The other half of Ajanta is Ellora. They sound more like girls names then ancient sites. These sites probably did not see any women present at all but they are definitely worth looking into as Ellora is the follow-on from Ajanta and spans the 5th Century to the 8th and 9th Century AD. Here there are no paintings. There may have been some but most have been destroyed or defaced. What is very impressive on this site of three to four kilometres, and worthy of a long day's investigations, are the temples carved in basal stone.
However you have to see it to believe it because telling you about how they did it just does not convey the enormity of it. They built a temple, the biggest one in this complex, known as the Kailas, from the top downwards. So imagine you have one huge lump of rock and a chisel and hammer and you start from the roof top and you chisel all the way down to the bottom creating the most exquisite statues, columns, sanctuaries and interconnecting structures, in perfect symmetry with no corrections or omissions but from ONE ROCK. This is the biggest monolithic temple in the world and it is truly something to behold. Not surprisingly it is a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE.
The so called 34 caves are actually man made and are all Buddhist, Hindu and Jain temples. There is surprisingly little differentiating them on the surface but the devil or should we say the god is in the detail. Today I will just talk to you about Kailas as this is the one you meet first.This is a picture of it dug out from the rock.The Hindu temple's shape and structure resembles a chariot.
The immense hallways dug into the rock
The pillars on either side of the temple are 17 metres high and are symbols of the caves.
The Gajalaxmi on a lotus in the lotus pond with elephants bathing her.
We walked all round the top of the temple and took the pictures looking down.
The other Hindu temples are not as impressive in grandeur but they have exquisite carvings like the statue of Ganga here.