Belonging to Ancient India, the site of Ellora Caves is one of the remarkable tourist attractions of the country and is situated in the Aurangabad district of the state of Maharashtra. Featuring popular Buddhist, Jain, and Hindu monuments, the Ellora caves is one of the largest rock-cut monastery-temple cave complexes in the world and thus a UNESCO world heritage site as well. Ellora Caves consists of undisturbed sequence of monuments dating from 600 to 1000 AD reviving the archaic civilization of the country.
This outstanding temple cave complex situated at the north of Sahyadri Hills is said to have excavated from a volcanic rock and comprises 34 major caves which are numbered not chronologically but consecutively. Out of the major 34 temples, the 8th century Kailasa Temple is the most spectacular one as it the largest rock-cut monument in the world with height approximately upto 32 meters and is dedicated to Lord Shiva in Hinduism. This celebrated Hindu Temple is adorned with skillful carvings of ancient artisans depicting their excellence in the field of architecture.
Oldest or rather the earliest of the temples in the cave is the Rameshwara cave dating back to the 6th century CE. It reflects the typical structure of Hindu temples with an inner sanctum and surrounding corridor. In the cave no 21 there can be seen a seated a Nandi Bull sculpture outside which also typical of Shiva Temples. The Dhumar Lena cave and Ravana-ka-Khai are other important Hindu caves.
The major Buddhist caves in Ellora are Viswakarma Cave housing one of the largest seated sculptures of Lord Buddha and the Dasavatar Cave with historical importance. The latter cave contains only significant ancient inscription narrating a visit by a local ruler named Dantidurga.
The entire cave temple complex is decorated with wonderful carvings, complex layouts, precise pillars and brackets that leave the tourists stunned with its magnificence. Inside the cave, the walls and pillars and other areas even suggest scenes from Puranas and sacred texts of respective religion. This coming together of three religions in the caves also indicates towards religious tolerance of the ancient period and speaks of other important facts about that period as well.
Several history buffs, art lovers, and curators from all over the globe visit the site for research and tour.
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