Ellora is a World Heritage Site and the most visited antique monument in Maharashtra State. Ellora caves, locally known as ‘Verul Leni’ is located on the Aurangabad-Chalisgaon road (NH211). It is 29 kilometers (18 miles) north-west of the Aurangabad city, and about 60 kilometers (24 miles) south-west from Chalisgaon. An Ellora cave is close to Ajanta caves and Pital Khora caves form one of the main tourist attractions in Maharashtra. Ellora is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India.
The site features is a group of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain cave temples built between the 6th and 10th centuries. Nearby 100 caves in the hill range, out of which 34 caves are famous and visited by many tourists.
Tourist Attraction in Ellora Caves
The Buddhist Monuments
These caves are situated on the southern side of the Ellora cave. The Buddhist caves were the earliest structures that were formed between the fifth and eighth centuries. Buddhist caves consist of viharas, with prayer halls, multi-storied buildings carved into the mountain face, including living quarters, sleeping quarters, kitchens, and other rooms.
The caves have shrines including carvings of Gautama Buddha, Bodhisattva and saints. In some of these caves, sculptors have endeavored to give the stone the look of wood.
Most famous of the Buddhist caves is ‘Vishvakarma cave’. It is also known as the “Carpenter’s cave”. Because the artistic finish gives the rock is looks like wooden beams. The heart of this cave is a statue of Buddha seated in a preaching pose.
The Hindu Monuments
The Hindu caves constructed between the middle of sixth century to the end of the eighth century, in two periods.
Dhumar Lena is arranging with a natural waterfall, called “Vale Ganga”. It can be watched from a southern terrace carved out of the rock cliff by the artists. According to Havel, the stream in monsoon appears as if “Ganga is falling over great Shiva’s forehead”. Most of the early Hindu temple building was centered on this natural waterfall.
The Kailasha temple is dedicated to Shiva, a structure is similar of mount Kailash. It is estimated that the artists is removed three million cubic feet of stone to create and shape of the Kailasha temple. The rock-cut carved artworks, the Kailasha temple is one of the curiosity of the world.
The Jain Monuments
The Jain caves are situated on the north end of Ellora caves compound. They were mostly excavated in the ninth and early tenth centuries. The Jain caves are not as large as the Buddhist and Hindu.
The Indra Sabha is a two gathered cave with a monolithic shrine in its court. In the 19th-century, royally era historians confused all the Jain Yaksas to be alternate images of Indra found in Buddhist and Hindu artworks, giving this temple the name “Indra Sabha”.
The Chotta Kailasha, or the little Kailasha, got its name because of closeness between Hindu Kailasha temple. The Chota Kailasha temple is an unfinished excavation, was likely built in parallel to the lower level of the Indra Sabha, decades after the main Kailasha temple at Ellora was complete.
Best Time to Visit Ellora Caves
The winter season, from October to March, and the monsoon season, from June to September, is the best time to visit Ellora caves. During these months, the weather conditions are favorable for exploring this masterpiece. During April and May, the temperature would go as high as 44 °C but it is possible to get off-season discounts for packages and hotel bookings.
How to Reach Ellora
Aurangabad airport is situated caves of Ellora. Almost 15 km away, the airport is connected with the Delhi and Mumbai international airport.
The rail head that lies nearest to the Ellora caves comprises of the Aurangabad railway station. It falls on the South Central Railway line and is located about 30 km from Ellora.
And Chalisgaon railway station is also nearest to Ellora caves. It is located on Mumbai-Delhi / Mumbai-Kolkata railway route and is a main junction Railway station. And it is located about 60 km from Ellora.
Aurangabad and Chalisgaon both cities are located nearby to Ellora caves and well connected by road. From Aurangabad, also find buses and taxis to Mumbai, Pune, Ahmednagar, Jalgaon, Shirdi, Nasik, Dhule, Chalisgaon, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Indore.