Nagamuchalinda and Miracle of Sravasti.[၁၁၂]

Cave 7 has a grand facade with two porticos. The veranda has eight pillars of two types. One has an octagonal base with amalaka and lotus capital. The other lacks a distinctly shaped base, features an octagonal shaft instead with a plain capital.[၁၄၇] The veranda opens into an antechamber. On the left side in this antechamber are seated or standing sculptures such as those of 25 carved seated Buddhas in various postures and facial expressions, while on the right side are 58 seated Buddha reliefs in different postures, all placed on lotus.[၁၄၇] These Buddhas and others on the inner walls of the antechamber are a sculptural depiction of the Miracle of Sravasti in Buddhist theology.[၁၄၈] The bottom row shows two Nagas (serpents with hoods) holding the blooming lotus stalk.[၁၄၇] The antechamber leads to the sanctum through a door frame. On this frame are carved two females standing on makaras (mythical sea creatures). Inside the sanctum is the Buddha sitting on a lion throne in cross legged posture, surrounded by other Bodhisattva figures, two attendants with chaurisထာမ်ပလိက်:Which lang and flying apsaras above.[၁၄၇]

Perhaps because of faults in the rock, Cave 7 was never taken very deep into the cliff. It consists only of the two porticos and a shrine room with antechamber, with no central hall. Some cells were fitted in.[၁၄၉] The cave artwork likely underwent revisions and refurbishments over time. The first version was complete by about 469 CE, the myriad Buddhas added and painted a few years later between 476 and 478 CE.[၁၅၀]

Cave 8ပြင်ဆင်

External view of Cave 8, with plan. Cave 8 is small, and located at the lowest level in Ajanta, just below the walkway between Caves 7 and 9.

Cave 8 is another unfinished monastery (15.24 × 24.64 m). For many decades in the 20th-century, this cave was used as a storage and generator room.[၁၅၂] It is at the river level with easy access, relatively lower than other caves, and according to Archaeological Survey of India it is possibly one of the earliest monasteries. Much of its front is damaged, likely from a landslide.[၁၁၂] The cave excavation proved difficult and probably abandoned after a geological fault consisting of a mineral layer proved disruptive to stable carvings.[၁၅၂][၁၅၃]

Spink, in contrast, states that Cave 8 is perhaps the earliest cave from the second period, its shrine an "afterthought". It may well be the oldest Mahayana monastery excavated in India, according to Spink.[၁၄၉] The statue may have been loose rather than carved from the living rock, as it has now vanished. The cave was painted, but only traces remain.[၁၄၉]

Cave 9ပြင်ဆင်

Entrance to the Cave 9 worship hall. Right: An 1878 sketch.

Caves 9 and 10 are the two chaitya or worship halls from the 2nd to 1st century BCE – the first period of construction, though both were reworked upon the end of the second period of construction in the 5th century CE.

Cave 9 (18.24 m × 8.04 m)[၁၁၂] is smaller than Cave 10 (30.5 m × 12.2 m),[၁၁၂] but more complex.[၁၅၄] This has led Spink to the view that Cave 10 was perhaps originally of the 1st century BCE, and cave 9 about a hundred years later. The small "shrinelets" called caves 9A to 9D and 10A also date from the second period. These were commissioned by individuals.[၁၅၅] Cave 9 arch has remnant profile that suggests that it likely had wooden fittings.[၁၅၄]

The cave has a distinct apsidal shape, nave, aisle and an apse with an icon, architecture, and plan that reminds one of the cathedrals built in Europe many centuries later. The aisle has a row of 23 pillars. The ceiling is vaulted. The stupa is at the center of the apse, with a circumambulation path around it. The stupa sits on a high cylindrical base. On the left wall of the cave are votaries approaching the stupa, which suggests a devotional tradition.[၁၅၆][၁၅၇]

According to Spink, the paintings in this cave, including the intrusive standing Buddhas on the pillars, were added in the 5th century.[၁၅၈] Above the pillars and also behind the stupa are colorful paintings of the Buddha with Padmapani and Vajrapani next to him, they wear jewels and necklaces, while yogis, citizens and Buddhist bhikshu are shown approaching the Buddha with garlands and offerings, with men wearing dhoti and turbans wrapped around their heads.[၁၅၉] On the walls are friezes of Jataka tales, but likely from the Hinayana phase of early construction. Some of the panels and reliefs inside as well as outside Cave 10 do not make narrative sense, but are related to Buddhist legends. This lack of narrative flow may be because these were added by different monks and official donors in the 5th century wherever empty space was available.[၁၅၇] This devotionalism and the worship hall character of this cave is the likely reason why four additional shrinelets 9A, 9B, 9C, and 9D were added between Cave 9 and 10.[၁၅၇]

Cave 10ပြင်ဆင်

Exterior view and interior hall of Cave 10[၁၆၀]

Cave 10, a vast prayer hall or Chaitya, is dated to about the 1st century BCE, together with the nearby vihara cave No 12.[၁၆၁][၁၆၂] These two caves are thus among the earliest of the Ajanta complex.[၁၆၁] It has a large central apsidal hall with a row of 39 octagonal pillars, a nave separating its aisle and stupa at the end for worship. The stupa has a pradakshina patha (circumambulatory path).[၁၁၂][၁၆၂]

This cave is significant because its scale confirms the influence of Buddhism in South Asia by the 1st century BCE and its continued though declining influence in India through the 5th century CE.[၁၆၂] Further, the cave includes a number of inscriptions where parts of the cave are "gifts of prasada" by different individuals, which in turn suggests that the cave was sponsored as a community effort rather than a single king or one elite official.[၁၆၂] Cave 10 is also historically important because in April 1819, a British Army officer John Smith saw its arch and introduced his discovery to the attention of the Western audience.[၁၁၂]

Chronology

Several others caves were also built in Western India around the same period under royal sponsorship.[၁၆၁] It is thought that the chronology of these early Chaitya Caves is as follows: first Cave 9 at Kondivite Caves and then Cave 12 at the Bhaja Caves, which both predate Cave 10 of Ajanta.[၁၆၃] Then, after Cave 10 of Ajanta, in chronological order: Cave 3 at Pitalkhora, Cave 1 at Kondana Caves, Cave 9 at Ajanta, which, with its more ornate designs, may have been built about a century later,[၁၆၁] Cave 18 at Nasik Caves, and Cave 7 at Bedse Caves, to finally culminate with the "final perfection" of the Great Chaitya at Karla Caves.[၁၆၃]

Inscription
 
Ajanta Cave 10 dedicatory inscription

Cave 10 features a Sanskrit inscription in Brahmi script that is archaeologically important.[၁၁၂] The inscription is the oldest of the Ajanta site, the Brahmi letters being paleographically dated to circa the 2nd century BCE.[၁၆၄] It reads:[note ၂]

𑀯𑀲𑀺𑀣𑀺𑀧𑀼𑀢𑀲 𑀓𑀝𑀳𑀸𑀤𑀺𑀦𑁄 𑀖𑀭𑀫𑀼𑀔 𑀤𑀸𑀦𑀁
ဝသိထိပုတသ ကဋဟာဒိနော ဃရမုခ ဒါနံ (Vasithiputasa Kaṭahādino gharamukha dānaṁ)
"ဝသိထိပုတသ ညးမဒှ်တၠဒါန် ကဋဟာဒိ မုက်ထီု (The gift of a cave-façade by Vasisthiputra" Katahadi.)"

— Inscription of Cave No.10.[၁၆၅][၁၆၁]
Paintings

The paintings in cave 10 include some surviving from the early period, many from an incomplete programme of modernisation in the second period, and a very large number of smaller late intrusive images for votive purposes, around the 479–480 CE, nearly all Buddhas and many with donor inscriptions from individuals. These mostly avoided over-painting the "official" programme and after the best positions were used up are tucked away in less prominent positions not yet painted; the total of these (including those now lost) was probably over 300, and the hands of many different artists are visible. The paintings are numerous and from two periods, many narrating the Jataka tales in a clockwise sequence.[၁၆၆] Both Hinayana and Mahayana stage paintings are discernable, though the former are more faded and begrimed with early centuries of Hinayana worship.[၁၆၇] Of interest here is the Saddanta Jataka tale – the fable about six tusked elephant, and the Shyama Jataka – the story about the man who dedicates his life serving his blind parents.[၁၆၂][၁၆၈][၁၆၉] According to Stella Kramrisch, the oldest layer of the Cave 10 paintings date from about 100 BCE, and the principles behind their composition are analogous to those from the same era at Sanchi and Amaravati.[၁၆၉]

Caves 11ပြင်ဆင်

Outside view of Cave 11: Buddha with a kneeling devotee[၁၇၂]

The Cave 11 is a monastery (19.87 × 17.35 m) from the later 5th century.[၁၁၂] The cave veranda has pillars with octagonal shafts and square bases. The ceiling of the veranda shows evidence of floral designs and eroded reliefs. Only the center panel is discernible wherein the Buddha is seen with votaries lining up to pray before him.[၁၇၂] Inside, the cave consists of a hall with a long rock bench opening into six rooms. Similar stone benches are found in Nasik Caves.[၁၇၂] Another pillared verandah ends in a sanctum with seated Buddha against an incomplete stupa, and has four cells.

