1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 16L 16T 16ab 16s 17 18 19 20a 20b 21 22 23 24 24a1 24a2 25 26 27 28 29 30 30a 31 32 32y 33 34 g1-5 g6-7 g8-12 g13-16 g17-19 j1-2 j3-4
Ellora Cave Temples
Cave 14
Facade

Splendidly decorated Cave 14 is a Hindu dedication that reflects the increasing focus on feminine divinities. This cave is also popularly called the Ravana ka khai (Ashes of Ravana). The pillars of the front colonnade, except for that at the extreme left are poor cement reconstructions. The pilaster at the left with its fine female bracket, clearly derived from the type in Caves 21 and 17, is intact. Its counterpart at the right is broken beyond recognition.

620 (_CAV2680.jpg)
Facade

Splendidly decorated Cave 14 is a Hindu dedication that reflects the increasing focus on feminine divinities. This cave is also popularly called the Ravana ka khai (Ashes of Ravana). The pillars of the front colonnade, except for that at the extreme left are poor cement reconstructions. The pilaster at the left with its fine female bracket, clearly derived from the type in Caves 21 and 17, is intact. Its counterpart at the right is broken beyond recognition.

621 (_CAV2681.jpg)
Main Hall

Splendidly decorated Cave 14 is a Hindu dedication that reflects the increasing focus on feminine divinities. (view of the right wall leading towards the garbhagriha). The twelve pillars of the hall, their purnaghata capitals restrained by the dimensions of the original block, and with extensions above (only a few completed) show riders on fabulous animals with imaginative kirttimukhas. These owe much to their ornate prototypes in Cave 21 and 17; conventional dwarfs sit on the corners of the high square bases, enclosing panels primarily depicting loving couples or dallying triads. The shafts of these hall pillars are handsomely ornamented, with minor but distinct variations in their decorative bands. They are arranged in related pairs (following Vakataka precedents) matched either according to their adjacency, or by their disposition at the same points on opposite sides of the hall.

622 (_CAV2682.jpg)
Main hall

Splendidly decorated Cave 14 is a Hindu dedication that reflects the increasing focus on feminine divinities.(partial view of the left wall leading towards the garbhagriha). The twelve pillars of the hall, their purnaghata capitals restrained by the dimensions of the original block, and with extensions above (only a few completed) show riders on fabulous animals with imaginative kirttimukhas. These owe much to their ornate prototypes in Cave 21 and 17; conventional dwarfs sit on the corners of the high square bases, enclosing panels primarily depicting loving couples or dallying triads. The shafts of these hall pillars are handsomely ornamented, with minor but distinct variations in their decorative bands. They are arranged in related pairs (following Vakataka precedents) matched either according to their adjacency, or by their disposition at the same points on opposite sides of the hall.

623 (_CAV2683.jpg)
Main hall

Splendidly decorated Cave 14 is a Hindu dedication that reflects the increasing focus on feminine divinities.(view of the left wall). The twelve pillars of the hall, their purnaghata capitals restrained by the dimensions of the original block, and with extensions above (only a few completed) show riders on fabulous animals with imaginative kirttimukhas. These owe much to their ornate prototypes in Cave 21 and 17; conventional dwarfs sit on the corners of the high square bases, enclosing panels primarily depicting loving couples or dallying triads. The shafts of these hall pillars are handsomely ornamented, with minor but distinct variations in their decorative bands. They are arranged in related pairs (following Vakataka precedents) matched either according to their adjacency, or by their disposition at the same points on opposite sides of the hall.

624 (_CAV2684.jpg)
Main Hall

Splendidly decorated Cave 14 is a Hindu dedication that reflects the increasing focus on feminine divinities.(partial view of the right wall). The twelve pillars of the hall, their purnaghata capitals restrained by the dimensions of the original block, and with extensions above (only a few completed) show riders on fabulous animals with imaginative kirttimukhas. These owe much to their ornate prototypes in Cave 21 and 17; conventional dwarfs sit on the corners of the high square bases, enclosing panels primarily depicting loving couples or dallying triads. The shafts of these hall pillars are handsomely ornamented, with minor but distinct variations in their decorative bands. They are arranged in related pairs (following Vakataka precedents) matched either according to their adjacency, or by their disposition at the same points on opposite sides of the hall.

625 (_CAV2685.jpg)
Garbhagriha

General view of the garbhagriha. The rear central capitals, before the shrine, are the most fully decorated; even their kirttimukhas are multiplied. They are ringed by sixteen exuberantly varied zoomorphic panels and have 48 diagonal striations.

626 (_CAV2686.jpg)
Garbhagriha

General view of the garbhagriha. The rear central capitals, before the shrine, are the most fully decorated; even their kirttimukhas are multiplied. They are ringed by sixteen exuberantly varied zoomorphic panels and have 48 diagonal striations.

627 (_CAV2687.jpg)
Garbhagriha

General view of the garbhagriha. The rear central capitals, before the shrine, are the most fully decorated; even their kirttimukhas are multiplied. They are ringed by sixteen exuberantly varied zoomorphic panels and have 48 diagonal striations.

628 (_CAV2688.jpg)
Durga - (left wall)

629 (_CAV2689.jpg)
Gajalakshmi

630 (_CAV2690.jpg)
Varaha

Varaha rescuing the Earth Goddess is pressing his foot down on the roiling underwater forces. As nagas offer praise, she rests with ease against his snout, using one of his hands as a pedestal.

631 (_CAV2691.jpg)
Visnu with consorts

Vishnu seated with his consorts. In this panel two similar seated females flank Vishnu while his winged sunbird Garuda appears at the right below, along with the court musicians. Four large attendant females are carved in the background.

632 (_CAV2692.jpg)
Visnu with consorts

Vishnu seated with his consorts. In this panel two similar seated females flank Vishnu while his winged sunbird Garuda appears at the right below, along with the court musicians. Four large attendant females are carved in the background.

633 (_CAV2693.jpg)
Vishnu seated with his consort

Vishnu seated with his consort. Musicians provide Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi with entertainment, while four large female figures attend the couple.

634 (_CAV2694.jpg)
Vishnu seated with his consort

Vishnu seated with his consort. Musicians provide Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi with entertainment, while four large female figures attend the couple.

635 (_CAV2695.jpg)
Durga (right wall)

The emphasis on feminine focus is amplified in this cave by the large images of Durga at either end of the front aisle. Durga rests her foot upon her lion, and holds her trident at the ready in the left end relief, while in the right, with the help of the furious beast, she prepares to slay the demonic buffalo. Indeed, there is every reason to believe that the cave was originally dedicated to Durga herself, since the socket of the pitha in the shrine was not shaped to receive a lingam; it seems certain that it must once have held the fine broken image of the goddess, now missing. Also of particular significance is the small panel showing Durga--which appears as part of an unfinished frieze composed largely of active dwarfs--slaying the buffalo at the center of the beam directly above the two rear central hall pillars; such a positioning--like that of Lakulisa in Caves 19 and 21--clearly connects the cave with the image shown, and it is scarcely an accident that both the broken image once in the shrine and the crucially placed image at the rear of the hall show the actual defeat of the demon, thus completing the "narrative" sequence started in the front aisle. One can further note another small figure at the very center of the similar frieze on the beam above the pillar on the right side of the hall. Although hard to see, this is surely another Durga, flanked by a similar series of empaneled dwarfs and flowers. It can be safely assumed that, had the whole been completed, there would have been another Durga image at the left too.

