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Cave 2, Entrance to Cell at Right Hand End of Porch

Cave 2, Entrance to Cell at Right Hand End of Porch

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

Medium: Pencil on paper

Date: 1850

Shelfmark: WD1092

Item number: f.23

Length: 67.5

Width: 48.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Topographical Drawing

Pencil drawing of the entrance to the cell at the right hand end of the porch of Cave 2 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 2 is a monastery from the late fifth century with profuse sculptural ornamentation. This drawing depicts the elaborate facade of the cell at the right hand of the porch. It is supported by two pillars with delicately carved shaft and fluted capitals. The panels carved above depict a seated Naga (serpent) king with yaksha (nature spirits) attendants. The cave is remarkable for its painted ceilings and for the magnificent wall painting that adorn its walls.

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