Without a doubt, Cave 16 (Kailasanatha Temple) is the centerpiece and masterpiece of Ellora. It appears to a freestanding, multi-storeyed temple complex – but it was carved out of one single rock. It covers an area double the size of the Parthenon in Athens. Note that this “cave” actually is open-air, a distinct difference from the previous concepts. There is huge U-shaped courtyard surrounding galleries with giant sculpted panels. Originally there were flying bridges connecting these galleries, but they have fallen over the centuries.
Cave #21 is the second most impressive Hindu cave. It is known as the Rameshivara and sports stone figures of the river goddesses Ganga and Yamuna at its entrance. It also is most similar to the locale of the Adjanta Caves, as it looks out from a steep cliff over a river complete with waterfall.