The cave has a few paintings showing Bodhisattvas and the Buddha.[၁၁၂] Of these, the Padmapani, a couple gathered to pray, a pair of peafowl, and a female figure painting have survived in the best condition. The sanctum of this cave may be among the last structures built at Ajanta because it features a circumambulation path around the seated Buddha.[၁၇၂]

Caves 12ပြင်ဆင်

Cave 12 hall, with monk cells. Each cell has two stone beds.[၁၇၂]

According to Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Cave 12 is an early stage Hinayana (Theravada) monastery (14.9 × 17.82 m) from the 2nd to 1st century BCE. Spink however only dates it to the 1st century BCE.[၁၇၃]

The cave is damaged with its front wall completely collapsed. Its three sides inside have twelve cells, each with two stone beds.[၁၁၂][၁၇၄]

Cave 13, 14, 15, 15Aပြင်ဆင်

Cave 13 is another small monastery from the early period, consisting of a hall with seven cells, each also with two stone beds, all carved out of the rock. Each cell has rock-cut beds for the monks. In contrast to ASI's estimate, Gupte and Mahajan date both these caves about two to three centuries later, between 1st and 2nd-century CE.[၁၇၄]

 
Interior of newly discovered vihara 15A at Ajanta, 2nd century BCE[၁၇၅]

Cave 14 is another unfinished monastery (13.43 × 19.28 m) but carved above Cave 13. The entrance door frame shows sala bhanjikas.[၁၁၂]

Cave 15 is a more complete monastery (19.62 × 15.98 m) with evidence that it had paintings. The cave consists of an eight-celled hall ending in a sanctum, an antechamber and a verandah with pillars. The reliefs show the Buddha, while the sanctum Buddha is shown seated in the Simhasana posture.[၁၁၂] Cave 15 door frame has carvings of pigeons eating corn.[၁၇၄]

Cave 15A is the smallest cave with a hall and one cell on each side. Its entrance is located just to the right of the elephant-decorated entrance to Cave 16.[၁၇၆] It is an ancient Hinayana cave with three cells opening around a minuscule central hall.[၁၇၆] The doors are decorated with a rail and arch pattern.[၁၇၆] It had an inscription in an ancient script, which has been lost.[၁၁၂][၁၇၆]

Cave 16ပြင်ဆင်

Entrance stairs to the single-storey Cave 16, with stone elephants and front with pillars (left). Inside hall with seated Buddha statue (right).[၁၇၇]

Cave 16 occupies a prime position near the middle of site, and was sponsored by Varahadeva, minister of Vakataka king Harishena (r. c. 475 – c. 500 CE). He devoted it to the community of monks, with an inscription that expresses his wish, may "the entire world (...) enter that peaceful and noble state free from sorrow and disease" and affirming his devotion to the Buddhist faith: "regarding the sacred law as his only companion, (he was) extremely devoted to the Buddha, the teacher of the world".[၁၀၄][၁၇၈][၁၇၉] He was, states Spink, probably someone who revered both the Buddha and the Hindu gods, as he proclaims his Hindu heritage in an inscription in the nearby Ghatotkacha Cave.[၁၀၄] The 7th-century Chinese traveler Xuan Zang described the cave as the entrance to the site.[၁၇၈]

Cave 16 (19.5 m × 22.25 m × 4.6 m)[၁၁၂] influenced the architecture of the entire site. Spink and other scholars call it the "crucial cave" that helps trace the chronology of the second and closing stages of the entire cave complex's construction.[၁၈၀][၁၈၁] Cave 16 is a Mahayana monastery and has the standard arrangement of a main doorway, two windows, and two aisle doorways.[၁၈၂] The veranda of this monastery is 19.5 m × 3 m, while the main hall is almost a perfect square with 19.5 m side.[၁၈၃]

Inscription of Varāhadēva
Cave 16 inscription of Varāhadēva, with translation

The paintings in Cave 16 are numerous. Narratives include various Jataka tales such as Hasti, Mahaummagga and the Sutasoma fables. Other frescos depict the conversion of Nanda, miracle of Sravasti, Sujata's offering, Asita's visit, the dream of Maya, the Trapusha and Bhallika story, and the ploughing festival.[၈၅][၁၈၄] The Hasti Jataka frescos tell the story of a Bodhisattva elephant who learns of a large group of people starving, then tells them to go below a cliff where they could find food. The elephant proceeds to sacrifice himself by jumping off that cliff thereby becoming food so that the people can survive.[၁၈၃][note ၃] These frescos are found immediately to the left of entrance, in the front corridor and the narrative follows a clockwise direction.[၁၈၃]

The Mahaummagga Jataka frescos are found on the left wall of the corridor, which narrates the story of a child Bodhisattva.[၁၈၇] Thereafter, in the left corridor is the legend surrounding the conversion of Nanda – the half brother of the Buddha. The story depicted is one of the two major versions of the Nanda legend in the Buddhist tradition, one where Nanda wants to lead a sensuous life with the girl he had just wed and the Buddha takes him to heaven and later hell to show the spiritual dangers of a sensual life.[၁၈၇] After the Nanda-related frescos, the cave presents Manushi Buddhas, followed by flying votaries with offerings to worship the Buddha and the Buddha seated in teaching asana and dharma chakra mudra.[၁၈၈]

The right wall of the corridor show the scenes from the life of the Buddha.[၁၈၉][၁၉၀] These include Sujata offering food to the Buddha with a begging bowl in white dress, Tapussa and Bhalluka next to the Buddha after they offering wheat and honey to the Buddha as monk, the future Buddha sitting alone under a tree, and the Buddha at a ploughing festival.[၁၉၀] One mural shows Buddha's parents trying to dissuade him from becoming a monk. Another shows the Buddha at the palace surrounded by men in dhoti and women in sari as his behavior presents the four signs that he is likely to renounce.[၁၈၉][၁၉၀] On this side of the corridor are also paintings that show the future Buddha as a baby with sage Asita with rishi-like looks.[၁၈၉][၁၉၀] According to Spink, some of the Cave 16 paintings were left incomplete.[၁၉၁]

Cave 17ပြင်ဆင်

Cave 17: exterior view and inside hall with seated Buddha statue[၁၉၃]

Cave 17 (34.5 m × 25.63 m)[၁၁၂] along with Cave 16 with two great stone elephants at the entrance and Cave 26 with sleeping Buddha, were some of the many caves sponsored by the Hindu Vakataka prime minister Varahadeva.[၁၉၄] Cave 17 had additional donors such as the local king Upendragupta, as evidenced by the inscription therein.[၁၉၅]

The cave features a large and most sophisticated vihara design, along with some of the best-preserved and well-known paintings of all the caves. While Cave 16 is known for depicting the life stories of the Buddha, the Cave 17 paintings has attracted much attention for extolling human virtues by narrating the Jataka tales.[၁၉၆] The narration includes attention to details and a realism which Stella Kramrisch calls "lavish elegance" accomplished by efficient craftsmen. The ancient artists, states Kramrisch, tried to show wind passing over a crop by showing it bending in waves, and a similar profusion of rhythmic sequences that unroll story after story, visually presenting the metaphysical.[၁၉၇]

Inscription of Cave 17
Inscription of Cave 17, with translation

The Cave 17 monastery includes a colonnaded porch, a number of pillars each with a distinct style, a peristyle design for the interior hall, a shrine antechamber located deep in the cave, larger windows and doors for more light, along with extensive integrated carvings of Indian gods and goddesses.[၁၉၈] The hall of this monastery is a 380.53 စတုရံ မဳတာs (4,096.0 sq ft) square, with 20 pillars.[၁၉၆] The grand scale of the carving also introduced errors of taking out too much rock to shape the walls, states Spink, which led to the cave being splayed out toward the rear.[၁၉၉]

Cave 17 has one long inscription by king Upendragupta, in which he explains that he has "expended abundant wealth" on building this vihara, bringing much satisfaction to the devotees.[၂၀၀] Altogether, Upendragupta is known to have sponsored at least 5 of the caves in Ajanta. He may have spent too much wealth on religious pursuits however, as he was ultimately defeated by the attacks of the Asmaka.[၂၀၀]

Cave 17 has thirty major murals. The paintings of Cave 17 depict Buddha in various forms and postures – Vipasyi, Sikhi, Visvbhu, Krakuchchanda, Kanakamuni, Kashyapa and Sakyamuni. Also depicted are Avalokitesvara, the story of Udayin and Gupta, the story of Nalagiri, the Wheel of life, a panel celebrating various ancient Indian musicians and a panel that tells of Prince Simhala's expedition to Sri Lanka.[၂၀၁][၂၀၂] The narrative frescos depict the various Jataka tales such as the Shaddanta, Hasti, Hamsa, Vessantara, Sutasoma, Mahakapi (in two versions), Sarabhamiga, Machchha, Matiposaka, Shyama, Mahisha, Valahassa, Sibi, Ruru and Nigrodamiga Jatakas.[၈၃][၈၅][၂၀၃] The depictions weave in the norms of the early 1st millennium culture and the society. They show themes as diverse as a shipwreck, a princess applying makeup, lovers in scenes of dalliance, and a wine drinking scene of a couple with the woman and man amorously seated. Some frescos attempt to show the key characters from various parts of a Jataka tale by co-depicting animals and attendants in the same scene.[၈၅][၉၅]

