Ellora Caves in Maharashtra
Rocks that narrate a history of religious harmony
The Ellora Caves, set in a basalt cliff, is a thumbs up to the diversity and religious harmony of ancient Indian society, not to mention the exquisite artistry. Locally known as Verul Leni, the
sculpted caves represent one of the largest rock-hewn monastic complexes in the world, with 34 Hindu, Buddhist and Jain “temples” placed side-by-side.
The caves date between 600 and 1000 AD; the Hindu caves are the oldest and Kailasa, a massive, single rock-cut structure, depicting Lord Shiva’s mountain abode, is considered the most spectacular. Not that the Buddhist and Jain caves are outdone by the Kailasa. Like most ancient Indian architecture, the caves belonging to both these communities display a skill, a very local style and splendor that leave us moderns awestruck.
The caves are situated about 30 km from Aurangabad via National Highway 211. Bus services are available from Aurangabad.
Nearest railway station: Aurangabad, about 29 km
Nearest airport: Aurangabad International Airport, about 36 km.