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The magnificent Ellora Caves of India

The magnificent Ellora Caves of India


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Tolerance is a value that seems to be in short supply in modern society. Nowadays, differences in ideology, political allegiance, and religious belief, are seen as good enough excuses for not tolerating, and even hating, other groups of people. Yet, there are numerous instances where different sectors of society have been able to co-exist in harmony despite their differences. One such example can be found in the archaeological site of Ellora, India.

Ellora is situated not far from Aurangabad, in the Indian state of Maharashtra. This site is home to 34 monasteries and temples, extending over a distance of more than 2km. These structures were dug into the wall of a high basalt cliff. It is unclear when these caves were built, and estimates range from between 200 B.C. and 600 A.D. to between 600 A.D. and 1000 A.D. The oldest caves can be found on the southern side of the cliff and are of Buddhist origin. It has been claimed that they were built between the 5 th and 7 th century A.D., during which there was a flourishing of the Buddhist Mahayana sects in the region. The Buddhist caves comprised of monasteries and a single large temple (Cave 10). A lot of effort was put into these structures. For instance in Cave 12, the three-storied building is believed to have been built entirely by human hands and hard labour. The rock-hard floors and ceiling of this cave were made level and smooth, reflecting the immense skill and craftsmanship of the builders.

The entrance to Cave 12. Photo source: Wikimedia

Moving north from the Buddhist group, one reaches the Hindu Caves. These 17 caves belong mainly to the Saivite sect, and date to the Rashtrakuta period in the middle of the 8 th century A.D. For instance, Cave 16 is said to have been built by the Rashtrakuta king, Krishna I, and dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva. This cave was named ‘Kailasa’ after the deity’s mountain home in the Himalayas, Mount Kailash, and consists of a shrine with a lingam at the rear of the hall with a sikhara, a flat-roofed mandapa supported by 16 pillars, and a separate porch for Nandi surrounded by an open court entered through a low gopura. In addition, there is also a sculpture of Ravana, the Rakshasha king of Lanka, attempting to lift Mount Kailash with his full might. This is said to be one of the landmarks in Indian art.

Cave 16. Photo source: Wikimedia.

The last four caves belong to the Jain group. These were said to be built between A.D. 800 and A.D. 1000 by the Digambara sect. These caves are massive, well-proportioned and decorated. For example, there are delicate carvings of lotus flowers and other elaborate ornaments in Cave 32. In addition, the builders of these caves are said to have drawn their artistic inspiration from the pre-existing structures at Ellora. For instance, certain features of Cave 32 are noted for their resemblance to the ‘Kailasa’.

A lotus flower on the ceiling of Cave 32. Photo source: WebUrbanist.

Unlike past examples in history, where the dominant religion of a time and place has pulled down the temples and structures of other groups, replacing them with their own, the Ellora Caves demonstrate respect and acceptance of other religions. There was no need for the followers of one religion to convert the sacred space of another into their own. They simply moved along, found an empty spot, and built their own sanctuaries. The Ellora Caves, therefore, not only bear witness to three great religions, but they also illustrate the spirit of tolerance, characteristic of ancient India, which permitted these three religions to establish their sanctuaries and their communities in a single place.

Every year, large crowds of pilgrims and tourists visit the Ellora Caves. For some, it is the sacredness of the site that draws them there, while for others, it is the site’s artistic value that attracts them. On the 3 rd week of March each year, the Ellora Festival of Classical Music and Dance is held at the Caves, breathing life into this ancient site. Finally, the significance of the Ellora Caves can be seen in the fact that they were inscribed by UNESCO into the World Heritage List in 1983. This is a heritage that hopefully will be preserved for many generations to come.

Featured image: The Ellora Caves . Photo source: Wikimedia .

By Ḏḥwty

References

Archaeological Survey of India, 2011. World Heritage Sites - Ellora Caves. [Online]
Available at: http://asi.nic.in/asi_monu_whs_ellora.asp
[Accessed 25 April 2014].

DiscoveredIndia.com, 2014. The Ellora Festival. [Online]
Available at: http://www.discoveredindia.com/maharashtra/fairs-and-festivals-in-maharashtra/festivals/the-ellora-festival.htm
[Accessed 25 April 2014].

elloracaves.org, 2014. The Ellora Caves. [Online]
Available at: http://elloracaves.org/about.php
[Accessed 25 April 2014].

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2013. Ellora Caves. [Online]
Available at: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/185156/Ellora-Caves
[Accessed 25 April 2014].

