The Brahmanical cave-temple, Elephanta. Specimens of the pillars
Photographer: Johnson and Henderson
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a pillar from the cave temple at Elephanta from the album 'Views of Western India' taken by Johnson and Henderson c.1857. The small island of Elephanta, off the coast of Bombay, is celebrated as the complexity of the plan makes it one of the greatest achievements in rock-cut architecture in India. The temple is dedicated to Shiva, dates to the sixth century and consists of a series of chambers cut from the rock. There are five caves in total, but only the great cave can still be visited. The temple stands at 250 feet above sea level and measures 130 feet square, 17 feet high. At the centre of the cave is a hypostyle hall of 20 pillars in which stands the linga shrine, flanked by two excavated courts to the east and west. This view shows a pillar typical of the site; with squat tapering shafts and fluted cushion capitals.