Cave 18ပြင်ဆင်

Cave 18 is a small rectangular space (3.38 × 11.66 m) with two octagonal pillars and it joins into another cell. Its role is unclear.[၁၁၂]

Cave 19 (5th century CE)ပြင်ဆင်

Entrance façade and inside worship hall, Cave 19, sponsored by king Upendragupta.[၂၀၅]

Cave 19 is a worship hall (chaitya griha, 16.05 × 7.09 m) datable to the fifth century CE. The hall shows painted Buddha, depicted in different postures.[၁၁၂][၂၀၅] This worship hall is now visited through what was previously a carved room. The presence of this room before the hall suggests that the original plan included a mandala style courtyard for devotees to gather and wait, an entrance and facade to this courtyard, all of whose ruins are now lost to history.[၂၀၆] Cave 19 is one of the caves known for its sculpture. It includes Naga figures with a serpent canopy protecting the Buddha, similar to those found for spiritual icons in the ancient Jain and Hindu traditions. It includes Yaksha dvarapalaထာမ်ပလိက်:Which lang (guardian) images on the side of its vatayanaထာမ်ပလိက်:Which lang (arches), flying couples, sitting Buddha, standing Buddhas and evidence that its ceiling was once painted.[၂၀၆]

The Cave 19 drew upon on the plan and experimentation in Cave 9.[၂၀၇] It made a major departure from the earlier Hinayana tradition, by carving a Buddha into the stupa, a decision that states Spink must have come from "the highest levels" in the 5th-century Mahayana Buddhist establishment because the king and dynasty that built this cave was from the Shaivism Hindu tradition. Cave 19 excavation and stupa was likely in place by 467 CE, and its finishing and artistic work continued into the early 470s, but it too was an incomplete cave when it was dedicated in 471 CE.[၂၀၈]

The entrance facade of the Cave 19 worship hall is ornate. Two round pillars with fluted floral patterns and carved garlands support a porch. Its capital is an inverted lotus connecting to an amalaka. To its left is standing Buddha in varada hasta mudra with a devotee prostrating at his feet. On right is a relief of woman with one hand holding a pitcher and other touching her chin.[၂၀၆][၂၀၉] Above is a seated Buddha in meditating mudra. Towards the right of the entrance is the "Mother and Child" sculpture.[၂၁၀][note ၄] A figure with begging bowl is the Buddha, watching him are his wife and son.[၂၀၆][၂၀၉]

The worship hall is apsidal, with 15 pillars dividing it into two side aisles and one nave. The round pillars have floral reliefs and a fluted shaft topped with Buddha in its capitals. Next, to the Buddha in the capitals are elephants, horses and flying apsara friezes found elsewhere in India, reflecting the style of the Gupta Empire artwork.[၂၁၃] According to Sharma, the similarities at the Karla Caves Great Chaitya, built in the 2nd century CE, suggest that Cave 19 may have been modeled after it.[၂၁၄]

The walls and the ceiling of the side aisles inside the worship hall are covered with paintings. These show the Buddha, flowers, and in the left aisle the "Mother and Child" legend again.[၂၁၃]

Cave 20ပြင်ဆင်

Cave 20: exterior, and main shrine with pillars

Cave 20 is a monastery hall (16.2 × 17.91 m) from the 5th century. Its construction, states Spink, was started in the 460s by king Upendragupta, with his expressed desire "to make the great tree of religious merit grow".[၂၁၆] The work on Cave 20 was pursued in parallel with other caves. Cave 20 has exquisite detailing, states Spink, but it was relatively lower on priority than Caves 17 and 19.[၂၁၇] The work on Cave 20 was intermittently stopped and then continued in the following decade.[၂၁၇]

The vihara consists of a sanctum, four cells for monks and a pillared verandah with two stone cut windows for light. Prior to entering the main hall, on the left of veranda are two Buddhas carved above the window and side cell. The ceiling of the main hall has remnants of painting.[၂၁၈] The sanctum Buddha is in preaching posture. The cave is known for the sculpture showing seven Buddhas with attendants on its lintel.[၁၁၂] The cave has a dedicatory Sanskrit inscription in Brahmi script in its verandah, and it calls the cave as a mandapa.[၂၁၉][၂၂၀]

Many of the figural and ornamental carvings in Cave 20 are similar to Cave 19, and to a lesser degree to those found in Cave 17. This may be because the same architects and artisans were responsible for the evolution of the three caves. The door frames in Cave 20 are quasi-structural, something unique at the Ajanta site.[၂၂၁] The decorations are also innovative in Cave 20, such as one showing the Buddha seated against two pillows and "a richly laden mango tree behind him", states Spink.[၂၂၁]

Caves 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25ပြင်ဆင်

Cave 21: exterior, and inside hall

Cave 21, 22, 23 and 24 are all monasteries, representing the final phases of Ajanta's construction. Cave 21 is a hall (28.56 × 28.03 m) with twelve rock cut rooms for monks, a sanctum, twelve pillared and pilastered verandah. The carvings on the pilaster include those of animals and flowers. The pillars feature reliefs of apsaras, Nagaraja and Nagarani, as well as devotees bowing with the namaste mudra. The hall shows evidence that it used to be completely painted. The sanctum Buddha is shown in preaching posture.[၂၂၂][၂၂၃]

Cave 22 is a small vihara (12.72 × 11.58 m) with a narrow veranda and four unfinished cells. It is excavated at a higher level and has to be reached by a flight of steps. Inside, the Buddha is seated in pralamba-padasana. The painted figures in Cave 22 show Manushi-Buddhas with Maitreya.[၁၁၂][၂၂၂][၂၂၄] A pilaster on the left side of the Cave 22 veranda has a Sanskrit prose inscription. It is damaged in parts, and the legible parts state that this is a "meritorious gift of a mandapa by Jayata", calling Jayata's family as "a great Upasaka", and ending the inscription with "may the merit of this be for excellent knowledge to all sentient beings, beginning with father and mother".[၂၂၅]

The Cave 23 is also unfinished, consisting of a hall (28.32 × 22.52 m) but a design similar to Cave 21. The cave differs in its pillar decorations and the naga doorkeepers.[၁၁၂][၂၂၂][၂၂၆]

Exterior, and unfinished inside of Cave 24.

Cave 24 is like Cave 21, unfinished but much larger. It features the second largest monastery hall (29.3 × 29.3 m) after Cave 4. The cave 24 monastery has been important to scholarly studies of the site because it shows how multiple crews of workers completed their objectives in parallel.[၂၂၇] The cell construction began as soon as the aisle had been excavated and while the main hall and sanctum were under construction.[၂၂၈] The construction of Cave 24 was planned in 467 CE, but likely started in 475 CE, with support from Buddhabhadra, then abruptly ended in 477 with the sponsor king Harisena's death.[၂၂၉]

Cave 24 is significant in having one of the most complex capitals on a pillar at the Ajanta site, an indication of how the artists excelled and continuously improved their sophistication as they worked with the rock inside the cave.[၂၃၀] The artists carved fourteen complex miniature figures on the central panel of the right center porch pillar, while working in dim light in a cramped cave space.[၂၃၁] The medallion reliefs in Cave 24 similarly show loving couples and anthropomorphic arts, rather than flowers of earlier construction.[၂၃၁] Cave 24's sanctum has a seated Buddha in pralamba-padasana.[၁၁၂][၂၂၂][၂၃၂]

Cave 25 is a monastery. Its hall (11.37 × 12.24 m) is similar to other monasteries, but has no sanctum, includes an enclosed courtyard and is excavated at an upper level.[၁၁၂][၂၂၂]

Cave 26 (5th century CE)ပြင်ဆင်

Cave 26: entrance and interior of hall

Cave 26 is a worship hall (chaityagriha, 25.34 × 11.52 m) similar in plan to Cave 19, but much larger and with elements of a vihara design. An inscription states that a monk Buddhabhadra and his friend minister serving king of Asmaka gifted this vast cave.[၂၃၃][၂၃၄] The inscription includes a vision statement and the aim to make "a memorial on the mountain that will endure for as long as the moon and the sun continue", translates Walter Spink.[၂၃၅] It is likely that the builders focussed on sculpture, rather than paintings, in Cave 26 because they believed stone sculpture will far more endure than paintings on the wall.[၂၃၅]

The cave drew upon the experiences in building Cave 10, with attached wings similar to the ancient Cave 12 Hinayana-style vihara.[၂၃၄][၂၃၆] The Cave 26 complex has two upper stories and it shows evidence that four wings of the cave were planned, but these were abandoned and only the carved Buddhas on the right and left wall were completed.[၂၃၇][၂၃၈]

