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India's Caves - Ellora Caves
The second leg of my journey on visiting caves of India takes me to the world heritage site of the "Ellora Caves". These majestic caves are located 29km North-West of the city of Aurangabad in the Indian state of Maharashtra. These caves were built during the "Rashtrakuta dynasty".
It is figured that these caves would have been built sometime between the 6th and 10th centuries. It is an archaelogical site where the caves are located. The carvings of the caves started around 550AD into the side of "Charanandui" hill. These caves started being built during the time period that Buddhism was on the decline in India. Hinduism was on the raise at this time. Rashtrakute and Chalukya were two kings that oversaw most of the work at the Ellora caves. In the 700's the Kailasa Temple was on of the works that they supervised. These caves do not have the same exotic location as the "Ajanta caves" but they are no less incredible in their own right.
Temples of 3 Religions
It is amazing to see that three separate religions have temples at Ellora located side by side and at peace complimenting each other. These temples show the world how different religions can live in harmony side by side. This sight shows the world a positive message in that people who have different religious points of view for example can still live in harmony. India is letting the world know that all are welcome and will be tolerated no matter what their religious beliefs are. At the Ellora Caves there is Buddhist Caves, Hindu Caves and Jaim Caves. With all the conflict going on in the world much being religious based it is nice to see a place where different religions are intertwined with each other in a harmonious way. We need more positive messages in the world that we can experience; teaching us to live in peace instead of being at war against those who are different from us. These caves symbolize that different people can live beside each other in peace; excepting each other's ways of living and their individual beliefs.
Day Trip to the Caves
These caves would be such a delight to visit; this would be an experience that one would never forget. My personal favorite stone sculptures that I would love to see live is the beautiful giant sculptures of Elephants at Ellora; they stand outside the caves looking so majestic and all powerful. I can't imagine the dedication, discipline and patience the stone carvers must have had in carving these. It took many years for these elephants to be carved each out of one huge piece of stone. If you ever end up in India on your travels I suggest you take a day trip that will take you to both cave sites (Ajanta and Ellora). This would be a trip well worth your while as you will be able to experience a piece of India's history in architecture and religion.