The Garden Guide

Book: Designs for the pavilion at Brighton, 1808
Chapter: An Inquiry Into The Changes In Architecture

Salsetta, Elora and Elephanta

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The people who formed these awful wonders of antiquity, instead of erecting buildings on the surface of the ground, began their operations by cutting away the foundation of a rock, to obtain room below, without endangering the superstructure; and thus, by degrees, the Indian architecture seems to have grown from the rudest excavations of Troglodite savages, to the most beautiful forms discovered in the temples of Salsetta, of Elora, and Elephantis [Elephanta]. When these natural subterraneous vaults were imitated above ground, in buildings of later date, the same construction prevailed; and, therefore, both in the arches and domes of the Indian style, we observe the same principle of perpendicular pressure [see fig. 134]. [Salsetta Island is now part of Mumbai. Elora is famous for its Buddhist caves. Elephanta Island is off Mumbai. TT]