taj varanasi ghats

Tourist Places in Ajanta Ellora

The caves temples are the tourist attractions in Ajanta Ellora and they have made Ajanta Ellora, a World Heritage Site. The Ellora caves, dating back to the period between 350 AD and 700 AD are carved into the sides of a hill 30 kilometers from Aurangabad. The finest specimens of cave-temple architecture, the Ellora caves represent the three faiths of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, thus gaining the status of spiritual tourist attractions in India and Maharashtra in particular.

Extending in a linear arrangement, the 34 caves contain Buddhist Chaityas, (halls of worship) and Viharas (monastries), Hindu and Jain temples. The 12 caves towards the south are Buddhist, the 17 in the center are dedicated to Hinduism, and the 5 caves to the north are Jain. The most breathtaking of them is the Kailasa Temple, the world's largest monolithic structure, sculptured as intricately as if it were an ivory miniature. The temple is dedicated to Shiva and named after his mountain home in the Himalayas, the snow peaked Kailasa.

The Main Temple is flanked on either side by two free- standing pillars, soaring some 15.9 metres high. These gracefully proportioned pillars are believed to have once borne the trishul or trident of Shiva.There are corridors carved into the mountain containing a wealth of sculpted figures telling the tales of the great Hindu epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. Among the narrative friezes is the descent of river Ganga, and one of Ravana shaking Mount Kailasa. Spanning a period of about 600 years between the 5th and 11th century AD, the earliest excavation here is of the Dhumar Lena (cave 29). The most imposing excavation is, without doubt, that of Ellora. Unlike the site of Ajanta, Ellora was never 'rediscovered'. Known as Verul in ancient times, it has continuously attracted pilgrims through the centuries to the present day. Therefore it is no surprise that Ellora has been designated as a World Heritage Site, to be preserved as a historical site and an artistic legacy that will continue to inspire and enrich the lives of generations to come.

Excursions from Ajanta Ellora:
Excursions can be made to Aurangabad which is as famous for its medieval monuments as for its proximity to the famous world heritage sites of Ajanta and Ellora.Aurangabad was an important seat of the Mughal Empire during the Mughal rule in India. Situated on the banks of River Kham, the town holds a number of Mughal architectural marvels making it an important historical destination in Maharashtra.

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