Bike Trip to Ajanta And Ellora Caves – Part 1

P.S: I have revisited Ellora caves recently and made a Hyperlapse video of the whole caves complex.Please visit my latest blog on the Ellora caves by clicking on the below link here

Day 1: Pune to Ellora caves

We set out on a yet another Bke trip . Me and Asim reached joined Rakesh at his Magarpatta residence and then we set out on the bike trip . The Distance of Ellora caves from Pune by road is around 260kms and to Ajanta is around 350kms. So it was decided to reach Aurangabad ,visit Ellora caves and the next day press ahead towards Ajanta Caves complex .

The roads were fabulous and we were able to reach Ellora before 1pm .On way we got know Aurangabad also has other famous historical places like Biwi-ka-makbara and the Daulatabad fort . As our main point of visit was Ellora so we went directly ,skipping these two places for some other day.

We reached the Ellora Temple at around noon .And after having lunch we headed to Ellora Caves .The Ellara Caves are well connected to the main city-Aurangabad. One can easily find cheap transport if you do not have personal transport means .The Temple complex gates opens at 7am till 6pm and ASI-Archeaological Society of India is doing tremendous amount of restoration efforts which is quite commendable.

Some facts on Ellora caves – The actual name of Ellora cave is Verul Leni but Britishers found the name difficult to pronounce so they renamed these caves as Ellora caves . The main attraction in Ellora cave is Kailashnatha Temple. The Kailashnatha Temple ,cave number 16 is amongst the 34 caves of Ellora.The caves of Ellora are a product of three religious systems – Buddhism, Brahmanism and Jainism .Each one of them brought in their own individual style of architecture. Ellora has around 34 rock cut caves, the first twelve Buddhist, the next sixteen Brahmanical and the last four Jain. All the caves have been excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills visioned top to down .One could imagine by how much difficulty this master piece would have been achieved  when there were no computer ,heavy drillers and cutters.

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Main entrance

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This rock piece was made out of single rock ,Visioned top to down

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Back side of Kailasha Temple

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View from the top side of the hill

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The Mahabharata as depicted on rocks

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The central Mandapa connecting the main temple

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Zoom in

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The double storied cave complex

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Inside Kailasha Temple Cave

Cave No 16 or the Kailashanatha Temple is the unrivalled masterpiece of Ellora. This muti-storeyed temple that would cover two-thirds of a football field is hewn out of a single monolith and is meant to mimic the appearance of Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva. The temple resembles other south Indian temples built by Rashtrakuta rulers based on the Dravidian style architecture like Pattadakal or Halebid. The temple is richly carved with pilasters, windows and niches and various master pieces of Hindu Mythology adorn the walls of this temple. Sculptures of the Natya(Dancing) Shiva and a scene depicting the wedding of Shiva and Parvathi and another depicting Ravana trying to lift Mount Kailasha are a few of the highlights.

We were awestruck by the sheer display of workmanship of the sculpturers who worked day a night to bring life out of the rocks  .No monument/place anywhere in the world can beats this place and one has to be here to believe it .

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Please read on my next Part of this blog here -http://www.thetruewanderer.com/biking/bike-trip-to-ajanta-and-ellora-caves-part-2/

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