Ellora about 30 Kms from Aurangabad is sickle shaped hill Ellora is a great symbol of fully integrated Indian life. At this place can be seen styles (3,4) 12 Buddhist caves,5 jain caves, 17 Brahmancial caves side by side. All the excavations took place between the 5th and 9th centuries A.D. The earliest ones are Buddhist the kailasa temple. Chiselled out of a single rock, is considered the noblest and most magnificent out of a single rock, is most magnificent achievement. It is described as "A rare occasion when mans minds, hearts and hands work in union towards the consummation of an ideal.
Recently 28 new caves have been discovered by the archcological survery of India, a little above the previously know caves of Ellora. The new caves have been dated between the 9th century and the 13th century A.D.The new caves are still being restored.
Ellora Caves are situated in Maharashtra, at a distance of approximately 30 km from the city of Aurangabad. Founded in the period between 5th century and 10th century AD, these caves were declared as one of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, a number of years back. They are believed to have been built by the rulers of the Rashtrakuta Dynasty and serve as the epitome of rock-cut architecture in India. The total number of caves at Ellora is 34 and they represent the three different religions of the world - Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
Ellora Caves were carved out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills and comprise of temples as well as monasteries. There are total twelve Buddhist Caves at Ellora (numbered 1 to 12), while the Hindu Caves number seventeen (13 to 29). On the other hand, the Jain Caves excavated at the site are only five in number (numbered 30 to 34). The co-existence of Hindi, Jain and Buddhist Caves, at the same site, serves as a proof of the fact that religious harmony prevailed during that period.
The earliest excavation carried out at the site of Ellora Caves revealed the Cave number twenty nine, known as Dhumar Lena. Then, there is the magnificent Kailasa Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, situated inside cave 16. The temple holds the distinction of being the single largest monolithic structure in the whole world and makes one of the major attractions of the Ellora Caves. Whenever you go to Aurangabad, make sure to visit these splendid caves and explore the country's rich legacy.
Cave 1: This is said to be the earlist buddhist scooping. It is a living place or vihara 41 1/2 ft. deep and 42 1/2 wide there are 8 cells for the monks outer right and the left walls of these two are unfinished.
Cave 2 : This is more elaborate. There are several Buddhas. Flanked by bodhisttvas with galleries containing five large Buddha seated on high seats with hands in the dharma chakra mudra.
Cave 3 : On the left end of the verandah, is a seated Buddha, uplifted by nagas or snake gods.
Cave 4 : Perhaps the earliest cave (2nd century A.D) this was scooped out on the shrine with a tree above him.
Cave 5 : If the largest in the Bud
dhist and was probably used as a room for teaching the young monks, and adining hall the cave has twenty four pillars.
Cave 6 : There has statue of goddess Saraswati and other buddist ligures.
Cave 7 & 8 : These are incomplete and nothing much intersting.
Cave 9 : This approached through a passage in the north wall of cave 6. It has a small chapel. It has a well decorated facade with rows of chaitya, windows separated by figures of dwarts on the facade here is also the figure Tara, with six fears carved around of which the four-snakes, sword, elephant and fire can still be seen.
Cave 10 : This is a chaitya or a temple the only one at ellora and has huge image of Buddha. This cave is also referred to as carpenter's cave it is dedicated to vishwakarma.
Cave 11 : This is a two storeyed called "Do- Thal" the cave has many Hindu images.
Cave 12 : It is a three storeyed cave, called as "Teen- Thal". There is a image of Buddha.
Hindu or Brahmanical caves.
Cave 13 : This cave has nothing much of importance and it was probably a dharma shale or resting place.
Cave 14 : This cave has figures of various members of the Hindu gods and goddesses.
Cave 15 : This is a two storeyed cave which is also a temple depicts lord shiva in various forms.
Cave 16 : Also know as the kailash temple:- The most remarkable of the carved Shrivesat Ellore is the
Kailash temple. It is some 50 metres in length 33 meters wide and 30 meters high.
The fantastie edifice has been chiselled out by hand from a single rock with gateway. Pavillion, courtyard assembly hall, vestibule, sanctum and towerhall these out of the enormous rock. The kailash temple has to be seen to be believed.
The Kailash is approxi
mately twice the area of the parthen on in greece and one and a half times as much in height lavishly carved and sculpted with epic them as, no mobler monument exits of India's genius daring and skill.
The piece deresistance of the temple is the tale in stone of Ravana shaking Kailash mountain which according to leged, he did to showd is strength. Other important features are a gallery depiciting seenes from Lord Shiva's life and another devoted to Lord Vishnu in his incornation has Narsimha, killing the demon.
Cave 17 : The cave has sculptures of Vishnu and Bramha at the entrance of the main hall.
CAVE 18 & 19 : There caves have only the Shiv-Lingas.
Cave 20 : This cave have no out standing merits .
Cave 21 : This cave is also known as the "Rameshwara" with super sculptures of the Goddesses Ganga and Yamuna, erotic loving couples and shaivite scenes including the marriage of Shiva to Parvati, their dice game, the dance of the uni
verse and tierce protective guardians of the shrine.
Cave 22 : Is dedicated to shiva of the Blue Throat or Nilakantha, whose Lingam is found in the 8th century simline.
Cave 23 : The unique feature of this cave is that, it has the combination of figure of three gods i.e. Bramha, Vishnu and Mahesh, this figure is know as Trimurthi.
Cave 24 : The cave has only 4 shiva temples.
Cave 25 : It is quite spacious, having a platform with beautifully carved pillars in front. Depicts surya and the sun god in his seven horse charist.
Cave 26 : The cave has six pillars and as usual shivalings with the two female door keepers.
Cave 27 : On the left are the figures of a Boar, Goddess Mahisha surmardini, Bramha, Vishnu and Mahesh.
Cave 28 : The cave is under a water fall and is therefore called "Dhara Tirth" In the scantum there is a Shiva-Lingam and in the hall is the figure of goddess Durga with 8 arms.
Cave 29 : This is the second best cave next to Kailash and is popularly know as the "Sita Nahani" meaning sita's bathing place. It has 26 big pillars.
The jain caves belong to the period between 9th and 11th centuries A.D. Even to the paintings in Indra sabha which are contemporary with the Kailasanatha Paintings.
Cave 30 : The cave is in two parts.
The first partion has its pillars timely designed and a square pillar in the centre has image of Mahaveer, Carved on all sides. A beautiful Lotus flower is carved on the ceiling.
The second portion is more or less a miniature of Kailash Temple.
Cave 31 : This cave has only figures of Mahaveer, Parshwanath and gomateshwar.
Cave 32 : The cave has Indra sabha is the Jagannatha Sabha with three celled halls open to courty and on the ground floor, and a pillared hall on the first floor.
Cave 33 : This is a small shirne with five images of Mahaveera in the shrine, Parshvanatha and Gomateswara on the lateral walls, and Matanga and siddhayika. There is also a mango tree with fruits and birds.
Cave 34 : It has only figures of Mahaveer, Parashwanath and Gomateshwar. About these caves is a five meter high status of Parsvnath dominating this part of the hill.
Open from sunrise to sunset
Closed on Tuesday
Citizens of India and visitors of SAARC (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives and Afghanistan) and BIMSTEC Countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar) - Rs. 10 per head.
Others: US $ 5 or Indian Rs. 250/- per head
(children up to 15 years free)
|Entry Fee||Rs. 10 (Indians and Citizens of SAARC and BIMSTEC Countries ) & 250 (Foreigners)|
|Visit Duration||3 to 4 hours|