This image captured a rishi at the entrance of the Loma Rishi Cave, which is part of the larger Barabar Caves complex in Bihar. This rock-cut cave was carved out as a sanctuary. It was built during the Ashokan period of the Mauryan Empire in the 3rd century BC, as part of the sacred architecture of the Ajivikas, an ancient religious and philosophical group of India that competed with Jainism and became extinct over time.<r> Photograph of the Loma Rishi Cave is part of our first series on Vintage Photos of India from the mid-20th century. Photography has been part of the Indian narrative since the mid 19th century and soon became a popular medium of documenting the diverse life and landscape of the country. After 1947, photography in India implied maintaining the delicate balance between capturing the beauty and progress of a newly independent country versus the famine, floods, wars and poverty that plagued the nation. Eventually, photography came to be recognised as a mainstream artistic medium and slowly became collectable after galleries started collecting and exhibiting them.