Close view of carved niche in left wing of the Rani Gumpha, Udayagiri
Photographer: Cornish, William Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a carved niche in the left wing of the Rani Gumpha, Udayagiri in Orissa, taken by William Henry Cornish in c.1892, Archaeological Survey of India Collections. The Jain caves in the twin hills of Khandgiri, or Khandagiri, and Udayagiri, were excavated in the 1st century B.C during the Chedi dynasty of ancient Kalinga. The Rani Gumpha or the Queen's Cave is the largest and most richly carved of these caves. It is double storeyed with a spacious courtyard. Against the terminal piers of the verandah facing the courtyard there are two guardian figures in high relief armed with spears and clubs. The figure on the right, which is seen in the photograph, is now much damaged. The small chamber next to it has two side pilasters with ghata bases and capitals supporting winged lions. There are carvings around the arch and on the wall representing elephants and other animal and human figures.