An Educational Tour
Our History teacher always talked about Ajanta and Ellora caves as our great relics of the past. We requested him to plan a tour of these places and he readily agreed. As the school closed for the summer break, a group of fifty students from our class left for Aurangabad. We hired our own bus to go to Ellora which is hardly fifteen kilometers from there. It is an old city that has been excavated by the Department of Archaeology. The Hindu temples present a fascinating sight. There are statues of Hindu Gods and Goddesses everywhere. It is surprising how the architects of those times could plan such as beautiful city! The rooms are constructed in such a manner as would ensure that cross ventilation and hence, no need of fans. The idols of the bull and Shiva Linga are masterpieces of art. Although the city is more than two thousand years old, yet the construction is stable and durable. Ajanta is also situated in the same district but it is quite far off from the district headquarters. It represents the rise of Buddhism in India. The caves were carved out of solid rocks on the banks of a waterfall. The artisans and architects spent a lifetime in planning and constructing the divine city. The Department of Archaeology provides decorations and well-trained guides. They throw light on the subtle aspects of every statue. For example, we were taken to a cave in which, there was a huge statue of Lord Buddha. When the light was thrown from the front, he looked sad. When it was thrown from other angles, the mood of the Lord changed accordingly. The decorations on the wall are in different colours. Those colours were taken directly from the flowers and leaves of the trees. It is surprising that those paintings are still fresh on the walls of the cave. We asked the guide how he did the artisan’s work in the caves. He pointed out that the reflection of the solar rays on the waterfalls were divided according to their needs.
The monuments remind us of the greatness of the man who can create under all circumstances. He can work wonders if he is inspired to execute a job.
The sad aspect was that Lord Buddha had decreed against the worship of statues. His whole religion was based on teachings against idol worship. His own followers raised his statues and started worshipping them.