You are on page 1of 18




Achaityais aBuddhistshrine or prayer
hall with astupaat one end.
In modern texts on Indian architecture,
the termchaitya-griha is often used.

Chaityas were constructed to hold large numbers

of devotees and to provide shelter for them.
Initially religious rites were conducted in the
open, but slowly according to the needs, halls
were introduced.
As Idol worship evolved, temples to house
deities were required.

General Characteristics

Apsidal plan.
Pillars in colonnades of
octagonal section and
without capitals and base.
Massive pillared portico or
vestibule in front.
There is a sun window in
the centre of the archway
to let in sunlight.

Karle Caves

the largest of the cave temples

Karle Caves

Karle in Pune district of Maharashtra.

It is 40 metres long, 15 metres high and 15
metres broad
37 octagonal pillars on both sides of the
Behind them is a vestibule, the front is
made of a rock cut screen.

Entrance was by 3 doorways.

There are pillared aisles, with 37 closely
set pillars.
The sun window lets in light.


What is chaitya n what is it also known as?

Prayer hall: Chaitya griha
Why was chaitya introduced?
To shelter devotees for idol worship
In what shape usually chaiya is planned?
Apsidal plan.
Dimensions of karle caves ?
40 metres long, 15 metres high and 15
metres broad
How many adjacent pillars are there in karle cave?
37 octagonal pillars


Vihara is referred to
"dwellings" or "refuges"
used by
the rainy season as
Consists of an open
court surrounded by
open cells accessible
through an entrance
They were usually built
of stone or brick.

Viharas at Ajanta, Ellora.

Viharas at Ajanta, Ellora.

Some of the important Buddhist viharas are

those at Ajanta, Ellora.
Twenty-five of the rock-cut caves of Ajanta
are viharas.
Viharas of Ajanta are of different sizes.
There is a pillared verandah in front, from
which doors and windows lead into the main

The side walls of the hall have doors for

the monks to enter their cells.
In the centre of the rear wall is a doorway
leading into a shrine having the rock cut
image of Buddha which is calm, solemn and

Inside there are two Bodhiattvas standing in

a relaxed pose.
At the far end, there is an imposing stupa
having the image of Buddha.

The fresco paintings on the walls and

ceilings of Ajanta are known for their artistic
The themes of the paintings are drawn from
the Jataka tales, legends and real life. These
paintings reflect all phases of Indian culture
from the birth of Buddha to the 8th
century A.D.


What is a Vihara?
Residential dwellings
How is the basic plan of a Vihara?
An open court surrounded by open cells for
Viharas were made of which materials?
Stone or brick.
How many caves in Ajanta are Viharas?
Twenty-five all of different sizes
What were the themes of fresco paintings in Ajanta
Jataka tales and life of Budhha


Rock-cut cave
(Tuesday 12th Aug14)
NOTE: General Characterstics and any