The famous SHIVA cave temple at Elephanta, a small island in the harbor of Bombay (Mumbai), is hollowed out from solid rock. It was created A Brahmin householder performing water ablutions at dawn on the banks of the Ganges River in Benares (Varanasi) (Constance A. Jones) around the sixth century C.E. It is not known which dynasty built the temple.
   The temple is famous for a colossal sculpture of Shiva with three heads, one each of Shiva, VISHNU, and BRAHMA. This sculpture thus presents Shiva as supreme among divinities and embodies the Hindu Trimurti, or trinity. It has been said that this sculp-ture with its serene aspect is the most beautiful piece of religious architecture in all of India. The statue is flanked by two other figures of Shiva as ARDHANAR-ISHVARA and Shiva as the “bearer of the GANGES.”
   The inner sanctum of the temple holds a typical LINGAM. Also depicted are Shiva as cosmic dancer and a depiction of the killing of the demon ANDHAKA.
   Further reading: Stella Kramrisch, “The Great Cave Temple of Siva in Elephanta: Levels of Meaning and Their Form,” in Discourses on Siva: Proceedings of a Symposium on the Nature of Religious Imagery (Phila-delphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1984), pp. 156–169. Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, George Berkson, and Carmel Berkson, Elephanta, the Cave Temple of Shiva (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1983).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Elephanta — can mean: *Elephanta (wind), a wind off the Malabar coast of India *Elephanta Island, an island in Mumbai harbor, India *Elephanta Caves, cave temples on Elephanta Island …   Wikipedia

  • Elephanta — bezeichnet Elephanta (Insel), eine Insel in der indischen Stadt Mumbai Elephanta (Wind), einen Wind an der indischen Malabarküste Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben Wort bezeichn …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Elephanta — (bei den Eingebornen Gharapuri, »Grottenstadt«), Insel im Meerbusen von Bombay, 6 km von der Küste, ist je nach den Gezeiten 10–15 qkm groß. Sie besteht aus zwei langgestreckten, durch ein enges Tal getrennten Hügeln und wurde von den Portugiesen …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Elephanta — Elephanta, Insel im Hafen von Bombay; Grottentempel …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Elephanta — (île) îlot de la baie de Bombay (Inde), dont les collines sont creusées de sanctuaires hindouistes aux sculptures célèbres (VIIe VIIIe s.) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Elephanta — Île d Éléphanta  Ne doit pas être confondu avec Île Éléphantine ou Île de l Éléphant. Une des grottes de l île L île d …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Elephanta — or Gharapuri geographical name island W India in Bombay harbor …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Elephanta — Elephạnta,   felsige Insel in der Bucht von Bombay, Indien, mit dem Gott Shiva geweihten Höhlentempeln vom Anfang des 7. Jahrhunderts (UNESCO Weltkulturerbe). Die Haupthöhle ist als fünfschiffige Säulenhalle in der Ost West Achse, jedoch mit… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • ELEPHANTA —    an island 6 m. in circuit in Bombay harbour, so called from its colossal figure of an elephant which stood near the landing place; it contains three temples cut out of solid rock, and covered with sculptures, which, along with the figure at… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • elephanta — el·e·phan·ta …   English syllables

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