Elephanta [This account of the Elephanta caves, with some changes and additions suggested by Pandit Bhagvanlal Indraji, has been mainly prepared from Dr. Burgess' Elephanta. The following is a list of notices and accounts of the ElepKahta caves: Garcia Orta (1534), Colloquios, '2nd Ed(1872), 212: Dom Joao de Castro (1539), Primerio Roterio da Costa da India, 65-69; Linschoten (1579), Discourse of Voyages (London, 1598), Boke I. 80; Diogo de Couto (1603), Da Asia, Decada VII ma. liv. III. cap. II. (Ed. Lisboa, 1778), torn VII. 250-261; also translated in Journal Bombay Branch Royal Asiatic Society, I. 41-45; Fryer (1675), New Account of East India and Persia, 75; Ovington (1689), Voyage to Surat, 158-161; Captain Pyke (1712), Account of a curious Pagoda near Bombay, extracted from his journal by A. Dalrymple, Esq. F.R.A.S., Archaeologia, VII. 323-332; Captain A. Hamilton (1720), New Account of the East Indies, I. 241-42; Grose (1750), Voyage to the East Indies I. 59-62; Ives (1754), Voyage from England to India, 45; Anquetil du Perron (1750), Zend Avesta, Discourse Preliminaire, I. 419-423; Niebuhr (1764), Voyage to en Arabie, II. 25-33; Forbes (1774), Oriental Memoirs, I. 423-435, 441-448; Hunter (1784) in Archaeologia, VII, 286-295; Macne'l (1783), in Archaeologia, VIII. 270-277; Goldingham (1795) in Asiatic Researches, IV. 409-417; Valentia's (1803) Travels, II. 199-200; Moor (1810), Hindu-Pantheon, 49, 59, 97-98, 241-249, 334-336; Erskine (1813) in Transactions 'Bombay Literary Society, I. 198-250; Mrs. Graham (1814), Journal of a Residence in India, 45-51; Asiatic Journal (1816), II. 546-548; Fitz Clarence (1817), Journal of a Route across India, 321-322; Sir W. Ouseley (1819), Travels in the East, I. 81-95; Heber's (1824), Narrative, 11.179-83; Captain Basil Hall (1832), Fragments, III. 192-281; Fergusson (1845), Rock-cut Temples of India, 54-55, and Journal Royal Asiatic Society, VIII. 83-84; Dr. Wilson Journal Bombay Branch Royal Asiatic Society, III. part 11-41-42, IV, 341-342 and Calcutta Review, XLII. 1-25; Dr. Stevenson in Journal Bombay Branch Royal Asiatic Society, IV. 261-275; Lady Falkland (1857), Chow-Chow, I. 109-114.] or Gharapuri (Uran peta, 18� 55' N, 72� 55' E; p. 529; RS. Bombay, 7 m.). Elephanta or Gahrapuri, an island on Bombay Harbour about seven miles east of the Appollo Bunder and three miles south of Pir Pal in Trombay, has an area of about four square miles at high water and about six square miles at low water. The Hindu name,- Gharapuri, is the name of a small village in the south of the island; it is perhaps Giripuri or the hill hamlet. Elephanta, the European name, was given to the island by the Portuguese in honour of a huge rock-cut elephant that stood oh a knoll a little to the east of Gharapuri village. The island is a range of trap hills about 500 feet high and one and half miles long, cleft by a deep ravine that crosses it from north to south about the middle of its length. On the west the hill rises gently from the sea, and, with waving outline, stretches east across the ravine gap, gradually rising to the extreme east, which, with a height of 568 feet, is crowned by a small dome-like knob the remains of a Buddhist burial-mound. Except on the north-east and east, the hill sides are covered with brushwood; in the hollows under the hill are clusters of well-grown mango, tamarind, and karanj trees; and over the hillside and standing out against the sky is a thick sprinkling of brab palms along the crest of the hill. Below is a belt of rice land with rows of trees and high prickly-pear hedges. In front is the foreshore of sand and mud, bare and black except for a fringe of mangrove bushes. There are three small hamlets and landing places, Set bunder in the north-west, Mora bunder in the northeast, and Gharapuri or Raj bunder in the south.

Though it has long lost almost all its people and almost all its holiness, Elephanta, perhaps from about the third to about the tenth century, was the site of a city and a place of religious resort. [The Buddhist mound and cisterns are of the third century or earlier, the town, if it is Puri, from the sixth to the tenth century, the lion head of the sixth century, and the caves of the seventh or eighth century.] The Great Cave about half way up the north face of the western block of hills is the chief object of interest. Besides the Great Cave there are, in the rice fields to the east of the northern or Set bunder landing place, brick and stone foundations, broken pillars, and two fine fallen statues of Siv. About 200 yards to the south-east of the Great Cave and almost on the same level, are two large much ruined caves. On the crest of the hill, above the Great Cave, is a broken stone lion or griffin, probably originally one of the warders of the main entrance door to the Great Cave. Near the shore, to the south of the range between the two blocks or hills are the small village of Gharapuri, a pond, an uninscribed stone with the ass-curse, the old landing place, the ruins of a Portuguese watch-tower, the site of the huge rock-cut elephant that gave The island its European name, and several large lingas square below and conical above.

Across the ravine crest, on the eastern hill, close on the right, is a plain cave, and, on the left, about 200 yards further two small unfinished cells. About 300 yards to the east is the dry bed of a pond and underground to the left three small rock-cut water cisterns like those at Kanheri. A little further and higher, the extreme eastern point of the hill is topped by the remains of a large brick Buddhist burial-mound with which the three cisterns are probably closely connected. The mound seems to have been surrounded by a heavy wall or rail of undressed trap boulders. To the east a little below the top of the hill stood once a temple of Mahadev, and down the north-east ridge of the hill face there seem traces, though faint, of a winding roughly built footway. At the north-east foot of the hill is a round brickfaced mound perhaps the remains of another Buddhist burial-mound, and near it to the right, an old well, with modern facings, and, in a field nearer the shore, a spirited old lion's head cut in stone through which water originally flowed into the well. From the well, along most of the north-east and east face, the lower slopes have been carried away to fill the Bombay foreshore. From the well, along most of the north-east and east face, the piers, close to the village of Mora, the ground is strewn with large old bricks and pieces of tile. The work of clearing the surface soil is said to have shown a notable number of building sites and the remains of some temples. This must have been a place of religious importance, and may possibly be Puri, the unknown capital of the Maurya and Silahara rulers of the north Konkan. from about the sixth to the tenth century. [Indian Antiquary, V. 70, 72, 277; VII. 184; VIII. 242; IX. 44. Asiatic Res. I. 361.]

From the north-west shore a low stone pier runs out for about 150 yards. Under high-tide mark the pier consists of two rows of concrete blocks about six feet long laid about a foot apart, the upper blocks covering the space between the lower blocks and fastened to them by iron clamps. Above high-tide mark the separate blocks become a causeway about seven feet high and six feet broad which runs to the edge of the shore. Then, with low side-walls, a paved way about six feet broad crosses the flat belt of rice land with only an occasional step, and then climbs the wooded slope in flights varying from three to thirteen steps. In the woods on either side several of the brab palms seem to rise out of the heart of large banyan trees. But the palms are older than the banyan trees, and, in the rough canvas-like sheaths of their branch ends, have given lodging and support to bird-sown banyan seeds, which as they grew forced their roots to the ground, and gaining a separate sustenance and growing into trees, have covered the palm stem with their roots and branches.

Off the shore about 100 yards east of the pier, under some trees, are the remains of a statue of Siv and of another figure apparently an attendant. The remains of old bricks and pieces of white stone seem to show that this was the site of a small temple or shrine. About 200 yards further to the south-east, close to the hill-foot, difficult to find among thick brushwood, is a well-carved five-headed image of Siv. This also seems to be the site of an old temple.

Returning to the approach to the Great Cave, at the top of the flight of steps, a terrace, about eighty yards long and forty broad, stretches to the south-east with a pavement about eight. feet broad that passes to the front of the cave between two small tile-roofed houses, the custodian's dwelling on the right and the police guard-house on the left. The open terrace, which is shaded by large nim and banyan trees, commands a view of the well-wooded slope of the east Elephanta hill and beyond in the north-east the Belapur ranges. To the north beyond the brushwood-covered slope the bare rice fields and the mangrove-fringed shore, is a belt of bright sea about two miles broad, and over the sea the bare but gracefully rounded hill of Trombay. To the west are the rocks of Butcher's Island, and across a broad stretch of sea the long low line of Bombay.

Great Cave.

This cave is looked after by the Department of Archaeology. The ruined portions are partly repaired by cementing. In front of the cave an open wooden railing encloses an entrance passage thirty-six yards long, broadening from nine yards at the railing to eighteen yards at the cave steps. On either side, a rocky bank rises to a rugged tree-fringed front about forty feet high, the upper twenty feet a bare rough scarp and the lower twenty feet the cave mouth, with two pillars and two pilasters about fifteen feet high, on a four feet high plinth. Over the front, across the whole breadth of the cave mouth, runs an eaves of rock about four feet deep. At first view the inside of the cave seems full of a confusing number of lines of plain massive pillars running at right angles, with side aisles and porches leading to open courtyards. On the right centre of the hall the lines of pillars are broken by a raised and walled shrine or chapel, and in the south wall are dark recesses filled with groups of colossal figures.

The cave is most easily understood by looking at it as forming two parts, a central hall about ninety feet square and four aisles or vestibules, each sixteen feet deep and fifty-four feet long. The side walls of each aisle have recesses filled with groups of colossal figures, and except the west aisle which is partly filled by the walled shrine, the roofs are supported by two rows of two pillars and two pilasters. The side aisles, like the north aisle, lead to open courts, and the south aisle leads to the recesses in one of which stands the mighty three-headed bust, one of the finest pieces of sculpture in India. The central hall has, on the north and south, two outer rows each of four pillars and two pilasters, and, inside, in the centre of the hall two rows of three pillars each, and to the right between the centre and the west aisle, the shrine or chapel which occupies the space of four pillars or about ninety-five feet round.

Of the original total of twenty-six pillars and sixteen pilasters, eight of the pillars are destroyed and others are much injured. As neither the floor nor the roof of the cave is level, the pillars vary in height from fifteen to seventeen feet. They are strong and massive, of considerable elegance, and well suited to their position and use. With a general sameness there is some variety of size and ornament. All have a square shaft about three feet four inches each way, rising eight feet or nearly half the total height. The upper sixteen inches of this shaft is bound by a slightly raised bandage of the same shape. The next two inches are octagonal, and, in all the columns within the square of the temple and in the west porch, on the shoulders thus formed, sit small. figures of Ganes or some other spirit. Above the shoulders is a band seven inches broad, cut in thirty-two shallow flutes, and above the fluted band is an eight cornered belt about six inches' broad. From this belt springs a three feet long fluted neck narrowing from three feet nine inches, the flutes ending in outstanding cusps under a thin-headed torus, and over this a second line of cusps stand out and curve outwards under a thin fillet. On the fillet rests the squeezed cushion-shaped capital, one foot nine and a half inches thick and standing out about sixteen inches from the face of the pillar; the middle bound by a narrow flat band which' breaks its sixty-four flutes. Above is a round neck, three inches deep, and then a square plinth of the same width as the base, and about eight inches deep. This last and the bracket it supports are clear wooden details. The bracket slopes upwards on each side to the lintel in a series of fanciful scrolls divided, or joined, by a band over their middle. The lintels, which are imitations of wooden beams, run generally from east to west across the cave, the exceptions being the lintels over the east and west entrances, and those joining the two inner; pillars of the east portico, and the two pillars in front of the east' face of the shrine. Almost the only other architectural features; are the door side-posts, and the bases, under the front and sides of the main cave and under some of the sculptured compartments.

The Trimurti.

The sculptures may be best examined by beginning with the groups in the south wall of the central hall. Then taking the groups in the cast aisle which form a pair, then those in the west aisle, and lastly those in the north aisle. Of the groups in the south wall the most striking is the famous colossal three-headed bust that faces the north entrance. It stands on a base about two feet nine inches high, in a recess ten and a half-feet deep, exclusive of two and a half feet the thickness of the front pilasters. The opening between the pilasters is only fifteen and a half feet, but inside of them the recess broadens to twenty-one feet six inches. The bust represents Siv, who is the leading character in all of the groups in the cave. The front face is Siv in the character of Brahma the creator, the east face (visitor's left) is Siv in the character of Rudra the destroyer, and the west face (visitor's right) is Siv in the character of Visnu the preserver. In the corners of the opening both in the floor and in the lintel, are holes as if for door-posts, and in the floor is a groove as if for a screen or perhaps for a railing.

The bust is seventeen feet ten inches high. At the level of the eyes the three heads measure twenty-two feet nine inches round; and the greatest breadth, between the wrists of the two side figures, is twenty-two feet. The middle face (Brahma's) is four feet four inches long, the west face (Rudra's) is about five feet, and the west face (Visnu's) is four feet one inch.

The expression of the heavy-lipped central face is mild and peaceful. The breast is adorned with a necklace of large stones or pearls, and below it is a deep richly-wrought breast ornament, whose lower border is festooned perhaps with pearls. In his left hand Brahma holds a citron, an emblem of the womb. The right hand is broken but the rough piece of rock was probably cut into the form of a roll of manuscript representing the Vedas. [This hand was broken as early as 1538. Dom Joao de Castro remarks: 'The third hand holds a pointed globe (the citron) and the last has been broken so that it is impossible to make out what symbol he held'. Prim. Rot. da Costa da India, 65-69.] A thick ring encircles the wrist. The ears are slit and drawn down, a sign of a composed placid mind. From each ear hangs a jewelled ornament, that in the right ear (visitor's left) in the style known as the tiger-head earring or vyaghra kundal. Tiger's head and forelegs holding three hanging garlands, and that in the left ear (visitor's right) the alligator or makar kundal earring, whose broken tail may still be traced. The head-dress consists of the hair raised in the jata or dome-coil style, with on the top of the hair a royal tiara in three pieces, one over each ear, and the richest in the centre in the fame-face or kirtimukh style, most tastefully designed and most beautifully carved.

