The Ellora cave temples were carved by Buddhists, Hindus and Jains from the 5th to 10th centuries. Some are carved into the rock, others -- such as the magnificent Kailash Temple -- were carved out of the rock, leaving a free-standing structure which is really a sculpture carved out of the side of the hill.
Ellora  The road from Aurangabad to Ellora passes by the hilltop Daulatabad Fortress. Ellora  Daulatabad Fort on top of its 200m-high hill Ellora  Colorful house Ellora  Daulatabad fort and minar (tower)
Ellora  The ancient walls of Daulatabad date from the 14th century Ellora  Pink roadside flowers Ellora  Entrance gate to the walled town of Khuldabad Ellora  Tomb of Aurangzeb in Khuldabad
Ellora  Khuldabad mosque Ellora  Gaudy colors on the mosaic decorations of the mosque Ellora  Inside Khuldabad mosque Ellora  Another mosque
Ellora  Making puff pastry Ellora  Fritters Ellora  Approaching the magnificent Kailasa Temple at Ellora Ellora  Kailasa Temple
Ellora  Inside the Kailasa Temple, entirely carved out of the rock of the hillside Ellora  Elephant sculpture and impressive temple buildings Ellora  Shows the depth of the temple in the hillside Ellora  All this was carved out of the hillside
Ellora  Temple carvings Ellora  Elephants Ellora  More elephants around the corner Ellora  Sculpture of Shiva asleep on his naga (serpent) bed
Ellora  Shiva steppin' out Ellora  Lion and elephant -- kissing? Ellora  Remember, we are standing in a hole in the hillside. Ellora  Inside the temple
Ellora  Tower and wall of carved-out hillside Ellora  Mr Singh, Mr Singh and Mr Singh wanted John to take their picture; in return, they took his. Ellora  Facade sculptures Ellora  Maybe Arjuna with his bow
Ellora  Inside the Kailasa Temple, entirely carved out of the rock of the hillside Ellora  Elephant viewed from above Ellora  Elephant court and turban Ellora  Ornately carved pillar
Ellora  Closeup of pillar Ellora  It was once all richly painted; would we like it as much like that? Ellora  Battle scenes, probably from the Mahabharata Ellora  Ravanna, the demon, imprisoned in the cellar below Shiva and Parvati
Ellora  School girls Ellora  Goddess and elephants Ellora  School kids outside the Kailasa Temple Ellora  American tourist going up for a higher view
Ellora  Kailasa Temple viewed from above shows clearly how it is carved out of the hillside. Ellora  Porch of the upper temple Ellora  The temple tower Ellora  Wonderful sculpture in cave no. 15, which Siv visited alone (uphill)
Ellora  Sculpture in cave no. 15 Ellora  Nataraja in cave no. 15 Ellora  Dry-ground plants Ellora  Siv coming down the (many) steps from cave no. 15 -- and there were many more steps inside the temple
Ellora  Another cave temple Ellora  Cells Ellora  Seated god ... or, maybe, Buddha Ellora  Two more temple entrances
Ellora  Path along the hillside, with many temples visible Ellora  Entrance to a Buddhist monastery Ellora  Chaityagriha, cave no. 10, with it's carved roof beam, giving it the name Viswakarma (Carpenter's Cave) Ellora  Girls visiting
Ellora  Young muslim girls playing on the grass Ellora  Happy young men on the grass Ellora  Young men Ellora  Entrance to the Kailasa Temple
Ellora  Langurs have really long tails. Ellora  Baby langur Ellora  Playing Ellora  Monkies spend lots of time picking bugs off each other.
Ellora  Trottin' along Ellora  Lovely banyan grove Ellora  Oleander (Nerium) Ellora  Bougainvillea
Ellora  Last look back at the Kailasa Temple Ellora  The view from farther off shows how the temple is carved out of the rock. Ellora  The sun setting over Daulatabad Fortress Ellora  Our driver, Jagan, stopped to buy chikkus for his family and us.