Showing posts with label Elephanta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Elephanta. Show all posts

Hinduism - Where Is Maharashtra In India?


Maharashtra is a modern Indian state that stretches from the Arabian Sea to the Deccan Plateau, reaching east through the Western Ghats.

Maharashtra is one of the "linguistic" states established following India's independence in 1947, with the goal of uniting people who share a similar language and culture (in this instance, Marathi) under a single government.

It was established in 1960 when the previous state of Bombay was divided into the current states of Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Bombay, India's capital, is the country's financial and industrial hub.

The western parts are heavily industrialized, whilst the eastern regions are mainly agrarian, with sugar plantations dominating the landscape.

Maharashtra is historically the home of the Marathas, a clan whose eighteenth-century dominion spanned much of northern India.

Maharashtra is home to the Rashtriya Svayamsevak Sangh and the Shiv Sena, two Hindu nationalist groups that have attempted to influence Indian politics.

In addition to its economic and political significance, the state is home to several historical, cultural, and religious attractions.

The rock-cut caverns of Ellora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the Buddhist caves of Ajanta; and the cave temple at Elephanta in the Bombay port are among the historical and cultural monuments.

The Godavari and Bhima rivers, as well as their associated sacred sites (tirthas); sites associated with the Varkari Panth religious community, particularly the temple to the god Vithoba at Pandharpur; and three of the jyotirlingas, which are particularly holy to the god Shiva: Bhimashankar, Ghrneshvar, and Tryambakeshvar.

See Christine Nivin et al., India. 8th ed., Lonely Planet, 1998, for general information about Maharashtra and other Indian states.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - Where Is Elephanta In India?


The island is located outside of Mumbai or Bombay's port and is well known for its Shiva temple of the same name. 

The building of the temple is contested, however it is typically dated to the seventh or eighth century C.E. 

Elephanta is a rock-cut cave temple where the sandstone hillside was scooped away to create the temple and the goddesses' pictures. 

This follows the basic style of the Ellora rock-cut temples in Maharashtra, and it required meticulous planning since carving faults could not be repaired. 

The Elephanta temple has representations of Shiva in a variety of forms, including Lord of the Dance (Nataraja), Lord of Asceticism (Yogishvara), Bearer of the Ganges (Ganghadhara), pillar-shaped form known as the linga, and a mix of male and female known as Ardhanarishvara. 

The three-headed, eighteen-foot-tall figure of Shiva as Maheshvar, the "great Lord," is the most renowned and important image. 

The left face represents his horrible and destructive side as Bhairava, the right face represents his benign, creative side as Uma, and the center face represents him as Tatpurusha—blissful, everlasting, and transcending the transient concerns of the world. 

Although the major picture has escaped harm, several of the others have been damaged by Portuguese imperialists who saw the images as idolatrous and used them as target practice. 

Pramod Chandra, Elephanta Caves, Gharapuri, 1970, has further details. 

Ellora is a historical site located around twenty miles north of Aurangabad in contemporary Maharashtra. 

It is known throughout the globe for a set of thirty-three rock-cut temples carved between the fourth and eleventh centuries C.E. 

The caves with Buddhist pictures are the oldest; the caverns with Jain images are four, and the caves with Hindu images are seventeen. 

The caverns were excavated into the volcanic stone outcrop of the hillside in each instance, with the stone meticulously chipped away to produce completed pictures. 

Images of remarkable artistic quality may be found in many Hindu caves. 

The most renowned is the eighth-century Kailasanatha Temple, which was erected by removing the whole hillside and leaving the temple behind, as if it had been built from the ground up. 

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.