Ajanta & Ellora are one of the most visited ancient monuments in India. The caves at Ellora were carved out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills between the 6th and 10th centuries A.D.. The carving work began around 550 A.D. about the same time the Ajanta Caves 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 Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas, who oversaw most of the work at Ellora – including the magnificent Kailash Temple built in 8th century. The last period of building activity took place in the 10th century, when the local rulers switched allegiance from Shaivism to Digambara sect of Jainism.
The caves have a slightly less dramatic setting than those at Ajanta, but more exquisite sculptures. The cave complex comprises of 34 caves that were hewn out of solid rocks of the Charanandri hills. The Ellora complex includes 12 Buddhist, 17 Hindu and 5 Jain Caves.
Caves 1 to 12 are Buddhist monasteries, chaityas and viharas, while caves 13 to 29 are the Hindu temples. Dating back to the 9th and 10th century, Caves 30 to 34 are the Jain shrines. The coexistence of structures from three different religions serves as a splendid visual representation of the prevalent religious tolerance of India.