UNESCO, 2014. [Online]
Available at: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/243/
[Accessed 25 April 2014].


Indian rock-cut architecture

Indian rock-cut architecture is more various and found in greater abundance in that country than any other form of rock-cut architecture around the world. [1] Rock-cut architecture is the practice of creating a structure by carving it out of solid natural rock. Rock that is not part of the structure is removed until the only rock left makes up the architectural elements of the excavated interior. Indian rock-cut architecture is mostly religious in nature. [2] [3]

There are more than 1,500 known rock-cut structures in India. Many of these structures contain artwork of global importance, and most are adorned with exquisite stone carvings. These ancient and medieval structures represent significant achievements of structural engineering and craftsmanship. [4] The effort expended often astonishes visitors, but seen from one aspect, a rock-cut structure is a decorated rock quarry most of the stone removed was typically put to economic use elsewhere.

In India, caves have long been regarded as sacred places. Caves that were enlarged or entirely man-made were believed to be as sacred as natural caves. The sanctuary in all Indian religious structures, even free-standing ones, was designed to have the same cave-like feeling, as it is generally small and dark, without natural light. [5] The oldest rock-cut architecture is found in the Barabar caves, Bihar, which were built around the 3rd century BC. Other early cave temples are found in the western Deccan these are mostly Buddhist shrines and monasteries, dating between 100 BC and 170 AD. Originally, there were probably wooden structures associated with them, which would have deteriorated over time.

Historically, artisans carried forward design elements from wood in their rock-cut temples: skilled craftsmen carved rock to imitate timber texture, grain, and structure. The earliest cave temples include the Bhaja Caves, the Karla Caves, the Bedse Caves, the Kanheri Caves, and some of the Ajanta Caves. Relics found in these caves suggest a connection between the religious and the commercial. Buddhist missionaries are known to have accompanied traders on the busy international trading routes through India. Some of the more sumptuous cave temples, commissioned by wealthy traders, included pillars, arches, and elaborate facades. They were made during the period when maritime trade boomed between the Roman Empire and south-east Asia. [6]

Although free-standing structural temples were being built by the 5th century, rock-cut cave temples continued to be built in parallel. Later rock-cut cave architecture became more sophisticated, as in the Ellora Caves. The monolithic Kailash Temple is considered to be the peak of this type construction. Although cave temples continued to be built until the 12th century, rock-cut architecture became almost totally structural in nature. That is, rocks were cut into bricks and used to build free-standing structures. Kailash was the last spectacular rock-cut excavated temple. [7] Numerous rock reliefs, relief sculptures carved into rock faces, have been found outside caves or at other sites. New discoveries of relatively small rock-cut sites, mostly Buddhist, continue to be made in the 21st century, especially in the Deccan. [8]


The magnificent art, architecture and sculpture in the caves

Few years ago, I had the opportunity to visit, one of the most exquisite examples of Indian Art, Architecture and sculpture. This historical site is located, in the caves of Ellora and Ajanta, in the state of Maharashtra, India.

Astonishingly beautiful art, paintings and sculptures leaves the visitors spellbound in these caves.

The timeless beauty of the magnificent paintings, sculpture, and architecture on the inside walls of the caves have a mysterious attraction.

The Ellora caves date back to 7th to 9th century A.D., while the Ajanta caves dates back to 2nd century B.C.


ELEPHANTA CAVES

The calm and entrancing island of Gharapuri where the Elephanta caves are located is approximately 10 km away from the historic Gateway of India ,Mumbai, Maharashtra. This caves is totally dedicated to the lord Shiva Sculpt. This rock cut Elephanta cave were constructed about mid 5 th to 7 th century AD by Rashtrakuta Dynasty who ruled the area between AD 757-973. This island got the name by the Portuguese when they visited here they found life –sized Sculptures of Elephant. At this place you get to see seven cave that are dating back to the 5 th to 7 th centuries. On plan it almost look like the Dumar lena (cave 29) of Ellora . The main body of the cave excluding the arcade on the three sides and the back side is 27 metre square and supported by row and column of 6 each. The 7 metre high masterpiece Sadashiva influence the entrance to cave 1 .The sculpture represent three feature of Shiva . On left the creator represent Vamadeva , the central face represent the preserver of Tatpurusha ,and on the right side is the destroyer, Aghora or the easeless and fearsome aspects . Over the ages this cave suffered significance damages and destruction by Persian invader and Portuguese soldiers .

