The five principal Rathas, which are by far the most interesting objects here, are situated close together on the sandy beach, at some little distance to the southward of the hill in which the caves are excavated. They bear names borrowed from the heroes of the Mahâbhârata, but these are quite modern appellations applied from the popular belief that everything rock-cut, as in fact whose origin is mysterious, was executed by the Pândavas during their exile. In consequence of this the most southern of the Raths is called that of Dharmarâja, the next that of Bhîma, the third that of Arjuna, and the fourth that of Draupadî, the wife of the five Pândavas. These four are situated in one line, extending about 160 feet north and south, but whether cut out of a continuous ridge, and only separated by art, or whether each was a separate boulder, cannot now be ascertained. My impression is that it originally was a single ridge rising to a height of about 40 feet at its southern end, and sinking to about half that height at its northern extremity, probably with fissures between each block now formed into a Rath, but hardly separated otherwise, from each other. The fifth, called after the twins Sahadeva and JSTakula, is situated a little to the westward of the other four, and quite detached.
The sixth, the Ganesa Rath1 is situated near the northern end of the rocky ridge at a distance of three-fourths of a mile from the southern group, and near it are the remaining three, but they are merely commenced, and so incompletely blocked out, that their intended form can hardly be ascertained, and all that need be said of them is that they are in the same style, and evidently of the same age as the other six.
- 1. Sometimes, but improperly, called Arjunas rath, a mistake first, I believe, made by Graham, but especially to be avoided, as another Rath bears that name, aud the confusion is quite sufficient already without this additional complication.