11 Facts About Ellora Caves


Ellora Caves is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, India.

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All of the Ellora monuments were built during the Rashtrakuta dynasty, which constructed part of the Hindu and Buddhist caves, and the Yadava dynasty, which constructed a number of the Jain caves.

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Ellora Caves, called Verul or Elura, is the short form of the ancient name Elloorpuram.

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Ellora Caves occupies a relatively flat rocky region of the Western Ghats, where ancient volcanic activity had created multilayered basalt formations, known as the Deccan Traps.

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Geri Hockfield Malandra and other scholars have stated that the Ellora caves had three important building periods: an early Hindu period, a Buddhist phase and a later Hindu and Jain phase .

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Ellora Caves 1 through 9 are all monasteries while Cave 10, the Visvakarma Cave, is a major Buddhist prayer hall.

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At the north end of Ellora are the five Jain caves belonging to the Digambara sect, which were excavated in the ninth and early tenth centuries.

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Pareira used numerous sources to conclude that the Jain caves at Ellora likely began in the late 8th century, with construction and excavation activity extending beyond the 10th century and into the 13th century before coming to a halt with the invasion of the region by the Delhi Sultanate.

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Ellora Caves was a well-known site in Mughal times: the emperor Aurangzeb used to picnic there with his family, as did other Mughal nobles.

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Islamic court records indicated that Deogiri, the capital of the Yadava dynasty, and about 10 kilometres from Ellora Caves, had come under sustained attack during this period and subsequently fell to the Delhi Sultanate in 1294 CE.

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Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain monuments at Ellora Caves show substantial damage, particularly to the idols, whereas intricate carvings on the pillars, and of natural objects on the walls, remain intact.

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