General view of Rock Palace or Khengar's Mahal, Junagadh
Photographer: Burgess, James
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a rock palace or Khengar's Mahal, Junagadh taken by James Burgess in 1874 or 1875. An important city since the Mauryan period, Junagadh became the capital of Gujarat under the Kshatrapa rulers between the 2nd and the 4th Centuries. The Uparkot was Junagadh's citadel, located slightly above the town as a whole. The Kshatrapa rulers sponsored the construction of a number of rock-cut caves that were excavated for the Buddhist and Jain monastic communities. This is general exterior view of ruins of the Khengar's Mahal, with evidence in the foreground of the quarrying that was destroying the site when Burgess visited. The cave consists of five chambers, many of which have inscriptions written on their walls but are largely devoid of sculptural ornamanentation. Burgess claims that the caves were the basement of a larger palace above ground, useful for keeping cool.