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of art, who has previously visited the mythological or pantheistical excavations of Ellora, is the great want of ornamental and minute sculpture in the former, compared with the exquisite and elaborate finishing of the latter. The general appearance of the Adjunta caves is similar to that of the caves of Ellora; that is, they are mostly low, with a flat roof supported by massive pillars having cushioned capitals; but there is a great deficiency in ornamental carving and fret-work. Some, however, are exceptions to this remark. In most of the caves, to compensate for the want of profuse entaille and sculptures, are paintings in fresco, much more interesting, as exhibiting the dresses, habits of life, pursuits, general appearance, and even features of the natives of India, perhaps, two thousand or two thousand five hundred years ago, well preserved and highly coloured, and exhibiting in glowing tints, of which light red is the most common, the crisp-haired aborigines of the sect of Buddhists, who were driven from India to Ceylon after the introduction of Brahminism."
From premises detailed by the author he conceived the age of the caves of Adjunta to be nearer three than two thousand years. The following is the result of his examination.
The principal excavation, or grand témple, is situated about a hundred and fifty feet from the bed of the nullah, or stream, and on the face of the hill. The magnificent entrance is surrounded by scattered jungle and brushwood, and is particularly striking; being a lofty portico, somewhat resembling those of Caneri and Carli. In the centre of the portico is an immense horse-shoe arch, on each side of which there stand colossal janitors, ten or twelve feet in height, and with curled hair. At the request of the guide we approached with great caution; and on coming under the arch he pointed to the roof, from which a number of wild bees (apis rufa) had sus
pended their pendant hives. We were careful not to disturb them, or they would have soon deprived us of the use of our visual organs, here so much required.
We proceeded to the interior. On looking round, I found myself in a lofty and well-lighted hall, which may be about twenty-five or thirty feet in height, instead of the low caves with flat ceilings, as in the other parts of the hill. This is a well-aired chamber, and in many respects similar to the high coved excavation of Carli, or to what is commonly termed the carpenter's cave at Ellora. The form of the arch is however different. In the Carli cave the roof bears a close resemblance to the highpointed gothic arch. It is ribbed with teak wood, so as to fit the cove, and is attached to the stone by wooden nails or teeth. In the Ellora caves, stone ribs supply the place of the teak ones of Carli; but the Adjunta cave has a Saxon or (nearly) semicircular roof, without ribs of any sort. Two rows of hexagonal pillars run along the sides of the cave, and behind them is a passage. The entablature of the pillars is without ornament, and the pillars themselves are quite plain. Many of them are broken off, and have fallen on the floor.
Opposite to, and about fifty feet from the entrance, at the farther extremity of the cave, is what is called, in descriptions of the caves of Carli, &c. a circular temple; but which I consider to be nothing more than the rostrum from which the Rhahans, or Buddhist priests, recited prayers and delivered homilies to the assembled congregation in the hall. A passage from a description of the ritual of the Siamese will illustrate this idea. Treating of the present state of religion in Siam, it goes on to state: "Attached to the temples there are generally monasteries, and within these are oratories or small pulpits. In these the priests, morning and evening, recite prayers. From these same pulpits they likewise preach sermons, taking as a text some sentences in the Bali or
language of their sacred books, and descanting on it in the vernacular language; their principal hearers on these occasions being women, who sit with their hands clasped, their feet under them, and small lighted tapers burning before them."
"The stone hemisphere, then, probably served the purpose of a pulpit. It rests on a pedestal, somewhat larger than the hemisphere, surmounted by a square block, in shape resembling the capital of a pillar. In Ellora the figure of the deity, of gigantic dimensions, is placed on a seat in front of this hemisphere of stone; but in this cave it is omitted. In the gallery, or passage behind the pillars, are fresco paintings of Buddha and his attending supporters, with chowrees in their hands. The thickness of the stucco is about a quarter of an inch. The colours are very vivid, consisting of brown, light red, blue, and white: the red predoininates. The colouring is softened down, the execution is bold, and the pencil handled freely; and some knowledge of perspective is shown. The figures are two feet and a half or three feet in height. The obliterating and sacrilegious hand of the Portuguese has not exercised itself in defacing with pious rage these caves; nor are any of those mutilations visible here which are so common in the excavations which the Portuguese converted into places of worship. That these excavations served for the retirement of some monastic society, does not, I think, admit a doubt. Adjoining the large caves are several cells with stone bed-places, which, in all probability, were the abodes of the devotees : and in many there are springs of clear water.