636 (_CAV2696.jpg)
Durga (right wall)

The emphasis on feminine focus is amplified in this cave by the large images of Durga at either end of the front aisle. Durga rests her foot upon her lion, and holds her trident at the ready in the left end relief, while in the right, with the help of the furious beast, she prepares to slay the demonic buffalo. Indeed, there is every reason to believe that the cave was originally dedicated to Durga herself, since the socket of the pitha in the shrine was not shaped to receive a lingam; it seems certain that it must once have held the fine broken image of the goddess, now missing. Also of particular significance is the small panel showing Durga--which appears as part of an unfinished frieze composed largely of active dwarfs--slaying the buffalo at the center of the beam directly above the two rear central hall pillars; such a positioning--like that of Lakulisa in Caves 19 and 21--clearly connects the cave with the image shown, and it is scarcely an accident that both the broken image once in the shrine and the crucially placed image at the rear of the hall show the actual defeat of the demon, thus completing the "narrative" sequence started in the front aisle. One can further note another small figure at the very center of the similar frieze on the beam above the pillar on the right side of the hall. Although hard to see, this is surely another Durga, flanked by a similar series of empaneled dwarfs and flowers. It can be safely assumed that, had the whole been completed, there would have been another Durga image at the left too.

637 (_CAV2697.jpg)
Siva and Parvati playing chausar

Siva and Parvati are playing chausar in their rocky abode on Mount Kailasa, while the elephant-headed Ganesa and other attendants observe them. Siva (with one of his four hands) grabs Parvati's hand in the course of their sometimes acrimonious game, while the ganas torment the long-suffering bull Nandi below.

638 (_CAV2698.jpg)
Siva and Parvati playing chausar

Siva and Parvati are playing chausar in their rocky abode on Mount Kailasa, while the elephant-headed Ganesa and other attendants observe them. Siva (with one of his four hands) grabs Parvati's hand in the course of their sometimes acrimonious game, while the ganas torment the long-suffering bull Nandi below.

639 (_CAV2699.jpg)
Dancing Siva

Siva, wreathed with serpents, is dancing to the beat of the great drum and the sounds of the wooden flute at the left, while Parvati and the emaciated Bhringi (seen dramatically poised behind his lord) attend his raptures. In the clouds above are Agni on his ram, Indra on his elephant, Brahma on his goose (hamsa) and Vishnu on his sun-bird Garuda.

640 (_CAV2700.jpg)
Dancing Siva - Nataraj

Siva, wreathed with serpents, is dancing to the beat of the great drum and the sounds of the wooden flute at the left, while Parvati and the emaciated Bhringi (seen dramatically poised behind his lord) attend his raptures. In the clouds above are Agni on his ram, Indra on his elephant, Brahma on his goose (hamsa) and Vishnu on his sun-bird Garuda.

641 (_CAV2701.jpg)
Ravana shaking Kailasa

Ravana, with his ten heads and ten arms, seen in a struggling pose from the rear, shaking Mount Kailasa, while Siva, merely "putting his foot down", dallies with Parvati.

642 (_CAV2702.jpg)
Ravana shaking Kailasa

Ravana, with his ten heads and ten arms, seen in a struggling pose from the rear, shaking Mount Kailasa, while Siva, merely "putting his foot down", dallies with Parvati.

643 (_CAV2703.jpg)
Andhakasuravadha

With the skin of the elephant demon held behind him, Siva as Bhairava has pierced the demon Andhaka straight through, catching his dangerous blood in a skull cup. At the upper left, the impaled demon is already praising Siva for his painful but saving release, while Parvati and her (damaged) lion are seated below. Ganesa, visible between Siva's legs, is apparently dancing to the beat of the drumming dwarf at the left.

644 (_CAV2704.jpg)
Andhakasuravadha

With the skin of the elephant demon held behind him, Siva as Bhairava has pierced the demon Andhaka straight through, catching his dangerous blood in a skull cup. At the upper left, the impaled demon is already praising Siva for his painful but saving release, while Parvati and her (damaged) lion are seated below. Ganesa, visible between Siva's legs, is apparently dancing to the beat of the drumming dwarf at the left.

645 (_CAV2705.jpg)
Dwarapala (left of the main shrine doorway)

The garbhagriha doorway is flanked by Early Kalacuri type of dvarapalas accompanied by attendant figures equally "borrowed" from Early Kalacuri forms.

646 (_CAV2706.jpg)
Dwarapala (left of the main shrine doorway)

The garbhagriha doorway is flanked by Early Kalacuri type of dvarapalas accompanied by attendant figures equally "borrowed" from Early Kalacuri forms.

647 (_CAV2707.jpg)
Dwarapala (right of the main shrine doorway)

The garbhagriha doorway is flanked by Early Kalacuri type of dvarapalas accompanied by attendant figures equally "borrowed" from Early Kalacuri forms.

648 (_CAV2708.jpg)
Dwarapala (right of the main shrine doorway)

The garbhagriha doorway is flanked by Early Kalacuri type of dvarapalas accompanied by attendant figures equally "borrowed" from Early Kalacuri forms.

649 (_CAV2709.jpg)
Pitha - in main shrine

There is every reason to believe that the cave was originally dedicated to Durga herself by the number of sculptures that represent Durga placed in the most significant areas of the cave. This is further attensted by the pitha in the main shrine since the socket of the pitha was not shaped to receive a lingam (as some publication declare); it seems certain that it must once have held the fine broken image of the goddess.

650 (_CAV2710.jpg)
Pitha - in main shrine

There is every reason to believe that the cave was originally dedicated to Durga herself by the number of sculptures that represent Durga placed in the most significant areas of the cave. This is further attensted by the pitha in the main shrine since the socket of the pitha was not shaped to receive a lingam (as some publication declare); it seems certain that it must once have held the fine broken image of the goddess.

651 (_CAV2711.jpg)
Pitha - in main shrine

There is every reason to believe that the cave was originally dedicated to Durga herself by the number of sculptures that represent Durga placed in the most significant areas of the cave. This is further attensted by the pitha in the main shrine since the socket of the pitha was not shaped to receive a lingam (as some publication declare); it seems certain that it must once have held the fine broken image of the goddess.

652 (_CAV2712.jpg)
Dwarapala (left of main shrine doorway)

The garbhagriha doorway is flanked by Early Kalacuri type of dvarapalas accompanied by attendant figures equally "borrowed" from Early Kalacuri forms. This detail shows the representation of the river goddess Ganga on her crocodile with umbrellas supported by female attendants. Far end of the passage one can see the scene of Andhakasuravadha.

