Ellora – Cave 1

The DSC04855numbering of the caves has been done by the Archaeological Survey of India and does not hold any significance, chronological or otherwise.

The first few Buddha caves are popularly known as the Dhedavada or the low castes’ quarter; and though Dr. J Wilson supposed this might have originated as a nickname in sarcasm by the Hindus, and from similarity of sound to Theravada, or the quarter of the Buddhist priests, yet, as probably in a majority of cases the Buddhist converts were from Dhedas and partly aboriginal low-caste tribes, the name of Dhedavada may have been correctly applicable to the series of caves from the first. It could also be possible that once the Buddhists ceased to live in these caves, they have been inhabited by theDSC04858 Dhedavadas.

This is the first cave at the southern extremity of the group. It is a small Vihara and is probably one of the oldest excavations here. It is a monastery contains cells for the monks. It has eight cells inside, four in the back and four on one side. it is 41 feet wide and 42 feet deep.

You can find holes drilled on the walls and the corners for ropes to be pulled from inside. It can also be assumed that this cave was initially excavated for DSC04861the workers and later used by the monks., The cell on the extreme left of the rear wall has an opening in the ceiling to Cave 2 which is above this. So it can be thought that both caves 1 and 2 were excavated at the sane time and this hole got drilled accidentally.

There is a small cave right outside the cave 1 to the right, however, today it does not have any form. I am assuming that there was a verandah earlier and this cave would have been on one side of it. A pillar at the right corner of this cave support my assumption.

We will see a more larger Cave 2 next…