The old Buddhist Caves at the Uparkote [Junagadh]
Photographer: Solankee Studio
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph from the Curzon Collection: 'Presented with feelings of friendship and sincere admiration to Lord Curzon of Kedleston, Viceroy and Governor-General of India, by H.H. Rasulkhanji, Navab Junagadha. 1900', of the old Buddhist caves in the Uparkot at Junagadh, taken by a photographer of the Solankee Studio around 1900. Junagadh was the capital of Gujarat under the Kshatrapa rulers between the 2nd and the 4th centuries. Many rock-cut monastic caves were excavated for the Buddhist and Jain communities in the Uparkot, the citadel of the old city, in the third-fourth century. The cave in this view is a square cell with bench seating on the sides. The columns have pot bases and capitals are richly carved with groups of figures. In the 'Report on the Antiquities of Kathiawad and Kachh of 1874-75', Burgess wrote, "The Uparkot or upper fort of Junagadh, is probably a rich mine of antiquities. It seems to have been the citadel of the old city, where the lieutenants of the great Asoka, and still later, of the Gupta kings lived...About the first time I visited Junagadh in 1869, some rock-cut apartments were discovered at the bottom of a descent on the north of the Jami Masjid. They are of considerable interest, for, though much defaced, they manifest a high style of art. Few bases, for examples, could be found anywhere to excel in beauty of design and richness of carvings those of the six pillars in the lower hall."