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Ajanta ElloraAjanta Ellora
Ajanta Ellora

 
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This page presents information on the Ajanta Ellora caves in India. Get to know about the Ajanta and Elora cave temples.

Ajanta Ellora

The Ajanta Ellora caves are fine specimens of ancient rock-cut cave temples. Located in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, the Ajanta Ellora caves are UNESCO-designated World Heritage Sites. Even though Ajanta and Elora are often mentioned in the same breath, the cave temple clusters in these locations are different from each other in many aspects.

While the caves in Ajanta are primarily Hinayana and Mahayana Buddhist caves, the Ellora cave temples belong to Hindu, Buddhist and Jain religions. There are variations in the architectural and sculptural dimensions as well. In comparison to the Ajanta caves embellished with a profusion of intricate paintings and sculptures, the Ellora caves are of a mundane variety drawing inspiration from the Vajrayana school of Buddhism.

Ajanta ElloraThe Ajanta caves remained hidden from public knowledge until a unit of British soldiers from the Madras Army stumbled upon them in 1819 during a hunting expedition. In contrast, the Ellora caves, due to their location on the ancient north- south trade route or the dakshinapatha, had served as a refuge for traders, priests and pilgrims who plied the route to the western ports. In fact, the Kailash was used for worship until the 19th century.

Ajanta Caves Architecture
The rock-cut Ajanta Caves are renowned masterpieces for their unique architecture and the profusion of sculptures and paintings. The walls and ceilings of the Ajanta Caves are chiseled with exquisite carvings and paintings that chronicle the life of Lord Buddha.

Ajanta Paintings
The Ajanta caves are treasure troves of exquisite paintings that depict scenes from Jataka tales and the life of Lord Buddha. Beautiful murals adorning the walls, ceilings and the pillars bear testimony to the versatility of ancient artistes.

Ajanta Caves
Nestled amidst a lush green landscape, the Ajanta Caves are ancient Buddhist caves hewn out of basalt rock formations. These caves are located at the Lenapur village in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra state.

Ellora Caves
The Ellora caves represent a unique synthesis of Buddhist, Jain and Hindu cave temples, all scooped out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills. Located in the Velur village of the Aurangabad district in Maharashtra, the Ellora cave complex is home to 34 cave temples and monasteries.

Kailash Temple
The crown jewel among the Ellora caves, the Kailash temple epitomizes the zenith of ancient rock-cut architecture. Also known as the Cave 16, the Kailash temple is an awe-inspiring edifice with its massive proportions and exquisite carvings.




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