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Ellora Cave Temples

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floor 2




floor 3



Cave 12
1 of 2>>General view

885 (_CAV2945.jpg)
<<2 of 2General view

886 (_CAV2946.jpg)
1 of 2>>Facade

Cave 12 is an even more ambitious excavation than Cave 11, although its facade is equally severe, except for the two handsomely decorated entrance pillars at the lower level. Although the ornamentation is kept within the squared confines of the block, it is particularly exuberant, its purnaghata motif enclosed not merely by foliate forms above, but by vigorous dwarfs, a number of them standing and also paired, rather than (as in the past) simply squatting. Like all of the other (undecorated) pillars these have handsome molded bases and equally severe capital extensions, except (in these two pillars alone) for the fine decoration on the front.

887 (_CAV2947.jpg)
<<2 of 2Facade

Cave 12 is an even more ambitious excavation than Cave 11, although its facade is equally severe, except for the two handsomely decorated entrance pillars at the lower level. Although the ornamentation is kept within the squared confines of the block, it is particularly exuberant, its purnaghata motif enclosed not merely by foliate forms above, but by vigorous dwarfs, a number of them standing and also paired, rather than (as in the past) simply squatting. Like all of the other (undecorated) pillars these have handsome molded bases and equally severe capital extensions, except (in these two pillars alone) for the fine decoration on the front.

888 (_CAV2948.jpg)
Facade

Cave 12 is an even more ambitious excavation than Cave 11, although its facade is equally severe, except for the two handsomely decorated entrance pillars at the lower level. Although the ornamentation is kept within the squared confines of the block, it is particularly exuberant, its purnaghata motif enclosed not merely by foliate forms above, but by vigorous dwarfs, a number of them standing and also paired, rather than (as in the past) simply squatting. Like all of the other (undecorated) pillars these have handsome molded bases and equally severe capital extensions, except (in these two pillars alone) for the fine decoration on the front.

889 (_CAV2949.jpg)
Cistern chamber

The shorter left (north) stairway in the courtyard, near what appears to have been an original drainage tunnel leads past one of the various Buddha panels placed throughout the cave to a square chamber with a still-functioning cistern near the center. It is fronted by a very plain colonnade, and has four similar pilasters on each of the three walls.

890 (_CAV2950.jpg)
Cistern

891 (_CAV2951.jpg)
Seated Buddha - Cistern chamber

892 (_CAV2952.jpg)
1 of 2>>Facade

Cave 12 is an even more ambitious excavation than Cave 11, although its facade is equally severe, except for the two handsomely decorated entrance pillars at the lower level. Although the ornamentation is kept within the squared confines of the block, it is particularly exuberant, its purnaghata motif enclosed not merely by foliate forms above, but by vigorous dwarfs, a number of them standing and also paired, rather than (as in the past) simply squatting. Like all of the other (undecorated) pillars these have handsome molded bases and equally severe capital extensions, except (in these two pillars alone) for the fine decoration on the front.

894 (_CAV2954.jpg)
First floor - corridor

Cave 12 is an even more ambitious excavation than Cave 11, although its facade is equally severe, except for the two handsomely decorated entrance pillars at the lower level. Although the ornamentation is kept within the squared confines of the block, it is particularly exuberant, its purnaghata motif enclosed not merely by foliate forms above, but by vigorous dwarfs, a number of them standing and also paired, rather than (as in the past) simply squatting. Like all of the other (undecorated) pillars these have handsome molded bases and equally severe capital extensions, except (in these two pillars alone) for the fine decoration on the front.

895 (_CAV2955.jpg)
Mandala with Buddha and Bodhisattvas - First floor

There are numerous small Buddha or bodhisattva panels elsewhere in the hall on the first floor. The most significant of all being the various mandala configurations. Typically showing eight seated bodhisattvas surround a central seated Buddha, they appear both on the wall at the left of the entrance to the pillared shrine vestibule and at two points in the chamber (seen here) that leads to the staircase at front right. On top of the mandala is a four-armed Tara; she and Cunda (at the left) flank a Buddha attended by Avalokitesvara (with lotus) at the left and Manjusri (with book) at the right.

899 (_CAV2959.jpg)
Pillared hall, Second floor

373 (_CAV3039.jpg)
Pillared hall, Second floor

374 (_CAV3040.jpg)
Pillared hall, Second floor

376 (_CAV3042.jpg)
Second floor corridor

385 (_CAV3051.jpg)
Mandala with Buddha and Bodhisattvas - First floor

There are numerous small Buddha or bodhisattva panels elsewhere in the hall on the first floor. The most significant of all being the various mandala configurations. Typically showing eight seated bodhisattvas surround a central seated Buddha, they appear both on the wall at the left of the entrance to the pillared shrine vestibule and at two points in the chamber (seen here) that leads to the staircase at front right.

469 (_CAV3135.jpg)
Mandala with Buddha and Bodhisattvas- First floor

There are numerous small Buddha or bodhisattva panels elsewhere in the hall on the first floor. The most significant of all being the various mandala configurations. Typically showing eight seated bodhisattvas surround a central seated Buddha, they appear both on the wall at the left of the entrance to the pillared shrine vestibule and at two points in the chamber (seen here) that leads to the staircase at front right. On top of the mandala is a four-armed Tara; she and Cunda (at the left) flank a Buddha attended by Avalokitesvara (with lotus) at the left and Manjusri (with book) at the right.

470 (_CAV3136.jpg)
Mandala with Buddha and Bodhisattvas - detail- First floor

There are numerous small Buddha or bodhisattva panels elsewhere in the hall on the first floor. The most significant of all being the various mandala configurations. Typically showing eight seated bodhisattvas surround a central seated Buddha, they appear both on the wall at the left of the entrance to the pillared shrine vestibule and at two points in the chamber (seen here) that leads to the staircase at front right.

472 (_CAV3138.jpg)
Mandala with Buddha and Bodhisattvas - detail- First floor

There are numerous small Buddha or bodhisattva panels elsewhere in the hall on the first floor. The most significant of all being the various mandala configurations. Typically showing eight seated bodhisattvas surround a central seated Buddha, they appear both on the wall at the left of the entrance to the pillared shrine vestibule and at two points in the chamber (seen here) that leads to the staircase at front right . On top of the mandala is a four-armed Tara; she and Cunda (at the left) flank a Buddha attended by Avalokitesvara (with lotus) at the left and Manjusri (with book) at the right.

