By Sanjeev Nayyar Sanjeev@esamskriti.com | 2018

  • 1
  • /
  • 1

1. Visited in June 2018. Cave 30-34 belong to the Jaina tradition. Cave 32 and 33 are important known as Indra Sabha & Jagannath Sabha. Cave 30 is unfinished excavation of popularly known as Chhota Kailasa because it is a replica of the Kailasa temple. U see Mansthmabh-Tower of Justice-Monolithic Pillar on top of which are the four seated Yakshas facing 4 cardinal directions.

2. This is a double storeyed Digamber Jain cave date 10-11th century. Halls are huge, some wonderful stone images and ceiling painting still intact. Since cave halls are inside mountain best time to visit for photography is post 1-2 when sunlight falls on the cave. In morning sun is behind you, evening it is front of you.

3. Cave in mountain. Right is Chotta Kailasa & Mansthmabh that you see. Left side cave has Jaganath Sabha on the first floor. With these caves the rock-cut tradition came to an end. Cave has staff who keep the whole area very clean. Over the years become mini-guides.

4. Chhota Kailasa Temple. It has 4 entrances so called Chaturmukhi (chaumukhi). “At the center of the shrine is the Sarvatobhadra, a concept in Jainism of worshipping the four important tirthankaras, viz., Adinatha or Rshibhanatha (1st), Parsvanatha (22nd), Neminatha (23rd) and Mahavira (24th).” Extreme left top see Dwarpal or doorkeeper.

5. Just behind Kailasa temple of previous pic at a height is Bhagvan Mahavira in centre with disciples. Left of Mahavira at lower level is an image of lady – she is Siddhaika Devi, disciple of Mahavira. Left is a hall but work incomplete.

6. Chhota Kailasa temple Vimana is similar to Kailasa - is in South Indian style.

7. View of temple from its rear side. Elephant on left. Right is Manastambha 28 feet in height. Courtyard has the effect of overcrowding of the architectural components such as tower, elephant, pillar & pillared chapels on 3 side.

8. On the ground floor are three images. First is of the 23rd Jain Tirthankara Parshwanath with snake hood.

9. Next is 24th Jain Tirthankara Mahavira.

10. This is my favourite Bahubali. He is son of first Tirthankara Rishabh Dev. To see pictures of Bahubali Gomateshara Sravanbelogola https://www.esamskriti.com/a/Karnataka/Sravanabelagola.aspx

11. Huge hall that we are going to see ka side view. It is locally known as Indra Sabha. It has gatekeepers on either side. If u scroll see pillar design-awesome. Note two elephant trunks in front. Above that note intricate work on panel.

12. Staircase to Indra Sabha has rich sculptures. On first floor ie in sabha u see Matang Yaksha (disciple of Mahavir and God of Wealth) sitting on an elephant. What you see in pic 14 is Siddhikadevi (Goddess of Generosity). Figures are impressive due to their finish and vivid details. Note the lotus design on ceiling of pic. This is cave no 32.

13. Close up of ceiling. Trace of painting still exists even a thousand years later. The inner layer of painting, with its rich blue content, seems to belong to the period of the cave excavation.

14. You see Siddhikadevi, disciple of Mahavira and Goddess of Generosity.

15. Overview of hall. Centre is Mahavir. Left is Parshwanath, right is Bahubali. The door jams of the shrine are richly decorated. Side-walls are divided into deep-recessed compartments and have the seated figures of Mahavira. It was too dark to click.

16. Pillar has 23rd Jain Tirthankara Parshwanath standing on a lotus. Note the intricacy of the design work.

17. Pillar Ghatpallava. “In Indian art Gha?a-pallava is an important decorative motif consisting of a pot filled with flowers and leaves. In Vedic literature it is the symbol of life, the source of vegetation, a meaning that is still retained. From 5-15th century it was used both as the base and capital of a pillar esp in North India”. To right of pic is murthi of Siddhikadevi. To read more https://www.britannica.com/art/ghata-pallava

18. Different view of pillar. Note the size and design. End of pic left is Bahubali standing firm in order to fulfil a vow surrounded by a thick growth of vegetation, wild animals, deer, serpents and scorpions.

19. Hall was in centre on 1st floor. To its left is what you see. Lowest level centre is 23rd Jain Tirthankara Parshwanath. Above that is a loving couple known as ‘Mithun’- also seen in Khajuraho temples & Sun Temple Konarak etc. Higher level has elephant trunk and mythical animal on both sides.

20. Cave 33. Huge Hall is known as Jagannath Sabha. The ground plan comprising of 3 halls with cells opens up to the courtyard. Hall of the upper floor, that you see, has 12 pillars aligned in a square. Look at pillar size and design.

21. Lotus leaves design on pillar.

22. Dancer Nilanjana performing dance in the palace of the first Tirthankara.

23. Left and right both have murthis of Tirthankaras (pics 25 and 26 have close-up). Centre is Mahavira.

24. Close up of Mahavir. Note the umbrellas over his head. Had to use flash since too dark inside.

25. Seated posture Tirthankara with Yaksha and Yakshni. In this pic Yaksha is Matang – God of Wealth. Stay at Hotel Kailash in Ellora very good 0243 7244446. I stayed there, good cottages and rooms. Nice restaurant too. For a nice & cheaper rest visit Garikipati ie run by a couple. I ate at both places.

26. Seated posture Tirthankara with Yaksha and Yakshni. In this pic Yakshni is Siddhaikadevi – Goddess of Generosity. Like to thank guide Madhushudan Patil for helping with captions. Sugg guide M Patil 91 75881 97664, Ram Krishna also speaks in Tamil, Japanese, Telegu 91 75881 96674, Amol Basole for Foreign/NRI tourist 91 94222 10571.

27. Tirthankara with attendant. Ellora shows the harmonious coexistence of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. For captions also referred to book ‘Ajanta, Ellora & Aurangabad Caves by T V Pathy. Ellora shows the harmonious coexistence of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism.

28. View of Chhota Kailasa Temple with elephant on right. Think how they carved this cave out of the mountain. In case of an errors or improvements in captions mail me.

Receive Site Updates