"Ellora Caves - Hindu" Top 5 Page for this destination Aurangabad Things to Do Tip by Donna_in_India

Aurangabad Things to Do: 67 reviews and 215 photos

  Inside Ellora Cave 16 - Kailasa
by Donna_in_India
  • Inside Ellora Cave 16 - Kailasa - Aurangabad
      Inside Ellora Cave 16 - Kailasa
    by Donna_in_India
  • Inside Ellora Cave 16 - Kailasa - Aurangabad
      Inside Ellora Cave 16 - Kailasa
    by Donna_in_India
  • Inside Ellora Cave 16 - Kailasa - Aurangabad
      Inside Ellora Cave 16 - Kailasa
    by Donna_in_India
  • Entrance to Ellora Cave 15 - Dashavatara - Aurangabad
      Entrance to Ellora Cave 15 - Dashavatara
    by Donna_in_India
  • Entrance to Ellora Cave 14 - Ravana ki Kahi - Aurangabad
      Entrance to Ellora Cave 14 - Ravana ki Kahi
    by Donna_in_India

There are 17 Hindu Caves at Ellora - numbers 13-29. They were excavated at the beginning of the 7th century. The Hindu caves are the centerpieces of Ellora and are so detailed and intricate that they must have required generations of planning and coordination, not to mention the 100+ years it took to actually create them.

Two of the more interesting Caves were Cave 14 also known as Ravana ki Kahi and Cave 15 also known as Dashavatara. Cave 14 contains sculptures of Hindu gods/goddesses (deities) such as Durga and Vishnu. Cave 15 was double-storied (I really liked this one) and had superb sculptures.

However the highlight of the Hindu Caves, and of Ellora, in fact, is
Cave 16 known as Kailasanath (Kailasa) Temple. This temple is actually a complex - it is huge! - 266 feet by 154 feet. It was carved (top to bottom out of one single rock that is double the size of the Parthenon in Athens). It is the largest monolithic structure in the world and was sculpted with the mere use of hammer and chisel. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and there are countless carvings of him. There is an open courtyard with a towering pillar and numerous sculptured (life size) elephants, which are world famous. The two stairways leading to the Mandapa of the main temple are carved with narrative episodes from the two great Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Those were really interesting!! I also liked the Nandi Pavillion - housing a large sculpture of Nandi, the bull which Lord Siva rides. One of my other favorite sculptures was Ganesh - I had to look hard to find him but knew he would be in the complex. (See photo.)

Allow plenty of time for the Hindu temples, especially Kailasa. I'm not sure that I would recommend seeing Kailasa last - you may be too tired by then - and there is so much you should not miss!! If you see Kailasa first, by the time you finish the Hindu and Buddhist Caves, you may not make it over to the Jain Caves (especially if you're walking). We saw Kailasa right after seeing Jain Caves 32 & 33, and it worked out really well. (We continued on to the other Hindu Caves and the Buddhist Caves.) If for Kailasa alone, I would highly recommend having a guide. You will find out much more than you would from a guidebook.

Please see my travelogues for additional photos.

Please see my "Things To Do: Fantastic Caves at Ellora" tip for specific visitor information and "special tip".

Entrance fee: Indians Rs. 10, Foreigners RS 250, No charge for children up to age 15

Open from sunrise to sunset (Closed Tuesdays)

No Flash Photography

Address: Khulatabad Taluk , Verul Village
Directions: About 30 km from Aurangabad
Website: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/243/

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Mar 17, 2013
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