Click here to skip to content

Ellora: Sculpture in the north entrance of the Pradakshima Lankeshvara (top left), Sarasvati in Cave VI (top right), Brahma, Siva and Vishnu in Lankesvara (bottom).

Ellora: Sculpture in the north entrance of the Pradakshima Lankeshvara (top left), Sarasvati in Cave VI (top right), Brahma, Siva and Vishnu in Lankesvara (bottom).

Surveyor: Burgess, James (1832-1916)

Medium: Pencil on paper

Date: 1876

Shelfmark: WD2216

Item number: f.72

Genre: Drawing

Illustration of sculptured panels from cave IV and Kailasanatha [Kailasa] Temple, cave XVI, at Ellora from James Burgess' 'Original Drawings [of] Elura Cave Temples Buddhist and Brahmanical.' 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. The works were done under the patronage of the Kalachuri, the Chalukya and the Rashtrakuta dynasties between the 6th and the 9th centuries. The Kailasanath is the most noted of all the splendours of Ellora, a free-standing temple rather than a cave, entirely sculpted out of a great mass of basalt. Commissioned by the Rashtrakuta king Krishna I in the mid-eighth century, it symbolises Mount Kailasa, the sacred abode of Shiva. A tall screen marks the entrance, and river goddesses mark the route to the three sections of the temple (a Nandi shrine, a mandapa, and the main sanctuary) which are on a raised plinth borne by elephants. The principal shrine is topped by a pyramidal tower (shikara). Superb sculptural friezes in the temple tell tales from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, and of Shiva. Two monolithic obelisks are situated on the side of the main temple. They are 17 metres high and decorated with relief carvings. Illustrated at top left is a sculpture in the north entrance of the Pradakshima at the Lankeshvara shrine. At bottom is a panel depicting Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu from the Lankeshvara shrine. The sculpture of Sarasvati is from Cave VI. ?The right hand of the central female figure is broken, but the attendant peacock and the pandit reading at her right, seem sufficient to point her out as Sarasvati, who with the Hindus is the goddess of learning and eloquence, and with the Buddhists is one of the wives of Manjursi, and is perhaps the same as Lochani.? Inscribed: 'Sculpture in n. entrance of the Pradakshima Lankesvar' (top), 'Elura Central Compartment in the back of Lanka' (bottom)

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites

Newsletter

Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: