Entrance to the Son Bhandar Cave, Rajgir
Photographer: Caddy, Alexander E.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the entrance to one of the Son Bhandar caves, Rajgir taken by Alexander.E Caddy in 1895. Two rock-cut caves are found next to each other at Son Bhandar, both of which were excavated at the same time by Jain ascetics. This image shows the entrance to the eastern cave. An inscription on the doorway of the western cave dates the construction of both to the third or fourth century AD. The stone into which the cave was excavated is of a poor quality which meant that when Caddy entered the cave, it was strewn with debris which had fallen from the roof. When built, the cave would have been a more substantial structure than we see today. Originally it would have incorporated a second storey built of brick and reached by a set of rock-cut stairs. Rock cut beam holes, seen above the cave entrance in this photograph, indicate that at one point the cave also had a wooden verandah.