Jaina Caves

Jaina Caves

The Brahmanical rock temples of Ankai are three in number very rough and unfinished. The first is on the ascent up to the fort and is an unfinished Linga shrine and a Trimurti on the back wall of the shrine. The other two caves are at the base of a knoll that rises on the plateau of the hill they are without ornament or sculpture. Among the Jaina Caves the Cave 1 of is two storeyed. The pillars of the lower storey are joined with low parapets ornamented on the outside leading from the verandah into a very richly sculptured and ornamented hall. It is square on plan and its roof is supported by four columns. The enclosed square is carved as a lotus with three concentric rings of petals. The upper storey has also two pillars in the front of the verandah similar to those below, but not so richly carved. The cave Cave 2 is very similar to the first, being also two-storeyed, only the verandahs are closed and form outer rooms or vestibules to the halls. On the lower floor the verandah has a large figure at either end; the male figure is usually known as Matanga/ Kapardin Yaksha seated on an elephant. Opposite to that is Siddhayika or Amba. The hall is square and a small vestibule is present to the shrine at the back. The shrine is square and contains a seat for an image with a high back rounded at the top. The door leads to a narrow balcony, at each end of which is a full-sized loin carved in half relief. The Cave 3 follows plan of lower storey of the Cave 2 with a perforated screen wall in front. Sculptures of Matanga / Kapardin and Amba with attendants are carved here. The hall roof is supported by four pillars and a lotus fills the central square carved richly with divinities, female dancers and musicians and other decorative motifs. On the back wall on each side the vestibule of the shrine is a standing Jain Tirthankaras about life-size, with accompaniments. That on the left is one of the Tirthankaras including Santinatha and Parshwanath. Caves are assignable to 10th century AD.

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