Little more than two hours fromthe old city of Aurangabad arethe famous Caves of Ajanta,Thirty-two grottos that are notnatural but had been cut in hillsfor thousands of years by workerswho had only used cinzéis andhammers.
The oldest cave traces to the secondcentury before Christ. Some ofthem are Viharas (convents) ormonasteries, great chambers withsmall rooms that lead off the mainroom and it was where they lived asmonks. Some of these rooms havebeds of cut rock, with a cushion inwhich monks could rest theirheads.
It is surprising to think that the greatmasters who had created these wondersused only small tools of work. Still theyhad thus bequeathed us somethinguniversal and magical that we cancontemplate today. The centuries seemlike small water drops in the Walls ofthese caves.
Sculptured in the volcanic basaltrock, the craftsmen had beenmeticulously ‘cinzelando’ therock little by little, cutting thecolumns in strategic places andcreating some rooms inside of therock. The walls and ceilings hadbeen wonderfully decorated andhad created colorful paintingswith plaster applications .
In the central section (where aChristian church would have its altar)might be a great statue of Buddha.Remember that these temples of rockhad been cut many centuries beforethe Christian cathedrals, which canlead us to speculate whether they hadbeen the inspiration for the greatarchitects of the Medieval Age, andnot the Greek and Roman classictemples.
Sculptured in the volcanic basalt rock,the craftsmen had been meticulously‘cinzelando’ the rock little by little,cutting the columns in strategicplaces and creating some rooms. inside of the rock
The remaining portion of the cavesare Chaityas or temples, verysimilar to Christian cathedrals,with ceilings ‘abobodados’ withcross-ribbed wooden beams, andwith decorated pillars of rocks. .
A Hindu family admires the work of its ancestor
The majority of paintings are morethan 1500 years old. Ten centuriesbefore the birth of Michelangelo,Leonardo da Vinci and the EuropeanRenaissance, these unknown artistsalready knew how to use perspective, depth and realism in their paintings.The expressions and emotionscaptured in the faces of the paintingare so real that today, after somecenturies, they can still be admired.