When I started my journey to Ellora Caves, I was very excited to witness one of the oldest caves in India. I was eager to see the architecture and I was reading quite a lot about this place when I saw Ellora, it was more than what I thought. It is a beautiful place with the substantial history associated with it, and it has very strong spiritual values attached to it. Visiting this place became a lifetime experience for me and I know you too are eager to know about it. So, let me tell you about this place.
You might have popularly heard about Ajanta and Ellora Caves together, but never separately about each of these. These two names are taken together because they are associated in terms of the architecture, constructions and the time of making, but these are more than 100 km away from each other, though both these caves are situated in Maharashtra only. Here, I am going to tell you all about the Ellora Caves, which are situated in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra .
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There are a lot of ways of reaching Ellora caves, if you want to reach Ellora by flight, you can book a flight directly to the Aurangabad airport, if you are comfortable with train journeys, you can book a train to Aurangabad station. I took a flight from New Delhi to Mumbai and then I completed my overnight train journey to Aurangabad. You can easily get a hotel in Aurangabad, which can be in the close proximity to Ellora Caves. I stayed a little away from the main Ellora road to enjoy the rural settings of Aurangabad and to spend some peaceful time. Once you reach Ellora, you just have to pay 30 INR as the entrance fee and then you are good to go.
The Ellora Caves were built in between 600 to 1000 AD, the caves have series of temples and monasteries build during this period. The most interesting thing to know about Ellora caves is that it is created out of vertical excavation which means that the artists starting building from the top. The rocks were cut to create the top first and then the bottom; this is how all the structure were created. When you will visit the place, you will observe the structures and will be able to understand more, another thing you will observe there is the strong religious connect, the walls have carvings which depict the mythological stories and characters. There is a kind of storytelling being done through each of the carving made on the wall, one example could be the Mahabharata, which is depicted on one complete wall, the entire story of Mahabharata is told through those carvings. The place has numerous temples named after different deities, which represent different beliefs.
The most prominent structure in the entire Ellora caves is the Kailasa Temple, which represents the mountain ‘Kailas’. The temple has a shivalinga build in the middle of it. The temple is the tallest structure of the entire cave area. When you move out of the Kailasa temple, you have to move to the left, where you will find the Buddhist monastery. These structures are little different from the once found in the Kailasa Temple but they are also very interesting in nature. It is said that people used to live in these monasteries, separate areas can be observed for sleeping, cooking, praying and other activities. The most prominent structure of the Buddhist monuments is the hall where structure for sitting are present and there is a Buddha statue at the rare end, which makes it clear that it was a place for worshiping.
The whole area of Ellora caves is full of caves and the complete architecture personifies different gods. When you visit there to make sure to take a lot of time with you because you have to walk a lot to observe these structures and monuments. I have given you a brief about this place, if you want to know more, write in the comments section below, or if you have been to this place, tell me some interesting facts that you know.