Cave 2 was started just before Cave 1 in the mid-460s CE and Emperor Harisena of Vakataka dynasty was the patron of the cave. Work on it broke off when Asmakas started threatening the region in 468 CE. Although, Cave 2 was started as a simple monastic dormitory, without any thought of a shrine, by 466 CE making the excavation a residence for the Buddha along with the monks had become customary. This new requirement of adding a shrine to what was originally intended as a mere dormitory continued in Cave 2 for the next year or two, until work on the cave was suddenly cut off by the local conflict in around 472 CE.
Although Cave 2 was roughed out early, all of the more elaborate work on it was done after 475 CE and is representative of Ajanta’s lavish late mode. There is an emphasis of the iconographic program upon virtuous or powerful women that might suggest a queenly patronage. The facades of the chapels at each end of the veranda are carved with figures of the Naga kings and their attendants, the portly Ganas. Twelve elaborately carved pillars support the roof. There are ten cells off four corridors at the front and rear. While the seated Buddha in dharmacakrapravartana mudra (wheel turning gesture) is enshrined in the sanctum, the side sub-shrines contain two Yaksha figures (popularly known as Sankhanidhi and Padmanidhi) to the left and Hariti and her consort Pancika to the right. The sidewalls are painted with countless Buddha’s in various attitudes.