Weekly Photo Challenge: Curve

As the title indicates this week’s photo challenge asks us to find inspiration from curved structures- either natural or man-made.

My mind immediately went back to my visit to Ajanta and Ellora Caves (in Maharashtra, India) earlier this year. The photographs below are from Cave 10 at Ellora. What is really special about these caves are that not only were the structures literally scooped out from inside the mountain but that when you look at them you literally can’t believe that they weren’t built with stones and concrete.

Cave 10 is a massive two storied cave that is dated to about the 7th Century CE.It is a Buddhist cave with a large statue of Buddha (over 10 feet in height) sitting under the Bodhi tree (depicted by the arch behind the statue).

The most spectacular feature of the hall is its ribbed vaulting. The curved structure of the hall produces a lot of echoes. In ancient times this would have been used for prayer. One can imagine how solemn it would have been to hear the monks chanting, their voices doubled and trebled by the stones.

The Buddhist Cave 10- The ribbed vaulting brings out a beautiful curved effect
Ribbed Vaulting Up Close- each rib rising from sculptures
Another close up of the ribs and the sculptures



17 Comments Add yours

  1. arv! says:

    You have brought back memories Sukanya! I have seen these caves many Years ago during school trip. I hardly have any memories about what I saw except few images stored in my mind. I remember photography was prohibited. BTW quite apt for the theme!

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      Thanks arv! Thankfully photography is allowed these days

      1. arv! says:

        I can see that with your pictures! It’s great 🙂

  2. Nirmala says:

    Amazing! How people carved these is beyond imagination.

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      It is indeed

  3. neihtn2012 says:

    These caves are awe-inspiring. Will humans ever create this kind of architecture/carving/sculpture again?

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      I don’t think we ever will. We’ll build skyscrapers though

  4. lifelessons says:

    Wow. What an appropriate subject for this prompt!!

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      Thank you!

  5. lifelessons says:

    I lived for awhile in Lalibela, Ethiopia, where a series of underground churches were carved out of the living rock with tunnels in between. They were spectacular but not as detailed as this cave! The most famous was carved in the shape of a cross that can be seen from above.

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      I have never heard of the caves in lalibela. Thanks for sharing that. Glad you liked my post

      1. lifelessons says:

        They weren’t caves.. They carved all of them out of the living rock. You can Google it. Remarkable.
        As were yours!

  6. Wow, this looks like you’re inside the skeleton of a whale or something

  7. i like your article, very inspiring and thank you for your post

  8. cassmob says:

    Wow!! They’re amazing!

  9. This is absolutely breath-taking! 🙂

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