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Notes on the Geography of Peninsular India: The Bhaje, Bedse, and Karla Caves: Photo 3

world pictures Peninsular India: The Bhaje, Bedse, and Karla Caves

Surely scholarship has advanced lightyears since two canny Scots, James Fergusson and James Burgess, published The Cave Temples of India in 1880. Good luck finding better descriptions! Here's Burgess on this cave: "The Chaitya Cave of the Group No. XII. is one of the most interesting in India... The wooden screen that originally closed its front is, of course, gone, but we can easily restore it, in the mind's eye, from the literal copies of it in the rock which we find at Bedsa, Karle, and elsewhere, aided by the mortices cut in the floor and at the sides, showing how the timbers were originally attached to the rock. When this is realised it seems impossible that anyone can look at these caves and not see that we have reached the incunabula of stone architecture in India. It is a building of a people accustomed to wooden buildings, and those only, but here petrified into the more durable material. There is not one feature nor one detail which is not essentially wooden throughout...." Burgess is relentlessly factual, and you wait in vain for him to say something about how the cave makes him feel.

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