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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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