Ideal Trip Duration: 4 Hours/Half Day

Base Station: Aurangabad (28 Kms)

Nearest City to Ellora Caves: Aurangabad (28 Kms), Mumbai (344 Kms)

Best Time to Visit Ellora Caves: June to February

Peak Season: October to January

State: Maharashtra | District: Aurangabad

Ellora Caves Weather: Details Not Available

At a distance of 28 km from Aurangabad, 98 km from Ajanta Caves, 104 km from Shirdi, 176 km from Nashik, 253 km from Pune, and 344 km from Mumbai, Ellora Caves are ancient historical caves locally known as 'Verul Leni'. The caves are located near Verul on the Aurangabad-Chalisgaon road to the northwest of Aurangabad in Maharashtra. The Ellora Caves were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. Ellora is the most visited ancient monument and also one of the top Tourist places in Maharashtra. Ellora is also one of the top tourist places to visit near Aurangabad.

The caves at Ellora were carved out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills between the 6th and 10th centuries AD. The carving work began around 550 AD, about the same time the Ajanta Caves were abandoned. The Ellora Caves were built at time when Buddhism was declining in India and Hinduism was beginning to reassert itself. The Brahmanical movement was especially powerful under the patronage of the Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas, who oversaw most of the work at Ellora - including the magnificent Kailash Temple built in 8th century. The last period of building activity took place in the 10th century, when the local rulers switched allegiance from Shaivism to Digambara sect of Jainism.

The Ellora Caves are an impressive complex of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain Cave temples. The caves have a slightly less dramatic setting than those at Ajanta, but more exquisite sculptures. The cave complex comprises of 34 caves that were hewn out of solid rocks of the Charanandri hills. The Ellora complex includes 12 Buddhist, 17 Hindu and 5 Jain Caves. Caves 1 to 12 are Buddhist monasteries, chaityas and viharas, while caves 13 to 29 are the Hindu temples. Dating back to the 9th and 10th century, Caves 30 to 34 are the Jain shrines. The coexistence of structures from three different religions serves as a splendid visual representation of the prevalent religious tolerance of India.

The central attraction at Ellora is Kailash Temple (Cave16), which is the most remarkable. Shaped by hand from a single massive rock, it includes a gateway, exhibition area, square, hall, sanctorum and tower which bear testimony to the excellence of Dravidian art. The Kailash Temple is a stupendous piece of architecture, with interesting spatial effects and grand sculptures. It is believed to have been started by the Rashtrakuta king Krishna I (756-773).

Every year Ajanta-Ellora Festival is organised in Aurangabad to pay tribute to the legendary caves of Ellora, Ajanta and other historical monuments in the region. This grand ceremony is attended by the greatest artists of Indian art and culture. The cultural events include performances in classical and folk dancing, singing and instrumental music. Earlier the venue for this festival was Kailasa Temple of Ellora Caves; however, it has now been shifted to Soneri Mahal, which is a historical palace in Aurangabad.

Hotel Kailas which is located just opposite the Ellora Caves is the only accommodation option nearby. It offers cottages and hostel accommodation for the budget traveler. Most tourists prefer to stay in Aurangabad and do a day trip to Ellora which is 28 km away.

The nearest airport is at Aurangabad, 35 km away from Ellora Caves. Aurangabad Railway station is the nearest railhead to Ellora Caves. There are public & private buses from Aurangabad to Ellora Caves. Visitors can also hire a private car from Aurangabad city. Aurangabad is well connected by bus with Pune, Mumbai, Shirdi, Nashik, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Goa, and Nagpur.
The best time to visit Ellora Caves is during the months of June to February while the peak season is from October to January. These are the best time to visit Ellora Caves, as the weather is really pleasant during these months.

Cave Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM on all days except Tuesdays.

Entrance Fee: Rs. 10 for Indians and Rs. 250 for Foreigners.

