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Facade of Cave XIX, Ajanta

Facade of Cave XIX, Ajanta

Photographer: Cousens, Henry

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 125/1(20)

Item number: 125120

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the facade of Cave 19, 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 19 is one of the best executed rock-cut chaitya halls and is dated to the 5th century. The entrance has a portico with fluted columns and other columns along the side walls are covered with ornate decoration and numerous Buddhas. The facade is dominated by a large horse-shoe shaped window flanked by figures of yakshas.

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