The face to the left or east is Siv as Rudra or the destroyer. The brow has an oval swelling above the nose representing a third eye. The eyebrows are somewhat twisted and slightly pressed towards the nose. The nose is Roman and the upper lip is covered with a moustache, the mouth is slightly open with an amused look, showing the tip of the tongue and perhaps a tusk or long tooth. [It is believed that Shiv's third eye, the Jnana chakshu, or eye of knowledge was painted on the knob in the brow in a vertical position. It is from this third, eye that at the end of time fire is to burst and waste the world. Pandit Bhagvanlal doubts if the mark at the corner of the mouth is a tusk.] The right hand is held in front of the breast, and he smiles at a cobra which is coiled round his wrist and with outstretched hood looks him in the face. [The meaning of Rudra's expression is disputed. Mr. Erskine (Bom-Lit. Soc. Trans. III. 232- New Ed.) detected the marks of habitual passion. Capt. Basil Hall (Fragments III. 230—236) saw no signs of anger rather of mirth, as if he were singing to the snake, the corners of the mouth turned up and the cheeks dimpled as if by a smile. Burgess (Elephanta, 6) characterises the expression as, a grim smile. The description in the text is Par.dit Bhagvanlal's.] Rudra's hair like Brahma's is rolled in the jata form, and he has a similar but lower tiara over the hair. Among his ornaments are some of the peculiar symbols of Siv, a human skull over the left temple; a leaf of the Gloriosa superba, (M) kalaldvi. (Sk.) Idngali; a branch apparently of the milk-bush; twisted snakes instead of hair, and, high up, a cobra erect with outstretched hood. The back part of the head ornament seems unfinished. Behind the tiara the rock is cut into a shallow recess, roughly divided into two narrow strips one lower than the other.

The right or west face has generally been considered to be Siv in the character of Visnu the preserver, holding a lotus flower in his right hand. The face is gentle and placid, much like and almost as feminine as most of the sculptures of Parvati. The hair falls from under the head-dress in neatly curled ringlets like Parvati's hair and like the hair on the female side of Ardhanari the half-man half-woman statue. The tastefully ornamented pearl festooned tiara, which is lower than that of the central figure, is also more like the female side of Ardhanari's head-dress than any head-dress among the sculptures. Over the temple is an ornament like a large lotus leaf, and, above the leaf, near where the side of the central head join, is a lotus flower. In front is a twig of the Jonesia asoka, or asoka tree. From the ear projects what was probably part of a large jewel. According to De Couto (1603), the whole cave was covered with cement, painted with water colours. However, no traces of this water colour now remain. The bust shows no sign of colour. If they were coloured, Brahma was white, Rudra black, and Visnu red.

On each side of the Trimurti recess is a pilaster with broken guards or doorkeepers. The warder on the visitor's right, who is twelve feet nine inches high, is less damaged than the other. Round the high cap is a double coronal of plates, pointed above, the lower plates being smaller and the upper rising from within them. On each side between the lower plates is a crescent with a star between its tips. Behind the upper plates the cap looks like a deep crimpled leaf, probably, as in the tiara of the central head, intended to represent rolls of twisted hair. The doorkeeper's ears are large, and a pendant from the head-dress falls behind the head. The left arm leans on the head of a dwarf, and the hanging central fingers of the left hand are held between the finger and thumb of the right hand. Both arms are adorned with round bracelets. There was a necklace of round beads; a band passed over the left shoulder behind the hands and round the right hip, a girdle bound his middle, and the ends of his robe hung by the right side. The dwarf, who is one of Siv's ganas or sprites, stands about seven feet high. His hair is close-cropped, he wears a necklace, and a belt is folded across his stomach. His right hand is raised to his breast; the left is broken above the elbow.

The east doorkeeper, who is thirteen feet six inches high, is more defaced than the other. In 1766 the figure seems to have wanted only part of the left arm and right leg with the left foot; now little remains except the head and shoulders. [Niebuhr's Voyage en Arabie, II. 26.] The tiara is broader-topped than that on the other figure and every part of it is carved with minute care. In front of the upper plate is the grotesque fame-face or kirtimukh; the lower plate is carved to represent a flower over jewels, and other flowers on each side, whilst the band that encircles the brow consists of three rows of pearls or jewels from beneath which the hair crops out. The shell-like wrinkles of the crown of the cap are beautifully worked, and from the cap on the left the hair hangs in separate ringlets. From the back stands out a fan-shaped frill like a small Elizabethan ruff. [This frill is more clearly shown in the figure worshipping Shiv in the compartment to the west of the Trimurti.] In the ears are heavy earrings, that on the visitor's right supported by a band passing over the ear. The lips are thick and the face placid, and round the neck the folds of a band pass behind the ear to the head-dress which it secures. He wears a necklace of large round beads, a thick fillet falls as a festoon from his shoulders; and round the upper part of each arm he wears a bracelet in the form of a snake twisted fully twice round, the ends being left free. The right arm is bent just above the head of the attendant sprite or gan and the hand appears to have been open upwards in front of the side. Below the navel a string was knotted in front, and about the loins was a girdle, with a robe passing from the right hip over the left thigh, the ends hanging at the side. The sprite or gan on his right was about six feet one inch high, and the right leg of the doorkeeper was advanced so as to admit the sprite's arm behind it, so that his left hand and leg were seen between the legs of the doorkeeper. His right hand, which is now broken, was laid on his breast. His head-dress seems to have been a tight fitting cap, with a circle of three jewels over the brow, and three tags of cloth hanging behind. A scarf passes across his shoulders over the arm and falls on each side over his thighs. He has a band or loincloth, earrings, bracelets, and a necklace from which hangs a tortoise. He stands half crouching, with outstanding eyes, thick lips, and looks up to the doorkeeper with an odd smile and outthrust tongue.

Shiv and Parvati.

The compartment to the west or visitor's right of the Trimurti is thirteen feet wide by seventeen feet one inch high, with a base rising two feet six inches from the floor. The leading figures are Siv and Parvati on his left. The figure of Siv is sixteen feet high, and has four arms, of which the two to the left are broken. He has a high cap with three pointed plates rising out of its hand and a smaller plate in front of the hand on the forehead. Between these is a crescent over each temple. From the crown rises a cup or shell in which is a singular three-headed female figure, with broken arms, probably representing the three sacred rivers Gahga, Yamuna, and Sarasvati. [The Ganga or Ganges is fabled to flow from Shiv's hair, and the three heads probably represent the three chief streams, the Ganga, Yamuna, and Sarasvati, which, according to Hindu geography, form at Allahabad the sacred meeting of the three plaited locks, Triveni Sangam.] Siv wears a necklace, the usual open armlets, heavy bracelets, and earrings. An ornamented girdle binds his waist, from under which his garment hangs and is brought round the right side and passes over his right arms. The back right hand holds a snake, the tail hanging upon the arms while the body passes behind his back and the cobra's expanded hood is raised outside his left shoulder. The front right hand which is damaged is raised as if to command attention. The back left hand, which is broken above the wrist, appears to have passed across Parvati's breast, and with one of the lingers to have touched her under the chin; the other, which has been broken, rested on the head of a sprite who seems to stagger under its weight. This sprite, whose head is thickly covered with curly or matted hair, wears a waistbelt and a loincloth, and holds a fly-whisk in his left hand and a small cobra in his right. He carries a bundle on his back and has a tortoise hanging from his neck.

On Siv's left stands Parvati, about twelve feet four inches high, with a frontlet from under which the hair comes out in small curls. The head-dress rises in tiers, and has a pointed plate in front, and behind the neck on the right side is a cushion, perhaps of hair. She wears heavy earrings of different shapes, several necklaces, broad armlets and bracelets, a girdle with an ornamented clasp, and heavy anklets. Her dress comes over the right leg, the corner falling to the ankle and then passing over the left leg, and a loose robe hangs over her right arm. With her right hand she seems to touch the fly-whisk in the sprite's hand or leans on tire bundle on his back; her left hand is over the head of a female sprite who wears large elliptical earrings, a huge back-knot of hair, richly carved anklets, and a robe of which the corner falls in front. Over the left shoulder she carries Parvati's dressing-case fastened by cords or straps.

On Siv's right are Brahma and Indra. Brahma has four hands, one of the right hands holding a lotus, the other touching his breast; one of the left hands appears to have held a rod or the roll of the Vedas, and the other perhaps his sacrificial butter-vessel. His lotus seat is borne by five swans. Close to his left, Indra, on his elephant, holds up his left hand towards Siv. On Parvati's left is Visnu, on his half-man half-bird carrier Garud. His back right hand holds a mace or club, the front right hand is broken; the front left hand rests on his knee, and the back left hand holds his discus. He wears armlets and a necklace, and his feet rest in the Garud's hands who has wig-like hair, no moustaches, and a cobra knotted round his neck. The figures below Brahma on Siv's right are much defaced. Next to him and in front is a male, probably the king who ordered the making of the cave. He wears a waist-cloth and kneels on his right knee with his arms crossed on his hreast and a dagger or knife at his right side. Round his head is a band with a large rosette or frill behind, and, from under the band, the hair falls to his shoulders in three lines or ringlets. [The curly hair, the frill, and the head-dress worn by this figure are found only in sculptures ranging between the fourth and the eighth centuries. They are Sassanian in style. Pandit Bhagvanlal.] Behind him stands a female fly-whisk bearer with anklets and wristlets, holding a flower in her left hand raised towards her cheek. Behind her is a taller woman with broad armlets and thick anklets, whose hands and face are broken; and at the back of the taller women and above the fly-whisk bearer is the head of a figure with curly hair, holding in the left hand what may have been an offering. Above Brahma are clouds on which are six figures, the largest a male with high headdress and double necklace, holding a long jar full of flowers to throw on Siv. Immediately before and behind him are female figures. Nearer Siv's head are two males, one of them a bearded ascetic; and behind the rest is another male with a moustache. Above Parvati are six figures. similarly disposed, all flying or floating on clouds, the female behind the larger figure having a heavy back-knot of hair and a richly carved belt.


In the corresponding compartment to the visitor's left or east of the Trimurti many figures are grouped round a gigantic four-armed half-male half-female, representing Ardhanari on Ardhanarisvar, that is the god who combines the active or manlike, that is Siv, and the passive or womanlike, that is Uma principles in nature. This figure which is sixteen feet nine inches high leans to the right or male side, and rests on the bull, Nandi, with one of its four arms. The head-dress is the usual high tiara with two heavy folds falling to the shoulder on the left or female side. The right side has a crescent. On the left side the hair falls along the brow in a series of small neatly carved ringlets, while on the right there is a line of knobs along the under edge of the cap. The right ear is drawn down and has only one ring, the left has a jewel in the upper part and a large ring in the lobe. The girdle is drawn over the hips and is tied at the left side where the ends hang down. The male arms have twisted open armlets and thick wristlets, that on the front hand being knobbed as if set with jewels; the female arms have broad armlets and a long solid bracelet with thick jewelled rings at the ends. The back pair of hands is in fair preservation, the right holds the cobra and has a ring on the little finger; the left holds a metal mirror and has rings on the middle and little fingers. The front left hand which is broken, seems to have hung down and held the lower part of the goddess's robe, which hangs in folds over both her arms. The front right arm rests with the elbow on the hump and the hand on the left horn of the bull. The head of the bull, Siv's carrier, is in fair order, the face being two feet seven inches long.

Shiv and Parvati.

The lower part of this group, which is about sixteen feet wide, is much damaged, owing partly to decay, partly to violence. The figures on the visitor's left are connected with Siv and those on the right with Parvati. Besides the usual sprites or attendants, they include some of the more notable Hindu deities. Opposite to the back left or Parvati's arm (the visitor's right), riding on his carrier the eagle or Garud. [Garud is half-eagle half-man, generally with wings and a beaked human face. He is the son of Kashyap and Vinata and younger brother of Aruna, the legless charioteer of the sun and the personification of dawn. Garud, who is of incomparable swiftness and has exquisitely beautiful plumage, married a beautiful woman named Shuki. As Garud's food was snakes, the serpent tribe feared that his children would eat them up, and waged war against him. Garud destroyed all the snakes except one cobra, which he wore as a necklace.] is a four-armed Visnu the front left hand seems to have rested on his knee, the other is raised and holds his discus; both right hands are broken. Visnu sits on the shoulders of Garud, who holds him by the anklet. On Garud's forehead is the Vaisnav sect mark, and his large outstretched left wing may be clearly traced. Below is a woman bearing fly-whisk. Her headdress is carved with minute detail and has a crescent on the left side, and a back-knot of hair decked with flowers. She has large earrings and a triple necklace. Beside her are two dwarfs, and on her left is another woman whose robe falls over her left arm, and a sash or belt, perhaps the edge of a jacket, crosses the breast from each shoulder to the opposite hip. She wears thick Vani-like anklets, and carries in her left hand the dainty Parvati's dressing-case. Between Garud and the central figure is the bust of a woman holding a flower in her left hand; above this are two curly-haired figures, one of them Varun riding his alligator. Behind Visnii are a man and a woman, and under them a dwarf standing on a cloud and holding a fly-whisk.

On the right or Siv side of Ardhanari (visitor's left), and on a level with Visnii and Garud are Indra and Brahma. Brahma is seated on a lotus throne borne by five wild swans. Three of his four faces are visible, the fourth is hidden as it faces backwards. He has four hands, the back right hand holding a lotus, the front right hand broken, the front left hand with a sacrificial butter-pot and the back left hand with a broken ladle, or perhaps a roll of the Vedas. He is decked with earrings, two necklaces, bracelets, and a robe which passes over his left shoulder and breast. In a recess between Brahma and the uplifted right arm of Ardhanari is Indra riding on the heavenly elephant. In his left hand is the thunderbolt and in his right what may have been an elephant god. Between Indra and Brahma is a figure, perhaps Kubera the god of wealth, holding a flower or a purse in his hand. Below Brahma is a large high-capped male figure, probably Kartikeya with his spear or sakti. He has earrings which differ on either side, a necklace, armlets like those on the other male figures, bracelets, a girdle, and a pendant from his cap hanging on his left shoulder. Between this figure and the Bull is a woman with a fly-whisk resting on her shoulder, and behind her is a dwarf and another woman whose head has been destroyed. In the upper portion of the compartment are thirteen figures of sprites and attendants. Those to the visitor's left are borne on clouds, and one of them has a dagger by his side. Behind him is a woman holding a round object in her left hand; and behind her is an ascetic, perhaps a Siddha, very lean, with a long beard, and an offering in his left hand; lastly, behind the Siddha, is a small broken female figure. On the right is another ascetic with an offering in his hand and curiously twisted hair. Two figures hold part-broken garlands touching the head of Ardhanari, and on the right are two larger male figures also holding wreaths of heavenly flowers.

