The Entrance to the Elephanta Cave (Abbey 420 no.58; Archer V, pl.7) Part of the Interior of the Elephanta (Abbey 420 no.59; Archer V, pl.8)
hand-coloured aquatints, March 1800 [watermarked 'J.Whatman 1809'], on thick paper
each P.525 x 730mm.
July 1793: This Hindu cave-temple, located on Elephanta Island just off the entrance to Bombay harbour, derived its name from a sculptured elephant that originally stood at its south end. The views depict the north entrance to the cave and the main shrine. By the seventh century, the pillared hall around the cella is a common feature in the construction of excavated temples. The flooding drawn here was accounted for by the Daniells for the wrong reason: "the floor ...is generally covered with water during the monsoon; the rain being then driven in by the wind". In fact, it drains in from the hill above. (2)