Follow on


the many-splendoured delights of Ajanta compiled by Subramanian Swaminathan


September 2007

Location of Ajanta
Bodhisattva Padmapani, Ajanta Cave 1

Bodhisattva Padmapani, Cave 1

The caves of Ajanta are situated in the district of Aurangabad in the state of Maharashtra. Ajanta is about 100 km by road from Aurangabad and
about 60 km from Jalgaon.

An extended stay at Aurangabad would be rewarding, as the equally important caves are only about 30 km away.

The possible explanation for the monastic establishment at Ajanta is its proximity to the ancient trade routes.

Period of Excavation, Patronage, Re-discovery

Layout of the Caves, Enchanting views of the caves

Rock-cut Architecture




Painting Technique & Tradition

Producing Depth & Relief

Painting & Dance, Unique relation in Indian art
Painting & Sculpture, Another unique relation

Symbolism in Indian Art
Body postures (sthana-s)

Portrayal of Women

Depiction of Movement


Musical Heritage

Contemporary Fashion

Ceiling Paintings

Phases of Ajanta Art

Inspiration at Home & Abroad

The end of the Ajanta epoch
The creative period of Ajanta ended as mysteriously as it had begun. Some of the unfinished caves, which were quite obviously abandoned unexpectedly, show that the emigration took place over a comparatively short span of time.

Ananda Coomaraswamy says ...
The frescoes of Ajanta preserve an infinitely precious record of the golden age of Indian painting.

This is the picture of a halcyon age, where renunciation and enjoyment are perfectly attuned, an art at once of utmost intimacy and reserve.

Every gesture springs in godlike fashion directly from the natural dispositions of the mind........

Literature on Ajanta Paintings and related Subjects
Mr.Swaminathan has made use of material from the following books