Interior of Cave No 19, [Ajanta]
Photographer: Dayal, Deen
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the interior of Cave 19 at Ajanta, taken by Deen Dayal in the 1890s. The thirty magnificent cave temples are situated in a horse-shoe valley of the Waghora river in West India and consist of prayer halls (chaityas) and monasteries (viharas) built for the Buddhist community who lived there. The first group was excavated between the 2nd - 1st century BC and the second is placed to about 5th century AD in the Vakataka period. Cave 19 is a very elaborate rock-cut chaitya hall from the late 5th century. The external facade has a large horseshoe-arched window flanked by figures of yakshas and Buddhas carved in relief. A columned portico precedes the entrance and leads to the interior hall as seen in this view, which has two rows of columns elaborately decorated with Buddha figures, flying couples, hermits and musicians that adorn the capitals. The panels above depict Buddhas surrounded by bands of scrollwork. At the end of the apse there is a Buddha image in a niche on the front of the votive stupa. The vaulted ceiling has rock-cut ribs.