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Notes on the Geography of Peninsular India: Ajanta: Photo 78

world pictures Peninsular India: Ajanta

James Fergusson, an eminent architectural historian in the nineteenth century, wrote that "monks no longer content to live apart by themselves... congregated into large and magnificent monasteries." (The Cave Temples of India, 1880, p. 297)

How's this for magnificent? Welcome to Cave 1, commissioned by King Harisena. It's the only vihara at Ajanta with figurative carvings on the facade.

See the gash in the roof? James Burgess in the 19th century wrote that "in front of the verandah there has been a porch, supported by two advanced columns, of which only fragments of the bases and elegant capitals remain." Alas, the fragments were cleared away and lost in the river; a photograph by Robert Gill in 1869 shows them as they were for Burgess. Notes on the Bauddha Rock-Temples of Ajanta..., 1879, p. 5)

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