653 (_CAV2713.jpg)
Dwarapala (left of main shrine doorway)

The garbhagriha doorway is flanked by Early Kalacuri type of dvarapalas accompanied by attendant figures equally "borrowed" from Early Kalacuri forms. This detail shows the representation of the river goddess Ganga on her crocodile with umbrellas supported by female attendants.

654 (_CAV2714.jpg)
Dwarapala (left of main shrine doorway - detail)

The garbhagriha doorway is flanked by Early Kalacuri type of dvarapalas accompanied by attendant figures equally "borrowed" from Early Kalacuri forms. This detail shows the representation of the river goddess Ganga on her crocodile with umbrellas supported by female attendants.

655 (_CAV2715.jpg)
Dwarapala (left of main shrine doorway - detail)

The garbhagriha doorway is flanked by Early Kalacuri type of dvarapalas accompanied by attendant figures equally "borrowed" from Early Kalacuri forms. Life-size females, with their own female attendants (two on the left), directly flank the shrine doorway, assuming something of both the position and function of the huge dvarapalas nearby. There are also two carved female figures (again with their own female attendants) at the bottom of the otherwise plain shrine doorway, these further emphasize the feminine focus of this cave.

656 (_CAV2716.jpg)
Dwarapala (left of main shrine doorway)

The garbhagriha doorway is flanked by Early Kalacuri type of dvarapalas accompanied by attendant figures equally "borrowed" from Early Kalacuri forms. Life-size females, with their own female attendants (two on the left), directly flank the shrine doorway, assuming something of both the position and function of the huge dvarapalas nearby. There are also two carved female figures (again with their own female attendants) at the bottom of the otherwise plain shrine doorway, these further emphasize the feminine focus of this cave.

657 (_CAV2717.jpg)
Dwarapala (left of main shrine doorway - detail)

The garbhagriha doorway is flanked by Early Kalacuri type of dvarapalas accompanied by attendant figures equally "borrowed" from Early Kalacuri forms. Life-size females, with their own female attendants (two on the left), directly flank the shrine doorway, assuming something of both the position and function of the huge dvarapalas nearby. There are also two carved female figures (again with their own female attendants) at the bottom of the otherwise plain shrine doorway, these further emphasize the feminine focus of this cave.

658 (_CAV2718.jpg)
Dwarapala (right of main shrine doorway - detail)

The garbhagriha doorway is flanked by Early Kalacuri type of dvarapalas accompanied by attendant figures equally "borrowed" from Early Kalacuri forms. Life-size females, with their own female attendants (two on the left), directly flank the shrine doorway, assuming something of both the position and function of the huge dvarapalas nearby. There are also two carved female figures (again with their own female attendants) at the bottom of the otherwise plain shrine doorway, these further emphasize the feminine focus of this cave.

659 (_CAV2719.jpg)
Dwarapala (right of main shrine doorway - detail)

The garbhagriha doorway is flanked by Early Kalacuri type of dvarapalas accompanied by attendant figures equally "borrowed" from Early Kalacuri forms. Life-size females, with their own female attendants (two on the left), directly flank the shrine doorway, assuming something of both the position and function of the huge dvarapalas nearby. There are also two carved female figures (again with their own female attendants) at the bottom of the otherwise plain shrine doorway, these further emphasize the feminine focus of this cave.

660 (_CAV2720.jpg)
Dwarapala (right of main shrine doorway - detail)

The garbhagriha doorway is flanked by Early Kalacuri type of dvarapalas accompanied by attendant figures equally "borrowed" from Early Kalacuri forms.

661 (_CAV2721.jpg)
Dwarapala (right of main shrine doorway - detail)

The garbhagriha doorway is flanked by Early Kalacuri type of dvarapalas accompanied by attendant figures equally "borrowed" from Early Kalacuri forms. This detail shows the representation of the river goddess Yamuna on her turtle with umbrella supported by a female attendant.

662 (_CAV2722.jpg)
Saptamatrika

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

663 (_CAV2723.jpg)
Saptamatrika

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

664 (_CAV2724.jpg)
Saptamatrika

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

665 (_CAV2725.jpg)
Saptamatrika

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

666 (_CAV2726.jpg)
Saptamatrika

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

667 (_CAV2727.jpg)
Saptamatrika

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

668 (_CAV2728.jpg)
Saptamatrika

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

669 (_CAV2729.jpg)
Saptamatrika

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

670 (_CAV2730.jpg)
Saptamatrika - detail

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl (seen here). All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

671 (_CAV2731.jpg)
Saptamatrika - detail

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl (seen here). All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

672 (_CAV2732.jpg)
Saptamatrika - detail

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl (seen here). All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

673 (_CAV2733.jpg)
Saptamatrika - detail

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl (seen here). All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

674 (_CAV2734.jpg)
Saptamatrika panel

675 (_CAV2735.jpg)
Saptamatrika panel

676 (_CAV2736.jpg)
Saptamatrika panel

677 (_CAV2737.jpg)
Saptamatrika panel

678 (_CAV2738.jpg)
Saptamatrika (detail)

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right (seen here).

679 (_CAV2739.jpg)
Saptamatrika (detail)

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right (seen here).

680 (_CAV2740.jpg)
Saptamatrika (detail)

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right (seen here).

681 (_CAV2741.jpg)
Saptamatrika (detail)

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right.

682 (_CAV2742.jpg)
Saptamatrika (detail)

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right (seen here).

683 (_CAV2743.jpg)
Saptamatrika (detail)

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left (seen here) and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right.

684 (_CAV2744.jpg)
Saptamatrika (detail)

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left (seen here) and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right.

685 (_CAV2745.jpg)
Saptamatrika (detail)

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

686 (_CAV2746.jpg)
Saptamatrika (detail)

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

687 (_CAV2747.jpg)
Saptamatrika (detail)

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

688 (_CAV2748.jpg)
Saptamatrika (detail)

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

689 (_CAV2749.jpg)
Saptamatrika (detail)

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

690 (_CAV2750.jpg)
Saptamatrika (detail)

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

691 (_CAV2751.jpg)
Saptamatrika (detail)

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

692 (_CAV2752.jpg)
Saptamatrika (detail)

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

693 (_CAV2753.jpg)
Dwarapala - right of shire doorway

Life-size females, with their own female attendants (two on the left), directly flank the shrine doorway, assuming something of both the position and function of the huge dvarapalas nearby. There are also two carved female figures (again with their own female attendants) at the bottom of the otherwise plain shrine doorway, these further emphasize the feminine focus of this cave.

694 (_CAV2754.jpg)
Dwarapala - right of shire doorway

Life-size females, with their own female attendants (two on the left), directly flank the shrine doorway, assuming something of both the position and function of the huge dvarapalas nearby. There are also two carved female figures (again with their own female attendants) at the bottom of the otherwise plain shrine doorway, these further emphasize the feminine focus of this cave.

