Ellora Caves in Maharashtra
Indian eVisa Online Gov
If you are fascinated by caves and Hindu culture, the place you must include in your itinerary when visiting India on an e-Tourist Visa is the Ellora Caves in Maharashtra.
A World Heritage Site, the largest rock-cut Hindu cave structure – Ellora Caves has won several titles.
There are more than 100 caves, including 17 of Hinduism, 12 of Buddhism and 5 of Jainism. The greatness of the place lies not only in the deities and myths of a particular religion, but also in the combination of all three (Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism).
Here’s a quick guide on what to expect from Ellora Caves in India.
History of the Caves of Ellora
If you are visiting Ellora Caves after entering India on an e-Tourist Visa, you will surely be very interested in its history.
It certainly does not disappoint. Historians and architects continue to gather evidence of when the caves were built. But they all come to the unanimous conclusion that the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain caves were built at different times.
The research also indicates that the earliest cave builders could have been the Traikotaka and Vakataka dynasties. But other dynasties like Chaluka, Kalachuri etc.
they also played an important role in the construction of other caves. The Ellora caves are believed to be close to an ancient trade route and hence frequented especially by Jains and Buddhists.
Some records indicate that when India came under Islamic rule in the 13th century AD, activity in the caves gradually declined.
How do you get to the Elora cave?
The Ellora Caves are located in the state of Maharashtra, about 29 kilometers from Aurangabad and 300 kilometers east-northeast of the city of Mumbai.
There are several ways to travel to Ellora Caves when you enter on an Indian e-Tourist Visa.
The nearest airport is Chikalthana (Aurangabad) and if you choose this route, you can simply take a taxi when you land.
There are also rail and road connections from the above mentioned locations. The Ajanta Caves (about 100 km) are located near the Ellora Caves and are also of great interest for the world’s megalithic structures. These are major tourist attractions, so getting there shouldn’t be a problem.
Special structures in the Caves of Ellora
Dhumar Lena, one of the oldest Hindu caves in the Ellora cave complex, is dedicated to Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction. But there are also structures of other gods and goddesses. One of Ellora’s top attractions is Dhumar Lena, Cave 29, which offers views of an ancient Hindu temple and a natural waterfall built into the structure.
Cave 16 or Kailasa Temple is one of the main attractions of the Ellora Caves. The massive building is known to be carved out of a single rock, inspired by Mount Kailasa in the Himalayas. The structure is twice the size of the Parthenon in Athens, and inside you will find structures commonly found in Hindu temples. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva, but you can also see shrines dedicated to other Hindu deities.
Vishvakarma Cave or Cave 10 is a Buddhist cave, as can be seen from the 15-foot tall Buddha statue inside. The main attraction of the hole is that it appears in the form of wooden beams, which is why it is often called the “carpenter’s hole”. The Vishvakrma caves feature various rock formations, various carved artworks and statues of gods and goddesses.
House of Indra Sabha
Indra Sabha or Cave 32, excavated in the 9th century, was initially mistaken for a Hindu or Buddhist cave (hence the name), but later turned out to be a Jain cave. But Lord Indra is also the great deity of Jainism and is known as the first Jain king of heaven.
There are many carvings on the roof of the temple and on the upper wall of the sanctum. But that’s not why it’s important.
Instead, it contains hierarchical deposits and textual records that attest to the active labor practices of the Jain community.
Do you want to apply for an India Tourist e-Visa?
The Ellora Caves are a must-see The Elora Caves offer you the best experience of some of the finest architecture in the world and are also important for religious and historical reasons.
So, if your next trip to India with an Indian eVisa takes you to Maharashtra, don’t miss the Ellora Caves.