A CHAITYA is a
* 1 History * 2 Architecture * 3 See also * 4 Notes * 5 References * 6 External links
Chaityas were probably constructed to hold large numbers of devotees
and to provide shelter for them. Early chaityas, such as the Bijak ki
Viratnagar ascribed to the emperor
The earliest rock-cut chaityas, similar to free-standing ones, consisted of an inner circular chamber with pillars to create a circular path around the stupa and an outer rectangular hall for the congregation of the devotees. Over the course of time, the wall separating the stupa from the hall was removed to create an apsidal hall with a colonnade around the nave and the stupa. Stupa in chaitya at Bhaja Caves.
The chaitya at Bhaja Caves was constructed in the first century BCE. It consisted of an apsidal hall with stupa. The columns sloped inwards in the imitation of wooden columns that would have been structurally necessary to keep a roof up. The ceiling was barrel vaulted with wooden ribs set into them. The walls were polished in the Mauryan style. It was faced by a substantial wooden facade . A large horseshoe-shaped window, the chaitya-window, was set above the arched doorway and the whole portico-area was carved to imitate a multi-storeyed building with balconies and windows and sculptured men and women who observed the scene below. This created the appearance of an ancient Indian mansion.
In Bhaja, as in other chaitya