695 (_CAV2755.jpg)
Dwarapala - left of shire doorway

Life-size females, with their own female attendants (two on the left), directly flank the shrine doorway, assuming something of both the position and function of the huge dvarapalas nearby. There are also two carved female figures (again with their own female attendants) at the bottom of the otherwise plain shrine doorway, these further emphasize the feminine focus of this cave.

696 (_CAV2756.jpg)
Dwarapala - left of shire doorway

Life-size females, with their own female attendants (two on the left), directly flank the shrine doorway, assuming something of both the position and function of the huge dvarapalas nearby. There are also two carved female figures (again with their own female attendants) at the bottom of the otherwise plain shrine doorway, these further emphasize the feminine focus of this cave.

697 (_CAV2757.jpg)
Varaha

Varaha rescuing the Earth Goddess is pressing his foot down on the roiling underwater forces. As nagas offer praise, she rests with ease against his snout, using one of his hands as a pedestal.

698 (_CAV2758.jpg)
Varaha

Varaha rescuing the Earth Goddess is pressing his foot down on the roiling underwater forces. As nagas offer praise, she rests with ease against his snout, using one of his hands as a pedestal.

699 (_CAV2759.jpg)
Dancing Siva

700 (_CAV2760.jpg)
Dancing Siva

701 (_CAV2761.jpg)
Durga on lintel

Also of particular significance is the small panel showing Durga--which appears as part of an unfinished frieze composed largely of active dwarfs--slaying the buffalo at the center of the beam directly above the two rear central hall pillars; such a positioning--like that of Lakulisa in Caves 19 and 21--clearly connects the cave with the image shown, and it is scarcely an accident that both the broken image once in the shrine and the crucially placed image at the rear of the hall show the actual defeat of the demon, thus completing the "narrative" sequence started in the front aisle.

702 (_CAV2762.jpg)
Durga n lintel

Also of particular significance is the small panel showing Durga--which appears as part of an unfinished frieze composed largely of active dwarfs--slaying the buffalo at the center of the beam directly above the two rear central hall pillars; such a positioning--like that of Lakulisa in Caves 19 and 21--clearly connects the cave with the image shown, and it is scarcely an accident that both the broken image once in the shrine and the crucially placed image at the rear of the hall show the actual defeat of the demon, thus completing the "narrative" sequence started in the front aisle.

703 (_CAV2763.jpg)
Durga on lintel

Also of particular significance is the small panel showing Durga--which appears as part of an unfinished frieze composed largely of active dwarfs--slaying the buffalo at the center of the beam directly above the two rear central hall pillars; such a positioning--like that of Lakulisa in Caves 19 and 21--clearly connects the cave with the image shown, and it is scarcely an accident that both the broken image once in the shrine and the crucially placed image at the rear of the hall show the actual defeat of the demon, thus completing the "narrative" sequence started in the front aisle.

704 (_CAV2764.jpg)
Durga on lintel

Although hard to see, the central image is surely that of Durga, flanked by a series of empaneled dwarfs and flowers. It can be safely assumed that, had the whole been completed, there would have been another Durga image at the left too.

705 (_CAV2765.jpg)
Durga image on lintel

Although hard to see, the central image is surely that of Durga, flanked by a series of empaneled dwarfs and flowers. It can be safely assumed that, had the whole been completed, there would have been another Durga image at the left too.

706 (_CAV2766.jpg)
Durga image on lintel

Although hard to see, the central image is surely that of Durga, flanked by a series of empaneled dwarfs and flowers. It can be safely assumed that, had the whole been completed, there would have been another Durga image at the left too.

707 (_CAV2767.jpg)
Durga image on lintel

Although hard to see, the central image is surely that of Durga, flanked by a series of empaneled dwarfs and flowers. It can be safely assumed that, had the whole been completed, there would have been another Durga image at the left too.

708 (_CAV2768.jpg)
Dancing Siva

Siva, wreathed with serpents, is dancing to the beat of the great drum and the sounds of the wooden flute at the left, while Parvati and the emaciated Bhringi (seen dramatically poised behind his lord) attend his raptures. In the clouds above are Agni on his ram, Indra on his elephant, Brahma on his goose (hamsa) and Vishnu on his sun-bird Garuda.

709 (_CAV2769.jpg)
Dancing Siva

Siva, wreathed with serpents, is dancing to the beat of the great drum and the sounds of the wooden flute at the left, while Parvati and the emaciated Bhringi (seen dramatically poised behind his lord) attend his raptures. In the clouds above are Agni on his ram, Indra on his elephant, Brahma on his goose (hamsa) and Vishnu on his sun-bird Garuda.

710 (_CAV2770.jpg)
Main Hall

Durga as Mahisasuramardini at the rear (right wall next to the entrance).

711 (_CAV2771.jpg)
Main Hall

Durga as Mahisasumardini at the rear (right wall next to the entrance).

712 (_CAV2772.jpg)
Main hall

713 (_CAV2773.jpg)
Main Hall

714 (_CAV2774.jpg)
Siva Parvati playing chaupat

715 (_CAV2775.jpg)
Main hall

The rear central capitals, before the shrine, are the most fully decorated; even their kirttimukhas are multiplied. They are ringed by sixteen exuberantly varied zoomorphic panels and have 48 diagonal striations.

716 (_CAV2776.jpg)
Pradakshinapatha

Passage leading up to the left opening of the circumambulatory path around the main shrine.

717 (_CAV2777.jpg)


6134 (_ELO6508.JPG)


6583 (_ELO6508.JPG)


6135 (_ELO6514.JPG)


6584 (_ELO6514.JPG)
Andhakasuravadha

With the skin of the elephant demon held behind him, Siva as Bhairava has pierced the demon Andhaka straight through, catching his dangerous blood in a skull cup. At the upper left, the impaled demon is already praising Siva for his painful but saving release, while Parvati and her (damaged) lion are seated below. Ganesa, visible between Siva's legs, is apparently dancing to the beat of the drumming dwarf at the left.

4391 (c14-10.jpg)
Andhakasuravadha

With the skin of the elephant demon held behind him, Siva as Bhairava has pierced the demon Andhaka straight through, catching his dangerous blood in a skull cup. At the upper left, the impaled demon is already praising Siva for his painful but saving release, while Parvati and her (damaged) lion are seated below. Ganesa, visible between Siva's legs, is apparently dancing to the beat of the drumming dwarf at the left.

4392 (c14-10a.jpg)
Ravana shaking Kailasa

Ravana, with his ten heads and ten arms, seen in a struggling pose from the rear, shaking Mount Kailasa, while Siva, merely "putting his foot down", dallies with Parvati.

4393 (c14-11.jpg)
Ravana shaking Kailasa

Ravana, with his ten heads and ten arms, seen in a struggling pose from the rear, shaking Mount Kailasa, while Siva, merely "putting his foot down", dallies with Parvati.

4394 (c14-11a.jpg)
Ravana shaking Kailasa

Ravana, with his ten heads and ten arms, seen in a struggling pose from the rear, shaking Mount Kailasa, while Siva, merely "putting his foot down", dallies with Parvati.

