Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cave No. 3, Kanheri

In Mumbai, there are more than 100 caves at Kanheri and among them Cave No. 3 is a magnificent structure. This west facing Buddhist cave temple is the largest and most remarkable of all caves in this site. It is entered through a gateway with a low parapet wall that is decorated with an animal frieze at the base and ornamental rail pattern above. The entrance is guarded by the guardians. 

The cave has a spacious courtyard in the front. A stone screen with two tall columns and two pilasters above which is a dwarf colonnade containing five small windows separates the verandah from the courtyard. 

On either side of the forecourt are pillars attached to the pilaster of the wall. The capital of the northern pilaster has four dwarf figures supporting a round object above. The capital of the southern pilaster has four seated lions. 

In the verandah on the two side walls of this vestibule are carved two gigantic Buddha images. These 7 m tall images were carved in later Hinayana period. Above the image in the curvature are beautiful carvings.

On two sides of the central entrance facade are carved four donor couples. The style in clothing and makeup on them resembles to what can be seen in other  Buddhist center of the same period. 

Three entrances from the verandah opens into a spacious hall. This hall measures 26 meters long, 12 meters wide and 15 meters high. There are total 34 pillars inside the hall forming two aisles and one nave. Among them 6 pillars, both on the right and left, from the hall entrance are similar in style and decoration. They all have tiered base, above which an octagonal shaft rises, ending with a square abacus above a cushion capital. 

There is a stupa measuring 5 meters in height at the apsidal end of this hall.  As per the inscriptions found here the cave belongs to 180 CE during the reign of the Satavahana king Sri Yajna Satakarni.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Kingfisher at Talakad

We had visited historic site of Talkad to see visit numerous temples. Being country side we could see various birds.

One of such bird is Kingfisher near the temple pond.