The sculptures in Cave 26 are elaborate and more intricate. It is among the last caves excavated, and an inscription suggests late 5th or early 6th century according to ASI. The cave consists of an apsidal hall with side aisles for circumambulation (pradikshana). This path is full of carved Buddhist legends, three depictions of the Miracle of Sravasti in the right ambulatory side of the aisle, and seated Buddhas in various mudra. Many of these were added later by devotees, and therefore are intrusive to the aims of the original planners.[၂၃၉] The artwork begins on the wall of the aisle, immediately the left side of entrance. The major artworks include the Mahaparinirvana of Buddha (reclining Buddha) on the wall, followed by the legend called the "Temptations by Mara". The temptations include the seduction by Mara's daughters who are depicted below the meditating Buddha. They are shown scantly dressed and in seductive postures, while on both the left and right side of the Buddha are armies of Mara attempting to distract him with noise and threaten him with violence. In the top right corner is the image of a dejected Mara frustrated by his failure to disturb the resolve or focus of the ascetic Buddha.[၁၁၂][၂၃၃]

At the center of the apse is a rock-cut stupa. The stupa has an image of the Buddha on its front, 18 panels on its base, 18 panels above these, a three tiered torana above him, and apsaras are carved on the anda (hemispherical egg) stupa.[၂၃၃] On top of the dagoba is a nine-tiered harmika, a symbolism for the nine saṃsāra (Buddhism) heavens in Mahayana cosmology. The walls, pillars, brackets and the triforium are extensively carved with Buddhist themes. Many of the wall reliefs and images in this cave were badly damaged, and have been restored as a part of the site conservation efforts.[၂၄၀]

Between cave 26 and its left wing, there is an inscription by a courtier of Rashtrakuta Nanaraj (who is mentioned in the Multai and Sangaloda plates), from late 7th or early 8th century. It is the last inscription in Ajanta.[၂၄၁]

Caves 27, 28 and 29ပြင်ဆင်

Left: Cave 27, to the left of Cave 26. Middle: Cave 28, further beyond Cave 27, at the westernmost end of the Ajanta complex. Right: Cave 29, high up between caves 20 and 21.

Cave 27 is a monastery and it may have been planned as an attachment to Cave 26. Its two storeys are damaged, with the upper level partially collapsed. Its plan is similar to other monasteries. Cave 28 is an unfinished monastery, partially excavated, at the westernmost end of the Ajanta complex and barely accessible.[၁၁၂]

Cave 29 is an unfinished monastery at the highest level of the Ajanta complex, apparently unnoticed when the initial numbering system was established, and physically located between Caves 20 and 21.[၁၁၂]

Cave 30ပြင်ဆင်

In 1956, a landslide covered the footpath leading to Cave 16. In the attempts to clear and restore the walkway, a small aperture and votive stupa were noticed in the debris by the workers, in a location near the stream bed.[၂၄၅][၂၄၆] Further tracing and excavations led to a previously unknown Hinayana monastery cave dated to the 2nd and 1st century BCE.[၂၄၇][၂၄၈] Cave 30 may actually be the oldest cave of the Ajanta complex.[၂၄၅] It is a 3.66 m × 3.66 m cave with three cells, each with two stone beds and stone pillows on the side of each cell. The cell door lintels show lotus and garland carvings. The cave has two inscriptions in an unknown script. It also has a platform on its veranda with a fine view of the river ravine below and the forest cover. According to Gupte and Mahajan, this cave may have been closed at some point with large carefully carved pieces as it distracted the entrance view of Cave 16.[၂၄၇]

Other infrastructureပြင်ဆင်

Over 80% of the Ajanta caves were vihara (temporary traveler residences, monasteries). The designers and artisans who built these caves included facilities for collecting donations and storing grains and food for the visitors and monks. Many of the caves include large repositories cut into the floor. The largest storage spaces are found, states Spink, in the "very commodious recesses in the shrines of both Ajanta Cave Lower 6 and Cave 11". These caves were probably chosen because of their relative convenience and the security they offered due to their higher level. The choice of integrating covered vaults cut into the floor may have been driven by the need to provide sleeping space and logistical ease.[၂၄၉][note ၅]

Recent excavationsပြင်ဆင်

 
The vihara brick monastery facing the caves at Ajanta. The cells were built around a stupa set on a central platform.[၁၀၅]

A burnt-brick vihara monastery facing the caves on the right bank of the river Waghora has been recently excavated.[၁၀၅][၁၀၆] It has a number of cells facing a central courtyard, in which a stupa was established.[၁၀၅][၁၀၇] A coin of the Western Satraps ruler Visvasena (ruled 293–304 CE) as well as a gold coin of the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II (ruled 402-450 CE) were found in the excavations, giving further numismatic confirmation for the dating of the caves.[၁၀၅] A terracotta plaque of Mahishasuramardini was also found, which was possibly under worship by the artisans.[၁၀၅][၁၀၆]

Copies of the paintingsပြင်ဆင်

 
a detail: original left, copy by Lady Herringham (1915) right

The paintings have deteriorated significantly since they were rediscovered, and a number of 19th-century copies and drawings are important for a complete understanding of the works. A number of attempts to copy the Ajanta paintings began in the 19th century for European and Japanese museums. Some of these works have later been lost in natural and fire disasters. In 1846 for example, Major Robert Gill, an Army officer from Madras Presidency and a painter, was appointed by the Royal Asiatic Society to make copies of the frescos on the cave walls.[၂၅၀] Gill worked on his painting at the site from 1844 to 1863. He made 27 copies of large sections of murals, but all but four were destroyed in a fire at the Crystal Palace in London in 1866, where they were on display.[၂၅၁] Gill returned to the site, and recommenced his labours, replicating the murals until his death in 1875.[နွံပၟိက် ဗၟံက်ထ္ၜးတင်နိဿဲ]

 
Dancing girl in Ajanta fresco; a 2012 photograph (left) and Robert Gill's 19th-century copy[၂၅၂]

Another attempt was made in 1872 when the Bombay Presidency commissioned John Griffiths to work with his students to make copies of Ajanta paintings, again for shipping to England. They worked on this for thirteen years and some 300 canvases were produced, many of which were displayed at the Imperial Institute on Exhibition Road in London, one of the forerunners of the Victoria and Albert Museum. But in 1885 another fire destroyed over a hundred of the paintings in storage in a wing of the museum. The V&A still has 166 paintings surviving from both sets, though none have been on permanent display since 1955. The largest are some 3 by 6 မဳတာs (9.8 ft × 19.7 ft). A conservation project was undertaken on about half of them in 2006, also involving the University of Northumbria.[၂၅၃] Griffith and his students had unfortunately painted many of the paintings with "cheap varnish" in order to make them easier to see, which has added to the deterioration of the originals, as has, according to Spink and others, recent cleaning by the ASI.[၂၅၄]

 
Copy of an Ajanta painting, in Musée Guimet, Paris. Part of a mural probably relating the conversion of Nanda, Cave 1.[၂၅၅]

A further set of copies were made between 1909 and 1911 by Christiana Herringham (Lady Herringham) and a group of students from the Calcutta School of Art that included the future Indian Modernist painter Nandalal Bose. The copies were published in full colour as the first publication of London's fledgling India Society. More than the earlier copies, these aimed to fill in holes and damage to recreate the original condition rather than record the state of the paintings as she was seeing them. According to one writer, unlike the paintings created by her predecessors Griffiths and Gill, whose copies were influenced by British Victorian styles of painting, those of the Herringham expedition preferred an 'Indian Renascence' aesthetic of the type pioneered by Abanindranath Tagore.[၂၅၆]

Early photographic surveys were made by Robert Gill, who learnt to use a camera from about 1856, and whose photos, including some using stereoscopy, were used in books by him and Fergusson (many are available online from the British Library),[၂၅၇] then Victor Goloubew in 1911 and E.L. Vassey, who took the photos in the four volume study of the caves by Ghulam Yazdani (published 1930–1955).[၂၅၈]

 
Reproduction of The Adoration of the Buddha, cave 17, Albert Hall Museum, Jaipur, India

Some slightly creative copies of Ajanta frescos, especially the painting of the Adoration of the Buddha from the shrine antechamber of Cave 17, were commissioned by Thomas Holbein Hendley (1847–1917) for the decoration of the walls of the hall of the Albert Hall Museum, Jaipur, India.[၂၅၉] He had the work painted by a local artist variously named Murli or Murali.[၂၅၉] The museum was opened to the public in 1887. This work is otherwise presented as characteristic of the end of the 19th century.[၂၆၀]

Another attempt to make copies of the murals was made by the Japanese artist Arai Kampō (荒井寛方:1878–1945) after being invited by Rabindranath Tagore to India to teach Japanese painting techniques.[၂၆၁] He worked on making copies with tracings on Japanese paper from 1916 to 1918 and his work was conserved at Tokyo Imperial University until the materials perished during the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake.[၂၆၂]

