'Das Avatara. Ashes of Ravana'. Engraving by Thomas Daniell after James Wales from [Plans of] Hindoo Excavations in the mountain of Ellora, published T Daniell, London, 1803.
Artist: Daniell, Thomas (1749-1840)
Plan of Dashavatara and Ravana-ki Khai cave temples at Ellora engraved by Thomas Daniell after James Wales. The engraving is taken from '[Plans of] Hindoo Excavations in the mountain of Ellora' published by Thomas Daniell in London in 1803.
Ellora is well-known for its series of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain cave temples excavated into the rocky façade of a basalt cliff. The works were carried out under the patronage of the Kalachuri, the Chalukya and the Rashtrakuta dynasties between the 6th and the 9th centuries.
The Dashavatara Cave was started as a Buddhist monastery, but in the 8th Century was converted into a Hindu sanctuary under the patronage of the Rashtrakuta king Dantidurga (c.730-55). It consists of an open court with a free-standing monolithic mandapa in the middle and a two-storeyed hall at the back, the original Buddhist monastery, the walls of which were covered with reliefs illustrating Hindu mythology.
The cave known as Ravana-ki Khai (the Ashes of Ravana) is a single-storeyed excavation dating from the 7th Century and consists of a square columned mandapa and a verandah. The facade has lost several of its piers revealing the large pillared hall behind. The columns of the hall have pot and foliage capitals and rectangular brackets. Figural panels include Shaivite sculptures on the south wall and Vaishnava images on the north wall.