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General view of cave temples in the Barabar Hills, Gaya (Bihar). January 1814

General view of cave temples in the Barabar Hills, Gaya (Bihar). January 1814

Artist: Anonymous

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1814

Shelfmark: WD703

Item number: 703

Length: 14

Width: 28.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

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.

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