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AJANTA is world's greatest historical monument recognised by UNESCO far near from Jalgaon city of Maharashtra, India. There are 30 caves in Ajanta of which 9, 10, 19, 26 and 29 are chaitya-grihas and the rest are monasteries. These caves were discovered in AD 1819 and were built up in the earlier 2nd century BC-AD.
Most of the paintings in Ajanta are right from 2nd century BC-AD and some of them about the fifth century AD and continued for the next two centuries. All paintings shows heavy religious influence and centre around Buddha, Bodhisattvas, incidents from the life of Buddha and the Jatakas. The paintings are executed on a ground of mud-plaster in the tempera technique
The incredible caves of Ajanta are dedicated exclusively to Buddhism. There are around 30 caves here and are divided into 'Chaitya-Grihas' (stupa halls) and 'Viharas' (dwelling halls). Around five of these caves (9, 10, 19, 26 and 29) are 'Chaitya-Grihas'. The rest of the caves are 'Sangharamas' or Viharas (monasteries). The caves 1, 2, 16 and 17 are important from the art point of view. They are great pieces of art compared to the contemporary art world .
The roof of this verandah was supported by pillars and giving towards the interior on to a hall averaging in size about 35 ft. by 20 ft. Also there are dormitories to the left, right and back , opening on to this hall. The number of dormitories varied according to the size of the hall, and in the larger ones pillars supported the roof on all three sides, forming a sort of religious residence running round the hall .
The chaitya-grihas are greater than the viharas. The largest chaitya-grihas being 94 1/2 ft. from the verandah to the back and 41 1/4 ft. across, including the cloister. Earlier, the chaitya-grihas at Ajanta had stupas, but later they had a standing or seated image of the Buddha in front of them .
to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;
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;
to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;
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;
The caves at Ajanta fall into two different phases with a break of nearly four centuries between them . All the caves of the earlier phase are pre-Christian in date, the earliest to be excavated being Cave 10, dating from the second century B.C.
The general arrangement of the caves at Ajanta, cut out of the amygdaloidal trap rock, was not preplanned, as they sprang sporadically in different periods.
The work of quarrying, dressing and finishing presumably went hand in -hand as is evident from the unfinished caves bearing traces of paintings.
The Wall-Paintings The walls of the caves are covered with mural painting suggesting a fair state of preservation from decay. The scenes depicted are mostly didactic, devotional, and ornamental. The themes are from the Jataka stories (the stories of the Buddha's former existences as Boddhisattva), life of the Gautam Buddha, and those of his veneration .
What are Murals ? Mural painting refers to paintings on walls, ceilings, or other large permanent surfaces. This style of painting can be traced back to prehistoric times such as the paintings on the Caves of Lascaux in southern France. The term Mural came into being with the Mexican muralista art movement. These caves are adorned with sculptures of animals, guards and deities, and paintings of courtly life and Buddhist tales. Amidst these are several sculptures of Buddha .
The Buddha before his wife Yashodhara and son Rahul. Scenes from the Jataka tales
Staffing and Training Needs • 40 staff. Considered sufficient to monitor the site. • The staff need training in conservation techniques, computer applications, photo documentation, GPS, GIS, cartography
Conclusions and Proposed Actions • Values: unchanged. • Management and factors affecting property: the management set-up of ASI effectively monitors the factors affecting the site which are kept well under control. • Future actions: the adopted monitoring system recordings will be analyzed to formulate future actions in the property’s interest. • Timetable for the implementation of the Plans: as required