Ellora Caves in Maharashtra

Buddhism in Ellora Caves
Ellora Caves
Ellora Cave

These 34 monasteries and temples, extending over more than 2 km, were dug side by side in the wall of a high basalt cliff, not far from Aurangabad, in Maharashtra. Ellora, with its uninterrupted sequence of monuments dating from A.D. 550 to 1000, brings the civilization of ancient India to life. Not only is the Ellora complex a unique artistic creation and a technological exploit but, with its sanctuaries devoted to Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, it illustrates the spirit of tolerance that was characteristic of ancient India.

It was developed in the following three phases: 

  1. 550 – 600 AD – Hindu Phase
  2. 600 – 730 AD – Buddhist Phase
  3. 730 – 950 AD – Hindu and Jain Phase
 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). 

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