OTHER INFO
Internet Availability: Poor
STD Code: 02437
Languages Spoken: Marathi, Hindi, and English
Major Festivals: Details Not Available
Notes/Tips:
None

HOW TO REACH ELLORA CAVES


By Air

Nearest Airport: Aurangabad - Aurangabad Airport (35 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Aurangabad Railway Station (28 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: Ellora Bus Station (0 Kms)

21 PLACES TO VISIT & THINGS TO DO IN ELLORA CAVES


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 300 m from Ellora Caves Bus Stop, Kailasa Temple is the largest rock-cut ancient Hindu temple in Ellora, Maharashtra. It is the central attraction of Ellora Caves and is a sculpture made by cutting down of rocks by sculpturing it rather than building up the temple by an architectural design.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Kailasa Temple (Cave 16) is one of the 34 Cave temples and monasteries known collectively as the Ellora Caves. Its construction is generally attributed to the 8th century Rashtrakuta king Krishna I based on inscriptions in Kannada. The construction was a feat of human genius - it entailed removal of 250,000 tons of rock, took 100 years to complete and covers an area double the size of Parthenon in Athens. A megalith carved out of one single rock, it is considered one of the most remarkable cave temples in India because of its size, architecture and sculptural treatment.

The world famous Kailasanath Temple is a marvelous example of Rashtrakuta .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 350 m from Kailasa Temple and 400 m from Ellora Caves Bus Stop, Cave 14, also known as Ravana Ka Khai or Abode of Ravana, is a Hindu cave situated beside Cave 12 in Ellora.

There are 17 Hindu caves in all numbered 13 to 29, excavated out of the west face of the hill and datable from around 650 AD and 900 AD. The main examples of this group are Cave 14, Cave 15, Cave 16, Cave 21 and Cave 29. These caves occupy the center of the cave complex, grouped around either side of the famous Kailasa Temple in Ellora. These excavations immediately follow the Buddhist caves and hence the earliest Brahmanical excavations are very much similar to the Buddhist ones. The walls of the Hindu caves are covered in lively bas-reliefs depicting events from the Hindu scriptures. All of the caves are dedicated to Lord Shiva, but there are also some images of Vishnu and his various incarnations.

Cave 14, a modest cave known as Ravana Ka Khai, dates from the early 7th century AD and .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 350 m from Kailasa Temple and 400 m from Ellora Caves Bus Stop, Cave 15, also known as Dashavatara Cave, is a Hindu cave situated just beside Cave 14 in Ellora. This is one of the finest and popular caves in Ellora.

There are 17 Hindu caves in all numbered 13 to 29, excavated out of the west face of the hill and datable from around 650 AD and 900 AD. The main examples of this group are Cave 14, Cave 15, Cave 16, Cave 21 and Cave 29. These caves occupy the center of the cave complex, grouped around either side of the famous Kailasa Temple in Ellora.

Cave 15 is known as Dashavatara Cave belongs to the period of Rashtrakuta king, Dantidurga. This cave mainly depicts Lord Shiva & Lord Vishnu in various forms. This two-storeyed structure has a large courtyard in which stands a monolithic Nandi mandapa. River goddesses flank the entrance. Earlier it was a Buddhist monastery but it was converted into a Shiva temple in the 8th century AD. Here, one can see some Buddha .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 500 m from Ellora Caves Bus Stop and 400 m from Kailasa Temple, Cave 12 is situated beside Cave 11 and is one of the 12 Buddhist Caves in Ellora.

Cave 12, also known as Teen Tal is the largest monastic complex at Ellora, or even in the entire Maharashtra. The complex is in three storeys, hence the name Teen Tal locally. The huge complex is entered through a huge entrance carved out of natural rock, which leads into a large courtyard. A staircase leads to the first storey which has a shrine at the rear end. There are 9 cells arranged on the side walls of the first storey. Various sculptural representations of Buddha and subsidiary deities adorn the walls.

