The Lanka Cave of Ellora
Artist: Simpson, William (1823-1899)
This chromolithograph is taken from plate 1 of William Simpson's 'India: Ancient and Modern'. Ellora is famous for its rock-cut Hindu, Buddhist and Jain cave temples. It is situated near Aurangabad in Maharashtra. There are 34 caves holding some of the finest carving and sculpture in India. Here, Simpson depicts the Lanka cave, one of the side shrines of the colossal basalt Kailasa Temple. This temple was meant to symbolise the abode of Shiva, and was excavated completely out of the rock between the 8th and 10th centuries under the patronage of the Rashtrakuta dynasty. The walls of Kailasa incorporate scenes from Indian mythology and the epics Mahabharata and Ramayana.