In 1909 the British India official begins try to protect the cave from further damages . Today the magnificent Elephanta cave count among the top tourist attraction and historical monument in Mumbai. The UNESCO granted the status of world heritage site in 1987. Every year in February the 2 day music and dance festival called the Elephanta festival is held.


The Ellora Caves of India

The Ellora Caves are an impressive complex of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain cave temples built between the 6th and 10th centuries AD near the ancient Indian village of Ellora in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Ellora, with its uninterrupted sequence of monuments brings the civilization of ancient India to life. The caves have a slightly less dramatic setting than those at Ajanta, but more exquisite sculptures. Ellora is a World Heritage Site and the most visited ancient monument in Maharashtra State.

The caves at Ellora were carved out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills between the 6th and 10th centuries. The carving work began around 550 AD, about the same time the Ajanta Caves (100km northeast) were abandoned. The Ellora Caves were built at time when Buddhism was declining in India and Hinduism was beginning to reassert itself. The Brahmanical movement was especially powerful under the patronage of the Chalukya and Rashtrakuta kings, who oversaw most of the work at Ellora.

The Ellora caves are one of the largest rock-hewn monastic-temple complexes in the entire world. Ellora is also world famous for the largest single monolithic excavation in the world, the great Kailasa temple (Cave 16).

The Ellora complex is a unique artistic creation and a technological exploit. The caves, with its uninterrupted sequence of monuments dating from AD 600 to 1000, brings the civilization of ancient India to life.

Image Source

The Ellora Caves illustrate the spirit of tolerance, characteristic of ancient India, which permitted three religions to establish their sanctuaries and their communities in a single place, which thus served to reinforce its universal value.

The last period of building activity took place in the 10th century, when the local rulers switched allegiance from Shaivism (Hinduism devoted to Shiva) to the Digambara sect of Jainism.

There are 34 caves in all: 12 Buddhist caves (500-750 AD), 17 Hindu caves (600-870 AD) and 5 Jain caves (800-1000 AD). The caves are numbered roughly chronologically, starting with the oldest Buddhist caves at the south end. These religious establishments could have received royal patronage from various dynasties, even though inscriptional evidences are lacking for most of them. The only definite inscriptional evidence is that of Rashtrakuta Dantidurga (c. 753-57 A.D.) on the back wall of the front mandapa of Cave 15.

The caves become steadily larger and more elaborately decorated as they progress to the north, which scholars have explained by the growing need to compete with Hinduism for patronage.

Created during a time of prosperity and revival of Hindusim, the Hindu caves represent an entirely different style of creative vision and skill than the Buddhist caves. The Hindu temples were carved from top to bottom and required several generations of planning and coordination to take shape.
There are 17 Hindu caves in all (numbered 13 to 29), which were carved between 600 and 870 AD. They occupy the center of the cave complex, grouped around either side of the famous Kailasa Temple.

Cave n,21 at Ellora caves. – image Source

In contrast to the serene and solemn Buddhas of the earlier caves, the walls of the Hindu caves are covered in lively bas-reliefs depicting events from the Hindu scriptures. All of the caves are dedicated to the god Shiva, but there are also some images of Vishnu and his various incarnations.

The most notable Hindu cave is not a cave at all, but a magnificent temple carved from the solid rock, patterned closely on the freestanding temples of the time. It represents Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva, and is called the Kailasa Temple. It originally had a thick coat of white plaster to make it look like a snowy mountain.

Shiva-Parvati seated on mount Kailash, while Ravana tries to lift it. Image Source

The Kailash Temple is a stupendous piece of architecture, with interesting spatial effects and varied sculpture. It is believed to have been started by the Rashtrakuta king Krishna I (756-773). The construction was a feat of human genius – it entailed removal of 400,000 tons of rock, took 100 years to complete and covers an area double the size of Parthenon in Athens.

Kailash Temple outside Ellora caves. – image Source

The Jain caves, dating from the late 800s and 900s, are 2 km north down an asphalt road. They reflect the distinctiveness of Jain philosophy and tradition, including a strict sense of asceticism combined with elaborate decoration. They are not large compared to others, but contain exceptionally detailed artworks. Many of the Jain caves had rich paintings in the ceilings, fragments of which are still visible.

The Ellora caves, unlike Ajanta, have a distinction that they were never lost to oblivion, due to their close proximity to the trade route. There have been numerous written records to indicate that these caves were visited regularly by enthused travellers and royal personages as well.

