ELLORA

Ellora is a rock hillside with carved out temples near Aurangabad in Maharashtra province in India and consist of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain religion. The temples were carved between the 5th and 10th century.

There are 34 temples / caves in total, all walkable despite whatever rickshaw drivers say. Main focal point is Kailasha temple (mount Kailash, home to Lord Shiva). The temple is entirely cut out of rock, pillars, elephants and all. The temple was rendered in white plaster creating a contrast between the remaining rock side and the temple and representing a snow covered mount Kailash (there is one in Tibet after all). All the plaster is gone however blending the temple into the rock-side.

The temple has multiple levels and connects to cut out elevated galleries in the hillside by cut out bridges.

The main complex is a succession of three structures of Shiva temples with Nandi, the sacred cow (it’s a bull, actually) and pyramid shaped main temple housing the Lingam (place of worship).

The main ticket office is situated right at the main temple. Visiting Kailasha temple first spoils the impact of the remaining 33 temples and caves since none can match the grandeur of Kailasha temple, even though they too are fantastically splendid.

The temple is too close to the ticket office to have had sufficient time for any annoyance over the fact that foreigners pay 250 rupees while locals pay 10.

The temple is still active.

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