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f.28 Entrance to Dumar Lena Cave with sculpture of Siva's Dance in the Elephant Skin, Cave 29, Ellora. 'Dhurma Lena. 26 Sept.'

f.28   Entrance to Dumar Lena Cave with sculpture of Siva's Dance in the Elephant Skin, Cave 29, Ellora.  'Dhurma Lena. 26 Sept.'

Artist: Anonymous

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1849

Shelfmark: WD1619

Item number: 28

Length: 32.5

Width: 20

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Wash and watercolour drawing of the Dhumar Lena, Cave 29 at Ellora, from an Album of 83 drawings; 80 of landscapes and antiquities in the northem Deccan, 2 portraits and 1 flower study made during a tour chiefly to Ellora, Rauza, Daulatabad, Aurangabad and Ajanta. September to November 1849. Although the artist is unidentified, these drawings are of some interest since they show the state of the Ajanta and Ellora Caves soon after the Royal Asiatic Society had brought them to the Company's notice in 1844. Robert Gill had been deputed to make a record of Ajanta in 1846 and was presumably on the spot when these sketches were made.

The spectacular site of Ellora, in Maharashtra, is famous for its series of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain cave temples excavated into the rocky fa├žade of a cliff of basalt along more than 2 km. The works were done under the patronage of the Kalachuri, the Chalukya and the Rashtrakuta dynasties between the sixth and the ninth centuries. Dhumar Lena is one of the earliest caves of the Hindu series and dates from the Kalachuri period, early 6th century, as denoted by the similarity between its columns and those at the Elephanta cave. Large-scale sculpted wall panels on the sides represent Shaivite myths. The sculpture depicted in this drawing depicts a ferocius aspect of Shiva; he is represented with eight arms, two of them holding the spear impaling the demon Andhaka, shown at the top left corner. The other two figures in the composition are Devi seated with a female attendant.

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