Cave 1

Cave 1 was made on the eastern side of the structure which was in the shape of a horse shoe. With the absence of soot on the foot of the shrine from butter lamps and the paintings not being damaged enough, it is evident that this cave is amongst the latest caves which were excavated. There is a front-court which has cells fronted by pillared doorways on both sides, three doorways – one central and two sides, carved between the doors are two square windows. To hold the ceiling and construct spacious aisles along walls are 12 pillars making a colonnade. The paintings mostly depict devotional, didactic and ornamental scenes from the Jataka Tales which state stories about Buddha’s earlier existences. Two individual paintings, the ones most famous are those which are bigger than life size figure paintings of Padmapani and Vajrapani, the Bodhisatvas. These paintings are on each side of the doorway to the main shrine of Buddha.

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