4395 (c14-11b.jpg)
Siva and Parvati playing chausar

Siva and Parvati are playing chausar in their rocky abode on Mount Kailasa, while the elephant-headed Ganesa and other attendants observe them. Siva (with one of his four hands) grabs Parvati's hand in the course of their sometimes acrimonious game, while the ganas torment the long-suffering bull Nandi below.

4396 (c14-13.jpg)
Siva and Parvati playing chausar

Siva and Parvati are playing chausar in their rocky abode on Mount Kailasa, while the elephant-headed Ganesa and other attendants observe them. Siva (with one of his four hands) grabs Parvati's hand in the course of their sometimes acrimonious game, while the ganas torment the long-suffering bull Nandi below.

4397 (c14-13b.jpg)
Siva and Parvati playing chausar

Siva and Parvati are playing chausar in their rocky abode on Mount Kailasa, while the elephant-headed Ganesa and other attendants observe them. Siva (with one of his four hands) grabs Parvati's hand in the course of their sometimes acrimonious game, while the ganas torment the long-suffering bull Nandi below.

4398 (c14-13c.jpg)
Siva and Parvati playing chausar

Siva and Parvati are playing chausar in their rocky abode on Mount Kailasa, while the elephant-headed Ganesa and other attendants observe them. Siva (with one of his four hands) grabs Parvati's hand in the course of their sometimes acrimonious game, while the ganas torment the long-suffering bull Nandi below.

4399 (c14-13d.jpg)
Durga (right wall)

The emphasis on feminine focus is amplified in this cave by the large images of Durga at either end of the front aisle. Durga rests her foot upon her lion, and holds her trident at the ready in the left end relief, while in the right, with the help of the furious beast, she prepares to slay the demonic buffalo. Indeed, there is every reason to believe that the cave was originally dedicated to Durga herself, since the socket of the pitha in the shrine was not shaped to receive a lingam; it seems certain that it must once have held the fine broken image of the goddess, now missing. Also of particular significance is the small panel showing Durga--which appears as part of an unfinished frieze composed largely of active dwarfs--slaying the buffalo at the center of the beam directly above the two rear central hall pillars; such a positioning--like that of Lakulisa in Caves 19 and 21--clearly connects the cave with the image shown, and it is scarcely an accident that both the broken image once in the shrine and the crucially placed image at the rear of the hall show the actual defeat of the demon, thus completing the "narrative" sequence started in the front aisle. One can further note another small figure at the very center of the similar frieze on the beam above the pillar on the right side of the hall. Although hard to see, this is surely another Durga, flanked by a similar series of empaneled dwarfs and flowers. It can be safely assumed that, had the whole been completed, there would have been another Durga image at the left too.

4400 (c14-14.jpg)
Durga (right wall)

The emphasis on feminine focus is amplified in this cave by the large images of Durga at either end of the front aisle. Durga rests her foot upon her lion, and holds her trident at the ready in the left end relief, while in the right, with the help of the furious beast, she prepares to slay the demonic buffalo. Indeed, there is every reason to believe that the cave was originally dedicated to Durga herself, since the socket of the pitha in the shrine was not shaped to receive a lingam; it seems certain that it must once have held the fine broken image of the goddess, now missing. Also of particular significance is the small panel showing Durga--which appears as part of an unfinished frieze composed largely of active dwarfs--slaying the buffalo at the center of the beam directly above the two rear central hall pillars; such a positioning--like that of Lakulisa in Caves 19 and 21--clearly connects the cave with the image shown, and it is scarcely an accident that both the broken image once in the shrine and the crucially placed image at the rear of the hall show the actual defeat of the demon, thus completing the "narrative" sequence started in the front aisle. One can further note another small figure at the very center of the similar frieze on the beam above the pillar on the right side of the hall. Although hard to see, this is surely another Durga, flanked by a similar series of empaneled dwarfs and flowers. It can be safely assumed that, had the whole been completed, there would have been another Durga image at the left too.

4401 (c14-14a.jpg)
Durga (right wall)

The emphasis on feminine focus is amplified in this cave by the large images of Durga at either end of the front aisle. Durga rests her foot upon her lion, and holds her trident at the ready in the left end relief, while in the right, with the help of the furious beast, she prepares to slay the demonic buffalo. Indeed, there is every reason to believe that the cave was originally dedicated to Durga herself, since the socket of the pitha in the shrine was not shaped to receive a lingam; it seems certain that it must once have held the fine broken image of the goddess, now missing. Also of particular significance is the small panel showing Durga--which appears as part of an unfinished frieze composed largely of active dwarfs--slaying the buffalo at the center of the beam directly above the two rear central hall pillars; such a positioning--like that of Lakulisa in Caves 19 and 21--clearly connects the cave with the image shown, and it is scarcely an accident that both the broken image once in the shrine and the crucially placed image at the rear of the hall show the actual defeat of the demon, thus completing the "narrative" sequence started in the front aisle. One can further note another small figure at the very center of the similar frieze on the beam above the pillar on the right side of the hall. Although hard to see, this is surely another Durga, flanked by a similar series of empaneled dwarfs and flowers. It can be safely assumed that, had the whole been completed, there would have been another Durga image at the left too.

4402 (c14-14b.jpg)
Dwarapala (left of main shrine doorway)

4403 (c14-6.jpg)
Dwarapala (right of main shrine doorway)

4404 (c14-8.jpg)
Dwarapala (right of main shrine doorway)

4405 (c14-8a.jpg)
Saptamatrika panel

4406 (c14-9.jpg)
Saptamatrika panel

4407 (c14-9a.jpg)
Saptamatrika (detail)

4408 (c14-d9.jpg)
Saptamatrika (detail)

4409 (c14-d9a.jpg)
Andhakasuravadha

With the skin of the elephant demon held behind him, Siva as Bhairava has pierced the demon Andhaka straight through, catching his dangerous blood in a skull cup. At the upper left, the impaled demon is already praising Siva for his painful but saving release, while Parvati and her (damaged) lion are seated below. Ganesa, visible between Siva's legs, is apparently dancing to the beat of the drumming dwarf at the left.

4410 (c14andhakasura.jpg)
Facade

Splendidly decorated Cave 14 is a Hindu dedication that reflects the increasing focus on feminine divinities. This cave is also popularly called the Ravana ka khai (Ashes of Ravana). The pillars of the front colonnade, except for that at the extreme left are poor cement reconstructions. The pilaster at the left with its fine female bracket, clearly derived from the type in Caves 21 and 17, is intact. Its counterpart at the right is broken beyond recognition.

4411 (c14F.jpg)
Columns

Pillar details.

4412 (c14FPd_rename.jpg)
Bracket figure

This bracket figure is on the far end pilaster on the left of the entrance of the cave.

4413 (c14FPd.jpg)
Gajalakshmi

Vishnu's consort Laksmi, being lustrated by elephants. Unusual four-armed attendants hold waterpots while large hooded nagas (water divinities), distracted by the delights of the beautiful lotus pond, with its ducks and its turtles, as well as its naginis, lift up large pots of water from below.