Image Source Image Source Image Source


TwistedSifter


Photograph by Girl in the Rain


Located in the Indian state of Maharashtra, the magnificent Ellora Caves are 34 structures excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills. An official UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ellora Caves consists of 12 Buddhist, 17 Hindu and 5 Jain temples and monasteries built between the 6th and 10th century.

They stand as a testament to the religious harmony prevalent during this period of Indian history. The Ellora Caves are the most visited ancient monument in the state and are a must-see for any tourists in the area. Enjoy the incredible photographs below with information on these historical monuments sprinkled throughout.


Photograph by Raj Photography


Photograph by <3 Cishore


Photograph by Kareem Mayan


Photograph by Xinoda


Photograph by Koshy Koshy


THE BUDDHIST CAVES OF ELLORA

– The Buddhist caves (also called Vishvakarma caves) are the earliest of the Ellora Caves, dating from 500 to 750 AD. All except one are viharas (monasteries), which were used for study, meditation, communal rituals, eating and sleeping
– The caves become steadily larger and more elaborately decorated as they progress to the north, which scholars have explained by the growing need to compete with Hinduism for patronage
– The earliest Hindu caves at Ellora date from 600 AD, right in the middle of the Buddhist period


Photograph by Jon Baldock


Photograph by A Lip Rim Toke


Photograph by Kezia Cantwell-Wright


Photograph by Priya Sivaraman


Photograph by Srinivas Padma


THE HINDU CAVES OF ELLORA

– Created during a time of prosperity and revival of Hindusim, the Hindu caves represent an entirely different style of creative vision and skill than the Buddhist caves
– The Hindu temples were carved from top to bottom and required several generations of planning and coordination to take shape. There are 17 Hindu caves in all, which were carved between 600 and 870 AD. They occupy the center of the cave complex, grouped around either side of the famous Kailasa Temple
– In contrast to the serene and solemn Buddhas of the earlier caves, the walls of the Hindu caves are covered in lively bas-reliefs depicting events from the Hindu scriptures. All of the caves are dedicated to the god Shiva, but there are also some images of Vishnu and his various incarnations


Photograph by Gui Stafford


Photograph by Girl in the Rain


Photograph by Xinoda


Photograph by Sonal Vaz


Photograph by Emy Lou


THE JAIN CAVES OF ELLORA

– The Jain caves, dating from the late 800s and 900s, are 2 km north down an asphalt road (rickshaws are available). They reflect the distinctiveness of Jain philosophy and tradition, including a strict sense of asceticism combined with elaborate decoration
– They are not large compared to others, but contain exceptionally detailed artworks. Many of the Jain caves had rich paintings in the ceilings, fragments of which are still visible


Photograph by Mskadu


Photograph by Xinoda


Photograph by Matt Bell


Photograph by Kareem Mayan


Photograph by Matt Kobayashi-Hillary


Photograph by Kareem Mayan


Photograph by Kareem Mayan


Photograph by Loops San


Photograph by m5cents

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Ajanta and Ellora Caves to reopen for tourists from today

With the improvement in the Covid-19 situation, world heritage sites of Ajanta and Ellora caves along with three other historical monuments in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district will reopen for tourists from Thursday after remaining shut for more than three months. The order to open these historic places was issued by Aurangabad district Disaster and Management Authority (DDMA) on Wednesday. They were shut more than three months ago due to surge in Covid-19 cases.

However, the district administration has capped the number of tourists visiting each of these five monuments, including Bibi-Ka-Maqbara, Aurangabad Caves and Daulatabad Fort, to 2,000 in two sessions per day in the morning and afternoon.

Booking of tickets is allowed through online more only and tourists are expected to follow the Covid-19 pandemic guidelines.

Given a steady decline in the number of coronavirus positive cases, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had announced the reopening of all centrally protected monuments, sites and museums from Wednesday.

"Following the orders of the ASI, Aurangabad district Disaster and Management Authority (DDMA) chief and district collector Sunil Chavan has given a green signal to reopen the tourist spots in Aurangabad from June 17 as the cases dipped," news agency PTI quoted an official as saying.

However, temples and other religious places under the jurisdiction of the ASI will continue to remain shut in the district. The official said that the Covid-19 case positivity rate in Aurangabad city has come down to 0.45%, whereas the same is 4.27% in rural areas of the district.

"We reviewed the tourist footfall at the above five monuments and also the case positivity rate. These monuments will reopen for tourists from June 17. Booking of the ticket shall remain online. Guides and others working near these monuments will have to undergo RT-PCR tests in the coming days. However, this test is not mandatory for those who are fully vaccinated," the official added.


