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Ellora: Tara in Cave II

Ellora: Tara in Cave II

Surveyor: Burgess, James (1832-1916)

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1877

Shelfmark: WD 2215

Item number: f.7

Genre: Drawing

Illustration of Tara from Cave II at Ellora from James Burgess' 'Original Drawings [from the] Report on the Elura Caves.' The spectacular site of Ellora, in Maharashtra, is famous for its series of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain cave temples excavated into the rocky fa├žade of a cliff of basalt. The works were done under the patronage of the Kalachuri, the Chalukya and the Rashtrakuta dynasties between the 6th and the 9th centuries. In the interior of Cave II, a Buddhist cave dating from the 7th century, is a sculpture of Tara. Burgess wrote, ?Sculptured in a large panel on the inside of the front wall of Cave II [is] where we have either Pandara the mother of Padmapani or some other of the Taras. Both her two attendants have flowers in their hands; and here, though somewhat abraded by time, are six Vidyadharas or cherubs over the head of the goddess. In her right hand she probably held up a mala or rosary, but it is now obliterated. Behind the head is the aureole or bhamandala, which indicates that she is a celestial personage; and in her ears are large earrings of different forms. On the front of the mukuta or headdress is a dagaba, which must be taken as her chinha or cognisance; and as it is also associated with Akshobhya, the second Jnani Buddha, we may perhaps identify her with Lochani: in later mythology, however, Lochani has also an upright vajra on the lotuses which she holds in each hand.? Inscribed: 'On the Mahamudi Cave Elura'

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