Ajanta and Ellora Caves

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Ajanta and Ellora Caves Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 1-2 days

Best Time: June to March Read More

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"World Heritage Ancient Rock-Cut Caves"

Ajanta and Ellora Caves Tourism

Ajanta and Ellora caves, considered to be one of the finest examples of ancient rock-cut caves, are located near Aurangabad in Maharashtra, India. Ajanta and Ellora caves complex is adorned with beautiful sculptures, paintings, and frescoes and include Buddhist monasteries, Hindu and Jain temples. The Ajanta caves are 29 in number and were built between the 2nd century BC and 6th century AD, whereas the Ellora Caves are more spread out and 34 in number and dates to the period between 6th and 11th Century AD.

Ajanta and Ellora caves are designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and are quite popular among travelers worldwide. Ajanta Caves, located around 99km north of Aurangabad, are mostly Buddhist sites and were used as a retreat by Buddhist Monks. Ellora is just 15 km west of Aurangabad and has a better mix of Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist sites. These hand-carved caves were built and sponsored by the Indian rulers of those periods and almost buried by thick forests. One of the most famous places in the entire Ajanta and Ellora Caves is the Kailash Temple, which is also the single most massive monolithic structure globally. These rock-cut caves containing carvings are some of the best examples of ancient Indian architecture and sculpture.

Things to do in Ajanta and Ellora Caves

1. Ajanta Caves

Ajanta Caves
Located around 99 km from the town of Aurangabad, lie the Ajanta Caves now included in the list of UNESCO World heritage Sites. Ajanta caves depict the Buddhist culture and their stories through vario (Read More)us sculptures and paintings. It also takes you to the world of Jatakas.

2. Grishneshwar Temple, Ellora

Grishneshwar Temple, Ellora
Grishneshwar is an ancient pilgrimage site where one of the twelve Jyotirlinga manifestations of Lord Shiva is found. It is located at a distance of around half a kilometer from Ellora and 11 km from (Read More)Daulatabad near Aurangabad in Maharashtra.

3. The Buddhist Caves, Ellora

The Buddhist Caves, Ellora
Shrines and paintings of Buddha, all encompassed in about 12 Buddhist caves.

4. Bibi Ka Makbara, Aurangabad

Bibi Ka Makbara, Aurangabad
Known as Dakkhani Taj (Taj of Deccan), Bibi Ka Maqbara is situated about 5 km from the Aurangabad city.

5. Jain Caves, Ellora

Jain Caves, Ellora
There are in total 5 Jain caves at Ellora and they are dated to the ninth and tenth century AD.

6. Khuldabad

Khuldabad is a nearby town in Aurangabad and is also known as "Rauza", meaning garden of paradise.

7. Daualatabad fort, Daulatabad

Daualatabad fort, Daulatabad
Daulatabad Fort (14 kilometer away from Aurangabad City), in Daulatabad, or 'the abode of wealth' is situated on an isolated conical hill from a 600 feet high mesa-like flat terrain.

8. Aurangabad caves, Aurangabad

Aurangabad caves, Aurangabad
The marvelous caves of Aurangabad are tucked between the Satara and Sihyachal range of hills in Aurangabad.

9. Shopping In Aurangabad

Shopping In Aurangabad
Aurangabad is famous for shopping where one can stopover to buy Himroo shawls, Paithani sarees or fabric like Mashru and Kimkhab.

10. Panchakki, Aurangabad

Panchakki, Aurangabad
Built about 1700, this is a water mill used for grinding grains. The forethought put into the marvel of architecture is truly amazing.

11. The shopping plaza

The shopping plaza
Apart from the magnificent caves that exhibit the best of Buddhist religious art the shopping plaza is another major tourist attraction in Ajanta.

12. Shopping in Ajanta and Ellora

Shopping in Ajanta and Ellora
Shopping near Ajanta and Ellora caves is fascinating as the region is rich in the art and culture of several communities.

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A Walk Through the History

The paintings and sculptures of the Ajanta Caves date back to the beginning of classical Indian art. The charm of the caves takes us back to 2nd Century BC and 6th Century AD. Ajanta caves comprise 29 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments. The caves portray the Buddhist culture and stories expressed in the form of numerous sculptures and paintings. They also relate to the popular Jataka Tales. The basic design and layout of the caves are called Chaityagrihas and Viharas.

