INDIA Elephanta Caves Entrance Bay of Mumbai antique print 1863
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Home > Prints and Maps by Country > Asia > India | Hindustan | British India

INDIA: Elephanta Caves Entrance, Bay of Mumbai, antique print, 1863

Price: £12.99

CAPTION BELOW PICTURE: 'Entrance to the Cave of Elephanta, in the Bay of Bombay'

The Elephanta Caves (Marathi: Caves of Gharapuri) are caves located on Elephanta Island in the Arabian Sea near Mumbai, India that contain Shaivistic high reliefs in stone of Hindu deities important to worshipers of Shiva. The sculptures were created beginning in the late Gupta Empire, or some time after, and at later dates. Elephanta Island was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 to preserve the artwork.

The original name of this epitome of temple art is Agraharpuri. Agrahar is the necklace or most important neck ornament. THe Agraharpuri slowly became Gharapuri; still retaining the original meaning as the focal point of Gharapuri Island, which was renamed Elephanta Island by the Portuguese and is located in Mumbai harbour off the coast of Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), India. In 1987, the caves were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It is visited by many domestic and foreign tourists. In recent years, complaints have been made that visitors mistreat this important cultural and historic site. Most of the sculptures here were defaced by the Portuguese, who used the sculptures as target practice in the 17th century. The Portuguese also gave the island its modern name, Elephanta from Gharapuri.

The caves are thought to date back to the Silhara kings of the 9th through 13th centuries (8101260). Some of the sculptures of this site are also attributed to the imperial Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta (in present day Karnataka), the Trimurti of Elephanta showing the three faces of Shiva almost akin to the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh. This was also the royal insignia of the Rashtrakutas. Other Rashtrakuta sculptures here are the reliefs of Nataraja and Sadashiva and the splendid sculptures of Ardhanarishvara.

The rock-cut temple complex cover an area of 60,000 sq ft (5,600 m2) consisting of a main chamber, 2 lateral ones, courtyards and subsidiary shrines. The site of these magnificent caves contained beautiful reliefs, sculptures, and a temple to the Hindu god iva. The caves are hewn from solid rock. The temple complex is said to be the abode of Shiva.

(Source Wikipedia)

Notes on the historical context / background to the print can be viewed at: Elephanta Caves

DATE PRINTED: 1863    

IMAGE SIZE: Approx 16.0 x 23.5cm, 6.25 x 9.25 inches (Medium)

TYPE: Antique wood engraved print

CONDITION: Good; suitable for framing. However, please note: The image shown may have been scanned from a different example of this print than that which is offered for sale: The print you will receive is in Good condition but there may be minor variations in the condition compared to that shown in the image. Please check the scan for any blemishes prior to making your purchase. Virtually all antiquarian maps and prints are subject to some normal aging due to use and time which is not obtrusive unless otherwise stated. We offer a no questions asked return policy.

AUTHENTICITY: This is an authentic historic print, published at the date stated above. It is not a modern copy.

VERSO: There are images and/or text printed on the reverse side of the picture. In some cases this may be visible on the picture itself (please check the scan prior to your purchase) or around the margin of the picture.


PROVENANCE: Illustrated London News

INDIA: Elephanta Caves Entrance, Bay of Mumbai, antique print, 1863
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