By Walter M. Spink
Ajanta:Year by way of 12 months is deliberate as a biography of this outstanding website, beginning with the earliest caves, courting from a few thousand years, to its startling renaissance within the short interval among nearly 462 and 480. focusing on the excavations of the later interval, in the course of the reign of the Vakataka emperor Harisena, it makes an attempt to teach how, after a stunning hole of a few 300 years, Ajanta’s proud and pious courtly consumers and its more and more dedicated workmen created not just the best however the newest monument of India’s Golden Age. approximately 300 illustrations, in colour and black and white, demonstrate the exuberant flowering of Ajanta and similar Vakataka monuments, in addition to the way in their surprising death
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Additional resources for Ajanta : history and development. Vol. IV, Painting, sculpture, architecture year by year
By the time the rear of the cave was reached, the misalignment could amount to as much as a few feet, making the interior plan no longer the desired square, but an unexpected trapezoid. Such imprecision—a veritable sign of an early excavation date—is typical of the caves cut during the first few years of activity at the site. Remarkably, the problem could have been avoided by nothing more complex than taking a piece of string as the measure of the length of the front aisle, and using it as a check at point after point as work progressed toward the rear.
It may well have been the compelling influence of these developments at Bagh that revolutionized Ajanta as well; and the medium of transition may have been Harisena himself, via the counsel of his advisers. This is because his great Cave 1, with its decisively conceived plan, was probably the very first vihara at Ajanta to have been planned from the start with a shrine. And although Cave 1’s shrine today contains a fine Buddha image, it was almost certainly originally intended to house a stupa.
However, in the end only one shrine actually does have a stupa in it. This is Cave 11, probably the first shrine to have been started (in 467/468). 3 But it is equally significant that this stupa was never finished. In fact, it was abandoned in favor of an image carved from the same matrix, which is composed in such a way that its untypically large halo in fact hides the unfinished stupa. This 1 Actually, the B mode, as well as the C mode, were used centuries before in the Hinayana caves, but were not replicated in the earliest Vakataka caves.