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   India > Ajanta > Ajanta Caves > Cave 9
Cave 9
Cave 9
Section 8 on 19

Ajanta Caves
Place(s) of worship

Relationship with : Bouddha
Area related : Ajanta

Open daily excepted monday

UNESCO World Heritage Site (Définitif) : 1983

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The façade of this Mahayana monastery cave shows the kings of Naga and their entourage. Inside, a glorious mandala dominates the ceiling, held by demons and decorated with birds, flowers, fruits and abstract designs. The ceiling gives the effect of a cloth canopy, right down to the sag in the middle.
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Although both caitya halls were being newly decorated at the very end of the sites later phase, this "modernizing" of the old halls never got finished. Instead, "intrusive" donors added a spate of their own votive imagery during the Period of Disruption. Cave 9, which the Vakataka excavators drew on as a useful model in planning Cave 19, dates, dates to about the first century A.D. The beautiful standing Buddhas on its façade are of course intrusions, dating to about 479.
The caitya halls Caves 9 and 10, both planned as halls for worship, from the old "Hinayana" nucleus of the site. Caves 9A-9D, the cluster of small shrinelets between the old Hinayana caitya halls, all belong to the Period of Disruption (mid-478/480) when many anxious devotees finally could make their own votive offerings at the site. Such activity also explains the presence of the similar shrinelet between caves 10 and 11. At least three of these rather elaborate intrusions had double-doors to close them off, decorative bracketed wooden pillar (long missing) to enhance their openings, and carefully placed iron garland hooks (some still in place) throughout the small area provided for the worship of their skillfully carved focal Buddha images.
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Religious edifice

Religious edifice
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