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Elephanta Caves. Interior towards the Lion Caves

Elephanta Caves. Interior towards the Lion Caves

Photographer: Dayal, Deen

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1880

Shelfmark: Photo 752/15(2)

Item number: 752152

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the interior of the Shiva Temple, towards the Lion caves, Elephanta caves, taken by Deen Dayal in the 1880s. The rock-cut temple dedicated to Shiva is dated to the 6th Century and consists of a series of chambers cut from the rock. There are five caves in total, but only the Great Cave, dedicated to Shiva, can be visited. It stands at 250 feet above sea level and measures 130 feet square, 17 feet high. At the centre of the cave is a hypostyle hall of 20 pillars in which stands the linga shrine, flanked by two excavated courts to the east and west of the shrine. The east entrance leads towards the sanctuary and the north entrance towards the great Trimurti, the triple-headed bust of Shiva. Large relief sculptures of the god Shiva decorate the interior of the cave. This photograph is a view into the cave displaying the columns that have squat tapering shafts and cushion-like capitals.

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