Stephani Massa

Written by Stephani Massa

Modified & Updated: 02 Jun 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


The Ellora Caves, located in the state of Maharashtra, India, are a fascinating archaeological wonder and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These ancient cave temples showcase an exceptional blend of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain architecture, making them a testament to the religious harmony and cultural diversity of ancient India.

With a history spanning over a thousand years, the Ellora Caves are a treasure trove of remarkable facts and intriguing stories. From the massive monolithic structures to intricate carvings and exquisite sculptures, each cave offers a glimpse into the rich artistic and spiritual heritage of the region.

In this article, we will delve into 14 astounding facts about the Ellora Caves, shedding light on their architectural marvel, historical significance, and the myths and legends associated with them. Get ready to embark on a virtual tour of this remarkable site that continues to captivate visitors from around the world.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Ellora Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, showcase a blend of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain temples carved out of volcanic rock over 500 years, attracting visitors from around the world.
  • The Kailasa Temple, the largest monolithic structure in the world, and the intricate carvings at Ellora Caves reflect ancient craftsmanship and religious harmony in India.
Table of Contents

The Ellora Caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

These magnificent caves, located in Maharashtra, India, were recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in The caves showcase a unique blend of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain rock-cut temples and monasteries.

There are a total of 34 caves at the Ellora Caves complex.

The Ellora Caves complex is home to a remarkable collection of 34 caves, each with its own distinct architecture and religious significance. These caves were carved out of the volcanic basalt rock during the 6th and 10th centuries.

The Ellora Caves span over a period of 5 centuries.

The construction of the Ellora Caves took place over a span of 500 years, from the 5th to the 10th century. This speaks volumes about the incredible craftsmanship and dedication of the artisans who worked on these caves.

The caves feature intricate carvings and sculptures.

One of the most astonishing aspects of the Ellora Caves is the intricate carvings and sculptures found within them. From delicate floral motifs to larger-than-life statues, the craftsmanship on display is truly awe-inspiring.

Cave 10, also known as the Vishwakarma Cave, is the largest cave at Ellora.

The Vishwakarma Cave is a masterpiece of architectural brilliance. It is a two-story cave with elaborately carved pillars, multi-tiered shrines, and intricate detailing. This cave is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a must-visit for any visitor to Ellora.

The Kailasa Temple at Ellora is the largest monolithic structure in the world.

The Kailasa Temple, also known as Cave 16, is a marvel of ancient engineering. Carved out of a single rock, it stands as a testament to the skill and ingenuity of the artisans who built it. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a true architectural wonder.

The Ellora Caves are a symbol of religious harmony.

What makes the Ellora Caves truly unique is the coexistence of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain temples within the complex. The site stands as a testament to the religious harmony that prevailed in ancient India.

Cave 29, also known as the Dhumar Lena, is one of the earliest caves at Ellora.

Dhumar Lena, dating back to the 5th century, is one of the oldest caves at Ellora. It is a Buddhist cave and houses a beautiful Vihara or monastery.

The Ellora Caves inspired the creation of the Ajanta Caves.

The stunning rock-cut architecture of the Ellora Caves served as an inspiration for the creation of the nearby Ajanta Caves. Both sites are recognized as significant milestones in Indian art and architecture.

The Kailasa Temple at Ellora took over a century to complete.

Believed to have begun in the 8th century, the construction of the Kailasa Temple is said to have taken over a hundred years. The level of detail and precision in its carvings demonstrates the immense efforts that went into its creation.

Cave 16 is an architectural replica of Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva.

The Kailasa Temple, also known as Cave 16, is a faithful reproduction of Mount Kailash, which is considered the sacred abode of Lord Shiva. The temple complex depicts various mythological scenes and showcases the grandeur of Mount Kailash.

The Ellora Caves were declared a protected site in 1909.

To ensure the preservation of this cultural treasure, the Ellora Caves were declared a protected site by the Archaeological Survey of India in This measure has helped to safeguard these ancient wonders for generations to come.

Cave 32, also known as the Indra Sabha, is a masterpiece of Jain architecture.

Indra Sabha, dedicated to Jainism, is known for its intricate ceiling adorned with sculptures and carvings of celestial beings. It is a testament to the artistic brilliance of Jain artisans who worked on the Ellora Caves.

The Ellora Caves attract visitors from all over the world.

With its rich history, stunning architecture, and spiritual significance, the Ellora Caves draw visitors from far and wide. Tourists come to marvel at the intricate carvings, soak in the spiritual atmosphere, and witness the cultural heritage of ancient India.


The Ellora Caves are a true wonder of the world, featuring remarkable architectural and artistic masterpieces carved into the ancient rock formations. With their rich history and breathtaking beauty, these caves continue to captivate visitors from all around the globe. From the impressive rock-cut temples to the intricately carved sculptures, the Ellora Caves stand as a testament to the incredible skill and creativity of the artisans who created them.Exploring the Ellora Caves offers a glimpse into India’s vibrant past and a chance to appreciate the cultural and artistic heritage of the country. With its UNESCO World Heritage status, the site attracts history enthusiasts, art lovers, and spiritual seekers alike.Visiting the Ellora Caves is an awe-inspiring experience, transporting you back in time to an era of unparalleled craftsmanship and devotion. Whether you are an avid traveler or simply curious about the world’s wonders, the Ellora Caves should definitely be on your bucket list.So plan your trip to this extraordinary site, and prepare to be amazed by the astounding beauty and historical significance of the Ellora Caves.


Q: How old are the Ellora Caves?

A: The Ellora Caves were excavated between the 6th and 10th centuries CE, making them over a thousand years old.

Q: How many caves are there at Ellora?

A: There are a total of 34 caves at Ellora, which are divided into three categories – Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain.

Q: How long does it take to explore the Ellora Caves?

A: The time required to explore the Ellora Caves can vary depending on your interests, but on average, it takes around 3-4 hours to visit the main caves.

Q: Is there an entry fee to visit the Ellora Caves?

A: Yes, there is an entry fee for visiting the Ellora Caves. The fee varies for Indian and foreign tourists, and there may be additional charges for photography and videography.

Q: Are there any restrictions inside the Ellora Caves?

A: Visitors are expected to maintain decorum and respect the religious significance of the caves. Touching the sculptures and walls is strictly prohibited, and visitors are advised to follow the designated pathways.

Q: Is there any accommodation available near the Ellora Caves?

A: Yes, there are several hotels and guesthouses available near the Ellora Caves, offering a range of options to suit different budgets and preferences.

Q: Can I hire a guide at the Ellora Caves?

A: Yes, guides are available at the site who can provide you with interesting insights and historical information about the caves. Hiring a guide is recommended to enhance your experience.

Q: Are there any nearby attractions to visit along with the Ellora Caves?

A: Yes, there are several other attractions near the Ellora Caves, including the Ajanta Caves, Daulatabad Fort, and Bibi Ka Maqbara, which is often referred to as the “Mini Taj Mahal.

Q: Can I take photographs inside the Ellora Caves?

A: Yes, photography is allowed inside the Ellora Caves, but there may be additional charges for camera usage. However, the use of flash is strictly prohibited to preserve the artwork.

Q: Is the Ellora Caves accessible for people with disabilities?

A: While the caves are carved into rocky terrain and may have uneven pathways, efforts have been made to make certain parts accessible to people with disabilities. However, it is advisable to check with the site authorities for specific details regarding accessibility.

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