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Interior view from the right of the verandah of Buddhist vihara, Cave XVII, Ajanta

Interior view from the right of the verandah of Buddhist vihara, Cave XVII, Ajanta

Photographer: Gill, Robert

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1868

Shelfmark: Photo 1000/20(2086)

Item number: 2086

Length: 11.6

Width: 18.9

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Stereoscopic photograph of the interior view of the right of the verandah of the Buddhist vihara, Cave 17 at Ajanta, taken by Robert Gill in 1868. The 30 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 dated to around the 5th century AD in the Vakataka period. Cave 17 is a fine monastery from the late 5th century and it is one of the caves which has preserved the greatest number of paintings representing scenes from the Jataka stories. This view shows the verandah which has plain octagonal shafts. Over the doorway in the verandah there is a row of seated Buddhas and amorous couples. The panel to the left represents Indra flying with his celestial attendants. In the next scene, a princely couple is represented seated in a pavilion drinking and then distributing alms to an assembly. A Wheel of Life is painted on the left wall. To the right of the verandah doorway there are celestial maidens and then a panel depicting Buddha subduing the elephant sent by Devadatta to kill him. On the ceiling of the verandah is a multi-lobed medallion.

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