473 (_CAV3139.jpg)
Pillar detail - First floor

474 (_CAV3140.jpg)
Pillar - First floor

475 (_CAV3141.jpg)
Pillar detail - First floor

477 (_CAV3143.jpg)
Seated Buddha - First floor

478 (_CAV3144.jpg)
Pillar detail - First floor

479 (_CAV3145.jpg)
Pillar detail - First floor

480 (_CAV3146.jpg)
Mandala with Buddha and Bodhisattvas - First floor

There are numerous small Buddha or bodhisattva panels elsewhere in the hall on the first floor. The most significant of all being the various mandala configurations. Typically showing eight seated bodhisattvas surround a central seated Buddha, they appear both on the wall at the left of the entrance to the pillared shrine vestibule (seen here) and at two points in the chamber (replacing the expected cell) that leads to the staircase at front right.

483 (_CAV3149.jpg)
Mandala with Buddha and Bodhisattvas- First floor

There are numerous small Buddha or bodhisattva panels elsewhere in the hall on the first floor. The most significant of all being the various mandala configurations. Typically showing eight seated bodhisattvas surround a central seated Buddha, they appear both on the wall at the left of the entrance to the pillared shrine vestibule (seen here) and at two points in the chamber (replacing the expected cell) that leads to the staircase at front right.

484 (_CAV3150.jpg)
1 of 2>>Pillared hall - First floor

492 (_CAV3158.jpg)
<<2 of 2Pillared hall - First floor

493 (_CAV3159.jpg)
Pilaster detail - First floor

494 (_CAV3160.jpg)
Pilaster detail - First floor

495 (_CAV3161.jpg)
Pilaster detail - First floor

496 (_CAV3162.jpg)
Pilaster detail - First floor

497 (_CAV3163.jpg)
Seated Buddha, First floor

At the left and right of the antechamber Buddhas sit in the meditative pose flanked by cauri-bearing bodhisattvas with flying couples above. Identification of these attendants is difficult, for some of the detailing was done in heavy plaster now partly fallen away. The Buddhas are seated on lion thrones encrusted with a heavy layer of plaster.

498 (_CAV3164.jpg)
Seated Buddha, First floor

At the left and right of the antechamber Buddhas sit in the meditative pose flanked by cauri-bearing bodhisattvas with flying couples above. Identification of these attendants is difficult, for some of the detailing was done in heavy plaster now partly fallen away. The Buddhas are seated on lion thrones encrusted with a heavy layer of plaster.

499 (_CAV3165.jpg)
Seated Buddha, First floor

At the left and right of the antechamber Buddhas sit in the meditative pose flanked by cauri-bearing bodhisattvas with flying couples above. Identification of these attendants is difficult, for some of the detailing was done in heavy plaster now partly fallen away. The Buddhas are seated on lion thrones encrusted with a heavy layer of plaster.

500 (_CAV3166.jpg)
Seated Buddha, First floor

At the left and right of the antechamber Buddhas sit in the meditative pose flanked by cauri-bearing bodhisattvas with flying couples above. Identification of these attendants is difficult, for some of the detailing was done in heavy plaster now partly fallen away. The Buddhas are seated on lion thrones encrusted with a heavy layer of plaster.

501 (_CAV3167.jpg)
1 of 2>>Bodhisattvas, main shrine - first floor

Outside the main shrine are seated two bodhisattvas, Maitreya at the left, with a stupa in his crown and a branching nagakesara flower rising at his proper left, and Manjusri with his book supported by an utpala flower (on the right) guard the shrine doorway.

503 (_CAV3169.jpg)
<<2 of 2Bodhisattvas, main shrine - first floor

Outside the main shrine are seated two bodhisattvas, Maitreya at the left, with a stupa in his crown and a branching nagakesara flower rising at his proper left, and Manjusri with his book supported by an utpala flower (on the right) guard the shrine doorway.

505 (_CAV3171.jpg)
Bodhisattvas, main shrine - first floor

Outside the main shrine are seated two bodhisattvas, Maitreya at the left, with a stupa in his crown and a branching nagakesara flower rising at his proper left, and Manjusri with his book supported by an utpala flower (on the right) guard the shrine doorway.

507 (_CAV3173.jpg)
Bodhisattvas, main shrine - first floor

Outside the main shrine are seated two bodhisattvas, Maitreya at the left, with a stupa in his crown and a branching nagakesara flower rising at his proper left, and Manjusri with his book supported by an utpala flower (on the right) guard the shrine doorway.

509 (_CAV3175.jpg)
Bodhisattvas, main shrine - first floor

Outside the main shrine are seated two bodhisattvas, Maitreya at the left, with a stupa in his crown and a branching nagakesara flower rising at his proper left, and Manjusri with his book supported by an utpala flower (on the right) guard the shrine doorway.

511 (_CAV3177.jpg)
Seated Buddha - main shrine - First floor

The main shrine on the first floor has a huge teaching Buddha seated in the dhyanasana. His throne motifs are equally huge, but simplified, with large hooded nagas directly behind the throne, with single flying celestials with garlands above on either side. He is surrounded with seated rather than standing bodhisattvas. Eight in number, and differentiated by their varied attributes, they may well represent an astabodhisattva (8-bodhisattva) mandala.

512 (_CAV3178.jpg)
Seated Buddha - main shrine - First floor

The main shrine on the first floor has a huge teaching Buddha seated in the dhyanasana. His throne motifs are equally huge, but simplified, with large hooded nagas directly behind the throne, with single flying celestials with garlands above on either side. He is surrounded with seated rather than standing bodhisattvas. Eight in number, and differentiated by their varied attributes, they may well represent an astabodhisattva (8-bodhisattva) mandala.

513 (_CAV3179.jpg)
Seated Buddha - main shrine - First floor

The main shrine on the first floor has a huge teaching Buddha seated in the dhyanasana. His throne motifs are equally huge, but simplified, with large hooded nagas directly behind the throne, with single flying celestials with garlands above on either side. He is surrounded with seated rather than standing bodhisattvas. Eight in number, and differentiated by their varied attributes, they may well represent an astabodhisattva (8-bodhisattva) mandala.

