Brahmanical Group of Caves, Ellora

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Cave 13

This cave isn’t of much significant interest.

Cave 14 

This cave goes by the name – Raavan Ki Khai. The reason behind the origination of the name is yet not known. It comprises a massive courtyard apart from a shrine. The shrine has a circular passage that can be walked around. The walls of the shrine have images of the Vaishnava faith sculpted on them.

The other walls consist of images of Goddesses Durga and Gajalakshmi. The courtyard floor has four unexplained pits. This cave paved the way to the other Hindu Caves here. The courtyard has a Shiv Ling in its centre.

Cave 15 

The only cave to have sculptures carved out a monolithic rock, this cave signifies the Dasavatara or the Ten Incarnations of Vishnu. There exists a two storeyed mandap with the entire history of the ruling dynasties there in chronological order. The representations are interestingly part Buddhist while part-Hindu/Brahmanical.

Cave 16 

This is the most iconic cave of the lot present at Ellora and also the largest ever excavation in the entire world. It is named the Kailasa and is carved into a massive, gorgeous temple. It is devoted to Lord Shiva who resided in Kailash. The temple has clearly drawn inspiration from the Virupaksha Temple, a temple built during the Chalukya Dynasty.

The cave is basically divided into the following parts – the Entrance, the Temple, the Nandi Shrine and the surrounding Cloisters. This place holds great interest and information for anyone even slightly interested in archaeology.

The cave consists of a shrine, mandap, magnificent sculptures and representations, and many fascinating pillars – all carved out from the monolith parent rock.

Cave 21 

This cave goes by the name Ramesvara and is one of the earliest caves to be carved out here. It is unique in its scultural depictions of the various Hindu deities.

This cave too is devoted to Lord Shiva and has a Linga and a Nandi as his famous representations. There also exists a mandap, as found in other caves. The walls have beautiful depictions of Goddesses Ganga and Yamuna, alongwith a representation of Lord Shiv and Goddess Parvati’s marriage.

A circumambulatory passage makes Pradakshna possible here.

Cave 29 

Known as the Dumar Lena, Cave 29 is situated by the Sita Ka Nahani – a pool there. It is an isolated shrine which is home to a big Linga. The hall has four Dwarapalaks – Door Guards - surrounding it. This cave resembles the Elephanta Caves, that is found near Mumbai.

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