Ellora Caves, troglodyte treasure • Maharashtra, India

Discover the fascinating world of cave temples in Ellora, Maharashtra, India. This video takes you on a journey through the complex, showcasing the stunning Kailasanatha Temple and the intricate Vishwakarma Cave. With a runtime of less than 11 minutes, you'll get an in-depth look at the rich history of these troglodyte structures. And with accompanying text explaining the context and significance of these temples, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for the art and architecture that went into creating them. Don't miss this chance to explore the marvels of Ellora's caves!

This film was made on the basis of photos and videos taken during the trip India - Kumbh Mela 2016 in Ujjain • Madhya Pradesh • Maharashtra • Goa (EN)

vimeo chapterA click on this icon above displays the list of chapters of this film about Maharashtra • state of western India in India. A click on a dot goes directly to a chapter.

Reading the text below will help you better understand the historical context of the sites shown in this video.

00:59 • Jain nuns on pilgrimage

01:26 • In the caves

07:27 • The temple of Kailâsanâtha


The state of Maharashtra in central India is home to several extraordinary sets of temples and cave monasteries, carved out of very hard basalt.

Ellora and Ajanta

The Ellora caves are more recent than those of Ajanta . If the Ajanta site was excavated between the 3rd century BC and the 7th century AD, those of Ellora were excavated between the 7th and 11th centuries AD.

One of the remarkable peculiarities of the Ellora caves is the fact that they contain temples of 3 of the most important religions of India: 12 Buddhist caves, 17 Hinduists and 5 Jains. This reflects well the religious tolerance that characterized India at that time.

Buddhist caves

The Buddhist caves are the oldest, since they were dug between 500 and 650 AD.

The most famous of these is the Vishwakarma cave (also called the carpenter's cave because of its ceiling and its entrance reminiscent of wooden beams). Like the other Buddhist caves on the site, Vishwakarma was a monastery where Buddhist monks lived, but it also has a shrine with a huge statue of Buddha.

Hindu caves

Hindu temples excavated in basalt are slightly newer and were built around the 7th century. The most impressive of these cave temples is certainly the temple of Kailasanatha. Equal in size to at least twice that of the Parthenon of Athens, the temple of Kailasanatha is of an extreme delicacy and was entirely excavated in the cliff.

This temple recalls the shape of Mount Kailash, home of the god Shiva in the heights of the Himalayas. This temple is dedicated to Shiva.

Entirely carved from top to bottom in the cliff, the temple of Kailasanatha is probably the largest monolithic monument in the world. Its realization is a real technical feat.

Jain Caves

More modest in size, the Jain caves at the Ellora site are no less remarkable for the finesse of their decoration.

Another difference between the excavated Jain temples at the Ellora site and the Buddhist or Hindu caves is that their ceilings were usually painted. Their construction would last from the 9th to the 12th century AD.


about the place, Ellora Caves:

The Ellora caves complex includes more than 100 cavities dug in the basalt. Among the 34 caves open to the public, 12 of them are Buddhist, 17 Hindu and 5 Jain. Each brings together statues of deities and mythologies that prevailed during the first millennium. Many were monasteries for the respective religions.

Cave nr 16, the Kailasha temple is the largest excavated monument in the world.


Spoken comments in the film: 

In India, in the state of Maharashtra, there are incredible archaeological wonders. A group of temples carved into a granite cliff during the first centuries of our era. These temples are Buddhist, Hindu and Jain, which once again proves India's great religious tolerance. 

The Ellora Caves complex has more than a hundred cavities carved into the basalt. 

Among the 34 caves open to the public, 12 of them are Buddhist, 17 Hindu and 5 Jain. Each includes statues of deities and mythologies that prevailed during the first millennium. 

Many were monasteries for the respective religions. Cave number 16, Kailasha Temple is the largest excavated monument in the world.



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group of Jain nuns, Ellora • India • Maharashtra

group of Jain nuns

in the caves, Ellora • India • Maharashtra

in the caves

carpenter's cave, Ellora • India • Maharashtra

carpenter's cave

Overview of the excavated temples, Ellora • India • Maharashtra

Overview of the excavated temples

Ellora Caves

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