Chaitya at Karle

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Couples at Karle Chaitya

The chaitya at Karle is, by far, the largest of the cave temples. It is situated at Karle in Pune district of Maharashtra. It is said to have been sculptured between 100-125 A.D. It is cut off of a solid rock to a depth of about 124 feet. It is 40 metres long, 15 metres high and 15 metres broad. Inside, there are 37 octagonal pillars of remarkable beauty. Each column rests in a water jar. Some of these pillars have capitals on the top. The capitals have figures of elephants kneeling on bell shaped bases. 

At the inner end there is an imposing stupa with a wooden umbrella on the top. The original wood of the umbrella survives even to this day. There is a huge horse shoe arch at the outer end of the opening of the cave. The whole structure appears to rest on the backs of the elephants with metal ornaments and ivory tusks. The Karle chaitya differs from other chaityas in one aspect that its fašade screen is made of teak wood. This chaitya hall is associated with the Buddhist religion. The hall was used for prayers and meetings.

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