Ellora is a fascinating archaeological site which is recognized as the World Heritage Site. Located in the mesmerizing state of Maharashtra at a distance of around 30 km from Aurangabad city, Ellora Caves hold sheer aesthetic and historic importance. The glorious history of these magnificent caves dates back to the period between 5th to 10th century.
Epitomizing the rock-cut architecture, Ellora Caves are the unparalleled gift of the Rashtrakuta Dynasty to the world. Ellora Caves are 34 in number and represent the three different religions namely Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. These caves are exquisitely carved and are truly the architectural marvels. There are 12 Buddhist caves, 17 Hindu caves and 5 Jain caves, which clearly reflect the religious harmony during that period.
The Buddhist Caves were built during the period between 5th to 7th century. These caves mainly encompass viharas or monasteries. They are adorned with beautiful carvings of Buddha, bodhisattvas and saints. In these caves the stone used gives the look of wood. The most enchanting is the cave 10, a chaitya hall (chandrashala) or 'Vishwakarma cave', popularly known as the 'Carpenter's Cave'.
These caves were established during the period between 500 CE to 1000 CE. They reflect a magnificent architectural style. It is said that some of these caves boast of very sophisticated architectural style that there construction involved a great deal of planning and coordination.
Showcasing the Jain philosophy and tradition, Jain Caves are also very attractive. Their detailed carvings attract attention. They reflect a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various kinds of worldly pleasures. The most attractive of the Jain caves are the Chhota Kailash, the Indra Sabha and the Jagannath Sabha.
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