A staircase leads to the second storey which is a huge hall measuring 118 feet long and 34 feet in width. The upper floor of the Teen Tal is the most striking among the Buddhist Caves in Ellora. The hall is divided into three aisles by rows of 8 square pillars. This floor has 13 cells pierced on the end of .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 400 m from Kailasa Temple and 500 m from Ellora Caves Bus Stop, Cave 21, also known as Rameshwara Cave, is located midway between Cave 16 and 29. The Rameshwara Cave was excavated in the late 6th century AD and is supposed to be the earliest among the Hindu Caves at Ellora and also one of the noteworthy caves in Ellora. This cave is famous for the sculptural representations and its unique beauty.

This cave is also dedicated to Lord Siva who was worshipped in the form of linga. A Nandi is placed just in front of the cave over a raised platform. The cave consists of a rectangular mandapa and the sanctum. The mandapa is provided with a dwarf wall which is fully sculpted on the exterior in vertical and horizontal bands. The entrance to the mandapa is flanked by sculptures of River goddesses Ganga and Yamuna. Pillars emerge at regular intervals from the dwarf wall with very beautiful and elegant salabhanjikas.

The mandapa is 16 feet in height and measures 69 feet .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 600 m from Ellora Caves Bus Stop and 500 m from Kailasa Temple, Cave 10, also known as Viswakarma Cave is situated beside Cave 9 and is the most famous of all the Buddhist Caves in Ellora.

The Viswakarma Cave is also locally known as the Sutar-ka-jhopra (Carpenter's hut). The local carpenters visit the cave frequently and worship Buddha as Viswakarma, the patron of their craft. This is the only chaitya in these series of caves, constructed around 7th century AD.

This cave is one of the most magnificent caves in Ellora. The cave is entered through a gate, cut in the natural rock, which leads into a courtyard, with cells on both sides arranged in two storeys. Through the courtyard, one reaches the shrine of Lord Buddha, a typical chaityagriha. The chaitya once had a high screen wall, which is ruined at present. The shrine is 81 feet long 43 feet wide and 34 feet high. The hall is divided into a nave with side aisles by 28 octagonal pillars, each 14 feet high.

At .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 600 m from Ellora Caves Bus Stop and 500 m from Kailasa Temple, Cave 11 is situated just beside Cave 10 and is one of the 12 Buddhist Caves in Ellora.

Cave 11 has two levels and is therefore known as Dho Tal or Two Floors earlier. A basement level has been discovered in 1876 AD and it brings the total floors to three. Even after this the name Do Tal remained and is called so till date. This was partially excavated in 1877 AD, and revealed a verandah 102 feet in length and 9 feet wide with two cells and a shrine in which is Buddha with Padmapani and Vajrapani as his attendants.

A staircase leads to a similar verandah above, with eight square pillars in front, the back wall pierced with five doors. The first door is only the commencement of a cell. The second leads into a shrine with a colossal Buddha, his right hand on his knee and the left in his lap. In front of the throne is a small female figure holding up a water jar and to the right another sitting on .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 850 m from Kailasa Temple and 900 m from Ellora Caves Bus Stop, Cave 29 is also a Hindu Cave situated to the north of Kailasa Temple in Ellora. This is the earliest and last Hindu excavations to be completed at Ellora.

Also Known as Dumar Lena, Cave 29 is another important excavation at Ellora by the side of Sita-Ki-Nahani, a pool created by a waterfall in the Elaganga River. Dated to late 6th century AD, Cave 29 is said to be influenced by the pattern of the Elephanta Caves near Mumbai.

This cave is compared with the ones at Elephanta and Jogeswari Caves but this one is larger, finer and of a later age. This is the best preserved and largest of all the three, which were executed on the same plan. The Dumar Lena consists of an isolated shrine located within a group of halls arranged on a cruciform plan. The entire excavation extends to almost 250 feet. The shrine houses a huge linga entered through four entrances flanked by huge dwarapalas. Two large lions .....


