Ellora is an archaeological site in the Indian state of Maharashtra built by the Rashtrakuta Dynasty. Famous for its monumental caves, Ellora is a World Heritage Site.
Ellora represents the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture. The 34 "caves" – actually structures excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills – being Buddhist, Hindu and Jain cave temples and monasteries, were built between the 5th century and 10th century. The 12 Buddhist (caves 1–12), 17 Hindu (caves 13–29) and 5 Jain caves (caves 30–34), built in proximity, demonstrate the religious harmony prevalent during this period of Indian history.
The Hindu caves were constructed between 500 CE and 1000 CE and represent a different style of creative vision and execution skills. Some were of such complexity that they required several generations of planning and co-ordination to complete. The early caves (caves 17–29) were constructed during the Kalachuri period, while the caves 15 and 16 were constructed during Rashtrakuta period.
The construction of this cave was a feat of human genius – it entailed removal of 200,000 tonnes of rock, and took 100 years to complete.
A tourist can plan the visit of these caves according to the time available and depending upon the interest in ancient art. If a visitor has at his disposal three to four hours, then the Cave nos. 10 (Visvakarma Cave), 16 (Kailasa), 21 (Ramesvara) and 32 & 34 (Jaina group of caves) should not be missed. Thus, by visiting these caves, one can have a glimpse of the representative art of Buddhism, Brahmanism and Jainism. If a visitor has an entire day at his disposal, the Cave nos. 2, 5, 10 & 12 of the Buddhist group; Cave nos. 14, 15, 16, 21 & 29 of the Brahmanical group and Caves 32 to 34 of the Jaina group should be visited.
The caves are excavated in the scarp of a large plateau, running in a north-south direction for nearly 2 km, the scarp being in the form of a semi-circle, the Buddhist group at the right arc on the south, while the Jaina group at the left arc on the north and the Brahmanical group at the centre.
Open from sunrise to sunset
Closed on Tuesday
Citizens of India and visitors of SAARC (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives and Afghanistan) and BIMSTEC Countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar) - Rs. 10 per head.
Others: US $ 5 or Indian Rs. 250/- per head
(children up to 15 years free)