AJANTA CAVES Presented by: Tulsi Rathore M.T.M 4 th Sem
Number of Caves
Location of Ajanta
Statement of Significance
Staffing and Training Needs
Threats and Risks
Conclusions and Proposed Action
How to get there...
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
NUMBER OF CAVES
The total numbers of caves are 30. Most of them were finished, A few were half finished, A pathway, scooped out from stone, runs as a crescent by the caves for pedestrians.
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 Viharas The Chaityas
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 .
LOCATION OF AJANTA
Year of Inscription 1983
Inscription Criteria C i, ii, iii, vi
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;
Statement of Significance
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
Financial Situation Visitor Management
Sources of funds from Central Government.
Funding is considered as sufficient.
International Assistance: JBIC loan for Ajanta Ellora Conservation and Tourism Development Programme.
Various facilities: approach road/pathway, illumination of caves, drinking water, post office, guide facilities, porter facility, books, brochures, public amenity, signage.
Needed facilities: public information system, multimedia visualization of paintings and CDs.
Communication WH values through: brochures and booklets, website, various cultural awareness programmes, WH day and week.
Educational programmes: for WH events, school students are invited and get involved in educational
and creative activities.
Threats and Risks
Development pressures: further developmental
pressure can threaten the authenticity.
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
How to get there
Currently Aurangabad is the nearest Air point for Ajanta. and Mumbai.
Jalgaon is the best place to drop in for Ajanta if you like Rail journey.
9.00AM to 17.30PM Indian Standard Time (IST)
Ajanta Caves remain closed on Monday and Ellora Caves remain closed on Tuesday. BOTH CAVES REMAIN OPEN ON ALL NATIONAL HOLIDAYS
1. For Indians below 15 years : FREE of Charge
2. For Indians above 15 years : Rs. 10/- per head
3. For Foreigners above 15 years : US $5 or equivalent in Indian rupees per head