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An Asiatic Wonder.

The cave temple of Karli,llndiaa —a city about 500 miles from Calcutta —is rightly considered one of tile wonders of Asia. Before the entrance to the temple, and just to the left, stands a monster stone elephant, upon whose back is seated a colossal goddess hewn from the same block. Like the goddess and the elephant, the temple itself is a part of the mountain side—a building of immense proportions—cut by the hand of man out m the solid stone. Like the temple walls and outside ornaments, every article of adorning sculpture on the walls is HEWN FROM THE NATIVE MOUNTAIN KOCK. The nave is 124 feet long, 45 feet broad, and 46 from floor to ceiling. There are aisles on each side, separated from the nave by octagonal pillars. The capital of each pillar is crowned with two kneeling elephants* on whose backs are seated two figures representing the divinities to whom the temple is dedicated. These are of beautiful features, as indeed are all the representations of deities m this peculiar temple. The repulsiveness so characteristic of modern Hindoo and Chinese pagodas is here wholly wanting. Each figure is true to life, there being no mythological half-horse, half-man, or beast-birds depicted m this under-ground wonder of Karli. Behind the altar, which bears a striking resemblance to that m a Christian O'/iurch, are seven mammoth polished pillars, there being altogether 38 columns and pillars m the temple, the grandest of -which m the lion pillar m fromt, which lias sixteen sides and is surmounted by four carved figures of lions. All this great recess has been cut from solid rock, ivhich seems of the hardest porphjry. THE STATUAKY IS IS MASSIVE RELIEF, each figure stands on its original base, having been cleft from the solid rock when the temple was m course of construction. The great columns and pillars, elegant and proportional m the extreme, bear witness by both base and capital that they have not been introduced, but are a part of the floor and ceiling, cut, like the figures and the temple itself, from tha stone of which the whole mountain is composed. The cave temple of Karli has been the standing puzzle of European and Asian archaeologists for the last 2500 years, and is as much of an enigma to-day jut it was m the days of Confucius.

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Bibliographic details

An Asiatic Wonder., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2495, 19 August 1890

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An Asiatic Wonder. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2495, 19 August 1890