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 1 km from Ellora Caves and 29 km from Aurangabad Railway Station, Grishneshwar or Ghrushneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is a famous Hindu temple located at Verul village in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines mentioned in the Shiva Purana and also one of the famous places of pilgrimage in Maharashtra. This is one of the top places to visit in Aurangabad City and also one of the popular places to visit in Ellora.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Grishneshwar Temple is believed to be the last or 12th Jyotirlinga on the earth. The presiding deity, in the form of Jyotirlinga, is known by several names like Kusumeswarar, Ghushmeswara, Ghrushmeswara and Grishneswara. The Grishneshwar temple was re-constructed by Maloji Raje Bhosale, the grandfather of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, in the 16th century. Later, the temple was again reconstructed in the 18th century by Rani Ahilyabhai .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 1.4 km from Kailasa Temple and 1.5 km from Ellora Caves Bus Stop, Cave 32 is a Jain cave situated to the north of Kailasa Temple in Ellora. Known as the Indra Sabha, it is the largest and finest of all Jain temples in Ellora.

There are five Jain Caves at Ellora belong to the 9th and 10th centuries AD. They all belong to the Digambara sect. Jain Caves reveal specific dimensions of Jain philosophy and tradition. These caves reflect a strict sense of asceticism - they are not relatively large as compared to others, but they present exceptionally detailed art works. The most remarkable Jain shrines are the Chhota Kailash (Cave 30), the Indra Sabha (Cave 32) and the Jagannath Sabha (Cave 33). Cave 31 is an unfinished four-pillared hall and a shrine. Cave 34 is a small cave, which can be approached through an opening on the left side of Cave 33.

Cave 32 is actually a series of shrines dedicated to Mahavira and other Jaina divinities aesthetically arranged in double .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 1.4 km from Kailasanath Temple and 1.5 km from Ellora Caves Bus Stop, Cave 33 is also a Jain cave situated just beside the Indra Sabha (Cave 32) in Ellora. Cave 33 is one of the popular Jain Caves in Ellora.

There are five Jain Caves at Ellora belong to the 9th and 10th centuries AD. They all belong to the Digambara sect. Jain Caves reveal specific dimensions of Jain philosophy and tradition. These caves reflect a strict sense of asceticism - they are not relatively large as compared to others, but they present exceptionally detailed art works. The most remarkable Jain shrines are the Chhota Kailash (Cave 30), the Indra Sabha (Cave 32) and the Jagannath Sabha (Cave 33). Cave 31 is an unfinished four-pillared hall and a shrine. Cave 34 is a small cave, which can be approached through an opening on the left side of Cave 33.

Cave 33, also known as Jagannatha Sabha, is the second largest in the Jain group of caves at Ellora. The court of the cave is much smaller .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 1.5 km from Kailasanath Temple and 1.7 km from Ellora Caves Bus Stop, Cave 30 is a Jain Cave situated to the north of Kailasanath Temple in Ellora. This is one of the most remarkable Jain Caves in Ellora.

There are five Jain Caves at Ellora belong to the 9th and 10th centuries AD. They all belong to the Digambara sect. Jain Caves reveal specific dimensions of Jain philosophy and tradition. These caves reflect a strict sense of asceticism - they are not relatively large as compared to others, but they present exceptionally detailed art works. The most remarkable Jain shrines are the Chhota Kailash (Cave 30), the Indra Sabha (Cave 32) and the Jagannath Sabha (Cave 33). Cave 31 is an unfinished four-pillared hall and a shrine. Cave 34 is a small cave, which can be approached through an opening on the left side of Cave 33.

Cave 30 is the first in the series of Jain Caves known as Chhota Kailasa as it is an unfinished version of the stupendous Hindu Kailasa Temple. .....


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 3.5 km from Ellora Caves and 26 km from Aurangabad Railway Station, Sri Bhadra Maruti Temple is a Hindu temple located near Aurangzeb Tomb in Khuldabad.

Bhadra Maruti Temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The idol of the presiding deity Hanuman is portrayed in a reclining or sleeping posture. It is among the three temples where Lord Hanuman can be seen in a resting position. The other two temples are the temple in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh and the temple in Jam Sawali, Madhya Pradesh.

