Ebhal Mandapa Cave at Talaja, Kathiawar
Photographer: Burgess, James
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the entrance to the Ebhal Mandapa Cave at Talaja in Gujarat, taken by James Burgess around 1874, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collection. In the 'Notes of a visit to Somnath, Girnar & other places in Kathiawad in May, 1869', James Burgess wrote, "The Talaja hill is remarkable for the Buddhist caves on its north-west face. They have once been destroyed to make a passage up to, and room for, the Jaina temples or their predecessors. One of the largest of them and the only one that now presents any remains of ornamentation, is at a height of fully a hundred feet. It is known as the Ebhal Mandapa...This large cave had four octagonal pillars in front, but none inside to support the roof, nor has it the wall that usually divides such excavations into an outer verandah and an inner hall. There are fragments of a modified form of the horse-shoe ornaments and of the Buddhist rail pattern above the front of the cave, while outside the entrance there are wells or tanks on both sides and several cells...The general arrangements of the caves are indications of their Buddhist origin, and...we may perhaps relegate them to an age as far back as those of Nasik or Kanheri, if not to a still earlier one than even the first century of our era...No remains of sculpture, such as it is common in all the later Budhist caves, is to be found here."