Ajanta, the History and the Mystery

Ajanta, the History and the Mystery

This is one of the best films I have seen about the Ajanta cave complex, and it is made by the excelling Madras Documentary Company, which I have featured in this series a number of times before.

The film opens by situating the caves amongst the remote Sehadri Hills outside what is now Aurangabad, and tracing how the monks who moved here did so originally for seclusion.

Over time, working away at their new dwellings, they managed to chisel out cavities in the living rock, and decorate them with paintings and sculptures, which are renowned the world over.

The film shows how the caves fell in disuse after the support for Buddhism waned, and that they were practically forgotten for almost 1,000 years, before being rediscovered in the 19th century.

The film then largely focuses on the paintings and sculptures themselves, which are very extensive, and show their situation around the complex; before winding up with a look at present conservation efforts.


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