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Side gallery, Cave No 2, [Ajanta]

Side gallery, Cave No 2, [Ajanta]

Photographer: Dayal, Deen

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1895

Shelfmark: Photo 430/34(8)

Item number: 8

Length: 20.7

Width: 14.7

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of a side shrine in Cave 2 at Ajanta taken by Deen Dayal in the 1890s. The 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 caves were in use for about eight centuries and can be divided into two groups according to the early Hinayana and later Mahayana phases of Buddhist art. 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 2 is a monastery from the late 5th century which has preserved some remarkable paintings. The verandah is supported by pillars with fluted shafts ornamented with floral bands. At both ends of the verandah there are small shrines. The one seen in this view is carved with a seated Naga king with yaksha attendants. The ceiling of the verandah is painted with floral and geometrical designs.

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