[Sculpture of Shiva and Parvati in the Dumar Lena Cave Temple (Cave XXIX), Ellora.]
Photographer: Johnston, J.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a sculpture of Shiva and Parvati in Cave XXIX (Dumar Lena) at Ellora in Maharashtra, taken by J. Johnston in c.1874. 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. Dhumar Lena is one of the earliest caves of the Hindu series and dates from the Kalachuri period in the 6th century, as denoted by the similarity between its columns and those at the Elephanta cave. Large-scale sculpted wall panels on the sides represent Shaivite myths. The sculpture in this view is a depiction of Shiva and Parvati seated, playing dice in their abode on Kailasa mountain, with celestial beings above. The lower register shows the bull Nandi playing with semi-divine beings, the ghanas.