Ajanta Caves

ajanta,caves

5

satvahana,vakataka,buddhism,jataka,vihara,mahayana,places

5

Edit History Discussion

Encyclopedia Of Indian History!


Welcome to Historical India! Historical India is a community project where anyone can join and edit articles. Contribute to open source community project and help create encyclopedia of the Indian history. Feel free to submit interesting articles, write references from cool book you just read, or just create an article on your favorite historical figure.


Home

Editor's Search

Library

Documentation Reference


Join Now!

Where to start?

Introduction For Beginners

Ways To Contribute

Noticeboard

Ajanta Caves


An elusive tiger brought a hunting party of British officers in a 76m high horseshoe-shaped escarpment overlooking the Waghora river. The animal retreated, but the dazzling sun revealed the outlines of Ajanta, where Buddha Dharma was professed, protected and preserved for over 2000 years.

Ajanta Caves

Padmapani Bodhisattva, Cave 1, Ajanta Caves

Padmapani Bodhisattva, Cave 1, Ajanta Caves

Nearest AirportAurangabad Airport
SectsHinayana, Mahayana
DistrictAurangabad District
StructuresChaitra (Prayer Hall), Vihara (Monastery)
DharmaBuddha
UNESCO World Heritage Site Year of Inscription 1983
StateMaharashtra
Nearest Railway StationJalgaon Junction
Nearest CityJalgaon City
Property TypeCultural World Heritage Site
Selection Criteria(i), (ii), (iii), (vi) from OUV Selection Criteria
Location of placeAjanta Village
Local NameAjintha
Type of placeRock-Cut Caves

The first Buddhist cave monuments at Ajanta date from the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. During the Gupta period (5th and 6th centuries A.D.), many richly decorated caves were added to the original group. The paintings and sculptures of Ajanta, considered masterpieces of Buddhist religious art, have had a considerable artistic influence.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

UNESCO Criteria for Selection and Recognition of a World Heritage Site

To make it onto the World Heritage List, the heritage site must at least fall under one of the ten selection criteria for Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) in the “Operational Guidelines for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention".

The World Heritage Site is further classified into 3 types of properties based on the selection criteria from the Oustanding Universal Value (OUV) -

  1. If a site meets any of the first 6 criteria for OUV, then it is classified to be a Cultural property.
  2. In case any of the last 4 criteria for the OUV are applicable, then it is classified to be a Natural property.
  3. But if a site accommodates 2 or more criterias, with minimum one from first 6 criteria and last 4 criteria for OUV each, then it is classified to be a Mixed property. [ref]

Cultural

  • (i) To represent a masterpiece of human creative genius; 
  • (ii) To exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design; 
  • (iii) To bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;
  • (iv) To be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage (s) in human history; 
  • (v) To be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change; 
  • (vi) To be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria);

Natural

  • (vii) To contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance; 
  • (viii) To be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth's history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features; 
  • (ix) To be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals; 
  • (x) To contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation. [ref]

Ajanta Caves - Criteria for World Heritage Site

Year of inscription : 1983 (Cultural) 

Property Type : Cultural

Criteria : (i), (ii), (iii), (vi) from the selection criteria for the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) [ref]

  • (i) To represent a masterpiece of human creative genius; 
  • (ii) To exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design; 
  • (iii) To bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;
  • (vi) To be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria);

Ajanta Visitor Centre (AVC)

The visitor centre at Ajanta is among the state of the art facility centres in South Asia. The primary aim of the visitor centre is to sensitise the visitors before they visit the caves proper. It houses different mediums of interpretation in making the caves understandable to the seekers. The centre may help prolong the stay of the Tourists in the district, thus having more positive impact on the local economy. It is also built to create an interest in the casual visitors who are not fully informed on this world heritage. Archaeology, History, Culture, Lifestyle, Customs, Traditions, Arts etc. concerning the caves make the substantial part of the visitor centre.

The Ajanta Visitor Centre or AVC as it's called houses four replicas of caves, viz Cave 1, 2, 16 & 17, prominent of the painted caves, so that one can get a closer feel of the paintings, well before he visits the painted caves, thus reducing the carrying time of tourists in them. (The paintings have been in great discussion after early Nineteen eighties because of their gradual degradation and visitor proximity. Today UNESCO approved wooden separators keep the visitor at a distance from the paintings at Ajanta). AVC has an auditorium which plays the story of Ajanta in most of its aspects in a nutshell. Planetarium like cyclorama, museums, galleries, cafeteria, restaurant, parking area, student cafeteria, crèche, sculptures, replicas etc adorn the centre. The picturesque Ajanta ranges form a backdrop to the AVC.

Legacy

Indian Currency Note

In 2016, the new 2000 Indian Rupee currency note of the New Mahatma Gandhi series of the Reserve Bank of India, was designed using Ajanta fresco paintings of the Elephant, Swan and the floral design from the ceiling of Cave no. 1 at Ajanta Caves. [ref]

Artists

Indian

The Ajanta art and frescoes inspired India’s earliest renowned woman artist Amrita Shergil and our constitution illuminator Nandlal Bose, visibly influencing their work. [ref]

Armenian

Sarkis Katchadourian was an Armenian artist who had painstakingly created fresco versions of select Ajanta fresco paintings, that are today at display at the National Gallery of Armenia in Yeravan, Armenia. [ref]

Institutions

The running Elephant encompassed by floral design, derived from the fresco painting on the ceiling of Cave No. 1 at Ajanta, was once chosen for the official logo of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

Articles you might like to read


historical_india_footer_logo

We are a group of patriots who love our motherland - Bharat Mata! Historical India is an opensource community based project dedicated to the history of Greater India. Join us to create the encyclopedia of Indian history...


Copyright©2021 All Rights Reserved by Historical India