View from the east of left-hand portion of Jain caves, Khandgiri Hill
Photographer: Cornish, William Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the left-hand portion of Jain caves at Khandgiri Hill, taken by William Henry Cornish in c.1892, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections. In the twin hills of Khandgiri, (or Khandagiri) and Udayagiri, near Bhubaneshwar in Orissa, there is a series of Jain cave temples called 'gumpha' locally, cut out of sandstone. Most of these massive and austere caves were excavated in the period of the Chedi kings in the 1st century BC. They generally have one or more plain cells with a flat ceiling. Some are double storeyed and have pillared verandas. The facades of the larger caves are profusely decorated with sculptures. On the right in this view is the entrance to the Dhyanaghar or Shell Cave. This cave takes its name from an inscription in shell characters inscribed on the left-hand wall of the verandah while the local name Dhyanaghar means 'the House of Meditation'. The cave consisted originally of a cell with three doors and a verandah in front suppported by two pillars.