Online Encyclopedia

ELLORA

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V09, Page 294 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ELLORA, a village of India in the native state of Hyderabad, near the city of Daulatabad, famous for its rock temples, which divided into three distinct series, the Buddhist, the Brahmanical and the Jain, and are arranged almost chronologically. The most splendid of the whole series is the Kailas, a perfect Dravidian temple, complete in all its parts, characterized by Fergusson as one of the most wonderful and interesting monuments of architectural art in India. It is not a mere interior chamber cut in the rock, but is a model of a complete temple such as might have been erected on the plain. In other words, the rock has been cut away externally as well as internally. First the great sunken court measuring 276 ft. by 154 ft. was hewn out of the solid trap-rock of the hillside, leaving the rock mass of the temple wholly detached in a cloistered court like a colossal boulder, save that a rock bridge once connected the upper storey of the temple with the upper row of galleried chambers surrounding three sides of the court. Colossal elephants and obelisks stand on either side of the open mandapam, or pavilion, containing the sacred bull; and beyond rises the monolithic Dravidian temple to Siva, 90 ft. in height, hollowed into vestibule, chamber and image-cells, all lavishly carved. Time and earthquakes have weathered and broken away bits of the great monument, and Moslem zealots strove to destroy the carved figures, but these defects are hardly noticed. The temple was built by Krishna I., Rashtrakuta, king of Malkhed in 760-783.
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ROBERT WILLIAM ELLISTON (1774--1831)
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