Parvati in a Pet.

Passing east the much damaged group in the south wall of the east aisle or portico represents a scene between Siv and Parvati who is in a pet or mana. They are seated on the holy hill of Kailas and are both adorned as in the other sculptures. Siv's four arms are all broken, as also are his crown and the disc or nimbus behind his head. His armlets are of the usual spiral form with open ends, his sacred thread lies across his shoulders, and part of his robe comes over his knees. Parvati, her face turned slightly away, is seated at his left and wears, a tassel hanging between her breasts from a thick twisted necklace, the same as in the marriage group. Over the left arm, and on the right thigh and leg her garments may still be traced. Behind her right shoulder stands a female figure with a child astraddle on her left hip, perhaps a nurse carrying Siv's son Kartikeya, who is also called Skanda and Mahasena, the war-god. On Parvati's left stands a female attendant, and further off, a larger male figure who seemingly held his right hand to his breast and rested his left on the side-knot of his robe. Behind Siv's right shoulder is another female with a fly-whisk, and at his feet (now headless) his faithful follower Bhrngi worn to a skeleton. Behind Bhrngi stands a tall figure, with the usual high headdress, earrings, necklace, and robe covering his left arm to the wrist, and passing under his right. At his foot, in a recess behind the pilaster, stands a three feet high dwarf, with his arms crossed. Beneath, or in front of the hill on which the chief figures rest, the sculpture is so defaced that little can be made out. Under Parvati is the holy bull, and at his left shoulder a face with a wig such as is elsewhere given to Garud. Below the bull are two animal figures, perhaps monkeys. It is impossible to say how the left side was filled. The rock over the heads of Siv and Parvati is carved into patterns, irregular frets on an uneven surface, representing the rocks of Kailas, on clouds on either side are the usual heavenly spirits, perhaps Gandharvas and Apsaras, rejoicing and scattering flowers. Some of the male figures have curly wigs and on each side is a skeleton-like ascetic, one of whom has a basket in his left hand while he scatters flowers with his right. On the roof is a small fat figure, which may be Ganes, Siv's second son.

Ravan under Kailas.

Crossing to the north of the portico is a companion group in which Siv and Parvati again appear seated together in Kailas. Siv's brow-knob or third eye is clearly marked, his cap which is cleverly carved bears the crescent and has a disc behind it, and he has large hanging earrings. He had eight arms, all of which are more or less broken. Two of them rested on the heads of attend-ants, the head of which remains. On his right sat Parvati, with her face turned towards Siv, but little except her trunk is left. On each side of the compartment is a large figure somewhat like the door-keepers round the chief ling shrine, except that they have knobs on their brows, and that the figure to the visitor's right has a skull prominently carved on the forehead and snakes coming round from behind his left shoulder. The same brow-knob occurs on the forehead of servants of Siv in other compartments at Elephanta. To the left of Siv are several figures all more or less defaced; Siv leans his hand on the head of one of them, and in front near his foot is the familiar hollow-ribbed Bhrngi. On Bhrngi's left, and in front of the large figure behind the pilaster, is the elephant-headed Ganes or Ganapati.[ The Puranas have more than one story to explain Ganesh's elephant head. According to one account Ganesh quarrelled with Vishnu, and was winning when Shiv interposed and cut off his head. This so enraged Ganesh's mother Parvati that she peformed austerities so extreme that they threatened to upset the whole order of heaven. The gods prayed Shiv to restore Parvati her son. But Ganesh's head could nowhere be found, and in their haste it was replaced by the head of an elephant the first animal they chanced to meet. Another account says that when the gods were called to see the infant deity; Shani or Saturn, knowing the baneful effect of his glance, refused to look at the child, till Parvati, taking it as an insult, provoked him to cast his eyes on Ganesh whose head was at once reduced to ashes.] Under the group is a back view of the ten-headed Ravan, king of Lanka or Ceylon. His ten heads are entirely broken off and only a few of his twenty arms can be traced. Beside him there were perhaps some demons as at Ellora. Above Siv are numerous figures, one almost a skeleton; on his left is Visnu on Garud, and in a recess is a couched figure of Parvati's tiger.

These two groups in the eastern aisle illustrate the story that once Parvati getting into a pet, turned her face away from Siv. While she was still angry, Ravan, chancing to pass near Kailas and enraged that it should stop his progress, clasped the hill in his arms and shook it. Parvati felt the hill move, and ran for protection to Siv's arms, who, according to one story stamped Ravan under his foot, or, according to another story, blessed him for stopping Parvati's fit of ill-temper.

The Ling Chapel.

Crossing the cave towards the west aisle is the central shrine or chapel, which fills a space equal to that enclosed by four columns. It is entered by four side doors, each approached by six steps, which raise the floor of the shrine eight feet eight inches above the hall floor. The eight giant doorkeepers, from fourteen feet ten inches to fifteen feet two inches high, that stood guard at the sides of each door, are all damaged except the one on the east side of the south door. This figure, who wears a somewhat peculiar head-dress, has a large skull carved above his forehead, the parted lips showing the teeth, a single bead necklace, earrings, plain twisted armlets and thick wristlets. He rests on the right leg, and the knee of the left is a little bent. The right shoulder hangs down parallel to the body, and the upturned hand, held opposite the navel, strains under the weight of a massive globe. The left hand rests on the knot of the robe on the outside of the left thigh. The muscles of the left thigh and the knee-pan are particularly well carved. The calfless unshapely legs are probably true to the local model. The keeper on the west side of the same door is much broken, but the neck jewels, head-dress, and armlets have been elaborately carved. Except the face which is broken, the keeper on the south of the east door is nearly whole. The turban is high crowned; the plates round the head are smaller than on most of the other figures; the earrings are large; the end of the turban cloth is plaited into a circular frill behind the head and the sacred thread is formed of twisted strands of beads or pearls. The end of the robe which hangs by his left side is well carved. The keeper on the north side of the same door has lost his legs and forearms, and is damaged about the nose. The head is finely carved with a rich bend round the brow, and rich large plaits that rise from the brow and hide the turban except the rilled end at the back. The hair falls from under the cap to the shoulders in four sets of neatly carved curls; the armlet on the left arm is broad, passing twice round, and jewelled at the ends and in the middle; the right forearm has been raised; and the sacred thread is of twisted strands of beads or pearls.

On the east side of the north door is a similar figure with the head-dress falling on the left side in five thin overlapping folds. The keeper on the west side is defaced, and leans his left elbow on the head of a bushy-haired sprite. He has a ribbon tied round his waist, and a cobra comes over his right shoulder and raises its head in front. The doorkeeper has a large round earring in the right, and a smaller ring in the left ear. A thick mass, as of twisted cords, hangs on the right side of the head from the top of the cap, and on the left side is the frill. On the cap arc two crescents. Behind the head is a disc or shield; and under the usual bead necklace is a breast ornament; while the robe falls in clean-cut folds over the right hip and thigh. Both keepers on this side have their right hands raised.

The figure on the south side of the west door has a very elaborate head-dress secured by a folded tie round the neck; he has a crescent above each temple: a frill behind the head on the left side; and the top of the cap and heavy roll that falls over on the right side are carved with open flowers and strands of cord or hair. The breast ornament, the sacred thread with its fastening on the left breast, and the broad jewelled waistband that held up the covering on the loins, have been wrought with much skill. The lower part of the figure is gone. The lower part of the companion keeper, on the north side, with the sprite at his right side is also entirely destroyed. He has a crescent over the right temple, and on the left side of the head, and otherwise resembles the last, though the details are somewhat plainer. These statutes are among the best pieces of carving in the cave.

The doors into the shrine have plain side-posts with two plain bands round them. Inside, both in the floor and roof, are the sockets of door posts. The chamber is perfectly plain inside. The east side measures nineteen feet four inches, and the west twenty feet two inches, the north measures nineteen feet three inches, and the south eighteen feet four inches. In the middle of the room stands a base or altar nine feet nine inches square, moulded like the base under the Trimurti and other sculptures, and about three feet high. In the centre is a ling, cut from a harder and closer grained stone than the cave rock. The lower end of the ling is two feet ten inches square, and is fitted into a hole in the base. The upper part is round, two feet ten inches in diameter, about three feet high and rounded above. The frame, or salunkha is somewhat hollowed to hold the water, oil, and butter poured on it by the worshippers, which were carried off by a broken spout on the north side.

To the west of the shrine is the western aisle or portico, which still has in the roof some traces of the 'beautiful mosaic workmanship' mentioned by De Couto (1603).

Marriage of Shiv and Parvati.

The group in the compartment in the south wall of this aisle or portio represents the marriage of Siv and Parvati, Parvati standing on Siv's right, a position which a Hindu wife rarely holds except on her wedding day.

The group is unfortunately greatly damaged. Of Siv's four hands only the front left hand remains entire, and the whole of his right leg is gone. He wears the usual tiara crowned by coils of hair, and behind the cap has an oval nimbus-like disc. On his right arm appears his shoulder cloth, and he has a band about his waist which comes over his right hip and is knotted at his left side, his left hand rests on the knot, while the ends hang loosely down. His sacred thread hangs from his left shoulder, passing to his right thigh and over his right arms.

Parvati or Uma, who is eight feet six inches high, is one of the best proportioned and most carefully carved figures in the cave. Her head-dress is lower than Siv's head-dress, the hair escapes in little curls from under a broad jewelled fillet, and behind the head is a large back-knot of hair. She wears heavy earrings and several necklaces, from one of which a string ends in front in a tassel. Except for ornaments her body is bare above the waist. The robe that hangs from her waist is shown by a series of slight depressions between the thighs. She slightly inclines her head, as if bashful, and is being pushed forward by a large male figure, possibly her father Himalaya, who lays his right hand on her right shoulder while his left hand holds a necklace of beads near her ear. Both her hands are broken. The right was laid in Siv's right, as it is in a similar sculpture at Ellora.

At Siv's left, crouching on his hams, is the much shattered three-faced figure of Brahma who acted as marriage priest. Behind Brahma stands Visnu with four hands and a peculiar cylindrical cap from under which his hair appears in abundant curls. In his front right hand he holds a lotus and in the back left hand the discus; the other two hands are broken. On the extreme right stands a woman, who may be Mena the mother of; Parvati.

On Parvati's right stands a female fly-whisk bearer with neck-laces, pendant earrings, and holding her robe in her left hand. Behind her is a larger male figure with a plain cap and hair curlew like a barrister's wig. A large crescent behind his neck shows him to be Candra or the moon. He brings a great round pot, perhaps of nectar, for the marriage ceremony. Above Siv's head is a male between two females, all with damaged heads, and above them two smaller figures. On the other side are six more figures, a male and two females below, and above bearded ascetics, probably Siddhas, and Bhrngi next to Siv's head, with a small figure on the roof. [These floating figures are heavenly attendants. The males are known as Gandharvas or heavenly choristers, Vidyadharas or fairies, and Yakshas or demigods; the females are Apsaras, Vidyadharis and Yakshis, the word Apsaras being commonly used to include all three classes. The Siddhas or heavenly ascetics, all of whom are males, are believed to live in mid-air between the earth and the sun. All of these heavenly attendants strew flowers or witness the act which the sculpture records.]


The main figure in the group at the north end of this aisle is Bhairav or perhaps Virbhadra, a terrible form which Siv assumed on hearing from his first wife Sati that he was not asked to attend a sacrifice given by her father Daksa. In the Dumar cave at Ellora the figure of Bhairav or Virbhadra, which is the same as this Elephanta figure, has lost only one arm. At his left is a seated Sati with her left hand on her bosom, terror-struck with the sudden change in Siv's appearance. Beside Sati is a fly-whisk bearer as in Elephanta.

This is one of the most remarkable sculptures in the cave. The central figure, which is much damaged below, stands about eleven and a half feet high. He is in the act of running, the left foot raised higher than the right. He wears a high much carved headdress, with a ruff on the back, a skull and cobra over the forehead, and the crescent high on the right. The expression of the face seems fierce and passionate. The brow skin is wrinkled in a frown over the eyes, the eyes are swollen, and the teeth are set showing a long hanging tusk at the right corner of the mouth. Over the left shoulder and across the thigh hangs a rosary of human heads. He wears a waistband, some folds of which hang over the right hip. Both the legs and five of the eight arms are broken. The front right and left hands were destroyed by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century, and the others have suffered since. [Jour B. B. R. A. S. I. 42.] All the arms have broad ornaments under the shoulders and round the wrists. The front right hand (visitor's left) seems to have hung down and perhaps grasped the butt of the long spear that passes in front of the chest to the visitor's right, where it impaled the small human figure which now seems to hang in the air. The small figure has lost the head, both arms and one of the legs, the other leg resting on a projecting ledge of rock. The second right hand holds a guardless sword; the third is broken, it originally hung down and held a human figure by the left knee as in the Dumar cave at Ellora, and as noticed by De Couto and by Niebuhr in his drawing. The back right hand is stretched up and held an elephant's skin as a canopy, from which in the left corner hangs the elephant's head with specially well carved tusk and trunk. The front left hand which is broken passed down probably to a Sati below, who is gone but traces remain in front of the figure of the woman with a fly-whisk; the second left hand has a snake coiled round it and holds a bowl as if to catch the blood falling from the impaled human figure above; the third hand rings a bell; the fourth is stretched up, holding the elephant's hide as a canopy.[ The chief points of difference between the Elephanta and the Ellora Bhairavs are, that in the Elephanta figure the second left hand holds a bowl and the third a bell; in Ellora the second hand holds the shaft of the spear near the point and the third hand holds the bowl.]

