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Ellora. The [Kailasanatha] Caves.

Ellora. The [Kailasanatha] Caves.

Photographer: Dayal, Deen

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1900

Shelfmark: Photo 97/(43)

Item number: 43

Length: 12.6

Width: 17.1

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Kailasanatha at the caves of Ellora, taken by Deen Dayal in the 1900s. The caves of Ellora near Aurangabad are a landmark of Indian art, bringing together Buddhist, Hindu and Jain temples on one site. The Kailasanath, the most noted of all the splendours of Ellora is a free-standing temple rather than a cave, entirely sculpted out of a great mass of basalt. Patronized by different rulers of the Rashtrakuta dynasty from the mid-8th century, it symbolizes Mount Kailasa, the 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 depict tales of Shiva aswell as those from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

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