General view of cave temples in the Barabar Hills, Gaya (Bihar). January 1814
Water-colour of the cave temples in the Barabar Hills, at Gaya in Bihar, dated January 1814. Inscribed on front in ink: 'View of the Rock of the Caverns at - mile from Ghya.' ' January 1814.'
The Barabar Hills are home to a group of cave temples which were excavated during the Maurya period, in the third century BC. They represent some of the earliest examples of rock-cut architecture in India and were used by Jain monks as a retreat. Each cave consists of two small chambers built on an apsidal-ended plan, with vaulted roof and sloping sides and entered through a side doorway. Two caves are particularly intricately excavated; the Sudama Cave (261BC) and the Lomas Rishi Cave (3rd century BC). Both incorporate an outer doorway imitating timber architecture, with sloping timber supports and curved eaves.