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Ellora Caves


Hidden in the hills of Maharashtra lies one of the wonders of the world - monumental rock carvings of enormous size and dedication, reminding passerby’s of what is to come.

Excavated straight from the charcoal-gray slopes of the Charanandri Hills in Maharashtra, the Ellora Caves represent the pinnacle of Indian rock-cut architecture and Buddhist artistic expression. The sheer scale, craftsmanship, and dedication to construct these megalithic sculptures directly from a mountains remains hard to fathom. Unlike the Mogao Caves etched into desert dunes on the edge of China, Ellora's monasteries and halls were hammered and chiseled out of solid basalt cliffs. 


The crown jewel is the enormous Kailasha temple - a megalithic replica of Mount Kailash, the sacred summit abode of Lord Shiva. Hewn from one single rock slope, the temple required removing 200,000 tonnes of stone by primitive means. The fact that Kailasha could be envisioned and manifested purely from faith and perseverance makes it even more unfathomable. One can envision the cultural interchanges as saffron-robed pilgrims from China, Tibet and Southeast Asia paused to admire these monumental stone wonders. Far more than just an architectural feat, Ellora represents the Silk Road's role in bringing creative influences from across Asia to new heights, where it still continues to welcome millions of visitors to India's crossroads of civilizations.

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How We Got Here

We reached Aurangabad, the nearest city, by train, and from there made a two-hour bus journey to the caves.

The Highlight

Stepping into every one of the dozens of caves, from the simple to the downright wondrous. Ellora surpassed the Taj Mahal as the architectural highlight of India.

Our Treasure

Exploring every nook and cranny of the Kailash Temple, a structure to this day that I'm at a loss of words. The fact this was carved from a single rock is beyond mind-blowing.

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     ➨  India and the Silk Road

S N A P S H O T S   O N   T H E   R O A D

W H E R E   W I L L   Y O U R   J O U R N E Y   T A K E   Y O U   N E X T ?

Wandering the stone halls, contemplating the devotion of the worshippers, and standing in amazement at what people can accomplish - the Ellora Caves have no equal.

After befriending a monk, he inviting you to another series of hidden caves not far - the Ajanta Caves. Do you follow him or continue south to Goa on the shores of the Indian Ocean?


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