Ellora’s famous caves are located in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, which is massive and very impressive cave temples that have been carved out of the very living rock in one piece group. The Ellora campus is a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO in 1983 which features Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain monuments, and artwork, due to its amazing design and religious features.
Ellora caves include about 34 extremely attractive caves, which are visited by tourists from far and wide. A wonderful confluence of Hindu, Jain, and Buddhism is found in these caves. These caves are considered one of the largest rock-cut monastery cave complexes in the world.
These caves are famous all over the world for their unique features with their amazing craftsmanship and unique architect. Ellora caves are also known worldwide due to the Kailash temple and the largest single monolithic rock excavation.
The famous Ellora Caves have caves of Buddhism from 1 to 12, Hinduism from 13 to 29, and Jainism from 30 to 34. Along with this, the famous Kailash temple is also built in this cave, to which many mythological stories are attached.
Apart from this, there is a chaitya worship hall dedicated to the Vishwakarma deity. These caves, which came into existence during about 350 to 700 AD, have been built during the reign of the Rashtrakuta dynasty.
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Ellora caves history
These ancient caves of Ellora, located in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, are associated with the reign of the Rashtrakuta dynasty. According to historians, the rulers of the Rashtrakuta dynasty had built excellent caves of Hindu and Buddhism which are known for their amazing craftsmanship and unique religious art.
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While the construction of caves related to Jainism is believed to be under the reign of the Yadav dynasty. It is also said that Triveni Sangam has the effect of faith shown towards these three religions Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist.
There are 12 Buddhist caves ranging from about 200 BCE to 600 CE, (in the center) 17 Hindu temples ranging from 500 to 900 CE, and (in the north) 5 Jain temples ranging from about 800 to 1000 CE.
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Facts about Ellora Caves
The most notable among the cave temples is Kailasha (Kailashnath Cave 16); Named after Mount Kailash in the Himalayas, where the Hindu Lord Shiva lived. Unlike other temples at that site, the Kailash complex is built by cutting vertical basaltic rocks. Which is much more exposed to sunlight.
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The temple was constructed in the 8th century, when it was the beginning of the reign of Krishna I (c. 756–773). It consisted of dismantling of 150,000 to 200,000 tons of solid rocks and these rocks are 164 feet (50 m) long, 108 feet (33 m) wide, and 100 feet (30 m) high and have four levels or stories.
It consists of elaborately carved stone pillars and halls with stairs, doors, windows, and many fixed sculptures. One of its famous decorations is a scene of Vishnu transforming into a human-lion while battling a demon. In the main courtyard outside the entrance, there is a memorial of Shiva’s bull (Nandi).
Along with the temple walls, the second story features life-size sculptures of elephants and other animals as well as depictions within the cave depicting the 10-headed legendary king Ravana demonstrating his power.
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Erotic and attractive representations of Hindu deities and mythological figures also grace the temple. Some of the figures have been damaged or destroyed over the centuries, such as the rock-fold para bridge that contains two more stories simultaneously.
Vishwakarma Cave (Cave 10) contains pictures of Hindu and Buddhist as well as lively scenes of dancing dwarfs. Notable among Jain temples is Cave 32, which includes lotus flower carvings and other elaborate ornaments.
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Each year the caves attract large crowds of religious pilgrims and tourists. The classical dance and annual music Ellora Festival is held in the third week of March. The Ellora caves are grander and more magnificent, yet full of intricate detailing, than you may ever have imagined.