Photos by sumeetjain,
The Ajanta caves are located in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. These are rock cut Buddhist cave monuments. The cave consists of rock cut sculptures and paintings which depict ancient Indian art that shows emotions through pose, gesture, and form. Vakataka period and Satavahana period are the two periods in which this cave was built.
The Ellora caves are also located in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. It is also one of the largest rock cut temple caves in the world. The caves depict artwork and monuments of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism and so it is divided into three parts. The cave features 17 Hindu caves, 5 Jain caves, and 12 Buddhist caves.
Photos by nicksarebi,
Ajanta Ellora caves have always identified as the jewel that depicts Indian history and the attractive artistry that existed in the ancient time. There are 64 rock cut caves available to attract the tourists. Ajanta Ellora caves come under the first preference of the travelers and is a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE.
Photos by kun0me,
The best time to visit Ajanta Ellora caves is June – March because the weather is pleasant here. From June-September the area receives plenty of rains which makes investigation experience a pleasure. The temperature moderately drops during the months of November-February. March-May is the summer months in which daytimes are very hot.
How To Visit The Place
Ajanta and Ellora caves are easily accessible through the various mode of attraction as it is the most visited site in India. A local taxi can be hired or a state run bus can be taken to reach the Ajanta and Ellora caves. From different neighboring places like Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, and Mumbai, various on road facilities are available. From Mumbai-Pune, well-connected rail facility is available for Aurangabad. The nearest railway station is the Jalgaon railway station located at a distance of 60 km from Ellora caves. Well-connected airway facilities are also available which is 100km away from Ajanta Ellora caves.
There are 30 rock-cut caves in Ajanta caves which focus the finest sculptures and paintings. Cave 1, Cave 2, Cave 4, are some of the most visited caves which are not to be missed out. Along with the horse shaped historical region, the view point across the river permits the beautiful view of the surroundings. Cave 1 is the most popular caves among all as all the paintings here are authentic. The two phases of the life of Buddha is depicted on the sidewalls of the caves and the main door is embellished with Bodhisattva murals. In Cave 2, the main highlight is the ceiling because it has complicated abstract designs of birds, flowers, devils, and fruits. Though Cave 4 is an incomplete creation still it is one of the largest monasteries in Ajanta cave.
A total of 34 caves, each one having their respective specialty is there in Ellora caves. Some must visit caves are Cave 1, Cave 2, and Cave 16. Cave 1 has the simple monastery and features 8 Buddhist temples. There are 12 highly decorated square pillars in Cave 2. Another attraction in this cave is that Lord Buddha is sitting on a lion. Cave 16 is also one of the highlights of Ellora caves. It is an important pilgrim spot for the followers of Lord Shiva. This cave is also known as Kailash temple which signifies abode of lord shiva.
Many other places are there to be visited by the tourists besides the Ajanta and Ellora caves. One of the largest monumental structure is the Kailasa temple. All the pilgrims till present date are attracted towards this temple. Besides this Buddhist architecture and paintings, there are many more beautiful places to be visited. The Daulatbad Fort, Bibi Ka Maqbara is also some of the places which are worth exploring. Aurangabad Caves, Aurangabad City Walls, and Panchakki are also worth visiting which is 14km away from Ajanta and Ellora caves.
Every year in the month of November, Ajanta and Ellora festival is organized which attracts tourists from all over the world. The charm of Sonehri Mahal is surged by the dance and music of this festival. The talent of classical artists and young folk are depicted by this Ajanta and Ellora festival. Different competitions for Mehandi, rangoli are held during this festival. Cultural and folk performance are held followed by handicrafts shopping.
After having a glance at the Ajanta and Ellora caves paintings you would also love to go for shopping to the open air markets here. Shopping is one of the best things to be enjoyed here because you will come across some of the beautiful sculptures of Buddha created by the local artists, some silver ornaments, and some semi-precious stones, Jain and Buddhist paintings, clothing and footwear. All these things contribute in making these caves as one of the best shopping destination. Ellora caves offer a great variety of products which include footwear, apparel, and accessories and so it is considered as more shopper- friendly than Ajanta caves. Various god and goddess painting are found in these caves which include Jain paintings, Hindu paintings etc.
Photos by leonyaakov,
For different budget travelers, different option for accommodation is available at Ajanta and Ellora caves. If your desires are to stay in the regions of Ajanta and Ellora caves then Ajanta tourists resorts, hotel Kailash, Ajanta T junction guest house are available. All the basic necessities are provided by the hotels. Also, various local food counters and stalls are available which offers snacks, soft drinks, and fresh juices. Various restaurants are also available which provide you with all the refreshment and foods so that you can enjoy your trip.
Lastly, it is always said that in order to enjoy your trip to Maharashtra, you need to visit these caves at least once to make it a memorable one as the most outstanding and remarkable ancient monasteries and Indian architecture are displayed here in Ajanta Ellora caves which reveal the magical and mythical beauty of ancient era. These caves depict some of the only remaining evidence of Buddhist India.