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Ajanta: Doors from Cave V and VI

Ajanta: Doors from Cave V and VI

Surveyor: Burgess, James (1832-1916)

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1878

Shelfmark: WD2213

Item number: f.34

Genre: Drawing

Illustration of doors from Cave V and VI at Ajanta 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. The caves are numbered 1-28 according to their location on the cliff. They consist of monasteries (viharas) and prayer-halls (chaitya) used by the community of Buddhist monks who resided there. Cave V is a small unfinished vihara ascribed to the 7th century AD. On the right of the verandah there is a cell. The only standing pillar of the verandah has a square base, an octagonal shaft and a broad capital. The door-frame is decorated with carvings and figures of divinities standing on makaras. Cave VI is a monastery from the late 5th century which was excavated on two levels. The verandah has fallen away. The lower hall has sixteen octagonal columns arranged in four rows. A flight of steps leads to the upper level where there are Buddha figures in the verandah shrines.

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