The Ajanta caves are dated from 2nd Century B.C. to 6 Century A.D. There are 30 caves numbered 1-15 & 15A-29. The themes are religious in nature and revolve around Buddha and the Jatakas - tales about the previous births of Buddha. After the decline of Buddhism in the region, the caves fell into disuse and lay buried under debris in the jungle clad slopes till 1819, when they were accidentally discovered by Captain Morgan of the Madras Army. Captain Morgan and his team of British Army officers were on a tiger hunt when he sighted these caves from this viewpoint.
The arrangement of the caves are in the form of a horseshoe around the River Waghora as can be seen from the above header photo. For a layout of the caves visit this link http://www.world-heritage-tour.org/asia/south-asia/india/ajanta/map.html
The caves are cut from the rock with just chisel and hammer being the tools of the ancient craftsmen. The painting are made using natural colour as lapiz lazauli for blue etc., You will find some of the most exquisite art of ancient Buddhist India and it is a feast for the eyes!
No outside vehicles are allowed beyond the T-point which is 4 kms away from the entry point to the caves, and you need to park your vehicle and transfer to a CNG bus to reach the ticket office. This is a very welcome step as it reduces pollution in the area.
The local keeper enthusisatically used his torch to highlight the ornaments worn by the figures
In this and the photograph following, you can see what seems like a pearl neclace