The Beauty of Ellora, Ancient India preserved in stone
It has been my fascination to visit the most refined architectural epitomes throughout the world. Perhaps the best location for that would have been India. That was it, I decided, packed my backpack and headed for an experience that redefined my views on ancient beauty. Standing at the station terminal of Aurangabad, I was waiting for my tour guide. Ankita was her name, a lovely girl she was. A lot of acknowledgement shall go to my Tour Company for having made arrangements for lodging, a superb guide and some wonderful experience.The time that i shared with some loving people has made a deep impact on me and lures me to revisit the place whenever possible. Having been a teacher of History and Civics, i had a decent idea about the Ajanta and Ellora caves, but this experience made me realize that there is perhaps more than what meets the eye.
Ellora: Ancient India preserved in stone- According to my guide, these were not just ,mere temples or caves, but a visual encryption of the religious stronghold within the people of three different religions, Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism. Its was an insight into marvelous architecture which was unlike any other. The place was a series of temples from all the three religions. The place was a depiction of the tantrum of events in the lives of the mythological gods. In a better way the three different religions seemed to have been bond together by the beauty of the place. The caves are likely to have been built within a time frame of 5th century BC to 8th century BC. in total there are about 34 caves, representing the three different religions. According to the guide this place was an intersection of these three religions that lived in harmony at that period. Under the influence of religious stronghold this place had emerged. Right from inception I had an idea that such a place needs time to understand and that is why I planned my trip for about 6 to 7 odd days.
The major proportion of temples have been carved from enormous stones and brilliant depictions through art seem to illuminate the fabric of beauty. Being centered around mythological gods, the Hindu temples have description of the sacred Hindu texts, “Mahabharata” and ‘Ramayana”. The enormous caves resemble the amount of labor and detailing that has been used by the workers back then. Certainly it makes one feel the pain of labor that is invested. The Buddhist caves were austere, illusive and serene. The huge interiors left me spell bound.
My first three days revolved around these caves and on my fourth day i came across the ‘Kailasa Temple’, or the single largest Monolithic Structure in existence. It has been built in the honor of the Hindu god, “Lord Shiva”. Perhaps the best among any that I have seen. An enormous chariot that has been carved from a single stone. This was the best part of the journey. I seemingly enjoyed touching the temples and walking across large boulders of scenic beauty. The place has its own touch of serenity to it. The series of relatively small Jain temples were nice and soothing for an individual. The huge size of the rock carved sculptures exceeded my expectations wildly. The place has a warm and religious fragrance to it. Perhaps it helps to illuminate the person by erasing all stress, especially if you are in love with traveling.
The epic detailing and compact illustration needs more than mere words to be able to describe. The place was fascinating, beyond any of my expectations and to be honest, even the whole 6 days fell really short. The place should not be seen through the eyes, it needs to be felt with them. It is indeed a story of ancient civilization, ancient India. It is called Ellora: Ancient India preserved in stone.