According to the legend, in ancient times the Khuldabad was known as Bhadravati and the ruler was a noble king named Bhadrasena, who was an ardent devotee of Rama and used to sing songs in his praise. One day Hanuman descended in the place, listening to the devotional songs sung in praise of Rama. He was mesmerized and without his knowledge took a reclining posture - called 'Bhava-Samadhi' (a yogic posture). King Bhadrasena, when he had finished his song, was astonished to find .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 16 km from Aurangabad Railway Station, Daulatabad is an ancient hill fort situated on the way to Ellora Caves from Aurangabad in Maharashtra. Daulatabad Fort is one of the best preserved Forts in Maharashtra and also one of the best in Aurangabad tourist places.

The historical triangular fort of Daulatabad was built by Yadava king Bhillama V in 1187 AD. The city was then called 'Deogiri', meaning the hill of gods. Daulatabad or 'the abode of wealth' was the name given by Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq when he made his capital here in 1327 AD. The region and the fort passed on into the hands of Bahamani rulers under Hasan Gangu in 1347 AD and Nizam Shahis of Ahmednagar in 1499 AD. Daulatabad became the capital of Nizam Shahi dynasty in 1607 AD. The fort passed several hands, captured and re-captured by the Mughals, Marathas, Peshwas and finally placed under the control of the Nizams of Hyderabad in 1724 AD till independence.

Daulatabad .....

Distance (From Ellora Bus Station): 13 Kms
Trip Duration (From Ellora Bus Station - Including Travel): 4 Hours/Half Day
.....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 108 km from Shirdi, 181 km from Nashik, 232 km from Pune, 350 km from Mumbai, 482 km from Nagpur and 534 km from Hyderabad, Aurangabad is a historical city and the administrative headquarters of the Aurangabad Division or Marathwada region in Maharashtra. In 2010, the Maharashtra Tourism Minister declared Aurangabad to be the tourism capital of Maharashtra. It is one of the fastest growing cities in India also one of the top places to experince Maharashtra tourism.

Popularly known as City of Gates, Aurangabad city was founded in 1610 AD by Malik Ambar, the Prime Minister of Murtaza Nizam Shah of Ahmadnagar and his son Fateh Khan changed the original name Khadki to Fatehnagar. The areas around Aurangabad were under the control of Delhi Sultanates, Bahamani Sultans, Nizam Shahis, Mughals and Hyderabad Nizams. With the capture .....

Distance (From Ellora Bus Station): 28 Kms
Trip Duration (From Ellora Bus Station - Including Travel): Full Day
.....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 400 m from Kailasa Temple and 500 m from Ellora Caves Bus Stop, Cave 17 to 20 are situated to the north of Kailasa Cave Temple across a deep ravine in Ellora. These caves are part of 17 Hindu Caves at Ellora.

Cave 17 is the next large cave to the north of Kailasa Temple and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The cave is noteworthy for its decorated doorway and pillars. It has three rows of four pillars from side to side; the front and the back aisles. It is entered through a projecting porch. This leads to columned hall and a linga sanctuary with a surrounding passageway.

The extreme pillars of the front are plain square ones with bracket capitals; the inner pair has deep brackets and carved with female figures and dwarf attendants. The middle pair in the next row has cushion capitals with female figures. The middle pillars of the next row are unlike any others, the base is of the broken square pattern with female figures carved on the principal faces and attendant .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 400 m from Kailasa Temple and 500 m from Ellora Caves Bus Stop, Cave 22 to 28 are the Hindu Caves situated to the north of Kailasa Temple in Ellora.

Cave 22, also known as Nilkantha. This is notable for the free standing damaged Nandi shrine, and separate shrines for the Matrikas. It has four pillars in front and two on each of the other three sides of the hall. On the walls of this hall have sculptures of Ganesha, the three Devis and a four armed Vishnu. There is a pedestal and a highly polished linga in the sanctum. The locals smear blue streaks upon the linga, so the name Nilkantha.

Cave 23 consisting of a partly double verandah with five doors entering into small cells, one of them containing a round pedestal and linga, with a Trimurthi on the back wall.

Cave 24 is a series of five low cells called Teli-Ka-Gana, the Oilman's Mill. It contains some small sculptures of no special interest.

