Cave – 2 is at a higher elevation than Cave – 1, and the approach to Cave – 2 is through steps that are on the left side of the Cave – 1 entrance. The access to the temple is through a flight of stairs from its courtyard.
No inscriptions exist regarding the date of excavation or completion of this cave. The cave temple was most-likely completed in the late 6th century or early 7th century CE.
Cave – 2 is comparable in size and similar in design to Cave – 1, but unlike Cave – 1, it is dedicated to Vishnu. Just like Cave – 1, it has a garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum) in the back, sabhamantapa (main hall) in the middle, and an open mukhamantapa (porch) in front. Check the Cave – 2 Ground Plan for the layout of the temple.
The theme of the sculptural reliefs in Cave – 2 is stories and legends related to Vishnu. The stories of two of his avatars – Varahavatara and Vamanavatara – are carved on the sidewalls of the mukhamantapa.
The ceiling of the mukhamantapa has some eye-catching bas-reliefs of geometrical patterns. At the middle of the mukha mantapa ceiling is the Matsya Yantra, a wheel with hub-and-spoke design. Flanking the Matsya Yantra relief on either side are two maze-like patterns comprising of swastikas.
Copyright © 2019 by Lawrence Rodrigues. All rights reserved.