Shiva Parvathi On Kailash And Ravana Lifting Kailash

Elephanta Caves

Shiva Parvathi On Kailash And Ravana Lifting Kailash Overview

Ranked 6 of 10 sightseeing in Elephanta Caves

To the east of the portico, the carving on the south wall depicts Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi seated on their abode, Mount Kailash. The damaged carving depicts a four-armed Shiva with a crown and disc behind it, a dressing gown covering up to the knee and the sacred thread across his chest. Goddess Parvathi is depicted to be looking away from Lord Shiva. She is dressed in her finery and her hair is falling to the front. A woman attendant is shown to be standing behind her, holding her son, Kartikeya, the War-God and the attendant of Lord Shiva, Bhringi is seated at his Lord’s feet.

Other indistinct figures are also depicted behind the main figures such as a royal looking tall person, a fat figure, a bull, two monkeys, ascetics, a dwarf and features of a Garuda. The mountain’s scenic beauty is sculpted with the sky background, amidst the showering of flowers by heavenly gods on Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. This carving is interpreted as a gambling scene, where Goddess Parvathi is angry with Lord Shiva cheating in a game of dice.

The depiction of Ravana lifting Kailash is a two level depiction. The upper scene depicts Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi seated on Mount Kailash. Lord Shiva is depicted to be three-eyed, eight-armed wearing a headgear with a disc and crescent behind it. Two of his hands are resting on the heads of the attendants. The figure of Goddess Parvathi is seated facing Shiva and remains only as a trunk. Door keepers flank the panel and the attendants seen in the carving are mostly in a damaged state.

At Shiva’s feet, Bhringi and Ganesha, the elephant headed son of Lord Shiva is seated. In this ensemble, the demon-king Ravana is seen with only one head and a few arms remaining from his twenty arms. He is surrounded by several demons. Other figures in the carving such as a skeleton figure to the left of Lord Vishnu, riding his mount, Garuda and a tiger, the mount of Parvathi can be seen.

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