Ground Plans of the Ajanta Caves f.19
Draughtsman: Gill, Robert (c.1824-1875)
Medium: Pen and ink on paper
Pen-and-ink and wash drawing of the ground plan of Cave 26 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 he Vakataka period. Cave 26 is a large chaitya hall from the late fifth century. A court with subsidiary shrines, cells and verandas precedes the verandah which has columned chambers at the end. Three doors leads to the interior which has twenty-eight pillars, some of them richly carved. At the end of the apse there is a stupa with a seated figure of Buddha carved in front. On the wall of the left aisle there is a 7-m-long sculpture of the Buddha's Mahaparinirvana carved in high relief.