Trimurti is considered the most important sculpture of Elephanta and is described as a 'masterpiece of Gupta-Chalukyan art'. It is placed at the back of the cave facing the entrance, on the north-south axis and is also known as Maheshmurti or Trimurti Sadashiva. The three-headed image of Shiva is of a height of 20 ft and represents Panchamukha Shiva. Creation, destruction and protection are the three essential aspects that are represented by the three heads of Shiva.His face on the right side depicts him as a young person with sensuous lips, embodying vitality of life and with a rosebud like object in his hand depicting the promise of creativity and life. This face is closest to that of Brahma, the creator or Vamadeva or Uma, the feminine side of Shiva and creator of beauty and joy. The left side of his face is of a moustached young man and displays anger. This face is the depiction of the terrifying Bhairava or Aghora, the one whose anger can engulf the entire world in flames. This face represents Rudra-Shiva, the Destroyer. The meditative and benign central face represents Vishnu, the Preserver and is known as 'Tatpurusha' meaning the 'master of negative and positive principles of existence and preserver of their harmony'. The aspects, Ishana and Sadyojata faces are considered to be at the top and back of the sculpture.To the right of Trimurthi, the Gangadhara image can be spotted, which is an ensemble of divinities assembled around the central figures of Parvathi and Shiva. In this sculpture, Lord Shiva is shown bearing Ganges River as she descends from heaven. The carving is of a height of about 17 ft and a width of about 13 ft. The image is highly damaged, particularly the lower part. In this sculpture, Lord Shiva with four arms and adorned with ornaments, is seated with Goddess Parvathi. A cup is depicted with a triple-headed female figure from the crown representing the three sacred rivers of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswathi.
Gharapuri, Maharashtra 400094, India