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Notes on the Geography of Peninsular India: Ajanta: Photo 34

world pictures Peninsular India: Ajanta

The focal point is a stupa of five parts. The base is the medhi. Above it is the spherical anda or egg. Above that is the relic box called the harmika, and above the harmika is an inverted pyramid that once supported chhatras, parasols symbolizing the Buddha's spiritual authority. The aisles, by the way, are flat-roofed, and the columns, unlike those of Christian churches, are octagonal. The apse was used for circumambulation, though the Archaeological Survey does its best to preclude any such thing.

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