Chaitya without Buddha, Ajanta Cave 9, Maharashtra, India
Caves 9, 10, 12, 13 and 15 are believed to be from the first period built under the patronage of the Satavahana dynasty and these caves are largely influenced by Hinayana Buddhism. Caves 9 and 10 are Chaitya-grihas (a Buddhist prayer hall with a Stupa at one end), while caves 12, 13 and 15 are Viharas (halls of prayer and living).
Hinayana Buddhism (earlier system of Buddhist doctrine) that spans from Buddha’s lifetime to roughly 200 AD, was a period where Buddha was revered in the form of a Stupa in prayer halls called Chaityas (you can see this cave No 9 and 10). The Stupas without a Buddha mark these caves as distinctly different from the caves from the second period between 5th and 6th century.
From the 1st century AD these caves were largely deserted for centuries and historians have not been able to find a reason yet.
Ajanta Caves located in the Aurangabad district, Maharashtra, India is a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO. How to reach Ajanta Caves?