Ancient rocky residences
Two thousand two hundred years ago work began on an extensive series of cave monuments in Maharashtra, India. Over a period of hundreds of years, thirty one monuments were hewn piece by piece from the rock face.
Then, some speculate around the year 1000AD, they fell in to disuse. Dense jungle grew around, hiding the caves away from human eyes.
(more pics after jump…)
The nearest human habitation is Ajinṭhā, a tiny village a few miles away from the caves. The sanctuaries, which are known as chaytia-girhas date from the second century before Christ. They were used primarily as prayer halls and are similar to an extent to the contemporary Roman designs of arch and column. However, these sanctuaries were carved from the immense rock face of the caves, with chisels and, indeed, bare hands.
No one knows for sure when and why the caves were abandoned – whether it was a gradual desertion of some event of political and social magnitude took place which precipitated the neglect and final vacation of the site.
LINK to even more photos