515 (_CAV3181.jpg)
1 of 7>>Seated Buddha - main shrine - First floor

The main shrine on the first floor has a huge teaching Buddha seated in the dhyanasana. His throne motifs are equally huge, but simplified, with large hooded nagas directly behind the throne, with single flying celestials with garlands above on either side. He is surrounded with seated rather than standing bodhisattvas. Eight in number, and differentiated by their varied attributes, they may well represent an astabodhisattva (8-bodhisattva) mandala.

517 (_CAV3183.jpg)
Bodhisattvas, main shrine - First floor

The main shrine on the first floor has a huge teaching Buddha seated in the dhyanasana. He is surrounded with seated rather than standing bodhisattvas. Eight in number, and differentiated by their varied attributes, they may well represent an astabodhisattva (8-bodhisattva) mandala. The bodhisattvas can be distinguished primarily by the objects each holds to the proper left. On the left shrine wall, from front to rear, they hold: #1 a flag or a staff, #2 a sword upraised, #3 a branching flower, and #4 an expanded lotus. The crowns are very much the same, except for that of Avalokitesvara (nearest to the Buddha). The two nearest the front also hold roundish objects in the proper right hand, one with a tri-lobed decoration on its front; the upper right hands of the other two are missing. The seated bodhisattvas on the right wall have, from the front: #1 a spray of (lotus?) flowers, #2 a book on a flower #3 (missing), #4 a stemmed device, oval shaped, composed of jewels, perhaps backing a now broken flower. Above, on each side, there are small Buddhas in the meditation pose.

519 (_CAV3185.jpg)
1 of 6>>Bodhisattvas, main shrine - First floor

The main shrine on the first floor has a huge teaching Buddha seated in the dhyanasana. He is surrounded with seated rather than standing bodhisattvas. Eight in number, and differentiated by their varied attributes, they may well represent an astabodhisattva (8-bodhisattva) mandala. The bodhisattvas can be distinguished primarily by the objects each holds to the proper left. On the left shrine wall, from front to rear, they hold: #1 a flag or a staff, #2 a sword upraised, #3 a branching flower, and #4 an expanded lotus. The crowns are very much the same, except for that of Avalokitesvara (nearest to the Buddha). The two nearest the front also hold roundish objects in the proper right hand, one with a tri-lobed decoration on its front; the upper right hands of the other two are missing. The seated bodhisattvas on the right wall have, from the front: #1 a spray of (lotus?) flowers, #2 a book on a flower #3 (missing), #4 a stemmed device, oval shaped, composed of jewels, perhaps backing a now broken flower. Above, on each side, there are small Buddhas in the meditation pose.

520 (_CAV3186.jpg)
<<2 of 6>>Bodhisattvas, main shrine - First floor

The main shrine on the first floor has a huge teaching Buddha seated in the dhyanasana. He is surrounded with seated rather than standing bodhisattvas. Eight in number, and differentiated by their varied attributes, they may well represent an astabodhisattva (8-bodhisattva) mandala. The bodhisattvas can be distinguished primarily by the objects each holds to the proper left. On the left shrine wall, from front to rear, they hold: #1 a flag or a staff, #2 a sword upraised, #3 a branching flower, and #4 an expanded lotus. The crowns are very much the same, except for that of Avalokitesvara (nearest to the Buddha). The two nearest the front also hold roundish objects in the proper right hand, one with a tri-lobed decoration on its front; the upper right hands of the other two are missing. The seated bodhisattvas on the right wall have, from the front: #1 a spray of (lotus?) flowers, #2 a book on a flower #3 (missing), #4 a stemmed device, oval shaped, composed of jewels, perhaps backing a now broken flower. Above, on each side, there are small Buddhas in the meditation pose.

521 (_CAV3187.jpg)
<<3 of 6>>Bodhisattvas, main shrine - First floor

The main shrine on the first floor has a huge teaching Buddha seated in the dhyanasana. He is surrounded with seated rather than standing bodhisattvas. Eight in number, and differentiated by their varied attributes, they may well represent an astabodhisattva (8-bodhisattva) mandala. The bodhisattvas can be distinguished primarily by the objects each holds to the proper left. On the left shrine wall, from front to rear, they hold: #1 a flag or a staff, #2 a sword upraised, #3 a branching flower, and #4 an expanded lotus. The crowns are very much the same, except for that of Avalokitesvara (nearest to the Buddha). The two nearest the front also hold roundish objects in the proper right hand, one with a tri-lobed decoration on its front; the upper right hands of the other two are missing. The seated bodhisattvas on the right wall have, from the front: #1 a spray of (lotus?) flowers, #2 a book on a flower #3 (missing), #4 a stemmed device, oval shaped, composed of jewels, perhaps backing a now broken flower. Above, on each side, there are small Buddhas in the meditation pose.

522 (_CAV3188.jpg)
<<4 of 6>>Bodhisattvas, main shrine - First floor

The main shrine on the first floor has a huge teaching Buddha seated in the dhyanasana. He is surrounded with seated rather than standing bodhisattvas. Eight in number, and differentiated by their varied attributes, they may well represent an astabodhisattva (8-bodhisattva) mandala. The bodhisattvas can be distinguished primarily by the objects each holds to the proper left. On the left shrine wall, from front to rear, they hold: #1 a flag or a staff, #2 a sword upraised, #3 a branching flower, and #4 an expanded lotus. The crowns are very much the same, except for that of Avalokitesvara (nearest to the Buddha). The two nearest the front also hold roundish objects in the proper right hand, one with a tri-lobed decoration on its front; the upper right hands of the other two are missing. The seated bodhisattvas on the right wall have, from the front: #1 a spray of (lotus?) flowers, #2 a book on a flower #3 (missing), #4 a stemmed device, oval shaped, composed of jewels, perhaps backing a now broken flower. Above, on each side, there are small Buddhas in the meditation pose.

523 (_CAV3189.jpg)
1 of 3>>Cunda, main shrine - First floor

The main shrine on the first floor has a huge teaching Buddha seated in the dhyanasana. Female bodhisattvas, both seated, fill the space on the inner front wall. Tara, four-armed, is on the right (south) with rosary, lotus, and kamandalu (water jar), while Cunda with a broken flower, and the proper right hand stretched downward in varada mudra appears on the left.

