This absolute wonder at Ellora is also the cave No 16 and is the mountain abode of Lord Shiva and Parvathi.Kailash temple is a monolith created top down from solid mountain rock.It took about 200 years to build.The entire temple layout is chiselled out of solid rock and one has to really visit this place to be awestruck by the sheer genius of the...more
The upper storey of this temple has 12 very richly-carved pillars which are a treat to watch. It consists of a huge hall with plenty of Thirthankara (a person who has achieved enlightenment) images. There is a shrine here also with the statue of Lord Mahavira in a seated position.more
In a small cave on the ground floor is a statue of Lord Mahavira with two fly whisk-bearers, one on each side. In the verandah are two finely-chiselled statues, one is of Siddhayika, the Jain Goddesses of wealth and prosperity, seated on a lion while the other is of Matanga, the Jain God of Generosity, seated on an elephant. Remnants of a fresco...more
This cave, also known as the Indra Sabha, is the most important shrine belonging to the Jain religion in Ellora. From a distance itself, the structure looks imposing owing to its two-storied façade. A huge recently-restored pillar greets you the moment you step into the courtyard. Not only is this pillar intricately carved but there are four...more
Though all the caves at Ellora are architectural marvels, the Kailasha Temple or Kailashnath is the apotheosis, the culmination of their artistic wizardry. The multi-level temple with its pyramidal form seeks to replicate Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva. It is the largest monolithic structure in the world and is excavated in the top-down...more
The rooftop of this temple is equally spectacular. You come out of the structure, turn left and take a narrow trail that leads you up a steep path to the top. Keep well away from the edge of the trench and climb to the very top. The scene from up there is panoramic. You can see the three trenches dug deep till the very bottom, the Kailash mount on...more
Most of the paintings have faded away but the ones that remain, or rather, fragments of the ones that remain, testify to the skill of the painters. The one of the heads of elephants is singularly beautiful as are a few remnants on other subjects. Though the colours used are rather basic – red, yellow, soot-black, blue – the overall effect is...more
There are two flights of steps, one on either side, that lead up to the main shrine. Here, the Shivlinga is in one place, the Nandi bull is in a room across the air-bridge. Various sculptures adorn the walls while faded paintings, still looking striking, may be discerned in the ceiling. Outside the main shrine are more sculptures, some amorous some...more
Inside the courtyard, the two sides reveal the trenches that were dug out to free the central mass of stone. To your left is a huge sculpture of an elephant and a little beyond a huge pillar. As you walk along, the recessed portion affords places to rest while the overhanging rocks provide you shelter from the hot rays of the sun. When you turn the...more
The cave is called Vishwakarma and has the only stupa (burial mound wherein some important relic of Buddha lies) in Ellora. It is a double-storied structure with a wide verandah on the first floor. Two shrines welcome you in the courtyard itself.There is an imposing statue of the Buddha, seated with feet resting on a lotus and with two Bodhisattvas...more
We got talking to somebody working here and we really believed he understood that our children were very ill and needed a meal with no spice. It is for this reason we ordered the food and paid the money in advance of dinner. Having being given a guided tour and seen the kitchen I immediately regretted this decision!!!!!We were VERY warmly received...more
Very clean and organised, air conditioned & polite staff. For those qualities you pay a little extra but it is very much worth it. The menu is extensive and the food is taste. There are a few western options should you be fed up with curries or nursing an unsettled stomach! The ice cream is delicious, especially the vanilla!more
Once again I took an auto rickshaw from the hotel to the bus stand for Rs 20 (June 2010). The fare to Ellora was Rs 21 and it took almost 45 minutes. If you are on the bus and see it pass the road to Ellora, don’t worry. It just goes in to a village, makes an U-turn and continues to Ellora. In Ellora the bus stops next to the entrance to the...more
Aurangabad has a small domestic airport. Jet Air and Kingfisher definitely fly in and out. Spice Jet do not. Aurangabad also has a train station and trains arrive from several destination, including Mumbai which is proably the most convenient point of departure.I took the overnight train with my family from Mumbai to Aurangabad. The Devagiri...more
The gateway to Ellora is the nearby town of Aurangabad, a provincial city with an airport, rail link to Bombay and a couple of modern hotels. Ellora lies about 35 minutes east/north-east of Aurangabad and is easily accessible by bus, tour groups or private car. If you are a group of 2 to 4 travelling, the best way is to hire a car and a private...more
We do not usually make use of guides- but at Ellora we were very glad that we accepted the invitation of a very old man that was sitting outside one of the Hindu Caves.His face was old, but his eyes were bright and intelligent.
