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Detail of a capital in the verandah of Ajanta Cave XXIV

Detail of a capital in the verandah of Ajanta Cave XXIV

Photographer: Cousens, Henry

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1865

Shelfmark: Photo 125/1(31)

Item number: 125131

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the detail of the capital in the verandah of Cave 24, at Ajanta. The thirty magnificent cave temples of Ajanta 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. After a period of more than six centuries, the excavations restarted around the 5th century AD in the Vakataka period. Cave 24 was left unfinished at the end of the 5th century. Only one pillar of the six original pillars is standing. This photograph shows the capital of a broken column with a very elaborate decoration of a seated couple surrounded by makaras, aquatic monsters and flying gandharvas on the sides.

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