525 (_CAV3191.jpg)
Bodhisattvas, main shrine - First floor

The main shrine on the first floor has a huge teaching Buddha seated in the dhyanasana. He is surrounded with seated rather than standing bodhisattvas. Eight in number, and differentiated by their varied attributes, they may well represent an astabodhisattva (8-bodhisattva) mandala. The bodhisattvas can be distinguished primarily by the objects each holds to the proper left. On the left shrine wall, from front to rear, they hold: #1 a flag or a staff, #2 a sword upraised, #3 a branching flower, and #4 an expanded lotus. The crowns are very much the same, except for that of Avalokitesvara (nearest to the Buddha). The two nearest the front also hold roundish objects in the proper right hand, one with a tri-lobed decoration on its front; the upper right hands of the other two are missing. The seated bodhisattvas on the right wall have, from the front: #1 a spray of (lotus?) flowers, #2 a book on a flower #3 (missing), #4 a stemmed device, oval shaped, composed of jewels, perhaps backing a now broken flower. Above, on each side, there are small Buddhas in the meditation pose.

527 (_CAV3193.jpg)
<<2 of 3>>Cunda, main shrine - First floor

The main shrine on the first floor has a huge teaching Buddha seated in the dhyanasana. Female bodhisattvas, both seated, fill the space on the inner front wall. Tara, four-armed, is on the right (south) with rosary, lotus, and kamandalu (water jar), while Cunda with a broken flower, and the proper right hand stretched downward in varada mudra appears on the left.

528 (_CAV3194.jpg)
<<2 of 7>>Seated Buddha - detail, main shrine - First floor

529 (_CAV3195.jpg)
<<3 of 7>>Seated Buddha - detail, main shrine - First floor

530 (_CAV3196.jpg)
<<4 of 7>>Seated Buddha - detail, main shrine - First floor

531 (_CAV3197.jpg)
<<5 of 7>>Seated Buddha - detail, main shrine - First floor

532 (_CAV3198.jpg)
<<6 of 7>>Seated Buddha - detail, main shrine - First floor

533 (_CAV3199.jpg)
<<7 of 7Seated Buddha - detail, main shrine - First floor

534 (_CAV3200.jpg)
Tara, main shrine - First floor

The main shrine on the first floor has a huge teaching Buddha seated in the dhyanasana. Female bodhisattvas, both seated, fill the space on the inner front wall. Tara, four-armed, is on the right (south) with rosary, lotus, and kamandalu (water jar), while Cunda with a broken flower, and the proper right hand stretched downward in varada mudra appears on the left.

536 (_CAV3202.jpg)
<<5 of 6>>Bodhisattvas, main shrine - First floor

The main shrine on the first floor has a huge teaching Buddha seated in the dhyanasana. He is surrounded with seated rather than standing bodhisattvas. Eight in number, and differentiated by their varied attributes, they may well represent an astabodhisattva (8-bodhisattva) mandala. The bodhisattvas can be distinguished primarily by the objects each holds to the proper left. On the left shrine wall, from front to rear, they hold: #1 a flag or a staff, #2 a sword upraised, #3 a branching flower, and #4 an expanded lotus. The crowns are very much the same, except for that of Avalokitesvara (nearest to the Buddha). The two nearest the front also hold roundish objects in the proper right hand, one with a tri-lobed decoration on its front; the upper right hands of the other two are missing. The seated bodhisattvas on the right wall have, from the front: #1 a spray of (lotus?) flowers, #2 a book on a flower #3 (missing), #4 a stemmed device, oval shaped, composed of jewels, perhaps backing a now broken flower. Above, on each side, there are small Buddhas in the meditation pose.

537 (_CAV3203.jpg)
1 of 2>>Bodhisattvas, main shrine - First floor

The main shrine on the first floor has a huge teaching Buddha seated in the dhyanasana. He is surrounded with seated rather than standing bodhisattvas. Eight in number, and differentiated by their varied attributes, they may well represent an astabodhisattva (8-bodhisattva) mandala. The bodhisattvas can be distinguished primarily by the objects each holds to the proper left. On the left shrine wall, from front to rear, they hold: #1 a flag or a staff, #2 a sword upraised, #3 a branching flower, and #4 an expanded lotus. The crowns are very much the same, except for that of Avalokitesvara (nearest to the Buddha). The two nearest the front also hold roundish objects in the proper right hand, one with a tri-lobed decoration on its front; the upper right hands of the other two are missing. The seated bodhisattvas on the right wall have, from the front: #1 a spray of (lotus?) flowers, #2 a book on a flower #3 (missing), #4 a stemmed device, oval shaped, composed of jewels, perhaps backing a now broken flower. Above, on each side, there are small Buddhas in the meditation pose.

538 (_CAV3204.jpg)
Main shrine doorway - looking out - First floor

539 (_CAV3205.jpg)
Main shrine doorway - looking out - First floor

540 (_CAV3206.jpg)
Inscription on Pillar - Second floor

There are two inscribed pillars in the central axis of the main shrine in the second floor.

545 (_CAV3211.jpg)
Cistern chamber

The shorter left (north) stairway in the courtyard, near what appears to have been an original drainage tunnel leads past one of the various Buddha panels placed throughout the cave to a square chamber with a still-functioning cistern near the center. It is fronted by a very plain colonnade, and has four similar pilasters on each of the three walls.

548 (_CAV3214.jpg)
Subsidiary structures and shrines

A large unfinished chamber is seen at the right of the court with a pillared area above, access to which is gained by the stairs to the middle story. The nearby window lights the inner staircase at this level while the window on the opposite court wall, at a higher level, lights the opposite staircase leading to the upper floor.

549 (_CAV3215.jpg)
Open courtyard

Inside the spacious courtyard (107' wide by about 46'deep) one can climb on the right (south) side via a steep stairway to an upper level (the portion over the entrance doorway now broken away) where one could enter another plain chamber on either side.

