Ellora Caves | India
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Ellora Caves

Ellora Caves are an impressive complex of rock shrines that represent the three faiths of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism and were created between the 5th and the 13th centuries CE. The caves are 30 km northwest of central Aurangabad, a few km from Khuldabad, and 330 km northeast of Mumbai in Maharashtra state.

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The tourist attractions in Ajanta are undoubtedly the caves. The 34 caves at Ellora and the 29 caves at Ajanta remained in obscurity for over a millennium, till John Smith, a British Army Officer, accidentally stumbled upon them while on a hunting expedition in 1819. Ajanta and Ellora are protected monument sites under the Archaeological Survey of India and has been included in the World Heritage list of monuments. 20.0244475.178451 Ellora Caves. 9.00AM to 17.30PM closed on Tuesday, Open on ALL National Holidays. The entry fees ₹30 for Indians, ₹500 for Foreigners. Free entry for children below 15 years. Still Photography: Free, Video Photography: ₹25.  20.0236775.179352 Kailasanatha temple (Cave #16).  20.0200175.179453 Cave 1 (The southernmost cave). Houses some of the best-preserved wall paintings here, which include two impressive Bodhisattvas, Padmapani and Avalokiteshvara.  Cave 6, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 21, 29, 30, 30A, 31, 32, 33, 34. Must to see. Inscriptions were found at Cave 15, 21, 31  20.0323375.175554 Chota Kailash (Cave 30) (Next to Jain Group).  20.0287475.17695 Dhumar Lena (Cave 29).  20.022875.17936 Dashawatara (Cave 15).  20.03375.17397 Jain Group of Ellora Caves (Cave 31-34) (North of Dhumar Lena).  20.0283575.177528 Waterfall (Next to Dhumar Lena).  These murals and frescoes adorning the walls of these structures depict the story of Buddhism, spanning the period from 200 BC to 650 AD. Many of the caves have panels depicting stories from the Jatakas, a treasure trove of stories about the several incarnations of the Buddha. This makes the Ajanta caves a fascinating spiritual tourist attraction for Buddhists and scholars and researchers of Buddhism. Caves 2, 16, and 17 also contain amazing paintings, while caves 1, 4, 17, 19, 24, and 26 boast of some of the most divine sculptures. The flying apsara painting in Cave 17, and the image of the Buddha preaching, also in cave 17, are two unforgettable works of art in Ajanta. The Ajanta caves and the treasures they house are a landmark in the overall development of Buddhism in India and in general. The nobility, grace and serenity inherent in Buddha is reflected in the sculptures of these caves. Caves 6 and 10 house images from the Buddhist and Hindu faith, under the same roof, the latter dedicated to Vishwakarma, the patron saint of Indian craftsmen. The Vishvakarma cave is both a Chaitya and a Vihara, with a seated Buddha placed in the stupa. Its two-storeyed structure sports a colourful pageant of dwarfs, dancing and making music. The Kailasa temple in Cave 16 is architecture. The entire structure was an exquisite piece carved out of a monolith, the process taking over a century to finish. This mountain-abode of Lord Shiva, is in all probability, the world's largest monolith, the gateway, pavilion, assembly hall, sanctum and tower, all hewn out of a single rock. The most striking feature about this structure is that unlike other temple structures that are built base onwards, the sculptures or architects of this majestic and fantastic sculptures started carving from the very top and the sides. The gigantic yet delicate and intricate piece of ancient work is the most amazing structure here. The Dumar Lena cave, dedicated to Lord Shiva, resembles the famous cave temple of Elephanta. The Jain caves are about a mile away from the Kailasa temple, amongst which Cave 32, houses a beautiful shrine adorned with fine carvings of a lotus flower on the roof, and a yakshi on a lion under a mango tree, while Caves 32 and 34 contain grand statues of Parasnath. The other Jain caves sport the images of Tirthankaras, and one of them, also, has a seated figure of Mahavira. These caves are a treasure of India which hold the wealth and display the rich Indian heritage. 20.0249375.169819 Ghrishneshwar temple, Grishneswar temple Rd, Verul (half a kilometer from the Ellora Caves). It is an 18th-century temple that presents outstanding architecture and carving. This place forms one of the five Jyotirlinga sites in Maharashtra where Lord Shiva is worshipped. The Holkar temple nearby is a must-see. 

Ellora Caves