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Right side of the nave, Cave XIX, Ajanta

Right side of the nave, Cave XIX, Ajanta

Photographer: Cousens, Henry

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1865

Shelfmark: Photo 125/1(29)

Item number: 125129

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the right side of the nave, Cave 19, Ajanta. 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 19 is a very elaborate rock-cut chaitya hall dated 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, 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.

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