Mar: अजिंठा ajiṇṭhā
‘Shiva’ [Achinta] Caves/Archaeological site, Maharashtra.
The extraordinary Ajanta Caves feature rock-cut Buddhist monuments and paintings dating from 2ndC BCE to about the 5thC all set into a horsehoe
Although locals knew of their existence they were ‘officially’ rediscovered by Captain Smith of the 28th Cavalry in 1819 while on a tiger hunt.
The caves were named after Achinta village [Skt: acintya, ‘inconceivable’ – a name for Shiva] -11km away; although Fardapur, only 6.5km away, is closer and they could easily have been called the Farda caves. There is also a village called Lenapura [‘Town of Caves’ from Mar: lēṇē, ‘(man-made or decorated) cave’, ‘rock-cut temple’].