- Mahabalipuram monuments are carved out of single stone, which is also the case in case of Ellora Kailash Temple.
- The reliefs, sculptures and architecture depict the gods, goddesses found in Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Shaktism
- The relief panels at both the monuments showcase stories of two major Hindu Epics -Ramayana and Mahabharata
e.g. The Relief panel of Arjuna’s Penance at Mahabalipuram and The relief panel of Ravana shaking Kailash at Ellora
- Both have rock-cut and cave temples.
- For instance in Ellora’s Cave 21, also called Rameshwar Lena is cave and rock cut temple.
- Similarly in Mahabalipuram Varaha cave is cave temple and pancharathas are rock cut.
- Gavaksha or Chandrashala a type of horseshoe arch is a common feature
- eg. The Draupadi Ratha of Mahabalipuram and the cave 10 at Ellora both share the Gavaksha feature
- The carvings of the Mahisasur-Vadh in Ellora is very similar to the Pallava style in Mahabalipuram
- Crest Carving: – is a kind of rock carving from the outside is a dominant feature at Mahabalipuram. The same can be seen in the Kailashnath temple and Dasavatara Nandimandapa at Ellora
- The barrel vaulted roof a special feature of the Bhima ratha in Mahabalipuram is also a feature at Ellora caves
Apart from the similarities some distinct features make each of these architectural treasures different from the other
- Ellora caves have been carved out of the volcanic basaltic formation ,While those at Mahabalipuram are of granitic origin
- Ellora architecture also comprises Jain temples and Buddhist chaitya halls
- The style of figures at Mahabalipuram are more slender, less mobile, and colder in feeling
- While Mahabalipuram showcases deductive carving, Ellora architecture is majorly on core carving techniques.
- The cruciform plan of the Kailash temple at Ellora is not found in the Mahabalipuram architecture plan.