As far as the history and origin of the Ajanta Cave Temples is concerned, one can say that they were discovered in the year 1819 (19th century AD). The caves were discovered by British soldiers by accident, when they went on a hunting expedition in the Deccan Plateau. One of the soldiers was generally looking down from a height, when he suddenly saw a rock - in the shape of a horseshoe. Obviously, he became curious and his curiosity increased when he saw the entrance of a cave, inside the rock.
The entire group of soldiers then descended from where they were
earlier standing. After venturing across the ravine of the Waghur River,
the soldiers came across an entire group of caves. Situated so far from
inhabitation and left unexplored for such a long time, they had become
covered by bush, shrubs, earth and stones. This had resulted in making
them even more concealed. All the caves were empty, except for a few -
whose inhabitants comprised of herds of goats, looking for shelter.
Soon after the British soldiers went back to their bases, they informed
the Government of their discovery. The Government summoned
archaeologists, who were entrusted with the task of carrying excavations
at the site, which is today known as the Ajanta Cave Temples. Since that
time, numerous unearthings have been undertaken at Ajanta and they have
come up with amazing findings. Till date, 30 caves have been found in
Ajanta, of which some are still unfinished. All of them stand adorned
with paintings on verandahs, inner walls and ceilings.