Monday, May 12, 2014

Ellora Caves

We've finally made it to a CAVE post.  The first set of caves we visited were the Ellora caves.  Consisting of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain sites, these cave temples are between 1,000 and 1,500 years old.  The drive to the Ellora Caves is an easy 45 minutes from Aurangabad.  After a small climb into the nearby hills, you arrive at the site, where monkeys groom, hawkers are eager to sell you all sorts of "treasures" and guides are ready to attach themselves to you.

We managed to make our way through the initial crowds, and turn right, down the path towards the Buddhist caves.  Here, the crowds disappeared and caves were cool and quiet. 

 These caves make you feel seriously ZEN. 

Lighting was tricky in the caves and flash photography is not allowed.  We did our best with our little point & click camera, but our skills are sadly lacking. 

 The Hindu temples were a stark contrast from the Buddhist caves.  Active worshipers crowded the areas, which were much more ornately carved but also more damaged. 
I think I should send this picture into BYU.

Elephants guarding the temple.

N. found a dancing monkey carved into the floor

With the elephant parade.

Unfortunately, the Jain caves were inaccessible when we were visiting.  Run-off from the hills had washed out the path leading to them.  We were a little disappointed.

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