The 29 caves at Ajanta are hewn out of a vertical cliff which extends around a horseshoe bend in the Waghur River. They were built between 300BCE and 600AD by monks who used 24 of them as rooms for education and 5 of them as sleeping quarters. Most of the teaching caves are elaborately decorated with sculptures, frescoes and motifs. The majority contain a sculpted Buddha in the position of teaching. The caves were discovered in 1819 by British soldiers who were hunting on the Deccan plateau. In 1983 the site attained UNESCO World Heritage Status.
This image was made in cave number 19, an accommodation cave built in the 5th century. The large sculpture shows Buddha in a simple standing pose. It is inset onto the front facade of a stupa, a religious monument containing religious relics such as texts, jewels and ashes of eminent teachers. The pillar is also detailed and the central feature shows Buddha in a meditation pose.