Significanceပြင်ဆင်

Natives, society and culture in the arts at Ajantaပြင်ဆင်

Ajanta arts predominantly show natives. Left: people discussing the king's renunciation; Right: sadhus or brahmakayikas heading to a temple, five women chatting in a market square, children playing a board game near a banana tree.[၂၆၃]

The Ajanta cave arts are a window into the culture, society and religiosity of the native population of India between the 2nd century BCE and 5th century CE. Different scholars have variously interpreted them from the perspective of gender studies, history, sociology, and the anthropology of South Asia.[၂၆၄][၂၆၅] The dress, the jewellery, the gender relations, the social activities depicted showcase at least a lifestyle of the royalty and elite,[၂၆၆] and in others definitely the costumes of the common man, monks and rishi depicted therein. They shine "light on life in India" around mid 1st millennium CE.[၂၆၇][၂၆၈]

The Ajanta artworks provide a contrast between the spiritual life of monks who had given up all materialistic possessions versus the sensual life of those it considered materialistic, luxurious, symbols of wealth, leisurely and high fashion. Many frescos show scenes from shops, festivals, jesters at processions, palaces and performance art pavilions. These friezes share themes and details of those found in Bharhut, Sanchi, Amaravati, Ellora, Bagh, Aihole, Badami and other archaeological sites in India. Ajanta caves contributes to visual and descriptive sense of the ancient and early medieval Indian culture and artistic traditions, particularly those around the Gupta Empire era period.[၂၆၈][၂၆၉]

Orientalism and Ajanta Caves
In the early nineteenth century, when Europeans first visited the Ajanta caves, they had no literary precedents through which to determine what they saw. Thus they saw very little beyond hunting scenes, domestic scenes, seraglio scenes, Welsh wigs, Hampton court beauties, elephants and horses, an Abyssinian black prince, shields and spears, and statues that they called 'Buddha' because of the curly hair.

– Richard Cohen
Beyond Enlightenment: Buddhism, Religion, Modernity[၂၇၀]

The early colonial era description of Ajanta caves was largely orientalist and critical, inconsistent with the Victorian values and stereotyping. According to William Dalrymple, the themes and arts in the Ajanta caves were puzzling to the 19th-century Orientalists. Lacking the Asian cultural heritage and framework that sees "nothing odd in the juxtaposition of monk and dancing girl", and with no knowledge of Jataka Tales or equivalent Indian fables, they could not comprehend it.[၂၇၁] They projected their own views and assumptions, calling it something that lacks reason and rationale, something that is meaningless crude representation of royalty and foreigners with mysticism and sensuousness.[၂၇၂][၂၇၃] The 19th-century views and interpretations of the Ajanta Caves were conditioned by ideas and assumptions in the colonial mind, saw what they wanted to see.[၂၇၄][၂၇၃][၂၇၅]

To many who are unaware of the premises of Indian religions in general, and Buddhism in particular, the significance of Ajanta Caves has been like rest of Indian art. According to Richard Cohen, Ajanta Caves to them has been yet another example of "worship this stock, or that stone, or monstrous idol".[၂၇၆] In contrast, to the Indian mind and the larger Buddhist community, it is everything that art ought to be, the religious and the secular, the spiritual and the social fused to enlightened perfection.[၂၇၇]

According to Walter Spink – one of the most respected Art historians on Ajanta, these caves were by 475 CE a much-revered site to the Indians, with throngs of "travelers, pilgrims, monks and traders". The site was vastly transformed into its current form in just 20 years, between early 460 CE to early 480 CE, by regional architects and artisans. This accomplishment, states Spink, makes Ajanta, "one of the most remarkable creative achievements in man's history".[၂၇၈]

Foreigners in the paintings of Ajantaပြင်ဆင်

The Ajanta Caves painting are a significant source of socio-economic information in ancient India, particularly in relation to the interactions of India with foreign cultures at the time most of the paintings were made, in the 5th century CE. According to Indian historian Haroon Khan Sherwani: "The paintings at Ajanta clearly demonstrate the cosmopolitan character of Buddhism, which opened its way to men of all races, Greek, Persian, Saka, Pahlava, Kushan and Huna".[၂၇၉] Depictions of foreigners abound: according to Spink, "Ajanta’s paintings are filled with such foreign types." They have sometimes been a source of misinterpretation as in the so-called "Persian Embassy Scene". These foreigners may reflect the Sassanian merchants, visitors and the flourishing trade routes of the day.[၂၈၀]

The so-called "Persian Embassy Scene"
 
Upper part of the so-called "Persian Embassy Scene", with detail of the foreigners.

Cave 1, for example, shows a mural fresco with characters with foreigner faces or dresses, the so-called "Persian Embassy Scene".[၂၈၁] This scene[၂၈၂] is located at the right of the entrance door upon entering the hall.[၂၈၁] According to Spink, James Fergusson, a 19th-century architectural historian, had decided that this scene corresponded to the Persian ambassador in 625 CE to the court of the Hindu Chalukya king Pulakeshin II.[၂၈၃] An alternate theory has been that the fresco represents a Hindu ambassador visiting the Persian king Khusrau II in 625 CE, a theory that Fergusson disagreed with.[၂၈၄][၂၈၅] These assumptions by colonial British era art historians, state Spink and other scholars, has been responsible for wrongly dating this painting to the 7th century, when in fact this reflects an incomplete Harisena-era painting of a Jataka tale (the Mahasudarsana jataka, in which the enthroned king is actually the Buddha in one of his previous lives as King) with the representation of trade between India and distant lands such as Sassanian near East that was common by the 5th century.[၂၈၃][၂၈၆][၂၈၇]

International trade, growth of Buddhism
 
A foreigner in Sasanian dress drinking wine, on the ceiling of the central hall of Cave 1, likely a generic scene from an object imported from Central Asia (460–480 CE)[၂၈၈][၂၈၉]

Cave 1 has several frescos with characters with foreigners' faces or dresses. Similar depictions are found in the paintings of Cave 17. Such murals, states Pia Brancaccio, suggest a prosperous and multicultural society in 5th-century India active in international trade.[၂၈၈] These also suggest that this trade was economically important enough to the Deccan region that the artists chose to include it with precision.[၂၈၈]

Additional evidence of international trade includes the use of the blue lapis lazuli pigment to depict foreigners in the Ajanta paintings, which must have been imported from Afghanistan or Iran. It also suggests, states Branacaccio, that the Buddhist monastic world was closely connected with trading guilds and the court culture in this period.[၂၈၈] A small number of scenes show foreigners drinking wine in Caves 1 and 2.[note ၆] Some show foreign Near East kings with wine and their retinue which presumably add to the "general regal emphasis" of the cave.[၂၉၀] According to Brancaccio, the Ajanta paintings show a variety of colorful, delicate textiles and women making cotton. Textile probably was one of the major exports to foreign lands, along with gems. These were exported first through the Red Sea, and later through the Persian Gulf, thereby bringing a period of economic and cultural exchange between the Indians, the Sasanian Empire and the Persian merchants before Islam was founded in the Arabian peninsula.[၂၉၃]

 
Cave 17: many foreigners are included as devotees attending the Buddha's descent from Trayastrimsa Heaven[၂၈၈][note ၇]

While scholars generally agree that these murals confirm trade and cultural connections between India and Sassanian west, their specific significance and interpretation varies.[၂၈၈][၂၉၀] Brancaccio, for example, suggests that the ship and jars in them probably reflect foreign ships carrying wine imported to India. In contrast, Schlinghoff interprets the jars to be holding water, and ships shown as Indian ships used in international trade.[၂၈၈]

Similar depictions are found in the paintings of Cave 17, but this time in direct relation to the worship of the Buddha. In Cave 17, a painting of the Buddha descending from the Trayastrimsa Heaven shows he being attended by many foreigners. Many foreigners in this painting are thus shown as listeners to the Buddhist Dharma.[၂၉၅] The ethnic diversity is depicted in the painting in the clothes (kaftans, Sasanian helmets, round caps), hairdos and skin colors. In the Visvantara Jataka of Cave 17, according to Brancaccio, the scene probably shows a servant from Central Asia holding a foreign metal ewer, while a dark-complexioned servant holds a cup to an amorous couple. In another painting in Cave 17, relating to the conversion of Nanda, a man possibly from northeast Africa appears as a servant.[၂၈၈] These representations show, states Brancaccio, that the artists were familiar with people of Sogdia, Central Asia, Persia and possibly East Africa.[၂၈၈][note ၈] Another hypothesis is offered by Upadhya, who states that the artists who built Ajanta caves "very probably included foreigners".[၂၉၇]

Preservationပြင်ဆင်

Paintings and the cave artwork have become eroded due to decay and human interference. Therefore, many areas of the painted walls, ceilings, and pillars are fragmentary. The painted narratives of the Jataka tales are depicted only on the walls, which demanded the special attention of the devotees. They are didactic in nature, meant to inform the community about the Buddha's teachings and life through successive rebirths. Their placement on the walls required the devotee to walk through the aisles and 'read' the narratives depicted in various episodes. The narrative episodes are depicted one after another, although not in a linear order. Their identification has been a core area of research since the site's discovery in 1819.[၃၀၁]

Impact on later paintingပြင်ဆင်

The Ajanta paintings, or more likely the general style they come from, influenced painting in Tibet[၃၀၂] and Sri Lanka.[၃၀၃]

The rediscovery of ancient Indian paintings at Ajanta provided Indian artists with examples from ancient India to follow. Nandalal Bose experimented with techniques to follow the ancient style which allowed him to develop his unique style.[၃၀၄] Abanindranath Tagore and Syed Thajudeen also used the Ajanta paintings for inspiration.

