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Facade of Cave XVII, Ajanta

Facade of Cave XVII, Ajanta

Photographer: Gill, Robert

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 125/1(19)

Item number: 125119

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the facade of Cave 17, 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. This monastery dates from the late 5th century. The verandah has plain octagonal columns which have been damaged. This cave has the greatest amount of preserved paintings. Over the doorway there is a row of eight seated Buddhas above figures of amorous couples. The ceiling has a central multi-lobed medallion with foliation. Other panels on the side walls represent Indra flying through the clouds, the Wheel of Life and other episodes in the life of the Buddha.

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