Ellora also called Verul and Elura is the corrupt form of the ancient name Elapura. The group of caves at Ellora, in Maharashtra which include 'a few largest,most varied and finest examples' of the three religions- Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, is of absorbing interest both to the student and the connoisseur of architecture, sculpture and painting. The wealth of sculptures here is both of aesthetic interest as well as of iconographic importance. It was probably the incredible scenic beauty of the place which induced the Jainas of ancient times to name the hill on which the caves are excavated as Charanadri i.e. the hill of Charanas, the denizens of celestial regions.
Ellora is about 29 kms to the north-west of Aurangabad on the Manmad- Kacheguda section of the Central Railway and can be reached by a good motorable road from there. Aurangabad railway station is well connected to most cities. It is about 5 kms from Khuldabad. The world famous Buddhist caves of Ajanta are 105 kms from Aurangabad. There is a regular bus-service between Aurangabad and Ellora. Cabs are also also easily available from Aurangabad for journeys to and fro. The nearest airport is Aurangabad which has daily flights to major Indian cities.
Aurangabad has lots of hotels, both private and MTDC. Visitors to the monuments can stay in the guest house and Travellers' Bungalow at Khuldabad and also in Travellers, Bungalow at Ellora village. Accommodation has to be reserved by previous application to the Collector, Local Engineer or Executive Engineer, Public Works Department, Aurangabad. Visitors can also stay at the Guest House by previous arrangement with the keeper of the Guest House.
The caves of Ellora run approximately in the north- south direction for almost 2 kms. At the southern end are 12 Buddhist caves while in the north are 6 Jain caves. In between lie 17 Brahmnical caves. Apart from these there are the unnumbered caves of the Ganesa-lena group and the Jagesvari group, several of which have local names.. The caves are described in an order commencing with the Buddhist caves at the southern end. Visitors who can not see all the monuments should see at least Caves 6, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 21, 29, 30, 30A, 31, 32 33, 34.
We started from Ajanta. After completing Ajanta we didn't have enough time to proceed further towards Aurangabad. We started early in the morning and boarded an Aurangabad bound bus. The bumpy road gave us company till the outskirts of Aurangabad. Aurangabad has many tourist places... Bibi ka Maqbara, Pani Chakki, Aurangjeb's Tomb, Aurangabad Caves, Daulatabad Fort and last but not the least Ellora caves. We reached Ellora at about 11-30 a.m. As we had only one day we decided to visit only Ellora and if possible Daulatabad Fort which is enroute Ellora. Cave no.16 or the world famous 'Kailash' is just in front of the taxi stand but we skipped it and started to watch chronologically. Maximum caves are collection of sublime sculptures. We spent so much time in some caves that we could not get the time to complete Ellora also. We had to skip the Jain group of caves which are at a distance of 1.5 km from the main complex. But the incompleteness in this visit has created a urge inside me to visit Ellora along with all other places nearby one more time in near future.
N.B.: Like Ajanta, always take a ASI registered guide with you to know the details of the art. Also Ellora remains very crowded in weekends and holidays. So it is better fror art enthusiasts to avoid these days.