See alsoပြင်ဆင်

Notesပြင်ဆင်

  1. The precise number varies according to whether or not some barely-started excavations, such as cave 15A, are counted. The Archaeological Survey of India say "In all, total 30 excavations were hewn out of rock which also include an unfinished one",[၂] UNESCO and Spink "about 30". The controversies over the end date of excavation is covered below.
  2. The inscription has been connected to the Satavahana ruler Vasishthiputra Pulumavi (c. 170 CE), who is also known for inscription at the Nasik Caves, although there are disagreements since he is very posterior to the 1st century BCE.
  3. Similar morals and virtue-defining fables are also found in Jainism and Hinduism, in texts such as the Panchatantra. The antiquity of these tales has been a subject of scholarly debate. The pictorial narrative in Ajanta Caves attests to their influence by the 5th century.[၁၈၅] In some cases such as the Sibi and Hasti Jataka, the Ajanta friezes more closely match the version of the same fables found in Hindu or Jain texts, suggesting a common root and shared heritage.[၁၈၆]
  4. The "Mother and Child" theme is found in other caves, such as in the painting of Cave 17. These show the father Buddha with a begging bowl, with his son and wife looking up to him. Some show a towering figure of the Buddha looking below, with a small inset with the mother and child looking up. These images are interpreted as they offering food to him, or alternatively as the Buddha giving his son the begging bowl as his inheritance. The artwork signifies the belief that human values and spirituality is highest exchange across human generations.[၂၁၁][၂၁၂]
  5. Granaries and kitchens were commonly integrated as infrastructures near major temples and monasteries in India. They are also found embedded into the design elsewhere such as the Bagh monuments.[၂၄၉]
  6. In Cave 1, there are also four "foreign" bacchanalian groups (one now missing) at the middle of each quadrant of the elaborate ceiling painting.[၂၉၀] Cave 2 shows two foreigners, possibly from Central Asia, sharing wine. These scenes, interprets Brancaccio, show what are probably foreign ewers from Sogdia or Persia were used to consume imported wines. A text from the Periplus of the Erythrean Sea era states that silverware vessels and wine was one of the main products imported for kings of Barygaza.[၂၈၈] Sassanian bowls dated to about 400 CE have been discovered in other parts of the Indian subcontinent.[၂၉၁] A copper plate in the Kanheri caves near Mumbai indicates that foreigners were active in trade in the city of Kalyan in the 5th century CE.[၂၉၂]
  7. Actual photograph are available on Google.[၂၉၄]
  8. The expansion of Buddhism into Gandhara and Central Asia began during the 1st millennium BCE. Some early Buddhist worship halls in western India included Yavanas (Greeks) as donors.[၂၈၈] Inscriptions recording such donations are found at Karla Caves, Pandavleni Caves or Manmodi Caves.[၂၉၆][၂၉၅]

