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Ellora Cave Temple in Ellora Maharashtra-Unesco World Heritage Site-India

Here is Some Information of Ellora Cave Temples in Ellora Maharashtra india.

Location: Maharashtra, India
Built in : 350 AD to 700 AD
Significance:Listed as World Heritage Site
Coordinates: 20.023791° N, 75.178757° E
Phone: (0240) 331 217
Open from: sunrise to sunset
Closed on  :Tuesday
Faiths: Original/Primary: Buddhism
Current/Secondary: Hinduism
Categories:  Sacred Caves; Buddhist Temples; World Heritage Sites
Entrance Fee:
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)

More Information about  Ellora Cave Temple

The famous Ellora caves are located in the lap of the Chamadari hills. These historical caves are regarded as world heritage and are situated 18 miles northwest of Aurangabad. The name Ellora itself inspires everyone as it represents one of the largest rock-hewn monastic-temple complexes in the entire world. Ellora is also world famous for the largest single monolithic excavation in the world, the great Kailasa (Cave 16). The visit to these caves is enjoyed maximum during monsoon, when every stream is filled with rainwater, and the entire environ is lush green. The monsoon is not only a season of rains in this part, the local visitors are attracted to visit these ideal locations to have a glimpse of the mother nature in full bloom.
The caves are hewn out of the volcanic basaltic formation of Maharasthra, known as ‘Deccan Trap’, the term trap being of Scandinavian origin representing the step like formation of the volcanic deposits. The rock formation, on weathering has given rise to the appearance of terraces with flat summits. At Ellora, one can also have a glimpse of the channels (near Cave 32) through which the volcanic lava once flowed. These channels, due to overheating, have a characteristic brownish red colour. Similar rock was used in the construction of the Grishneshwar Temple nearby and also utilised for the flooring of the pathways at Bibi-ka-Maqbara.

History of Ellora Cave Temple

The caves at Ellora were carved out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills between the 6th and 10th centuries. The carving work began around 550 AD, about the same time the Ajanta Caves (100km northeast) were abandoned.
The Ellora Caves were built at time when Buddhism was declining in India and Hinduism was beginning to reassert itself. The Brahmanical movement was especially powerful under the patronage of the Chalukya and Rashtrakuta kings, who oversaw most of the work at Ellora - including the magnificent Kailasa Temple built in the 700s.
The last period of building activity took place in the 10th century, when the local rulers switched allegiance from Shaivism (Hinduism devoted to Shiva) to the Digambara sect of Jainism.
The coexistence of structures from three different religions serve as a splendid visual representation of the prevalent religious tolerance of India. For this reason and others, the Ellora Caves were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

Buddhist Caves
Amongst the 34 cave temples, no more than 12 temples (Cave 1 to 12) belong to the Buddhist period. These temples have incorporated themes of Hindu and Jain, which suggests the deliberate waning of Buddhism. These caves trace their origin in the Mahayana phase of Buddhism and comprise many really striking images of Buddha.

Built somewhere during 550 - 750 AD, the caves are decorated with carvings, paintings, sculptures and murals depicting the life of Lord Buddha. Cave No. 10 and 12 are regarded as the important ones. The former presents typical example of Chaitya architecture and got its name from Vishwakarma (the divine architect). Cave 12 is known for its magnificent three-storey structure.

Hindu Caves
Following Buddhist Caves, there are seventeen caves (Cave 13 to 29) that embrace Hindu temples. Constructed somewhere during 600 - 875 AD, the Hindu caves are entirely imprinted with carvings and sculptures of apsaras, tree nymphs, animal motifs, trees, plants, gods and goddesses.

One can see intricately carved pillars that are massive, but sited proportionately to accord with the size of caves. Several pillars are plain and lack carvings; however a larger number have carved bases, brackets and grooved shafts. Cave No.16 comprises the Kailash Temple that is known to have the largest monolith structure of the world.

Jain Caves
After Hindu Caves, there comes the number of Jain Caves. Built between 800 AD and 1000 AD, five caves (Cave 30 to 34) belong to the Jains. Again the caves are adorned with images of the Lords and various mythological pictures.

Ellora Caves present a wonderful exemplar of cave temple architecture. The world heritage site of Ellora, has detailed fascia in the company of elaborate interiors. The main patrons of Ellora cave temples are assumed to be the Chalukya - Rashtrakuta rulers (7th - 10th century). In those times, many king and merchants contributed huge sum of money for the erection of these temples. The construction of these temples was believed to provide salvation (moksha) to the Kings.

Ellora Cave temples took around five centuries to seek completion. Wholly carved by Buddhist, Hindu and Jain monks, the temples appear astonishing in the golden light of the Sun. Ellora Caves boast of the outstanding imagination and detail work of art in the shape of their ancient monasteries, temples and chapels. The exquisite carvings have glimpse of Buddhism, Hindu and Jain expressions. Exhibiting the ingenious excellence of the artists, the caves are adored with wooden beams, graceful angles, steps along with divine figures of gods and goddesses.

Wall Paintings
Ellora Cave has preserved beautiful wall paintings of the bygone era. Around 5 caves possess such paintings, but the best preserved lies in Kailasa Temple. According to the archeological revelations, the paintings were made in two phases. The paintings that belong to the first phase usually portray Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi. In the later phase, the masterpiece is that of a procession of Shaiva, the holy men. The paintings also illustrate beautiful 'Apsaras' in a graceful flying pose.

How to Reach Ellora Cave Temple

By Road
Aurangabad is connected to all major cities and towns by good roads. The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation runs ordinary and luxury buses from here to Mumbai (392 kms)

By Rail
Aurangabad, the closest railhead, is directly connected to Mumbai, Delhi, Agra, and Bhopal. Alternatively you could take a bus or taxi to Jalgaon, a mainline junction from where you get faster express trains to Mumbai and Delhi.

By Air
Chikalthana airport at Aurangabad (30 kms) is the nearest airfield and is directly linked to Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur and Udaipur.

Picture Gallery for Ellora Cave Temples

Google Map of  Ellora Cave Temples

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