Mar 25, 2011
Hitting The Road To Ellora Caves
25 March, 2011
Molten lava once flowed here. It solidified into rocks and hills. Forests grew up. Animals roamed freely. Then came humans. They cleared the forests and turned the rocks and hills into temples, viharas and, chaityas of mind-numbing beauty.
Today I stood before them motionless in thought.
What provokes a man to imagine that it is possible to dig Sahyadri mountains from its top with only chisels and axes in such a way that a temple would emerge?
In front of me stood two innocent looking pillars holding millions of tons of rock that form a mountain overhead.
I stood alone in front of a sculpture of Buddha in meditation. It was the sculpture of a man in pure bliss. Suddenly one of his eyes trembled. Then his lips quivered. Then it broke into a smile. Was it hallucination? Was it an amazing art form?
In one of the caves, the ceiling above a meditating Buddha was designed in the form of ribs of some huge animal. I knew sound would reverberate here. I uttered Omm… It continued to reverberate for long, as I had expected. Then the sound suddenly broke into a booming laughter. Bats began to fly out of the cave. Why was I trembling with fear?
Early in the morning, standing at one corner of Cave One, I tried to visualize a lonely monk walking up the mountain, deep in thought. He looked at me suddenly. “What are you doing here, you non-believer?” he asked me in a thin voice. “This is the adobe of faith. Don’t come back again.”
In a sudden impulse I wanted to run after him. “You survive because the kings feed you out of their plunders. All your sermons and noble principles sound hollow as you too survive on fruits of pillage. You even keep your sculptures unfinished when the funding from the emperor stops,” I wanted to tell him. But by then he had vanished into the misty blue-green mountain. I wanted to crush, turn into dust, all these caves with all my might. I was shivering with rage.
Why do I always seek an answer? What is answer?
I went back to the caves at noon to seek an answer only to find thousands of people yelling in hundreds of languages, women touching the feet of Buddha, young girls looking at the breasts of Parvati, balls of Shiva’s bull and of Mahavira and giggling.
“Serves you right,” I muttered.
The huge moat, that once used to store rain water for the monks, now breeds mosquitoes.
Mumbai to Thane to Sahapur to Ghoty via Kasara and Igatpuri. Turned right from Ghoty to Sinnar to Ellora via Vaijapur.
Total distance: 343 kms.
The road is bad in patches. But the view is good.
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Hitting The Road To Ellora Caves
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By aseem| Posted on:28 Mar 2011
i have been to ellora... nice place:)