Nilakanth [Façade of Hindu Cave XXII (Nilakantha), Ellora.]
Photographer: Cousens, Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the façade of the Hindu Cave XXII (Nilakantha), at Ellora in Maharashtra, taken by Henry Cousens in the 1870s. The spectacular site of Ellora is renowned for its series of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain cave temples excavated into the face of a basalt cliff. The works were carried out under the patronage of the Kalachuri, the Chalukya and the Rashtrakuta dynasties between the 6th and 9th centuries. Cave 22, known as Nilakantha ('blue-throated'), a name for Shiva, belongs to the 8th century. In the court in front of the cave is a high base with the remains of a free-standing Nandi mandapa. On the south side of the court there is a separate shrine containing sculpture of the Matrikas.