Pillars inside Cave No 19, [Ajanta]
Photographer: Dayal, Deen
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the pillar inside Cave 19 at Ajanta, taken by Deen Dayal in the 1890s. The Buddhist cave temples of Ajanta were excavated into a horse-shoe shaped cliff overlooking the Waghora River in the 2nd – 1st century BC and later in the 5th century AD, a period of time which coincides with the Hinayana and Mahayana phases of Buddhist art. They consists of monasteries and prayer-halls used by a community of Buddhist monks who resided there. 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 with 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.