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Meghna Paul Apr 01 2014

Tell me about the different caves in Ellora?

Kanika Nevatia Apr 01 2014
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes
There was an intense surge of activity in the Ellora Caves beginning 6th century CE that continued for over 500 years. Out of the different caves in Ellora, Cave numbers 1-12, the Buddhist caves at the southern end, are the oldest, dating back to 500-750 CE. The Hindu caves, numbered 14-29, date between 600 and 870 CE. The Jain caves, numbered 30 to 34, are further north of the escarpment and can be traced back to 800 CE and late 10th century CE. Most of the caves face the west and because the land slopes, many of them have open courtyards in front. Some also have more than one storey.

Photo of Ellora Caves (by Pratheeps)

Known as the Maharwada, Cave 5 is the largest and grandest single-storeyed cave in Ellora. Cave 6 has two of Ellora’s most finely sculpted figures. Cave 10 is a chaitya while all the rest are viharas. Cave 12, Teen Tal (three storeys), is a vihara with three floors. Cave 11 continues to be called Do Tal (two storeys). The Hindu caves are different from their restrained Buddhist predecessors; these caves have dynamic scenes from Hindu mythology. Cave 14 or the Ravana Ki Khai Cave was a Buddhist vihara that was converted into a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Photo of Ellora Caves (by Ashwin Nair)

Cave 15 is a two-storey temple that was also, originally, a Buddhist vihara. Cave 21, the Ramesvara, was excavated in the 6th century CE and is thought to be the oldest Hindu cave in Ellora. Cave 25 has a striking frieze of the sun god Surya who is shown hurtling in his chariot towards Dawn. Cave 29, the Dhumar Lena, has an interesting cross-shaped floor plan that is similar to the one at the Elephanta Caves near Mumbai. There is a path between Caves 28 and 29 that passes through a ledge behind a seasonal waterfall. A visit to these beautiful caves is just necessary, and you should check out the entry fee of Ellora Caves.

Photo of Cave 18 (by Yuvipanda)
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