550 (_CAV3216.jpg)
Floor detail, Second floor

1202 (_CAV4315.jpg)
Floor detail, Second floor

1203 (_CAV4316.jpg)
Floor detail, Second floor

1212 (_CAV4325.jpg)
Floor detail, Second floor

1213 (_CAV4326.jpg)
Floor detail, Second floor

1214 (_CAV4327.jpg)
Floor detail, Second floor

1215 (_CAV4328.jpg)
Floor detail, Second floor

1216 (_CAV4329.jpg)
Floor detail, Second floor

1217 (_CAV4330.jpg)
<<3 of 3Tara, main shrine, Second floor

In the main shrine a seated female bodhisattva, probably Tara, her proper right hand in varada mudra and the other holding a long-stemmed flower, appears on the left (north) front shrine wall. While an image of the fat Jambhala occupies the right, one foot on an elaborate lotus pedestal. In his proper right hand he holds a citron, while the other holds a curiously long mongoose skin which hangs down. His proper right foot rests upon an expansive lotus pedestal.

1218 (_CAV4331.jpg)
Jambhala, main shrine, Second floor

In the main shrine a seated female bodhisattva, probably Tara, her proper right hand in varada mudra and the other holding a long-stemmed flower, appears on the left (north) front shrine wall. While an image of the fat Jambhala occupies the right, one foot on an elaborate lotus pedestal. In his proper right hand he holds a citron, while the other holds a curiously long mongoose skin which hangs down. His proper right foot rests upon an expansive lotus pedestal.

1219 (_CAV4332.jpg)
Bodhisattvas, main shrine Second floor

The main shrine of the second floor houses a huge seated Buddha with the earth-touching (bhumisparsa) mudra. Huge figures of Avalokitesvara (on the left), with the lotus and Buddha in his jata headdress, and Vajrapani (or Manjuvajra), holding the thunderbolt on an utpala) flank him, both heavily covered with darkened and damaged plaster. Four large differentiated bodhisattvas (as in the lower floor, but here standing) with associated small seated Buddhas above, appear on either sidewall. On the left, the first holds (in his proper right hand) a lotus flower; the second an indistinct flower; the third an upraised sword, the fourth (with a distinct stupa in his headdress) a flower. On the right, the first holds a flower; the second a flag, the third an expanded lotus; and the fourth a book on an utpala.

1220 (_CAV4333.jpg)
Bodhisattvas, main shrine Second floor

The main shrine of the second floor houses a huge seated Buddha with the earth-touching (bhumisparsa) mudra. Huge figures of Avalokitesvara (on the left), with the lotus and Buddha in his jata headdress, and Vajrapani (or Manjuvajra), holding the thunderbolt on an utpala) flank him, both heavily covered with darkened and damaged plaster. Four large differentiated bodhisattvas (as in the lower floor, but here standing) with associated small seated Buddhas above, appear on either sidewall. On the left, the first holds (in his proper right hand) a lotus flower; the second an indistinct flower; the third an upraised sword, the fourth (with a distinct stupa in his headdress) a flower. On the right, the first holds a flower; the second a flag, the third an expanded lotus; and the fourth a book on an utpala.

1221 (_CAV4334.jpg)
Bodhisattvas, main shrine Second floor

The main shrine of the second floor houses a huge seated Buddha with the earth-touching (bhumisparsa) mudra. Huge figures of Avalokitesvara (on the left), with the lotus and Buddha in his jata headdress, and Vajrapani (or Manjuvajra), holding the thunderbolt on an utpala) flank him, both heavily covered with darkened and damaged plaster. Four large differentiated bodhisattvas (as in the lower floor, but here standing) with associated small seated Buddhas above, appear on either sidewall. On the left, the first holds (in his proper right hand) a lotus flower; the second an indistinct flower; the third an upraised sword, the fourth (with a distinct stupa in his headdress) a flower. On the right, the first holds a flower; the second a flag, the third an expanded lotus; and the fourth a book on an utpala.

1223 (_CAV4336.jpg)
Bodhisattvas, main shrine Second floor

The main shrine of the second floor houses a huge seated Buddha with the earth-touching (bhumisparsa) mudra. Huge figures of Avalokitesvara (on the left), with the lotus and Buddha in his jata headdress, and Vajrapani (or Manjuvajra), holding the thunderbolt on an utpala) flank him, both heavily covered with darkened and damaged plaster. Four large differentiated bodhisattvas (as in the lower floor, but here standing) with associated small seated Buddhas above, appear on either sidewall. On the left, the first holds (in his proper right hand) a lotus flower; the second an indistinct flower; the third an upraised sword, the fourth (with a distinct stupa in his headdress) a flower. On the right, the first holds a flower; the second a flag, the third an expanded lotus; and the fourth a book on an utpala.

1224 (_CAV4337.jpg)
Bodhisattvas, main shrine Second floor

The main shrine of the second floor houses a huge seated Buddha with the earth-touching (bhumisparsa) mudra. Huge figures of Avalokitesvara (on the left), with the lotus and Buddha in his jata headdress, and Vajrapani (or Manjuvajra), holding the thunderbolt on an utpala) flank him, both heavily covered with darkened and damaged plaster. Four large differentiated bodhisattvas (as in the lower floor, but here standing) with associated small seated Buddhas above, appear on either sidewall. On the left, the first holds (in his proper right hand) a lotus flower; the second an indistinct flower; the third an upraised sword, the fourth (with a distinct stupa in his headdress) a flower. On the right, the first holds a flower; the second a flag, the third an expanded lotus; and the fourth a book on an utpala.

1225 (_CAV4338.jpg)
Bodhisattvas, main shrine Second floor

The main shrine of the second floor houses a huge seated Buddha with the earth-touching (bhumisparsa) mudra. Huge figures of Avalokitesvara (on the left), with the lotus and Buddha in his jata headdress, and Vajrapani (or Manjuvajra), holding the thunderbolt on an utpala) flank him, both heavily covered with darkened and damaged plaster. Four large differentiated bodhisattvas (as in the lower floor, but here standing) with associated small seated Buddhas above, appear on either sidewall. On the left, the first holds (in his proper right hand) a lotus flower; the second an indistinct flower; the third an upraised sword, the fourth (with a distinct stupa in his headdress) a flower. On the right, the first holds a flower; the second a flag, the third an expanded lotus; and the fourth a book on an utpala.

