Stone is not just an inanimate object when given a shape and a form they can speak volumes. India has various Stone monuments across its country.
But the Elephanta caves in Western-India have found one of its most perfect expressions. Elephanta Caves are popularly known as Gharapuri meaning ‘Place of Caves’. Finely carved from black basalt rock they are dated back to 5th to 8th century BCE. Since no inscriptions are found in the caves it is difficult to credit any dynasty for excavating it.
The Trimurti is the most attractive sculpture in the Cave no 1. The statue of Eternal Shiva (Sadashiva or Trimurti) at Elephanta is rich in multiple associations and meanings, an attempt to render the Godhead in a visible form. Shiva's majestic central face (Tatpurusha-Mahadeva) is calm and detached, the eyes closed in meditation. His right-facing head, Vamadeva-Uma, is peaceful and feminine, with an out-thrust lower lip, contemplating a lotus. His left-facing head, Aghora-Bhairava, is fierce and masculine, scrutinizing the head of a cobra.
India Post has frozen theTrimurti Sculptureby issuing a stamp of 9 Pies in 1949! This UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site, the Trimurti sculpture with the Gateway of India in the background, is the logo of the Maharashtra Tourism Department (MTDC).
Percy Brown described Trimurti as "the creation of a genius".
These caves are a famous picnic spot. So let’s go back to 8th Century BC and feel this mesmerizing beauty of art with our own eyes!