Ellora caves history, opening times, information, timing kailash temple
The creation of Ellora caves marked, perhaps the waning of Buddhism. Of the earliest discovered Ellora caves, which are in north-south direction, twelve to the south are Buddhist caves, seventeen in the center are Hindu caves and five in the north are Jain caves.
It is believed that more than 2 lakhs tons of stone was excavated for the construction of these Ellora caves. The earlier group of Ellora caves are dug in the slope of the hill and receive the best light during the afternoon, when the sun is towards the western horizon.
Important feature of some of the Ellora caves are:
is the largest in the Buddhist group and was probably, used as a room for teaching the young monks. The cave has twenty pillars.
has a statue of goddess Saraswati and other Buddhist figures.
is a Chaitya or a temple, the only one at Ellora caves, and has a huge image of Buddha. This cave is also referred to as Carpenter’s cave because it is dedicated to Vishwakarma.
is a two-storeyed cave and number twelve three storeyed and have elaborate sculptures.
Among the Hindu Ellora caves, number 14
has figures of various numbers of the Hindu pantheon.
which is also a temple, depicts Lord Shiva in various form.
Cave Number 16
,the most impressive of all at Ellora caves is known as the Kailash temple and is detailed separately here.
In cave 21,
noteworthy features are the statue of Ganga, Yamuna and nandi Bull. On the wall inside the temple, is a relief on the marriage of Shiva and Parvati.
Cave number 29
depicts the theme of Lord Shiva, the destroyer.
The Jain Ellora caves belong to the period between 9th and 11thh centuries and figure various saints of the religion. Above these Ellora caves is a five-meter high statue of Parasvnath dominating this part of hill.
The new caves are a short distance up from the Kailash temple. These are smaller in size and low-roofed. The sculpture are not as fine as in the older Ellora caves. These are largely Hindu caves and the principal theme of sculpture is Lord Shiva and his associated members of the Hindu Pantheon.
THE KAILASH TEMPLE
The most remarkable of the carved shrines at Ellora caves is the Kailash temple. It is some 50 metres in length, 33 metres wide and 30 metres high.
The fantastic edifice has been chiseled out by hand from a single rock with gateway, pavillion, courtyard, assembly hall, vestibule, sanctum and tower-all these out of the same enormous rock. The Kailash temple has to be seen to be believed.
The Kailash is approximately twice the area of the Parthenon in Greece and once and a half time as much in height. Lavishly carved and sculpted with epic themes, no nobler monument exists of India’s genius daring and skill.
The piece de resistance of the temple is the tale in stone of Ravana shaking Kailash mountain, which according to legend, he did to show his strength. Other important feature are a gallery depicting scenes from Lord Shiva’s life and another devoted to Lord Vishnu in his incarnation as Narsimha, killing the demon.
OPENING TIMES (TIMING)
Ellora Caves openening times (timing) are from 0900-1730 hrs.
The new caves are still under restoration. Guides are available at the Caves.