Plate 3. Ground Plan of the Cave of Nilkanth and the Ras Mandal
Artist: Maisey, Frederick Charles (1825-1892)
Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink
Watercolour drawing with pen and ink by Frederick Charles Maisey of the ground plan of the cave of Nilkanth and the Ras Mandal at Khalinjar, taken by an album of 60 drawings dated 1847-1850.
In his "Descriptions of the antiquities at Kalinjar", Lieut. F. Maisey wrote, "You pass through two gateways in the descent of the fausse braie which contains the temple of Nilakanth. The upper gateway (in the main rampart, or enceinte) is said to have been built by Parmal Brimh, the last Chandel Rajahs, who flourished in the early part of the 13th century of the Samvat. This is probably true, for the style of the structure corresponds with that of the buildings, called generally Chandel...Immediately below this gateway there are on the right two sculptures built, the one into the parapet of the steps and the other into the wall of the gateway...over the 2d cave are small niches, two containing Ling and Joni in relief, with worshippers, and the remainders empty...To the right of the 3d and over 4th cave are several figures of Mahadeo...The space enclosed by the pillars, a.a (MS) Plate III. is called the Ras mandal...The present building is only the basement story, and there were originallly seven stages...S.S.is a small passage running round the cave; it is lined all along with Linga (r r r r) of different sizes, and a raised stone gutter (fig. 183, (MS.) Plate III) also runs through it to drain the cave, or rather to drain off the water which is poured over the image. It is roughly excavated, and a passage through it is a work of considerable bodily labour owing to its confined size...The figure of Bhairon in the recess R. (MS) Plates 3 and 4...is called the Bhatuck Bhairon...The facade of the cave must originally have had a very rich appearance...the cave contains a black Ling...the side of the cave is relieved by several pilasters...They support a cornice containing figures of musicians, whorshippers, &c. the small cave contains no sculpture, it is merely a receptacle for chiragh, gharas, &c...".