Below, to the spectator's right, are some fragments of a male and of two female forms. Above, them, in a recess, are two ascetics with a small figure in front, and above it a female figure. On the other side below, there have been two dwarfs, and a third figure under Siv.

Above the screen, in the centre, over the head of the chief figure, is a peculiar piece of carving; not unlike the section of a very wide bottle with a curved groove in the middle of it. A similar form appears in some of the other sculptures, but not in so leading a position as this, where the figures on each side seem to be paying it reverence. It is supposed to be the mystic triliteral syllable aum or the ling, but neither explanation is satisfactory. It is much like a Buddhist relic-shrine or daghoba with a heavy tee or umbrella above. In front of the building is a curious curved hollow line. Perhaps it is a Siva shrine, and the object of the hollow curved line is to bring out the ling which stands in the centre of the shrine. At the foot, on each side, are two small prostrate figures. Over the back of each are two figures, apparently worshipping. The pair nearest the central carving have uplifted clasped hands; the next, to the visitor's left, holds a garland; and that to the right holds his hand before his forehead. Both of these, which are the largest figures in the group, have their hair elaborately dressed, and wear necklaces, armlets, and other ornaments. Behind each of these last is a floating female figure. In front of this compartment may be traced the figure of an elephant and some plants, part of the painted design that once graced the ceiling.

Shiv Dancing.

Passing to the north or main entrance, in the west recess, the left to the leaving the cave, is a spirited group of Siv performing the tandav or wild religious dance. The recess is ten feet nine inches wide at the entrance and fully thirteen feet inside, and eleven feet two inches high. The group is raised on a low base. The central Siv, which has been about ten feet eight inches high and originally had eight arms, seems to have lost its first right and third left hand. The first right arm passed across the body and rested on the left side; the second was thrown out from the body, and the forearm has been bent, perhaps, so as to bring the hand before the breast, but it is broken off below the elbow; the third arm is broken above the wrist; the fourth which hangs down and is broken below the elbow, probably held the khatvang or club, round the top of which a large cobra is twined. The first two arms on the left side hang down and are broken off near the wrists; the third, which is also broken, is bent up and probably stretched towards Parvati's face; the fourth is raised above the shoulder. The usual high head-dress is secured by a chin strap, and is so delicately carved that as De Couto says, it seems to have been painted rather than cut with the chisel. The right thigh is bent upwards, but broken off near the knee, and the left leg is entirely gone. The armlets have been elaborately wrought, and are still sharp and clear, as is also the belt or ribbon round the waist whose end is fastened to the skirt of the robe. To the left of Siv (visitor's right) is a female figure, six feet nine inches high, probably Parvati. She wears the same pendant from the necklace as in the marriage scene and other sculptures, large earrings, rich bracelets, and a girdle with carefully carved drapery. Her breast and face have been broken away. On her left has been another female figure, but only the breast and part of the arm are left. Above Parvati's right shoulder is a flying female figure. Over this is Visnu, with his mace in one remaining hand and the shell in the other, riding on the shoulders of Garud which has lost its head. In front of Visnu and over the left hand of Siv is a male figure between two females, and behind these is a fourth figure, of which the face is gone, holding perhaps a water-vessel. Over Parvati's left shoulder is Indra on his elephant.

Below, at Siv's right, is the skeleton form of a much defaced Bhrngi. Beside it is a part-broken tabor with a female figure beating it. Above is Kartikeya with a high cap bearing a crescent and a skull from the right eye of which a snake is crawling. In his right hand he holds Siv's trident which has lost two of its prongs. Above the trident-bearer is a fairly entire and still worshipped Ganes, who holds in his right hand a club and in his left a broken tusk. To the left of the trident-bearer is the body of a woman whose dress has been carefully and sharply cut even to its edges on her thigh. Higher, on a flat seat, borne by five swans, is Brahma with three heads and four hands, in one of which he holds his sacrificial butter-vessel, the other hands are broken. [De Couto describes Brahma as holding a book in his left hand.] Between Brahma and the head of Siv are three figures, a male between two females, the inner one holding some object like a dish. Behind Brahma are two figures, both probably intended for Siv devotees or sages. The figure next to Brahma wears his hair coiled in the jata form on the top of his head.

Shiv as Mahayogi, or Dharmaraja.

The group at the east end of the north portico is Siv as the great Yogi. In character and position, and in many of the surroundings this figure resembles the figure of Buddha. Unfortunately the group is much defaced, and many details are lost. Siv has had only two arms, both of which are broken at the shoulder. He is seated cross-legged on a lotus seat, and the palms of his hands probably rested between the upturned soles of the feet as in most images of Buddha and of Jain Tirthahkaras. The stalk of the lotus-scat is, like Buddha's lotus-scat, held by two Naga figures, shown down to the waist. Siv's crown has been carved with wonderful detail. The front plate is minutely graven and has three knobs at the top, the central knob round, and the side ones probably damaged. High on the left side is the crescent; from the back of the head ringlets fall on each shoulder; and at the back is the circular frill which has been noticed on other statues. Round the whole is a large aureole. The expression of the face, though marred by a broken underlip and a break under the left eye, is calm and unmoved, deep in thought with half-closed eyes.

This figure represents Siv doing penance, after the death of his first wife Devi or Sati. The scene is laid in the Himalayas. Above are the heavenly ministrels; below are attendants mostly seated among rocks; to the left of Siv is a plantain-tree with three open and one opening leaves; a sunflower blossoms under his left knee. On each side stands a female fly-whisk bearer, and behind each a smaller female figure, so defaced that it is difficult to fix more than parts of the outline. Below, on each side of the plantain, sit two attendants, one with his ankles crossed. On the opposite side sits another with a rosary of rudrdksa (Eloeocarpus ganitrus) berries. Over the plantain a faceless Visnu rides on a faceless Garud, who has curly hair and wings streaming like ostrich feathers. Above Visnu is a figure on horseback perhaps the sun; the head of the horse is gone, but the hoof, saddle, saddle-cloth, girth, and bridle are distinct. Behind this is an ascetic holding a rosary. Between the horseman and Siv's head heavenly choristers float in the clouds, the edges of the robes over the thighs of two female figures being carefully carved. Behind is a fourth faceless figure, probably the moon, apparently holding a water-vessel. On the right side of the head are three similar figures, a male between two females, the male carrying what looks like a shell. Next comes a skeleton ascetic, behind whom is a broken-armed Brahma on his usual swans. The figure below Brahma is probably Indra, but his elephant has disappeared.

The only remaining parts of the main hall of the Great Cave are two cells at the ends of the back aisle. They are a little above the level of the rest of the cave, and are entered by two doors. Both are irregular; that on the east is eighteen feet one inch by about fifteen feet nine inches, the north and south sides differing by six inches. The other is seventeen feet six inches from north to south, while the south side measures fourteen feet ten inches and the north sixteen feet three inches. Both are roughly hewn and were probably used as store-rooms.

The East Wing.

The court-yards to the east and west of the Great Cave had separate entrances, which have been blocked by earth and rubbish cleared out of the hall and the courts. From the eastern aisle or portico a neat flight of nine steps, ten feet ten inches wide, leads into a court fully fifty-five feet wide with separate entrance to the north. The south wall of the court is a temple with a well-preserved front. The roof of the Great Cave stands out about seven feet beyond the line of pillars, and that of the smaller temple on the south has similarly overhung the front. The rest of the court has always been open. The circle in the middle of the court, sixteen feet three inches in diameter and raised two or three inches above the rest of the floor, probably formed the pedestal of a nandi, the sacred bull.

The cave in the south wall of the court is raised on a panelled basement about three feet six inches high, which again stands on a low platform two feet four inches in height. The front is about fifty feet long and rises eighteen and a half feet from the platform. It was probably divided into five spaces by four columns and two demicolumns. Of the columns the only traces are the fragments of a base and capital at the west end. These pillars were the same in style as those of the Great Cave, their bases were three feet square, and they were surmounted by a plain architrave of two fascias, of which a small portion remains. On the original basement are three courses of hewn stone.

On each side of the steps which lead to this temple is a stone tiger or leogriff, sitting on its hind quarters, each with a raised forepaw. The portico of this temple measures fifty-eight feet four inches by twenty-four feet two inches. At each end is a chamber, and at the back is a ling shrine, with a passage round it varying from eight feet four inches to eight feet nine inches in width. Five low steps and a threshold lead into the shrine which is thirteen feet ten inches wide and sixteen feet one inch deep. In the middle of the floor stands a low altar, nine feet five inches square with a spout to the east. In the middle of the altar is set a ling two feet five inches in diameter, and of the same compact stone as the ling in the centre of the Great Cave. The shrine door, which has been of a tasteful pattern, is much damaged. Outside the two fascias of the jambs are two neat pilasters, over the capitals of which runs a neat frieze, and round all a crenellated moulding. At the back of the portico, near the east end, is a gigantic statue of a doorkeeper with two attendant demons. The whole is much ruined; the principal figure has had four arms, and the demon on his right stands with his arms crossed, and has a knotted snake which twists round him and rears its hood under his elbow. Near the west end is a similar statue reaching nearly to the roof, with four arms and the usual swelling to mark the third eye; he has moustaches and a Roman nose now damaged; his hair is gathered in a dome of coils, and in his left ear is a twisted snake. He leans the elbow of his front left hand on a ball placed on the head of the demon; the back hand is raised over his shoulder and holds his robe; the front right hand is broken, and the back right hand holds a snake; above, on each side of his head, is a fat flying cherublike figure.

At the west end of this portico is a small chapel ten feet ten inches deep, by about twenty-five feet wide. It has two pillars and two pilasters in front, and the floor being one foot eleven inches above the portico floor, it is entered by steps in front of the central opening. The pillars and pilasters are ten feet 5� inches in height. They are two feet four inches square, and of the same type as the pillars in the Great Cave, except that they have bases 7� inches in depth, and no part of their capitals is fluted. Over the pillars runs an entablature two feet eleven inches deep, consisting of five bands of different breadths, the central band which is one foot two inches deep having sunk panels about 11� inches square and as much apart. Both the pillars are broken and the northern one is almost gone. In the opening into this chapel there has been a railing with a door, doubtless in the centre; the mortices for the ends of the bars are still visible in the bases and at the top of the square portions of the pillars, 5� feet above the floor.

The inside of this chapel has been full of sculpture, but the figures are broken and covered with a crust of soot. At the south end is a large image of Ganes. A squat figure on his right rests his head on Ganes's knee, who lays his hand on the figure's neck. Another figure holds an offering, and has a cobra wound round his waist. Above are two flying figures, and the usual three on each side, as in other sculptures.

At the north end is a standing figure holding in his hand the shaft of what was probably a trident. His left hand rests on a defaced figure, perhaps a demon. This is doubtless Siv or Sulapani, the wielder of the trident. On his right is a swan-borne Brahma. Behind him is a monkey-faced dwarf, and above him three figures, two of them, a man and a woman, holding offerings. On the left of Sulapani is Visnu mounted on Garud, and holding his mace in one of his right hands while the other is open. In one of his left hands he holds his discus, and in the other his shell resting on the shoulder of Garud. A male figure below holds the stalk of a lotus in his left hand, much as Padmapani is represented in Buddha sculptures. Between him and Siv is a female attendant with a fly-whisk.

The west wall is nearly filled with a row of ten colossal figures standing on a base about two feet seven inches high. Of the ten figures seven, perhaps eight, are female figures. The whole frieze is terribly defaced. Several of the female figures have aureoles and some of them carry children, or have children standing beside them. At the north end, visitor's right, is the elephant-headed Ganapati. Next to Ganapati is a much defaced figure, perhaps a six-headed Kartikeya or war god, three of his heads facing the visitor and three not shown as they look back. Next is a female figure with, behind her on her right, a staff surmounted by trident. Close by the trident is a second sign, perhaps an elephant, which seems to be the sign of the second female figure. Next in the background is a staff holding a swan, apparently the sign of the third female figure. Then behind is what seems a Garud or man-vulture apparently the sign of the fourth female figure. Then comes a peacock sign and a fifth woman; then a bull and a sixth woman; then a duck and a seventh woman; then a defaced sign and an eighth woman. [These female figures are the Matrikas, the divine mothers or female energies, who attend on Kartikeya. They are generally reckoned seven, but some times eight, some times nine, and sometimes sixteen. Each Matrika has a staff surmounted by a flag bearing the mark of her carrier, which is the same as the carrier of the corresponding male deity. Thus Brahmi has the swan, Vaishnavi the eagle Garud, Maheshvari the bull, Kaumari the peacock, Aindri the elephant, Varahi the buffalo, and Chamunda a dead body. The Matrikas are carved in the Kailas cave at Ellora and in the Gulvada cave near Ghatotkach in Hyderabad. Cave Temples of India, 428. 455.] Over this sculpture, is an architrave, two feet ten inches deep, of three plain members, the lower and upper projecting five inches, from the line of the central band. The upper is divided into six equal spaces by five ornaments with two half spaces at the ends, and the lower is divided by larger ornaments into five full spaces and two half spaces at the ends. These ornaments are the same as the well-known Buddhist window-pattern, except that, instead of lattice work or a human head they contain a grotesque face called kirtimukh or the face of fame. The sunk frieze between the projecting members keeps the ground colours of the chequer pattern in which it was painted.

At the east end of the portico is another chapel, with two pillars and two pilasters in front, raised above the floor of the temple but perfectly plain inside. It measures twenty-seven feet seven inches by eleven feet seven inches, and, as the floor is sunk a few inches below the level of the plinth or step on which the pillars stand, the water that drops into it from the rock above remains during most of the dry season.

The West Wing.

Passing to the west through the Great Cave a few steps lead into another court, the floor of which is covered with fallen rock and earth. On this side also the roof of the Great Cave has projected some seven feet beyond the pillars of the portico, and the roof of the small chapel on the west side has projected five and a half feet; the rest of the court, about nineteen feet wide, is open to the sky. The old entrance to the north-west has been blocked by earth and stones taken out of the court. On the south wall of the court a large cistern runs under the hill, the roof supported by two roughly hewn square pillars. The cistern is now much filled with earth and a great part of the rock in front has fallen in. Originally, on the plan of most Buddhist cisterns, it probably had only a square opening above, near the east end. According to De Couto it was commonly believed to be bottomless. The water is cool and pleasant.

