AJANTA ELLORA CAVES
Location : From Aurangabad Ajanta -100 km, Ellora - 30 km
Built In : Ajanta Caves - 200BC to 650 AD and Ellora Caves - 350 AD to 700 AD
Discovered By : Ajanta and Ellora caves discovered by John Smith in 1819
Major Attractions : Kailasa Temple, Buddha's Statues, Paintings
No where in the world any one would have imagined that there is a treasure hidden chiseled out from the solid rocks when the mighty kingdoms where busy in building the unparalleled forts and palaces. The World Heritage Sites of Ajanta and Ellora Caves are testimony to the fact that these are the unsurpassed rock cut caves not only in India but in the whole world, where from tourist visit to this place to have a glimpse of its excellence and exquisiteness depicting the rich ancient architectural heritage of India. Plan a tour to Ajanta Ellora Cave sites winding through ancient rocks deep into the natural vegetation away from hustle and bustle of city life.
Ajanta caves, a secluded retreat for the Buddhist monks
was carved out of deep curved mountain side, lying deep in Sahyadri hills
in 200 BC and remain shrouded in obscurity for more than a millennia from
650 AD when it was abandoned in favor of Ellora caves. It was only in 1819
when British officers spotted the caves when they where on the hunting
expedition to the near by hills. Its amazing to see from the distance
which looks like stark holes on the rock face are actually the treasure
troves of numerous Buddha sculptures, ancient paintings, fine workmanship.
Visit the 29 caves in Ajanta of which 5 served as Chastiyas (Temples) and rest as Viharas (Monasteries). On entering the caves you will see the impressive figures, exquisite frescos and huge sculptures adorning the cave walls that speaks the tales of Bygone era. Don't miss to see the panels depicting the stories from Jatakas, a rich tale of different incarnations of Lord Buddha and image of nymphs and princesses among others.
Visit the wonder of fourth century and you will see what is called the perfect religious harmony. The 34 caves of Ellora built from 350 AD to 700 AD belongs to people of three different faiths Buddhists, Hindus and Jainism. The 12 caves on the South are of Buddhists and 17 caves in center are dedicated to the Hindus while five caves to the North belongs to the Jain's. The major attraction of these caves are the statue of Buddha seated in a two story structure of Stupa with all the grace, nobility and serenity inherent in him. Besides Buddha this stupa also sports dwarfs dancing and making music. In cave 16 there is a Kailasa Temple the architectural marvel that recalls about the abode of Lord Shiva - Mount Kailasa, where grand hall, sanctum, courtyard, aisle among others, all carved out from one stone block and covers the size double to Parthenon in Athens. The splendid achievement of human genius, this temple entailed removal of 200,000 tones of rock and took a century to complete. This intricate as well as delicate piece of ancient architectural heritage is a must to see experience. On the north to the Ellora caves and a mile away from central caves lies the Jain caves. Look at the ceilings of cave number 32 a shrine of Indra Sabha and you will find the beautiful design of Lotus flower. These caves usually portray the Jain philosophy and traditions. In other cave you will find the Goddess Vakshi on her lion under mango tree, laden with fruits. Jain caves have the intricate designs and rich paintings on its walls and ceilings that will we a visual treat to your eyes.
The Aurangabad is the nearest place to Ajanta and Ellora caves and it is feasible for every one to approach the caves from this place. The nearest Airport is Chikalthana, from where the two caves are at a mere distance of 127 and 27 kilometers. The city of Aurangabad is also well connected by the train, there are daily trains for the main cities of India like Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Ahmadabad etc. The road transport is the most suitable for the visitors and Aurangabad has a special service of air conditioner buses to Ajanta and Ellora caves. If you want to have a complete hassle free journey, you can also hire a car. These caves are open from Tuesday to Sunday and the timing is from 9 AM to 5 PM and remains closed on all national holidays. Then what are you waiting for come and enjoy and rest will be taken care off.
Top 5 Reasons to Visit Ajanta Ellora Caves
Treasures from History
Ajanta Caves - A World in Itself
Ellora Caves - Symbol of Religious Harmony
Kailasa Temple - Feat of Human Genius
Ellora Festivals - Sharing Heritage
Caves and Beaches
Unique Rajasthan and Goa
Adventure Tour of India