Stone Elephant Of Elephanta Island Bombay, 1850
An old 1850 beautiful print of the stone elephant of Elephanta Island in Bombay (or Mumbai). Located on an island off Mumbai’s eastern shore. The 6th century AD Elephanta cave temples, chiselled into a rocky cliff and dedicated to Shiva. Contain some masterpieces of Indian sculptures.
One of them is a carving of a stone elephant shown in this print. The now-famous Elephanta Island’s name originated with the Portuguese. Who found a colossal stone statue of an elephant on the island. This giant stone elephant measured 13.2 feet by 7.4 feet. The print shows the engraving before the damage to the stone carving took place.
The head, as well as the neck of this huge elephant dropped off in 1814. Later the remainder of the statue fell to pieces. In 1864, however, the mass of stones comprising the statue was removed to the Victoria Gardens in Bombay where it was re-set. The actual origins of these cave temples are lost in obscurity. But it is said to date to the 6th century AD. Click on the photo for better view.
Did you know- it is believed the British attempted to ship the colossal elephant carving to England. But due to its immense weight, it was impossible to do so, in the process the statue fell and broke into pieces. It was then removed to the Victoria Gardens Museum (now the Bahu Daji Lad Museum) where it was repaired and remains there till today.
From the collection- Raja Ravi Varma’s Portrait Photo – Old Postcard 1904., Chepauk Palace In Chennai – Old Photo 1895., Panoramic Views of Fort Mumbai, 2 Old Postcards 1900., British Indian Empire 1903 Vintage Map.