The shrine on the west side of the court is entered through a portico supported in front by two square pillars and pilasters, now broken away, and approached by four or five steps before the central opening. This portico is about twenty-seven feet long, thirteen feet seven inches deep from the front of the platform, and eight feet ten inches high. It contains a good deal of sculpture. At the north end is a group of figures similar to those in the left recess at the north entrance of the Great. Cave, in the centre is Siv, seated as an ascetic on a lotus throne upheld by two fat heavy wigged figures shown to the waist. Niebuhr's drawing represents Siv as resting his left hand on his thigh, and having the right hand slightly raised. The forearms arc now broken. To the right of Siv is a figure sitting on his heels and holding an opening plantain, and behind him is a bearded ascetic or sage. On the left is a similar sitting figure, and above is Brahma with three faces, and some other forms oh each side.

A door at the back of the portico leads into a ling shrine about ten feet seven inches by nine feet seven inches. In the centre is a ling conical above and below square with faces eighteen inches broad, It stands in a case or salunkha which is roughly cut in the floor. On each side of the door is a warder with two demons at his feet and two fat flying figures, above his shoulders. To the south of this door is a group of figures, among whom Siv appears with six arms and the third eye in his forehead. His high crown is ornamented with a crescent; in the front right hand he holds a cobra; in the second the club, as in the. dancing &iv; the third or outer arm is broken. In his front left hand he holds his dress; in the second is some object now defaced and the palm of the third is exposed. At his right is a plantain tree with a figure sitting on the ground, and above is Brahma on his swanborne lotus-seat. On Brahma's left a male figure rides a hull with a bell fastened to its neck, and between this and Siv's head are two figures, one of them a female holding a fly-whisk. Besides Siv's front left arm is a female figure with a jewel on her forehead, and neatly looped head-dress. Above her left shoulder is Indra on his elephant, and behind him Visnu, with four arms, holds his discus in one of his left hands and rides on the shoulders of Garud, whose brow is marked with the Vaisnav sect mark. In front of Garud's wing is a small flying figure, and beneath is a male figure with crescent in his hair.

At the south end of this portico is the beginning of a small rude chamber, rough and scarcely large enough to hold more than one person.


There is no inscription in the caves. Besides the stories that they are the work of the Pandavas, or of Sikandar that is Alexander the Great, the Musalman Pandav or King Arthur [The Pandavas are the five brother heroes of the Mahabharat, Yudhishthir, Bhim, Arjun, Nakul, and Sahadev, who with their wife Draupadi were banished and forced to wander over India for twelve years. At each of their halting places, though they stopped but one night, they built a temple or cut a suite of caves. With the Pandavas to explain all traces of Buddhist buildings, and Shiv as the great ascetic and King of righteousness to explain all traces of Buddhist faith and feeling, the restorers of Brahmanism secured the complete forgottenncss of their old rivals and conquerors.

The tradition about Alexander is mentioned by Pyke (1712), by Grose (1751) and by Goldingham (1795), Alexander's Dyke across the Bassein creek, about two miles above Ghodbandar, Alexander's Horse formerly one of the sights of Elephanta, and Alexander as the builder of the Mandapeshvar caves are other instances of the Musalman practice of translating Pandav into Sikandar.], De Couto mentions a local tradition that the caves were cut by a Kanara king named Banasur, whose daughter Usa dedicated herself to perpetual virginity and lived on the island for many years. Besides the caves, Banasur is said to have built many mansions on the island, and a beautiful palace at a city called Sorbale. In support of this legend De Couto noticed, that when he wrote, old bricks and cut-stones were found in great quantities, probably the remains that still give an interest to many parts of the island. [De Couto in J. B. B. R. A. S., I. 40.44. De Couto notices that the island was known as Santapur, a name interesting from its similarity to Sandabur, a port mentioned by several Arab and European writers between the tenth and sixteenth centuries. The chief references to Sandabur are Masudi (915) (Prairies d'or, I. 207; Yule's Cathay, I. ecli.), who notices that crocodiles were found in the bays of the Indian sea, such as the bay of Sandabura in the Indian Kingdom of Baghrah, apparently of the Balharahs that is the Silharas (compare Elliot, I. 22). Al Idrisi (1153) places Sindapur four days from Broach, on a large gulf where ships cast anchor. It was a commercial city with beautiful houses and rich markets (Jaubert's Idrisi, 179). Idrisi, also describes it as four days from Thana or Bana (Elliot's History, I. 89). Rashiduddin (1290) mentions a Sindabur (Elliot, I. 68), the next town to which is Faknur, apparently Baccanor south of Honavar (Yule's Cathay, II. 45). Abul-fida (1320) has a Sindapur which he is said to confuse with Sanjan (Yule's Cathay. II. 444). Ibn Batuta (1347) describes Sindabur as three days from Gogha and one day from Honor (Ditto, 416), Chintabor is mentioned in the Catalan map (1375) (Ditto 444). A Kuwwai Sindapur appears in the Mohit an Arab work on the navigation of the Indian Ocean (1554), J. A. S. BI. V. 2, 484. Finally there is a Cintapor in Linschoten's map (1573) (Navigation de Jean Hughes de Linschot. 20), but its position south of Dabhol seems to point to Jaitapur (Bombay Gazetteer, X. 341). Sir H. Yule is satisfied (Cathay, II. 444) that Sandabur and Goa are the same. Several of the references suit Goa harbour and do not suit Bombay harbour. But other notices seem to fit better with some place in the Thana coast. The use of the double name Kuwwai-Sandabur in the Mohit seems to point to two Sandaburs, and De Couto's name seems to make it possible that Santapuri or Elephanta was one of the two. The origin of De Couto's name Santapuri is probably the holy city. Its resemblance to Shonitpur perhaps explains why De Couto's Brahman informants made Elephanta the seat of the great Ban. Sonapur, another (Wilson's Works, XII 396) but incorrect form of the name of the same city, probably explains De Couto's story of the shower of gold.

According to the Harivansh, Ban the Asur, the eldest of the hundred sons of Bali, had a thousand arms and a capital called Shonitpur, or the city of blood. So high did Ban stand in his favour that Shiv allowed him to be called his son, the younger brother of Kartikeya, god of war. Ban defeats all his enemies, and wearied with idleness, prays Shiv to find him work for his thousand arms. Shiv promises a combat that will tax his powers and tells him that the fall of the standard from nis palece roof is the sign that war is at hand. Soon after, among many other omens, a hurricane and an eclipse, the standard is struck by lightning and falls. Ban is delighted and orders a feast.

One day Shiv and Parvati, with a band of heavenly damsels and a company of sages, were amusing themselves on the bank of a river. The god was seen by Usha the daughter of.Ban, and full of admiration she prayed Parvati to grant her such a husband. Parvati promised and said that on a certain night she would see her future husband in dream. On the night named Usha dreamed that she had been visited by a warrior of great beauty. With the help of the fairy Chitralekha, or the Painter, she sees portraits of all famous princes, and among them finds the hero o€ her dream, Aniruddh, grandson of Krishna, king of Dvaraka in Kathevad. The fairy Painter goes to Dvaraka, finds Aniruddh unhappy, full of a beautiful girl he hsa seen in a dream. The fairy tells him she has come to take him to his ladylove, and brings him safe to Usha's palace. They are married in the Gandharv or unceremonious style, and a few days pass quietly. Then the story spreads that a stranger has taken up his quarters in the princess's palace. Ban, beside himself with rage, sends a band of men to kill the stranger. But Aniruddh wrenches the weapons out of their hands and drives them off. Ban comes himself, and after a great fight Aniruddn is beaten and bound. At Dvaraka news comes that Aniruddh is a prisoner at Shonitpur. Krishna gathers a great army, breaks through all barriers, and forces his way into Shonitpur. Ban is defeated and all his arms cut off but ten. In spite of his defeat and his wounds Ban remains firm in his trust in Shiv. He dances, maimed and weak as he is, before the god, and in reward, is allowed to go to heaven and be a leader of Shiv's angels. Krishna returns to Dvaraka, and, with great rejoicings, all Usha's handmaidens are married to young Yadavas. Langlois' Harivansh, II. 192—260.

The story is full of the marvellous. Shonitpur is girt with a wall of fire, the warriors use the elements as weapons, and make their journeys through the air by the help of the magic of sages or by the exertions of heavenly bearers. No details show where Shonitpur was, how far or in what ciirection from Dvaraka, whether on the sea or inland. Shonitpurs are not uncommon. There is one in north Bengal, one on the Coromandel coast, and one on. the Godavari (Langlois' Harivansh, II. 193). Its war with the chief of Dvaraka favours the view that Ban's city was somewhere in Western India.

A story of Usha and Aniruddh is the subject of a modern (17th century) drama named Madhuraniruddh, which is given in Wilson's Works, XII, 396-399. According to a Gujarati poem of the seventeenth century, called Okhaharan or the abduction of Okha, Okha was the daughter of Parvati whom Ban was allowed to adopt. When the girl grew up, Ban, finding that her husband was destined to be the cause of his death, imprisoned her in a tower under his palace. The rest of the story is much the tame as the account in the Harivansh.]

The style of the pillars and the close resemblance to the Dumar cave at Ellora led Mr. Fergusson to assign the building of the Elephanta caves to the eighth and twelfth centuries, and Dr. Burgess in the latter part of the eighth or the ninth century [ Burgess' Elephanta, 5.]

Pandit Bhagvanlal agrees with Mr. Fergusson in assigning the caves to about the middle of the eighth century. As features peculiar to this date he notices, among architectural details, the fluted potshaped capitals of the pillars. Among characteristic forms of sculptures, he notices, in the male figures, a proud soldierlike bearing and the practice of setting the hand jauntily on the hanging waistband; the sacred thread made of braided ropes of pearls; the curled hair falling in long ringlets over the neck, the tall three-plated crown, and the fanlike frill or ruff at the back of the head, the three last features being adopted from Sassanian models.[The Sassanian dynasty of Persia, A. D. 230—650.] The characteristic details in the female figures arc the large round knot of hair that shows a little over the back of the head, the row of formal close twisted curls that line the brow and temples, and the delicate and suitable shades of expression that appear in some of the faces. In Pandit Bhagvanlal's opinion these characteristics point to a date slightly later than the date of the Dasavatar cave at Ellora, which is known to have been built between A. D. 720 and A. D. 750. They are not found in sculptures separated by any considerable interval from the Dasavatar sculptures. They are notably absent from Ambarnath, a good typical instance, whose date is known to be 1060.

As the sculptures are almost entirely confined to the representation of supernatural beings, they have little of the value which attaches to the Ajintha cave's as illustrations of the style of dress and the manner of living at the time to which they belong. Except one or two bearded rsis and the moustached Rudra, the faces of the male figures are hairless. Some wear the hair coiled into a high dome in the ascetic or jata style, others wear hair either cropped or in close wiglike curls. The chief headdress is the rich royal tiara, much the same in shape and details as the royal head-dresses painted in the Ajintha caves of the sixth and seventh centuries, a trace of which survives in the modern wedding tiara or basing.. None of the figures is shown with a modern turban. The east guardian of the Trimurti, the worshipping figure in front of the group in the west side of the back aisle, and the great statue of Bhairav or Virbhadra in the group at the north end of the western aisle have a peculiar fanlike frill or ruff at the back of their necks. In several instances the waistcloth, or dhotar, is tied in a bow on the right thigh and allowed to hang down the leg, and the sacred thread is heavier and broader than the present slight string. In other respects the dress of the male figures is much the same as at present. The very rich and heavily jewelled necklaces are much like Ajintha necklaces of the sixth and seventh centuries, and, as in Ajanta, a large number of the figures have their earlobes drawn down by heavy ornaments [The appearance of the ears of many of the figures recalls the Arab traveller Sulaiman's (850) remark that the Balhara, perhaps rather Silahara, the King of the Konkan, was the prince of the men who have their ears pierced. Elliot's History, I. 3. The practice of dragging down the ear-lobes remains in the State among some Vanjaris and among the small band of devotees, who are known as Kanphati or slit ears (Details of this sect are given in Bombay Gazetteer, V. 85). In 1583 the English traveller Fitch noticed that the ears of the women of Ormuz were so stretched by the weight of their earrings that a man could put three of his fingers into the holes in the lobes. Harris' Voyages, I. 207. About 200 years ago (1750—1770), according to Grose (Voyage to, the East Indies, I. 245) on the Malabar coast most of the people had their ears hanging almost to their shoulders. When young the lobes were bored, a spiral slip of the brab-palm leaf was introduced and renewed as the hole grew bigger. When the ho'e was made as big as possible, they adorned the ear with pendants heavy enough to burst the gristle. The same author (23) notices the same practice in Mozambique where the women of Johanna considered it a beauty to have the ear-lobes greatly dilated and weighed down.].

The female figures generally wear the hair tied in a large ball behind the head. None of them wear the bodice and none draw the end of the robe over the shoulder; in other respects the robe is worn as it now is. None of the figures wear noserings and many wear girdles, but the ornaments of the ear, neck, arm and ankle appear to be the same as those now worn by the Hindu women of the Gujarat and the Konkan. Among the weapons shown are the trident, the sword and dagger, the discus, and the mace: among animals tiger, elephant, eagle, alligator, bull, horse, tortoise and swan: and among plants and trees lotus, plantain, asok, and milk-bush. Of miscellaneous articles are a looking glass, baskets, bowls, bells, conches, and water and butter-pots.

