Cave 7, Shrine Door
Draughtsman: Gill, Robert (c.1824-1875)
Medium: Pencil on paper
Pencil drawing of the shrine door of Cave 7, 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 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 7 is a monastery from the late fifth century. This drawing depicts the elaborately decorated shrine doorway. Above, on two sides, there are two graceful female figures - probably the river goddesses - standing on makaras, aquatic monsters. Below, in the door frame, there are seated and standing Buddha figures. The door frame is supported by two lions and two dwarfs.
The wall of the cave are carved with the miracle at Sravasti.