The Elephanta Caves are located on the island on Elephanta in the Arabian Sea close to Mumbai. There are seven caves, each with decorated temples and images from Hindu mythology, which date from the 5th to the 8th centuries AD.
The Ajanta Caves are a series of 29 cave monuments which date from the 2nd century BC to the 7th century AD. Cut from hillside rock, there are 5 temples and 24 monasteries which contain carvings that depict the life of Buddha. In AD 650 they were abandoned in favour of the Ellora Caves 100km to the south-west but were rediscovered by a British tiger hunting party in 1819.
The Ellora Caves comprise 34 monasteries and temples which were dug side by side in the wall of a high basalt cliff near Aurangabad in Maharashtra. Dating from 600-1000 AD, there are Buddhist, Jain and Brahmin temples, each peacefully co-existing side by side. The caves have remarkable reliefs and sculptures. The Kailasa Temple in particular is a rock-cut masterpiece - 3 million cubic metres of rock were removed to create the temple which is carved with intricate detail.