4414 (c14Gajalakshmi.jpg)
Gajalakshmi

Vishnu's consort Laksmi, being lustrated by elephants. Unusual four-armed attendants hold waterpots while large hooded nagas (water divinities), distracted by the delights of the beautiful lotus pond, with its ducks and its turtles, as well as its naginis, lift up large pots of water from below.

4415 (c14Gajalakshmi1.jpg)
Main hall

The rear central capitals, before the shrine, are the most fully decorated; even their kirttimukhas are multiplied. They are ringed by sixteen exuberantly varied zoomorphic panels and have 48 diagonal striations.

4416 (c14H.jpg)


The rear central capitals, before the shrine, are the most fully decorated; even their kirttimukhas are multiplied. They are ringed by sixteen exuberantly varied zoomorphic panels and have 48 diagonal striations.

4417 (c14H1.jpg)
Pilaster

The fine base motifs on the pilasters along the walls, with their standing females flanked by attendant males have their origins in the pillars of Caves 17.

4418 (c14HP.jpg)
Main Hall

Column details.

4419 (c14HPd.jpg)
Main Hall

Column details.

4420 (c14HPd2.jpg)
Pilaster

The fine base motifs on the pilasters along the walls, with their standing females flanked by attendant males have their origins in the pillars of Caves 17.

4421 (c14HPd3.jpg)
Pilaster

The fine base motifs on the pilasters along the walls, with their standing females flanked by attendant males have their origins in the pillars of Caves 17.

4422 (c14HPd4.jpg)
Pilaster

The fine base motifs on the pilasters along the walls, with their standing females flanked by attendant males have their origins in the pillars of Caves 17.

4423 (c14HPd5.jpg)
Pilaster

The fine base motifs on the pilasters along the walls, with their standing females flanked by attendant males have their origins in the pillars of Caves 17.

4424 (c14HPd6.jpg)
Pilaster

The fine base motifs on the pilasters along the walls, with their standing females flanked by attendant males have their origins in the pillars of Caves 17.

4425 (c14HPd7.jpg)
Pilaster

The fine base motifs on the pilasters along the walls, with their standing females flanked by attendant males have their origins in the pillars of Caves 17.

4426 (c14HPd8.jpg)
Pilaster

The fine base motifs on the pilasters along the walls, with their standing females flanked by attendant males have their origins in the pillars of Caves 17.

4427 (c14HPd9.jpg)
Main hall

The rear central capitals, before the shrine, are the most fully decorated; even their kirttimukhas are multiplied. They are ringed by sixteen exuberantly varied zoomorphic panels and have 48 diagonal striations.

4428 (c14HS.jpg)
Pitha

There is every reason to believe that the cave was originally dedicated to Durga herself by the number of sculptures that represent Durga placed in the most significant areas of the cave. This is further attensted by the pitha in the main shrine since the socket of the pitha was not shaped to receive a lingam (as some publication declare); it seems certain that it must once have held the fine broken image of the goddess.

4429 (c14lingapitha.jpg)
Durga slaying buffalo demon

The emphasis on feminine focus is amplified in this cave by the large images of Durga at either end of the front aisle. Durga rests her foot upon her lion, and holds her trident at the ready in the left end relief, while in the right, with the help of the furious beast, she prepares to slay the demonic buffalo. Indeed, there is every reason to believe that the cave was originally dedicated to Durga herself, since the socket of the pitha in the shrine was not shaped to receive a lingam; it seems certain that it must once have held the fine broken image of the goddess, now missing. Also of particular significance is the small panel showing Durga--which appears as part of an unfinished frieze composed largely of active dwarfs--slaying the buffalo at the center of the beam directly above the two rear central hall pillars; such a positioning--like that of Lakulisa in Caves 19 and 21--clearly connects the cave with the image shown, and it is scarcely an accident that both the broken image once in the shrine and the crucially placed image at the rear of the hall show the actual defeat of the demon, thus completing the "narrative" sequence started in the front aisle. One can further note another small figure at the very center of the similar frieze on the beam above the pillar on the right side of the hall. Although hard to see, this is surely another Durga, flanked by a similar series of empaneled dwarfs and flowers. It can be safely assumed that, had the whole been completed, there would have been another Durga image at the left too.

4430 (c14Lintel1.jpg)
Durga

The emphasis on feminine focus is amplified in this cave by the large images of Durga at either end of the front aisle. Durga rests her foot upon her lion, and holds her trident at the ready in the left end relief, while in the right, with the help of the furious beast, she prepares to slay the demonic buffalo. Indeed, there is every reason to believe that the cave was originally dedicated to Durga herself, since the socket of the pitha in the shrine was not shaped to receive a lingam; it seems certain that it must once have held the fine broken image of the goddess, now missing. Also of particular significance is the small panel showing Durga--which appears as part of an unfinished frieze composed largely of active dwarfs--slaying the buffalo at the center of the beam directly above the two rear central hall pillars; such a positioning--like that of Lakulisa in Caves 19 and 21--clearly connects the cave with the image shown, and it is scarcely an accident that both the broken image once in the shrine and the crucially placed image at the rear of the hall show the actual defeat of the demon, thus completing the "narrative" sequence started in the front aisle. One can further note another small figure at the very center of the similar frieze on the beam above the pillar on the right side of the hall. Although hard to see, this is surely another Durga, flanked by a similar series of empaneled dwarfs and flowers. It can be safely assumed that, had the whole been completed, there would have been another Durga image at the left too.

4431 (c14Linteld.jpg)
Durga slaying buffalo demon

The emphasis on feminine focus is amplified in this cave by the large images of Durga at either end of the front aisle. Durga rests her foot upon her lion, and holds her trident at the ready in the left end relief, while in the right, with the help of the furious beast, she prepares to slay the demonic buffalo. Indeed, there is every reason to believe that the cave was originally dedicated to Durga herself, since the socket of the pitha in the shrine was not shaped to receive a lingam; it seems certain that it must once have held the fine broken image of the goddess, now missing. Also of particular significance is the small panel showing Durga--which appears as part of an unfinished frieze composed largely of active dwarfs--slaying the buffalo at the center of the beam directly above the two rear central hall pillars; such a positioning--like that of Lakulisa in Caves 19 and 21--clearly connects the cave with the image shown, and it is scarcely an accident that both the broken image once in the shrine and the crucially placed image at the rear of the hall show the actual defeat of the demon, thus completing the "narrative" sequence started in the front aisle. One can further note another small figure at the very center of the similar frieze on the beam above the pillar on the right side of the hall. Although hard to see, this is surely another Durga, flanked by a similar series of empaneled dwarfs and flowers. It can be safely assumed that, had the whole been completed, there would have been another Durga image at the left too.

