The porch doorway of cave 17 is similar to
that of cave 16, with which it is contemporary. But the seated couples
on both the doorjambs and lintels improve on cave 16. Above are the
seven Buddha's of the past with maitreya it seems the left side of the
door was painted by different artists, using different colors from the
apinter of the right half of the door. The T-shape shrine doorway has
goddesses, supported by pilasters. This doorway is highly decorative.
The plan of this cave is simple and severe. The pillars in both the
porch and interior are arranged in a strict order. All the pillars were
painted. The pillars near the shrine have intricate carvings. The Buddha
in the shrine is seated in the Yogasana. His hands are held in the Dharmachakra
mudra, or teaching gesture. There are bodhisattva attendants holding
flywhisks. The dwarfs bring garlands. Devotees appear with offerings.
The circumambulatory passage around the image shows it is a relatively
The pilasters at the right hand of the porch of this cave are fairly
simple. This cave was in transition from Hinayana to Mahayana. So some
survivals of symptoms of floral and geometric paintings can be seen
APSARAS AND FLYING SPIRITS:
This large grotto has many paintings of the mature 5th century. The
love of happiness radiates through the pictures. The earth has become
heaven. The Apsars and the Flying Spirits float accros the sky. Lovers
sit in the air houses.
INDRA AND THE APSARAS:
The famous painting Indra and the Apsaras, in the panel above the
doorway of this cave, is a lovely fantasy. All the paintings seem to
illustrate the beauty of nature and human love and happiness as described
by the poet of Ujjain, Kalidasa at the 4th century A.D.
There is a magnificent painting showing a king and queen with their
attendants going in a royal procession. There are colorful umbrellas
over their heads and trees in the background. Some women are looking
at them through the window.
There is another version of the Shaddanta jataka, which also appears
in cave 10.
Prince simhala, who conquered Lanka, rides on a white elephant at head
of the army.
THE BUDDHA RETURNS:
The Buddha returns as a beggar and meets the wife and child in a poignant