Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/43

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33
CAVE DWELLINGS OF MEN.

tion of their ornamentation, which, like that of the cave temples generally, seems to be designed to imitate constructions of wood. Those of A junta consist of four temples and twenty-three monasteries, built in the face of an almost perpendicular cliff. They were begun about 100 b. c., and have remained in the condition in which they are now seen since the tenth century. They are excavated en suite in the amygdaloid of the mountain, and are described as being of grand aspect, upheld by superb columns with

PSM V41 D043 Plan of the temples at kylas.jpg

Fig. 5.—Plan of the Temples of Kylas.

curiously sculptured capitals and adorned with admirable frescoes reproducing the ancient Hindu life. The temples of Ellora are of different construction. Built in a sloping hill, it was necessary, in order to obtain a suitable height for the facade, to make a considerable preliminary excavation. In the group of these temples known as the Kylas, according to M. Albert Tissandier, the excavation has been carried around three sides, so as to isolate in the center an immense block, in which a temple with annexed chapels has been cut. The buildings are thus all in the open air, carved in the form of pagodas. Literally covered with sculptures composed with consummate art, they form a unique aggregate. They appear to be placed upon a fantastic sub-base on which all the gods of the Hindu mythology, with symbolical monsters and