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Ground Plan of the Ajanta Caves

Ground Plan of the Ajanta Caves

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

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1850

Shelfmark: WD1092

Item number: f.7

Length: 67.6

Width: 48.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Topographical Drawing

Pen-and-ink and wash drawing of the ground plan of the upper storey of Cave 6 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 6 was excavated in the late fifth century and it is the only two-storeyed vihara at Ajanta. The upper storey of the cave is reached by a flight of steps and consists of a verandah with additional shrines at either end and at the front aisle of the hall. The hall has twelve columns arranged in a row. An antechamber leads to the sanctuary.

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