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Interior view of the left aisle of Buddhist vihara, Cave XXI, Ajanta

Interior view of the left aisle of Buddhist vihara, Cave XXI, Ajanta

Photographer: Gill, Robert

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1868

Shelfmark: Photo 1000/20(2099)

Item number: 2099

Length: 11.6

Width: 18.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Stereoscopic photograph of the left aisle of the interior of the Buddhist vihara, Cave 21 at Ajanta, taken by Robert Gill in 1868. The 30 magnificent cave temples of Ajanta 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. After a period of more than six centuries, the excavations restarted around the 5th century AD in the Vakataka period. Cave 21 is an incomplete monastery from the late 5th century. The verandah has lost its piers. Above the two pillars of the side shrines there are carvings of Hariti with attendants and a naga king. The door leading to the hall is richly ornamented and the columns of the hall have fluted shafts ornated with bands carved with jewelled motifs. The ceiling has preserved traces of the paintings that used to decorate the cave.

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