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Aurangabad: Cave VII Chapel Sculptures

Aurangabad: Cave VII Chapel Sculptures

Draughtsman: Dinkar Moreshwar (fl. 1875)

Medium: Pencil on paper

Date: 1876

Shelfmark: WD2210

Item number: f. 57

Genre: Drawing

Pencil drawing showing sculpture details in Cave 7 at Aurangabad by Dinkar Moreshwar (fl. 1875), dated 9th 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 7, dated to the 6th century, is often regarded as the finest of the caves at Aurangabad. The basic ground plan of the cave is of a circumambulatory path around a square shrine housing the Buddha who is in the preaching attitude. In the circumambulation ritual devotees move in a clockwise direction around a stupa or temple sanctuary to perform an act of worship. This drawing shows a detail from a panel in the North chamber with Pancika, an epithet of Kubera seated on the left and Hariti goddess of prosperity and patroness of children with a child on her knee flanked by two chowri (fan) bearers with intricate headdresses. Cupid-like three-dimensional worshippers on billowy clouds float above on the two corners. Pancika and Hariti have halos (prabhamandalas) behind them.

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