Get Religious at Ellora Caves

Posted On December 2, 2011 

Come a little away from the city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra in India, and you would be in the archaeological site of the Ellora Caves. Very popular for the monumental caves, this is a World Heritage Site and is a living example of Indian architecture. With the kind of rock cut temples that Ellora has, the simple structural elegance here seemingly comes alive. Ellora caves is a group of temples of all religions. There are Hindu, Buddhist and Jain temples, besides of course mathas and viharas. These were built somewhere between the 5th and the 10th century. The religious influence here is seen in all the 12 Buddhist caves, the 5 Jain Caves, and the 17 Hindu caves that form the main attractions here in the Ellora Caves. There is a strange and unique harmony that is exhibited by these caves and we get to know this important aspect of Indian history here.

Ellora Caves

Ellora Caves has around 34 monasteries and temples and this spans over an area of 2 km. All these dug in the walls of the basalt landform have monuments that date back to 600 – 1000 AD. It looks as if Indian civilization has come alive here. A tourist going to the Ellora Caves can relive the ancientness of the past and feel blessed in these surroundings. There is a certain kind of artistic value to the whole place and the entire area exhibits a kind of spirit and tolerance that is so typical of all the ancient lands in India.

This group of cave temples has stood the test of time and is witness to the three great religions – Jainism, Hinduism and Buddhism. These caves are popular for the way in which they have allowed the three religions to flourish here and also have let the respective religions establish their sanctuaries in a single place. This universal value that the place has is what makes the Ellora Caves a great religious destination in India.

Ellora Caves temple

The most exotic representations of Indian art forms are seen here and the noteworthy fact is that the individual religions have flourished here peacefully without any hindrance to Indian culture. The caves are breathtakingly beautiful and Indian sculpture comes to life amidst these surroundings. The enchanting reliefs and the magnificent architecture coupled with the stupendously carved sculptures all make a great mark on the minds of the tourist coming here and ensures that the traveller goes back enriched with a rich history of the past.

Ellora Caves

The first cave is a vihara which has eight cells. There are four in the back wall and four in the right wall. There is a portion resembling a portico here in the front. It must have been a granary for the other viharas.

The tenth cave is called the Vishwakarma as this is the only chaitya griha group of Buddhist caves. It is known as the Sutar ka jhopda or the carpenter’s hut. This cave pattern is very similar to the pattern found in the Ajanta Caves. This cave is believed to have been approximately built sometime in c.700. There are ruined remains which show a once existing high screen wall and a rock cut court.

Vishwakarma Ellora Caves

There are many more caves and much more to explore. Go to the Ellora Caves and see the place come alive with religious tones.

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