Ellora Caves has 34 caves and is also famous for the largest single monolithic rock-cut temple globally, popularly knows as the Kailash temple. The 12 large caves mainly comprise of Viharas (monasteries). It constitutes of various shrines of Budha of Bodhisattva Saints. The most famous cave is called the Chaitya Hall or Carpenter's Cave. In the center of this cave is a massive 15 feet tall Budha Statue.

Visiting Ajanta and Ellora is like travelling back in time. These caves have been in existence for more than 2,000 years, and even in today's heavy engineering world, it isn't easy to even think of recreating an architectural marvel like this.

Restaurants and Local Food in Ajanta and Ellora Caves

The cuisine of Aurangabad exudes the flavour of North India and Hyderabadi cuisine as the city of Aurangabad was ruled by the Mughals and the Nizams. Those who love to gorge on delightful dishes can eat to their heart's content and take back the memories and aroma of famous flavoured Nawabi biriyanii or the aromatic pulao. Being a Muslim predominated area, this place is a food lover's delight, especially for non-vegetarians. Kebabs are another specialty.
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Suggested Itinerary for Ajanta and Ellora Caves

Ajanta and Ellora Caves in One Day
Covering both the caves in one day is quite difficult and not recommended to truly enjoy the caves. Also, while Ellora caves is situated around 15 km west of Aurangabad, but the Ajanta caves is around 99km north of Aurangabad. To even think of doing this, you must have a car or taxi of your own and you need to start as early as possible. Also, beware that Ajanta caves are closed on Monday and Ellora caves are closed on Tuesday. So if you plan to do them both in a single day, you must do it on any of day between Wednesday to Sunday. 

Start from Aurangabad and go to Ajanta caves first, which would take roughly 2 and half hours by car. If you leave by 5:30am, then you should reach just on time as the site opens by 8am for visitors. 

Explore there for around 2 and half hours and leave by 10:30am to reach Aurangabad back by 1pm. Have lunch in the city and then get ready to leave for Ellora Caves by 2pm. You should reach in half an hour and you will have another 2 and half hours to explore various parts of Ellora Caves. 

Ajanta and Ellora Caves in Two Days

Two days are sufficient to cover both the caves and that too by public transport. For Ellora Tour, there are luxury buses that start around 9:30am from the MTDC office on Aurangabad Railway Station Road. This tour also includes several famous sites in Aurangabad. After coming back to Aurangabad, have a good night rest as the next day will involve much more travel. Take the bus to Ajanta Caves the next day from the Aurangabad Central Bus Station located on Aurangabad Road. This bus ride will be roughly 3 hours long, so be prepared and pack some snacks as well. The bus will drop you at Ajanta Caves Road Entrance where some shops and restaurants are present for tourists. From there, you can take another bus to the entrance of the main caves which would hardly take 10 minutes. Beware that these are local buses and can be slightly rough for a lot of tourists. 

Best Time to Visit Ajanta and Ellora Caves

Ajanta and Ellora Caves Photos

Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Maharashtra
The Buddhist Caves, Ellora
Exterior of Ajanta Caves
The most intact painting in Cave 6: Buddha seated in dharma-chakra-mudra.

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FAQs on Ajanta and Ellora Caves

What is the best time to visit Ajanta and ellora caves?

June to March are the best months to visit Ajanta and Ellora Caves. It becomes a little difficult to travel around and explore the caves in summers April-May. Winters and Monsoon are ideal as the climate is pleasant from October to March and June to September which is the best time to visit the caves. Avoid summers if you don't want the sun to bother you while you are enjoying your archaeological journey. The scorching heat of April and May makes it a bit challenging for the tourists.
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What are the places near Ajanta and ellora caves?

The top places near to Ajanta and ellora caves are Aurangabad which is 22 km from Ajanta and ellora caves, Shirdi which is located 78 km from Ajanta and ellora caves, Bhandardara which is located 157 km from Ajanta and ellora caves, Mumbai which is located 263 km from Ajanta and ellora caves, Nasik which is located 145 km from Ajanta and ellora caves

What are the things to do in Ajanta and ellora caves?

