The Pitalkhora Caves, in the Satamala range of the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, India, are an ancient Buddhist site consisting of 14 rock-cut cave monuments which date back to the third century BCE, making them one of the earliest examples of rock-cut architecture in India. Located about 40 kilometers from Ellora, the site is reached by a steep climb down a flight of concrete stairs, past a waterfall next to the caves.
The caves are cut in a variety of basalt rock, but some of the caves have crumbled and are damaged. Out of the 14, four are chaityas (one housing votive stupas, one apsidal and single-cell) and the rest are viharas. All the caves belong to the Hinayana period, but the reasonably well preserved paintings are of the Mahayana period. The caves are in two groups, one of 10 caves and the second of four. It is believed that Pitalkhora can be identified with Ptolemy’s “Petrigala” as well as the “Pitangalya” of Mahamayuri, a Buddhist chronicle. The inscriptions date from c. 250 BCE to the 3rd and 4th centuries CE.
The site shows statues of elephants, two soldiers of which one is intact, a damaged Gaja Lakshmi icon, and an ancient rainwater harvesting system. These caves have been significant in helping establish the chronology of cave building in the Ajanta-Ellora region.
Some of the caves in this cave are double-edged and the steps from the horizon are excavated. The main cave means that there is a big chap. The middle section has 35 pillars, which have pictures of Buddha Sanyas painted in white, black, brown and brown or pinky. The roofs of the surrounding rooms are decorated, decorated with a statue of Buddha in the throne and above the umbrella. Mundan Kelli children and idols are seen bowing down to their waist. Men and women’s figures also appear here. (The time of these pictures appears in the chronological order of the cave.) Chaitya Lane No.3 and Vihar Karkh In the scenic areas of 4 are the monographs of Mithadev from the Gundas and the Sangakkaputra of Paithan. Vihar singh Gajthar is the first Gajtar to be shown on the ancient Indian architecture of Shilpa. These elephants are decorated with ornaments and they are seen hanging bells on both sides. The entrances to the entrance entrance are significant. One of the finest crafts in this cave is the King-Queen Craft. This royalist has gained a unique importance in the field of Indian sculpture.
Chronology of the Chaitya hall (Cave 3)
The Chaitya hall, Cave 3 of Pitalkhora, represents an important marker in the chronology of the Chaitya hall design in western India. It is thought that the chronology of these early Chaitya Caves is as follows: first, in the 1st century BCE, Cave 9 at Kondivite Caves and then Cave 12 at the Bhaja Caves, which both predate Cave 10 of Ajanta. Then, after Cave 10 of Ajanta, in chronological order: Cave 3 at Pitalkhora, Cave 1 at Kondana Caves, Cave 9 at Ajanta, which, with its more ornate designs, may have been built about a century later, Cave 18 at Nasik Caves, and Cave 7 at Bedse Caves, to finally culminate with the “final perfection” of the Great Chaitya at Karla Caves.
Source From Wikipedia