Figures at the entrance of Kailas cave temple [Ellora]
Photographer: Dayal, Deen
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of sculptures at the entrance of the Kailasanatha Temple at Ellora, taken by Deen Dayal around the 1890s, from the Curzon Collection: 'Views of Caves of Ellora and Dowlatabad Fort in H.H. the Nizam's Dominions'. 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. The Kailasanatha is the most noted of all the splendours of Ellora, a free-standing temple rather than a cave, entirely sculpted out of a great mass of basalt. Commissioned by the Rashtrakuta king Krishna I in the mid-eighth century, it symbolises Mount Kailasa, the sacred abode of Shiva. The Gajalakshmi panel seen in this view is situated at the entrance to Kailasanatha cave temple and symbolises prosperity. It depicts two elephants pouring water over the goddess Lakshmi. Two figures of guardians are carved on the sides.