Close view of lower left side of the façade of Buddhist chaitya hall, Cave XIX, Ajanta
Photographer: Gill, Robert
Medium: Photographic print
Stereoscopic photograph of the lower left side of the façade of the Buddhist chaitya hall, Cave XIX at Ajanta, taken by Robert Gill in 1868. The 30 magnificent cave temples are situated in a horse-shoe valley of the Waghora river in West India and consist of prayer halls (chaityas) and monasteries (viharas), built for the Buddhist community who lived there. The first group was excavated between the 2nd - 1st century BC and the second is dated to around 5th century AD in the Vakataka period. Cave 19 is a very elaborate rock-cut chaitya hall from the late 5th century. The external facade has a large horseshoe-arched window flanked by figures of yakshas and Buddhas carved in relief. The outer walls are decorated with columns covered with elaborate ornamentation of scrollwork, foliation and jewelled bands and figures of seated and standing Buddhas. The side shrines have columns with luxuriant pot and foliage capitals. A columned portico precedes the entrance and leads to the interior hall which is also very elaborate.