"The other caves which I visited are all flat-roofed, and generally in excellent preservation. The fetid smell, however, arising from numerous bats (vespertilio noctula) which flew about our faces as we entered, rendered a continuance inside, for any length of time, very disagreeable. I saw only one cave with two stories or tiers of
excavated rock. In it the steps from the lower apartments to the upper had been destroyed by the Bheels. With our pistols cocked we ascended by the branch of a tree to the upper range of chambers; and found, in the middle of one of the floors, the remains of a recent fire, with large foot marks around it. In a corner was the entire skeleton of a man. On the floors of many of the lower caves I observed prints of the feet of tigers, jackals, bears, monkies, peacocks, &c.; these were impressed upon the dust, formed by the plaster of the fresco paintings which had fallen from the ceilings.
"The paintings in many of the caves represent highly interesting and spirited delineations of hunting scenes, battles, &c. The elephants and horses are particularly well drawn. On the latter two men are often seen mounted. Ram and cock-fights I observed in one of the excavations. The spears are peculiar, having three knobs near the head; and there was an instrument resembling a lyre with three strings. I observed something like a zodiac; but not at all resembling the celebrated one of Dendera. The pillars, in most of the caves, resemble the cushion-capitaled ones of Elephanta. In one I saw a pair of fluted pilasters: and fluting is supposed to have originated in Greece, to prevent the spears from slipping off the columns.
"After making a few hasty sketches of the lower caves, and the most interesting objects in them, I consumed some time in unavailing attempts to reach some apparently well-preserved caves higher up on the hill. We clambered up on our hands and knees, till stopped by a precipice; and not having ropes, we were unable to reach the caves from above: we therefore gave up the attempt in despair, and after we had partaken of a slight repast, and a chilum had been smoked in one of the best lighted and finest excavations, we returned to the horses, and rode back to the town of Adjunta.
"Though it was but a rapid and unsatisfactory glance (unsatisfactory in as much as my time was limited, from my leave being nearly expired) that I had of these imperishable monuments of antiquity, yet I was highly delighted with my excursion; and although many are the caverned temples which I have explored, and many which I wish to revisit, yet to none would I sooner return than to those of Adjunta. Several of them I was unable to examine; but the paintings alone, in such as I had an opportunity of examining, would render them much more interesting to those who might desire to become ac quainted with the appearance of the ancient inhabitants of Hindustan, than the grotesque, though beautifully sculptured deities of Ellora."
The difficulties in the way of a careful investigation of these remarkable remains have prevented them receiving the notice which has been extended to Elephanto, Ellora, and others of the more celebrated cave temples. Those of Ellora are situated near the ancient city of Deognir and the modern Dowlatabad. A lofty hill is cut out into a range of temples, and its surface covered with varied sculpture and ornaments. "The first view," says Mr. Erskine, "of this desolate religious city is grand and striking, but melancholy. The number and magnificence of the subterranean temples, the extent and loftiness of some, the endless diversity of sculpture in others, the variety of curious foliage, of minute tracery, highly wrought pillars, rich mythological designs, sacred shrines, and colossal statues, astonish but distract the mind. The empire, whose pride they must have been, has passed away, and left not a memorial behind it." When we consider the vast extent of British empire in India, and the very partial exploration of some of its great central districts, it seems not improbable that rock temples and other remarkable remains may yet be brought to light, not less interesting than those of Adjunta. The