DMPQ- Write a short note on Ellora caves.

Ellora Caves

It one of the largest rock-hewn monastic-temple complexes in the entire world. There are 34 caves, structures are excavated out of the vertical face of the hills.

Cave Architecture –

Out of these, there are 12 Mahayana Buddhist caves (caves 1-12), 17 Hindu caves (caves 13-29) and 5 caves of the Jain faith (caves 30-34). The Ellora Caves are not only a unique artistic creation but also with its sanctuaries devoted to Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, it illustrates the spirit of tolerance that was characteristic of ancient India.

Kailashnath Temple [CAVE 16] –

 

Ascribed to Krishna I, a Rashtrakuta ruler this temple was constructed around the middle 8th Century AD. This temple is world famous for being the largest single monolithic excavation in the world. The temple architecture shows traces of Pallava and Chalukya styles. This amalgamation is a result of influence of Virupaksha temple of Pattadakal (Chalukyan temple) and Kailasa temple of Kanchi (Pallave temple). Though it needs to be specified, Kailash temple is not an exact imitation of these temples.

The temple is chiefly a Shaivite temple although sculptures belonging to Vaishnavism are also found here.

The temple consists of four parts – the main shrine, the entrance gateway, an intermediate shrine for Nandi and mandapa surrounding the courtyard.

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