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Close view of Nagaraja sculpture on left side of court of Buddhist chaitya hall, Cave XIX, Ajanta

Close view of Nagaraja sculpture on left side of court of Buddhist chaitya hall, Cave XIX, Ajanta

Photographer: Gill, Robert

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1868

Shelfmark: Photo 1000/20(2092)

Item number: 2092

Length: 12

Width: 18.8

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Stereoscopic photograph of the chapel at right side of the verandah 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), or monasteries (viharas), built for the Buddhist community who lived there. The first group was excavated between the 2nd - 1st centuries BC, the second is placed to about 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 figuresof seated and standing Buddhas. The courtyard in front is flanked by side chapels which have columns with luxuriant pot and foliage capitals. On the left there is a niche with a finely carved relief of a Nagaraja couple seated on a rock, seen in this view.

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