Best Tourist Attractions of Ajanta and Ellora

Ajanta and Ellora has nothing that you can select to eliminate from you tour itinerary. Yet, we have found some best tourist attractions of Ajanta and Ellora according to rating by visitors so that you would not best tourist places of Ajanta and Ellora in hurry.

Buddhist Temples at Ellora

The Buddhist structures at Ellora, like those at Ajanta, are those of monasteries, multi-storey, spacious ones with clearly marked off quarters for the kitchens, for living, sleeping, etc. Some of the twelve caves have shrines of the Buddha, saints, and bodhisattvas cut right into the mountain face. A lot of effort has been made to give the stone a wood like finish.

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Jain Temples at Ellora Caves

Among the important ones are the Indra Sabha (cave 32), Chhota Kailash (cave 30) and the Jagannath Sabha (cave 33). Cave 34 is an unfinished four-pillared hall with a shrine. Another place called Samvatsarana is located in Ellora caves which were used by Tirthankaras preached after attaining omniscience.

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Hindu Temples at Ellora Caves

Kailashnath Temple

Its construction is generally attributed to the 8th century Rashtrakuta king Krishna I. The Kailasa Temple is notable for its vertical excavation—carvers started at the top of the original rock and excavated downward. Within the courtyard, there is a central shrine dedicated to Shiva, and an image of his mount Nandi (the sacred bull). There are five detached shrines in the temple premises; three of these are dedicated to the river goddesses: Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati.

A notable sculpture is that of the Ravana attempting to lift Mount Kailasa.

Grishneshwar Temple/Ghrneshwar Jyotirlinga/ Dhushmeshwar Temple

Grishneshwar Temple / Ghrneshwar Jyotirlinga / Dhushmeshwar Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines mentioned in the Shiva Purana. It is about 30 kilometres (19 miles) north-west of the city of Aurangabad. temple is the smallest Jyotirlinga temple in India.

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Dashavatara Temple

Halfway up the Grishneshwar Temple, there is Dashavatar Temple. It is carved temple in stone representing 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

When was Ajanta and Ellora built?

The first phase came to be during the Satavahana Dynasty. The second phase occurred under the patronage of the Vakataka Dynasty, in the 5th century. Around two dozen caves were constructed at this time, more specifically, between 460 and 480 CE, and some of the most intricate art work the Ajanta caves have to offer was done during this time.

After several centuries, the caves were rediscovered in 1819, accidentally, by a British officer of the 28th Cavalry, in the course of hunting tigers. Officer John Smith discovered the entrance to cave 10. In 1848, the Royal Asiatic Society initiated efforts to make the site more accessible by clearing out the rubble and debris that had accumulated over all the years of neglect.

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Rock-Cut Cave Architecture of Ajanta

Cave One: It features some of the finest paintings depicting the Jataka tales, specifically those depicting the previous life of the Buddha as royalty. Vakataka king Harishena funded the building art work of this cave. There is a shrine carved out of living rock on the rear wall, featuring a seated Buddha.

Cave Two: Cave Two is structurally similar to the first. The paintings on the walls are narrating the past lives of the Buddha as a bodhisattva. Another theme which is highly relevant and evident is the depiction of women as noble and in positions of power.

Cave Four, Nine, and Ten: Cave four was the largest monastery planned, but unfortunately the plan never saw completion. There is some noteworthy art work to be found here though, including the depiction of the Buddha in a teaching pose surrounded by bodhisattvas and supposedly, celestial nymphs.

Caves Nine and Ten are originally from the first phase of construction and the second phase saw a renovation effort that also never reached completion.

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Ajanata Caves in Ajanta Ellora ,Maharashtra
Ajanata Caves
 Cave Temples in Ajanta Ellora
Cave Temples

 Ellora Caves in Ajanta Ellora
Ellora Caves

Grishneshwar Temple in Ajanta Ellora
Grishneshwar Temple

AKailashnath Temple in Ajanta Ellora
AKailashnath Temple

Aurangabad Caves in Ajanta Ellora
Aurangabad Caves
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