Ellora Cave Temples

Temple in Ellora

The saga of the hammer and chisel comes full circle at the Unesco World Heritage–listed Ellora cave temples, located 30km from Aurangabad. The pinnacle of ancient Indian rock-cut architecture, these caves were chipped out laboriously over five centuries by generations of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain monks.

Monasteries, chapels, temples – the caves served every purpose, and the style quotient was duly met by embellishing them with a profusion of remarkably detailed sculptures. Unlike the caves at Ajanta, which are carved into a sheer rock face, the Ellora caves line a 2km-long escarpment, the gentle slope of which allowed architects to build elaborate courtyards in front of the shrines as well.