ELLORA CAVES -
to be built in the period of 350 AD to 750AD, Ellora caves came later than
Ajanta but hold the same mystical charm that is typical of these caves. The
Andakasuramardana incarnation of lord Shiva is special and is a must see for
any art lover, as are the other important structures, depicting various
dance forms of Shiva.
Ellora caves are more important to see the common threads of the three
different faiths namely, the Hinduism, the Buddhism, and the Jainism, and
more interestingly, to note the integration and tolerance which prevailed at
that time. Strangely, even though many invaders tried to destroy and damaged
them, they stand with the same charm and antiquity with which they first
There are 34
caves, in total, 1st to 12th belongs to the Buddhist faith, 13th to 29th are
Hindu caves while the rest are Jain. Though a little difference is seen,
which is obvious, the caves are breathtakingly attractive and present a
splendid picture of an age where harmony and tolerance were the priorities
rather than competition for the highest number of followers.
The Ellora caves are in Charanadari hills, in the village Verul, at a
distance of 32 kms in the north of Aurangabad and 400 km from Mumbai,
between Latitude: 20º1'North and Longitude: 75º10'East.
The landscape is cool and soothing, besides the hill caves could serve as
the perfect destination for the city dwellers as well as tourists obsessed
with crowded localities and polluted environments.
most attractive caves are numbered 2,5,6,10, and 11, however, all the caves
are to be visited if one wants to explore the site fully. Cave 2 is
interesting for the Verandah and the Sravasti tales depicted on the walls.
Cave No 5 consists of a large hall, with porches, aisles, and decorated
columns. The central shrine houses a seated Buddha and its entrance is
exotically decorated with Bodhisattva adorned with jewelry and headdress.
Cave 6 contains some interesting Buddhism figures, among them the
Analokiteshwara with lotus, Mahamayuri and other small figures are good
pieces of artistic expression in rock sculptures.
cave 10 is a Hindu cave and as the name suggests, is dedicated to
Vishvakarma, a Hindu God of architecture, engineering and constructions.
Amazingly, this Hindu temple consists of figures of Buddha in several poses
and positions. There are some female figures too depicted on the walls, with
The cave 11 housed images of Durga, Ganesha, Boddhisattvas, and Buddha in
many forms. The addition of images from two religions could be due to the
process of promotion of Buddhism within the local Hindu community, or due to
the fact that the portion was later dedicated to Hindu gods and goddesses.
Cave 11 is somewhat surprisingly called Do Tal (Double Storey). Mural
paintings of Ellora are preserved in the Kailasa temple.
Ellora is also a World Heritage Site. Third week of March sees the
extravagant Ellora Festival organized by MTDC.
Aurangabad : Named after Moghul ruler Aurangzeb, this
city is famous for Humroo shawls, Kimkhwab and Mushroo handicrafts. Biwi Ka
Maqbara is a fine Moghul architecture while the Grishneshwara temple is one
of the 12 Jyotiralingas in India.
Formerly a Hindu bastion, Mohammed Bin Tughlaq renamed. After
conquering, it as Daulatabad. This emperor is called the Wise n Fool emperor
due to his extraordinary character. Though his warfare techniques,
architectural choices etc were superb, he lacked in Management skills. Wooed
by the beauty of this hill, he ordered all the citizens of Delhi to be moved
to Daulatabad, a foolish decision, causing immense damage to property and
Ajanta Caves :
The 29 Caves of Ajanta without a visit of
which Ellora visit is incomplete, however Ajanta caves are predominantly
Buddhist in nature.
How to reach:
By Air :
Chikalthana airport at Aurangabad (30 kms) is
nearest, direct flights fly in from Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur etc.
By Rail :
Either, Aurangabad if you have enough leisure
time, or Jalgaon, if you need faster trains.
By Road :
Good road condition, and a superb connectivity
Where to stay
For accommodation, book your stay at