The caves are 30 km northwest of central *Aurangabad (map), and 330 km northeast of *Mumbai.
The Kailasha temple (Cave 16, map), inspired by Mount Kailasha, is dedicated to Shiva. The structure is a freestanding, multi-level temple complex covering an area twice the size of the Parthenon in Athens. It is estimated that the artists removed three million cubic feet of stone, weighing approximately 200,000 tonnes, to excavate the temple.
The construction of the temple has been attributed to the Rashtrakuta king Krishna I (r. 756–773 CE), but elements of Pallava architecture have also been noted. The dimensions of the courtyard are 82 meters by 46 meters at the base, and 30 meters high (280 × 160 × 106 feet).