About Ellora Caves

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.

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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)

Top 12 Places to Visit in Ellora Caves

Heritage

#1 of 21 Places to Visit in Ellora Caves

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 .....

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Heritage

#2 of 21 Places to Visit in Ellora Caves

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 .....

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Heritage

#3 of 21 Places to Visit in Ellora Caves

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 .....

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Heritage

#4 of 21 Places to Visit in Ellora Caves

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 .....

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Heritage

#5 of 21 Places to Visit in Ellora Caves

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 .....

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Heritage

#6 of 21 Places to Visit in Ellora Caves

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 .....

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Heritage

#7 of 21 Places to Visit in Ellora Caves

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 .....

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Heritage

#8 of 21 Places to Visit in Ellora Caves

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 .....

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Heritage

#9 of 21 Places to Visit in Ellora Caves

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 .....

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Pilgrimage

#10 of 21 Places to Visit in Ellora Caves

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 .....

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Heritage

#11 of 21 Places to Visit in Ellora Caves

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
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Heritage

#12 of 21 Places to Visit in Ellora Caves

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
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