Referencesပြင်ဆင်

  1. Gopal, Madan (1990). in K.S. Gautam: India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, 173 
  2. Ajanta Caves. Archaeological Survey of India (2011). Retrieved on 3 August 2019
  3. (2012) Asia and Oceania. Routledge, 17, 14–19. ISBN 978-1-136-63979-1 
  4. (2005) A World History of Art. Laurence King, 228–230. ISBN 978-1-85669-451-3 
  5. Michell 2009, p. 336.
  6. Ajanta Caves, India: Brief Description, UNESCO World Heritage Site. Retrieved 27 October 2006.
  7. Ajanta Caves: Advisory Body Evaluation, UNESCO International Council on Monuments and Sites. 1982. Retrieved 27 October 2006., p. 2.
  8. Ajanta Caves. Retrieved on 19 May 2012
  9. ၉.၀ ၉.၁ ၉.၂ ၉.၃ ၉.၄ Cohen, Richard (2013). Encyclopedia of Monasticism. Routledge, 18–20. ISBN 978-1-136-78716-4 
  10. Jamkhedkar, Aravinda Prabhakar (2009). Ajanta. Oxford University Press, 61–62, 71–73. ISBN 978-0-19-569785-8 
  11. Cohen, Richard S. (May 1998). "Nāga, Yakṣiṇī, Buddha: Local Deities and Local Buddhism at Ajanta]". History of Religions 37 (4): 360–400. University of Chicago Press. doi:10.1086/463514. 
  12. (1998) The Ajanta caves: artistic wonder of ancient Buddhist India. Harry N. Abrams, 164, 226. ISBN 978-0-8109-1983-9 
  13. Harle 1994, pp. 355–361; 460.
  14. ၁၄.၀ ၁၄.၁ ၁၄.၂ Cohen 2006, pp. 32, 82
  15. Spink, Walter M. (2005). Ajanta: History and Development, Volume 5: Cave by Cave. BRILL Academic, 3, 139. ISBN 978-90-04-15644-9 
  16. variously spelled Waghora or Wagura
  17. Map of Ajanta Caves, UNESCO
  18. Sanyal, Narayan (1984). Immortal Ajanta. Bharati, 7။ 
  19. Spink (2006), 2
  20. (1996) Bhusawal Division: Tourism (Ajanta and Ellora). Indian Railways, 40–43။ 
  21. Harle 1994, pp. 118–122.
  22. Jamkhedkar, Aravinda Prabhakar (2009). Ajanta. Oxford University Press, 3–5. ISBN 978-0-19-569785-8 
  23. Spink 2009, pp. 1–2.
  24. Nicholson, Louise (2014). National Geographic India. National Geographic Society, 175–176. ISBN 978-1-4262-1183-6 
  25. ၂၅.၀ ၂၅.၁ ၂၅.၂ Spink, Walter M. (2005). Ajanta: History and Development, Volume 5: Cave by Cave. Brill Academic, 4, 9. ISBN 978-90-04-15644-9 
  26. ၂၆.၀ ၂၆.၁ ၂၆.၂ ၂၆.၃ ၂၆.၄ (1994) Asia and Oceania. Routledge, 14–19. ISBN 978-1-884964-04-6 
  27. Michell 2009, pp. 335–336.
  28. Spink, Walter M. (2005). Ajanta: History and Development, Volume 5: Cave by Cave. Brill Academic, 4, 9, 163–170. ISBN 978-90-04-15644-9 
  29. Spink 2006, pp. 4–6.
  30. (1998) The Ajanta caves: artistic wonder of ancient Buddhist India. Harry N. Abrams, 20, 26. ISBN 978-0-8109-1983-9 , Quote: "The caves of the earlier phase at Ajanta date from around the second century BC, during the rule of the Satavahana dynasty. Although the Satavahanas were Hindu rulers, they (...)"
  31. Nagaraju 1981, pp. 98–103
  32. ၃၂.၀ ၃၂.၁ ၃၂.၂ Spink 2009, p. 2
  33. The UNESCO World Heritage List website for example says "The 29 caves were excavated beginning around 200 BC, but they were abandoned in AD 650 in favour of Ellora"
  34. ၃၄.၀ ၃၄.၁ ၃၄.၂ Cohen 2006, pp. 83–84, Quote: Hans Bakker's political history of the Vakataka dynasty observed that Ajanta caves belong to the Buddhist, not the Hindu tradition. That this should be so is already remarkable in itself. By all we know of Harisena he was a Hindu; (...).
  35. Malandra, Geri Hockfield (1993). Unfolding A Mandala: The Buddhist Cave Temples at Ellora. State University of New York Press, 5–7. ISBN 978-0-7914-1355-5 
  36. Kleiner, Fred S. (2016). Gardner's Art through the Ages: A Concise Global History. Cengage, 468. ISBN 978-1-305-57780-0 
  37. For example, Karl Khandalavala, A. P. Jamkhedkar, and Brahmanand Deshpande. Spink, vol. 2, pp. 117–134
  38. Schastok, Sara L. (1985). The Śāmalājī Sculptures and 6th Century Art in Western India. Brill Academic, 40. ISBN 978-90-04-06941-1 
  39. Spink, Walter M. (2005). Ajanta: Arguments about Ajanta. Brill Academic, 127. ISBN 978-90-04-15072-0 
  40. Spink 2009, pp. 2–3.
  41. Cohen 2006, pp. 81–82.
  42. Spink (2006), 4–6 for the briefest summary of his chronology, developed at great length in his Ajanta: History and Development 2005.
  43. Spink 2006, pp. 5–6; 160–161.
  44. (2005) Ajanta: The end of the Golden Age (in en). Brill, 7. ISBN 978-9004148321 
  45. (2016) Ajanta Dipinta - Painted Ajanta Vol. 1 e 2: Studio sulla tecnica e sulla conservazione del sito rupestre indiano - Studies on the techniques and the conservation of the indian rock art site (in en). Gangemi Editore, 58–59. ISBN 978-8849274905 
  46. (2010) The Buddhist Caves at Aurangabad: Transformations in Art and Religion (in en). Brill, 105–106. ISBN 978-9004185258 
  47. (2010) The Buddhist Caves at Aurangabad: Transformations in Art and Religion (in en). Brill, 106–107. ISBN 978-9004185258 
  48. ၄၈.၀ ၄၈.၁ Cohen 2006, pp. 77–78
  49. Spink (2006), 139 and 3 (quoted): "Going down into the ravine where the caves were cut, he scratched his inscription (John Smith, 28th Cavalry, 28th April, 1819) across the innocent chest of a painted Buddha image on the thirteenth pillar on the right in Cave 10..."
  50. Upadhya, 3
  51. Gordon, 231–234
  52. ၅၂.၀ ၅၂.၁ Cohen 2006, pp. 51–58
  53. Ajanta cave paintings of Nizam era lie in a state of neglect.
  54. ၅၄.၀ ၅၄.၁ Richard Cohen, Beyond Enlightenment: Buddhism, Religion, Modernity (2006), p. 51.
  55. Cohen (2006)'s chapter 2 discusses the history and future of visitors to Ajanta.
  56. "horizontally bedded alternate flows of massive and amygdular lava" is a technical description quoted by Cohen (2006), 37
  57. Spink 2006, pp. 13–14.
  58. Spink 2006, p. 28.
  59. Spink, 10; Michell 340
  60. Spink 2006, pp. 21–24, 38, 74–76, 115, 151–153, 280.
  61. Spink 2006, pp. 5, 15, 32–33, 80, 249.
  62. Spink 2006, pp. 5, 15, 32–33, 80, 126–130, 249–259.
  63. Spink 2006, pp. 73–85, 100–104, 182.
  64. Spink 2006, pp. 18, 37, 45–46.
  65. Spink (2006), 148
  66. ၆၆.၀ ၆၆.၁ Harle, 118–122; Michell 335–343
  67. Spink (2006), 142
  68. Michell, 338
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  70. ၇၀.၀ ၇၀.၁ ၇၀.၂ ၇၀.၃ Upadhya 1994, pp. 7–8, 10
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  72. Vasant, Suresh (2000). "Tulja Leni and Kondivte Caitya-gṛhas: A Structural Analysis". Ars Orientalis 30, Supplement 1. Chāchājī: Professor Walter M. Spink Felicitation Volume: 23–32. 
  73. Efurd, David (2013). Architecturalized Asia: Mapping a Continent through History. Hong Kong University Press, 140–145. ISBN 978-988-8208-05-0 
  74. "The Origin and the Distribution of the Bulbous Dome" (1943). The Journal of the American Society of Architectural Historians 3 (4): 32–48. doi:10.2307/901122. 
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  76. Bellows, Keith (2008). Sacred Places of a Lifetime: 500 of the World's Most Peaceful and Powerful Destinations. National Geographic Society, 125. ISBN 978-1-4262-0336-7 
  77. UNESCO, Brief description
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  79. Spink (2006), 12–13
  80. Spink (2006), 18, and in the accounts of individual caves; Michell, 336
  81. Arthur Anthony Macdonell (1909), The Buddhist and Hindu Architecture of India", Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, Vol. 57, No. 2937 (5 March 1909), pp. 316–329
  82. ၈၂.၀ ၈၂.၁ ၈၂.၂ Upadhya, Om Datt (1994). The Art of Ajanta and Sopoćani: A Comparative Study : an Enquiry in Prāṇa Aesthetics. Motilal Banarsidass, 9–11, 14–15. ISBN 978-81-208-0990-1 
  83. ၈၃.၀ ၈၃.၁ (2012) Asia and Oceania: International Dictionary of Historic Places. Routledge, 17–19. ISBN 978-1-136-63979-1 
  84. ၈၄.၀ ၈၄.၁ Spink 2009, pp. 147–148.
  85. ၈၅.၀ ၈၅.၁ ၈၅.၂ ၈၅.၃ ၈၅.၄ ၈၅.၅ Upadhya 1994, pp. 9–14, 68–84
  86. ၈၆.၀ ၈၆.၁ Harle 1994, p. 355.
  87. (2010) The Buddhist Caves at Aurangabad: Transformations in Art and Religion (in en). Brill, 107. ISBN 978-9004185258 
  88. Harle 1994, p. 356.
  89. ၈၉.၀ ၈၉.၁ Harle 1994, pp. 355–361.
  90. ၉၀.၀ ၉၀.၁ Harle 1994, p. 359.
  91. Harle 1994, p. 361.
  92. ၉၂.၀ ၉၂.၁ Spink 2008
  93. Spink 2006, pp. 28–29.
  94. Spink 2009, p. 148, Figure 46.
  95. ၉၅.၀ ၉၅.၁ Spink 2009, pp. 201–202.
  96. (1989) The Penguin Guide to the Monuments of India: Buddhist, Jain, Hindu. Penguin, 340. ISBN 978-0670806966 
  97. Gupte & Mahajan 1962, p. 91.
  98. Spink 2006, pp. 1–16.
  99. Spink (2006), 4–5
  100. Spink (2006), 5–6
  101. Spink (2006), 6
  102. Spink (2009), xx (quoted); Spink (2006), 15–16
  103. ၁၀၃.၀ ၁၀၃.၁ Spink 2006, p. 180.
  104. ၁၀၄.၀ ၁၀၄.၁ ၁၀၄.၂ (2006) Ajanta: History and Development, Volume 5 Cave by Cave (in en). BRILL, 180. ISBN 9789047411871 
