Ellora. Entrance to the temple of Kylas (or Paradise)
Photographer: Johnston, J.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the entrance to the Kailasa Temple from the 'Lee-Warner Collection: 'Bombay Presidency. William Lee Warner C.S.' taken by J. Johnston in the 1870s. The site of Ellora is famous for its spectacular series of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain cave temples excavated into the rocky façade of a basalt cliff. The works were carried out under the patronage of the Kalachuri, the Chalukya and the Rashtrakuta dynasties between the sixth and the ninth centuries. The Kailasa Temple is a free-standing structure entirely sculpted out of the rock. This royal monument was patronized by rulers of the Rashtrakuta dynasty from the mid-eighth century. The temple symbolizes Mount Kailasa, the abode of Shiva. This view shows the tall screen that marks the entrance. There are three sections of the temple; a Nandi shrine, a mandapa, and the main sanctuary. The principal shrine is topped by a pyramidal tower or shikara. Sculptural friezes in the temple depict tales from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and the life of Shiva.