The Ellora- caves are different from the Ajanta-caves is some respects. They are younger from 600-1000 AD, there are 5 Jain-caves, 17 Hindu-caves and 12 Buddhist-caves open to the public. But there are about 200 caves in the area. The open caves are spread over a 2 km long hill with busses transporting people between the caves. The caves were never forgotten. After the monks abandonded the caves, the local people used the caves as living quarters during the monsoon season. So the ceilings are often black with soot and there are holes in many pilars to tie cattle.
I did not see wall paintings, but it was a lot of carvings.
Cave 10 is a monastery and the main room actually reminded me of the inside of a gothic cathedral. Remember it ts all cut out of the rock, no building involved.
The most impressive “cave” was number 16, also called the Kailasa temple and is partly a cave. The main building is a monolitic temple. The temple has it’s name from Mount Kailash in the Himalayas where Shiva is supposed to live .
To give an idea about the lay-out of the temple and how it was carved out of the hill:
It has been calculated that 200 000 tons of rock have been removed with hammer and chisel. There are a few real caves in the back. The overhang of the rock looks a bit threatening, but it has been stable for more than a thousand years.
The main temple is about 25 meter high and is very detailed.
I had high expectations before I got there, but I was defintely not dissapointed. On the contrary, I was really impressed and in my opinion it is a must-see!
I met people and I took some pictures, and here is a selection.