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Aurangabad: Cave I

Aurangabad: Cave I

Draughtsman: Purshotam, Ganpat (fl. 1875)

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1876

Shelfmark: WD2210

Item number: f.49a

Genre: Plan

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Pen-and-ink plan of Cave 1 at Aurangabad by Ganpat Purshotam (fl. 1875), dated March 1876. This image is from an album of 106 drawings of plans, sections, elevations, sculpture and architectural details from sites in Hyderabad and Bombay. The drawings were prepared mainly by Indian draftsmen under the supervision of James Burgess of the Archaeological Survey of India.

Situated at a height of 700 feet in the Sahyadri range of the Western Ghats two miles to the north of the town of Aurangabad are a series of Buddhist cave temples carved into the mountainside. They are arranged in two main groups approximately a third of a mile apart. All, except number 4, are attributed to the period of the Vakataka (fourth and fifth centuries AD) and Kalachuri (sixth to eighth centuries) dynasties. There was probably a long and continuous occupation of the site by Buddhist monks and their lay supporters. Cave 1, dating from the late 5th century is incomplete, probably due to the porous nature of the rock. It has finely carved pillars with figures on brackets and ornamentation around doorways and walls. On the window frames are loving couples (maithuna) and abstract linear designs, alternating with lotus and lotus leaf patterns. Panels depicting Buddha with Padmapani and Vajrapani are set on the verandah. Outside is a relief of seven Buddhas in preaching attitude flanked by Bodhisattva figures.

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