Ellora Caves, Hindu caves, Kailasha temple, Buddhist caves & Other Hindu caves for Punjab PSC

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Ellora Caves

Image of Ellora Caves

Image of Ellora Caves

  • Ellora is known for Hindu, Buddhist and Jain cave temples built during (6th and 9th centuries) the rule of the Kalachuri, Chalukya, and Rashtrakuta dynasties.

  • Time period-between 6th and 9th centuries

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • The "caves" are actually structures excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills.

  • Hindu, Buddhist and Jain rock-cut temples, viharas, and mathas were built between the 5th century and 10th century.

  • The Hindu (caves ), 12 Buddhist (caves ) and Jain (caves ) caves, built in proximity, demonstrate the religious harmony prevalent during this period of Indian history

  • Excavated on the sloping side of the hill and not in a perpendicular cliff

  • So most of the temples have courtyards and sometimes an outer wall with an entrance

Hindu Caves

Image of Hindu Caves

Image of Hindu Caves

  • Between the middle of sixth century to the end of the eighth century

  • The early caves (caves) were constructed during the Kalachuriperiod.

  • he caves and were constructed during the Rashtrakuta period

  • All these structures represent a different style of creative vision and execution skills.

  • Some were of such complexity that they required several generations of planning and co-ordination to complete.

  • Cave , also known as the Kailasa temple,

  • This is designed to recall Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva – looks like a freestanding, multistoried temple complex, but it was carved out of one single rock, and covers an area double the size of Parthenon in Athens.

  • Initially the temple was covered with white plaster thus even more increasing the similarity to snow covered Mount Kailash.

Kailasha Temple

Image of Kailasha Temple

Image of Kailasha Temple

  • One of the grandest monolithic excavation in the world.

  • A two storeyed gateway resembling a South Indian Gopuram opens to reveal a U-shaped courtyard.

  • The courtyard is edged by columned galleries three storeys high.

  • The temple itself is a tall pyramidal structure reminiscent of a South Indian Dravidian temple.

  • Most of the deities at the left of the entrance are Shaivaite (followers of Shiva) while on the right hand side the deities are Vaishnavaites (followers of Vishnu).

  • There are two Dhvajastambhas (pillars with the flagstaff) in the courtyard.

  • The grand sculpture of Ravana attempting to lift Mount Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva, with his full might is a landmark in Indian art.

  • The temple is a splendid achievement of Rashtrakuta Karnataka architecture. This project was started by Krishna I () of the Rashtrakuta dynasty.

  • Its builders modelled it on the lines of the Virupaksha Temple in Pattadakal.

Other Hindu Caves

Image of Dashavatara Buddhist monastery

Image of Dashavatara Buddhist Monastery

  • The Dashavatara (Cave ) was begun as a Buddhist monastery.

  • It has an open court with a freestanding monolithic mandapa at the middle and a two-storeyed excavated temple at the rear.

  • The layout of the temple is closely related to caves and 12. Large sculptural panels between the wall columns on the upper floor illustrate a wide range of themes, which include the ten avatars of Vishnu.

  • the finest relief of this cave is the one depicting the death of Hiranyakashipu

Image of Death of Hiranyakshypu

Image of Death of Hiranyakshypu

  • Other notable Hindu caves are the Rameshvara (Cave ), which has figurines of river goddesses Ganga and Yamuna at the entrance

  • The Dhumar Lena (Cave) whose design is similar to the cave temple on Elephanta Island.

  • Two other caves, theRavan ki Khai (Cave ) and the Nilkantha (Cave ) also have several sculptures.

  • The rest of the Hindu caves, which include the Kumbharvada (Cave) and the Gopilena (Cave ) have no significant sculptures.

Buddhist Caves

Image of Buddhist cave

Image of Buddhist Cave

  • During the th-th century

  • These structures consist mostly of viharas or monasteries: large, multistoried buildings carved into the mountain face, including living quarters, sleeping quarters, kitchens, and other rooms.

  • Some of these monastery caves have shrines including carvings of Gautama Buddha, bodhisattvas and saints.

  • Most famous of the Buddhist caves is cave ,(refer map) a chaitya hall (chandrashala) or 'Vishvakarma cave', popularly known as the 'Carpenter's Cave'.

  • Cathedral-like stupa hall also known as chaitya, whose ceiling has been carved to give the impression of wooden beams. At the heart of this cave is a 15-foot statue of Buddha seated in a preaching pose.

  • He Vishwakarma (Cave 10) is the only chaitya griha amongst the Buddhist group of caves. It is locally known as Vishwakarma"celestial architect" or Sutar ka jhopda "carpenter's hut“

  • A large Bodhi tree is carved at the back.

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