Jain caves at Ellora - exquisite poetry on stones!

Jains were the last to arrive and their caves are also the newest at this World Heritage site at Ellora. Built between 9th and 11th century, there are only five caves dedicated to the faith. However, what these caves the lack in numbers, scale and antiquity, they more than make it up in the detailing and sheer beauty of carvings on the stone.

Here is their story!

jain temples ellora caves stone carvings
A beautiful idol at a Jain temple at Ellora
jain temples ellora caves chhota kailasa
Chhota Kailasa from top
jain temples ellora caves chhota kailasa
Chhota Kailasa - Jain cave at Ellora


Jain Caves at Ellora

The Jain caves are numbered 30 to 35 and are the last part of the complex if you walk from cave 1 to your left. While the Buddhist and the Hindu caves are right next to each other, the Jain caves are a little bit further away.

Back in the days the caves were plastered completely from the outside as well as inside and richly painted in coloured. Remains of the paint can still be seen, and give an idea of how wonderful these temples must have looked back then. An interesting legend says that when Gods passed over these temples in their chariots, they were not willing to believe that something so beautiful could be created by man. After visiting the caves, even I am amazed at how these magnificent temples were created thousands of years back.

jain temples ellora caves stone carvings
Jain cave at Ellora
jain temples ellora caves stone carvings
Jain Gods at the cave
jain temples ellora caves stone carvings
Another beautiful sculpture of the goddess

The first cave which catches the eye of the traveler is cave 30 which is also known as chota Kailasa temple after the great Hindu temple close-by. It's not as big in size, but the carvings on the walls are simply unmatched. However, the most important caves are cave 32 and 33 which are also known as Indra sabha and Jagannath sabha. It was almost completely dark inside, but I did my best to capture the beautiful of these spaces from inside as well.

jain temples ellora caves stone carvings
Inside the cave on the second floor
jain temples ellora caves stone carvings
Another mesmerised tourist

How to reach Jain Caves at Ellora

The Jain caves are located a little away from the last Hindu temple, Cave 29. If you are already at cave 29, then it's best to simply walk to the Jain caves. If you walk from the main road to cave 29, there is a small diversion on the left which will take you to the caves via a short walking through the forest. This is the shortcut.

If you are at the main entrance to the Ellora caves, take the govt buses which are the only authorised vehicles which can take you all the way to the caves. If it's a hot day, I would recommend taking this bus to the caves. Early morning or during monsoon, you can also easily walk as well.

Secret tip:

Most people start their cave exploration from mini Kailasa, but I recommend taking the flight of steps to a small hill just to the right of Cave 30. It's a bit steep, but what you find above is this small and rarely visited gorgeous Jain temple. It's secluded and not visible from the ground below, and that what makes the visit here more special.

jain temples ellora caves stone carvings
The hidden Jain cave

Intrigued? Check out more about another set of beautiful set of Jain temples in Gujarat at Palitana

Comments

  1. Lovely captures and coverage of the Jain temples. That Jain temple on top seems special.

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    1. Thanks so much bro! The one on top was beautify and absolutely unvisited...no one wanted to climb up :)

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  2. Who wouldn't be intrigued. It's amazing what humans were capavle to build so long ago.

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  3. Civilizations are born, reach to their glory,leave their mark and then vanish. That's history and it keeps repeating.

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    1. Yup! And each cycle is so fascinating :)

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    2. Very well said Manish! And here, the world is still trying to understand & derive at how early man could make these wonders of the world! ha ha

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  4. Thanks for the information. Had visited Ellora but not THE JAIN TEMPLE COMPLEX. Will definitely visit the next time. It tempting to see the sculptures and be mesmerised.

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    1. You must go there. It's a little off-track, but totally worth the visit...we actually walked to it in punishing sun, yet never regretted it!

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  5. Magnífico reportaje.
    Un saludo,

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  6. Beautiful caves! It's great that people can visit these amazing creations from so long ago. Pinning for a future trip to India :)

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  7. Actually I have the Ellora caves in mind when I visit India again one day. I will definitely bookmark this post so I won't forget how to get to that hidden Jain cave on your last photo. Really stunning!

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  8. WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW

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  9. I am gonna fall in love with the beauty of this caves... Worth a visit!!!

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