My fascination with Ajanta and Ellora started when I heard they were caves and temples carved into mountains.
Man literally moved mountains to create this!
Well, parts of mountains, but it still counts. I could preach about their beauty in detail. I could tell you about a cave in Ajanta, a cave that perfectly captures the human voice and throws it back at you, adding special touches that make the very air resonate. I could tell you about the crystals found at Ajanta within the rocks, and the amount of beauty that lies within these caves. But I would like to talk about the ugly parts of history these monuments have had to witness. The destruction and the hatred. Prejudice and pure savagery.
I didn't notice it much in Ajanta. Of course, I knew these temples were ransacked and pillaged countless times. But it became really apparent at Ellora. There was a cave in Ellora, the wall and the ceilings connected by stone pillars. Usually, pillars in Ellora are carved, intricately so. But these pillars were plain. Only the first pillar had some bearings of carvings, and this too was incomplete. Partially cut figures and faces haunt you in many caves. At first I didn't think much of it. Then, after some thought I realized how sad incomplete things are. These painters and rock cutters, who sacrificed their lives to work on one of the grander human creations were not allowed to complete it. One can see burnt ceilings and damaged paintings in every other cave. This made me immensely sad. Not because I could not get to witness a whole, complete Ajanta and Ellora. No, it isn't such a selfish reason. I am sad for those artists, the ones that could not finish their work. For the art itself, that could not be completed. Because incomplete creations can be haunting.
If the incomplete Ajanta and Ellora have the power to satisfy a person, as it overwhelmed me, just imagine how it would have been without the destruction.