Understanding the greatness of Ellora – Part 2

I have been summoning the courage to attempt this post for a long time. We had earlier seen what is so great about Ellora. This is part two of the post and certainly one in a long line of posts to come.

This is a large post and hence i would request you keep all your work aside, take your time – make sure you are on a stable chair ( lest you might fall off your chair) – such are the contents that are to follow.

I first introduced you to the fact that this is a mountain cut structure – ie the sculptors have cut this entire composition into the face of a mountain – so now i am going to detail the size of this composition, its complexity and innate beauty.

Inorder to do this, i adopt a bottoms up approach.
Do you see this elephant, peacefully threshing some vegetation in its trunk – watch the detailing of the small bump of its skeleton as its trunk starts, the slight twist of it trunk to the right and the curl of it holding the grass – the beautiful symmetry of its ears and the delicate curl of the ear.
We move a bit back – oh, maybe there are more like this one, NO, its a whole line of such elephants ( some have not withstood the forces of nature n time – lost a limb, a trunk)
Now we zoom out – to see what this actually is – is an entire foundation of elephants who are sculpted as though they are carrying the whole structure. And what a structure, the man walking int he frame gives you an idea of scale.
We try another place – oh,here elephants are combining delightfully with lions to form a nice one two combo. Oh, some delightlful Yazhi’s are also there. Some of lions and elephants seem to be bored of this work and are playfully fighting with each other.1243

What are they carrying on their mightly shoulders…well wait for the next post…

3 thoughts on “Understanding the greatness of Ellora – Part 2

  1. திரு. விஜய்,

    எனக்கு நீண்ட நாளாகவே ஒரு சந்தேகம், இந்த யாழி என்று ஒன்று நிஜமாகவே இருந்ததா? அல்லது கற்பனையா?

  2. திரு. விஜய்,

    சற்று முன் அகராதியில் தேடிய பொழுது, யாழி கிடைக்கவில்லை, ஆனால் யாளி கிடைத்தது (யானையின் தந்தமும், துதிக்கையும், சிங்கத்தின் முகமும் கொண்ட மிருகம்)

  3. Hi Satheesh,

    There are different combination of beasts that figure in Indian Yaazhi’s. The most popular being what you have described – and is quite often depicted in later day pillars jesting with much smaller depictions of Elephants. Of course there are other interesting mixes – fishes, crocodiles even parrot shaped Zaazhi’s – we will see them in the coming posts.


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