14 Facts About Ellora


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

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Ellora caves are situated in state of Maharashtra about 29 kilometres northwest of the city of Aurangabad, 300 kilometres (190 miles) east-northeast of Mumbai, 235 kilometres (146 miles) from Pune and about 100 kilometres (62 miles) west of the Ajanta Caves, 2.

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Ellora 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 (~600 to 730 CE) and a later Hindu and Jain phase (~730 to 950 CE).

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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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Some accounts acknowledge the importance of Ellora but make inaccurate statements regarding its construction; for example, a description of the caves by Venetian traveller Niccolao Manucci, whose Mughal history was well received in France, wrote that the Ellora caves ".

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Ellora 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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Ellora spoke of "many kinds of images with lifelike forms" carved on all the ceilings and walls, but noted that the monuments themselves were in a state of "desolation in spite of its strong foundations.

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Islamic court records indicated that Deogiri, the capital of the Yadava dynasty, and about 10 kilometres from Ellora, 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 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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Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1832 contains a plate of 'Skeletal Group in the Ramedwur, Caves of Ellora, supposed to represent the nuptials of Siva and Parvati' by George Cattermole, engraved by W Kelsall, accompanied by a poetical illustration by Letitia Elizabeth Landon paraphrased from a translation from the Siva-Pooraun.

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