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Aurangabad: Cave II f.49b

Aurangabad: Cave II f.49b

Draughtsman: Purshotam, Ganpat (fl. 1875)

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1876

Shelfmark: WD2210

Item number: f.49b

Genre: Plan

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Pen-and-ink plan of Cave 2 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 2, dating from the late 6th century, is very small and has a shrine and columned hallways, a large Buddha and intricately carved panels. The columns of the cave are carved with medallions which contain amorous couples and scrollwork. The shrine contains a large seated Buddha in teaching posture flanked by large Avalokiteshvara and guardian figures. On the walls of the sanctuary are panels with Buddhas in attitudes of contemplation or preaching.

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