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Ajanta & Ellora

Home » Top Destination of India » Ajanta & Ellora

Ajanta Caves, Aurangabad Chiseled out of stone during 2nd century BC, Ajanta & Ellora are the two of the most alluring tourist destinations in India. The archaeological site was discovered by John Smith, a British Army Officer with his group on their expedition in 1819. These caves are nestled in the Sahyadri hills, carved into the mountain side, over the Waghora River. Ajanta & Ellora caves served an isolated retreats for the Buddhist monks, who preached and performed religious rites in the Chaityas and Viharas, the ancient centers of learning of the Buddhist cultural movement.

Major Attractions

Ajanta Caves
Located just 40 km away from Jalgaon Maharashtra, Ajanta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its rock cut Buddhist temples and monasteries with extraordinary wall painting. The temples are hollowed out of granite cliffs on the inner side of a 20-meter ravine in the Wagurna River valley. About 30 caves were excavated, of which cave number are 9, 10, 19, 26 and 29 are chaitya-grihas. The rest of the caves have been found to comprise of monasteries.

The sculptures particularly the rich ornamentation of the chaitya pillars, is noteworthy, it boasts of the fresco-type paintings that are the chief interest of Ajanta. These paintings depict colorful Buddhist legends and divinities with an exuberance and vitality that is unsurpassed.

Ellora Caves
The Ellora Caves are located on the Aurangabad-Chalisgaon road at a distance of 30 km north-northwest of Aurangabad. Locally known as 'Verul Leni', these rock cut caves represent one of the largest rock-hewn monastic-temple complexes in the entire world. Ellora is world famous for the largest single monolithic excavation, the great Kailasha (Cave 16). There are 34 caves with intricate interiors and ornamental facades.

Ellora caves were carved during the 350 A.D. and 700 A.D., the rock temples and monasteries represent three faiths - Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Cave 10 is a Chaitya-hall (prayer hall) and is popularly known as 'Visvakarma'. The Ramesvara cave has figurines of river goddesses welcoming the vistors at the entrance. The Dumar Lena cave is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The most impressive vihara is the three - storeyed cave called 'Tin - Tala'. The Kailasa temple in cave 16 is a true masterpiece in itself.

Travel Information

Air
Currently Aurangabad is the nearest Air port. It can be reached from New Delhi and Mumbai (Bombay), international airport. Indian airlines as well as Jet Airways have daily flight to Aurangabad from New Delhi and Mumbai.

Rail
Jalgaon is the best place to drop in for Ajanta & Ellora. It is centre point of all major railway stations of India and has Bhusaval (Just 28kms from Jalgaon) as Second largest depot of railways in entire Asia.

Road
Regular services of state buses are available from Mumbai, Pune, Jalgaon, Ahmednagar, Ahmedabad, Shirdi, Nasik, Dhule, Indore, Hyderabad, and Bijapur to Aurangabad, and from Jalgaon to Ajanta.

Cave Timings:
9.00AM to 17.30PM Indian Standard Time (IST)

Ajanta Caves remain closed on Monday and Ellora Caves remain closed on Tuesday. Both caves remain open on all national holidays






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