Ellora Caves, Hindu caves, Kailasha temple, Buddhist caves & Other Hindu caves for Competitive Exams

Download PDF of This Page (Size: 2.1M)

Ellora Caves

Image of 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

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

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

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

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

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.