The Ellora Caves complex comprises of 34 monasteries and temples. They are located on a high basalt cliff, not far from Aurangabad in Maharashtra. They extend over a distance of 2 kilometers and were carved out over a period of 400 years from AD 600 to 1000.

Ellora Caves you gotta go here
Ellora Caves you gotta go here

The Ellora Caves complex comprises of 34 monasteries and temples. They are located on a high basalt cliff, not far from Aurangabad in Maharashtra. They extend over a distance of 2 kilometers and were carved out over a period of 400 years from AD 600 to 1000.The Ellora complex consists of technological exploits and artistic collection of the ancient Indians. The sanctuaries are devoted to Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism. The spirit of tolerance in these 3 ancient religions is resoundingly demonstrated in this complex.

The Ellora Complex is a classic expression of beauty and art from the ancient India. The cave system is quite unlike Ajanta in that Ajanta was a classic expression of Buddhism alone, and the Ellora Complex is an expression of the 3 major religions.

History

  • Buddhist Group – The Buddhist group stretches from south to north and consists of 12 caves. They appear to be the oldest, having been carved out from 600 to 800 AD. They comprise of monasteries and a single large temple. These caves were carved out by the Mahayana sects that were flourishing in the region during the 5th and 7th centuries. Among the complexes, cave 5 is the largest, but cave 10 is the most popular and is known as the Visvakarma.
  • The Brahmin Group - These were also carved out from 600 to 900. These are undoubtedly the best work in the Ellora Complex. Noteworthy are the ‘Cavern of the Ten Avatars’ (Cave 15), and the Kailasha Temple(Cave 16)  that was built during the reign of Krishna I in 757 and 783.
  • The Jain Group – This group comprises of 30 to 34 caves that were created by the Digambara sect from AD 800 to AD 1000. The Jain caves were last to be excavated and drew most of their inspiration from the other Ellora caves.

There is no better place in India to sightsee religious monuments than at the Ellora Complex. Here, you will get to see 3 of the most widely practiced religions in India including Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Money spent here is money well spent. Trust me; you will form good memories here.


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