Side gallery Inder Sabha cave (from below) [Ellora]
Photographer: Dayal, Deen
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Indra Sabha Cave at Ellora, from the Curzon Collection: 'Views of Caves of Ellora and Dowlatabad Fort in H.H. the Nizam's Dominions' taken by Deen Dayal in the1890s. 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. Indra Sabha is the largest of the Jain series and dates from the ninth century of Rashtrakuta patronage. A simple gateway leads to a courtyard in which there is a monolithic shrine with a pyramidal roof. The cave is double-storeyed and is excavated in the rear of the courtyard. The lower level is unfinished while the columned mandapa or hall of the upper level has niches on three sides and the sanctuary in the middle of the back wall. Carved figures of the Jain Tirthankharas decorate the walls. The columns have have elaborate foliate and garland motifs on their shafts.