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The Brahmanical movement was especially powerful under the patronage of the Chalukya and Rashtrakuta kings, who oversaw most of the work at Ellora - including the magnificent Kailasa Temple built in the 700s.

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There are 17 Hindu caves in all (numbered 13 to 29), which were carved between 600 and 870 AD.

They occupy the center of the cave complex, grouped around either side of the famous Kailasa Temple.

There are 34 caves in all: 12 Buddhist caves (500-750 AD), 17 Hindu caves (600-870 AD) and 5 Jain caves (800-1000 AD).

The caves are numbered roughly chronologically, starting with the oldest Buddhist caves at the south end.

The carving work began around 550 AD, about the same time the Ajanta Caves (100km northeast) were abandoned.

The Ellora Caves were built at time when Buddhism was declining in India and Hinduism was beginning to reassert itself.

Cave 1 is a plain vihara with eight small monastic cells are very little sculpture.

It may have served as a granary for the larger halls. A large central chamber supported by 12 great square pillars is lined with sculptures of seated Buddhas.

Opposite her on the right is Mahamayuri, the Buddhist goddess of learning, shown with her attribute, the peacock. Significantly, Mahamayuri has a very similar Hindu counterpart, Saraswati.

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