About 110 kms. from the city of Aurangabad, the rock-cut caves of Ajanta nestle in a panoramic gorge, in the form of a gigantic horseshoe. Among the finest examples of some of the earliest Buddhist architecture, caves-paintings and sculptures, these caves comprise Chaitya Halls, or shrines, dedicated to Lord Buddha and Viharas, or monasteries, used by Buddhist monks for meditation and the study of Buddhist teachings.
The paintings that adorn the walls and ceilings of the caves depict incidents from the life of the Buddha and various Buddhist divinities. Among the more interesting paintings are the Jataka tales, illustrating diverse stories relating to the previous incarnations of the Buddha as Bodhisattva, a saintly being who is destined to become the Buddha.