When new the walls and ceiling of the caves, and probably as at Ajintha and Kanheri the pillars and figures were covered with a coating of painted cement. [De Couto (1603) says that though the stone of the mountain is of a grey colour, the whole body inside, the pillars, the figures, and everything else, had formerly been covered with a coat of lime mixed with bitumen and other compositions that made the temple so bright that it looked very beautiful. Not only did the figures look very distinctly perceived, so that neither in silver nor in wax could such figures be engraved with greater nicety, fineness, or perfection. Grose (1750) took particular notice of some paintings round the cornices, not for anything curious in the design but for the beauty and freshness of the colouring (Voyage, I. 62). Erskine (1813) mentions several concentric circles with some figures in the roof of the grand entrance. [Trans. Bom. Lit. Soc. (Reprint), I. 266.] In 1835 remains of painting were observable, wnich seemed to have originally been of a red colour, but had in some places faded to a purple blue. (Mad. Jour. V. 171.) Many patches of cement remain and colour may still be traced especially on the roof of the west portico of the Great Cave and in the west or Matrika chamber of the east wing. Scanty as are the traces of Cement and colour, De Couto's statement and the enthusiasm of the first Portuguese visitors, seem to show Mr. Griffiths' thoroughly informed and beautifully finished 'Ajanta in the Sixth Century' is a close representation of the soft and varied brilliancy of the Great Elephanta Cave when it passed from the architects' hands.] The caves probably continued will cared for till the overthrow of the Devgiri Yadavas by Ala-uddin Khiljl (1295—1316) at the close of the thirteenth century. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, perhaps during the greater part of the fifteenth century, Elephanta, with the rest of the Thana coast, was nominally under the Musalman kings of Ahmadabad. They do not seem to have interfered with the caves, which, when they passed to the Portuguese in 1534, were the best of all the cave temples, as big as a monastery, with courts and cisterns, and along the walls, many sculptures of elephants, tigers, human beings, and other cleverly figured images well worth seeing [Garcia D'Orta, Colloquios in Trans. Bom. Lit Soc. (Reprint), I. 269. Garcia was not certain whether the temple was the work of the devil, who had exerted all his skill in deceiving the heathen, or the work of the Chinese.

When the Portuguese took the island, it was rented to one Joao Pires for the annual quit-rent of 4 (105 pardaos).. It remained with him till 1548, when it passed to Manuel Rebello da Silva, who again made it over to his daughter Dona Rosa Maria Manuel d' Almeida, who was married to Lopo de Mello Sampaio on the 22nd April 1616. The descendants of this lady were living in Bassein as late as 1848.]

Five years later Dom Joao de Castro thought the caves so beautiful that they could not be the work of human hands. Even Apelles might have learned from the proportion and symmetry of the figures. [Primeiro Roteiro da Costa da India, 66. Oh marvellous hardihood, he adds truly it never entered the mind of man ever to plan such a work, much less to carry it to completion.] On a second visit in 1550 Garcia d'Orta found the caves much damaged by cattle. [Colloquios in Trans. Bom. Lit. Soc. (Reprint), I. 269] About thirty years later Linschoten (1583—1596) described the Elephant a Temple on the island of Pori as the most famous temple in Western India. It was as large as a monastery, and had many places and cisterns, figures of elephants, lions and other animals, and amazons cut with exquisite skill. He thought them the work of the Chinese who had lately traded to those parts. When he wrote they were deserted and ruined, only serving as a monument of the splendour of the Indians which was still great in the inland parts. [Navigation de Jean Hughes de Linschot, 83.] At the beginning of the seventeenth century De Couto complains of the sculptures 'and indeed almost everything else' being injured by the frolic of the soldiers [Journal R. B. R. A. S., I. 42, 44. De Couto's account, one of the earliest and still one of the best descriptions of the caves is given in full: This remarkable and splendid temple of Elephanta is situated in a small island about half a league in circumference which marks the Bombay river just when it is about to enter the sea from the northward. It is so called on account of a great stone elephant in the island, which is seen on entering the river, and is said to have been built by a Hindu king named Banasur, who became master of everything from the Ganges inwards. It is affirmed (and so it appears) that immense sums of money were expended on this temple, and that millions of workmen were employed on it for many years. The site of this temple stretches from north to south. It is nearly open on all sides, particularly to the north, east, and west, the back lies to the south. The body of temple is about eighty paces long and sixty broad. It is all hewn out of the solid rock, and the upper roof, which is the top of the rock, is supported by fifty pillars, wrought from the same mountain, which are so arranged as to divide the body of the temple into seven naves. Each of those pillars is twenty-two spans square, and from the middle upwards is eighteen spans round. The stone of the mountain where this temple has been carved is of a grey colour. But the whole body inside, the pillars, the figures, and everything else, was formerly covered with a coat of lime mixed with bitumen and other compositions, that made the temple bright and very beautiful, the features and workmanship showing very distinct, so that neither in silver nor in wax could such figures be engraved with greater nicety, fineness, or perfection.

On entering the temple to the right hand there is a recess sixteen and a half spans broad, and fifteen and a half high. Within are many figures, that in the midlle seventeen spans high, with a large and beautiful crown on the head, so nicely made, that it appeart to have been painted rather than carved in stone with the chisel. This figure has eight hands and two legs; one of the right hands holds a sceptre with a snake round it like that of Mercury. Over the top of the sceptre there are three small idols of a cubit each; one of the left hands supports in its fingers three other idols of the same size. To the left there is another large idol with a symitar, and over it another very large one, with the body of a man and the head of an elephant, from which I think, the island took its name. In this idol they worship the God Ganesh of whom they relate many fables. Near this idol issues from the rock a stone seat in which is seated a figure with one body and three heads, each of them having one hand except the middle one, which has two, and in the left hand holds a book. To the left of this idol there is the figure of a woman three spans high, her left hand resting on the shoulder of another small figure of a woman, and the right hand twined round another even smaller figure. Immediately above this idol there is another mounted upon the head of an elephant, and near this another, on the neck of another idol.

Two paces from this recess towards the south the temple begins to widen eleven paces towards the west, thence to proceed towards the south another eleven paces, and returns again towards the west eleven paces. In this aisle there is, to the right hand, a recess when in the rock seven and a half feet high and sixteen broad. In the middle of this recess is an idol in a sitting posture, twelve spans high from the waist upwards, with a very curious and beautiful crown. It has eight hands and two legs, and with one of its right hands and another of the left spreads over the head a canopy of the same stone. Above it in the air are many male and female idols one cubit each. In the second right hand it has a two-edged sword, and in the third a small idol hanging by the legs. The fourth right hand with a part of the arm has been broken by the frolic of the soldiers of the fleet that visited the place, as is nearly the case with everything else. In the second left hand it has a little bell, and across the shoulder a large collar of many little human heads strung together, and all hewn in the same stone and engraved on the neck itself. In the third hand it has a kettle with a small idol on it. The fourth left hand, with the arm, is broken. On both sides of this idol and throughout this recess there are thirty small idols standing. A few paces from this recess to the right hand, which lies to the south, there is a square room ten paces long and as many broad, hewn in the rock, and so constructed as to admit of a person walking all round. It has a door on each side entered by a, flight of five steps. In the middle of the chapel is a square stone seat of twenty-four spans, where there is a figure of a usual idol of Shiv. These four gates of this house, the sockets of which still exist, were never opened except once in the year on the day of its greatest festivity, to show in what veneration they held the idol in question At each entrance of this house there are two beautiful giants twenty-four spans high.

Ten paces from the chapel going towards the south there is another recess with a beautiful porch of mosaic workmanship, twenty-four feet broad and twenty-six high. In the middle there is an idol sixteen spans high, with four hands and two legs, arid one hand round a female figure. To the left of this idol there is another of equal size, and below it another small one with three heads, four hands and two legs, and around all this recess inside are many other idols. From this to the west there is a cistern of excellent water, the bottom of which, like the fountains of Alfeo and Arethusa, is said never to have been found.

Here ends the western wall, which is that of the right hand of the body of the temple. Returning hence to the east there is a recess very curiously worked, fourteen feet broad and eighteen long. In the middle there is an immense idol, with crossed legs and a very beautiful crown on the head, and on both sides there are many images of men and women and some on horseback. Thence the pagoda begins to extend towards the east; where there is another recess like the others, from beneath which issues an idol from the waist upwards very large, with five faces in proportion to the body, with crowns on the heads, and twelve hands, with which it supports a stone seat, over which there is another immense idol, with one face, six hands and two legs, having one of the right hands over neck of a woman, also very large sitting by him, and on each side of the idol there are others of nearly the same size, seated on the same seat, and in the body of the recess there are about a hundred more idols of the figure of men and women. Proceeding thence towards the south, there is another recess with a giant-like idol sitting in the middle of it with a crown on the head, and with four heads and two legs, having on each side a large idol, one of the figures of a woman and the other of a man, besides many other idols.

Here ends the eastern wall, which is that of the left hand of the pagoda. At the end of these two eastern and western walls of the pagoda there are three large recesses. That in the middle which lies more to the interior is thirty feet broad and sixteen long. From the pavement of this chapel issues a body from the waist upwards of so enormous a size, that it fills the whole vacuum in length and breadth of the recess. It has three large faces, the middle one looks to the north, the second to the west, and the other to the east. Each of these faces has two hands, and on the neck two large necklaces, wrought with considerable perfection. These figures have on their heads three very beautiful Crowns. The middle one, which is bigger than the others, holds in one hand a large globe, and whatever it had in the right hand cannot be discovered, as it is defaced. The face on the right side holds in the right hand a Cobra di capello, and in the left' a rose Called Golfo, which are produced in large-lakes. At the entrance of this chapel there ate two giants standing on each side of an idol ten spans high. The second recess which is to the right side is nineteen feet broad, eleven long and thirty high and has in the middle of it an immense idol with four hands and two legs, as all the others, and a beautiful crown, on the head, and above it there is another of the figure of a woman, twenty spans high. Throughout the whole of this group there are many other small idols. To the right side of this group there is a gate seven feet high, and five and a half broad, which communicates with a dark square chamber ten paces broad and as many long, and there is nothing in it. Turning to the other side of the middle recess there is another recess twenty-three feet long, and thirty broad, having in the middle another idol twenty-two spans high, with four hands, and standing upon one leg only, with a beautiful crown on the head, which rests on that of a bull. The ancients believed this idol to have been half man and half woman, because it has only one breast like the ancient Amazons, and has in one hand a Cobra di capello, and in the other a looking glass. In this group there are more than fifty figures. To the left side of this recess there is a gate six spans high and five broad, which communicates with a room nearly square and very dark, where there is nothing to be seen. With this ends the edifice of this pagoda, which is injured in many parts, and whatever the soldiers have spared is in such a state that it is a great pity to see thus destroyed one of the most beautiful things in the world. It is fifty years since I want to see this extraordinary pagoda, but, as I did not enter it with such curiosity as I now should, I did not remark many things that do not now exist, I recollect finding a recess, which is not seen now, open all through the front, about fortyfeetlong, and alongthe rock there was an elevated space, of the length of the house, like our altars both in breadth and height, with many remarkable things on it. Among them I recollect having remarked the story of Queen Pasiphae with the Bull, and an Angel with a drawn sword turning out from underneath a tree, two very beautiful figures of a man and woman, both naked, as the holy Scripture represents our first ancestors Adam and Eve.

When the Portuguese took Bassein and its dependencies they went to this temple and removed a famous stone over the gate which had an inscription of large and well written characters which was sent to the king, after the Governor of India had in vain endeavoured to find out any Hindu or Moor in the east who could decipher them. King Dom John III also used all his endeavours to the same purpose, but without effect, and the stone thus remained there, and there is now no trace of it.

On the side of the hill where the pagoda stands, about two stone throws to the east, there is another pagoda open in front, and the roof is supported by many pillars beautifully executed, of which only two now exist, and are nineteen spans high and twelve thick. This temple is forty-three paces long and thirteen wide, and at one side there is a small room most beautifully worked. There they worship the goddess Paramisori (Parameshvari). This pagoda, which is now entirely destroyed, was the' most stupendous work of its size.

In another hill of this little island, towards the east as regards the great temple, nearly in the middle, there is another temple which formerly admitted, of an entrance by a gate which had a marble porch very curiously executed. This pagoda has a large hall and three rooms. In the first to the right hand, there is nothing now left the second has two idols seated in a large square seat. One of these idols, called Vethala Chenday (Vetal Chandi), had six hands and one head and was supported by two smaller idols one on each side.

Both this large and the other small temples are known from the writings of the Hindus to have been the work of a Kanara king Galled Banasur, who ordered their construction, as wellas of some famous palaces near them where he resided, of which even in my time there were some marks, and many ruins of cut stones and large unburnt bricks. These palaces or this city, which is said to have been very beautiful, was called Sorbale, and the hill where the Elephant pagoda stands, Simpdeo. A daughter of the King called Uqua, the same as Okha in Gujarati literature or.Usha in Sanskrit who dedicated herself in this island to perpetual virginity, lived here for many years. The ancients say that during the time of king, Banasur gold rained once for the space of three hours at Elephanta, and it was therefore called Santapori or the Golden Island. I do not relate many particulars connected with the pagoda, as they are so many that they cannot well be particularized, and: will tire the reader. *Decade VII. Bk. III. Chap. XL translated in Jour. B. B. R. A, Soe. I, 40—45.].

