General view from the left of porch and entrance to Buddhist Vihara, Cave I, Ajanta
Photographer: Gill, Robert
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the verandah of Cave I at Ajanta, taken by Robert Gill around 1868-70. The Buddhist cave temples of Ajanta were excavated into a horse-shoe shaped cliff overlooking the Waghora River during two time periods; firstly, the
2nd–1st Century BC and secondly, during the 5th Century AD. The caves are numbered 1-28 according to their location, not chronologically. They consist of monasteries (viharas) and prayer-halls (chaitya) used by a community of Buddhist monks who resided there. Cave I is a very fine monastery from the late 5th Century. The verandah has cells and porches at the ends and three doorways leading into the hall. Above the verandah are figurative friezes and the doorways are decorated with amorous couples, maidens and naga deities. The ceiling is covered with small panels with various motifs. The interior has a richly sculptural decoration and has preserved some of the finest paintings at Ajanta, representing scenes from the life of Buddha as narrated in the Jatakas.