Ellora temples in Aurangabad, Maharashtra are the largest cave temples in India. Ellora cave temples are a perfect example of Indian rock cut architecture. Ellora is a World Heritage Site. It has 35 caves. These caves comprise of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain cave temples and monasteries, which were built between the 5th century and 10th century. There are 12 Buddhist caves, 17 Hindu caves, and 5 Jain caves. The Buddhist caves were the earliest structures, created between the fifth and seventh centuries. These consist mostly of viharas or monasteries. The Hindu caves were constructed in the beginning of the 7th century. The Kailasanatha Temple in the Cave 16 is the main attraction of Ellora. The temple is designed to recall Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva. The Jain temples reveal specific dimensions of Jain philosophy and tradition.
Largest Church in India
Se Cathedral in Old Goa is the largest church in India. The original building was constructed of mud and stones and straw and was erected in 1510 and was dedicated to St. Catherine. In 1538 the church status was elevated to that of a Cathedral with the establishment of the Diocese of Goa. The Cathedral as it stands today took 90 years to be completed. The Portuguese viceroy, Dom Francisco Coutinho, the Count of Redondo (1561-1564) commissioned its construction. The building work began in 1562 and was completed in 1652. The height of Se Cathedral's front piece including the cross is 115 2/3 feet and its breadth is 100 4/3 feet. The total length of the Cathedral is 250 feet and it breadth id 181 1/3 feet. Externally, Se Cathedral is built in half Tuscan and half Doric style, and internally it is built in the Mosaic-Corinthian style.
More India Facts
Amarnath Cave in Jammu & Kashmir is the largest cave in India. The width of the cave is around 40 yard, its height is about 75 feet; and the cave slopes 80 feet deep down inside the mountain. Amarnath Cave is an important pilgrimage shrine for the Hindus. The cave is famous for the image of Shiva, in the form of a lingam that is formed naturally of an ice-stalagmite, and which waxes and wanes with the moon.
Amarnath Cave is situated at an altitude of 3888m and is 45 km from Pahalgam. The trek from Pahalgam to Amarnath cave is on an ancient peregrine route. The 45-km distance is covered in four days, with night halts at Chandanwari, Sheshnag and Panchtarni.
Buland Darwaza is the highest gateway in India. Buland Darwaza was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1601 A.D. at Fatehpur Sikri to commemorate his victory over Gujarat. Buland Darwaza is 53.63m high and 35 meters wide. The structure is approached by 42 steps.
Buland Darwaza is made of red and buff sandstone, decorated by carving and inlaying of white and black marble. The Buland Darwaza is semi octagonal in plan and is topped by pillars and chhatris. It is adorned with calligraphic inscriptions from the Quran. There are thirteen smaller domed kiosks on the roof, stylized battlement and small turrets and inlay work of white and black marble. An inscription on the central face of the Buland Darwaza displays Akbar's religious broad mindedness. It is attributed to Jesus Christ and reads, "The World is but a bridge, pass over but build no houses on it." A Persian inscription on eastern arch way of the Buland Darwaza records Akbar's conquest over Deccan in 1601 A.D.