Ground Plans of the Ajanta Caves f.2
Draughtsman: Gill, Robert (c.1824-1875)
Medium: Pen and ink on paper
Pen-and-ink drawing of the ground plan of Cave1 at Ajanta, from and album of 26 ground plans of the Ajanta caves and 16 folios of drawings of sculpture and architectural details in the Ajanta caves, by Capt. R. Gill, dated c.1850.
The magnificent cave temples of Ajanta are situated in a horse-shoe valley of the Waghora river in West India and consist of prayer halls (chaityas) and monasteries (viharas), built for the Buddhist community who lived there. The first group was excavated between the second - first centuries BC; then, after a period of more than six centuries, the excavations restarted around the fifth century AD, in the Vakataka period. Cave 1 is of the finest monasteries at Ajanta which was excavated in the late fifth century. It consists of a verandah with cells and porches at either end which has three doorways leading into the great hall. Here there are twenty columns arranged in a square. Small cells open off on three sides. In the middle of the rear wall is an antechamber leading to the principal shrine. The sculptural decoration is very elaborate and the paintings that decorate the walls of the cave are among the finest at Ajanta.