The Ajanta Caves in India built by Buddhist monks is today an UNESCO World Heritage monument.
The rock cut caves of Ajanta date from the 1 st and 2 nd centuries B.C. to 6 th century A.D.
Five of the caves are temples and 24 were monasteries, thought to have been occupied by some 200 monks and artisans.
The themes of the caves are religious in nature and revolve around Buddha and the Jatakas - tales about the previous births of Buddha
The Ajanta Caves were gradually forgotten until their `rediscovery' by a British tiger-hunting party in 1819.
The paintings and sculptures of Ajanta , considered masterpieces of Buddhist religious art, have had a considerable artistic influence.