Ellora Caves: Escape to the Stone Age
If a weekend away from the monsoon is your idea of an escape, now might be a good time to explore Ellora's stunning architectural stone-cut marvels. Here's a glimpse of what you can expect during your historic hideout
Kailasa temple was conceived as a mountain and frieze of elephants on the plinth suggests that these elephants are holding this mountain
Ramayana Panel on the South wall depicting scenes from the epic
Another view of the Kailasa Temple with a panel of elephants
Stone carved pillar at Kailash temple
Another view of Kailash Temple’s stone carved pillars. PICS AND TEXT COURTESY/ VRUNDA PATHERE
Kailash Temple’s stone carved pillars are a huge tourist attraction
Ellora’s builders started from top and excavated downward. It is said that the architect was amazed after it was completed.
Did you know?
The Ellora Caves site includes 34 monasteries and temples, extending over more than 2 km, that were dug side by side in the wall of a high basalt cliff, not far from Aurangabad, in Maharashtra. Ellora, with its uninterrupted sequence of monuments dating from AD 600 to 1000, brings the civilisation of ancient India to life. It was included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
(Information courtesy: www.unesco.org)
How to get there
Use Aurangabad as your base to explore the Ellora Caves.
>> BY ROAD: Total distance: 321 km (to reach Ellora). Driving time: 5 hours and 30 mins (approximate). Take the Mumbai-Aurangabad Highway. Aurangabad to Ellora is a half an hour drive away. Hiring a tourist car is the best option to move around. You can also use a tourist car to take you to Ajanta Caves that are 70-plus km away from Ellora.
>> BY RAIL: Mumbai is well connected to Aurangabad by trains. Check for availability on Janshatabdi, Nandigram, Tapovan and Devagiri Express trains, respectively.
Do's and don'ts
>> While entering a UNESCO World Heritage Site, ensure that you maintain strictest conduct as far as littering is concerned.
>> These caves are a part of our cultural heritage so do not deface, inscribe or leave behind any litter after you leave the site.
>> Wear comfortable shoes as there will be a lot of walking on ueneven terrain along the way.
>> Carry bottled water to ensure you don’t get dehydrated.