Ground Plan of Cave 2, Ajanta
Draughtsman: Gill, Robert (c.1824-1875)
Medium: Pen and ink on paper
Pen-and-ink and wash drawing of the ground plan of Cave 2 at Ajanta, from an album of 16 folios of drawings of sculpture and architectural details in the Ajanta caves. 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 2 is a monastery from the late fifth century with profuse sculptural ornamentation. It consists of a pillared verandah with side shrines at both ends. The verandah leads to the hall where pillars are arranged in a square around an open space; subsidiary shrines are situated in the rear wall. The devotional focus of the cave is the figure of Buddha carved in side the sanctuary.