Elephanta caves

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Elephanta caves


The Elephanta caves are thought to date back to the Silhara kings belonging to the period between 9th - 12th centuries. Legends and history suggest that the great warrior prince of Chalukya dynasty Pulkesin ll, raised the shrine to celebrate his victory. Some historians also suggest that the Kalchuri King Krishnaraja built these caves in 6th century AD. The entire cave temple complex covers an area of about 60,000 square feet.
The World of Lord Shiva, Elephanta is the place where the main events in the mythology of Lord Shiva are depicted most powerfully, consistently and exclusively. At Ellora though other Gods appear on the panel with Shiva, but at Elephanta there is nothing but Shiva. According to Hindu Mythology three Gods govern their world: Brahma -- the creator, Vishnu -- the Preserver and Maheshwara -- the Destroyer. Elephanta has a story that there was a pillar whose end could not be found. Even the Gods failed to determine the length of the pillar.
Panel 6 of the caves represents the marriage of Shiva with Parvati with the rites being performed by Brahma and scores of other Gods attending the marriage. Panel 5 of the cave describes the coming of Ganga from heaven to Earth. As the great force of Ganga might have destroyed the Earth,she lands in the hair locks of Shiva who then gently releases her. The wise and righteous Lord before whom the forces of evil and ignorance flee, and are terrified into submission is carved on the 7th panel. Similarly other wall panels narrate the story of Lord Shiva.
The sculptors carved out of solid basalt rock, a representation of the heavenly mountain residence of Lord Shiva. Opening out from three sides, the temple lets in light from many angles making the sculptures seem to move with the changing angles of light.


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