Front of lower storey of Buddhist Vihara, Cave VI, Ajanta
Photographer: Gill, Robert
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the verandah of cave VI, Ajanta taken by Robert Gill c.1868-70. Ajanta is situated in the modern state of Maharashtra. At Ajanta, there are nearly thirty rock-cut caves set into a cliff in a bend in the Waghora river. The temples were found by accident by Captain John Smith on a hunting trip but were not documented properly until the middle of the nineteenth century. The construction of the caves can be divided into two distinct periods, the first dating to the 1st to 2nd centuries BC whilst the second was around 500 years later. Cave VI is a Buddhist monastery which was built in the late 5th Century and consists of two excavated levels. The lower hall has sixteen octagonal columns arranged in four rows and within the shrine there is a seated Buddha accompanied by standing Buddhas. On the antechamber walls there are some murals which represent the temptation of Mara and the miracle at Sravasti.