The top things to do in Ajanta and ellora caves are Ajanta Caves, Grishneshwar Temple, Ellora, The Buddhist Caves, Ellora, Bibi Ka Makbara, Aurangabad, Jain Caves, Ellora, Khuldabad. You can see all the places to visit in Ajanta and ellora caves here

What is the best way to reach Ajanta and ellora caves?

Ajanta and Ellora caves are located about 100 km from each other. Jalgaon is the closest airport to Ajanta caves located 50 km away with connecting flights from Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Aurangabad is the closest city to Ellora Caves. It is about 100 km away from Ajanta and 30 km away from Ellora. Aurangabad Airport is the best-connected airport with several flights from major cities across India. Jalgaon and Aurangabad Railway station are the two railway junctions which are well connected with all the cities in India. There are many private and government buses which run from the main cities in and around Maharashtra.
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What is the local food in Ajanta and ellora caves?

The cuisine of Aurangabad exudes the flavour of North India and Hyderabadi cuisine as the city of Aurangabad was ruled by the Mughals and the Nizams. Those who love to gorge on delightful dishes can eat to their heart's content and take back the memories and aroma of famous flavoured Nawabi biriyanii or the aromatic pulao. Being a Muslim predominated area, this place is a food lover's delight, especially for non-vegetarians. Kebabs are another specialty.
Read More

Who should visit Ajanta and ellora caves?

Must visit for history buffs, explorers, architecture and archaeological enthusiasts. People interested in Buddhishm and Hinduism will also find it interesting. Good for people of all ages. Great place if you are travelling solo or with family or in a big group. 

What is not so good about Ajanta and ellora caves?

Difficult to visit during the summer season (April-June) because of the extreme heat. Also, the caves are located outside of the main city of Aurangabad and needs atleast two days to cover. 

What is famous about Ajanta and ellora caves?

The beautiful sculptures, frescoes and paintings from the bygone era. Depicts the rich heritage and culture of India.

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Popular Questions And Answers on Ajanta and Ellora Caves

Q. What are the places to eat around the caves?

Surbhi Parashar

6 years ago
Amazing sitaphal (custard apple) available along the western ghats!
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Q. 1) What about the vegetarian food near Ajanta caves ? 2) Is there any decent lodges near Ajanta Caves ? 3) What is the distance between Aurangabad & Ajanta ? 4) Which choice you suggest to stay ? - Auarangabad or Aanta ?

Nibha Chaudhuri

6 years ago
1) MTDC Ajanta restaurant is run by the Maharashtra Tourism Department, situated close to the entrance of the caves. Rajasthani Dhaba and Hotel Priyanka are very close to the Ajanta visitor center. T (Read More)hese places offer vegetarian food options. 2) The MTDC run Kannayha Kunj and tourist resort are good options. The nearby town of Fardapur has some decent lodging options as well if you're looking for something near the caves. They have very basic amenities. 3) Approximately 100 kms. 4) That really depends on your agenda. Personally, I prefer staying at Aurangabad.
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Q. in one day we can visit ajanta and ellora caves from mumbai

Nibha Chaudhuri

6 years ago
You could, but it'd be pretty expensive, as you'd have to fly to and from Aurangabad, which is still around 1.5 - 2 hours away from the caves. I'd strongly recommend spending the night at Aurangabad, (Read More) as it'd be cheaper and less hectic.
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Ajanta and Ellora Caves Reviews

Your rating

Sanika Ovhal

4 years ago
Unbelievable carving work.. must visit this place. It takes lot of time to observe all the caves..you should appoint a guide..so that he'll or she'll guide you and give you the proper information.

Kamaljit Singh

5 years ago
You can reach caves by means of train at Aurangabad in Maharashtra

Kovid Kapoor

6 years ago
Visiting these caves should ideally be a two day trip. It takes around 6 hours by road from Mumbai, after which exploring the caves (and all the walking involved in between) can get tiring. The paint (Read More)ings of Ajanta and sculptures of Ellora used to be marvellous many years ago, and they still retain this beauty, but they seem to have deteriorated in terms of maintenance. However, it remains a must-visit destination for its beautiful illustrations and reminder of a regal Indian era. I would advise avoiding visits in the summer because the caves become incredibly hot and it is hard to enjoy the experience. Instead, come in the later months of the year from August and September onwards.
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