1226 (_CAV4339.jpg)
Seated Buddha, main shrine - Second floor

The main shrine of the second floor houses a huge seated Buddha with the earth-touching (bhumisparsa) mudra; the earth goddess, Bhudevi, responding to his call, emerges from the floor at the left of the throne base. This support is formed by a lotus rather than the standard leonine throne-legs. Aparajita, over the prostrate Ganesa, occupies a position at the right and flying couples populate the upper section. Huge figures of Avalokitesvara (on the left), with the lotus and Buddha in his jata headdress, and Vajrapani (or Manjuvajra), holding the thunderbolt on an utpala) flank him, both heavily covered with darkened and damaged plaster.

1228 (_CAV4341.jpg)
Seated Buddha, main shrine - Second floor

The main shrine of the second floor houses a huge seated Buddha with the earth-touching (bhumisparsa) mudra; the earth goddess, Bhudevi, responding to his call, emerges from the floor at the left of the throne base. This support is formed by a lotus rather than the standard leonine throne-legs. Aparajita, over the prostrate Ganesa, occupies a position at the right and flying couples populate the upper section. Huge figures of Avalokitesvara (on the left), with the lotus and Buddha in his jata headdress, and Vajrapani (or Manjuvajra), holding the thunderbolt on an utpala) flank him, both heavily covered with darkened and damaged plaster.

1229 (_CAV4342.jpg)
Seated Buddha, main shrine - Second floor

The main shrine of the second floor houses a huge seated Buddha with the earth-touching (bhumisparsa) mudra; the earth goddess, Bhudevi, responding to his call, emerges from the floor at the left of the throne base. This support is formed by a lotus rather than the standard leonine throne-legs. Aparajita, over the prostrate Ganesa, occupies a position at the right and flying couples populate the upper section. Huge figures of Avalokitesvara (on the left), with the lotus and Buddha in his jata headdress, and Vajrapani (or Manjuvajra), holding the thunderbolt on an utpala) flank him, both heavily covered with darkened and damaged plaster.

1230 (_CAV4343.jpg)
Seated Buddha throne, main shrine detail Earth goddess, Second floor

1231 (_CAV4344.jpg)
Seated Buddha throne, main shrine detail - Aparajita - Second floor

1232 (_CAV4345.jpg)
Doorway, main shrine Second floor

1233 (_CAV4346.jpg)


6806 (_CSH5440.JPG)


6807 (_CSH5441.JPG)


6808 (_CSH5442.JPG)


6630 (_ELO5928.JPG)


6631 (_ELO5929.JPG)


6633 (_ELO5931.JPG)


6634 (_ELO5932.JPG)


6635 (_ELO5933.JPG)


6636 (_ELO5934.JPG)


6637 (_ELO5935.JPG)


6638 (_ELO5936.JPG)


6639 (_ELO5937.JPG)


6642 (_ELO5940.JPG)


6644 (_ELO5942.JPG)


6645 (_ELO5943.JPG)


6646 (_ELO5944.JPG)


6647 (_ELO5945.JPG)


6648 (_ELO5946.JPG)


6649 (_ELO5947.JPG)


6650 (_ELO5948.JPG)


6653 (_ELO5951.JPG)


6654 (_ELO5952.JPG)


6655 (_ELO5953.JPG)


6656 (_ELO5954.JPG)


6657 (_ELO5955.JPG)


6658 (_ELO5956.JPG)


6659 (_ELO5957.JPG)


6661 (_ELO5959.JPG)


6662 (_ELO5960.JPG)


6663 (_ELO5961.JPG)


6664 (_ELO5962.JPG)


6666 (_ELO5964.JPG)


6667 (_ELO5965.JPG)


6668 (_ELO5966.JPG)


6669 (_ELO5967.JPG)


6670 (_ELO5968.JPG)

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6671 (_ELO5969.JPG)

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6673 (_ELO5971.JPG)
Vajrapani, main shrine doorway, First floor

3929 (c12_10.jpg)
Pilaster detail - First floor

3930 (c12_11.jpg)
Seated Buddha in the vestibule of the main shrine - First floor

3931 (c12_12.jpg)
Pilaster detail - First floor

3932 (c12_13.jpg)
Pilaster detail - First floor

3934 (c12_15.jpg)
Incomplete seated Buddha image - First floor

This sculpture shows the chisel marks all around the upper part of the image.

3935 (c12_16.jpg)
Incomplete seated Buddha image - First floor

This sculpture shows the chisel marks all around the upper part of the image.

3936 (c12_16a.jpg)
Pillar detail - First floor

3938 (c12_17a.jpg)
Pillar detail - First floor

3939 (c12_18.jpg)
Column detail - First floor

Although the ornamentation of all the pillars is kept within the squared confines of the block, the columns at the main entrance it is particularly exuberant, its purnaghata motif enclosed not merely by foliate forms above, but by vigorous dwarfs, a number of them standing and also paired, rather than simply squatting. Like all of the other (undecorated) pillars these have handsome molded bases and equally severe capital extensions, except (in these two pillars alone) for the fine decoration on the front.

3940 (c12_1stfloorentranceP.jpg)
Pillared hallway, First floor

3941 (c12_1stfloorH.jpg)
Pillared hallway, First floor

3942 (c12_1stfloorH2.jpg)
Column detail - First floor

Although the ornamentation of all the pillars is kept within the squared confines of the block, the columns at the main entrance it is particularly exuberant, its purnaghata motif enclosed not merely by foliate forms above, but by vigorous dwarfs, a number of them standing and also paired, rather than simply squatting. Like all of the other (undecorated) pillars these have handsome molded bases and equally severe capital extensions, except (in these two pillars alone) for the fine decoration on the front.

3943 (c12_1stfloorPd.jpg)
Mandala, First floor

3944 (c12_2.jpg)
Mandala, Second floor

3948 (c12_2ndfloor-29.jpg)
First Buddha on left wall - Third floor

3993 (c12_3rdfl-1.jpg)
Seated Buddha - antechamber - right wall - Third floor

3999 (c12_3rdfl-13.jpg)
Seated Buddha - right wall after the corridor - Third floor

4009 (c12_3rdfl-16a.jpg)
Seated Buddha - rear end of corridor - Third floor

4010 (c12_3rdfl-17.jpg)
Seated Buddha - rear end of corridor - Third floor

4011 (c12_3rdfl-17b.jpg)
Siddharta's departure- Third floor

On the way up the stairs from the seond to the third floor a small panel shows Siddharta's "Great Departure" on his horse - the only example of the subject in Ellora's Buddhist complex.

