PRINCESS LOOKING AT HER MIRROR:
The Ajanta masters have shown human life in all its varied colors. One
of the scenes, always preferred in Indian painting, has been of sringar,
showing the decoration by the women of her body. In one of the most
exquisite paintings in this cave, a Princess is looking at her mirror,
after she has done her srinagar. One of her female attendants holds
a tray of toilet utensils. The other holds a flywhisk in her hand. A
little child is looking on from below.
Cave 19 is a chaitya gathering hall, with many paintings and sculptures.
They are mostly disfigured.
The same donor as cave 17 patronized this cave. It was scooped at the
same time. It is the chaitya gathering hall for worship. The carving
is intricate. The faced is elaborate, with pilasters, which were to
be copied in other caves later. There are heavy bodied, strong, somewhat
squat yaksha guardians, flanking the right and the left side of the
main arch. The rinkles of their hair fall like fountains while they
are profusely garlanded and bejeweled. On the base of the big stupa
at the center of the chaitya hall are dancing dwarfs.
The solemn Buddha standing above is contrasted with the moving urchins
Under the arched Chaitya window are sculptured Images of the Buddha
in the niches.
The forecourt has fallen.
There is a second aisle towards the nave.
The columns have square bases, round shafts, and rich bands of carvings
on bracket capitals.
There is a Standing Buddha on the tall stupa. The stupa itself is crowned
with an umbrella that nearly touches the roof.
There is a Naga King with his queen and attendants, which highly finishing
The aboriginals and the lower caste people, who became Buddhist, brought
snake worship with them. The nagas, or snakes, were given human from,
except for the hood of snakeheads, which was put round their heads.
There was a superstition that the worship of nagas brings rain. Even
nowadays peasants consider snakes auspicious.