4432 (c14Linteld1.jpg)
Durga (left wall)

The emphasis on feminine focus is amplified in this cave by the large images of Durga at either end of the front aisle. Durga rests her foot upon her lion, and holds her trident at the ready in the left end relief, while in the right, with the help of the furious beast, she prepares to slay the demonic buffalo. Indeed, there is every reason to believe that the cave was originally dedicated to Durga herself, since the socket of the pitha in the shrine was not shaped to receive a lingam; it seems certain that it must once have held the fine broken image of the goddess, now missing. Also of particular significance is the small panel showing Durga--which appears as part of an unfinished frieze composed largely of active dwarfs--slaying the buffalo at the center of the beam directly above the two rear central hall pillars; such a positioning--like that of Lakulisa in Caves 19 and 21--clearly connects the cave with the image shown, and it is scarcely an accident that both the broken image once in the shrine and the crucially placed image at the rear of the hall show the actual defeat of the demon, thus completing the "narrative" sequence started in the front aisle. One can further note another small figure at the very center of the similar frieze on the beam above the pillar on the right side of the hall. Although hard to see, this is surely another Durga, flanked by a similar series of empaneled dwarfs and flowers. It can be safely assumed that, had the whole been completed, there would have been another Durga image at the left too.

4433 (c14Mahishamardini-1.jpg)


4434 (c14misc.jpg)
Pradakshinapatha (left opening)

4435 (c14misc1.jpg)
Dancing Siva - Nataraj details

Siva, wreathed with serpents, is dancing to the beat of the great drum and the sounds of the wooden flute at the left, while Parvati and the emaciated Bhringi (seen dramatically poised behind his lord) attend his raptures. In the clouds above are Agni on his ram, Indra on his elephant, Brahma on his goose (hamsa) and Vishnu on his sun-bird Garuda.

4436 (c14nataraja.jpg)
Dancing Siva

4437 (c14nataraja1.jpg)
Dancing Siva - Nataraj

Siva, wreathed with serpents, is dancing to the beat of the great drum and the sounds of the wooden flute at the left, while Parvati and the emaciated Bhringi (seen dramatically poised behind his lord) attend his raptures. In the clouds above are Agni on his ram, Indra on his elephant, Brahma on his goose (hamsa) and Vishnu on his sun-bird Garuda. The fine base motifs on the pilasters along the walls, with their standing females flanked by attendant males have their origins in the pillars of Caves 17.

4438 (c14nataraja2.jpg)
Dancing Siva - Nataraj

Siva, wreathed with serpents, is dancing to the beat of the great drum and the sounds of the wooden flute at the left, while Parvati and the emaciated Bhringi (seen dramatically poised behind his lord) attend his raptures. In the clouds above are Agni on his ram, Indra on his elephant, Brahma on his goose (hamsa) and Vishnu on his sun-bird Garuda. The fine base motifs on the pilasters along the walls, with their standing females flanked by attendant males have their origins in the pillars of Caves 17.

4439 (c14nataraja3.jpg)
Dancing Siva - Nataraj

Siva, wreathed with serpents, is dancing to the beat of the great drum and the sounds of the wooden flute at the left, while Parvati and the emaciated Bhringi (seen dramatically poised behind his lord) attend his raptures. In the clouds above are Agni on his ram, Indra on his elephant, Brahma on his goose (hamsa) and Vishnu on his sun-bird Garuda.

4440 (c14Nataraja4.jpg)
Broken bracket figure (right pilaster at the entrance)

4441 (c14Pd.jpg)
Pradakshinapatha opening (right)

The Saptamatrika panel is faintly visible from this angle.

4442 (c14psaptamatrika.jpg)


The fine base motifs on the pilasters along the walls, with their standing females flanked by attendant males have their origins in the pillars of Caves 17.

4443 (c14ravananugrahamurti.jpg)


The fine base motifs on the pilasters along the walls, with their standing females flanked by attendant males have their origins in the pillars of Caves 17.

4444 (c14ravananugrahamurti1.jpg)
Main hall

The rear central capitals, before the shrine, are the most fully decorated; even their kirttimukhas are multiplied. They are ringed by sixteen exuberantly varied zoomorphic panels and have 48 diagonal striations.

4445 (c14S.jpg)
Saptamatrika

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

4446 (c14Saptamatrika1.jpg)
Saptamatrika

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

4447 (c14Saptamatrika2.jpg)
Saptamatrika

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

4448 (c14Saptamatrika3.jpg)
Saptamatrika

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

4449 (c14Saptamatrika4.jpg)
Saptamatrika

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

4450 (c14Saptamatrika5.jpg)
Saptamatrika

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

4451 (c14Saptamatrikad.jpg)
Saptamatrika

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

4452 (c14Saptamatrikad1.jpg)
Saptamatrika

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right (seen here).

4453 (c14Saptamatrikad2.jpg)
Saptamatrika

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right (seen here).

4454 (c14Saptamatrikad3.jpg)
Saptamatrika

The Seven Mothers, attended by Virabhadra at the left and Ganesa, the skeletal Kala (Time) and with the deadly goddess Kali at his right, appear at the far (right) end of the ambulatory passage. This group of mother goddesses is better preserved than its counterpart in Cave 21, from which its style and iconographic features clearly derive. Each of the figure is easily identifiable by its vahana, for example, Brahmi with her goose or hamsa, Mahesvari with her bull, Kumari with her peacock, Vaisnavi with the sunbird Garuda, Varahi with her boar, Indrani with her elephant, and Saraswati with her owl. All have their children, either seated on their laps or trying to climb up onto them.

4455 (c14Saptamtrika.jpg)
main shrine

The rear central capitals, before the shrine, are the most fully decorated; even their kirttimukhas are multiplied. They are ringed by sixteen exuberantly varied zoomorphic panels and have 48 diagonal striations.

4456 (c14Sentrance.jpg)
Main shrine

The rear central capitals, before the shrine, are the most fully decorated; even their kirttimukhas are multiplied. They are ringed by sixteen exuberantly varied zoomorphic panels and have 48 diagonal striations.

4457 (c14Sentranced.jpg)
Main shrine doorway

Life-size females, with their own female attendants (two on the left), directly flank the shrine doorway, assuming something of both the position and function of the huge dvarapalas nearby. There are also two carved female figures (again with their own female attendants) at the bottom of the otherwise plain shrine doorway, these further emphasize the feminine focus of this cave.

4458 (c14Sentranced1.jpg)
Siva and Parvati playing chausar

Siva and Parvati are playing chausar in their rocky abode on Mount Kailasa, while the elephant-headed Ganesa and other attendants observe them. Siva (with one of his four hands) grabs Parvati's hand in the course of their sometimes acrimonious game, while the ganas torment the long-suffering bull Nandi below.

4459 (c14sivaparvatiplayingchaupat.jpg)
Siva and Parvati playing chausar

Siva and Parvati are playing chausar in their rocky abode on Mount Kailasa, while the elephant-headed Ganesa and other attendants observe them. Siva (with one of his four hands) grabs Parvati's hand in the course of their sometimes acrimonious game, while the ganas torment the long-suffering bull Nandi below. The fine base motifs on the pilasters along the walls, with their standing females flanked by attendant males have their origins in the pillars of Caves 17.

