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Ajanta: Caves Plan

Ajanta: Caves Plan

Surveyor: Burgess, James (1832-1916)

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1878

Shelfmark: WD2213

Item number: f.18

Genre: Drawing

Illustrations of doors at Cave I and II at Ajanta in Maharashtra, from James Burgess' 'Original Drawings from the Buddhist Rock Temples at Ajanta.' The Buddhist cave temples of Ajanta were excavated into a horse-shoe shaped cliff overlooking the Waghora River in the 2nd ? 1st century BC and later in the 5th century AD, a period of time which coincides with the Hinayana and Mahayana phases of Buddhist art. Cave I is a very fine monastery from the late 5th century. The verandah has cells and porches at the ends and three doorways leading into the hall. The columns shafts are carved with bands of jewelled ornaments. The amalaka capital supports a square abacus ornamented with a group of carved figures and on the brackets there are flying figures. Above the verandah are figurative friezes and the doorways are decorated with amorous couples, maidens and naga deities.Cave II is a monastery from the late 5th century which has preserved some remarkable paintings. The verandah is supported by pillars with fluted shafts ornamented with floral bands. At both ends of the verandah there are small shrines with a seated Naga king with yaksha attendants on the left and Hariti with a child on the right. The ceiling of the verandah is painted with floral and geometrical designs. Illustrated are the entrance and shrine doors from Cave I and the front door from Cave II.

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