Cave 1


Cave 1, a Mahayana vihara, was one of the last to be excavated and is the most beautifully decorated. This is where you’ll find a rendition of the Bodhisattva Padmapani, the most famous and iconic of the Ajanta artworks. A verandah in front leads to a large congregation hall housing sculptures and narrative murals known for their splendid perspective and elaborate detailing of dress, daily life and facial expressions.

The colours in the paintings were created from local minerals, with the exception of the vibrant blue made from Central Asian lapis lazuli. Look up to the ceiling to see the carving of four deer sharing a common head.

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1. Cave 2

0.02 MILES

Cave 2 is a late Mahayana vihara with deliriously ornamented columns and capitals and some fine paintings. The ceiling is decorated with geometric and…

2. Cave 4

0.04 MILES

Cave 4 is the largest vihara at Ajanta and is supported by 28 pillars. Although never completed, the cave has some impressive sculptures, such as the four…

3. Cave 5

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An unfinished excavation, cave 5 lacks sculpture and architectural elements of note and its interiors are inaccessible. It does however have an ornate…

4. Cave 6

0.06 MILES

Cave 6 is the only two-storey vihara at Ajanta, but parts of the lower storey have collapsed. Inside is a seated Buddha figure and an intricately carved…

5. Cave 7

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Cave 7 has an atypical design, with porches before the verandah leading directly to the four cells and the elaborately sculptured shrine.

6. Cave 9


Cave 9 is one of the earliest chaityas at Ajanta. Although it dates from the early Buddhist period, the two figures flanking the entrance door were…

7. Cave 10

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Cave 10 is thought to be the oldest cave (200 BC) and was the first one to be spotted by the British hunting party. Similar in design to Cave 9, it is the…

8. Cave 16

0.15 MILES

Cave 16, a vihara, contains some of Ajanta’s finest paintings and is thought to have been the original entrance to the entire complex. The best known of…