Aurangabad : The paintings of the Ellora caves in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, are losing their gleam due to rainwater seepage in the caves.
Apart from seepage and rock falls, even the lights installed inside the Ellora caves are damaging the sculptures. The paintings are being affected by moisture, and with the immediate effect that the paintings are turning black.
"Seepage problem is a two-way trouble. One if you remove the tree or the herb, the micro-holes of that root, they penetrate up to the sculpture, and though we try to seal them, it is very difficult to seal every hole or every penetration. Sometimes it is as it is - micro; it is beyond the limitations of correcting methods or correction, therefore the water makes it way and the seepage starts," said R. S. Morwanchikar, a historian.
The government has planned to construct drains in all the caves of Ellora to avoid seepage and further destruction of the sculptures, particularly during the monsoons.
The ancient Ellora caves are a World Heritage Site and were constructed between the fifth and tenth centuries AD.
At Ellora, there are 34 famous temples carved out of stone. The cave temples of Ellora are divided into three groups, belonging to three periods- Buddhist, Hindu and Jain.
"At Ellora you can see that Buddhism, Brahmanism, Hinduism and Jainism; along with this the Sufi activities at Khuldabad, they go together. Everybody is bent upon passing the message of peace and love," said Morwanchikar
Paintings in Ellora show Lord Vishnu, Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Shiva, among other deities, but few such murals in the caves are well-preserved.