Ground Plan of Cave 19, 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 19 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 19 is a beautiful chaitya hall excavated in the late 5th century. The spacious courtyard is flanked by side chapels; these have columns carved with luxuriant pot and foliage capitals. A decorated portico supported by fluted columns shelters the entrance. The facade is dominated by a large horse-shoe shaped window and is carved with figures of Buddhas and yakshas. The interior is divided into an apse and two side aisles by fifteen pillars. These have fluted shafts carved with floral bands and capitals carved with seated Buddha figures, riders, flying couples, hermits and musicians. The vaulted ceiling of the central nave has rock-cut ribs. At the end of the apse there is a votive stupa carved with a Buddha image.