Interior view from the right of the verandah of Buddhist vihara, Cave XXIII, Ajanta
Photographer: Gill, Robert
Medium: Photographic print
Stereoscopic photograph of the verandah of the Buddhist vihara, Cave 23, at Ajanta, taken by Robert Gill in 1868. The thirty 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 23 is a monastery from the late fifth century and is partly unfinished. The columns of the verandah have richly carved shafts. The side shrines have carved panels above the columns and this view shows the left one which represents a court of a naga king. An ornate doorway leads into the hall.