When you travel to Ellora, you will love to visit popular tourist spots and enjoy the local culture. Amongst other Things to do in Ellora, you can surely explore some of the best things to do in Ellora to make your trip a fulfilling one. On a trip to Ellora things to do can include exploring Ellora attractions and visiting the places of interest.
The BuddhistCaves were excavated between the period of the 5th and the 7th century. It was believed that these Buddhist caves were the first caves to be created but later it was found out that some of the Hindu caves were built before them. These excavations consist majorly of monasteries which are huge, high-rise buildings carved into the front face of the mountain. These also include the living spaces, sleeping rooms, kitchens and other facilities. In a lot of these caves, a look of wood has been tried to give to the stone by the sculptors. Further than the high-rise buildings, there are church-like stupas which are also known as Chaitya and their ceilings are such carved that they give a feel of wooden beams. Right at the centre of the cave, there is a huge fifteen feet figurine of Lord Buddha in a sermonizing pose.
These Hindu caves have been excavated from the 6th to the 8th century. There are 17 Hindu caves and they all depict various styles of imaginative vision and implementation expertise. A few carvings were so complex that they took numerous generations and execution and co-ordination of a lot of skilled people to complete. These also contain engravings on almost every part of the cave. These include the doors and windows and even the pillars and the walls of the caves. On one of the walls of the cave there is a sculpture of Lord Vishnu turning into a man-lion to fight against a demon. On the second floor of one of the caves, there are sculptures of elephants and many other various animals which are of actual size. There are erotic sculptures of Hindu deities and mythological creatures. There are many sculptures which have now been destroyed over the past but still are a major attraction.
Although a historical place, children can still have a lot of fun at Ellora. The kids can enjoy the inscriptions on the walls of the caves and the stories behind them. The explorations of the caves itself will provide them with enough thrill and adventure.
The Kailasnath temple is unrivalled centrepiece of Ellora. This has been constructed for the recollection of Lord Shiva. It has been carved out of one single piece of rock. The two-floor gate opens to a u-shaped courtyard. On the edge of the courtyard, there are galleries which are three floors high. These galleries have huge carved boards and niches consisting of giant sculptures of various idols. In the previous times, the galleries were connected to the centre temple through bridges, which are no more there. The courtyard has three structures in it. They are the sacred bull Nandi, Mantapa and Mandapa. The bases of these have been such carved that they depict an actual sized elephant holding the whole structure over it. In a whole, the temple is a pyramidal arrangement and is connected to the Shiva temple with a rock bridge. The shrine is complete with the pillars, windows, inside, outside, meeting halls, the huge Lingam at the centre, fortes, pillars, windows as well as the mithunas.
The Dashavatara were earlier a Buddhist monastery. It has a two floored dig up temple at the back, a free standing monumental mandapa in the middle and an open court. The designing of the shrine is the same as some of the Buddhist caves. The pillars on the top floor depict a large number of themes which consist of ten avatars of Lord Vishnu. The carving depicting the death of Hiranyakashipu is known as the best relief. In this Lord Vishnu is in his man-lion form and he is emerging out of a pillar to put a fatal arm on Hiranyakashipu.
The Jain caves in Ellora were formed between the 9th and the 10th century. Jainism has two sects- the Digambars’ and Swetambars’. The caves belong to the Digambars’. The Jain caves depict the very precise dimensions of the Jain thinking and customs. In Jainism, there is strictness in asceticism. This asceticism is not very large when compared to others but they have remarkably precise art work.
This Sabha is a two floored cave which has colossal temples in its court. It has a very precise carving of the lotus on its ceiling. It has the designation of “IndraSabha” maybe because it is meaningfully over-elaborate and this can be also because of the statue of Yaksha sitting over an elephant, which once depicted Indra. On the topmost area of the two floored temple, there is a statue of Ambika. In this statue she is sitting over a lion. She is loaded with fruits and is beneath a mango tree.
These caves are located at a distance of about 9 km from the city of Aurangabad. These caves house the ancient temples of 6th and 8th century A.D.Again at Aurangabad after a careful study of both caves I and III, the conclusion the Historians have come to is that cave III was earlier to cave I. In Cave III there are surprisingly neat and organized designs of fretwork, scrolls, and panel of couples, tassels, flowers and geometrical designs.
It is a mausoleum that was constructed in the 17th century. It is located about 8 km away from Aurangabad.
It is a water mill that was set up by the Mughal rulers. This mill was set up in memory of a saint named Baba Shah Muzaffar.
Among the other attractions in Ellora are the different festivals that are observed each year in the locality. During the winter months, the Ellora Festival of Classical Music and Dance is arranged here by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation. Many famous artists come to Maharashtra during this time of the year to take part in this cultural festival.
There is a music and dance programme that takes place every year in Ellora. It is famous as the Ajanta Ellora festival. This programme takes place in January in Aurangabad. In Aurangabad there is the SoneriMahal which is the destination for the festival. Thousands of people come and visit Ellora during this time. The main reason for this programme is to get more eyes to the historical sites which are present all around Aurangabad. These include the caves of Ajanta and Ellora, imbibing centuries of history and culture.
The famous dhabas in Ellora are the Gaur Maratha Dhaba, Quality Food Dhaba, Annapurna Family Restaurant, Maharashtra Family Dhaba and National Dhaba. You get all the sort of Indian dishes that you want here. From CholaBhatura to Naan to Tandoori Rotis to PavBhaji and many more dishes are available here.
There are limited options for shopping in Ellora. However, just outside the Ellora caves, you will find shops selling semi-precious stones, beads, silver items, hand carved sculptures of Buddha, footwear, apparel and various other accessories. Paintings of various Hindu gods and Lord Buddha can be found here. There are traditional Bidri art objects with silver inlay available in these shops. Bidri artefacts are made of iron, zinc, copper and other metals and are well known for the intricate designs. You can also find the Himroo shawls which has designs from the Ajanta paintings. You can also buy the PaithaniSarees woven from silk threads.