  105. ၁၀၅.၀ ၁၀၅.၁ ၁၀၅.၂ ၁၀၅.၃ ၁၀၅.၄ ၁၀၅.၅ ၁၀၅.၆ (2004) Ajanta. Archaeological Survey of India, 94–95။ 
  106. ၁၀၆.၀ ၁၀၆.၁ ၁၀၆.၂ ၁၀၆.၃ (2001) Indian Archaeology 2000-2001 A Review. Archaeological Society of India, 92–98။ 
  107. ၁၀၇.၀ ၁၀၇.၁ "Recent excavations have unearthed valuable material including a brick monastery that had a stūpa, a gold coin of the Byzantine King Theodosius, an image of Mahiṣāsuramardinī, implements, vessels, and other objects. For a full report, see ‘Excavation at Ajanta: District Aurangabad’, in Indian Archaeology 2000 2001 A Review (New Delhi: Archaeological Survey of India, 2006), pp. 92-97" in "The Early Development of the Cave 26-Complex at Ajanta" (March 2012). South Asian Studies 28 (1): 37–68. doi:10.1080/02666030.2012.659906. 
  108. Spink 2009, p. 14 with footnote 3.
  109. Yokochi, Yuko (2004). The Vākāṭaka Heritage: Indian Culture at the Crossroads. Egbert Forsten, 172, context: 167–178. ISBN 978-90-6980-148-3 
  110. Spink 2006, pp. 17, 31.
  111. Spink (2006), 17; 1869 photo by Robert Gill at the British Library, showing the porch already rather less than "half-intact"
  112. ၁၁၂.၀၀ ၁၁၂.၀၁ ၁၁၂.၀၂ ၁၁၂.၀၃ ၁၁၂.၀၄ ၁၁၂.၀၅ ၁၁၂.၀၆ ၁၁၂.၀၇ ၁၁၂.၀၈ ၁၁၂.၀၉ ၁၁၂.၁၀ ၁၁၂.၁၁ ၁၁၂.၁၂ ၁၁၂.၁၃ ၁၁၂.၁၄ ၁၁၂.၁၅ ၁၁၂.၁၆ ၁၁၂.၁၇ ၁၁၂.၁၈ ၁၁၂.၁၉ ၁၁၂.၂၀ ၁၁၂.၂၁ ၁၁၂.၂၂ ၁၁၂.၂၃ ၁၁၂.၂၄ ၁၁၂.၂၅ ၁၁၂.၂၆ ၁၁၂.၂၇ ၁၁၂.၂၈ ၁၁၂.၂၉ ၁၁၂.၃၀ World Heritage Sites – About Ajanta Caves 01 to 29. Archaeological Survey of India (2015).
  113. Spink 2006, pp. 17–21.
  114. Spink 2006, pp. 20–23.
  115. Spink 2006, pp. 29–31.
  116. Harle 1994, pp. 359–361.
  117. Spink 2009, pp. 78, 132–135.
  118. Mahajanaka Jataka: Ajanta Cave 1.
  119. ၁၁၉.၀ ၁၁၉.၁ ၁၁၉.၂ Benoy Behl (2004), Ajanta, the fountainhead, Frontline, Volume 21, Issue 20
  120. Gupte & Mahajan 1962, pp. 32–33, Plate XI.
  121. Gupte & Mahajan 1962, pp. 8–9, Plate IV.
  122. Spink 2009, pp. 138–140.
  123. ၁၂၃.၀ ၁၂၃.၁ Spink 2009, pp. 74–75.
  124. ၁၂၄.၀ ၁၂၄.၁ Claudine Bautze-Picron (2002), Nidhis and Other Images of Richness and Fertility in Ajaṇṭā, East and West, Vol. 52, No. 1/4 (December 2002), pp. 245–251
  125. ၁၂၅.၀ ၁၂၅.၁ Spink 2009, pp. 150–152.
  126. Spink 2006, pp. 7–8, 40–43.
  127. ၁၂၇.၀ ၁၂၇.၁ Spink 2006, pp. 40–54.
  128. Spink 2006, pp. 13–14
  129. ၁၂၉.၀ ၁၂၉.၁ Gupte & Mahajan 1962, pp. 48–49, Plates XVII–XX.
  130. Spink 2005, pp. 3–4, 91 footnote 59, 259.
  131. ၁၃၁.၀ ၁၃၁.၁ Spink 2006, p. 8
  132. (Spink 2005–2013)
  133. ၁၃၃.၀ ၁၃၃.၁ ၁၃၃.၂ Spink 2006, pp. 58–61.
  134. ၁၃၄.၀ ၁၃၄.၁ Spink 2009, pp. 53–55.
  135. Spink 2006, pp. 81–82.
  136. ၁၃၆.၀ ၁၃၆.၁ ၁၃၆.၂ Upadhya 1994, pp. 10–11
  137. Spink 2006, pp. 83–89, 98–103.
  138. Spink 2006, pp. 83–91.
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  143. (2005) Ajanta: Painting, sculpture, architecture (in en). Brill, 66–67. ISBN 978-9004149830 
  144. Gupte & Mahajan 1962, pp. 74–75.
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  151. Panoramic view Google streetview
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  154. ၁၅၄.၀ ၁၅၄.၁ Spink 2006, pp. 131–132.
  155. Spink (2006), 9; 140–141
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  157. ၁၅၇.၀ ၁၅၇.၁ ၁၅၇.၂ Spink 2006, pp. 131–135.
  158. Spink 2009, pp. xii, 1–3.
  159. ၁၅၉.၀ ၁၅၉.၁ Gupte & Mahajan 1962, pp. 77–78.
  160. 3D Tour
  161. ၁၆၁.၀ ၁၆၁.၁ ၁၆၁.၂ ၁၆၁.၃ ၁၆၁.၄ Spink 2009, pp. 1
  162. ၁၆၂.၀ ၁၆၂.၁ ၁၆၂.၂ ၁၆၂.၃ ၁၆၂.၄ Spink 2009, pp. 135–137.
  163. ၁၆၃.၀ ၁၆၃.၁ (2010) Buddhist Architecture (in en). Grafikol, 108. ISBN 978-0984404308 
  164. Vijaynagra Paintings (in en). Publications Division Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, 31. ISBN 9788123030005 
  165. (1881) Inscriptions from the Cave-temples of Western India: With Descriptive Notes &c. (in English). Government Central Press, 67–68။ 
  166. Spink 2006, pp. 101–103, 137–139, 184.
  167. Spink 2009, pp. 2–3, 135–137.
  168. Schlingloff, Dieter (1987). Studies in the Ajanta paintings: identifications and interpretations. South Asia Books, 24–27. ISBN 978-8120201736 
  169. ၁၆၉.၀ ၁၆၉.၁ Stella Kramrisch 1994, pp. 293–295
  170. Ajunta. Interior of Chaitya Cave No 10, Dibdin, Thomas Colman (1810–1893) (1839), British Library Archives
  171. "An Exceptional Group of Painted Buddha Figures at Ajanṭā" (1981). The Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 4. 
  172. ၁၇၂.၀ ၁၇၂.၁ ၁၇၂.၂ ၁၇၂.၃ ၁၇၂.၄ Gupte & Mahajan 1962, pp. 81–82.
  173. Spink, Walter M. (2009). Ajanta: History and Development Volume 2: Arguments about Ajanta. Leiden: Brill. p. 1
  174. ၁၇၄.၀ ၁၇၄.၁ ၁၇၄.၂ Gupte & Mahajan 1962, pp. 82–83.
  175. {{{title}}}. Indian Archaeology 1955-56 review, 72။ 
  176. ၁၇၆.၀ ၁၇၆.၁ ၁၇၆.၂ ၁၇၆.၃ Spink 2006, p. 178.
  177. 3D Tour
  178. ၁၇၈.၀ ၁၇၈.၁ Spink 2006, pp. 179–181.
  179. For a full translation of the inscription see: (1881) Inscriptions from the Cave-temples of Western India: With Descriptive Notes &c. (in English). Government Central Press, 71–73။ 
  180. Walter M. Spink (1975), Ajantā's Chronology: The Crucial Cave, Ars Orientalis, Vol. 10 (1975), Freer Gallery of Art, The Smithsonian Institution, pp. 143–169
  181. Dhavalikar, M. K. (1969). "Sri Yugadhara: A Master-Artist of Ajanta". Artibus Asiae 31 (4): 301–307. doi:10.2307/3249338. 
  182. Spink 2006, pp. 181–183.
  183. ၁၈၃.၀ ၁၈၃.၁ ၁၈၃.၂ Gupte & Mahajan 1962, pp. 83–84.
  184. Spink 2009, pp. ix–xiii.
  185. (2014) Jataka Tales. Cambridge University Press, 1–10, 168, 389 with footnotes. ISBN 978-1-107-41851-6 
  186. Yazdani, G (1964). Ajanta: Part I. Oxford University Press, 4–6. OCLC 2980379 
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  188. Gupte & Mahajan 1962, pp. 85–86.
  189. ၁၈၉.၀ ၁၈၉.၁ ၁၈၉.၂ ၁၈၉.၃ Dehejia, Vidya (1997). Discourse in early Buddhist art: visual narratives of India. Munshiram Manoharlal, 210–229. ISBN 978-8121507363 
  190. ၁၉၀.၀ ၁၉၀.၁ ၁၉၀.၂ ၁၉၀.၃ ၁၉၀.၄ ၁၉၀.၅ Gupte & Mahajan 1962, pp. 86–88.
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  192. Yazdani, G (1964). Ajanta: Part III. Oxford University Press, 49–56. OCLC 2980379 
  193. 3D Tour
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  196. ၁၉၆.၀ ၁၉၆.၁ ၁၉၆.၂ ၁၉၆.၃ Gupte & Mahajan 1962, pp. 88–90.
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  206. ၂၀၆.၀ ၂၀၆.၁ ၂၀၆.၂ ၂၀၆.၃ ၂၀၆.၄ Gupte & Mahajan 1962, pp. 101–102.
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  208. Spink 2009, pp. 26–27, 34–35, 47–48, 56.
  209. ၂၀၉.၀ ၂၀၉.၁ Spink 2006, pp. 44–46, 131–137, 231–239.
  210. Mother and Child, Cave 19, Washington University
  211. Smith, V A (2012). Art of India. Parkstone, 137 with footnote. ISBN 978-1-78042-880-2 
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  214. (1994) Bharhut Sculptures (in en). Abhinav Publications, 51. ISBN 978-8170173083 
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  222. ၂၂၂.၀ ၂၂၂.၁ ၂၂၂.၂ ၂၂၂.၃ ၂၂၂.၄ Gupte & Mahajan 1962, pp. 103–104.
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  224. Spink 2006, pp. 288–290.
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  228. Spink 2009, pp. 18 footnote 5.
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  230. Spink 2009, pp. 243–244.
  231. ၂၃၁.၀ ၂၃၁.၁ ၂၃၁.၂ Spink, Walter (2014). Ajanta: History and Development, Volume 6 Defining Features. Brill Academic, 37–38, 42. ISBN 978-90-474-4465-7 
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  238. Singh, Rajesh Kumar (2012). "The Early Development of the Cave 26-Complex at Ajanta". South Asian Studies 28 (1): 37–68. doi:10.1080/02666030.2012.659906. 
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  242. Spink 2009, pp. xvii, 29–30.
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  246. A view of Cave 30, photographed by Walter Spink
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  282. Visible on Streetview here
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  291. Read, Charles Hercules (1912). "XI.—On a Silver Sassanian Bowl of about the year 400 A. D., found in the NW. Provinces of India". Archaeologia 63: 251–256. doi:10.1017/s0261340900011656. 
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  294. here, or full view
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  300. "The central figure is of colossal size and, whether it represents the Bodhisattva Padmapani or Prince Siddhartha, it bears the marks of both high rank and great spiritual stature. (...) The handmaid in long blue velvet coat and high embroidered cap appears, from her features, to be of Persian origin..." (1959) Encyclopedia Of World Art Vol. 1. New-York, Toronto, London: McGRAW-HILL, 165။ 
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