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Indian Architechture Through the Ages Introduction to Indian Architechture Architechtural Glossary Getting Around in India
 
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Monuments in Ellora
BUDDHIST CAVE TEMPLES
CAVE 21
CAVE 29 (DHUMAR LENA CAVE)
Cave 32
Cave 33 and cave 34
GANESHA LENA GROUP
HINDU CAVE TEMPLES
JAIN CAVE TEMPLES
KAILASANATHA TEMPLE
 
Ellora caves, located 30 km northwest of Aurangabad, make up one of the major cave temple groups in India. They belong to a much later period, than the Ajanta caves. In Ellora there are Buddhist, Hindu as well as Jain cave temples, spread over a stretch of 2 km. These are not just cave temples but also temples sculpted out of rock and are much richer in style and detail.

Caves 1-12 are Buddhist, 13-29 are Hindu and 30-34 are Jain, excavated in that order.

Some believe that the Hindu temples were constructed before the Buddhist temples, but since there are no inscriptions to that effect, it is difficult to determine exactly when they were built. Perhaps, all religions thrived peacefully at that time because the dynasty in power was tolerant of different religions. The first caves were excavated during the rule of the Chalukyan dynasty. The rock cut Kailasanatha Temple, in the centre of the group, is a fine example of the south Indian architectural style promoted by the Rashtrakutas.

The circular carving, not seen in Buddhist architecture till date, can be seen in the front hall, in the Nandi shrine and all over the large Kailasanatha Temple. Jain temples that were built later, also adopted this design. There are three unfinished, half-cut temples in the vicinity.

Buddhist cave temple groups.
Beautiful sculpture of an apsara in Cave 21.
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