In 1673, Fryer repeats that the cave was defaced by the Portuguese [New Account, 75.] Pyke, in 1712, found the Portuguese foddering cattle in the caves in the rainy season. He heard that lately one of their Fidalgos, to divert himself with the echo, had fired a great gun into it with several shots, which had broken some of the pillars [Archaeologia, VII. 329.]. In 1720 Hamilton found the island serving only to feed cattle [New Account, I. 241.]. Grose (1750) describes the caves as water-logged. According to him the figures were in a tolerable state of preservation, until the arrival of the Portuguese, who were at some pains to maim and deface them, even bringing field pieces to the demolition of the images [Voyage to the East Indies, I. 59-62. Grose is always ready to spread tales against the Portuguese. Tieffenthaler, about the same time as Grose, merely mentions Elephanta. Desc. et Geog. I. 410.]. De Perron (1760), whose account of the caves is very detailed, seems to have misunderstood what he was told about the injury to the figures. He says the Marathas dragged some pieces of canon to take off the plaster with which the Portuguese had covered many of the figures; but finding that the has reliefs began to fall with the plaster, they took to clearing the plaster with a chisel [Zend Avesta, I. ccccxxii. This may be true of Mandapcshvar which was used as a chapel and school by the Portuguese who drew a thick veil of cement over the old sculptures.]. Niebuhr (1765) found the figures much damaged at the feet. He did not believe the mischief was done by the Portuguese or by travellers; it was the effect of rain water which fell from the roof of the temple and remained in it for a long time [Voyage, 26. The damage to the pillars and to the feet of the figures was probably caused by damp. The breaking of arms and noses must be the result of intentional violence.]. In 1788 Dr. Hove, the Polish traveller, found the figures in the caves much ruined by the officers of Admiral Cornish's fleet, so much that the greater part of them could hardly be distinguished. Lord Valentia (1803) did not find signs of violence; he thought the mischief was caused by rain water. He notices that a wall had been built across the entrance to keep out cattle. In 1813 Mr. Erskine found the feet and lower parts of the figures 'extremely rotten and eaten by the damp', while the upper parts of the bas-reliefs had suffered a good deal from force and injury rather than time. In 1825 Bishop Heber found the caves suffering from the annual rains; a great number of the pillars (nearly one-third of the whole) had been undermined by the accumulation of water in cavern, and the capitals of some, and parts of the shafts of others remained suspended from the top like huge stalactites, the bases having completely mouldered away [Narrative, II. 182. The decay of the pillars was probably partly due to flaws in the rock. Erskine found that one of the pillars had been patched with a splint of teak, probably at the time when the cave was made.]. In 1850 Dr. Wilson noticed that the work of decay was fast progressing. In 1865 parts of the noses of two of the Trimurti faces were damaged, and, about 1868, the head was broken off one of the leogriffs or tigers at the entrance of the eastern wing.

For sometime after the Portuguese conquest Elephanta seems to have almost ceased to be a Hindu place of worship [The references are somewhat contradictory. In 1750 Grose (Voyage, I. 62) says: 'The present Gentoos have no veneration for the place.' Hove (1788) on the other hand remarks (Tours, 189): 'The Gentoosl hold this place in great veneration; those that come in pilgrimage from the continent approach it with profound solemnity and decorum.' In 1795 Sir J. Carnac (As. Res. IV. 407) wrote: 'There is no tradition of these caves having been frequented by Hindus as a place of worship and at this period no worship is performed at any of them.' In 1813 Mr. Erskine's more minute knowledge (Bom. Lit. Soc. Reprint, I. 257) showed that the ling in the central shrine was still an object of religious veneration to the natives, particularly to barren women. He occasionally saw it adorned with garlands of flowers and oil. Bishop Heber (1825) noticed very recent marks of red paint on one of the ling. Flowers were offered by the people of the island, but no pilgrims came to it from a distance, ri6r were there any Brahmans stationed at the shrine. Narrative, II. 182.']. Now, worshipping is not allowed by the Department of Archaeology and the visitors are charged an entrance fee. In 1854 a Lohana of Bombay, at a cost of Rs. 12,000, built the flight of steps that leads from the north shore to the Great Cave. Dr. Burgess mentions that on Siv's great day in February (Magh vadya 13th) a fair was held and the ling in the central shrine worshipped. Now a fair is held on the Maha Sivaratri day. The fair is attended by many people from Bombay and the surrounding villages.

About a quarter of a mile to the south-east of the Great Cave, and at about the same level, is a second excavation. It faces east, north-east, and, including the chapel at the north end, has an extreme length of about 109 � feet. The front is so completely destroyed, the entrance so filled with earth and stones, and the inside so hurt by water, that it is hard to say what it originally looked like. The front was nearly eighty feet long, and must have been supported by a number of columns with two demi-columns at the ends, of which latter some fragments remain. Inside, the portico stretched five feet further to the south, giving a total length of eighty-five feet with a depth of about thirty-five feet. At the north' end of this is a chapel raised a few feet above the level of the portico supported in front by four eight-cornered columns and two demi-columns about two feet nine inches in diameter, slightly tapering upwards, and with capitals much like those in the Great Cave. Of these pillars two are entirely gone. The chapel, which is perfectly plain, is about thirty-nine feet deep by twenty-two broad, and like most other rooms at Elephanta is of irregular shape. At the back of the portico are three chambers; that to the north is about fifteen feet nine inches wide by sixteen feet five inches deep, and has generally several inches of water. The southern chamber is like the northern one. The central chamber is twenty feet nine inches wide in front and twenty-two feet at the back, by twenty-one feet one inch deep on the left and twenty-two feet four inches on the right. About three feet from the back wall stands an altar, seven feet four inches square, with the water channel, pranalika, to the north; the ling has disappeared. At the entrance to this shrine is the only sculpture in the cave. The door is five feet four inches wide, and the architrave and jambs measure about five feet ten inches; the inner members are like those round the door of the shrine in the east wing of the Great Cave, and in the fourth cave; outside these is a leaf moulding all round, and then a thick torus. Most of the sculpture over the door has fallen: but at the head of the jambs two figures of animals act as brackets. On the frieze above are some figures. Those in the centre are not easily made out. then comes a long alligator with a fantastic tail, then a boy holding back the upper lip of a second alligator, and at each end a fat figure. Outside the jambs on each side stood a lofty door-keeper over whose shoulders are two flying figures, a made and a female. As the rain water had no escape this cave has gone to ruin, and the door-keepers are mere fragments.

The Third Cave.

A little to the south of the last cave is another still more broken, with a portico of uncertain breadth and about fifty feet two inches long. At each end there seems to have been a chapel or room with pillars in front. The north chapel is fifteen feet seven inches deep, with a cell at the back, whose mean dimensions are fourteen feet deep by sixteen feet four inches wide, and a second on the west side measuring thirteen feet six inches in front and fourteen feet nine inches at the back, with a mean depth of 15� feet. The south chapel is twenty-one feet one inch by fifteen feet eleven inches, and has a cell at the back measuring fifteen feet ten inches by sixteen feet seven inches, but almost filled with earth. A pilaster and portion of a pillar in front of this chapel show that they were octagonal and of the same style as those in the last cave.

This cave has, like the last, suffered from water logging in it. The door in the centre of the back of the portico, leading into the shrine is specially damaged. It is four feet nine inches wide and of the same pattern as the others with large warders at each side, leaning on dwarfs, and with two flying figures over the head of each. The jamb and architrave measure two feet three inches in breadth, and the door-keepers and demons on each side occupy five feet more.

The shrine is a plain room, nineteen feet ten inches deep by eighteen feet ten inches wide, with a low altar six feet eleven, inches square, containing a ling six feet eleven inches in circumference or twenty-three inches in diameter. On each side is a cell, about fifteen feet square, opening from the portico by doors which have projecting pilasters and ornamental pediments. Though much destroyed enough remains to show that their chief decoration was the favourite Buddhist horse-shoe ornament. Some distance to the south of this cave is a large roughly-hewn cavern more like a cistern than a temple. The cave is much ruined; however, attempts have been made as much as possible to restore and repair the broken part.


Above these caves, at the end of a thickly wooded spur that runs north from the main range, a little to the west of the Great Cave, is a rock-carved tiger which is worshipped as Vaghesvari or the Tiger Goddess. It stands about two feet high and is one foot nine inches across the hams. Round the neck is a collar. The head is nearly perfect and the figure is preserved though the rock is split in several places. It is much like the tiger or lion guards on the steps to the east wing of the Great Cave, and, in Dr. Burgess' opinion, is probably one of the two warders of the north or main entrance of the Great Cave whose pedestals may still be traced. Dr. Wilson notices that this tiger is mentioned in the twenty-ninth chapter of the first section of the Sahyadri Khand of the Skanda Parana; it probably is the origin of Simpdev, or Singhdev, De Couto's name for the hill in which the Great Cave is cut [See Burgess' Elephanta, 26; Erskine in Trans. Bom. Lit-Soc. (Reprint) I 268; and De Couto in Jour. B. B. R. A. S. I. 45.]

Looking south from the crest of the hill, beyond the rocky and brushwood-covered hillsides, the ravine that divides the island broadens into a plain, bare of trees and carved into rice fields, flanked to the west of the village of Gharapurl, close to the village well and on the south bank of a small pond, is a large ling round above and square below. It measures three feet of which the lower one foot ten inches is square with faces ten inches across, and the top is a cone about two feet ten inches round. The present small pond is near the centre of a large pond, of which the north shore and part of the south shore can be clearly traced. The pillar just described originally stood on the north bank of the big pond where are many traces of bricks. In a field about twenty yards further north, dug out of the earth, is a square block of dressed stone about three feet seven inches high and with faces one foot five inches broad. At the top corners of the east face are carved a sun and a moon, and, below a plain belt about a foot broad, is the ass-curse. The rest of the pillar is plain and has no trace of writing. In the west of the. island, from the pond round to hear the Set bunder hamlet, there are said to be no remains. But in Set bunder is a large ling.

In the south of the island, about a quarter of a mile east of the sun and moon stone, on a plateau about 100 feet up the west face of the east spur, is another ling a cone rising from a square base. The measurements are 3'-4" high of which 1'-2" are round and 1'-9" square. On the way up the hillside and on the plateau are traces of bricks, and what seem, though they may be natural, to be built mounds of rough trap boulders. A corresponding plateau runs round the east face of the west spur. About 100 yards east of the pond, near the foot of the east spur, is the village of Gharapuri with a number of thatched houses, some built houses and a few bungalows built recently.. The population consists of Agris, Parsees and Gujaratis, the Agris forming the majority. Near the headman's house was found a fragment of a small well-carved and graceful figure of a woman sucking a baby [This piece of sculpture is now in the museum of the Bombay Branch of the Asiatic Society.]. The child and the mother's arms are unharmed, but her head and all below the waist are gone. She wears four plain bracelets, and the ends of a shawl or upper robe hanging in front of her shoulders are cut with much skill. Close to the village, on a mound near the shore, are the ruined walls of a Portuguese watch-tower [This tower was built to defend the island against pirates. When pirate boats lay n waiting, a flag was hoisted to warn Portuguese vessels. Dr. G. Da Cunha in Trans. Bom. Lit. Soc. (Reprint), I. 270,]. On rising ground about 150 yards east of the watch-tower is the site of the rock-cut elephant, from which the Portuguese christened the island Elephanta, and whose remains are now heaped on the right entrance to the Victoria Gardens in Bombay. This elephant was cut out of an isolated trap boulder and measured about thirteen feet long, seven feet four inches high, eight feet broad, and about twenty feet in girth. Its long tail reached the ground and the belly was supported by a massive pillar of rock. It originally carried on its back a small elephant about four and a half feet long and about one foot broad. Through the brushwood it might easily be taken for a living animal [Garcia D'Orta (1534) calls the island the island of the elephant, but does not make any distinct mention of the elephant. Dom Joao de Castro (1539) notices the stone elephant in the west, lifelike in colour, size and features. Linschoten (1578) does not notice it. De Couto (1603) mentions it as the great stone elephant which gave its name to the island. Fryer (1675) calls it a 'monstrous elephant cut out of the main rock bearing a young one on its back.' Ovington (1689) notices 'the statue of an elephant cut in stone in equal proportions to one of those crtatuies in his full-growth.' Its woikmanship he calls admnable. In 1712 Captain Pyke made a drawing of the elephant showing a fissure nearly as high as the neck. In 1 720 Hamilton found it so like a living animal that at a distance of 200 yards a sharp eye might be deceived. Fifty years later (1760) De Perron described the elephant as of life size, cut out of black-rock," and apparently carrying a young one on its back. (Zend Avesta, I. ccccxxii.). In 1764 Niebuhr noticed that it was split and likely to fall in pieces (Voyage, II. 33). It was mentioned by Forbes about 1774 and ten years later was described by Dr. Hunter as twelve feet long and eight high, the trunk pretty well cut and rolled in a spire, the legs' shapeless masses out of propoition, too large. A massy tail reached to the ground and the hind part of the body was supported by a pillar (Archaeologia, VII. 287). It is mentioned by Goldingham (1795) 'as an elephant of black stone large as life.' In 1813 Mr. Erskine and Captain Basil Hall described it as poorly sculptured, though at a distance seen through brushwood it might easily be mistaken for a real elephant. Its length from the head to the root of the tail was thirteen feet two inches and its height at the head seven feet four inches; circumference at the height of the shoulders thirty-five feet five inches, circumference round the four legs thirty-two feet; breadth of the back eight feet; girth of the body twenty feet; length of the leg five feet six inches, circumference of the legs from six feet three inches to seven feet seven inches, length of the supporter two feet two inches, length of the tail seven feet nine inches, length of the trunk seven feet ten inches and remains of the right tusk eleven inches. In September 1814 the head and neck dropped off, and shortly after the body sank to the earth (Hall's Fragments, III. 126). In 1825 Bishop Heber found it 'much dilapidated by the weather. In 1835 the trunk and head were separated from the body, and lay broken and prostrate on the ground (Madras Journal, V. 170). In 1859 it was a shapeless mass of rock. In 1863 an attempt was made to move it to England, but, while lifting it, the chains ofthe crane gave way, the rock got broken, and what remained was removed in 1864 to the right hand entrance of the Victoria Gardens at Byculla, where it lies an almost shapeless mass of rock, though the rolled trunk is distinctly visible. The small elephant on its back is mentioned by Fryer (1675) and Pyke (1712) whose drawing (Archaeologia, VII. 323) shows the trunk and tusks. It is noticed by De Perron in 1760. Four years later it appears to have been much defaced as (1764) Niebuhr describes the large elephant as having on its back something which age had so much worn that it was impossible to make out what it was. Dr. Hunter (1784) found something on the back but with no traces of having been a small elephant. In 1814 Mr. Erskine and Captain Basil Hall mounted the back of the elephant and found distinct marks of four paws, showing that the animal was four feet seven inches long by one foot two inches broad.].

