Monday, November 5, 2012


It will be like a rebirth once you emerge out of Ajanta caves after seeing it for the first time. Your ego will completely vanish. We have great pride in humanity which has built dams, cars, war planes and bombs. But the sight of Ajanta caves built some two thousand years back will just bewilder you. The aesthetics of the atmosphere will thrill you. You will feel that you are nothing but phantoms filled with straw. It is not only the beauty of the wall paintings which have endured the test of time, or the quality of the sculptures ; but the serene atmosphere that will shake you up. Ajantha will belittle you. It will be a shock to us who live in rectangular cages surrounded by filth. Ajantha is a work of art. Not only the caves. The entire valley is like a dream. If you imagine Ajantha in its days of glory you will surely understand the meaning of human existence.

Ajanta caves are not natural caves. They were monolithic rocks. We must salute the first sage who might have conceived the whole idea of cutting these rocks and building a cave monastery with steps leading down to the river. The ambitious project must have been herculean. Buddhist monks took some seven centuries to build this marvel.  They cut open the rock into a cave first with primitive tools according to a master plan. The inside of the cave was sculptured with huge decorated pillars on either side with the idol of Buddha in the sanctum sanctorium. It is said that there is a sculpture in every rock. Here it is literally true –That which is not a sculpture is taken out of the cave. Ajanta appears to be the first prototype of all building in the sub continent. We have such a history of home making. But have we utilized these knowledge in our home making?- never!- We were just copying from European engineering text books how to build a match like house. 

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