He has lived in this area all his life, and had an amazing amount of historical and religious knowledge, which he shared with us.
Because there is little or no light inside the caves, it is quite difficult to see the wall-carvings.
We were intrigued by the fact that he was carrying a very large mirror- but very soon this mystery was cleared. He drew us into the entrance of the cave, and positioned the mirror so that it perfectly reflected the rays of the afternoon sun into the cave. Instant light and clarification. This , once again, proved that in India- anything is possible. They are very inventive people.
Ellora is Monkey Paradise. In all of India I have never seen so many in one place, and observed such cheeky behaviour. I guess these cuties have been so spoiled by tourists at Ellora that they now reign supreme.They actually came right into our cottage- en famille, and helped themselves to fruit and a towel.They are not dangerous, I suppose, unless...more
As you make your way along the last of the Hindu caves towards the Jain caves, you'll have to cross over a ravine via a rickety bridge made out of metal scaffolding with some loose wooden boards along the walkway. Be careful whilst walking over this bridge as it's not the safest in the world!more
As soon as you enter the premises, sooner or later you will be accosted by the knick knack sellers. What they declare to be little white marble statues are Not marble, rather some white sand-plaster composite.
They will also ask anything from Rs50 to Rs500 for it. If you decide to buy, then anyone of them, after a clear final price offer by you, will sell it for Rs20!
Very comfortable walking shoes... touring the caves will feel like walking a hiking trail.
A hat to shield you from the sun.
Light clothing as it gets quite hot in Ellora.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Tissues and disinfecting wipes in case you have to use the toilets.
Sun block for those sensitive to the sun.
Photo Equipment: A camera stand if you wish to take sharp photos of the dark interiors.
Miscellaneous: Plenty of chilled drinking water and a packed lunch or snacks, such as nuts or dried fruit.
If you are interested in the details, then research the caves in advance. Most guidebooks do no explain the significance of each cave and its artwork in great detail.
While visiting Ellora Caves, it is a good idea to travel 2 hours north and also visit the Ajanta Caves. The complex is not as extensive as Ellora, but Ajanta has magnificent religious paintings on the cave walls, that have been well preserved. The statues and intricate stone carvings are magnificent.We hired a taxi for the trip. Nearest town is...more
A formidable defence structure, the Daulatabad Fort occupies a hill that overlooks the surrounding plains of the Deccan Plateau. Originally called Deogiri under the Yadava dynasty's rule, the Fort fell into the hands of the Delhi Sultanate in 1328. Its conqueror, Mohammed ibn Tughluq, renamed it Daulatabad and made it the capital of the Sultanate,...more
One of the holiest towns in this part of India, Khuldabad, whose name translates to "Abode of Eternity," is the burial place of some 1500 14th century Sufi Moslem saints. The abundance of domed shrines of these saints earned the town the nickname "Valley of the Saints," which led the pious Aurangzeb, the last great Mughal Emperor, to select it as...more
Tips:1. Good pair of walking shoes.2. Carry plenty of water & a few eatables.3. Carry a torch. Some caves are rather dark inside.4. Take a tripod along as no flash allowed inside the caves. A shutter release cord is a bonus.5. Place camera on even surface of floor of the cave to click photos of ceiling. Put camera on self-timer mode.6. Click...more
The state of Maharashtra is blessed with a rich heritage of ancient monuments and exquisite architectural marvels representing different phases of development in the art and architectural style. The prime rock-cut architectural examples of the cave temples that are spread all over the state are the caves of Ajanta and Ellora.The magnificent group...more
Simply put, it is impossible to know just what you are missing if you do not see Kailas, cave 16, from the top. Between Kailas and cave 15 there is a trail which leads up. As you ascend this trail and the sight of the highest dome creeps in to your vision, you are left awestruck.Caves are open from 6am to 6pm. Get there as early as you can, for how...more