Ellora caves, a World Heritage Site, were built by the Rashtrakuta rulers between the 5th and 10th century. These ‘caves’, excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills, represent the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture.
The site consists of 12 Buddhist (caves 1-12), 17 Hindu (caves 13-29) and 5 Jain (caves 30-34) caves built in close proximity, demonstrating the religious harmony prevalent during this period of Indian history.
Kailash Temple, the world’s largest monolithic structure, was built in the 18th century by Rashtrakuta king Krishna I.
The carvers started at the top of the rock and worked their way downwards, scooping out about 200,000 tons of rock.
Influences from foreign civilizations
Dhvajastambhas (Pillars with flagstaff)
Elephants supporting the temple on their backs
Lord Shiva losing to Parvati
Lord Shiva killing Raktabija
Shiva Parvati Vivah
View from the upper floor
Cave # 10
Cave #10, AKA Carpenter’s cave, is the only Chaitya (Buddist Shrine) in Ellora.
The carved roof resembles timber constructions
Cave # 12
Also known as Teen Thal, Cave # 12 is one of the largest caves in the Buddist group.
Cave # 32
Cave # 32 is a two storeyed cave with a monolithic shrine.
It is also known as Indra Sabha (Assembly Hall of Indra, the king of gods).
Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara
Yaksha Matanga on an elephant
Yakshi Neminatha seated on her lion under a mango tree
Intricately carved pillar, Indra Sabha
Cave # 33
Cave #33 has well preserved sculptures, five independent shrines, each with its own columned Mandapa. It is also known as Jagannatha Sabha.