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Ellora Caves. Das Avatara

Ellora Caves. Das Avatara

Photographer: Johnston, J.

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1875

Shelfmark: Photo 2/3(51)

Item number: 51

Length: 24.3

Width: 28.9

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the facade of the Das Avatara cave at Ellora from the 'Lee-Warner Collection: 'Bombay Presidency. William Lee Warner C.S.' taken by J. Johnston in the 1870s. The site of Ellora has a spectacular series of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain cave temples excavated into the rocky fa├žade 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 Dashavatara cave was initially a Buddhist monastery, but in the eighth century it was converted into a Hindu sanctuary under the patronage of the Rashtrakuta king Dantidurga who is thought to have ruled between 730 and 755. The original Buddhist monastery consisted of a two-storeyed hall. The walls of this structure are covered with reliefs illustrating Hindu mythology. The hall opens onto a courtyard which contains a free-standing monolithic mandapa in its centre. This view shows the mandapa in the foreground with the upper storey of the hall behind. The mandapa is pierced with stone windows.

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