Nagaraja, Ajanta

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Prashanth Gopalan
published on 08 September 2015

The Nagaraja - or Snake King - possibly represents either a mythical figure from Buddhist mythology, a figure from the Jataka Tales of Buddhist literature, or the headman of the local snake-worshiping tribe that lived in the same region as the ancient Buddhists of Ajanta at the time of this particular cave's construction.

This is a detail from a wall carving in one of the outer caves of the Ajanta cave complex, an ancient Buddhist monastery and UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Aurangabad District of Maharashtra, India.

Originally built from the 2nd century BCE, with additional caves added in subsequent centuries, the Ajanta cave complex contains some of the finest surviving examples of ancient Indian and Buddhist religious art and architecture in the Indian subcontinent.

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Cite This Work

APA Style

Gopalan, P. (2015, September 08). Nagaraja, Ajanta. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Gopalan, Prashanth. "Nagaraja, Ajanta." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified September 08, 2015.

MLA Style

Gopalan, Prashanth. "Nagaraja, Ajanta." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 08 Sep 2015. Web. 05 Feb 2023.