Experience the alignment of the winter solstice sunrise at the sacred caves of Ajanta in India, carved from a mountain cliff.
What: Solar Alignment & Observance
Where: Cave 19, Ajanta Caves, Aurangabad district, Maharashtra state of India
When: Winter Solstice
About the Ajanta Caves in India
Observe the winter solstice at the majestic site in India – The Ajanta Caves, where from a solid granite rock mass emerging from a mountainside 76 meters high, 30 caves have been carved out, forming the Buddhist temples and sanctuaries for the ancient peoples that once lived and worshiped at this site, recorded as early as 2nd century BCE. This breathtaking ”horseshoe-shaped escarpment”, discovered ”by accident” during a hunting expedition, is set in the beautiful Aurangabad jungle, overlooking the Waghora River.
The Winter Solstice AlignmentThe Ajanta Caves are known for two very special celestial alignments – the winter and summer solstices.
The sun rays on the two solstices highlight two different defining scenes of the Buddha and his stupa.
On the summer solstice the Buddha is shown seated, whereas on the winter solstice he is standing. Out of all the caves and areas at this ancient site, cave nineteen and cave twenty-six have been highlighted to shine the morning solstice sunrise light directly at these unique Buddha statues, once when the Buddha is seated, and another when he is standing.
From the Path of the Spiritual Sun by Belsebuub
Below is an excerpt from Belsebuub and Lara Atwood’s book ”The Path of the Spiritual Sun” explaining the cave’s winter solstice alignment:
”Two of the caves align to celestial events. Cave nineteen aligns to the winter solstice sunrise. It contains a statue of Buddha standing within a stupa, which is illuminated by the rays of the rising sun on the winter solstice.
A stupa is a symbolic monument which it is said Buddha uses to ascend and descend.
The winter solstice is a time when the force of the divine Son descends into a spiritually prepared person. ”
Visiting the Caves
Here are some guidelines to keep in mind for visiting the caves. (Page 12)
Below is a video that sheds light on the intriguing history and landscape of the Ajanta Caves and animates the solstice alignments in cave 19 and 26. This is a video from the History Channel which contains some of their own theories and opinions about the site.
Another video that highlights the overall majestic feat of the Ajanta Caves explained by anthropologist Robert Sepehr.
A Note About Visiting Ancient Sites
Please be mindful and respectful of the ancient sites. Treat them with care as to not disturb them, damage them or remove anything from them. Help protect these incredible sites so that they can continue to stand the test of time.
This event is not run by The Spiritual Sun. Please contact the Archaelogical Survey of India if you would like more details about the site such as opening times, admission tickets, restrictions etc.
Article by Christos Grapsas & Olga Grapsas