Buddhist Group Of Caves, Ellora

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Cave 1

The first cave ever to be carved out, it is a Buddhist monastery built towards the South. It only consists of four cells, and has no sculptures of any kind.

Cave 2

Another shrine built in Lord Buddha’s memory, it is at the end of a long flight of stairs. It consists of a mandap that has Buddha’s unfinished images, segregated into a gallery. The sculptures found here are grand and huge, with many deities being depicted including – the God of Wealth, Panchika, and The Goddess of Prosperity, Hariti.

Cave 3

Nowhere close to the other caves in its historical charm, this cave has an incomplete image of Buddha in a seated position, alongwith other small motifs and symbols that decorate the place.

Cave 4

Once as big as two storeys, Cave no. 4 is presently in ruins. This cave too has the image of a seated Buddha.

Cave 5

Spanning across a depth of an astonishing 117 feet and 59 feet in width, this cave is essentially a Vihara (monastery), and goes by the name – Maharvada. It houses 20 rooms for Buddhist monks alongside a beautiful shrine for Lord Buddha. There are two, long and narrow benches that must not be missed while here.

Cave 6

This cave accommodates a hall in a rectangle shape. Images of Boddhisattva and Goddesses Mahamayuri and Tara adorn this place.

Cave 7

This cave isn’t as significant as the other ones. It comprises of a plain hall with pillars.

Cave 8

A monastery once upon a time, this cave holds precious Buddha sculptures. One can go around this entire cave and explore.

Cave 9This cave houses a beautiful capture of Goddess Tara rescuing her worshippers from an elephant, a snake, a fire and a shipwreck. One can find an open terrace here, alongside a shrine.

Cave 10

This cave is named after the famous architect, Vishwakarma. It also goes by the name of Sutar Ka Jhopra – a carpenter’s hut. Carpenters visit this cave to pay homage to Vishwakarma. A Chaityagriha – Lord Buddha’s Chapel - can also be seen.

As you enter from the entrance door, be assured that the idol of Lord Buddha sitting in a Dharmacakra Pravartanamudra – its height touching at least 11 feet.

This cave is extremely significant as an important juncture in the Chaitya Dynasty period in India.

Cave 11 (Do Thal)

Do Thal literally translates to two storeys, however the cave is actually has three storeys. The name was given as Do Thal and not Teen Thal as the ground floor has actually crumpled and given way.

This cave too sees the Buddha in a seated, teaching position. Idols of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Durga can be seen here.

Cave 12 (Teen Thal)

This is the largest monastry in the entire state of Maharashtra. It is three storeys long. A wide entrance ends you up iin a huge courtyard. There are individual stairs that lead one to the respective storeys. This hall has numerous pillars and images and sculptures of a seated Buddha and other deities.

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