The Garden Guide

Ajanta Garden Paintings

The Buddhist paintings in the Ajanta Caves occupy a comparable position in India’s garden history to the that of the tomb paintings from Ancient Egypt. They provide the earliest visual images of the palace gardens of ancient India. The reason for the paintings’ existence was to illustrate the Jakata tales, about the Buddha’s previous lives. The Ajanta paintings show luscious scenes of palaces with open porches looking onto lush planting enclosed by garden walls. The caves are rock-cut and were begun in the second century BC. They are located in a horseshoe-shaped ravine.

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Luxurious palace garden at Ajanta Wiki
A palace garden scene, from Cave 17 at Ajanta
The gorge at Ajanta (Courtesy Kumara Sastry)

Maharashtra, India

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