First view of the Caves from below, Ajanta
Photographer: Gill, Robert
Medium: Photographic print
Stereoscopic photograph of the Buddhist caves of Ajanta, taken by Robert Gill in 1868. The 30 magnificent rock-cut cave temples 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 caves were in use for about eight centuries, and can be divided into two groups according to the early Hinayana and later Mahayana phases of Buddhist art. The first group was excavated between the 2nd - 1st century BC and the second group dates to around 5th century AD. The viharas are arranged in clusters near the chaityas.