The Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, India are 30 rock-cut cave monuments which date from the 2nd century BCE to the 600 CE. The caves include paintings and sculptures considered to be masterpieces of Buddhist religious art (which depict the Jataka tales) as well as frescos which are reminiscent of the Sigiriya paintings in Sri Lanka. The caves were built in two phases starting around 2nd century BCE, with the second group of caves built around 600 CE. It is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India.

Modern engineers are baffled as to how the caves could have been cut from the 70 foot high granite cliffs, over 2,000 years ago. All interior space in the caves was created through the removal of stone. All sculptures and art are carved from the same stone, which is the mountainside, itself.