Ellora Caves

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Year : 5th and 10th Centuries | State : Maharashtra | City : Aurangabad

Another example of Indian rock-cut architecture, all thirty four caves complimented Buddhist, Hindu and Jain rock-cut temples that were built between the 5th and 10th century. With twelve Buddhist, seventeen Hindu and five Jain caves, place demonstrates the religious harmony throughout Indian History. Believed to be built during the 5th-7th century, most of the Hindu caves preceded the series of these caves.

The structures consisted monasteries and carvings of Gautama Buddha, bodhisattvas and saints. In many of these caves, sculptors were painted to get the stone look of wood. Most famous Buddhist cave is 10th cave, whose ceiling has been carved to give the impression of wooden beams. Fifteen foot of Buddha seated in a preaching pose is visible in the Buddhist caves. The early Hindu caves were constructed during the Kalachuri period followed by two most remarkable caves being constructed in the early phase. All structures of Hindu caves represent a different style with creative vision that must have required several generations of planning and co-ordination to complete. The main attraction among Hindu caves is a painted panel showing the dancing Shiva also known as Nataraja from the Kailash Temple at Ellora, in 16th cave.

The five preserved caves at Ellora belong to the Jain community from ninth and tenth centuries. Most regarded by Digambara branch of Jain religion, these caves reveal specific dimensions of Jain philosophy and tradition. Not relatively larger than other caves, Jain caves reflect a strict sense of asceticism as well as exceptionally detailed artworks. The most remarkable shrines of them are the Chhota Kailash, the Indra Sabha and the Jagannath Sabha.

Map of Ellora Caves