- Aurangabad, Maharashtra
Best Time To Visit
- Between October and March
Located at about 30 km from the city of Aurangabad, in the state of
Maharashtra lies the ancient village of Ellora, whose antiquity has created
a rage all over the world. Ellora is popular for its spectacular monumental
caves. The best of Indian rock-cut architecture can be witnessed here. One
can find the Buddhist, Hindu and Jain caves in the Ellora. A perfect history
class for all those who love history and its language. Ellora caves are
locally famous as Verul Leni. It was discovered soon after the discovery of
A total of 34 caves are found in Ellora. Out of which 12 are Buddhist, 17
Hindu and 5 Jain caves. The caves built in proximity showcase the religious
tolerance prevalent during that period. The Buddhist caves here are the
oldest dating back to 500-750 AD. Cave numbers 1-12 are the Buddhist caves.
Caves from 14-29 are the Hindu caves belonging to 600 and 870 AD. The cave
number 13, which is the oldest cave is in ruins. From 30-34, are the numbers
of Jain Caves that belong to 800 AD and late 10th century AD. Most of the
caves here face towards the east.
Caves in Detail
The Buddhist Caves
- The Buddhist Caves were the
earliest structures with important features like: Viharas or monasteries.
The Viharas are multi-storeyed buildings carved into the mountain face,
consisting of living quarters, kitchens etc. Cave 10 is the most famous of
the Buddhist caves, known as Carpenter's Cave. Cave 5 is the largest and the
grandest single storeyed cave in Ellora.
The Hindu Caves
- The Hindu Caves belong to the 7th
century and showcase the great artistry of the craftsmen of that era. The
temples of the Ellora caves are very intricately designed. The focal point
of Ellora is the Kailasa or Kailashanatha Temple. The Kailashanatha temple
is an excellent example of Dravidian art. This temple was started by Krishna
I (757- 773) of the Rashtrakuta dynasty.
The Jain Caves
- Specific dimensions of Jain
philosophy and tradition can be visible from the Jain Caves. In size they
are not that large as compared to the Buddhist or Hindu caves. An important
thing about the Jain caves is that almost all the Jain caves are
characterized by intricate detailing. Many of the structures had rich
paintings in the ceilings.
Feather to the Cap
All the 34 magnificent caves of Ellora have been intricately built. In the
year 1983, the 34 caves of Ellora was included in the list of the World
Heritage Site by UNESCO. Every year tourists in large number visit the
Ellora Caves to enjoy the history and great architecture of the by gone era.