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Along the Cave Path

Along the pathway there were many relief carvings, both outside individual caves and just along the route.  The caves are in two broad groups.  The middle section are the eldest from the 2nd and 1st centuries BC.  They belong to the Hinayara phase of Buddhism which was quite austere and the Buddha was never represented as a man.  Instead symbols like the Wheel of Law or a Bodhi tree were used instead.  The later caves were from the Mahayana period and the artistic expression was more exuberant.




Looking back along the path we had walked with the river below.
















This was the elaborately decorated front to cave 19.














A close up of some of the carving.












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