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Mumbai's Rough-Hewn Legacy April 4, 2007
text and photographs by Samir S. Patel

Ancient caves are part of the fabric of life in a megacity's suburban slums.


Because Mandapeshwar has been used, changed, and damaged by so many different groups of people over the years, it is not known how many sculptural panels it once held--just two major panels remain. This one, in the south room of the main cave, once depicted a seated Lakulisa, an incarnation of Shiva, but was destroyed, leaving only the empty niche at left and the smaller reliefs of devotees that once surrounded it. "Was it systematically removed?" asks Vidya Dehajia, a historian of Indian and South Asian art at Columbia University. "What happened there is sort of a mystery."  Next >>

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Samir S. Patel is an associate editor at ARCHAEOLOGY.

© 2007 by the Archaeological Institute of America