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[Façade of main entrance of Kailas Hall, Hindu Cave XVI (Kailasanatha), Ellora.]

[Façade of main entrance of Kailas Hall, Hindu Cave XVI (Kailasanatha), Ellora.]

Photographer: Cousens, Henry

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1875

Shelfmark: Photo 40/(138)

Item number: 138

Length: 24.3

Width: 28.8

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the façade of main entrance of the Hindu Cave XVI (Kailasanatha) 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 rocky façade of a cliff of basalt. The works were carried under the patronage of the Kalachuri, the Chalukya and the Rashtrakuta dynasties between the 6th and 9th centuries. The Kailasanatha is 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, the abode of Shiva. Sculptures of river goddesses flank the entrance gateway which is set into a tall screen wall. Behind the screen the complex comprises three main sections; a Nandi shrine, a mandapa, and the main sanctuary. The principal shrine is topped by a pyramidal tower (shikara). Sculptural friezes in the temple depict tales from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and of the life of Shiva

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