Cave 16


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 these paintings is of the ‘dying princess’, Sundari, wife of the Buddha’s half-brother Nanda, who is said to have fainted at the news her husband was renouncing the material life (and her) in order to become a monk.

Carved figures appear to support the ceiling and there’s a statue of the Buddha seated on a lion throne teaching the Noble Eightfold Path.

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1. Cave 17

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2. Cave 19

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Cave 19, a magnificent chaitya, has a remarkably detailed facade; its dominant feature is an impressive horseshoe-shaped window. Two fine, standing Buddha…

3. 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…

4. Cave 9

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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…

5. Ajanta Caves

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6. 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.

7. Cave 6


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8. Cave 24

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Had it been finished, cave 24 would be the largest vihara at Ajanta. Here you can see how the caves were constructed – long galleries were cut into the…