Ajanta 26

Ajanta: A Fading Masterpiece

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After Ellora, the next stop obviously was Ajanta, the other UNESCO World Heritage Site in the region and it turned out to be a bit more demanding. Unlike Ellora there is no plane and broad space to walk around here. You just have to ascend and descent narrow stairs build on the edge of the hillocks and the caves also dot the same hills. It takes a bit of work to climb the stairs, especially in the unforgiving heat of central India. But there are porters who make a living by not only offering to carry the luggage but the tourists themselves. I was not sure what or how to feel about the same.

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Coming to the caves, Ajanta offer two different attractions. Rock cut sculptures and paintings. The rock sculptures are sturdy and they are still in pretty good shape. But the paintings are seriously fading. In the caves with paintings you cannot use flash to take photographs as it can affect the fragile artifacts. Even the lighting provided inside is dim and almost insufficient to appreciate the paintings. But I guess there is no other way to elongate their life!

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I am not getting into cave by cave details as it has been a few months and even I do not remember them properly. Besides, most of the extreme low light images turned out to be unworthy of publishing. What I personally liked are the paintings and frescoes depicting Jataka tales, mini stupas, giant Chaitya Hall and reclining Buddha statue.

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I will be back with a detailed guide for visiting Ajanta and Ellora later on.

Jitaditya Narzary

8 thoughts on “Ajanta: A Fading Masterpiece”

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  3. Old painting, from another era have always intrigued me. Sadly though, their condition everywhere is more or less the same.

  4. I so want to visit Ajanta Ellora! It is turning out to be a place that is losing its rich history during lack of conservation and responsible tourism. Hope the scenario changes before it is too late to save history!

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