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Cave No 26, Ajunta

Cave No 26, Ajunta

Photographer: Dayal, Deen

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1885

Shelfmark: Photo 430/6(82)

Item number: 82

Length: 19.4

Width: 12

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of cave 26 at Ajanta, taken by Deen Dayal in the 1880s, from the Curzon Collection: 'Views of HH the Nizam's Dominions, Hyderabad, Deccan, 1892'. The thirty remarkable cave temples of Ajanta are situated in a horse-shoe valley of the Waghora river in West India and consist of prayer halls (chaityas), or monasteries (viharas), built for the Buddhist community who lived there. The first group was excavated during the 2nd and 1st centuries BC. After a period of more than six centuries, the excavations restarted around the 5th century AD, in the Vakataka period. Cave 26 is a large and elaborately decorated chaitya hall that belongs to the 5th century AD. A columned verandah, now almost destroyed, preceded the courtyard before the cave. The facade is dominated by a large shoe-shaped window above a columned entrance; two seated Yakshas, or keepers, stand on either side of the window. The rest of the facade is carved with rows of Buddha figures.

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