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Ajanta: Caves XXI and XXII cross sections

Ajanta: Caves XXI and XXII cross sections

Surveyor: Burgess, James (1832-1916)

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1878

Shelfmark: WD2214

Item number: f.30

Genre: Drawing

Illustrations of the cross section of Cave XXI and XXII at Ajanta, from James Burgess' 'Original Drawings from the Buddhist Rock Temples at Ajanta.' The 30 magnificent cave temples are situated in a horse-shoe valley of the Waghora River in West India and consist of prayer halls (chaityas) and monasteries (viharas), built for the Buddhist community who lived there. The first group was excavated between the 2nd - 1st century BC. After a period of more than six centuries, the excavations restarted around the 5th century AD in the Vakataka period. Cave XXI is an incomplete monastery from the late 5th century. The verandah has lost its piers. Above the two pillars of the side shrines there are carvings of Hariti with attendants and a naga king. The door leading to the hall is richly ornamented. In the 'Report on the Buddhist Cave Temples and their Inscriptions' of 1883, James Burgess wrote, "Cave XXII is a very small cave, and the sculpture is not of much merit. The doorway is...of the usual type, only that the figures of the females or river goddesses are smaller and more subdued than usual."

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