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A Look at the Ellora Festival

by Madhav Srinivasan 1794 days ago

The legendary cave complex at Ellora is often described as one of the most stunning examples of Indian talent. These 1,400 year old caves provide the perfect backdrop for the celebration of Indian heritage.


The Ellora cave complex is a World Heritage site located at about 30 km from Aurangabad in Maharashtra. The caves were hewn from the Charanandri hill side during the reign of the Rashtrakutas. The complex includes both Buddhist monasteries as well as Hindu and Jain temples and is a not to be missed destination for those planning to take  up Maharashtra tour packages


The Kailash temple at Ellora is often regarded as a masterpiece. The temple is the world’s largest monolithic structure, and it took 7000 laborers nearly 150 years to complete the huge structure.


What Happens at the Ellora Festival?

The Ellora festival is held every year during the winter months and the festival is organized by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation. Earlier, the festival used to be held at the Kailash temple. However, the venue has now been shifted to the beautiful Soneri Mahal palace in Aurangabad. The Soneri Mahal is located at the Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Marathwada University campus. This cave complex forms a stunning backdrop to the dance and music extravaganza.


The Ellora festival has become a high point in the country’s cultural calendar. The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation invites top artists in music and dance from across the country to perform at the festival. The aim of the festival is to use Indian dance and music to highlight the country’s rich heritage. The performances at the festival include classical and folk dance and music. India’s top artists perform and attend the festival. The most covenient way to reach the caves will be by taking up Aurangabad tour packages from Mumbai.


Exploring the Ajanta Caves

The Ellora festival is also the perfect opportunity to explore the Ajanta caves too. The Ajanta caves are almost a 2-hour drive away, but the trip is definitely worth it. Located in the Sayahadiri hills, the caves include 29 monuments cut out from the rock surface. Most of these are Buddhist monasteries and the sculptures depict scenes from the Jataka tales. According to local legends, the cave sculptures were done using only a hammer and chisel.


Reaching Ellora

Given that they are a major tourist attraction, the Ellora caves are extremely well connected. The nearest airport is at Aurangabad. Ellora is just a short ride away from the airport. Aurangabad also has a well connected railway station. Trains from major cities across the country halt here. Local taxis and buses ply frequently between Aurangabad and Ellora. 


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