- Country – India
- State – Maharashtra
- PIN code – 431102
- STD code – 02437
- ISD code - +91 – 02437
- Language – Marathi, Hindi, English
- Best period – November to February
- Weather – Hot and dry
- Currency – Indian Rupees
- Major airport – Aurangabad airport
Ajanta and Ellora are the two undoubtedly the biggest attractions of Maharashtra. One cannot leave out Ajanta when talking about Ellora. As they both comprise of caves that were carved out hundreds of years ago and remained in obscurity till John Smith stumbled upon them accidentally. Ellora like Ajanta is a protected monument and has been declared the World Heritage site. Ellora is famous for its architecture and the monasteries and the Buddhist temples that have been cut out of the single mountain rock. There are 34 caves in all that are halls of worship and were built in the 5th century AD. This unique creation has attracted millions of tourists from within the country as well as outside.
The attraction of Ellora is centered at the Kailasa Temple, which is built in Dravidian Art and is simply amazing. The architectural splendor is simply incredible at Ellora caves where the 17 Hindu caves along with the 5 Jain temples with 12 Buddhist caves are fine examples of art. The Hindu caves come with intricate designs and layout. The 16th cave is the most attractive. Even the Buddhist caves are great with various rooms like living quarters, kitchen and large multi stories buildings.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit is from November to February. However, many visitors also visit the caves during the monsoons as you can see the gushing water from the mountain top in streams from the top of the caves. The forest is dense at this time, and the area is filled with greenery everywhere.
Summer – Summers are very hot and dry, and the temperature can reach around 43 degree Celsius. The summer months are from February to May.
Monsoons – Monsoons begin in June and lasts through October. The rains here are heavy, but the temperature is low and makes the atmosphere very pleasing.
Winter – The best months to visit Ellora. November to February are winter months, which make sightseeing very convenient. The temperature is low, and that is why it makes the visit pleasing.
How to reach
Ellora is in the district of Aurangabad, which has a good railway station, airport and also roads. It is well connected to the rest of the county.
Air – The nearest airport is in Aurangabad. From here one can take a taxi and reach the Ellora caves. The airport is around 15 km away from the city. Various flights regularly ply from Aurangabad to other cities like Delhi, Udaipur, Mumbai and Jaipur.
Railway – Jalgaon is the nearest railway station which is 53 km from the caves. Major trains stop on this route, which makes traveling by train convenient as well. One can hire a bus or taxi to reach Ellora caves.
Roads – The city of Aurangabad is well connected by the National Highway, and that makes it easy to reach Ellora by road from any part of the country.
Hinduism is a major religion followed in Aurangabad with almost 51.07% followed by Islam with approximately 41.79%, and the rest are Buddhists and Christians, Jains, etc. At Ellora, you can find the grand Kailasa Temple at cave 16 that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It’s a marvelous piece of architecture with special effects given to the whole temple. The construction is a feat of the human genius, which entailed the removal of 250,000 tons of rock, which took 100 years to complete. Another Hindu cave is the cave 21 and in cave 25 the Sun God temple. Also, visit the Jain caves with exceptionally detailed artworks and rich paintings on the ceilings.
There are no museums at the Ellora caves, but you can visit the museum in Aurangabad city that is the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum, which showcases many interesting facts of history and different objects belonging to those times
For Parks and gardens you need to visit the city of Aurangabad where there are few well-maintained parks like the Bani Begum Garden, which has a fantastic structure and intricate work on the tomb of Bani Begum. Around it is a well laid out garden as well. Siddharth Garden is another garden for nature lovers where you can spend some time with the exquisite flowers and plants. The other gardens in the city are Siddharth Udyan and Jhansi Rani Udyan.
There are plenty of options to stay in the city of Aurangabad and on the outskirts. Here you can find some cheap and also luxurious resorts according to your requirement. In Ellora you have Hotel Kalidas, which is a good option to stay with comfortable accommodation; the MTDC also is a good place to stay for the night with nice location and good food.
You can find some good clean hotels here like the Vrindavan resort on the main road to Ellora. Some of the hotels that are excellent are in the city of Aurangabad like the Hotel JP International, Vivanta by Taj, Hotel Green Olive, etc.
In Aurangabad, you should taste the local dishes, which are awesome. They are a good blend of Hyderabadi and Mughal cuisine. Try the local Tahri, Naan Qalia, etc. Apart from this, you can try the local Maharashtrian food, which is spicy and hot. The Vrindavan Restaurant is famous for its meals which are very tasty and very unique in their preparations. The Ellora canteen and restaurant is also a good restaurant for snacks and breakfast. Hiranya Lakeside valley resort is another good restaurant here
In Ellora, the caves are the historic structures that you will admire and love. Apart from this the city of Aurangabad has a rich history and culture. However, Ellora also has some ancient history, which is interesting. Ellora is the epitome of the rock-cut architecture in India. The 34 caves tell a lot about the culture of those times and the life which prevailed then. The Hindu, Buddhist and Jain temples along with the viharas and mathas were all built during the 5th century to 10th century. They are simply magnificent and should not be missed. The intricate designs on the caves and the temple of Kailasa do not have words to describe the art which was done without any technology or instruments.
Shopping in Ellora is not a grand affair. But just outside the caves, you will find sellers with semi-precious stones, beads, hand-carved sculptures of Buddha, apparel, silver items, etc. you can also find interesting Bidri artifacts as well. The Himroo shawls are a local product here. Do not miss the Paithani saree or shawls made of pure silk.
At Ellora you can indulge in walking the trails to the caves and exploring the caves at the same time. The other activities include hiking, trekking, cycling and paragliding. Private companies arrange it for you.
The various caves in the Ellora region are the only attractions here. Apart from that, the city of Aurangabad has several sites that offer tourists its rich history and tradition.
Ajanta cave – These caves are as interesting as the Ellora caves, and one can admire the 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments that date right from the 2nd century.
Grishneshwar temple – The temple is very close to Ellora caves and has been dedicated to Lord Shiva. It’s a beautiful temple with ancient architecture with sculptures of Gods and Goddesses.
Ellora is famous all over the world for the magnificent carvings, done in those times when there was nothing to be done using technology. The artisans of those times were truly blessed with the unusual talent to have created such art of beauty that is still admired by a man.