4012 (c12_3rdfl-18stairway.jpg)
Seated Buddha in Padmasana - rear left wall of antechamber - Third floor

4020 (c12_3rdfl-4a.jpg)
Third floor corridor

4032 (c12_3rdflH.jpg)
Third floor corridor

4033 (c12_3rdflH1.jpg)
Third floor corridor

4037 (c12_3rdflH13.jpg)
Third floor corridor

4038 (c12_3rdflH14.jpg)
Third floor corridor

4047 (c12_3rdflp.jpg)
Third floor corridor

4048 (c12_3rdflp1.jpg)
Bodhisattvas - main shrine - Third floor

These standing bodhisattvas have a row of seated Buddha on top.

4053 (c12_3rdflS5-19.jpg)
Bodhisattvas - main shrine - Third floor

These standing bodhisattvas have a row of seated Buddha on top.

4054 (c12_3rdflS5-19a.jpg)
Bodhisattvas - main shrine - Third floor

These standing bodhisattvas have a row of seated Buddha on top.

4058 (c12_3rdflS5-21.jpg)
Bodhisattvas - main shrine - Third floor

These standing bodhisattvas have a row of seated Buddha on top.

4060 (c12_3rdflS5-21b.jpg)
Bodhisattvas - main shrine - Third floor

These standing bodhisattvas have a row of seated Buddha on top.

4061 (c12_3rdflS5-21c.jpg)
Jambhala and Bodhisattvas - main shrine - Third floor

4063 (c12_3rdflS5-22a.jpg)
Wall with sculptures flanking main shrine doorway, Third floor

4075 (c12_3rdflS5e.jpg)
Bhumisparsha Buddha - main shrine, Third floor

4076 (c12_3rdflS5mainI.jpg)
Bhumisparsha Buddha - main shrine, Third floor

4077 (c12_3rdflS5mainI1.jpg)
Aparajita, detail of main shrine throne - Third floor

4081 (c12_3rdflS5mainId.jpg)
Third floor corridor

4078 (c12_3rdfV.jpg)
Mandala and other sculptures, First floor

4087 (c12_4-3-2.jpg)
Sculptures on pilaster, First floor

4088 (c12_4.jpg)


4089 (c12_5.jpg)
Seated Buddha, First floor

4090 (c12_6.jpg)
Pillar detail - First floor

4091 (c12_7.jpg)
Maitreya, min shrine doorway, First floor

Outside the main shrine are seated two bodhisattvas, Maitreya at the left, with a stupa in his crown and a branching nagakesara flower rising at his proper left, and Manjusri with his book supported by an utpala flower (on the right) guard the shrine doorway.

4092 (c12_8.jpg)
Cistern chamber, seated Buddha

4094 (c12_cisternWstairwellI.jpg)
Facade

Cave 12 is an even more ambitious excavation than Cave 11, although its facade is equally severe, except for the two handsomely decorated entrance pillars at the lower level. Although the ornamentation is kept within the squared confines of the block, it is particularly exuberant, its purnaghata motif enclosed not merely by foliate forms above, but by vigorous dwarfs, a number of them standing and also paired, rather than (as in the past) simply squatting. Like all of the other (undecorated) pillars these have handsome molded bases and equally severe capital extensions, except (in these two pillars alone) for the fine decoration on the front.

4095 (c12_F.jpg)
Cunda, main shrine - First floor

The main shrine on the first floor has a huge teaching Buddha seated in the dhyanasana. Female bodhisattvas, both seated, fill the space on the inner front wall. Tara, four-armed, is on the right (south) with rosary, lotus, and kamandalu (water jar), while Cunda with a broken flower, and the proper right hand stretched downward in varada mudra appears on the left.

4096 (c12_S1-9a.jpg)
<<2 of 2Bodhisattvas, main shrine - First floor

The main shrine on the first floor has a huge teaching Buddha seated in the dhyanasana. He is surrounded with seated rather than standing bodhisattvas. Eight in number, and differentiated by their varied attributes, they may well represent an astabodhisattva (8-bodhisattva) mandala. The bodhisattvas can be distinguished primarily by the objects each holds to the proper left. On the left shrine wall, from front to rear, they hold: #1 a flag or a staff, #2 a sword upraised, #3 a branching flower, and #4 an expanded lotus. The crowns are very much the same, except for that of Avalokitesvara (nearest to the Buddha). The two nearest the front also hold roundish objects in the proper right hand, one with a tri-lobed decoration on its front; the upper right hands of the other two are missing. The seated bodhisattvas on the right wall have, from the front: #1 a spray of (lotus?) flowers, #2 a book on a flower #3 (missing), #4 a stemmed device, oval shaped, composed of jewels, perhaps backing a now broken flower. Above, on each side, there are small Buddhas in the meditation pose.

4097 (c12_S1-9b.jpg)
<<6 of 6Bodhisattvas, main shrine - First floor

The main shrine on the first floor has a huge teaching Buddha seated in the dhyanasana. He is surrounded with seated rather than standing bodhisattvas. Eight in number, and differentiated by their varied attributes, they may well represent an astabodhisattva (8-bodhisattva) mandala. The bodhisattvas can be distinguished primarily by the objects each holds to the proper left. On the left shrine wall, from front to rear, they hold: #1 a flag or a staff, #2 a sword upraised, #3 a branching flower, and #4 an expanded lotus. The crowns are very much the same, except for that of Avalokitesvara (nearest to the Buddha). The two nearest the front also hold roundish objects in the proper right hand, one with a tri-lobed decoration on its front; the upper right hands of the other two are missing. The seated bodhisattvas on the right wall have, from the front: #1 a spray of (lotus?) flowers, #2 a book on a flower #3 (missing), #4 a stemmed device, oval shaped, composed of jewels, perhaps backing a now broken flower. Above, on each side, there are small Buddhas in the meditation pose.

