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Thread: Incredible Ellora Caves
05-06-2011, 08:39 AM #1
Incredible Ellora Caves
Located in the Indian state of Maharashtra, the magnificent Ellora Caves are 34 structures excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills. An official UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ellora Caves consists of 12 Buddhist, 17 Hindu and 5 Jain temples and monasteries built between the 6th and 10th century.
They stand as a testament to the religious harmony prevalent during this period of Indian history. The Ellora Caves are the most visited ancient monument in the state and are a must-see for any tourists in the area. Enjoy the incredible photographs below with information on these historical monuments sprinkled throughout.
THE BUDDHIST CAVES OF ELLORA
- The Buddhist caves (also called Vishvakarma caves) are the earliest of the Ellora Caves, dating from 500 to 750 AD. All except one are viharas (monasteries), which were used for study, meditation, communal rituals, eating and sleeping
- The caves become steadily larger and more elaborately decorated as they progress to the north, which scholars have explained by the growing need to compete with Hinduism for patronage
- The earliest Hindu caves at Ellora date from 600 AD, right in the middle of the Buddhist period
THE HINDU CAVES OF ELLORA
- Created during a time of prosperity and revival of Hindusim, the Hindu caves represent an entirely different style of creative vision and skill than the Buddhist caves
- The Hindu temples were carved from top to bottom and required several generations of planning and coordination to take shape. There are 17 Hindu caves in all, which were carved between 600 and 870 AD. They occupy the center of the cave complex, grouped around either side of the famous Kailasa Temple
- In contrast to the serene and solemn Buddhas of the earlier caves, the walls of the Hindu caves are covered in lively bas-reliefs depicting events from the Hindu scriptures. All of the caves are dedicated to the god Shiva, but there are also some images of Vishnu and his various incarnations
THE JAIN CAVES OF ELLORA
- The Jain caves, dating from the late 800s and 900s, are 2 km north down an asphalt road (rickshaws are available). They reflect the distinctiveness of Jain philosophy and tradition, including a strict sense of asceticism combined with elaborate decoration
- They are not large compared to others, but contain exceptionally detailed artworks. Many of the Jain caves had rich paintings in the ceilings, fragments of which are still visible
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12-04-2011, 12:07 AM #2
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