Cave 25, also known as Kunbharwada, depicts Surya, .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 600 m from Ellora Caves Bus Stop and 1 km from Kailasanath Temple, Cave 1 to 5 are the Buddhist Caves situated at Ellora.

At Ellora, the Buddhists were the first to start excavation of caves. Their period of excavation can be dated between circa 450 AD and 700 AD. During this period, 12 caves were excavated by the followers of Buddhism. These 12 caves can be sub-divided into two groups based on the date of its excavation. Caves 1 to Cave 5 are the earlier among the twelve and are placed in a separate group from Caves 6 to 12 which are later in date.

These structures mostly consist of viharas or monasteries. The viharas are multi-storied and include rooms like living quarters, sleeping quarters, kitchens and other rooms. Some of these monastery caves have shrines including carvings of Gautama Buddha, bodhisattvas and saints.

Cave 1 is a plain vihara with eight small monastic cells. It may have served as a granary for the larger halls.

Cave 2 .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 600 m from Ellora Caves Bus Stop and 500 m from Kailasanath Temple, Cave 6 to 9 are the Buddhist Caves (circa 450 AD and 700 AD) of later period situated at Ellora.

These structures mostly consist of viharas or monasteries. They are nothing but large multi-storeyed buildings carved into the mountain face, including living quarters, sleeping quarters, kitchens, and other rooms. Some of these monastery caves have shrines including carvings of Gautama Buddha, bodhisattvas and saints.

Cave 6 was carved in the 7th century AD and is home to two of the finest sculptures at Ellora. On the left is the goddess Tara, with an intense but kind expression. Opposite her on the right is Mahamayuri, the Buddhist goddess of learning, shown with her attribute, the peacock. A diligent student sits at his desk below. Significantly, Mahamayuri has a very similar Hindu counterpart, Saraswati.

Cave 7 is a large plain vihara which is about 51 feet wide by 43 feet deep and the .....


Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 3 km from Ellora Caves and 25 km from Aurangabad Railway Station, Khuldabad also known as Khultabad is a municipal council and a taluka of Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. Initially it was known as Rauzaa as meaning garden of paradise.
Khuldabad is known as the Valley of Saints, or the Abode of Eternity, because in the 14th century, several Sufi saints chose to reside here. The Dargah of Zar Zari Zar Baksh, Shaikh Burhan ud-din Gharib Chisti and Shaikh Zainuddin Shirazi are situated here. Its historical significance is attested by the ruins of the city wall constructed by Aurangzeb (1658-1707 AD). It has seven gates namely, Nagarkhana, Pangra, Langda, Mangalpeth, Kunbi Ali, Hamdadi and a wicket gate called Azam Shahi.

The important structures in and around Khuldabad are Bhadra Maruti Temple, Aurangzeb's Tomb, Tombs of Azam Shah and his wife, Zain-ud-din's Dargah, Burhan-ud-din's mausoleum, Tombs of Asaf Jah and Nasir Jang, Bani Begum's Maqbara, Khan Jahan's .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 4 km from Ellora Caves, 9 km from Daulatabad Fort and 25 km from Aurangabad, the Tomb of Aurangzeb is located at the complex of the dargah or shrine of Sheikh Zainuddin in Khuldabad on Aurangabad - Ellora Road.

Aurangzeb (1618 - 1707AD), the sixth Mughal Emperor who ruled most of the Indian subcontinent for nearly half a century and passed away on Friday, 20th February 1707 at the age of 88 at Bhingar in Ahemadnagar. As per last wish of the emperor, the coffin of Aurangzeb was brought by his son Muhammad Azam Shah and he was buried close to his spiritual guru Saint Sayyad Zainuddin here. After his burial here, Aurangzeb was given a posthumous title 'Khuld-makan' (He whose abode is in eternity). The tomb of Aurangzeb is situated at the south eastern corner of the tomb of Zainuddin complex, who died in 1370 AD.

The tomb is remarkably simple in keeping with Aurangzeb's own wishes. It is said that Aurangzeb .....

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