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Ground Plan of Cave 4, Ajanta

Ground Plan of Cave 4, Ajanta

Draughtsman: Gill, Robert (c.1824-1875)

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1850

Shelfmark: WD1092

Item number: f.5

Length: 67.6

Width: 48.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Topographical Drawing

Pen-and-ink and wash drawing of the ground plan of Cave 4 at Ajanta, from an 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 4 dates from the late fifth century and is the largest monastery at Ajanta. It consists of a verandah with eight octagonal columns with a cell at either end. Three doorways lead into a columned hall with a shrine with a teaching Buddha. To the right of the doorway there is a panel depicting Avalokiteshvara and on the left the miracle at Sravasti. On the sides of the hall there are incomplete cells. The shrine has a figure of teaching Buddha with Bodhisattva attendants.

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