The long awaited vacation ( Ajanta)

I cherish the act of travelling. It just makes you move beyond yourself. Reach out into the minds of others, teach you that what you think of as your life and what you attach importance to is a small part of this seamless universe.

End of last month, start of this month I went to Aurangabad. I decided it was time to do some of the exploring India that I have always wanted to do. Aurangabad would be the base stop, and I decided from there we�d goto Ajanta and Ellora Caves. After seeing Ajanta Ellora we even made a spontaneous visit to Shirdi. Now Ajanta and Ellora are world heritage sights and I have heard about them oh so often. Carved between 2 century BC and 8 Century AD, Ajanta has Buddhist caves and Ellora caves Buddhist, Hindu and Jain caves. I did so much research before I went there. But nothing could prepare me for the vistas I was to witness. The next series of blogs are accounts of the trip.

Ajanta: Caves after caves of sheer creative brilliance. Ceilings, walls: All a bright tapestry woven with stories that had been passed on to the monks. Stories of the life of the Buddha, stories of the bodhisattva, all have been painted painstakingly into the walls and roofs. The patterns, the designs the decors, they can shame the so called modern painters. All made by monks, all the result of devotion and patience. And the sculptures, what can I say of them. Staggering high ceilings with imposing Buddha�s sitting under the stupa with a smile on his face. The detailing on the painting is fascinating. The variety of hair styles, the accessories worn, all were evidence enough of the so-called modern practises but which undoubtedly are just practises recycled over time. I have always maintained that what is new today becomes old before rejuvenating itself all over again. The paintings with their intricate details provided ample evidence of the trend. Ajanta: or no one knows will leave you mystical. Truly who knows who made this? Who knows the stories of the painters? Who put their sweat, blood and toil into this? This was the result of meditation, of piousness, of spirit of desire to pass on all they knew to pass on the word of the Buddha.

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