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Ellora: Sculpture to the left of the shrine door in the Tin Thal, upper storey (left), Shairava in Dasavatara Cave (right).

Ellora: Sculpture to the left of the shrine door in the Tin Thal, upper storey (left), Shairava in Dasavatara Cave (right).

Surveyor: Burgess, James (1832-1916)

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1877

Shelfmark: WD 2215

Item number: f.30

Genre: Drawing

Illustration of sculptures from Tin Thal and Das Avatara from the 'Burgess Collection: Archaeological Survey of Western India. Original Drawings from Elura Buddhist Caves, from 1877-1880.' The spectacular site of Ellora is famous for its series of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain cave temples excavated into the rocky façade of a basalt cliff. The works were done under the patronage of the Kalachuri, the Chalukya and the Rashtrakuta dynasties between the 6th and 9th centuries. Tin-Thal is a Buddhist excavation which dates probably from about the 8th Century. It consists of a broad forecourt with three superimposed halls extending deep into the cliff. The pillars are square and have simple brackets capitals. The halls were used for congregational purposes and each was provided with a sanctuary with a seated Buddha and Bodhisattvas. The Dashavatara Cave was started as a Buddhist monastery, but in the eight century was converted into a Hindu sanctuary under the patronage of the Rashtrakuta king Dantidurga (r.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 are covered with reliefs illustrating Hindu mythology. Inscribed: 'Elura- Figures on the back (north side of the shrine door) in the antechamber of Tin Thal- upper floor' (left), 'Sculpture in the Das Avatara' (right)

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