4460 (c14sivaparvatiplayingchaupat1.jpg)
Siva and Parvati playing chausar

Siva and Parvati are playing chausar in their rocky abode on Mount Kailasa, while the elephant-headed Ganesa and other attendants observe them. Siva (with one of his four hands) grabs Parvati's hand in the course of their sometimes acrimonious game, while the ganas torment the long-suffering bull Nandi below. The fine base motifs on the pilasters along the walls, with their standing females flanked by attendant males have their origins in the pillars of Caves 17.

4461 (c14sivaparvatiplayingchaupat2.jpg)
Varaha

Varaha rescuing the Earth Goddess is pressing his foot down on the roiling underwater forces. As nagas offer praise, she rests with ease against his snout, using one of his hands as a pedestal.

4462 (c14Varaha.jpg)
Varaha

Varaha rescuing the Earth Goddess is pressing his foot down on the roiling underwater forces. As nagas offer praise, she rests with ease against his snout, using one of his hands as a pedestal.

4463 (c14Varaha1.jpg)
Varaha

Varaha rescuing the Earth Goddess is pressing his foot down on the roiling underwater forces. As nagas offer praise, she rests with ease against his snout, using one of his hands as a pedestal.

4464 (c14Varaha2.jpg)
Visnu with consorts

4465 (c14Vishnu.jpg)
Visnu with consorts

4466 (c14Vishnu1.jpg)
Visnu with consorts

4467 (c14vishnu2.jpg)
Visnu with consorts

4468 (c14vishnu3.jpg)
Visnu with consorts

4469 (c14vishnu4.jpg)
Vishnu seated with his consort

Vishnu seated with his consort. Musicians provide Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi with entertainment, while four large female figures attend the couple.

4470 (c14vishnulakshmi.jpg)
Vishnu seated with his consort

Vishnu seated with his consort. Musicians provide Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi with entertainment, while four large female figures attend the couple.

4471 (c14vishnulakshmi1.jpg)
Vishnu seated with his consort

Vishnu seated with his consort. Musicians provide Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi with entertainment, while four large female figures attend the couple.

4472 (c14vishnulakshmi2.jpg)
Durga (right wall)

The emphasis on feminine focus is amplified in this cave by the large images of Durga at either end of the front aisle. Durga rests her foot upon her lion, and holds her trident at the ready in the left end relief, while in the right, with the help of the furious beast, she prepares to slay the demonic buffalo. Indeed, there is every reason to believe that the cave was originally dedicated to Durga herself, since the socket of the pitha in the shrine was not shaped to receive a lingam; it seems certain that it must once have held the fine broken image of the goddess, now missing. Also of particular significance is the small panel showing Durga--which appears as part of an unfinished frieze composed largely of active dwarfs--slaying the buffalo at the center of the beam directly above the two rear central hall pillars; such a positioning--like that of Lakulisa in Caves 19 and 21--clearly connects the cave with the image shown, and it is scarcely an accident that both the broken image once in the shrine and the crucially placed image at the rear of the hall show the actual defeat of the demon, thus completing the "narrative" sequence started in the front aisle. One can further note another small figure at the very center of the similar frieze on the beam above the pillar on the right side of the hall. Although hard to see, this is surely another Durga, flanked by a similar series of empaneled dwarfs and flowers. It can be safely assumed that, had the whole been completed, there would have been another Durga image at the left too.

4473 (c14VlIMahishamardini.jpg)
Durga (right wall)

The emphasis on feminine focus is amplified in this cave by the large images of Durga at either end of the front aisle. Durga rests her foot upon her lion, and holds her trident at the ready in the left end relief, while in the right, with the help of the furious beast, she prepares to slay the demonic buffalo. Indeed, there is every reason to believe that the cave was originally dedicated to Durga herself, since the socket of the pitha in the shrine was not shaped to receive a lingam; it seems certain that it must once have held the fine broken image of the goddess, now missing. Also of particular significance is the small panel showing Durga--which appears as part of an unfinished frieze composed largely of active dwarfs--slaying the buffalo at the center of the beam directly above the two rear central hall pillars; such a positioning--like that of Lakulisa in Caves 19 and 21--clearly connects the cave with the image shown, and it is scarcely an accident that both the broken image once in the shrine and the crucially placed image at the rear of the hall show the actual defeat of the demon, thus completing the "narrative" sequence started in the front aisle. One can further note another small figure at the very center of the similar frieze on the beam above the pillar on the right side of the hall. Although hard to see, this is surely another Durga, flanked by a similar series of empaneled dwarfs and flowers. It can be safely assumed that, had the whole been completed, there would have been another Durga image at the left too.

4475 (c14VrImahishamardini.jpg)
Durga (right wall)

The emphasis on feminine focus is amplified in this cave by the large images of Durga at either end of the front aisle. Durga rests her foot upon her lion, and holds her trident at the ready in the left end relief, while in the right, with the help of the furious beast, she prepares to slay the demonic buffalo. Indeed, there is every reason to believe that the cave was originally dedicated to Durga herself, since the socket of the pitha in the shrine was not shaped to receive a lingam; it seems certain that it must once have held the fine broken image of the goddess, now missing. Also of particular significance is the small panel showing Durga--which appears as part of an unfinished frieze composed largely of active dwarfs--slaying the buffalo at the center of the beam directly above the two rear central hall pillars; such a positioning--like that of Lakulisa in Caves 19 and 21--clearly connects the cave with the image shown, and it is scarcely an accident that both the broken image once in the shrine and the crucially placed image at the rear of the hall show the actual defeat of the demon, thus completing the "narrative" sequence started in the front aisle. One can further note another small figure at the very center of the similar frieze on the beam above the pillar on the right side of the hall. Although hard to see, this is surely another Durga, flanked by a similar series of empaneled dwarfs and flowers. It can be safely assumed that, had the whole been completed, there would have been another Durga image at the left too.

4476 (c14VrIMahishamardini2.jpg)
Durga (left wall)

The emphasis on feminine focus is amplified in this cave by the large images of Durga at either end of the front aisle. Durga rests her foot upon her lion, and holds her trident at the ready in the left end relief, while in the right, with the help of the furious beast, she prepares to slay the demonic buffalo. Indeed, there is every reason to believe that the cave was originally dedicated to Durga herself, since the socket of the pitha in the shrine was not shaped to receive a lingam; it seems certain that it must once have held the fine broken image of the goddess, now missing. Also of particular significance is the small panel showing Durga--which appears as part of an unfinished frieze composed largely of active dwarfs--slaying the buffalo at the center of the beam directly above the two rear central hall pillars; such a positioning--like that of Lakulisa in Caves 19 and 21--clearly connects the cave with the image shown, and it is scarcely an accident that both the broken image once in the shrine and the crucially placed image at the rear of the hall show the actual defeat of the demon, thus completing the "narrative" sequence started in the front aisle. One can further note another small figure at the very center of the similar frieze on the beam above the pillar on the right side of the hall. Although hard to see, this is surely another Durga, flanked by a similar series of empaneled dwarfs and flowers. It can be safely assumed that, had the whole been completed, there would have been another Durga image at the left too.

4477 (c14VrlMahishamardini1.jpg)

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