Maharashtra, India swantours
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Country India
State/Province Maharashtra
distance: 6,630 Km
Address Maharashtra, India
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The Buddhists were the first architects in Ellora. Their 12 excavations are dated between c. 450 AD and 700 AD. Of these, Caves 1 to 5 is the more ancient.

One of the earliest Ellora caves, this has a pillared mandapa flanked by side galleries and a shrine at the end. The side galleries contain images of Buddha in their sunken niches, many of them unfinished. The shrine itself displays Buddha along with many subsidiary deities. The sculptures, especially the dvarapalas (doorkeepers), are massive.

Vihara (monastery), 36 meters deep and 18 meters wide, its most striking features are two long, low stone benches that stretch across its length, flanked by rows of 12 pillars on each side. At its end is a shrine, It also, has 20 cells for monks.

Popularly known as Vishvakarma the celestial architect or Sutar ka Jhopra (Carpenter’s Hut), this cave is visited by local carpenters, who come to worship Buddha as Vishvakarma, their patron deity. Its entrance is a gate, cut through the rock, which leads into an open courtyard, flanked by two stories of cells. Beyond the courtyard is the shrine, an ehaityagriha, 25 m
long, 13 in wide and 10 m high.

There is a grand chaitya-arch before the chaityagriha, which seems to have evolved from the horseshoe arches of earlier chaityas into a trefoil decoration.

The complex also has a large stupa, nearly 8 m high. Its roof, a huge arch, shows imitations of wooden ribs beautifully rendered in stone. A massive Buddha in the dharma chakra pravartana mudra sits in front of the stupa.

Cave Teen Tal

This three-storeyed Vihara is the largest in Ellora, and perhaps even in the entire region.

The first floor has a shrine towards its end and many sculptural representations of Buddha and subsidiary deities have been used to adorn its walls.

A staircase leads to the second floor where there is a huge hall, measuring 36  by 10 mo Thirteen cells have been carved into the end of the hall and its back wall. A shrine placed in the east has a giant Buddha in the bhumi sparse mudra, the pose in which he called on Earth to be his witness against Mara’s evil forces. This sculpture is flanked by rows of five
Bodhisattvas.

The top floor is almost as large as the one below, with a shrine and a huge antechamber to its east. Its back wall has 14 representations of Buddha: to the north, seven images in the bhumi sparse mudra and to the south, seven divine Buddhas. The shrine itself has a colossal image of Buddha flanked by Bodhisattva Padmapani and Vajrapani.

Water cisterns

Almost all these caves have provisions for storing water. Ingenious methods were used to harvest rainwater during the monsoon. Often channels were cut into the rock to divert the rainwater into cisterns for use during the dry months.

For more information on Buddhist caves Maharashtra and Maharashtra tour packages
contact Swan Tours one of the leading travel agents in India.

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  1. parmarnisha7 said on 09/09/2017 3:09 pm:

    This place is a worth to visit once. There are many mysteries about the build of the caves. You have done nice job by adding information about these caves. Thanks 🙂

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