The Wonders of Elora – John B. Seeley (1825)


The Wonders of Elora – John B. Seeley (1825)


Title: The Wonders of Elora; or, the Narrative of a Journey to the Temples and Dwellings. Excavated out of a mountain of granite, ad extending upwards of a mile and a quarter, at Elora, in the East Indies, by the Route of Poona, Ahmed-Nuggur, and Toka, returning by Dowlutabad and Aurangabad; with some general observations of the people and country.

Author: John B. Seeley

Publisher: Geo. B. Whittaker, London, 1825. Second edition.

Condition: Marbled boards, reading copy only. Ex-library book, with all faults and library markings. Front hinge cracked, first few pages partially detached, including foldout frontispiece. 9 out of 10 original plates present, with the 10th plate (Mausoleum of Rabea Doorancy) replaced by a later reprint of the original plate. An important early work on Elora. 597pp., app 9″ by 6″.

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A very important early work on the Ellora caves. The author was a captain in the Bombay native infantry and former military secretary to the vice president of the Supreme Government.

About Ellora:

Ellora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, India. It is one of the largest rock-cut monastery-temple cave complexes in the world, featuring Buddhist, Hindu and Jain monuments, and artwork, dating from the 600–1000 CE period. Cave 16, in particular, features the largest single monolithic rock excavation in the world, the Kailasha temple, a chariot shaped monument dedicated to Shiva. The Kailasha temple excavation also features sculptures depicting the gods, goddesses and mythologies found in Vaishnavism, Shaktism as well as relief panels summarizing the two major Hindu Epics.

There are over 100 caves at the site, all excavated from the basalt cliffs in the Charanandri Hills, 34 of which are open to public. These consist of 12 Buddhist (caves 1–12), 17 Hindu (caves 13–29) and 5 Jain (caves 30–34) caves, each group representing deities and mythologies prevalent in the 1st millennium CE, as well as monasteries of each respective religion. They were built close to one another and illustrate the religious harmony that existed in ancient India. All of the Ellora monuments were built during Hindu dynasties such as the Rashtrakuta dynasty, which constructed part of the Hindu and Buddhist caves, and the Yadava dynasty, which constructed a number of the Jain caves. Funding for the construction of the monuments was provided by royals, traders and the wealthy of the region.

Although the caves served as monasteries, temples and a rest stop for pilgrims, the site’s location on an ancient South Asian trade route also made it an important commercial centre in the Deccan region. (from wikipedia)