Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/41

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31
CAVE DWELLINGS OF MEN.

of the cave people themselves, he argued that they must have possessed a high capacity for culture in all directions, and must have been as complete in their whole manhood as living Europeans. He was disposed to put their age only a few thousand years back. The cave temples of India are famous and most curious specimens of architecture. They date from near the beginning of the Christian era. The best-known ones, those of Elephanta, have been described and pictured over and over again. The great cave, according to Mr. James Burgess, in The Rock-cut Temples

PSM V41 D041 Facade of the temple of pandu lena near nassik india.jpg

Fig. 3.—Facade of the Temple of Pandu Lena, near Nassik, India. (From a drawing by M. Albert Tissandier.)

of Elephanta or Ghârâpuri, occupies a space having an extreme length of two hundred and sixty feet, with a depth into the rock of a hundred and fifty feet. It has three entrances—one in the side and one at each end—which are each about fifty-four feet wide, and divided into three doors by pillars fully three feet in diameter and sixteen feet high. This subdivision is repeated over the entire area of the underground temple, which may be described as consisting of eight parallel rows of such columns about fifteen feet apart. One of the quadrangular clumps of pillars is built round and incloses the shrine. Opposite the north entrance is the Trimusti, or Trinity, one of the most remarkable sculptured religious relics in the world. It consists of three united half-length figures, each head being elaborately carved and ornamented, and is seventeen feet high and twenty-two feet wide. Besides the great caves there are three others on the island. They consist of a