About fifty yards to the east of the site of the elephant once stood a dwelling, which was built about 1864 for the engineer in charge of the clearing and carrying to Bombay of the lower slopes of the eastern ridge. In these works a large part of the hill was carried away and a bare boulder-strewn flat has been left. The small building with vaulted roof was used to store the gunpowder, required for blasting. Somewhere on the west face of the eastern ridge of hills, near the top of the ravine where the hills draw close together, there used to stand a horse, like the elephant carved out of a block of trap. Dr. Fryer (1675) calls it 'the effigies of an horse stuck up to the belly in the earth'. Ovington (1690) describes it more'fully, though probably less accurately as 'so lively, with such a colour and carriage, and the shape finished with that exactness that many have fancied it at a distance a living animal rather than only a bare representation'. In 1712 Captain Pyke calls it Alexander's Horse and gives a drawing of it, a stiff zebralike animal, the belly and legs not cut out of the rock. Hamilton (1720) thought it not so well shaped as the elephant. It seems to have disappeared during the next fifty years, as neither De Perron (1760) nor Niebuhr (1764) notices it. In 1813 Mr. Erskine searched for the horse but found no trace. [Trans. Bom. Lit. Soc. (Reprint), I. 226.]

The Fourth Cave.

Across the crest of the ravine from the Great Cave, in the west face of the eastern hill about a hundred feet above the level of the Great Cave, is a large hall known as Sitabai's temple. The portico has four pillars and two pilasters eight feet five inches high and about three feet Square at the base. The style of moulding is like that of the columns in the other caves, but the proportions some-what differ. They are square to a height of four feet 6� inches from the step on which they stand, a fillet of 11/2 inches is octagonal, and above this they are sixteen-sided with the exception of a thin crowning member of 1� inches which is square.

Inside is a plain hall seventy-three feet six inches long, and twenty-seven feet four inches wide at the north end and twenty-five feet seven inches at the south, and eleven feet high. From the back wall three rooms open, the central room a shrine and the side rooms chambers for priests. The north chamber which has a very neat door is in good repair, except that one jamb has fallen away owing to a flaw in the rock. The entrance is two feet eleven inches wide by six feet five inches high, and is approached by two steps eight inches high and a threshold of four inches. Round the jambs is an architrave 4 5/8 inches wide with simple moulding, and then a band 6 7/8 inches broad, with a neatly wrought crenellated ornament reaching to within one foot 6� inches of the step. The inside is plain and about twelve feet seven inches square.

The door of the central shrine has neat pilasters and a frieze. The entrance is seven feet eleven inches high and three feet 11� inches wide. Besides the threshold of four inches, and a step of 7� inches, it has in front a semicircular low step two inches in height, at the ends of which have been the heads of two lions. The shrine has a mean depth of 15� feet by 15� feet wide. Twenty inches from the wall, to which it is partially attached, is an altar four feet five inches by three feet five inches and three feet four inches in height, neatly moulded, and standing on a low platform a few inches in height and seven feet 2� inches by eight feet 10� inches. It has a water groove or prandlikd to the north, and in the floor below a cistern one and a half-feet square and one foot deep. From north to south, along the centre of the top slab, runs a hole eighteen inches long, by eight inches broad and 3� deep, in which the object of worship, probably an image of Parvati, was set. The south room, which like the north room, is perfectly plain, is about nine feet high, 14.9 feet long, and 15.4 broad.

At the beginning of the seventeenth century De Couto described this cave as having a beautiful gate with a porch of exquisitely wrought marble. There were two idols in a large square seat, one of them, Vetalcandi, with six arms and one head was supported by two small side idols. [Burgess' Elephanta, 25.]

Passing along the face of the eastern hill about a hundred and fifty yards to the north of Sitabai's cave is a small excavation, little more than the beginning of what was perhaps intended for three cells. The verandah is twenty feet long and six deep. The three square openings in the back wall are about four feet square and five high. The whole is perfectly plain. They are probably Brahmanic about the same time as Sitabai's temple. The work seems to have been stopped because of a flaw in the rock. Passing about 100 yards up the hill to the east, there is on the right the dry bed of a pond about forty yards in diameter. The banks are thickly wooded and on the west bank is what seems an artificial beep of large boulders. About forty yards to the left are three cisterns cut in the rock with rounded mouths about three feet across. In the cistern most to the south the water is fresh and is still used. They are apparently Buddhist, being much like many of the small cisterns at Kanheri.


Close to the east end of the Elephanta hill-top is a bank of trap boulders about four yards broad. This is known as the fort, or killa, which according to the local story was built by Sivaji but never finished. [In 1682 Sambhaji, Shivaji's son, threatened to fortify Elephanta; Orme's Histt. Frag. 111.] There seem to be no signs of fortification, only a rough ring of boulders enclosing a space of about 200 yards in dia-meter round the dome-shaped hill-top. About twelve yards beyond the bank of boulders the ground rises in a steep dome, about forty feet high and seventy-six feet measured along the surface of the dome from the base to the crown. The sides of the dome are covered with half-burnt bricks most of them nine inches long by six broad and two deep, but some said to be larger, thirteen by eight and two and a half. Many lie in fragments with their faces exposed. But in places the masonry is fresh enough to show that the bricks were laid edgeways, only the two-inch backs appearing on the surface. The top of the dome is roughly round and about twenty-five feet in diameter. In the centre is a small hole partly filled by a survey cairn of rough stones. This brick dome seems to be a Buddhist stupa or burial mound, and the encircling line of boulders, the remains of a Buddhist rail. The ground is too thick with brushwood to show either the form of the rail or the shape of the enclosure. Instead of the broad bank stones in the west, the foundation of the wall seems in places to have been only about four feet broad, and on the east side there is a gap of about eighteen yards. As far as could be made out from a hurried examination the enclosed space is cornered rather than round.

The mound commands a beautifully broken view of sea, marsh-lands, wood-land and hill. To the east lie the prettily wooded Hog Island, and, in the distance, the Persik hills, the jagged crest at Malahggad, and the long line of the Sahyadris. To the south are the two peaks of Karanja, and, beyond a narrow line of sea, the wooded crest of Kanakesvar and the Sagargad hills in Alibag. To the west are the low prettily shaped Butcher's Island, and, beyond a broad stretch of water, the long level of Bombay. Two miles to the north, across a channel gay with white sails, rise the bare gracefully rounded slopes of Trombay.

Passing through the eastern gap in the rail and along the north-east face of the hill, about sixty yards from the line of the rail and somewhat lower, is a small wooded plateau with marks of rough foundations, and, near a hole which has been dug for treasure, are the fragments of a stone about 3� feet by 2� with a central hole apparently for a ling about one foot square and three inches deep. The large number of rough boulders strewn about the plateau suggests that they have been brought from the gap in the east side of the rail. Passing down the north-east front of the hill there are, at intervals, what seem to be sites of rest-chambers and boulder-paved banks. As all the stones are rough boulders and the hillside is much hidden by brushwood, it is difficult to say whether the arrangement of stones is natural or artificial. But, in places, nearly to the foot of the hill, remains of paved slopes can be traced, and seem to mark the line of a built pathway that led from the east gate of the railing to the shore.

Visitors, who are pressed for time, had better go down this north spur, and, after looking at the traces of old buildings in the village of Mora, return along the shore to the Set bunder Pier, noticing, by the way, the broken statues and other remains of which details are given later on. Visitors who are not pressed for time can have a pleasant walk, with beautiful island views and the sight of some interesting remains, by going back from the burial-mound to the ravine near the Great Cave, and, passing down the ravine to the south, see the old lings and the sun and moon boundary stone near the pond, the old Portuguese watch-tower, and the site of the elephant of which details have already been given. About half a mile east of the site of the elephant, along the shore, under a cliff whose lower spurs have been taken to raise the Elphinstone foreshore in Bombay, lies a rough trap boulder about five feet high and twenty-six feet round. In a panel (2'4" x 1'5"), in the north face of this boulder, is a much worn female figure with four hands. As the stone lies at present the figure is upside down. It seems to end in or to stand on an animal, perhaps a buffalo. On the right of the main figure is a smaller standing figure with a trident in his right hand. About a quarter of a mile further, a black ling of dressed trap stands about three feet four inches out of the ground, round above and square below, with a plain curved line running round the foot of the upper cone. A little further between the belt of rice ground and the hill foot, are small mounds with bricks and boulders, that seem, though this is doubtful, to he roughly built. About half a mile further, in the sand of the sea shore, stands a ling four feet six inches high, of which the lower three feet are square with faces one foot three inches broad and the one foot six inches at the top is cone-shaped, four feet eight inches round at the foot and four feet round at the top which is slightly broken. Along this part of the shore, which was not affected by the Bombay clearings, are many small mounds with bricks. Beyond, for about half a mile, the lower slopes of the hill have been cleared by the Bombay Port Trust. Most of the earth that was taken from this part of the island was full of old bricks and tiles and dressed blocks of white trap. Coming from the south the first traces of old buildings are fragments of large bricks. Next there are several old wells dry and nearly filled with earth, one of bricks about seven feet in diameter, another, about fifty yards north, about three feet nine inches across, lined with dressed stones neatly fitted without mortar in rings about six inches deep. Further north, near the top of the old piers, are several more wells cut in the rock. About 100 yards to the north, at the root of a brab palm, are the foundations of a massive brick wall built without mortar. The shore here forms a small bay with a beach of hard dry sand which was a good harbour for small craft before the piers broke the scour of the tide. On the north bank, in the northeast corner of the island, lies the village of Mora with some fine mango trees and rich garden land. Most of the house walls are built of old bricks and dressed white trap. About fifty yards to the east of the village, in a group of mangoes, is the top of a buried ling, one foot high and about four feet ten inches round. The whole of the ground between the village and the hill is covered with bricks, pieces of roof tiles, and potsherds. In a hole on the left, which seems to mark the site of a temple, were found bricks covered with deep blue enamel, a jar full of roughly cut crystal beads, a box said to have contained coins and jewels, and the inscribed copper-plates. [The materials for this account of the Mora remains have been supplied by Mr. George Ormiston, Engineer of the Port Trust.]

The remains show that this has been a place of sanctity both for Buddhists and Brahmans, and the combination of the names Gharapuri (also called Rajbunder or the royal landing-place) and Mora suggests that it may be the site of Purl the unknown sea-Coast capital of the Mauryan rulers of the Konkan in the seventh century.[ That Puri was a coast town appears from line 11 of the Chalukya inscription, (A. D. 634) at Aihole where 'Puri the goddess of the fortunes of the Western Ocean is noticed as having been besieged 'by hundreds of ships'. Ind. Ant. V. 70, 72.] About a quarter of a mile north-west of the site of the temple, at the foot of the north-east spur, is an old well whose parpet walls have been lately renewed. A few yards to the north, behind a high cactus hedge, is a tiger's head carved in stone with much spirit, about two feet long, fourteen inches high, and six-teen inches broad. The mouth, which has served as a water-channel, is seven and a half inches in diameter. The head was dug out of the old well closeby. It is carved in the old Hindu style, perhaps of the sixth or seventh century. About fifty yards to the west of the well, at the end of the north spur of the main hill, is a mound whose top was levelled as a site for a dwelling for the Europeans in charge of the earth clearings. The sides of this mound;, which is roughly about 170 yards round the base and about fifty feet high, are faced with bricks and slabs of dressed white trap. The sides rise in a steep dome and the whole has much the appearance of a large Buddhist stupa or burial mound. From this mound the belt of rice land and brushwood, that stretches about half a mile west to the Set bunder pier, is in many places strewn with old mortarless bricks, blocks of dressed white trap, and fragments of figures. Besides the broken statue of Siva noted in the introduction, there is, close to the shore, about fifty yards west of the site of the European dwelling, a mound strewn with bricks. To the north of this mound between it and the sea, an old round brick well was searched for treasure about 110 years ago, and the beach is still red with fragments of bricks. About a quarter of a mile to the south, at the foot of the hill, among rocky brushwood-covered mounds is the broken five-headed Siva mention-ed in the introduction. The heads and the tiaras are well cut and in fair repair, but the noses are broken. The figure measures four feet from the top of the tiara to the thigh and one foot two inches across the chest. He wears a strap round his left shoulder, a saered thread made of ropes of pearls hanging below the waist, and a rich waist-band. A broken ling case lies close by, and about ten yards to the north is a dressed stone with two feet which seems the pedestal of the image. Many bricks lie about. About 100 yards north-west, close to the shore, are the waists and thighs of two broken statues with clearly carved Wistcloths. The larger figure, which stands firmly in the ground, measures two feet seven inches from the knee to the ribs. About sixty yards west, along the shore, is the upper part of a male figure (referred to in the in-troduction) with a handsome tiara. The statue measures three feet from the top of the tiara to the navel and one foot three inches across the chest. The hair falls in loose well cut ringlets, and there is a clear-carved rosary. Close by is a small broken figure much like Siva's sprites or gan. On the ground are the foundations of a brick wall and some dressed blocks of white trap. About fifty yards to the south-west are old foundations with dress-ed blocks of white trap and big bricks (13" x 7" x2"). From the dam of a rice field, about twenty yards east of the Set bunder landing pier, stand out two blocks of dressed trap, about four feet high and two feet square at the base and the top broken. Several other blocks of trap that seem to have been dressed show a little above the soil. In the fields to the west of the landing pier, in house walls in Set bunder village, and in mounds at the foot of the hills are remains of old bricks and dressed blocks of white trap.

Caves at Present.

At present the caves, are under the care of the Department of Archaeology of the Central. Government. As in case' of most of the other places of historical and architectural importance Government is taking special efforts to restore and keep in repairs these caves and to make this place a reminder of the historic past and a picnic spot for its own citizens and for the tourists as well. Thus laying of concrete over the main cave so as to reduce the leakage of rain water and restoration of pillars and pilasters has been taken up. On an average, a sum of Rs. 10,000 is spent ons repairs and maintenance of the raves every year. A regular staff works under the Custodian and looks after the caves. A canteen is run for the benefit of the visitors. The State Roads and Buildings Department has constructed jetties and rest-houses on the island, To attract tourists the Tourist Department of the Government of India has built a canteen-cur-rest-house with all modern facilities at the entrance of the caves. The State Government intends to have a National Park on the island. The work in that direction is under progress under the Parks and Gardens Department. To facilitate the carrying of passengers to and fro, except during the monsoon, tourist launches ply between Bombay and Elephanta twice on every Saturday and Sunday (leaving Bombay at 8 and 9 a. m.).