Exterior Dhumar-Lena (Seeta) cave [Ellora]
Photographer: Dayal, Deen
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the entrance to the Dhumar Lena cave temple at Ellora from the Curzon Collection: 'Views of Caves of Ellora and Dowlatabad Fort in H.H. the Nizam's Dominions' taken by Deen Dayal in the 1890s. The spectacular site of Ellora, in Maharashtra, is famous for its series of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain cave temples excavated into the rocky façade of a cliff of basalt. The works were done under the patronage of the Kalachuri, the Chalukya and the Rashtrakuta dynasties between the sixth and the ninth centuries. Cave 29, called Dhumar Lena, is one of the earliest caves of the Hindu series; it was excavated in the sixth century, Kalachuri period, as denoted by the similarity between its columns and those at the Elephanta cave, with part-fluted shafts and cushion capitals. Large-scale sculpted wall panels on the sides represent Shaivite myths. This view shows the west entrance to the columned interior, with lions guarding the steps.