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Aurangabad: Cave IV

Aurangabad: Cave IV

Draughtsman: Purshotam, Ganpat (fl. 1875)

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1876

Shelfmark: WD2210

Item number: f.66b

Genre: Plan

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Pen-and-ink plan of Cave 4 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. The Western Group (Caves 1-5) are all classed as viharas (monasteries with cells around a courtyard) except for Cave 4 which is a chaitya (a large arched opening in the fa├žade of a Buddhist temple). It is later than the other caves at Aurangabad, possibly dating from the 1st century BC. The chaitya hall is unusually rectangular with a rib-vaulted ceiling with a monolithic stupa and a rock-cut Buddha figure outside.

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