Ground Plans of the Ajanta Caves f.13
Draughtsman: Gill, Robert (c.1824-1875)
Medium: Pen and ink on paper
Pen-and-ink and wash drawing of the ground plan of Cave 16 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, under the Vakataka patronage. Cave 16 is one of the finest monasteries at Ajanta. It was excavated in the late fifth century as testify by an inscription on the facade which bears the name of the Vakataka king Harisena who ruled from A.D. 475 to 500. It consists of a verandah supported by six octagonal pillars and two elaborately carved pilasters; a hall with plain octagonal columns and a shrine with no antechamber. The front columns are richly adorned and an internal passageway surrounds an image of a teaching Buddha seated on a throne. The cave has preserved some remarkable wall paintings illustrating various episodes of the previous lives of Buddha as narrated in the Jatakas.