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Ajanta Caves details - Cave 17

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 early cave.
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 on pilasters.

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.
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 as a beggar and meets the wife and child in a poignant mood.

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