Ellora Caves

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Ellora Caves, Ellora also spelled Elura, a series of 34 magnificent rock-cut temples in northwest-central Maharashtra state, western India. They are located near the village of Ellora, 19 miles (30 km) northwest of Aurangabad and 50 miles (80 km) southwest of the Ajanta Caves. Spread over a distance of 1.2 miles (2 km), the temples were cut from basaltic cliffs and have elaborate facades and interior walls. The Ellora complex was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983.

The 12 Buddhist caves (in the south) date from about 200 bce to 600 ce , the 17 Hindu temples (in the centre) date from about 500 to 900 ce , and the 5 Jain temples (in the north) date from about 800 to 1000. The Hindu caves are the most dramatic in design, and the Buddhist caves contain the simplest ornamentation. Ellora served as a group of monasteries (viharas) and temples (caityas) some of the caves include sleeping cells that were carved for itinerant monks.

The most remarkable of the cave temples is Kailasa (Kailasanatha cave 16), named for the mountain in the Kailas Range of the Himalayas where the Hindu god Shiva resides. Unlike other temples at the site, which were first delved horizontally into the rock face, the Kailasa complex was excavated downward from a basaltic slope and is therefore largely exposed to sunlight. Construction of the temple in the 8th century, beginning in the reign of Krishna I (c. 756–773), involved the removal of 150,000 to 200,000 tons of solid rock. The complex measures some 164 feet (50 metres) long, 108 feet (33 metres) wide, and 100 feet (30 metres) high and has four levels, or stories. It contains elaborately carved monoliths and halls with stairs, doorways, windows, and numerous fixed sculptures. One of its better-known decorations is a scene of Vishnu transformed into a man-lion and battling a demon. Just beyond the entrance, in the main courtyard, is a monument to Shiva’s bull Nandi. Along the walls of the temple, at the second-story level, are life-size sculptures of elephants and other animals. Among the depictions within the halls is that of the 10-headed demon king Ravana shaking Kailasa mountain in a show of strength. Erotic and voluptuous representations of Hindu divinities and mythological figures also grace the temple. Some features have been damaged or destroyed over the centuries, such as a rock-hewn footbridge that once joined two upper-story thresholds.

The Vishvakarma cave (cave 10) has carvings of Hindu and Buddhist figures as well as a lively scene of dancing dwarfs. Notable among the Jain temples is cave 32, which includes fine carvings of lotus flowers and other elaborate ornaments. Each year the caves attract large crowds of religious pilgrims and tourists. The annual Ellora Festival of Classical Dance and Music is held there in the third week of March.


Monolithic architecture of Ellora Caves

The Ellora caves are an incredible example of how people of multiple faiths can live, worship and peacefully co-exist. Remarkably well preserved, in some places the original paint and plaster is visible, Ellora is a full of jaw dropping and thought-provoking ancient treasures.

Hindu Monuments

Archaeologists believe that some of Ellora&rsquos Hindu caves are the most ancient examples on the site with construction beginning around 550 CE. There was also a second phase of Hindu monuments built between 730 and 950 CE.

The imposing Kailasa Temple is the most popular sight at Ellora and it is the biggest individual monolithic structure in the world. Hewn out of a single piece of rock the architecture is classic Dravidian (a style native to southern India and Sri Lanka) and is dedicated to the life of Lord Shiva.

The craftsmen and artists who created this temple will have needed to move 200,000 tonnes of rock to begin creating the intricate details and bold depictions of deities, idols and animals such as elephants.

Towering over awe struck pilgrims this two-storey cave is an imaginative depiction of Shiva&rsquos home, Mount Kailash. It&rsquos a truly wonderful place where every inch of carved rock reveals another vivid moment in the story of this powerful Hindu God.

Buddhist Monuments

The southernmost caves are Buddhist. There are domestic quarters such as sleeping cells and kitchens for monks and shrines to Buddha and Bodhisattvas (important individuals on the path to Buddhahood).

Cave 10, Vishvakarma Cave is also known as the Carpenter&rsquos Cave, a name given to celebrate the amazing way the rock has been expertly worked to make it look like curved wooden beams in the ceiling.

A splendid Stupa (shrine) to Buddha and his reincarnations dominates the top floor of Cave 12. It is simply mind-boggling to imagine that thousands of years ago, Indian Buddhists gathered in peaceful prayer exactly where you&rsquore standing.

