India is famous for temples that are 100 of years old. Since historical times India is a place of rich culture and one of the perfect example of this culture is Rock-Cut architecture which is found in most parts of India. Rock- Cut architecture is a practice in which buildings or structures are carved into caves in old ages. But now these caves are converted into incredible Rock-Cut temples in India, which shows early traces of human life and importance of Hindu and Buddhism culture in country’s history. Some of most renowned Rock-Cut temples of India are: –
- AJANTA CAVE TEMPLE
Ajanta cave temple is located in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. About 30 Buddhist cave temples are built in Ajanta, some of which are built in 2nd century B.C. Ajanta caves preserve paintings and sculptures which are one of the best masterpiece of Buddhists art in India. The Ajanta caves were carved in U – shaped cliff along with Waghora River. A platform across the river gives an excellent view of Ajanta Caves. Ajanta caves were used by the monks for prayers and for spiritual pursuits. The Ajanta caves are covered by forests. We can reach their by means of Taxis and Buses.
- ELLORA CAVE TEMPLE
Ellora cave temple is also located in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. It is famous throughout the world for prehistoric temples, portraying the rich traditions of India and the excellent work of art. We can reach to the temple by buses or taxis from Maharashtra. The nearest airport is 18 km from the caves. As similar to Ajanta Ellora caves were also built of solid rocks. In total there are 34 temples of Hindus, Buddhists and Jains respectively. Every year Ellora festival is organized by MTDC where classical dance and music highlight the area’s beauty.
- AMARNATH TEMPLE
Amaranth temple is a Hindu shrine located in Jammu and Kashmir. It is one of the most enchanted temple of lord Shiva. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that this is where lord Shiva explained the secret and eternity of life to his wife Goddess Parvati. Amaranth temple is about 5000 years old and is visited by thousands of tourists every year from all over the world. Inside the main cave, a huge formation of ice, in the form of LINGAM stands there which is also known as Shiva Linga. We can reach their easily by means of road, rail, and air service.
- ELEPHANTA CAVE TEMPLE
Elephant cave temple is situated 10 kms away from the Gateway of India at Mumbai on the coast of Arabian Sea. Elephant caves are the flawless exertion of ancient Indian art related to the cult of lord Shiva. Elephant anciently was known as Gharapuri. The entire area of this building is about 60000 sq feet and is made up of natural rock. On entering the cave1 you can see a large hall supported by large pillars. It is the most notable cave and is also known as Maheshamurti cave. It is the rock cut temple supported by a row of 6 columns each. The main thing to notice in this temple is the huge statue of lord Shiva on the west end of the wall. The statue represents Lord Shiva with 3 heads. The head facing right depicts as creator, the head in the centre depicts as protector and the head facing left depicts as destroyer. The work of art done their convoy’s the message of elegance and harmony. The temple consists of main chamber, 2 lateral chamber, courtyards and subsidiary shrines.
- UDAYAGIRI CAVE TEMPLE
Udayagiri cave temple of Orissa boons historical masterpiece of India. Udayagiri is a hill situated on the right side of Bhuvneshwar. It consists of 18 caves with a flight of steps. The largest and the most attractive is 1 Cave of Rani Gumpha or Queen’s Cave. Udayagiri is U – shaped plateau next to the River Beas. Udayagiri is famous for rock-cut sanctuaries and enormous statues of lord Vishnu in Varaha Avatar. The place also have a vital inscription of Gupta Dynasty. Udayagiri caves are one of the famous tourist’s fascinations near Bhuvneshwar city.
- MASROOR CAVE TEMPLE
The Masroor rock-cut temple of Himachal Pradesh, is the only rock-cut temple in Northern part of India. It is situated in the district of Kangra. According to Hindu mythology, it is said that, this temple was made by a super powerful Pandav, Bheem, all by himself. The beautiful temple of Masroor consists of 15 rock-cut temples all build in Indo-Arabian style. This temple is carved out of a single rock. In this temple statutes of Lord Rama, Laxman and Sita are ornamented on the walls. The beautiful pond just in front of the entrance enhances the beauty of this temple. The best time to visit this temple is from mid-May to mid-November.
- VARAHA CAVE TEMPLE
Varaha cave temple also known as Adivaraha cave temple is one of the superlative example of rock-cut architecture in India. It is situated in Mamallapuram, a small village, south to Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu. The temple was built in 7th century in the region of Pallava dynasty. The prominent statue found in this temple are of Lord Vishnu in form of Varaha and Bahudevi, the Goddess from the sea. On the main entrance there are 4 pillars standing with carved lions on it. Inside the shrine, there are Dwarpalas or guardian figures build on both side of wall and in the centre there is a passage. The statue of Goddess Laxami seated on lotus and bathed by elephants are also carved on the walls. In the temple the sculpture of Goddess Durga is also made, in which she offers her head to the goddess who needs only blood is carved beautifully inside the temple.