4098 (c12_S1-9c.jpg)
Tara, main shrine - First floor

The main shrine on the first floor has a huge teaching Buddha seated in the dhyanasana. Female bodhisattvas, both seated, fill the space on the inner front wall. Tara, four-armed, is on the right (south) with rosary, lotus, and kamandalu (water jar), while Cunda with a broken flower, and the proper right hand stretched downward in varada mudra appears on the left.

4099 (c12_S1-9d.jpg)
Bodhisattvas, main shrine - first floor

Outside the main shrine are seated two bodhisattvas, Maitreya at the left, with a stupa in his crown and a branching nagakesara flower rising at his proper left, and Manjusri with his book supported by an utpala flower (on the right) guard the shrine doorway.

4100 (c12_S1D.jpg)
Seated Buddha - main shrine - First floor

The main shrine on the first floor has a huge teaching Buddha seated in the dhyanasana. His throne motifs are equally huge, but simplified, with large hooded nagas directly behind the throne, with single flying celestials with garlands above on either side. He is surrounded with seated rather than standing bodhisattvas. Eight in number, and differentiated by their varied attributes, they may well represent an astabodhisattva (8-bodhisattva) mandala.

4101 (c12_S1mainI-9.jpg)
Lotus medallion - middle floor (between First and second floors)

Near the top of the staircase leading to the second floor, one can enter a large pillared chamber fronted by two pillars and that has a beautifully carved lotus medallion.

4102 (c12_S2-21.jpg)
Middle floor (between First and second floors)

Near the top of the staircase leading to the second floor, one can enter a large pillared chamber fronted by two pillars. Two mandalas, along with various seated Buddhas and bodhisattvas, have been carved. The mandalas flank the central image of a bhumisparsa Buddha, with Avalokitesvara and Vajrapani. On the right wall a large triad represents seated Avalokitesvara flanked by Jambhala on the left and Tara on the right, and with two smaller female devotees at the farthere left. Various other small panels appear on the three walls, including a triad of goddesses above this right wall’s mandala.

4103 (c12_S2-22.jpg)
Mandala - Middle floor (between First and second floors)

Near the top of the staircase leading to the second floor, one can enter a large pillared chamber fronted by two pillars. Two mandalas, along with various seated Buddhas and bodhisattvas, have been carved. The mandalas flank the central image of a bhumisparsa Buddha, with Avalokitesvara and Vajrapani. On the right wall a large triad represents seated Avalokitesvara flanked by Jambhala on the left and Tara on the right, and with two smaller female devotees at the farthere left. Various other small panels appear on the three walls, including a triad of goddesses above this right wall’s mandala.

4104 (c12_S2-23.jpg)
Seated Buddha - Middle floor (between First and second floors)

Near the top of the staircase leading to the second floor, one can enter a large pillared chamber fronted by two pillars. Two mandalas, along with various seated Buddhas and bodhisattvas, have been carved. The mandalas flank the central image of a bhumisparsa Buddha, with Avalokitesvara and Vajrapani. On the right wall a large triad represents seated Avalokitesvara flanked by Jambhala on the left and Tara on the right, and with two smaller female devotees at the farthere left. Various other small panels appear on the three walls, including a triad of goddesses above this right wall’s mandala.

4105 (c12_S2-24.jpg)
Mandala - Middle floor (between First and second floors)

Near the top of the staircase leading to the second floor, one can enter a large pillared chamber fronted by two pillars. Two mandalas, along with various seated Buddhas and bodhisattvas, have been carved. The mandalas flank the central image of a bhumisparsa Buddha, with Avalokitesvara and Vajrapani. On the right wall a large triad represents seated Avalokitesvara flanked by Jambhala on the left and Tara on the right, and with two smaller female devotees at the farthere left. Various other small panels appear on the three walls, including a triad of goddesses above this right wall’s mandala.

4106 (c12_S2-25.jpg)
Avalokitesvara - Middle floor (between First and second floors)

Near the top of the staircase leading to the second floor, one can enter a large pillared chamber fronted by two pillars. Two mandalas, along with various seated Buddhas and bodhisattvas, have been carved. The mandalas flank the central image of a bhumisparsa Buddha, with Avalokitesvara and Vajrapani. On the right wall a large triad represents seated Avalokitesvara flanked by Jambhala on the left and Tara on the right, and with two smaller female devotees at the farthere left. Various other small panels appear on the three walls, including a triad of goddesses above this right wall’s mandala.

4108 (c12_S2-26a.jpg)
Seated Buddha - Middle floor (between First and second floors)

Near the top of the staircase leading to the second floor, one can enter a large pillared chamber fronted by two pillars. Two mandalas, along with various seated Buddhas and bodhisattvas, have been carved. The mandalas flank the central image of a bhumisparsa Buddha, with Avalokitesvara and Vajrapani. On the right wall a large triad represents seated Avalokitesvara flanked by Jambhala on the left and Tara on the right, and with two smaller female devotees at the farthere left. Various other small panels appear on the three walls, including a triad of goddesses above this right wall’s mandala.

4109 (c12_S2.jpg)
Vajrapanni, main shrine doorway, Second floor

4110 (cc12_2ndfloor-31a.jpg)
Cistern

4111 (DSCN4913.jpg)
istern chamber

The shorter left (north) stairway in the courtyard, near what appears to have been an original drainage tunnel leads past one of the various Buddha panels placed throughout the cave to a square chamber with a still-functioning cistern near the center. It is fronted by a very plain colonnade, and has four similar pilasters on each of the three walls.

4112 (DSCN4914.jpg)
Subsidiary shrine in open courtyard

Inside the spacious courtyard (107' wide by about 46'deep) one can climb on the right (south) side via a steep stairway to an upper level (the portion over the entrance doorway now broken away) where one could enter another plain chamber on either side.

4113 (DSCN4915.jpg)
<<2 of 2Facade

Cave 12 is an even more ambitious excavation than Cave 11, although its facade is equally severe, except for the two handsomely decorated entrance pillars at the lower level. Although the ornamentation is kept within the squared confines of the block, it is particularly exuberant, its purnaghata motif enclosed not merely by foliate forms above, but by vigorous dwarfs, a number of them standing and also paired, rather than (as in the past) simply squatting. Like all of the other (undecorated) pillars these have handsome molded bases and equally severe capital extensions, except (in these two pillars alone) for the fine decoration on the front.

4114 (DSCN4916.jpg)

194 results in Cave 12: