Kazan Cathedral, Saint Petersburg

Thursday, 27 December 2012


Google Maps: Ellora, Maharashtra, India
Trip: Aurangabad > Ajanta > Lonar > Daulatabad > Ellora

We started our trip to Ellora with a pint of beer. It was available in MTDC Restaurant right at the entrance of Ellora Cave Complex. We were little drowsy as we closed in on the main temple building. The concept of this structure broke some of our lethargy as the entire temple is carved out of 125000 cubic metre of one solid rock.

Elephants, Ellora Caves

Elephants are ubiquitous in large monolith form within the temple. The first wall to encounter has a larger than life Shiva carving on it. I didn't know that Ellora is actually a Shiva Temple constructed by a whole dynasty of Hindu Kings over 2 centuries some 1500 yrs ago. This sets it apart from Ajanta which is a Buddhist Monastery.

Ceiling Carvings, Ellora Caves

We moved further to the inner chambers which has a sanctum sanctorum containing a large Shivlinga. Around this chamber are carvings on the slanted walls of temple. Here one can see the hill from where this temple has been carved and it really looks magical.

We decided to take a round of caves which were in the periphery. They are in two layers. A dark staircase to upper layer and squeaking bats reminded me of Daulatabad Fort. We had to move quickly outside as the place was stinking with excreta of bats.

Ellora Caves are 34 in number spread in 2 miles with distinctly separated sections. We had just covered the first section and hence decided to move quickly to others. We walked to the end which had a Buddha statue to our surprise.

It was time to walk to Grishneshwar from here. Grishneshwar is one mile away from Ellora and is one of the 12 holy jyotirlingas dedicated to Lord Shiva. You need to take off your clothes before entering your temple. We were back in our hotel late in the evening.