Chaupat panel from Dumar Lena [Sculptured panel of Shiva and Parvati playing dice, in Hindu Cave XXIX (Dumar Lena), Ellora.]
Photographer: Cousens, Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a sculpture of Shiva and Parvati in Dhumar Lena, Cave XXIX, at Ellora in Maharashtra, taken by Henry Cousens in the 1870s. The spectacular site of Ellora is renowned for its series of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain cave temples excavated into the face of a basalt cliff. The works were carried out under the patronage of the Kalachuri, the Chalukya and the Rashtrakuta dynasties between the 6th and 9th centuries. Dhumar Lena is one of the earliest caves of the Hindu series and dates from the Kalachuri period in the 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 in this view depicts Shiva and Parvati seated, playing dice, in their abode at Kailasa. Above the seated figures there are celestial beings and in the lower register the bull Nandi plays with semi-divine beings, the ghanas.