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.

Ellora 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.

The 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  Aurangabad.

Click for Detailed Image
Click for Detailed Image
Click for Detailed Image
Click for Detailed Image
Exterior of Carpenters
Cave (VSI3849)
Jain figures in Tin Tal Cave
Hindu Pantheon
Kailash  Temple Monolith
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