The Cave Temples of India

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W.H. Allen & Company, 1880 - Cave temples - 536 pages
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Page 234 - ... architecture ; and in other examples, plain painted surfaces occupy the same space. Above this springs the roof, semicircular in general section, but somewhat stilted at the sides, so as to make its height greater than the semi-diameter. It is ornamented even at this day by a series of wooden ribs, probably coeval with the excavation, which prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the roof is not a copy of a masonry arch, but of some sort of timber construction which we cannot now very well understand.
Page 234 - ... richly ornamented capital, on which kneel two elephants, each bearing two figures, generally a man and a woman, but sometimes two females, all very much better executed than such ornaments usually are. The seven pillars behind the altar are plain octagonal piers, without either base or capital, and the four under the entrance gallery differ considerably from those at the sides. The sculptures on the capital supply the place usually occupied by frieze and cornice in Grecian architecture ; and...
Page 447 - Around the fire in solemn rite they trod — The lovely lady and the glorious god ; Like Pay and starry Midnight when they meet In the broad plains at lofty Meru's feet. Thrice at the bidding of the priest they came With swimming eyes around the holy flame ; Then at his word the Bride in order due Into the blazing fire the parched grain threw, And toward her face the scented smoke she drew, While softly wreathing o'er her cheek it hiing, And round her ears in flower-like beauty hung.
Page 237 - Gothic round or polygonal apse cathedral. Across the front there is always a screen with a gallery over it, occupying the place of the rood-loft, on which we now place our organs. In this there are three doors ; one, the largest, opening to the nave, and one to each of the side aisles. Over the screen the whole front of the cave is open to the air, being one vast window, stilted so as to be more than a semicircle in height, or, generally, of a horse-shoe form. The whole light falls on the dagoba,...
Page 240 - ... among architectural compositions. Of the interior we can judge perfectly, and it certainly is as solemn and grand as any interior can well be, and the mode of lighting the most perfect — one undivided volume of light coming through a single opening overhead at a very favourable angle, and falling directly on the altar or principal object in the building, leaving the rest in comparative obscurity. The effect is considerably heightened by the closely set thick columns that divide the three aisles...
Page 436 - The gigantic figure lounges forward holding up his elephanthide, with necklace of skulls (mundmala) depending below his loins ; round him a cobra is knotted ; his open mouth showing his large teeth, while with his trisula he has transfixed one victim, who, writhing on its prongs, seems to supplicate pity from the pitiless ; while he holds another by the heels with one of his left hands, raising the damru as if to rattle it in joy while he catches the blood with which to quench his demon-thirst.
Page 232 - It is certainly the largest as well as the most complete chaitya cave hitherto discovered in India, and was excavated at a time when the style was in its greatest purity. In it all the architectural defects of the previous examples are removed ; the pillars of the nave are quite perpendicular. The screen is ornamented with sculpture— its first appearance apparently in such a position— and the style had reached a perfection that was never afterwards surpassed.
Page 360 - After digging to the level of the ground and clearing away the materials, the workmen came to a circular stone, hollow in the centre, and covered at the top by a piece of gypsum. This contained two small copper urns, in one of which were some ashes mixed with a ruby, a pearl, small pieces of gold, and a small gold box containing a piece of cloth ; in the other, a silver box and some ashes were found.
Page 234 - Fifteen pillars on each side separate the nave from the aisles ; each pillar has a tall base, an octagonal shaft, and richly ornamented capital, on which kneel two elephants, each bearing two figures, generally a man and a woman, but sometimes two females, all very much better executed than such ornaments usually are.
Page 234 - I. arrangement and dimensions are very similar to those of the choir of Norwich Cathedral, or of the Abbaye aux Homines at Caen, omitting the outer aisles in the latter buildings.

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