The caves, a deeply cultivated art in Maharashtra:

From the 60 caves in India, there are 28 in the state of Maharashtra, including Ellora and Ajanta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These caves contain temples, monasteries and other functions. The particularity of its caves comes from the fact that they were carved from top to bottom. The most famous caves are Ellora and Ajanta. The caves of Aurangabad are less numerous and less impressive than those of Ellora or Ajanta but are a good introduction about this unique art.

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Ajanta caves
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Ellora caves

 

The caves of Aurangabad:

The caves of Aurangabad are divided into two groups which are separated by 1 kilometer. The first group dates from the 5th century and the second from the 7th and 8th century. All the caves are Mahayana Buddhist caves except cave 5 which is Hinayana and cave 6 which is Hindu.

In the first group of caves, the most impressive is cave number 3. It is a temple that represents the most spectacular picture with bundle of gods statues. The door frame of the temple consists of loving figures in small panels and nagas Of guards. The square pillars are beautifully carved with foliage and geometric designs.

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Pillars in cave number 3

 

For the second group of caves, cave 7 is the most majestic cave. It is a temple. In the Garbhagriha (room where the main deity resides in the Hindu temples), there is an image of Maitreya whose sun touches the feet every morning. On the left, we can admire the scene of a dancer accompanied by 6 other dancers. This statue represents Amrapali, a royal courtesan of incredible beauty. She vowed to serve food to the Buddha. Despite the reluctance of the latter, he went to her house. After this meeting, Amrapali renounced his position and followed the Buddhist path. In the next room, one can admire the life of Tara. The ceiling is decorated with a semi circular frieze.

On the left of cave 7 is an enormous bodhisattva praying for the deliverance of the eight dangers: fire, sword of the enemy, chains, wrecks, serpent lions, crazy elephant and a demon (representing death).

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