Ellora. The [Kailasanatha] Caves.
Photographer: Dayal, Deen
Medium: Photographic print
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.