Location of Ellora Caves: - The ellora caves are located just 40 kms from the city of Aurangabad in the central Indian state of Maharashtra. The caves of ellora are around 2 hours drive from the famous Ajanta caves. The Ajanta caves are situated in the Sahyadri hills while the Ellora caves are located in the Charandari Hills.
Ellora Caves By Road: - The Ellora caves are located very near to the highway NO 22 connecting Aurangabad with Dhule. You can hire auto rickshaw from Aurangabad city or hire a taxi car to reach the caves. The state buses are also readily available from the Roadways bus stand Aurangabad and are the cheapest mode to reach the caves.
Ellora Caves By Air: - The nearest airport is the Aurangabad airport which is very well connected with direct flights to Mumbai, Delhi, Indore, Udaipur etc.
Ellora Caves By Train: - The nearest railway station is the Aurangabad junction, this station has direct train to all major stations like Delhi, Mumbai etc.
History and Architecture : - The Ellora caves are a striking example of harmony and solidarity between Indian religions like Buddhism, Jain and Hinduism, These rock cut caves were basically made to facilitate the devotees and ascetics ascribing to these three religions who lived life in solitude in search of the almighty. While the Hindu caves are made to appear like temples the Buddhist are the chaityas and viharas for the monks.
The Jain caves depict the Teerthankaras and the king Indra, Yaksha etc. These caves were made from 550 CE to 950 CE in three different phases the initial construction phase was of Hindu caves from 550 CE to 600 CE the Buddhist phase from 600 to 750 CE and the Jain Hindu period from 750 to 950 CE.
There are a total 34 caves open for the tourists while there are around 100 caves in the area in general. The most important one is the cave No 16 which is actually a monolith carved Shiva temple. This entire temple featuring a high shikhara, mandapam, the victory tower, has been carved from the black basalt rock and the carving technique used is a mystery, thousands of tons of debris extracted from the excavation of the cave no 16 kailasha temple has not been found dumped anywhere. The effigies of the dieties and the elephants are so elegantly carved that they appear alive and life like. You can see the entire temple clearly from the adjoining hill and it fills the spectators with awe. The early Hindu caves are dedicated to lord shiva and were constructed by the Kalachuries.
The Buddhist caves feature the life and times of Buddha and his incarnations, the Bodhi satvas, there are monasteries for the Buddhist monks-the renunciates, these caves were supposed to be built after the Hindu caves.
The Jain caves were the last to be excavated and depict the Jain mythology the caves depict the Jain mythological character like Indra, Yaksha, Yakshini, these caves also depict other deities and Jain mythological figures and figurines
Entrance: - These caves are maintained by the archeological survey of India and come under the charter of United Nations world heritage monuments. These are levied.
Indian tourists: - INR 40- Adults
BIMSTEC Nations: –INR 40- Adults
Foreign Nationals: –INR 600- Adults
Note: - Children below 15 are allowed free of cost, you can also book these tickets online from the ASI website.
When to visit: - These caves are closed every week on Tuesday rest on other days the sightseeing is possible from 8 am to 5:30 pm. The best weather is of winters from November to march, the summers are hot, avoid monsoons as it can be very wet and persistent rains make sightseeing impossible.