[Sculptured panel of Ravana under Kailasa, with Shiva and Parvati above, Hindu Cave XVI (Kailasanatha), Ellora.]
Photographer: Cousens, Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the sculpture of the marriage of Shiva and Parvati in the Kailasnatha Temple at Ellora in Maharashtra, taken by Henry Cousens in the1870s. Ellora is renowned for its series of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain cave temples excavated into the rocky façade of a cliff of basalt. The works were carried out under the patronage of the Kalachuri, the Chalukya and the Rashtrakuta dynasties between the 6th and 9th centuries. The Kailasanath 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. Patronized by different rulers of the Rashtrakuta dynasty from the mid-8th century, it symbolizes Mount Kailasa, abode of Shiva. Sculptural friezes in the temple depict tales from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and of the Life of Shiva. The sculpture in this view represents Ravana disturbing Shiva and Parvati seated in their abode on the mount Kailasa.