Interior of Buddhist chaitya hall, Cave IX, Ajanta 10004482
Photographer: Gill, Robert
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the interior of Cave IX, Ajanta taken by Robert Gill c.1868-70. Ajanta is situated in the modern state of Maharashtra. At Ajanta, there are nearly thirty rock-cut temples set into a cliff in a bend in the Waghora river. The temples were found by accident by Captain John Smith on a hunting trip but were not documented properly until the middle of the nineteenth century. Even when this photograph was taken the caves had not been cleaned out properly as can be seen by the earth in the foreground. Cave IX is a chaitya hall, a Buddhist place of worship, which dates to the 1st Century BC. The facade has a large horseshoe-shaped window and beneath this stands a doorway and two windows surmounted by arches in relief. The Buddha figures are later additions. The interior is divided into three aisles by plain octagonal columns and an hemispherical stupa is situated at the end of the apse. The cave has preserved some traces of painting. The central nave has a vaulted roof and used to have timber ribs. This is a view looking along the columned aisle towards the votive stupa.