34 monasteries and temples, extending over more than 2 kms, were dug side by side in the wall of a high basalt cliff, at Ellora near Aurangabad. Ellora, with its uninterrupted sequence of monuments dating from A.D. 600 to 1000, brings the civilization of ancient India to life. Not only is the Ellora complex a unique artistic creation and a technological exploit but, with its sanctuaries devoted to Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, it illustrates the spirit of tolerance that was characteristic of ancient India. The 12 Buddhist (caves 1–12), 17 Hindu (caves 13–29) and 5 Jain (caves 30–34) caves, built in proximity, demonstrate the religious harmony prevalent during this period of Indian history. The Vishvakarma (Cave 10) is the only chaitya griha amongst the Buddhist group of caves. It follows the pattern of construction of caves in Ajanta. On stylistic grounds, the date of construction of this cave is assigned to c.700. The chaitya once had a high screen wall, which is ruined at present. The main hall is apsidal on plan and is divided in to a central nave and side aisles by 28 octagonal columns with plain bracket capitals. In the apsidal end of the chaitya hall is a stupa on the face of which a colossal 3.30 m high seated Buddha in vyakhyana mudra (teaching posture) is carved. A large Bodhi tree (Ficus religiosa) is carved at the back. The Hindu caves were constructed between the middle of sixth century to the end of the eighth century. The early caves (caves 17–29) were constructed during the Kalachuri period. Cave 16, also known as the Kailasa or the Kailasanatha, is the unrivaled centerpiece, designed to recall Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva. It looks like a freestanding, multi-storeyed temple complex, but it was carved out of one single rock and covers area double the size of Parthenon in Athens. Initially the temple was covered with white plaster to kae it similar looking to snow covered Mount Kailash. The five Jain caves at Ellora belong to the ninth and tenth centuries. Jain caves reveal specific dimensions of Jain philosophy and tradition. They reflect a strict sense of asceticism – they are not relatively large as compared to others, but they present exceptionally detailed art works. The most remarkable Jain shrines are the Chhota Kailash (cave 30), the Indra Sabha (cave 32) and the Jagannath Sabha (cave 33)