India: Ellora Caves वेरुळ लेणी

Right after my harrowing experience with a “friendly” Indian tour guide at Daultabad Fort, we took our little excursion over to Ellora Caves. Nothing as exciting as our experience at the Fort occurred and maybe that was best. What struck me about the Caves what their sheer beauty, age, and how well they have been preserved, considering they were constructed in the 6th-9th Centuries!

A little bit about this amazing site:

Ellora is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of major tourist attraction in Maharashtra. Ellora represents the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture. The 34 “caves” are actually structures excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills. Hindu, Buddhist and Jain rock-cut temples and viharas and mathas were built between the 5th century and 10th century. The 17 Hindu, 12 Buddhist, and 5 Jain caves, demonstrate the religious harmony prevalent during this period of Indian history.

Paintings almost 1500 years old can still be seen on the stone walls

Paintings almost 1500 years old can still be seen on the stone walls

Walking up to the main structures, my imagination began running away with me. I couldn’t wait to get into the site and explore the secrets it held. I knew that my time was short, so I took in as much as I could.

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Walking through the caves still held up by columns over 1000 years old took my breath away. Down Loaded 6-21-07 356Down Loaded 6-21-07 319

The faded paintings on the walls still hinted at the once beauty of this place.

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Carvings, monuments, and statues, some up to two-stories tall stood guard over us as we explored.

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My only regrets are 1) When I was in college, I didn’t know a thing about taking good photographs, so most I took are useless and 2) we were not able to stay for more than 1 hour.

I would love to go back here and do this place justice by taking truly great photos of it.

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