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Ellora Cave Temples
Cave 4


6818 (_ELO5487.JPG)


6819 (_ELO5488.JPG)
Avalokitesvara

This is the finest panel in th cave which is at the left of the vestibule, showing Avalokitesvara seated in the bhadrasana pose with a long-stemmed lotus, antelope skin, and the Buddha Amitabha in his jata headdress. He is attended by two female bodhisattvas - Tara, with her water jar, rosary, and ascetic's headdress, and Bhrikuti with a beautiful bunch of lotuses and her more elegant coiffure. Buddhas, one standing and one seated, occupy the upper corners of the large panel.

4207 (c4_1.jpg)
Dwarapala

Dwarapala at the entrance to the main shrine.

4208 (c4_2.jpg)
Main shrine with Buddha image

The large shrine Buddha, seated beneath an elaborate tree with unusual (for Ellora) cauri bearing bodhisattvas directly behind the conventionally decorated throne. Larger bodhisattvas stand in the expected positions on either side; the intact right figure has a stupa in his crown, and a small nagakesara flower in his upraised hand. The left bodhisattva is too obliterated. Conventional flying couples converge from above upon the throne, with its conventional array of makaras (from each of which a vigorous figure emerges), vyalas, and elephants.

4210 (c4_3a.jpg)
Dwarapala

Dwarapala at the entrance to the main shrine.

4211 (c4_4.jpg)
Pilaster

Pilaster detail (incomplete)

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Seated Buddha in bhadrasana - the Litany scene

The actual focus of this forward-facing shrinelet is the bhadrasana Buddha on its rear wall (seen in this image). The expected bodhisattvas--Avalokitesvara with jata mukuta at the left and a crowned Vajrapani (?) leaning upon a burly dwarf at the right--attend the lion throne with its elaborate (and conventional) back, while siddhis (with ascetic headdresses) and dwarfs fly above.

4213 (c4_A.jpg)
Standing Tara and Buddha

The actual focus of this forward-facing shrinelet was the bhadrasana Buddha on its rear wall. To the right of this central panel is a large standing Tara, with the jata headdress, holding a large stemmed lotus and with her proper right hand in the gesture of reassurance (abhaya mudra), stands in a large panel in the right wall, with an equally large standing Buddha at her proper left. Two smaller panels, the upper with an Avalokitesvara, the lower with a Tara, appear to have been added at the right, beyond which the wall has been repaired with cement.

4214 (c4_B.jpg)
Avalokitesvara

It appears that the intrusive adjacent passage, which carefully avoids cutting into Avalokitesvara's lotus, was cut for convenient access via Cave 4's abandoned right wall before the Litany was finished. Only the upper two episodes are now legible--forest fire at the top, and attack by a brigand just below. We can assume that the bottom right panel was a shipwreck scene, always placed at the lower level.

4215 (c4_C.jpg)
Avalokitesvara and Tara

It appears that the intrusive adjacent passage, which carefully avoids cutting into Avalokitesvara's lotus, was cut for convenient access via Cave 4's abandoned right wall before the Litany was finished. The right side of the Litany was appropriated by a fine Tara image, which is clearly somewhat later than the main Buddha panel, since the lotus is cut from the latter's background matrix. Although mere traces remains of the head of the soaring small Avalokitesvara and the supplicants father to the right (partly cut away by the smoothing around Tara's halo, below her feet a badly eroded motif may represent one of Avalokitesvara's supplicants being attacked by a lion.

4216 (c4_C2.jpg)
General view

The surprising disjunction between the fine work being done in the very rear of Cave 4, the apparent abandonment of work on the later pillars and aisles, and the total loss of the whole cave front (including the total loss of the front aisle pillars) suggests that the front of Cave 4 may well have collapsed at this time. (Even the leveling of the ceiling was abandoned--only the first two or three feet in front of the rear colonnade being completed.

4217 (c4_F.jpg)
Genral view

The surprising disjunction between the fine work being done in the very rear of Cave 4, the apparent abandonment of work on the later pillars and aisles, and the total loss of the whole cave front (including the total loss of the front aisle pillars) suggests that the front of Cave 4 may well have collapsed at this time. (Even the leveling of the ceiling was abandoned--only the first two or three feet in front of the rear colonnade being completed.

4218 (c4_F1.jpg)
Incomplete cells

Incomplete cell

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Shrine with incomplete hall

The shrine is fronted with two fine albeit simple and severe purnaghata-capitaled pillars and matching pilasters. The square bases of all of the pillars and pilasters (both much reconstructed with cement) are partially decorated with fine half-medallions but work broke off before they were completed.

4220 (c4_H1.jpg)
Main shrine entrance with dwarapalas

The shrine is fronted with two fine albeit simple and severe purnaghata-capitaled pillars and matching pilasters. The square bases of all of the pillars and pilasters (both much reconstructed with cement) are partially decorated with fine half-medallions but work broke off before they were completed.

4221 (c4_S1.jpg)

16 results in Cave 4: