The first named of this group was drawn by Capt. M. Kittoe1, under the title of Jodev Garbha, and the sculptures between its two doors were cast by Mr. Locke and appear on Plate I., fig. 3. The sculpture here is not in the tympanum above the doors, as in the earlier examples, but between them in the manner always afterwards adopted. It represents a tree worshipped by two men, one on either side, attended by two women, bearing trays with offerings, and beyond the tympanum on either side are two men or giants, also bearing offerings. The whole character of the sculpture is, however, a very much more advanced type than that of the Ânanta cave, and more nearly resembles that found at Sanchi than anything to be found at Bharhut. The centre pier of the verandah has fallen away, but at either end of it there is a figure carved in high relief, standing as sentinel to guard the entrance, one a male, the other a female. These, however, are of a comparatively modern type.
This cave is two storeys in height, the two being perpendicular the one over the other, not like the Vaikuntha and Râni kâ Nûr, where the upper storey recedes considerably behind the lower.
Attached to this cave, on the right hand as you look at it, is the Swargapuri cave. It has a plain but handsome façade, that apparently was never covered by a verandah, at least in stone. Externally it consists of a single doorway of the usual type, surmounted by a tympanum, which may originally have been ornamented by some carving, but nothing is now visible,—in the photographs at least. Above it is a rich and well sculptured band of foliage of the same type as that in the adjoining cave. On the right hand two elephants are seen approaching from a forest, represented by a single well sculptured tree, and a similar group seems to have, existed on the left. The rock, however, has fallen away, and the front of only one elephant is now visible.
There is no inscription found on any part of this group of caves, and we are left wholly to the character of the sculptures for the determination of their age. From this, however, we can have little hesitation in saying that they are very considerably more modern than the Ânanta, how much more so we may be able to fix more exactly when we have examined the remaining sculptures. At present it may be sufficient to say that their date cannot be far from the Christian era, but whether before or after that epoch it is difficult to determine.
- 1. J. A. S. B., vol. vii., Plate XLII.