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Interior of the Buddhist rock-cut Chaitya Hall, Cave VIII, Karli.

Interior of the Buddhist rock-cut Chaitya Hall, Cave VIII, Karli.

Photographer: Caddy, Alexander E.

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1895

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(2190)

Item number: 10032190

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the interior of Karli, cave 8, taken by Alexander.E Caddy in the 1890s. Situated in western Maharashtra, Karli is an is entirely rock cut Buddhist temple known as a 'Chaitya'. The Chaitya would have served as a centre of religious practice for the monks who lived in the adjacent rock-cut monastery or vihara. Monks were not allowed to possess material wealth, and inscriptions at this temple, and others, indicate that the construction of Chaityas was funded through donations from merchants and landowners. Hewn from the rock in the Satavahana period, Karli has been dated architecturally to between 50 and 70 AD. There is considerable evidence for later alterations, particularly sculptural and it would appear that the temple was occupied for a considerable period of time. In this photograph the camera was positioned to look along the length of the hall towards the stupa, with a line of massive octagonal columns clearly visible on both sides. The space behind these columns would be used for a religious procession or circumambulation. The capitals of these columns are richly adorned with animals and human figures.

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