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Side wall inside entrance to Chaitya Hall, Karli, showing donor figures, elephant sculptures and relief carvings of buildings and figures above 2243a

Side wall inside entrance to Chaitya Hall, Karli, showing donor figures, elephant sculptures and relief carvings of buildings and figures above 2243a

Photographer: Sykes and Dwyer

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1869

Shelfmark: Photo 1000/23(2243a)

Item number: 2243a

Length: 29.8

Width: 24.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the carvings around the entrance to the Chaitya Hall at Karli, taken by Sykes and Dwyer around 1869. The Great Chaitya or prayer hall at Karli was excavated during the phase of early rock-cut architectural activity in India, around the first century BC. A courtyard, pictured here, precedes the cave, with a huge 'simhastambha', a column with a bell shaped capital topped by four lions. The facade of the cave has a wide horseshoe-shaped window with ribs. The porch is adorned with very fine carvings depicting six pairs of donors positioned between the three arched doorways. On the side walls there are three-dimensional carvings of elephants trunks which support multi-storey buildings with arched windows and railings. These sculptures date from 1st century BC to 1st century AD.

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