Top ChoiceHindu Temple in Ellora

Kailasa Temple

Kailasa Temple

One of India’s greatest monuments, this astonishing temple, carved from solid rock, was built by King Krishna I in AD 760 to represent Mt Kailasa (Kailash), Shiva’s Himalayan abode. To say that the assignment was...

Top ChoiceTemple in Ellora

Ellora Cave Temples

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...

Cave in Ellora

Cave 10

Cave 10 is the only chaitya in the Buddhist group and one of the finest in India. Its ceiling features ribs carved into the stonework; the grooves were once fitted with wooden panels. The balcony and upper...

Cave in Ellora

Buddhist Caves

Calm and contemplation infuse the 12 Buddhist caves, which stretch to the south of Kailasa. All are Buddhist viharas (monasteries) used for study and worship, but these multistoreyed structures also included...

Cave in Ellora

Hindu Caves

Drama and excitement characterise the Hindu group (Caves 13 to 29). In terms of scale, creative vision and skill of execution, these caves are in a league of their own.All these temples were cut from the top...

Cave in Ellora

Jain Caves

The five Jain caves, the last created at Ellora, may lack the ambitious size of the best Hindu temples, but they are exceptionally detailed, with some remarkable paintings and carvings.The caves are 1km north of...

Cave in Ellora

Cave 32

Cave 32, the Indra Sabha (Assembly Hall of Indra), is the finest of the Jain temples. Its ground-floor plan is similar to that of the Kailasa, but the upstairs area is as ornate and richly decorated as the...

Cave in Ellora

Cave 21

Cave 21, known as the Ramesvara Cave, features interesting interpretations of familiar Shaivite scenes depicted in the earlier temples. The figure of the goddess Ganga, standing on her Makara (mythical sea...

Cave in Ellora

Cave 15

Cave 15, the Das Avatara (Ten Incarnations of Vishnu) Cave, is one of the finest at Ellora. The two-storey temple contains a mesmerising Shiva Nataraja and a Shiva emerging from a lingam (phallic image) while...

Cave in Ellora

Cave 6

Cave 6 is an ornate vihara with wonderful images of Tara, consort of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, and of Mahamayuri, the Buddhist goddess of learning, looking remarkably similar to Saraswati, her Hindu...

Cave in Ellora

Cave 29

The large Cave 29, the Dumar Lena, is thought to be a transitional model between the simpler hollowed-out caves and the fully developed temples exemplified by the Kailasa. It has views over a nearby waterfall,...

Cave in Ellora

Cave 12

Cave 12, the huge Tin Thal (Three Storey) Cave, is entered through a courtyard. The locked shrine on the top floor contains a large Buddha figure flanked by his seven previous incarnations. The walls are carved...

Cave in Ellora

Cave 30

Cave 30, the Chhota Kailasa (Little Kailasa), is a poor imitation of the great Kailasa Temple and stands by itself some distance from the other Jain temples. It's reached via the unmarked stairway between caves...

Cave in Ellora

Cave 11

Cave 11, the Do Thal (Two Storey) Cave, is entered through its third basement level (undiscovered until 1876). Like Cave 12, it possibly owes its size to competition with Hindu caves of the same period.

Cave in Ellora

Cave 34

The final temple, the small Cave 34, also has interesting sculptures. On the hilltop above the Jain temples, a 5m-high image of Parasnath looks down on Ellora.

Cave in Ellora

Cave 5

Cave 5 is the largest vihara in this group, at 18m wide and 36m long; the rows of stone benches hint that it may once have been an assembly hall.

Cave in Ellora

Cave 14

Cave 14, the Ravana-ki-Khai, is a Buddhist vihara converted to a temple dedicated to Shiva sometime in the 7th century.

Cave in Ellora

Cave 2

Cave 2 is notable for its ornate pillars and the imposing seated Buddha, which faces the setting sun.

Cave in Ellora

Cave 33

Cave 33, the Jagannath Sabha, is similar in plan to 32 and has some well-preserved sculptures.

Cave in Ellora

Cave 8

Cave 8 is the first cave in which the sanctum is detached from the rear wall.