"The sculpture at Ajanta Caves despite being among the finest ever created in India, has often not given the attention it deserves."Evaluate.

The paintings of Ajanta are known to be the fountainhead of all the classic paintings of Asia. Ajanta’s paintings occupy the pre-eminent position in the mural traditions of Asia. However, its sculpture, among the finest ever created in India, is often not given the attention it deserves.
Cave 1: This is most famous cave. Seated Buddha in Dharmachakrapravartana mudra is notable sculpture while the notable paintings include Padmapani and Vajrapani.
Cave 2: Sculpture of Yaksha figures (Sankhanidhi and Padmanidhi) to the left and Hariti and her consort Pancika to the right.
Cave 16: Largest and certainly the finest and most interesting monastery (Vihara) of Ajanta from the perspective of art and architecture. Its colossal hall, ornate doors and windows, beautifully painted galleries, sculptures, ornamented pillars, cistern was the gift of Varahadeva a minister of Vakataka
King Harisena.
Cave 19: Chaitya. It is in excellent state of preservation and is considered as one of the most perfect specimens of the Buddhist art in India, datable to 5th century A.D.
A sculptural form of Buddha offering begging bowl to his son Rahula and sculpture representing a Nagaraja and his wife, and the opposite site of this image, a porch which probably was place of rest for pilgrims.
Cave 26: Mahaparinirvana of Buddha on the right aisle wall and the assault of Mara during Buddha’s penance adorns the same wall.
Despite of such beautiful sculptures and paintings, Ajanta Caves have not received the attention it deserves. The need of the hour is to expose the caves to the public at large and preserve the beauty.

Question for UPSC Mains:
“The sculpture at Ajanta Caves despite being among the finest ever created in India, has often not given the attention it deserves.” Evaluate.

Published: May 1, 2016 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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