ELLORA & AJANTA CAVES
Covering a period of 600 years from 5th to 11th century AD, these caves with their rock temples and monastaries represent three faiths- Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. They are a recognised world heritage site near the city of Aurangabad.
has 34 caves with
intricate interiors and ornamental facades. The 12 Buddhist Caves depict
Lord Buddha in various poses, chapels and friezes of Buddhist figures.
The 17 Hindu Caves embody carvings of the Hindu pantheon – Siva, Vishnu,
Durga, Parvati and animals
like elephants, monkeys, boars, eagles and peacocks. The
5 Jain caves are relatively simple
with figures of the Jain saints.
The most imposing structure is the magnificient Kailash Temple hewn out of a single rock, three storeys high, decorated with themes and figures from the Puranas. . The grand sculpture of Ravana attempting to lift Mount Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva, with his full might is a landmark in Indian art. The main temple has a southern style superstructure. The lower storey has almost life-size elephants carved as if they are holding up the temple. It took almost 100 years to complete.
Ajanta Caves are well known for their fresco paintings. Discovered only
in the 19th century, these paintings depict the story of Buddhism, from
200 BC to 650 AD. There are 29 caves built as secluded retreats for the
Buddhist monks. Hollowed out
of a shoe shaped cliff overlooking a gorge, these caves are 66 miles from
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