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 probably later Mahayana additions. Columns run down both sides of the cave and around the 3m-high dagoba (pagoda) at the far end.

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1. 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…

2. 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.

3. Cave 6

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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…

4. 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…

5. Cave 16

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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…

6. Cave 4

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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…

7. Cave 17

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With carved dwarfs supporting the pillars, cave 17 has Ajanta’s best-preserved and most varied paintings. Famous images include a princess applying make…

8. Cave 2

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