SE VEAr PAGODAS
it is known to be wholly devoted to serpent-worship, it acquires an
interest it had not before, and opens a new chapter in Indian myth-
ology. There seems nothing to enable us to fix its age with absolute-
certainty, it can hardly, however, be doubted that it is anterior to the
tenth century, and may be a couple of centuries earlier."
Near the stone choultry by the side of the road,: and a little to the
north of the rock last described, stands a well-executed group lately
exhumed, representing a couple of monkeys catching fleas on each
other after the manner of their kind, while a young one is extracting
nourishment from the female.
`Near this point, a spectator, looking southwards, may see, formed
by the ridges on which the caves are cut, the recumbent figure of
a man with his hands in the attitude of prayer or meditation. This
figure measures at least 1,500 feet long, the partly natural resemblance
having been assisted by the rolling away of rocks and boulders. On
the spot, this is called the "Giant Raja Bali," but it is no doubt the
work of )ins.
The whole of this ridge is pitted with caves and temples. There
are fourteen br fifteen Rishi caves in it, and much carving and figuring
of a later: period. These are distinguished by the marked transition
from the representations of scenes of peace to scenes of battle, treading
down of, opposition and destruction, the too truthful emblems of the
dark centuries of religious strife which preceded and followed to
final expulsion of the Buddhists. Their age is not more than,&0
or 71 oo years; and the art is poor, and shows as great a decadence
in matter as in religion. The representations are too often gross and
,disgusting, and the carving stiff ahd .unnatural-entirely wanting in
ease and grace and truth to nature.
' Behind this ridge, and neat the canal, are two more of the mono-
lithic raths, and one similar in form, but built of large blocks of
'The last period is represented by the Shore Temple, the Varaha-
swami Temple in the village, and by some of the remains m a' hamlet
called Salewankuppen, 2 miles to the northward. In the two former
there is little distinguishable in construction and' general::plan from
similar buildings to be found everywhere in the South.' -
Mr.' Fergusson discusses the architectural aspects as follows:-
` The oldest and most interesting group of monuments are the so-
called five raths, or monolithic' temples, standing on the sea-shore.
One of these, that with the apsidal termination, stands a little detached
from the rest. The other four stand in a line north and south, and
look as if they had, been carved out of a single stone or rock, which
originally, if, that were so, must have been between 35 feet and 4o, feet
high at its southern end, sinking to half that height at . its northern
extremity, and its width diminishing in a like proportion,.
' The first on the north is a mere pansala or cell, r z feet square
externally and 16 feet high. It is the only one, -too, that -seems
finished or nearly so, but it -has no throne or image internally, from
which we, might guess its destination.
The next. is a' small copy of the last to the southward, and measures