Ellora Caves, Hindu Caves, Kailasha Temple, Buddhist Caves & Other Hindu Caves for Rajasthan PSC Exam

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Ellora Caves

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

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

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

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
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

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.