The Ajanta caves were carved out of the face of a cliff by Buddhist monks between the 2nd century BCE and about 600 CE. They contain an astonishing number of beautiful and colorful wall paintings, sadly largely detiorated, .
Ajanta  Wish I could remember the name of this young who was our "assistant" during the tour, carrying water and helping us out generally. Ajanta  Western tourists at Ajanta. Ajanta  Entrance to cave no. 1. Ajanta  Inside cave no. 1, a large vihara (monastery), with cells arranged around it and paintings everywhere.
Ajanta  Dunkel ist mein cave Ajanta  A magnificent, tho worn fresco, in cave no. 1. In fact, they are not frescoes, as they were painted on a dry wall, not on wet plaster. Ajanta  A painting of Bodhisattva Padmapani. Ajanta  Also in cave no.1, Bodhisattva Vajrapani.
Ajanta  Looks like some sort of court scene. Ajanta  The Ajanta caves Ajanta  Columns, sculptures and painting on the entrance verandah outside cave no. 2 Ajanta  Sculpture beside the entrance to cave no. 2
Ajanta  Painting on the ceiling of the verandah to cave no. 2 Ajanta  The caves are carved out of the rock on the outer wall of a U-shaped valley. Ajanta  This is probably cave no. 4. Note the barely finished ceiling, where you can see the traces left by the carving tools. Ajanta  Bodhisattvas guarding the door to the Buddha's sanctum
Ajanta  The huge seated Buddha here is magnificent. Ajanta  Tourists with the huge Buddha Ajanta  Ceiling Ajanta  Langur in a tree next to the path
Ajanta  Langurs Ajanta  Another, less expressive Buddha Ajanta  Another Buddha in his richly decorated shrine Ajanta  Entrance to cave no. 9, with its chaitras of different sizes and imitation woodwork
Ajanta  Cave no. 9 is a chaityagriha, or prayer hall Ajanta  Entrance to the chaityagriha, cave no. 9 Ajanta  A couple of Korean Buddhists in cave no. 10, the earliest chaityagriha at Ajanta, dating from the 2nd century BCE Ajanta  Colorful paintings on the pillars
Ajanta  Colorful pillar painting Ajanta  Painted pillars and ceiling Ajanta  Ancient elephant and elephant-loving tourist Ajanta  Looking back down the cave cliffs
Ajanta  Many paintings around the entrance to cave no. 17 Ajanta  Wall paintings on the facade and ceiling Ajanta  Seated naga king outside cave no. 19 Ajanta  Cave no. 19 is a lovely chaityagriha (prayer hall), much more richly decorated than the earlier cave no. 17
Ajanta  Wall carvings in cave no. 19 Ajanta  Wall carvings in closeup Ajanta  Highly decorated interior of chaityagriha Ajanta  The other side of the valley and the observation point (we did not visit)
Ajanta  The impressive entrance to cave no. 26, a large chaityagriha Ajanta  Entrance to chaityagriha (cave no. 26) Ajanta  Large Parinirvana Buddha, over 7 m long Ajanta  Almost baroque-looking sculptures
Ajanta  Frieze in cave no. 26 Ajanta  Gorgeous pillars and decoration Ajanta  Bougainvillea and rock temples Ajanta  The last monkey we saw at Ajanta, swinging from what looks like an acacia
Ajanta  Setting sun lights up pointy Rajasthan haystacks along the road home.