General view of the Buddhist rock-cut temples at Nadsur
Photographer: Cousens, Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the valley of Nadsur towards the line of the Buddhist caves on the far side, taken by Henry Cousens around 1890. The caves at Nadsur, located in western Maharashtra, are part of the earliest phase of rock cut architecture in India. The complex consist of a series of viharas, where monks would have once lived, and a simple unadorned Chaitya. The chaitya would have functioned as a Buddhist place of worship, with a hemispherical monument or a stupa at one end. The caves were probably excavated between 70 and 50 BC, dated through paleographic evidence. This photograph shows the caves in their context, facing south east.
In his Account of 1891 Cousens wrote, "From Nadsur it is a stiff climb and long walk to the caves, which are excavated in the side of a spur of the Ghats two miles to the east of the village...The caves are cut in a long line of trap cliff which faces nearly west, and are eighteen in number, the more important among them being the third, seventh, eighth, and fifteeenth from the south end...The interior of many of the caves have been greatly damaged...the facade of almost every cave has disappeared."