Buddhist monastic and pilgrimage site—flc. 100 bc–ad 600—and later city in Maharashtra, India. Together with Ajanta and Ellora, it represents the culmination of Buddhist rock-cut art along the trade routes of western India. The Buddhist site, located in the hills north-west of the city, contains a dozen excavations, an aniconic prayer-hall (Skt caityagṛha) of the 1st century bc, two possibly Mahayana Buddhist designs that resemble examples at Ajanta closely enough to be by the same artists, a series of profusely decorated Vajrayana Buddhist maṇḍala shrines and a unique syncretic temple combining Brahmanical and Buddhist deities within a single sanctum. The richness and sensuousness of both the architecture and the sculpture is exceptional.
The earliest structure at the site is an aniconic caitya (Cave 4) of the 1st century bc. This prayer-hall was followed in the 5th century ad by two caves in the manner of later Ajanta: Cave 1, a ...