The final phase of carving work started and ended in the 10th century. The shrine has a large statue of the Buddha preaching. A visit to Ellora caves starts from the southern direction where there’s a cluster of some very old Buddhist caves. This cave is famous for carved façade, balcony, portico, octagonal pillars, and Chaitya windows. It holds six columns with sculptures on pedestals. It imitates Mount Kailash, the permanent residence of Lord Shiva. Over the temple rises the tower in three tiers, with a projecting gable front surmounted by a cupola. On the north of the cave, you will find a small passage with balconies and cells on either side. The main deity of the cave is damaged but, it is clearly a Linga. The upper storey is borne on 12 profusely sculptured pillars and these and the broad surface dividing the two storeys are profusely carved, the upper one having images of the 24 Jain tirthankaras. In the 13th century, the region of Ellora Caves came under the control of Delhi Sultanate and was abandoned. The relief panels of this cave portraits many stories of Hindu Epics. Many sculptures and caves were damaged by Islamic invaders between the 15th and 17th centuries. If you are flying, you should de-board at Hyderabad or Mumbai for connecting flights. You can find many dance and music performances during this festival. During monsoon season, the waterfall will flow right on to the linga. pertaining to Vishnu) sculptures, representations of Durga, Lakshmi, the Varaha or boar incarnation of Vishnu, etc. Closest airport – Aurangabad airport (35 km away). They are the iconic rock-cut Caves of India; whose mystery is still unsolved. As soon as you enter, at the left, you will see Lord Shiva killing the Andhaka demon, defeating the several-armed Ravana efforts to tremble him, and Parvati atop Mount Kailash. At this time, the Ajanta Caves at 100 km northeast were deserted. Base being in plain, the top floor exhibits intricate sculpting such as a lotus flower created on the ceiling. The remarkable imagination which conceived it, the unstinted labour which was spread over an uninterrupted period of a hundred years and finally, the sculpture with which it is adorned have been aptly summed by Percy Brown: “This plastic decoration is something more than a record of artistic form, it is a great spiritual achievement, each portion being a rich statement glowing with meaning.”. As you progress, the caves slowly expand and decorate themselves towards north to race with Hinduism for benefaction. According to older historical accounts, the Ajanta caves were originally built in 2 phases with the first group of caves built around 2nd century BCE and the second group built between 400–650 CE. There is a large figure of Maya, Buddha’s mother. If you are choosing buses or cabs, you can find direct transportation from Mumbai. The other one is that of Mahamayuri with peacock and a student below on the right. The iconic element of this structure is a large lotus carving on the ceiling. The reliefs hold Saivam related carvings. An astounding masterwork with stunning spatial effects, its construction was started by the Rashtrakuta king Krishna I, which took 100 years to finish.