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Mezze is widely served in the Greek and Middle eastern world. An assortment of little dishes and tasters which accompany a nice ouzo or a glass of wine. So when you read mezze moments you will have tasty snippets of life as I live it, India for four years and now Brisbane Australia, all served up with some Greek fervour and passion.

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Monday, 19 December 2011

Ellora Caves

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
 There are panels of elephants and lions and behind are the steps which lead up to the main temple.
 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.
More on the Buddhist and Jain temples soon.


  1. Mind-blowing, is it not ?

    How on earth could these ancient Indians have carved out just some parts of the mountain, so as to leave behind only the treasure that we see before us today ? ideas difficult for to even conceive or grasp, yet these ancient geniuses went ahead, and wrought this poetry in stone !!

    Clearly, evidence of a very advanced civilization in ancient India. And this gentle-giant of a civilization has been reduced to poverty by the thousands of years of cruel invasions from various barbarians. How tragic !

    Meanwhile, Ajanta and Ellora, though not very commonly, have indeed been used as names for Indian girls.

  2. these look absolutely spectacular- what a wonderful trip

  3. Nicely put poetry in stone.
    Thank you for your comments MM

  4. Beautiful photographs.. Ellora caves are one of the finest archeological site of India and splendid sculptures...

  5. Very well written post, thoroughly enjoyed it. Ellora Caves
    is really amassing place. You can also check my post at Ellora Caves History at http://www.touristsafari.com/caves/ellora-caves


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