Tourists in the Buddhist part of Ellora Caves often report feeling calm, a serenity that would thrill the original architects as the stone edifices and beautifully carved friezes were designed with the transcendent state of blissful Nirvana in mind.

Jain Monuments

Five of the Ellora Caves are dedicated to the Jain faith, a religion with &lsquoself-help&rsquo and non-violence at its core. Situated in the north of the area, these caves are smaller and newer than the rest having been built in the 9 th and 10 th centuries by the Digambara sect.

The Jainist religious philosophies are explained throughout the caves with intricate artworks, bold statues and gorgeous, detailed carvings. Self-discipline and avoidance of indulgence may be a key part of the Jain lifestyle, but their caves are still exquisite!

Cave 30, the Chota Kailasha is a smaller version of the Hindu cave and is decorated with two huge wall reliefs of the god Indra dancing, each wild flail of his arms is pictured.

The Indra Sabha, Cave 32, has a ceiling adorned with a symbolic lotus flower and honours Indra Sabha, the most important deity of the Jain faith.

Evidence of active worship has also been found in this cave, which brings to life a realisation that these places we gaze in awe at, were once places where our ancestors went about their everyday lives.


Featured Monument

Taj Mahal

Sheer poetry in marble. Majesty and magnificence, unrivalled, the Taj Mahal is the only one of its kind across the world. The monumental labour of love of a great ruler for his beloved queen. The ultimate realisation of Emperor Shahjahan's dream. One of the wonders of the world. From 1631 A.D., it took 22 years in its making.

An estimated 20,000 people worked to complete the enchanting mausoleum, on the banks of the Yamuna. For a breathtaking beautiful view of the Taj Mahal, one has to see it by moonlight.

Brhadisvara Temple, Thanjavur

The Brhadisvara Temple, a splendid example of Chola architecture was built by Emperor Rajaraja (985-1012 A.D.). The long series of epigraphs incised in elegant letters on the plinth all round the gigantic edifice reveals the personality of the Emperor.

The Brhadisvara temple is a monument dedicated to Siva, and he named lord as Rajarajesvaram-udayar after himself.

Agra Fort

Near the gardens of Taj Mahal stands the important 16th-century Mughal monument known as the Red Fort of Agra. This powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses within its 2.5-km-long enclosure walls, the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. The forbidding exteriors of this fort hide an inner paradise.

Agra Fort, an excellent example of Mughal architecture, is one of the few UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India.

Gateway of India

The Gateway of India is synonymous with Mumbai. It is the most famous monument of Mumbai and is the starting point for most tourists who want to explore the city. Gateway of India is a great historical monument built during the British rule in the country. It was built as a triumphal arch to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Mumbai (then, Bombay). Gateway of India was built at Apollo Bunder, a popular meeting place. It was designed by the British architect, George Wittet.

Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya

The Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Bodh Gaya is located in the central part of the state of Bihar, in the northeastern part of India. It is the part of the great Ganges plains. The Mahabodhi Temple is located at the place of Lord Buddha's enlightenment. Bihar is one of the four holy sites related to the life of the Lord Buddha, and particularly to the attainment of Enlightenment.

Sé Cathedral

One of the most ancient and celebrated religious buildings of Goa, this magnificent 16th century monument, constructed by the Roman Catholics under the Portuguese rule, is the largest church in Asia. The Cathedral is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria on whose feast day in 1510 Alfonso Albuquerque defeated the Muslim army and took possession of the city of Goa. Hence it is also known as St. Catherine's' Cathedral and is bigger than any of the churches in Portugal itself.

Victoria Memorial

Victoria Memorial is one of the famous and beautiful monuments of Kolkata. It was built between 1906 and 1921 to commemorate Queen Victoria's 25-year reign in India.

After the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, the British government gathered the reins of control of the country directly, and in 1876 the British parliament made Victoria the Empress of India. Her reign ended with her death in 1901.

About India

India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world with a kaleidoscopic variety and rich cultural heritage. It has achieved all-round socio-economic progress since Independence. As the 7th largest country in the world, India stands apart from the rest of Asia, marked off as it is by mountains and the sea, which give the country a distinct geographical entity. Bounded by the Great Himalayas in the north, it stretches southwards and at the Tropic of Cancer, tapers off into the Indian Ocean between the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west.


Watch the video: Ellora Caves Documentary 2019 The Mind-Boggling Rock Cut Temples of India (May 2022).