|Genre:||Classical History / Civilization, Religion, Buddhism|
|Published:||March 01, 1998|
The Ajanta caves were discovered in 1819 by a group of British soldiers on a hunting expedition while they were around 200 miles northeast of Bombay. The beautiful Buddhist sculptures and paintings discovered there, which date from the second century BC to the sixth century AD, are among the most priceless cultural artifacts in the entire world. The painting styles that originated in India and spread with the advent of Buddhism through the Himalayan areas, via Central Asia on the Silk Roads, into China, and from there to Japan and Korea are mostly preserved at Ajanta. Benoy K. Behl has recorded these paintings in all their brilliance and radiance utilizing long exposures that exclusively record natural light. The magnificent murals show an astonishing level of expertise as they depict the Jatakas (stories of Lord Buddha's former incarnations), scenes of princely processions, ladies with their handmaidens, jeweled animals, ascetics in monasteries, and exotic birds and monsters.