At a time when the world has become one huge concrete jungle with a great many number of skyscrapers and towers strewn around, there exists a place in our very own India, that has stunned even the worlds’ most renowned architects with its structural perfection and intricate details. The fact that this magnificent creation was made using nothing but a hammer and chisel, is sure to leave a person dumbstruck with awe. This amazing aspect is just one among the many facts that speaks of the architectural brilliance of The Ajanta and Ellora caves, situated in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

This photo “Ajanta_Ellora_caves-_Maharashtra,India” @wikipedia from Yashasvi nagda made available under an Attribution license.

Being a hugely popular tourist spot since its discovery in the early 19th century, its creation dates as far back as 2nd century BC to 6th century AD. With 34 caves in Ellora and 27 caves in Ajanta, this ancient structure was carved into the hillside rock with the help of a chisel and hammer. Being in a century where a thousand and more equipments are used to build a single building, this feat is nothing short of astonishing. What’s more is that these caves are as big  as twice the size of the Parthenon, the world famous architectural icon in Athens.

Primarily built by the Buddhists as a place of residence and for the purpose of preaching their religion, the Ajanta and Ellora caves later were made host to Hindu and Jain carvings and paintings as well. The Buddhist monks made monasteries out of these caves and covered their walls with carved images and paintings that speak of the tales about Buddha and his incarnations. These wall engravings will narrate the legendary tales and happenings of that glorious era for all eternity. These caves also bear the pride of being home to the Jataka Tales that have been a part and parcel in every Indian’s childhood for many decades.

“The finest surviving example of ancient Indian art” is how the Archeological Survey of India defines this enchanting place that has stood the test of time, as evidence to the exemplary architectural brilliance of our ancient nation that has made such a monument, possible.

These caves are definitely one of the price jewels of our nation that will sing our legendary glory through its dark depths and engraved walls for many more centuries.